Micro investing is a great way for anyone – no matter their financial situation, to get started investing and saving. In this post i’m going to explain why micro investing works and the best options in Australia for getting started.
What is Micro Investing
A micro investing app will regularly invest small amounts of money for you. These apps are designed to compete with traditional investing platforms that require large amounts of money to get started.
Micro investing apps link with your bank account to transfer small amounts of money out of your account and into a diverse investment portfolio. My favorite micro investing app, Raiz, works by rounding up your purchases to the nearest dollar, and then transferring these “round-ups” to your Raiz Investment account. The more you spend, the more you’ll end up saving and investing.
The money you save gets invested in a diverse portfolio of bank deposits, shares and bonds. You don’t need to worry about picking the right shares or bonds to invest in. The portfolios have usually been put together by investment experts.
Why it Works
Dollar cost averaging is an investment technique where you invest small amounts at regular intervals. Sometimes you’ll invest when the market is down, and sometimes when it is up. But overtime this will average out. Micro investing uses this investment technique. This way you don’t have to worry about buying stocks at the perfect time.
What I like about Micro Investing
I’ve been using the Raiz micro investing app for the past two years. I’ve found it to be very good and have made reasonable gains and managed to save more than I had expected to. Here are some of the things I like about micro investing:
You can start with very little money
Before Micro Investing app came around, investing in a diverse portoflio of ETFs (exchange traded funds) would have required hundreds if not thousands of dollars of capital. Raiz lets you get started with as little as $5. Your money is invested in fractional shares, meaning you don’t need to save up in order to buy a single share.
You don’t need to do anything
The best micro investing apps will work in the background without you needing to do anything at all. When it comes to saving, I used to get lazy and not regularly top up my accounts. With Raiz small amounts are continuously coming out of my account without me even noticing.
It builds good saving habits
Micro investing will make you a better saver. Just by installing an app, you’ll be getting a leg up on your peers. The sooner you start investing, the easier it will become later on. Micro investing apps will reinvest your gains and dividends so your investment compounds. This means it will grow faster overtime.
The best micro investing app for Australians
Micro investing is only just becoming “a thing” in Australia. There are couple of apps at the moment:
This is the app I use. It used to be called Acorns but the Australian version of the app was rebranded to Raiz. This app works by monitoring your bank account and whenever you make a purchase, rounding that up to the nearest dollar and transferring this amount into Raiz. So if you buy a coffee for $3.80, it will round up to $4 and transfer that $0.20 into Raiz. Raiz will wait until you have $5 worth of “round-ups” before it transfers, just so there aren’t hundreds of transactions.
Raiz charges $1.25 per month for balances under $5000 and then a % fee when over $5k.
You can choose from 6 different portfolios on Raiz to match your investing and saving goals. I chose the “aggressive” portfolio, which I think is great for young people.
If you sign up for Raiz through this link you’ll get a bonus $2.50
Spaceship Voyager is an app that will invest regular deposits into a diverse(ish) portfolio of stocks they believe will be valuable in the future. In their words it’s a good way to” invest in where the world is going”. If you’ve ever wanted to invest in companies like Tesla, Apple and Amazon etc, then this app might be for you.
They don’t charge any fees for balances under $5k and a 0.10% or 0.5% fee (depending on the portfolio you choose) for balances over $5k.
Spaceship voyager doesn’t have any “round-up” functionality but you can setup a recurring deposit to automatically invest in the background.
I don’t like the app as much as Raiz, but i’m sure that will improve over time. And you certainly can’t beat zero fees for small balances! You can check out my more in depth review of Spaceship Voyager here.