Last year, Forbes made a call for millennials to get off their assets and start investing. According to the article, only 26% of young people under 30 years old are investing in stocks. Although the Forbes writer provided several great tips to help millennials overcome the initial fear of investing, many of the tips left out one key detail that makes millennials feel more comfortable in potentially uncomfortable situations -- technology.
Everything from buying a car to tracking health has become exponentially easier and more comfortable for millennials -- thanks to modern technology. Although we're still learning how to become responsible adults, tech provides us with the tools we need to at least fake it until we make it. That's why tech should be the first place our generation looks when it comes to creating and maintaining a solid investment plan.
So without further ado, here are four tech tips to help you get off your assets and start investing for your future:
1.Find an online community for support
When looking for answers to tough questions, where is the first place you turn? If you're anything like most millennials, your answer is probably "the internet." Although you can't trust everything you read online, it can still be a great place to find communities where you can ask for help on specific investment topics or provide advice for others based on your own experience with investing. If you're into Reddit, you might want to check out the SubReddit for investing for ongoing information and help. For help outside of Reddit, check out sites like MorningStar or the Trade King community for insights from others who've entered the trading industry.
2.Consider working with an online advisor
Generations before us took their investment planning needs to the office of a financial planning advisor to seek help putting together a solid plan. If you have a trusted advisor who you'd prefer to meet with in person, great! If not, you could save some money and find more convenience by going with an online advisor.
In an article by U.S. News Money, Robert Stammers, director of investor education at the CFA Institute says online advisors "Provide financial advice to people with less money to invest, and at a lower price point." Which seems ideal for newbie investors within the millennial generation. Some of the online advisor firms mentioned as helpful resources for young investors in this article were LearnVest and FutureAdvisor.
3.Use tech to track of your investment's value
If you work with your advisor on a regular basis, he or she should be able to help you track your investment(s) over time. Even with his or her support to keep track of the value of your chosen investment(s), it will be important to at least try to track them on your own as well.
There are lots of tools available to help investors track the value of their investments through market rises and falls. The trick is finding the right tool to fit your purpose.
For example, if you've chosen to invest in a precious metal like gold, you'll want to keep a running record of its value so that you will have some background info to discuss with your advisor during monthly appointments. For this, you could use a gold price chart like this one to track its value trends and get a better understanding of where the market has been, where it's currently standing, and where it might be headed.
4.Use your apps
Last but not least, we come to every millennial's favorite smart phone feature -- apps. One of the easiest ways to keep track of your investments on a regular basis is to store your information in an app and check up on it at least daily.
If you choose to work with an online advisor, you will have an app available to you where you can easily check your investments and keep your advisor's tips in one place.
If you're worried about testing out your trading skills with real money, the app Kapitall offers a game that can help you get started. You are provided a portfolio using pretend money, allowing you to invest throughout the game as though you were actually investing in real markets. This app could help you feel more comfortable with the investment process before you start putting real money at risk.
Hopefully this millennial-friendly list of tips will help you as you begin the process of setting up an ongoing investment plan. For more advice, I recommend following influencers in the investment business like Goldman Sachs and U.S. News Money on Twitter for additional articles and one-off tips to help you out as you navigate the waters of investing for the first time.