The best stock apps to start growing your dough

Stock apps

Investing in stocks is a great way to grow your money. It can seem like a daunting task for the uninitiated. There are a lot of stock apps to from your mobile, but some are better than others. It’s not easy to figure out where to start, who to trust, and how much money you need when starting from scratch. If you’re just starting out, you want an app that’s easy to set up and sign in. You also need to figure out who has the lowest fees and commissions and the best access to markets. That’s why we have put together this list of the best stock apps available in the USA and Australia. These apps will help make investing in stocks and building wealth a lot easier and you can do it on the go!

Content

In this post, we’re going to cover everything you need to know to use stocks apps for investing on the go:

We’re bringing wealth building straight to your mobile phone, so it’s even easier to get on that road to financial freedom!

What are stock apps?

Stock apps are apps that allow you to buy and sell stocks and invest in different financial products, directly from your phone. You can use these apps on Android or iPhone. There are two categories of stock apps each with their own benefits and trade offs:

  1. Bank and broker stock apps
  2. Fintech stock apps

We’ll go into the pros and cons of each of these below.

What should you look for in a good stock app?

The good news is there is a lot of competition to win your custom and that’s great for you as an investor. It means you should expect more from your stock app than just trading stocks. It can also mean decision fatigue when you’re getting started because there are so many apps to choose from! Don’t worry, we know your time is precious and we’ve go you covered!

A great stock app will have these features:

  1. high levels of trust and authority
  2. easy to set up and use
  3. low commission and fees
  4. Good research and market access
  5. Responsive customer support
  6. investment portfolio ‘bells and whistles’ to help manage your money

Some apps even offer rewards and incentives to invest and use the app!

Let’s look at each of these features in turn.

Trust and authority

Trust and authority comes from the legitimacy of an app, its history and user base. It’s easier to trust apps from companies that are regulated and licensed where required.

Trust and authority also comes from the company longevity and whether it has built a strong, satisfied and growing user base. If an app has all of these things, we would put our trust into the company and our money into the app.

Easy set up and use

Gone are the days where it takes two weeks and a mountain of paperwork to set up a brokerage account! Fintech has upped the game here. It should be easy to set up your account. In some cases – like with Stake app – you’ll be able to do it in minutes. The app should also be intuitive to use and simple to navigate. The apps on this list are clean, simple and even fun to interact with.

Stock apps

Low commissions and fees

There’s loads of competition in this space, which lets us really nail down the best of the best. It’s not a matter of find the lowest commission and fees per se. It’s more about whether you’re getting value for your commission and fees. There are zero brokerage apps in our list. But it’s ok to pay brokerage if you need good research and analysis to inform your investing decisions and the app provides that. We just don’t want you to pay high fees and get little value in return.

Just remember, companies have to make money so do expect some fees always. If you can’t find them, be suspicious! In the US there are also regulator fees for securities transactions to consider.

Research and market access

You should expect your stock app to provide access to investment news at a minimum. If you’re paying more in brokerage, the app should provide access to research reports and company performance metrics.

Market access is about the diversity of investment opportunities in the app. It should cover plenty of different stocks and provide choice of investment. This might be through the markets you can access or the range of portfolio options and companies covered within them.

Responsive customer support

This is a biggie if something goes wrong. You need to be able to trust the company and get in touch with a human sometimes. This one factor has made us really pair back our list. The fact is, some of the really big Fintech stock apps out there have terrible customer service. You can see it reflected in frustrated App Store reviews and when you do a Google search on the app. We’ve stayed away from those apps and so should you.

Investing bells and whistles

These apps will often market on added extras for investors. Feature’s like automated investing, fractional investing, retirement fund investing, tax optimization and so on.

Off all of these services, we like fractional investing the most. This means you can buy a slice of some of the best companies (and most expensive stocks) around without having to have enough money to buy 1 whole share. It opens wealth building up to everyone, even if you’re starting with just a little, and we love it!

Incentives and rewards

You might find incentives to sign up with a stock app, like a free stock or a small dollar value amount towards your first stock buy. Cashback rewards for credit card purchases is another popular in-app reward. Some stock apps also have referral programs that pay you in stock or money when a friend you refer signs up an account and buys their first stock.

Choosing the right stock app – bank or fintech?

As we said at the beginning, there are two types of stock apps – bank stock apps and Fintech stock apps. Each type offers trade offs against the other, so you need to make sure you start with picking which type you prefer based on what you value This will make selecting the app easier.

Bank and broker stock apps

These are stock apps developed by existing banking and brokerage services that allow you to invest in stocks from your mobile. The names of these apps may be familiar to you. For example if you are in the US there is xxx. If you are in Australia, there is the Commsec Mobile app, which is an offshoot of the Commonwealth Bank.

The pros

High trust and authority.

Bank stock apps generally rate very highly for trust and authority. Especially if the app is from the investment arm of a big bank or broker (Like Wells Fargo or JP Morgan). They’re from institutions that have been around forever, are regulated and licensed, and have government consumer protections in place. They’re a known quantity, and you’re used to dealing with them!

Research and analysis.

Because they’re spin offs of existing financial institutions with big pockets, these apps can feature great research, analysis and company performance metrics to inform your investing.

Links to bank accounts. The benefit of bank stock apps is that they link pretty seamlessly with existing bank accounts if you’re a customer of the bank already.

