Finding an Investment Platform that Works for You

Thanks to the rapidly growing tech sector (#cantstopwontstop), these days, there are endless opportunities for you to make investments on your own terms. And if you’re an Instagram scroller, you know it comes in the form of investment platforms.

What is an investment platform anyway? 

Essentially, an investment platform serves as an administration service for your investments and provides a consolidated view of your entire portfolio. Investment platforms provide the flexibility to Navi.gators such as yourself to engage in investing activities from the convenience of your laptop or smartphone, wherever you are, whenever your schedule permits. Consider it the dating app of managing your investments (with less swiping and thankfully, zero corny pick-up lines).

By using an investment platform, you’re can to cut out the middleman that would normally be required to broker or manage investments on your behalf. 

But I don’t know what I’m doing…why should I be trusted to manage investments?

Both seasoned and beginner investors can easily engage in the investing world without the heavy costs and time commitments that are often associated with leveraging professional services. Because of the amount of flexibility investment platforms offer, more and more people are taking an interest in investing. Naturally, the industry has seen a rise in emerging investment platforms, via both online and mobile applications. 

So which one do I choose?

With no shortage of investment platforms to choose from, it’s easy to get lost in the swirl and become overwhelmed by the numerous options. Use these tips to narrow the scope and identify which investment platform is right for you.

Determine which type of investments you want to make. Are you interested in stocks? Bonds? Cryptocurrency? Identifying how you want to invest is a good first step when choosing an investment platform.

Outline your priorities. Do you need access to investment guidance, educational tools or resources? Are you seeking a platform with a user-friendly portal to help with navigating your portfolio? Is customer service a top priority for you? Answering questions like these will help you choose an investment platform that aligns with your needs and desires. 

Check your coins AND their reputation. Get clear on how much you’re willing to allocate towards your investment journey. Some investment platforms require minimum amounts and charge trading fees. Understanding how these financial requirements balance against your financial resources is key.

Additionally, do your research! Dig into the company’s website and learn more about who they are. Read online reviews to gain customer feedback and industry insights.  Don’t invest with a company that doesn’t seem to have their investing act together. You work hard for your money, so invest it wisely! 

But where do I start?

You have access to a ton of options but don’t worry!  We’re here to help by sharing some quick pros and cons of some of today’s leading investment platforms.

Charles Schwab
Best for investors who rely on premium research. Pros: Robust investment selection, commission-free trade options and excellent customer service. Cons: Website can be difficult to manage, and high fees exist for transaction fee funds.

E-Trade

Great for mobile trading. Pros: Excellent customer service, large volume of educational resources and no inactivity fees. Cons: High commissions on mutual funds and high margin interest rates.

TD Ameritrade

Very helpful for those needing investment education and advice. Pros: Interactive courses and webcasts, no account minimum and virtual trading simulator. Cons: High commissions for trades and higher short-term ETF trading fees.

Fidelity Investments: 

Easily accommodates active traders. Pros: Commission-free trade options, premium research offerings and bill payment capabilities. Cons: Restricted platform access and limited community forums.

Robinhood:
Optimal choice for cryptocurrency investors. Pros: No annual fees, multiple banking deposit options and easy to use interfaces. Cons: Limited educational resources and smaller investment selection.

A quick recap

  1. No matter what level of investor you are, there are so many options for you to get your money growing and on your terms.
  2. Get clear on your needs before you select an investment platform. If you need a community forum and resources to beef up your knowledge, seek out the platform that will support those specific needs. It exists.
  3. Don’t get overwhelmed by the options. They all have their pros and cons. Find an investment platform that works for you and then take advantage of all its offerings

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