The internet shook a lot of industries up in a massive way: movies, music, news, etc. have all been affected by the rise of the internet, and finance is no different. The new way to invest isn’t to hope you win the lottery and have an accountant tell you that you need to do something with your winnings. Investing is now voluntary, simple, and dare we say, even fun.
Whether you’re investing in oil CFD, cryptocurrency, or a new business, there is an app available to help you in your new investment ventures. But what has the effect of these apps really been? Is it just a new place to do an old financial activity, or are there extra benefits to using an investment app? We’re breaking down why you should use an investment app and how to use it well.
What are investment apps?
Like anything else in this world, there is an app for that, and that goes for investing too. And the concept isn’t too far from any other app on the market: everything can be made easier with an app.
In this case, you can browse stocks and investment options, look into them until you know you have something reliable and with potential, and then watch how it is performing from your phone or tablet as you fancy.
They offer a simple to use platform for a historically complicated and red-tape-coated activity. One element of that red tape is that you previously needed an agent to open the account for you, but that is omitted with an app, which means starting to invest is as easy as registering for a social media account: you need only make your account to get started.
Another element of red tape lost is the fees. It’s rare to have an investment app that is entirely free to use, but their fees are significantly lower on small accounts. The smaller you trade, the lower your fees will be and the more you can put away.
They also offer an element of fun to the idea of investing. There is a community element offered by the users of these apps. They share insights and ideas on platforms like Instagram and Reddit, and discuss new things to invest in. Plus, some apps go even further and offer a gaming element to buying stocks, and you can get assistance in managing a virtual portfolio.
Apps’ effect on investing
All of these extra benefits have been instrumental in making investment more accessible to your average Joe. Joe downloads his chosen app with no issue, registers with lower fees and no agent, and is on his way to learning about all the different stocks he can invest in.
With the red tape and high fees out of the way, just about anyone with the funds spare can get involved in investments. This has resulted in a mixed bag of responses. Investing still takes an element of education, after all, but there have been a lot of good stories hitting the internet of people investing well in stocks and businesses they believe in and gaining a good payout at the end of it.
From this accessibility, a massive community has formed. You can easily find financial influencers on Instagram, TikTok and more, and Twitter and Reddit are always full of people freely offering updates and advice on what to invest in and when to get out. Since the introduction of these apps, there has been greater transparency seen across the board when it comes to finance, and investing is no different.
Education is key
However, you can’t entirely go on word of mouth, and you need to know what you are doing. Do some research before you put a single penny down. Go into it understanding how to interpret charts and financial data. Read books on old finance and modern practices. Browse forums and see what other investors are saying. Decide whether you are an active or passive investor and how you want to approach that.
Ask yourself what kind of trades you want to execute. Are you looking at stocks, mutual funds, ETFs, etc.? Or are you more advanced than that and are hoping to look at trade options, futures, and fixed-income securities.
Once you’ve got that nailed down, you will have to nail down your investment goal. Why are you investing? Do you want a regular income to supplement your salary, is there something you’d like to fund like an event or an expense? Do you intend for this to become your main source of income eventually? Or are you saving for retirement?
Be honest with yourself and decide what you’re looking for in your investments, so that you have a goal to work towards and a drive to succeed.
And don’t forget that there is an element of luck in investments no matter what you go with. Stocks can be affected by just about anything that is out of your control. They can go down due to a hurricane or a Tweet. They can crash due to a world event, like plague or war, or bad business management.