The cons

Paperwork and process

On the cons, big banks mean big bureaucracy and this extends to their stock apps in a few ways.

Firstly, bank stock apps are from big bricks and mortar banks that have existing overheads to cover, so they’re not cheap to use. Fees and commissions are higher per trade as these institutions have focussed on large net worth customers. If you’re starting out with small amounts, you’ll be paying high fees.

It also takes time (days!) to apply for an account to trade from with apps. In addition, the paperwork is often done by snail mail and needs to be ‘processed’. More time. I recently applied for a Commsec international trading account. It takes Commsec 7 days to process your application and send you tax forms, which you then return by post. It’s another 5 business days from there to activate your account.

Transactions are also pretty slow with these apps – it takes 2 or 3 days for your money to settle for example.

No in app rewards or incentives

Bank’s just aren’t used to doing this!

Fintech stock apps

Fintechs are companies that operate in the finance and technology space. Usually, using better technology to bring users new and innovating financial products and services. Some of the big name Fintech’s have built their brand on financial services apps.

The pros

Low or no commission.

A lot of these apps have targeted their app products to lower net worth and younger investors. As a result, they often provide a platform for people looking to invest money into the market with minimum start up capital. To do so they have to offer low per trade brokerage commissions. They do have fees though – they have to make their money some how!

Digital wallet capabilities.

Many Fintech stock apps are actually all in one personal finance apps that offer both banking and investing. You can get bank cards with some apps, linking your investing and banking all in one place.

Access to cryptocurrency.

These apps are more likely to let you trade both stocks and cryptocurrency, if that’s what you’re after. A word of warning however, the crypto supported will be limited and the fees on transactions are not the best you can find. If you want to invest in crypto, we suggest you do it with a crypto mobile wallet.

Banks are not into crypto so you won’t find this service with them.

Rewards and incentives.

Fintech companies often offer in-app incentives, rewards and referral programs to grow their business. They’ve perfected the gamification of investing because their targeted audience is younger. We think this is a fun feature, and if it gets your to invest more in great assets then we’re big supporters!

The cons

Trust and authority score is lower than the big banks.

Some apps come with a warning in the App store that investments are “not FDIC insured, are not bank guaranteed and may lose value.”

The FDIC is the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation. Being FDIC-insured means that up to $250,000 of your money is protected in the event of a company failure. The FDIC covers the traditional types of bank deposit accounts – including checking and savings accounts, money market deposit accounts (MMDAs), and certificates of deposit (CDs). Investment products that are not deposits, such as mutual funds, annuities, life insurance policies and stocks and bonds are not covered by FDIC deposit insurance.

You can find out more about FDIC insurance here. Or use their look up tool to find out whether a company is covered or not.

If the company does not have FIDC insurance it should at least offer SIPC insurance. SIPC is the Securities Investor Protection Corporation (SIPC), a non-profit organization dedicated to protecting customer assets. SIPC insurance protects you up to $500,000 or $250,000 in cash if the company goes bankrupt.

Of course, if you lose money on a bad investment, you’re not covered by any insurance!

Customer support can be dismal.

Customer support with Fintech stock apps can be hard to nail down. Dealing with customer support in a big bank can be a pain in the proverbial but at least they have this service. If anything goes wrong with a Fintech app, you may have a bit of battle on your hands to fix it.

How to vet a stock app before investing your dough

We are writing this post because we don’t just want you to put your dough anywhere. It’s important that your money is safe! Here’s how to go about vettingn a stock app before you hit download:

  1. Check for FDIC insurance or SIPC insurance. Look for a statement in their app description in the App Store or on Google Play. Then double check this with SIPC or FDIC look up.
  2. Do a similar check to see if they are regulated by FINRA. Or in Australia, by ASIC (the Australian Securities and Investments Commission).
  3. Google the name of the app and see what people are searching on. If it’s all about how to contact their customer support or solve some other problem – red flag!
  4. Read their website to know exactly what fees you’re up for. They have to make their money somehow! Fintech apps often have a different business model than banks which means they don’t make their money from you in brokerage fees. It can be more difficult to track down what fees they do charge. Look for their FAQs and financial services guide on their website!
  5. Check out the reviews on Google Play or the App store. Read them, especially the most recent ones.

Top stock apps – our pick

Top 3 stock apps – USA

Public

Public is a social investing app with more than 1 million downloads that’s also brokerage firm. It’s a straight forward stock investing app without lots of bells and whistles but with a social twist.

Because they are a brokerage, Public is regulated by FINRA and also carry SIPC insurance.

Features we love

Welcome to social investing!

Social investing means you can see what others are investing in and learn about stocks that way. You can also set up investing chat groups or join them in the app. You can follow investors and companies, so that information about them will come up in your feed to inform your investing decisions.

Public is straight forward and transparent investing, which means it doesn’t have the retirement accounts and other bells and whistles of some apps on this list. Public does give referral rewards however! As an incentive to refer friends, you can get a free stock worth up to $70. T&Cs apply – your friend has to make a deposit into their account first. You get to pick from 1 of 9 different stocks and a portion of that stock is then randomly picked deposited to your account.

Fees

So what about their fees? Firstly, unlike Acorns or Stash there are no subscription fees. This means you can start with really small amounts and invest and hold for the long term and you won’t pay proportionately high fees.

