Looking to invest your stimulus check? Heres a few apps to help beginners get started – KSL.com

SALT LAKE CITY — For most people, 2020 has been a year of handling the devastating impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, which included the worst economic crisis since the Great Depression.

Now, as people look forward to a new year, the second round of stimulus checks are hitting Americans’ bank accounts starting this week, leaving many to wonder the best way to spend their $600.

The second stimulus is half of the $1,200 many received from the first coronavirus relief funding earlier this year and far less than the proposed $2,000 that congressional Democrats and President Donald Trump were pushing for the last couple weeks.

So how can you do more with less? Invest.

Investing is just one of many ways individuals can choose to use the money, though most financial experts have advised citizens to first pay bills and high-interest debts before any desire to invest should be taken seriously.

In the end, it’s a personal decision on how to spend the money, even if it’s just purchasing something for yourself. But if you’re a first-time investor looking to put the new funds into the stock market, it can be intimidating.

However, with easy-to-use apps, you can invest right from your phone. You might not become the next Warren Buffett, but you can diversify your finances without having to find a stockbroker or visit Wall Street in New York.

Here are a few app-based brokerages that can help you get started:


Available on the App Store and Google Play

Founded on the principals shared by its namesake, the app provides easy access for anyone looking to get into the stock market and “not just the wealthy,” according to its creators. Robinhood doesn’t charge a trade commission and is free to download. Users can pay a monthly fee for Robinhood Gold, which offers more resources.

The app allows users to purchase stocks directly after linking a bank account. Robinhood lets users engage in day-trading, but with certain restrictions; it also depends on what type of account a user has before day-trading.

The app recently ran into a bit of trouble with the government. This month, Robinhood Financial agreed to pay $65 million to settle charges from the Securities and Exchange Commission that alleged it failed to disclose full details of high-speed traders and did not give the best prices for customers trading on the platform, the Associated Press reported.

Looking to invest your stimulus check? Here's a few apps to help beginners get started
Photo: AP Photo/Patrick Sison


Available on the App Store and Google Play

Unlike Robinhood, where you choose which stocks to buy, Acorns automatically rounds up spare change from your daily purchases higher than $5 and invests the money. It’s initially free to download, but you must accept a monthly fee in order to use it. For example, if you buy lunch for $7.85, the app will round up and invest 15 cents. Users select what level of risk they are willing to take and answer a few other questions before the app creates your profile and starts investing.

Looking to invest your stimulus check? Here's a few apps to help beginners get started
Photo: Acorns


Available on the App Store and Google Play

SoFi is free to download and allows users to start buying stocks once they set up their profile and link a bank account. The platform doesn’t charge an annual management fee and users can start investing right away.


Available on the App Store and Google Play

Public, formerly called Matador, prides itself on being “the social investing app,” and is free to download. It allows users to buy stocks free from commission fees. The app not only allows users to buy stocks but also offers unique features like group chats with other users and to follow other investors to see what stocks they are interested in. The app has a no day-trading policy, unlike other apps.

Lauren Bennett

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