Making a side income is what we’ve previously discussed. One should always have a source of income that’s beside their main job. This allows flexibility to the person earning and gives them the opportunity to do things besides pay bills and besides paying rent. That’s why you’re working in the first place! To be able to afford a comfortable lifestyle outside of bills.
However, not everyone has the time or energy to work another job. Maybe you have a 9-5 job and then have to go to the gym and some chores around the house, you physically don’t have the time or energy to do more!
So how do you earn some extra cash without having to work? By investing!
There exist apps and platforms that help you save money and then invest that same money. The great thing about these platforms is that you don’t have to actively do anything yourself, they do most of the work for you.
Acorns is the first micro investing app that we’ll be talking about. Imagine a little piggy bank you had as a kid. You saved up all the spare change you accumulated in this thing and eventually it’d turn into something that came into use at crucial times. Acorns is an app that rounds up your purchases on your debit or credit cards and then put all the remaining change into an investment portfolio.
The app is free for students who sign up with a valid .edu email. The app’s target audience is students and having the app free for young students who don’t have a lot of money to begin with is pretty useful. College don’t have a lot of money to spend anyways and having an automated savings being generated can come in pretty useful. Imagine not touching the savings for four year and having a big pot of savings.
Automated savings is always a convenient saving strategy, this is why 401k savings take a percentage out of your paycheck automatically because having to deposit money yourself would be a chore. The Acorns app uses the same concept and adds up all the excess change from your purchases using a linked account into an investment account. You can add all your credit or debit cards. Acorns rounds up every purchase to the nearest dollar. The app even gives you the option of picking what purchases you want to round up manually by going through all your recent purchases and selecting which round ups to transfer.
The app requires a $5 balance to start investing in one of Acorn’s pre-set investment portfolios. The app also has a feature called Found Money that is basically a cash back program. You’ll be adding money to your investment portfolio through cash back.
Acorns has partnered with several huge names such as AirBnb, Blue Apron, Apple, Nike to give you cashback whenever you use your debit or credit card at one of their outlets. You’ll receive a cash back on purchases and the Found Money rewards will end up in your account.
Acorns falls a bit short on the management fees however. It costs $1 a month for taxable investments and $2 for their Acorns later program. It may sound like not much but a high percentage of assets for investors accumulating spare change, it is a lot.
Stash is another investment app that takes the confusion out of investing. It finds and chooses investments for you, from individual stocks to exchange traded funds and makes it easy for beginners to get into.
Your funds can be cordoned off to investments that the app makes easy to understand. It judges the risk tolerance, goals, interests and values for you and offers access to individual stocks based on what it works out.
Stash isn’t as automated as Acorn was, it doesn’t manage your investment portfolio for you, rather guides you through the process of building the entire ETF portfolio. Like Acorn, Stash has a minimum $5 minimum balance to start investing and charges $1 a month for accounts with balances less than $5000 and 0.25% annual fee with $5000 or more. If you’re building a retirement account, Stash waives off it’s free if you’re under 25.
Stash is an excellent to learn investment in an intuitive way. That is what the app is all about. The app judges the new account holders by asking a few questions to determine risk tolerance and goals. Based on your answers, it shows a list of suggested ETFs narrowing the options according to what the user answers.
The app also works out what investments should be the base of your account which would be the biggest part of the asset allocation and on top of that, you’ll have complimentary investments. The app however, does not select any of these options for you, they are all suggestions. It gives you the option to select what you want after teaching you what will work out best. If you somehow make a decision that wasn’t the best for you, the app will give you some notes on diversification and will walk you through what will work out best.
Stash offers individual stocks from Apple, Amazon, Facebook and General Electric along with 65 other stocks. The stock offered is fractional which means that you’ll be able to purchase that company’s stock with something like $5.
Stash offers an easy to read summary of all the stocks and investments you’ll make with a risk bar, illustrating the risk factor of that stock. It shows the ticker symbol, the last price of the stock and expense ratios. All of these terms will be taught to you by the app so you don’t have to worry about being confused by them as of yet.
But like Acorns, the app sort of falls short with its subscription fee. If you’re a college student with that regularly has a low bank account, having your bank account charged $1 directly maybe a little too much. The app does not charge from your investment portfolio. The service costs $1 a month for balances under $5000 which the majority of users are. The fees later switch to 0.25% of the percentage of assets which may turn out to be too expensive for example, someone with $500 will have to pay 2.4% of that to Stash.
Stash is a good option for college students and anyone with a low income but once you’ve learned the ins and outs of investment and you’re old enough, it may be time to explore more viable options.
Teaching Fundrise is on line real estate company that let’s any person invest in private commercial and resident properties by investing their accumulated funds on their platform.
The company sells real estate investment trusts or REITs. REITs invest in income producing properties by either buying and managing building or managing mortgages. REITs carry a significant risk as they’re not traded on a public exchange so there’s isn’t some sort of guarantee that anyone would actually want to buy a share once you’re up for selling it. Fundrise offers eREITs from the four portfolios is offers: Start, Supplemental Income, Balanced Investing or Long-Term Growth.
Fundrise starts from a minimum $500 investment. And it works for anyone with a long term outlook. The idea is to hold on to them for some years, to wait for buyers essentially since it isn’t trade on a public market. It’s also a viable option for anyone looking to diversify their bonds. You’ll get an opportunity to invest in something away from the public stock exchange altogether.
Fundrise reported an average return of 11.44% net of fees for its investors that assumed dividend reinvestment. For anyone interested, the company even offers a 90 day money back promise. This allows you to invest by testing the waters first. If you are somehow dissatisfied with the service, you can request a redemption within the first 90 days and Fundrise will buy back your investment at the original amount.
Crowd funded real estate hasn’t, however, been tested in bad conditions of the market. If the market does somehow collapse and all investors want to redeem their shares, Fundrise would be forces to put some investors on hold. This market is untested as a whole and the risk is high, so do your research and read the investment disclosures they show you before you sign up.
Investments through apps and online platforms should always be read through thoroughly, if you’re iffy about the sign up fees and you think the returns aren’t what you expect, all of the mentioned platforms offers cancelling your subscriptions, some may charge you as well. If you’re going into the world of investment blind, we suggest apps like Acorns that do most of the work for you. If you’re a bit seasoned, something like Fundraiser may suit your needs. All in all, investment is a great way to earn some income on the side.