Public doesn’t make money through Payment for Order Flow (PFOF), which is where a brokerage firm receives rebates on trades routed through its clearing house. Its view is that this type of fee structure does not align its interests as broker with the interests of its customers. We commend this, and it’s one of the reasons they make our top five list. Instead Public makes money from:

  • tips (yes you can tip them optionally if you love the app!)
  • 0.2% on uninvested cash balances in the app.
  • when their clearing house lends shares to other investors and institutions. This doesn’t impact your trades however.

Betterment

Betterment has built their app around cash management, guided investment and retirement planning. They excel in automated and ‘hands off’ investment products. If you want a ‘set and forget’ service without the hassle of stock picking yourself, then check them out. To achieve this, they create a portfoilo of investments for you that are primarily based on ETFs. You set a money goal when you sign up, and Betterment customises a portfolio for you based on your time horizon and risk tolerance. You answer a few questions about yourself up front for them to do this.

Betterment is a member of the SIPC providing you with SIPC insurance protection. Their Cash Reserve Account and Checking Accounts are also FIDC insured and protected.

Features we love

If you hate paying tax, you’ll love Betterment. The app stands out for its automated tax tools, which help you avoid paying unnecessary taxes. They manage tax outcomes in your portfolio across all included legal accounts, using your dividends and withdrawals to improve asset location (the type of account your money is held in). They invest assets that they believe will be taxed at a higher rate in your tax-advantaged accounts (IRAs and 401(k)). They maintain assets in your taxable account that they expect to be taxed at lower rates. They also rebalance when they see chances to do so without incurring taxes.

Alongside your investment options, Betterment offers banking with rewards. With Betterment, when you spend from your Checking account or using their Debit Card, you get cashback rewards on some big name brands – like 5% cash back from Adidas and 2% from Walmart. They also reimburse ATM fees and foreign transaction fees worldwide and have completely cut out overdraft fees and minimum balances for their Checking accounts.

Fees

Betterment fees are straight forward – 0.25% of assets under management. They also make money through their Premium Plan which charges 0.4% in fees. Their advice packages another source of revenue. They also make money from merchants when you use their Visa Debit Card.

We love their transparent and simplicity – and the app is super easy to use as well.

Webull

Webull is a free mobile app that helps you invest on the go. It’s the most diverse stock app we have on our list. Webull is a US based company and the app offers commission-free stock and ETF investments from USA markets and 40 other countries worldwide.

Your money is insured as with Webull – like other apps on this list, you get up to $500,000 in protection against any bankruptcy of their brokerage firm partner (in this case Merrill Edge). They also offer an FDIC insurance guarantee for your checking and savings accounts with Webull Federal Bank.

Features we love

There are no minimum deposits to open a Webull account and Webull offers fractional investing. You can buy $5 worth of Apple stock if that’s all you have. You can also invest with margin loans if that’s your risk tolerance (we don’t do it!). 🙂

With Webull you can open cash and margin accounts as well as Traditional, Roth and Rollover IRAs.

Webull’s product offering is targeted at the active instead of the armchair investor. As a result you get access to better investment resources. In the app you can view various explanation videos and articles about how markets work and how to invest. In a nutshell, you’ll find better trading and market analysis tools on Webull than the other apps on this USA list.

Webull has a refer-a-friend program that offers free stock for qualifying referrals.

Fees

Webull makes it’s money from stock loans, interest on free credit balances, margin interest and payment for order flow. They don’t charge commission on trades. Certain types of deposits and withdrawals like by Wire Transfer will also attract a fee (a hefty one!) so make sure you stay away from those. It costs $75 to transfer a stock out of Webull, so once you buy with them you’ll need to stay there until you sell up or be prepared to pay up!

Top 3 stock apps – Australia

Spaceship

According to their webiste, more than 200,000 Australian’s are already investing with Spaceship. The app allows you to invest passively and to manage your investments. It also features som investment related news and editorial content.

You can open a Superannuation (retirement fund) account with Spaceship which comes with it’s own fee structure so make sure you look at the Super financial services guide if you’re into this product.

Spaceship has an Australian financial license and is regulated by ASIC.

Features we love

Spaceship makes investing easy and pretty fun. They have three investment portfolio options based on investing themes – Spaceship Universe, Spaceship Origin and Spaceship Earth. It takes 3 to 5 days to fund your account. Once your account is funded, Spaceship will issue you units in the fund of your choice. And that’s it! A super simple experience if you’re first getting into investing.

Fees

Their fee structure is also simple to understand, which we like. They charge zero fees on investments up to $5000. This a much better structure for investors with small amounts than the monthly subscription options from the likes of Acorn (in the US) or Raiz (in Oz). They charge 0.05% to 0.1% above $5000. So if you had $10,000 invested you’d be paying $5 a year.

Commsec mobile and Commsec pocket

We’re bundling these two together even though, annoyingly, they’re separate apps. It seems like the Commonwealth Bank has made an app for it’s existing brokerage customers (Commsec mobile) and has created Commsec Pocket to compete with the low commission Fintech apps like Acorn or Robinhood.

Commsec Mobile app is an all-in-one app for investing developed by the investment arm of the Commonwealth Bank. It’s free to download and easy to use.

There are no automated investing options or robo investing portfolio options here. It’s all about investing direct in listed market products.

