Technology accelerates the growth of many industries, and financial services is no exception. In the past few decades, retail investors have gained incredible access to low-cost, high-quality financial services via a multitude of platforms.
The fastest growth in recent years has been in the development of money-oriented apps, which allow customers to create and manage budgets, buy and sell investments, track their financial status and even file their taxes all from the screen on a smartphone. For 2023, here’s a variety of money apps that can best help you manage your investments, depending on your specific needs.
Acorns was one of the first investment-oriented apps, and it pioneered the idea of “rounding up” everyday purchases and using that money to buy investments. It has since progressed to offering more advanced features.
For $3 per month, you can get an all-in-one account package that includes investment, retirement and checking accounts, a metal debit card and various educational tools. An upgrade to $5 per month allows for family accounts that can also include your kids.
Personal Capital is a digital financial management app that offers two types of comprehensive services. The free version allows users to input all of their account information from various institutions so it’s all visible at one time on the app’s dashboard.
Along with this organization, Personal Capital also offers planning and analytics tools. For those willing to pay a tiered, annual fee ranging from 0.49% to 0.89% of assets — and with at least $100,000 to invest — Personal Capital kicks into high gear, offering everything from professionally managed portfolios to teams of dedicated financial advisors, and even access to private equity.
If you’re looking for robo-advisory services, Betterment, as one of the very first providers, is one of the top options in the space. It also still charges just 0.25% for its basic robo-advisory package, with no minimum.
However, the Betterment app now provides a wider range of financial options, from a high-yield savings account to crypto trading and a checking account. For an additional 0.15% per year, you can also gain access to CFP professionals for one-on-one advice.
Marcus is a relatively new entrant in the app-based consumer financial space, but it’s backed by investment banking giant Goldman Sachs — and already a major player. In addition to its easy, online access to high-yielding savings accounts and CDs, the firm offers Marcus Invest, providing customers with portfolios chosen by Goldman Sachs experts for 0.25% per year, with a $5 minimum.
There has been talk of Marcus expanding its product line to include checking accounts and other offerings, but even until then, the app is noteworthy for its low-cost, high-yield products.
Mint has become synonymous with budgeting apps, as it was one of the first in the space. And, according to no less than the Wall Street Journal, it remains the best.
Mint has earned that endorsement through its free suite of user-friendly budgeting tools. Mint keeps all your accounts in one place for easy access and understanding of your cash flow. The app provides trackers for budgets, bill payments and investments, and it offers free access to your credit score.
The premium service, which costs $4.99/month and is only currently available for iOS users, offers a host of additional features. One of the most notable is its subscription management service that lets you see all that you’re paying for monthly and helps make it easier for you to cancel. Premium services also include advanced graphing and visualization services and an ad-free experience.
M1 Finance represents the next evolution in financial services apps, offering both traditional robo-advisory accounts and the ability for investors to pick and choose their own individual investments. Investors can construct entire portfolios of fractional shares while paying no commission, rebalancing at will.
Basic accounts only have access to one trading window per day, but this restriction may actually help customers become long-term investors rather than short-term traders. In addition to its investment options, M1 Finance also offers a high-yield checking account, a credit card, and loans through its M1 Plus service, which costs $125 per year.
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