Knowing what’s going on with your money is the best way to grow your personal wealth. And today, with dozens of financial apps available to download, it’s never been easier to keep track of your dollars. But which services are the best?
We’ve broken down a list of the best financial apps especially for newbie investors. Here you’ll find apps to help you with everything from budgeting to investing to saving money. You may find your best money management style comes from using several of these services.
Read on to find out which financial apps work best for you.
Personal Finance Software Apps
These apps will help you get started organizing and understanding your money. They lay out all your accounts in one place, track your spending, and offer money advice so you can better handle your finances.
Personal Capital is an app that offers budgeting, investing and retirement help. It lets you sync your bank accounts, credit cards, investments and even your mortgage. You can see all your debts, income and investments in one place.
Personal Capital will help determine what your investment risk level is and will recommend an asset allocation for you. It also provides daily or weekly summaries of your investments for you.
YNAB is a no-nonsense budgeting app ideal for anyone looking to get out of debt or just starting out taking care of their finances. By requiring you to be actively involved with your finances, YNAB offers a more proactive approach than Mint.com.
Why We Recommend It: YNAB is ideal for beginning budgeters who need to stick to their plan.
Mint.com is a great app if you are looking for free help with your budget. Not only does it let you track and review your spending trends from month to month, but Mint also helps you set budgets for different spending categories. In fact, Mint auto-categorizes your transactions, making budgeting even easier.
You can sync your investment accounts to Mint, and it will offer investment advice. However, Mint doesn’t invest for you. This is best for those who are totally new to money management. It will help you organize your budget, so that you have more money to invest. When you’re ready to get serious about investing, you’ll want to move away from Mint.
Best Microsavings App
Microsaving apps take the work out of saving. By rounding up your spare change and tucking it away, you’ll save automatically. You won’t even notice the money is gone.
Acorns is a web and app-based service that offers a simple way to save and invest in the stock market. It rounds up your spending to the nearest dollar and then invests that difference. The app designs an investment portfolio for you based on the information you input at signup. However, you can choose from their other portfolios if you want to.
You can get started with as low as $5, meaning your initial investment doesn’t have to break your bank account.
Retirement accounts aren’t available, so you’ll be investing in individual stocks only. You can invest your spare change daily, weekly or monthly. The app includes educational sections to help you understand investing practices and terms.
Acorns is extremely easy to use on your phone. You don’t need to understand complicated investment theories to be successful, and since the amounts of money taken out and invested are tiny, you won’t even know they’re missing from your bank account.
Investing is even easier now than it’s traditionally been, thanks to the rise of robo-advisors. “Robo-advisor” is the term used to describe the new type of service that handles investing for their clients. Users sign up for an app and enter information about their current finances and their goals, and the app uses data-driven algorithms to invest for them.
Robo-advisors are ideal for those who feel intimidated by the stock market and don’t know where to start. They’re a great way to get your feet wet with investing.
Betterment provides portfolio management services priced for those on a budget and helps newbie investors focus on simple asset allocation. It’s a simple-to-use platform that’s perfect for those who are just starting out with investing.
Betterment chooses investments for you, based on your income and goals. The aim is to maximize return and minimize the risk. Betterment uses the Modern Portfolio Theory (MPT) to help you with your investment returns. By investing in a diverse pool of assets, it should collectively lower the risk and yet stabilize returns over the long term.
Betterment invests in Exchange Traded Fund (ETF) index funds. They diversify your investment by allocating into many ETFs.
Betterment has become very popular, but be aware: Betterment is not FDIC insured. That means your returns are not guaranteed.
Wealthfront is a diversified robo-advisor that specializes in helping you invest in the most tax-efficient way. It provides portfolio management services priced for those on a budget and helps newbie investors focus on simple asset allocation.
It’s another robo-advisor that specifically targets those who are just starting out with investing. Wealthfront handles both individual taxable stocks and retirement accounts like 401(k)s and IRAs. So for those who have a company-sponsored 401(k) plan, you can input that information to Wealthfront and have it robo-managed.
Just like Betterment, Wealthfront uses Modern Portfolio Theory to create an automated asset allocation. An important note is that Wealthfront doesn’t hold your portfolio; they use the Apex Clearing Corporation.
Also like Betterment, Wealthfront invests in ETF index funds and diversify your investment by allocating into many ETFs. They continually make sure the asset allocation is correct by automatic rebalancing.
Each user gets paired with a personal financial expert. There’s no minimum required portfolio balance, which means any level of new investor can get started. They’ve taken a hard line on fees as well — meaning that there are none.
Essentially, WiseBanyan takes take your money and invests it to buy a portfolio of ETFs. They manage the dividends and rebalance according to your personal info.
Their goal is to help the younger generations start planning for their long-term future. The firm has analyzed over 26,000 401(k)s, which includes more than $1.6 billion in total assets. Blooom gives 401(k) recommendations, so you will have more money for retirement — you don’t even need to move your account from your provider.
Robinhood is a no-frills, app-based stock broker that requires no minimum deposit. It is very flexible, allowing users to trade any stock or ETF listed on the U.S. stock exchanges. It’s fairly basic, so if you’re looking for a full-service trading platform, this isn’t for you. However, in making that sacrifice, investors get access to a wide selection of stocks and ETFs without paying commissions or fees.
There’s not much in the way of educational resources on the app, but it’s free!
Learning the personal finance ropes should be on everyone’s to-do list. Managing your money is absolutely something you can learn to do. With these apps you can save more, learn to invest and grow your wealth.