Set up is easy using just your Netbank (Commonwealth Bank banking app) if you are an existing customer. A word of warning though, if you link it to a standard CBA account you’ll be hit with their $4 per month account keeping fee, which means using the app is more expensive than other options. Commsec say the fee can be waived but good luck making that happen. If you set up a Commsec CDIA (Commonwealth Direct Investment Account), there’s no account charges.

Features we love

Like Webull, Commsec mobile is designed for the active Australian investor. If you’re someone who knows about stock investing, has a good amount of capital to invest, and can make use of the full service research and analytics products, then this is a great stock app for you. These things are important to weigh up because you are going to be paying for their full featured investment research in brokerage fees which are not cheap if you’re investing small amounts.

Commsec Mobile features stock trading on both Australian and international markets. You can trade in the US, UK or Australia with Commsec – so if you’re looking to invest globally, it’s a good option. If you have an existing brokerage account you’ll be able to link it up too.

Commsec has a separate app called the Commsec Pocket. It’s designed for stock investors with smaller investing amounts – minimum $50 investment amounts apply. It’s basically straight forward ETF investing on autopilot with Commsec Pocket. You can invest in 7 themes like tech, sustainability and others. You also have access to investing tips and articles.

With both these apps you get the best customer support if anything goes wrong and just about the highest trust and authority score on the planet. There’s no bigger bank for Aussies than CBA…

Fees

Commsec mobile makes money from brokerage and from margin interest and other fees. Fees are specific to the type of product you’re trading, so check out their fee schedule here.

With Commsec Pocket, trades below $1000 cost $2 and you pay a fee of 0.2% for trades above this amount.

Stake app

Third on the list of Aussie investing apps is Stake app. Stake started originally as a cheap way for Australians to invest directly in international markets. They charge zero brokerage fees (but they make their money in other ways).

You can set up stake in just 3 minutes and it takes a 2 days to fund your account. They have a long list of US stocks, ETFs and other investment vehicles you buy into directly. The app is easy to use and they have a refer a friend bonus program.

Stake has focussed singularly on the US markets up until now but they have Stake ASX (Australian market) coming soon. It’s currently in Beta mode and trades will cost $3. If you join their waitlist you get free brokerage until 2022.

Features we love

We’ve done a full review of Stake app right here that explains their fees, how they are set up and regulated, cool features and our experience using the app.

If you read this and then want to set up an account with Stake, use our link and we both get a free stock! Huzzah!

Where to next for your investing?

So you want to invest from your mobile and you’re looking for the best stock apps to do it. But what kind of investor do you want to be? If it’s the passive type, perhaps choose something like Spaceship (for Oz) or Betterment (USA). If you’re an ethical investor and want your app to be aligned with that, then Public has a customer centric philosophy. If you’re an experienced stock investor and just want more mobility, then Webull and Commsec (Oz) are for you. Whatever you chose, your money just got mobile. May you invest it wisely!

Cashing checks – the best cashing app for your mobile

cashing app

Who wants to waste time and money these days going into the bank or ATM and lining up just to cash a check or money order? Did you know that you can use a cashing app solve this problem? You can now cash your checks straight from your mobile phone with no fees, in just minutes. You can even get the money instantly if you need it. In this post we’ll explain what to know, who to use and how to do it!

A new world of banking direct from your phone

The best cashing apps are not from the big beaurcratic, fee charging banks you might be thinking off. Since the day’s of lockdown, a bunch of new fintech companies have started bringing full banking services direct to the mobile of US citizens.

The best thing about these new fintech apps? They don’t just let you cash your checks quickly and easily. Here’s a list of some of the awesome banking bonuses you get to help manage your money and build your wealth with these new apps:

  • fast account set up – within minutes
  • savings and checking accounts inside the app
  • savings on fees for overdrafts and transactions.
  • access to automatic cash advance
  • linked investment accounts with native, direct access to invest in stocks, ETFs, and sometimes cryptocurrency
  • investment features like fractional trading and autoinvest, that can help you build wealth and get to financial freedom earlier (because that’s what we’re all about at the LLP after all!)

Now these fintech apps do make money. Some of them charge a small monthly subscription fee and others make money on credit transactions. BUT SO DOES YOUR BANK peeps! There’s no such thing as a free lunch but Fintech apps are eating the lunch of the big banks by undercutting them on fees (becasue they’re all online and efficient). And who wins if fees are lower? You!

If you want to know more about how these apps can help you save, track, invest and build wealth then stick around as we navigate you through a whole new world of online money.

In the meantime, lets take a look at how cashing a check from your mobile phone works with these apps…

cashing app

What sorts of checks can you cash using a Fintech app?

Most cashing apps will allow you to cash and these checks direct from your mobile:

  • Personal checks written to you
  • Commercial pre-printed checks issued by a U.S. business to you such as:
    • pay checks
    • insurance agency checks
    • money orders
    • cashier’s checks
    • rebate checks
    • stock dividend checks
  • U.S. Government-issued checks including:
    • tax refunds
    • federal, state and municipal government checks.

How to cash a check from your mobile phone

Simply follow these steps to cash a check with a cashing app – although menu selections may differ in each app.

