KNOXVILLE (WATE) – Several companies are trying to make investing accessible to more Americans by creating mobile apps, many of which are gaining momentum among younger crowds.
Mario Grant, a student at the University of Tennessee, uses Robinhood, one of the most well-known trading apps, which allows users to invest for zero commission.
“It’s a way for me as a millennial to really grasp what it means to understand the stock market,” said Grant.
Another app targeting millennials is called Stockpile. Instead of having to buy a whole share, users can buy factional shares. The app has more than 1,000 different stocks and ETFS to choose from. It costs only $0.99 a trade.
Stash is another stock app, which currently has more than one million users. The company said more than 50 percent of them are millennials, who can invest with as little as $5.
Brenna Maples, who works as a mortgage loan originator, said she plans to use a mobile app to invest soon. She wanted to save more money before going the “mobile investing” route. She said her employer, US Bank, even created a trading app.
“That’s the way its going. 98% (of millennials) in maybe 5 years or less are going to be the buyers,” Maples said.
Andy Puckett is a professor of finance at the University of Tennessee and said the low cost encourages more people to get involved.
“It’s a tool I think everybody would benefit from knowing a little about,” said Puckett.
However, he believed there are drawbacks.
“I don’t think this addresses the root problem, that we tend not to be savers,” he said.
Puckett also said buyers probably won’t get much back because the expense ratios are higher. As a result, he said, your returns won’t be as large.