If you are looking for the best app to get into stock investing, you found it! Based out of Chicago, the M1 Finance app is a one-stop place for automatic investing through stocks and funds. It’s super impressive, super easy, and quite frankly the best investment platform we’ve we’ve come across.
What is M1Finance?
Think of M1 as being the ultimate entryway to getting into Stock Trading. You won’t find Cryptocurrency here, but you’ll see a ton of options to get you into the game. One of the more appealing functions of this app is the fractional shares option. Similar to the app StockPile, you’ll be able to buy a piece of a single stock from Amazon. The price as it stands today (November 20, 2018) is $1512. With this app, you’ll be able to buy a small portion of that stock price with as little as $1!
M1 also sports other benefits like portfolio based investing, much like Betterment. This option is useful if you aren’t interested in learning much about stocks and would instead take the advice of hard-working personal finance advisors that are experts in the Stock Trading game…or you’re just plain lazy (which is cool too).
How to Get Started with M1Finance
We typically publish apps that will deal with novice investors and savvy spenders. M1 still fits the bill since it’s Free and has the same features you’d expect to see for a beginner investor to be interested in it. Cost aside, the user interface DOES take some time to get used to. However, signing up is easy!
Aside from handling the first few steps including what you’ll need like:
- Personal Address
- Optional Tax ID
- Liquidity Preferences (want to take cash/money, or keep investing it)
- Linking your bank account for proper funding
- maybe a few others
You’ll need to pick the type of investment account you’d like to choose from like a traditional stock account, Roth IRA, 401k, etc. For those who are self-employed, these types of options suit your investment portfolio well!
Invest with Fractional Shares
Finally, when you are ready to get started, M1 will help you decide which stocks the best suit your selected preferences. Then, you’ll be provided a dashboard of stocks that you can partake in, including fractional portions of stock much like Stockpile (they charge .99c per trade). For example, you’ll see availability to buy portions from:
- Google Alphabet
- and others
Like other robot-investors (Betterment, eToro), you can also partake in a portfolio of stocks that are hand picked by stock professionals and alike for a hands-off way to invest.
Calculate your investing impact
One of the cooler features we’ve spotted on M1 is their calculator on investing potential. For example, you’ll see what the average $100 investment will do over a five year period (which for us was approximately $350).
Why You Should Choose M1Finance
It’s no secret that M1 has their fair share of competitors. But we think this app took all of the great benefits of the best low-cost Stock Trading platforms and combined it to make one terrific platform.
You could say that M1’s biggest competitor is this particular app. Sporting a utterly free interface and the option to trade Cryptocurrency, the app is perfect for those who want to learn more about stocks.
Fractional shares are this stock trading apps most significant focus. Taking away stock analysis and other statistics, the whole focus is getting you into stock trading without sacrificing much, including time. While the StockPile app does charge for a single stock trade at $0.99, you can also use PayPal to trade, and even send gift cards of stocks like Apple and Nintendo.
Invest in handpicked stock portfolios using the most popular app in this space, Betterment. It’ll take someone with a bit more net worth to get more out of the app, but it’s a good option as well.
In essence, because you are getting a robot dashboard along with Free Trading and Proportional investing, you are getting the best bang for your buck when you try out M1Finance! Get the app! Seriously, quit playing around and start using M1 already!
Another benefit is that M1 is available on all devices including your PC or Mac browser, Apple iOS, and Android Devices. It should be of note that Robinhood doesn’t have Desktop or Browser capability.
If It’s Free: How Does M1Finance Make Money?
Remember when we said M1 Finance was FREE. Don’t forget that! You may, however, be asking how the heck does M1 make money themselves?! Well, we were provided the answer:
- Overnight Mail – Domestic (per request) $50
- Overnight Mail – International/Canada (per request) $100
- Paper Confirm Fee (Retail Paper Only) (per request) $2
- Paper Statement Fee (Retail Paper Only), (per statement) $5
- Paper Tax Statement Fee (Retail Paper Only), (per statement)$5
- Dispersment of 401K and Roth IRAs early may cause a fee for early withdrawal
StockPile and Fractional Shares
There aren’t many reasons for not trying the M1Finance app, but the best alternative to this app might be StockPile. For true beginners and those with a slimmer wallet, StockPile is a more appealing option because you strip away statistics and distractions and you get to invest in companies you’ll love. M1 has the fractional functionality, but it isn’t as apparent (or at least not yet).
Stock Investing Breakthrough: Yes, You Can Now Afford Stocks like Amazon!!
Buying stock is often a complicated matter on most platforms since you have to sift through a few selections and then make the right choice for the company you want to be invested in. However, if you wanted to invest in a company like Amazon, it could cost you nearly $2000 just for a single share. Prices can go up and down, left and right, more in return or less. But the fact remains, that most people would rather invest in that company than a small healthcare company based on someone else’s advice.
Stockpile (and M1) are looking to change the way you purchase stock for companies like Amazon and Walmart (to name two). For as little as $5 you can own a percentage of a single piece of stock, making it more affordable to own a portion of a company you’d like to invest in!
How StockPile Works
Stockpile works as a non-traditional stock trading app. You pay for a portion of stock for as little as $5, but don’t expect much functionality outside of that:
- 99c Per Stock Trade
- No Hidden Fees
- Available for Kids and Teens
- Available for Android and iOS (& Desktop!)
- You can Gift the Stock for special occasions
- Account Secured by 128 bit Security (I think that means it’s super safe!)
We Tested StockPile, and It’s Pretty Sweet
After about a month and a half of StockPile usage, we found that the new service could potentially rival an app like Robinhood. It’s super easy to buy, sell, and earn dividends. Plus one of the major benefits is being able to add money via PayPal. Other benefits include:
- Super Fast Trading
- No Need to Wait for Stock Market to Open/Close
- Gifting Stock is Super Easy and Unique
- Transferring via PayPal, a nice touch