  1. Log into your app
  2. Find the check deposit option in the menu
  3. Select the account you want to deposit the check into (i.e. checking or savings)
  4. Enter the check amount
  5. Take a photo of the check – front and back. It’s critical to ensure you obtain a clear picture on both sides of the check. You may run into difficulties completing a mobile check deposit if you don’t have a good image of both sides. Clean your camera lens if the images are fuzzy or unclear. Also, make sure to take photographs in proper lighting to ensure legibility.
  6. Review the information you entered is correct and then submit the deposit
  7. You will receive a confirmation message that your check has been deposited in the app.

Voila! You’re done.

8 tips you need know for mobile check deposit

There are a few things you need to know if you haven’t used your mobile to cash a check before. Once you know these things, you’ll never go to bank or ATM to cash a check again!

  1. Some apps – like Venmo and PayPal – will cash your check into to your native account. Other apps require a linked bank account to send your money too (IngoMoney).
  2. There are some things that may cause your check to be dishonored – like the check and account name not matching, failing to sign the check to endorse it, or unclear photos. Make sure you have confirmation in the app that the check has cleared before trying to spend the money!
  3. You need to sign the back of the check to endorse it before you photograph it
  4. All apps will confirm that you have submitted the check successfully.
  5. Some apps require you to keep the check for a period of time and then destroy it, others require you to write VOID across the check once it is confirmed as cashed
  6. There are check cashing limits that apply – generally more than $5 and less than $5000 for any one check.
  7. Your check needs to meet criteria, that we’ve included below.
  8. DON’T SAVE THE PHOTO OF YOUR CHECK ON YOUR PHONE or anywhere online! Make sure you delete the photo immediately.

Top 5 fastest cashing apps (for a fee)

If you need your money fast and you’re willing to pay, here are the best apps to look out for. These are popular Fintech apps that allow you to cash a check on your mobile and get instant access to your money:

  1. IngoMoney
  2. Paypal (which uses IngoMoney)
  3. ACE Flare
  4. Brinks money
  5. Venmo (which uses IngoMoney)

The fee to clear your check instantly is generally 1 to 2% for payroll and government checks with a pre-printed signature and 5% for all checks, with a $5 minimum fee per check.

If you don’t want to pay, you can still use these apps but it will take 10 days for your money to clear.

cashing app

Top 4 easiest cashing apps (free)

These apps below might be a better option if you don’t want fees, and still want your check to clear quickly.

Each app has a native account – like a debit or checking account – within the app that you can cash your check to directly. You need to have one of those accounts set up to cash your check to it. But the thing is, because the companies operate solely online it is much easier to set up an account than with a bank.

If there is a native bank account inside the app you can use, it means you don’t have to cash your check in to linked bank account so you are likely to get it quicker. On top of that, these apps don’t charge you to cash checks.

Here is our list of the easiest and cheapest apps to cash a check using your mobile phone:

  1. Dave App
  2. Cash app
  3. Chime app
  4. Stash app

Can you use a bank apps to cash a check?

Yes. The are bank apps that allow you to cash checks, but you will need to have an account at the bank. This can be a painful and slow hurdle to overcome given the identification requirements of big banks in setting up an account. You also need to log in to your app, go to the menu and make sure the mobile check deposit option is turned on.

Some banks place a limit on the number of checks you can deposit with a time period, or a dollar limit on your check cashing.

Bank apps might be an easy solution if you’re already a customer, but you’re probably not getting any of the additional bells and whistles. Why not manage, save and invest your money cheaply and easily at the same time you cash your check?

If that sounds like you, its time to roll the dice with a fintech cashing app!

10 powerful money affirmations that will have you drowning in dough

money affirmations

Does the law of attraction work for money? Probably not on its own. But paired with a clever financial freedom plan, money affirmations might just bring a laser like focus to your money ‘A game’ and put a rocket under your finances. So let’s test them out.

money affirmations

Some vouch for the power of money affirmations. They say they are a necessary tool if you want help to bring money into your life. Affirmations are a means to reinforce the laws of attraction, if you believe the universe will manifest for you that which your mind is focussed on.

In practice, money affirmations are positive statements that you repeat to yourself, about money, usually in the morning when you wake up and before bedtime.

The aim of affirming positive statements about money is to make you feel like more of it is already flowing through your life!

Whatever you believe, a little positive thinking about money never hurt anyone. So let’s start where money affirmations are designed to work – your money mindset.

Be a money mindset ninja

money affirmations

Your money mindset is important if you’re serious about becoming financially free. Why? Your money mindset dictates how you feel about money, what money means to you and your relationship with it. To have a positive money mindset means there’s no anxiety about not having money or road blocks to you making more of it.

If on the other hand, if your money mindset is one of scarcity one then money could bring up negative emotions in you because money represents fear and anxiety.

The concept goes, having a healthy money mindset will help you attract more money into your life and keep it because it has positive rather than negative associations for you. You get to become financially free much faster than if your money mindset was unhealthy!

Now let’s look at money affirmations.

What is a money affirmation?

A money affirmation is repeating a positive statement about money to yourself that’s based in truth.

For example; “I am becoming more and more financially free every day”.

This type of money affirmation aims to help you develop the right money mindset by helping to build your self-confidence around money, which in turn helps you attract money into your life.

Money affirmations are said to get their power from repetition, which is thought to be key when it comes to manifesting things in our lives. This includes money! The more you repeat the money affirmation, the faster that money affirmation will be written on your subconscious mind which will result in attracting money or anything else for that matter, into your life.

