Invest / Retirement

4 Great Retirement and Investing Tools

Rachel Cautero  |  September 4, 2018

The truth is, if saving for retirement was easy and painless, we would all have started a lot sooner. Here are four great retirement and investing tools.

We’ll spare you the you-should-really-be-saving-for-retirement spiel. We’ve all heard it.

But the truth is, if saving for retirement was easy and painless, we would all have started a lot sooner.

Enter these great finance tools. They’ll make the process of saving for retirement or getting a leg up on investing that much easier. Whether you’re looking to invest your spare change or better manage your 401(k) or just want to simplify the whole process, we’ve got you covered.

Grab These Apps

  1. Blooom
  2. Betterment
  3. Acorns
  4. Robinhood

Blooom

A professionally-managed 401(k) can grow twice as much as one that isn’t. That’s why we love Blooom.

This tool analyzes your 401(k) using a proprietary algorithm (and licensed human advisors, don’t worry!) to adjust your stock allocations. You may be asking yourself, “Why is it important to adjust my 401(k)? I thought I just set up my contributions, watched my employer match that amount, and enjoyed the growth?”

Nope. It’s important that you don’t just have the money sitting there in cash. You have to actually invest it. (And a money market fund is not an investment — it’s basically cash.)

Blooom also adjusts your account within 30 days of signing up and every 90 days after. Even better? You don’t even have to move your 401(k). Just link it to Blooom.

The tool will then analyze the investments in your 401(k), alerting you to potential issues like hidden fees or if you’re too aggressive or conservative. Then, it helps you fix any issues by showing you a mix of investments that may work better for you, as well as options that can reduce how much you’re paying in fees. Blooom continues to manage your account for you and updates how your 401(k) is invested as the market changes.

Blooom’s fees are $10 per month.

Betterment

Betterment has established itself as a leader in the robo-advisor sphere — and with good reason.  Betterment charges fees ranging from 0.25 percent to 0.40 percent — relatively low fees in the world of robo-advisors.

Betterment is a good option for those who don’t have a lot of money to invest yet. The base plan, Betterment Digital, requires no account minimum. However, for the Betterment Premium option requires you to have at least $100,000.

You can use Betterment to manage taxable accounts, trusts, IRAs, and 401(k)s. It also offers other services like Smart Deposit and RetireGuide.

Betterment’s investing strategy focuses on diversification, using ETFs (or exchange traded funds) that represent up to 12 asset classes. Basically, your money is invested depending on your risk tolerance and investing goals.

The tool also automatically checks to see if your account needs to be rebalanced daily, a big plus — and one thing you can safely check off your to-do list.

Acorns

Have you always wanted to invest, but weren’t sure how to start or even if you had the money to do so? Acorns helps solve that problem. This robo-investor embraces the practice of micro-investing, which is exactly what it sounds like: regularly investing a small amount of money to gradually build your net worth.

Here’s how it works. You link the cards and accounts you use for everyday spending to your Acorns account. Then you spend as you normally would. Acorns rounds up your purchase to the next dollar and invests the difference. So, let’s say you buy a venti latte for around $4.65. Acorns invests the remaining 35 cents for you, and you watch your net worth grow. (Worth noting: Your money is diversified across 7,000 stocks and bonds. The app also gives you the option to set up recurring investments and one-time investments.)

Acorns is especially useful if you are someone who likes shopping or spending money and has a hard time saving, let alone investing, your money. Acorns uses your spending habits to your advantage. What a nice change, pun intended.

Acorns costs $1 to $3 per month based on the features you want and is free for students.

Robinhood

Do you want to buy individual stocks without paying transaction fees? Then Robinhood may be just the app for you. This investment-based app offers free stock trading. It’s a sort of take-from-the-rich-and-give-to-the-poor mentality, hence the name.

To do to get started, download the app on your iPhone or Android phone — even your Apple Watch or iPad. Then, you can immediately start buying and trading a variety of stocks and ETFs without paying any commission or fees.

There aren’t a lot of bells and whistles, but considering the lack of fees and no account minimum, that’s to be expected. Plus, sign up is a breeze. Also, Snoop Dogg is an investor, so there’s that.

 


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