Do affirmations help?

Firstly, there are opposing schools of thought about how much help money affirmations are. Researchers seem split down the middle. Some research about using affirmations has found that they help because they release your mental resistance – in this case, to money.

Other’s are more skeptical.

Whatever your personal belief, we at the LLP are 100 per cent convinced of this:

As you think, so you are.

When can money affirmations help you?

Here are some situtations when money affirmations may be helpful for you:

  • If you feel like money is something that’s hard for you to attract or come by.
  • If money seems scarce or you feel a resentment towards people with more money than you money affirmations may help you change your negative money mindset.
  • If you have a hard time charging for your services or chasing money that’s owed you
  • If money is something that you worry about all the time.

How long do affirmations take to work?

Don’t expect money affirmations to manifest you fat stacks of cash overnight! Some people say it takes 21 days for money affirmations to take effect – so repeat your money affirmation every day until you notice a difference in the way you think about money and feel around money. Pay attention to what you say about money in everyday conversations and what goes through you mind when the topic turns to money.

Money affirmations can be very powerful, but they won’t do anything if you don’t do anything with them! We’re of the view that you get the best out of them if they’re supported with some real money action! Affirm and execute peeps!

Here’s where to start with your financial freedom action plan.

How to attract wealth with money affirmations

Here’s how to use the power of words and positive thinking to increase your own money vibe.

Express for success

When repeating money affirmations, you’re aiming you keep your statements positive and emotional. This is so that you can connect emotionally with what you’re verbalising.

For example, instead of saying “I hate money” say “I am a money magnet.”

It’s also effective if you speak to yourself in the present and not in the future tense. For example, say “I attract money” instead of “I will attract money.” The thinking is, you’re already in the shoes of someone that money comes easily to. You can more easily identify with and be that person.

Repeat your money affirmations in a quiet area with few distractions, where you feel comfortable and safe. Repeat your money affirmation to yourself rather than out loud.

How to release money roadblocks

If money affirmations don’t seem like they are working, try repeating money affirmations in a new way! If you feel stuck, ask yourself “What am I resisting right now?” and repeat an affirmation about releasing resistance towards money instead of focusing on attracting money into your life.

You may just be suffering from what is referred to as a money roadblock.

…money road blocks are the beliefs, habits and stories that stop you from receiving money in the most natural way possible.

Denis Duffield-Thomas, Author of Chillpreneur

In business, money blocks determine things like:

  • the prices you set,
  • your ability to charge people appropriately for your services.
  • How comfortable you feel chasing money that’s owed to you or
  • dealing with unreasonable refund requests.

What are your limiting money beliefs?

You can use money affirmations to release blocks around money. Try saying “I release all my money resistance”, and when you feel ready try adding a money affirmation on top of it such as “I am open to receiving abundance in every area of my life!”

Stay consistent with your daily ritual. Repeat your money affirmations for 21 days straight – this is the amount of time that psychologists agree upon.

Keep repeating money affirmations until you notice a difference in how you feel about money. If money is something with significant negative connotations for you, this could take more like three months.

Now its the list you’ve all been waiting for. It’s time to find those skin-tingling money affirmation to assuage any feelings of anxiety, release those money roadblocks and turn your negative money thoughts into a millionaire money mindset!

It’s time to be a money magnet

Here are 10 powerful money affirmations to bring more money into your life.

1. Money is abundant – I can always make more of it.
2. I am financially free.
3. I deserve to be wealthy.
4. Money is a wonderful thing that comes into my life easily and effortlessly.
5. I welcome money abundance in my life.
6. I am worthy of a wealthy life.
7. I am receiving money easily and effortlessly now.
8. Everything I need to make money is within me.
9. Money is the source of joy, comfort and security.
10. I release all money roadblocks and negative energy about money.

Money affirmations can be a great tool to help you achieve financial freedom, but they aren’t the only tool you need. If money affirmations don’t seem like something that’s working for you, try another money technique such as creating an inventory of your limiting money beliefs or reading up on how to have healthy financial boundaries.

And don’t forget, affirm and execute.

May you attract money in your sleep for the rest of your rich life!

Til next time – have fun, be happy, do good!

Stake app brings you cheap and easy access to Wall Street and its about time

Stake app

I’ve been contemplating some innovation investments in the US market for a couple of months now and on the weekend I decided to take the plunge. My next step was to find out how I could make the investment from all the way over here in Oz. Hopefully without paying exorbitant brokerage fees and without too much hassle. Enter Stake app.

Here’s how it all went down.

Having made my investment mind up, I consulted father Google about where I could make my purchase. The consensus on whirlpool forums (there were no other websites that could answer my question) was to do this through Interactive Brokers Australia (IBKR). IBKR is a brokerage firm here down under that markets itself as the lowest commission option for Aussie global investors.

So I jumped on their website to find out more and if it all looked good I planned to open an account.

That’s where my IBKR plans went to hell in a hand basket.

Why crypto, blockchain and DeFi will eat up the financial services industry, one millennial investor at a time

What I found when I read through the requirements to open an IBKR account incensed me. To lodge an account application I needed all the standard KYC (know your customer) requirements of a regulated financial services enterprise. Name, address, DOB, and government ID number. But here’s where it gets ridiculous. I was also obliged to provide my:

  • Citizenship information
  • Tax File Number
  • Employer name and address
  • Information on assets and income
  • Information on investment objectives and experience, and
  • Any bank or 3rd party broker account numbers for funding purposes

WTF, you say?

Why my TFN, my employer, my assets and income, and my investment experience is any of their business I’m yet to understand.

But it didn’t stop there.

On top of all that, IBKR required me to physically mail to them via snail mail certified copies of my government ID, my proof of Citizenship and blah, blah, blah at this point I just stopped reading and killed the page. It was going to take me weeks to set up an investment account just to send my money over to Wall Street…

Now, I’m a crypto and DeFi investor and enthusiast and I’m used to transacting at the bleeding edge of Fintech innovation. My investing world is now a world of mobile wallets, digital money, minimal and instant KYC verification, 3-minute account set-up and immediate access to global transactions that complete within minutes. It’s intensely gratifying to make up your investment mind and start making money on the spot. And I’m not going back

So I went back down the Google forum rabbit hole to find a better option. And that’s when I stumbled on Stake app.

Stake app – best for investing in US markets?

Here are all the critical questions answered about Stake so that you save time on research. The upshot? There are risks, and these are probably higher than investing through someone like the Commonwealth Bank’s trading and brokerage arm Commsec. But if you’re looking to invest in US markets, they offer a lot of convenience, some innovative features and cheaper fees to do so. Read on for all the benefits and our experience using Stake app.

What is Stake app?

Stake is a Fintech company that provides a mobile phone app to invest in US markets directly with zero brokerage commission. They provide access to more than 6000 US stocks and ETFs. Sounds total fly right? That’s because it is. It also explains why Stake has tripled its Aussie customer base in the 12 months to February 2021, hitting 300,000 users. On recent checking their user count has grown by another 10% in 6 months.

Now, Stake is not alone in increasing customer numbers. Stock market platforms overall have run up pretty widely with everyone bored at home in 2020 watching stock markets go on a tear and wanting to get in on the action.

But the interesting thing about Stake app is 65% of its customers are under the age of 35. More on that later.

How does Stake app work?

Stake partners with Macquarie Bank, DriveWealth, POLi and Airwallex and Citibank to deliver its services.

Drivewealth LLC is a US brokerage company. When you set up an account with Stake you are setting up a broker agreement with Drivewealth. Stake doesn’t place any trades but simply facilitates the order placement. Drivewealth acts as the broker and executes all trades on US markets.

Your shares are held in custody by Citibank in the US.

Airwallex provides mobile wallet services to Stake users.

Macquarie Bank provides services to users that operate Trust and Company accounts through Stake.

POLi provides bank integrations to move your funds into you Stake account direct from your bank account.

As Stake leverages US partnerships for its share trading service it’s not the same as buying Australian shares on Commsec. Staked does not provide your with a Holder Identification number (HIN) or Security Reference Number (SRN) for the shares that you buy. Instead, you investments are pooled with all other Stake users (which is how they provide fractional investments). You are the beneficiary of your shares not the legal owner (with a HIN or SRN).

They run the custodial share investing model, which is common place in the US so you’ll probably come across it irrespective of broker.

Who owns Stake app?

Stake is a division of Sanlam Private Wealth Australia and was founded by Matt Leibowitz, John Abitz and Dan Silver..

Sanlam Private Wealth Pty Ltd provides financial services for high net worth individuals and corporations in Australia and it seems a number of other locations worldwide.

Is Stake legit?

Stake is a registered Australian business trading as STAKESHOP PTY LTD (ACN 610 105 505, ABN 99 610 105 505) Registered to Sydney, NSW 2000.

The first thing to understand is that Stake operates under the Financial Services License held by Sanlam Private Wealth Pty Ltd. It is regulated by both the Australian Securities and Investments Commission (ASIC) as well as the US FINRA and SEC (because of its partnership with US brokerage firm Drivewealth LLC) – more below.

Stake’s website states that if their business goes under, you still have access to all your cash and securities through broker partner, DriveWealth and share custodian Citibank & Velox Clearing LLC. We’re not too sure how easy it would be to access these companies from Oz however.

Stake also holds Professional Indemnity Insurance cover for the activities conducted under its licensee authorisations of up to $500,000. The insurance is provided through US Securities Investor Protection Corporation (SIPC) who acts for investors if their broker goes bust.

What are the benefits of using Stake app?

After using Stake for a while now the benefits over a standard brokerage are pretty clear

  1. Easy, instant account set up with mobile trading
  2. Fractional investing
  3. Save on trading fees for smaller amounts

Let’s look at each of these.

1. Easy, instant account set up with mobile trading

It takes three minutes to set up your account. No need for certified documents sent via snail mail. No tax file number requirement and certainly no questions about your income and assets or your investing experience. Stake also submits your US tax filing document on your behalf for $5, saving you time and paperwork. The way financial services should be.

2. Fractional investing

You can buy fractions of a stock. This is a great offering for investors with a little money to start or for anyone who wants to dollar cost average in to the market. It also means you can buy a stake in some of the biggest companies in the US with shares trading above $1000 each. And you don’t need $1000. Think Google, Apple, Tesla, Amazon. The only thing to remember is the FX fee structure for Stake. You need to buy at least $300 worth of any stock or you will be paying more than their advertised 0.7% fee on the trade (they have a $2 minimum fee on small trades).

3. Save on trading fees for smaller amounts

For example, Commsec fees for international trades are:

  • Broker fees
    • USD $19.95 for trades up to USD $5,000
    • USD $29.95 for trades up to USD $10,000
    • 0.31% for trades above USD $10,0001
  • Plus, FX (exchange) fees of 0.6%.

Stake fees are 0.7% or a $2 minimum.

4. Easy tax reporting

Stake allows you to track your portfolio & run tax reports using Sharesight. This includes completing your CGT, Taxable Income Reports and calculating your Unrealised Capital Gains. They also generate a Sharesight CSV within two weeks of the end of each tax year. You can check out more information on Sharesight’s website.

How does Stake make money?

Stake charges an FX margin fee of 0.7% per trade (minimum $2 on any trade). It also makes 0.5% on any express funding requests you make (which provides cleared funds in USD the next trading day).

There is a 2% fee for funding your Stake account with a credit or debit card, but you can just fund for free via POLi bank transfer.

They also charge $2 to withdraw from your Stake account.

If you want to transfer your stocks out of your Stake account to another broker, be prepared to pay some hefty fees for the privilege ($100 per transaction)

The company also earns some interest on the cash in the trading accounts and earns revenue from their premium offering, Stake Black which comes with a $9/m subscription fee.

What is Stake Black and do you need it?

Stake Black is Stake’s premier trader service. It comes with a subscription cost of $9 per month or $7.50 if you pay annually. For the fee, Stake Black offers added extras like instant buy against sold trades (instead of waiting for settlement), Wall st analyst buy and sell ratings and price targets, as well as full company financials.

You’re only going to need it if you don’t have access to the data elsewhere or if you are day trading and need to access your capital quickly.

Our experience using Stake

Like I was saying at the beginning of this post, we chose Stake partly because it offers an easy three minute sign up with instant KYC verification. We literally had our account up and running and funded in under 5 minutes. Big tick.

Free stock offer ‘up to $150’

Stake also offers a free share when you sign up – if you do this with our link you get a free stock and we get one too. Huzzah and thanks for the patronage!

While Stake advertises a free share valued at up to $150 and uses examples like Nike or Dropbox (worth a fair bit per share), you may also get what they call the ‘mystery share’ option. This is because the stock you actually receive is dependent on a ball drop game in the app. We ended up with a random share worth $3.26 or so from our ‘sign up bonus’. We’d like to know if anyone has has received the more expensive Nike stock, or the whether the game is designed to give you the random, cheap ‘mystery’ share each time. The offer seemed like a gimmick to us so don’t sign up for the free stock alone. But DO feel free to roll the dice yourself and let us know if you score the $150 stock!

All you have to do to qualify is sign up with an individual account and fund your account within 24 hours of setting it up. It’s easy and secure to fund your account by sending a few hundred bucks from your bank account through POLi.

You’ll be able to claim your free stock during the sign up process. The free share lands in your account within 3 days and then you can sell it for cash or keep it as an investment.

Funding our account

We didn’t choose their express service to fund our account (for a $3 fee) and needed to wait 3 days for our money (in USD) to arrive. This point we are marking as a fail for Stake because as blockchain continues to infiltrate Fintech companies, users will become accustomed to instantaneous settlement without the $3 fee. Crypto and DeFi on-chain transactions already achieve this for their users. Stake seems like a step back to conventional finance in this respect.

Using the app

It was simple to navigate the Stake app, search on the stocks we wanted to buy and purchase those stocks. The app is user friendly – just don’t be afraid to tap on the different icons and see what is in each part of their menu. They have a wallet dashboard where you can see all of your investments, on the one screen as well as your cash holdings. There is also a stock watch list you can build and a stock search bar. The app also has a US markets overview feature where you can see market news and top stock movers and shakers.

Stake’s next move

Stake wants to shake up super funds for its millennial users. It’s looking to give cheap and easy access to self managed super in the same way it’s led its young investors to Wall Street with zero broker commissions.

Stake claims that customers want control, lower fees, transparency, and the ability to invest in what they want in their own super. The service will aim to take care of all of the paperwork and administration for super funds so owners can focus on investing.

Sounds like a disruptive Fintech idea if they can make it work – we’ll be following with interest.

There’s also apparently ASX trading coming soon to Stake.

ASX trading coming soon to Stake

The final word – it’s time to innovate or die for financial services

Millennials are the first generation born online. They’re also entering their peak earning and disposable income years. Their preferences and habits reflect this and will change financial services as we know them, and quickly. Stake app and other disruptive digital wallet models will be the early beneficiaries. Their exploding customer numbers reflect this. We signed up because what Stake offers is more convenient, flexible, and cheaper, than many of the conventional investment houses. But we’re not putting all our investment eggs in the Stake basket.

It’s worth acknowledging that even these new and disruptive Fintech companies like Stake still require T+3 to fund your account and T + 2 or 3 to settle trades.

Blockchain transactions of cryptocurrency can already do this instantaneously.

The danger for Stake is that customers will leap frog them and jump straight onto the Blockchain once crypto services become simple and user friendly. Only time will tell.

Oh, and if you want to know what we invested in, it was the genius of Cathie Wood. But you’ll have to stick around for more on that later 🙂

Remember too, if you want a free stock from Stake, use our link right here! Who doesn’t love free money!

Til next time, have fun, be happy, do good!

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