Do-it-yourself investing can be scary for a lot of people, especially young wanna-be investors.
The financial markets are complicated and so most people prefer to give their money to someone else to manage.
When Brian Barnes graduated from Stanford in 2012, he had a hard time finding a tool with which he could invest in the stock market on his own. This prompted him to start his own online brokerage site, M1 Finance, at 25 years old.
“What I was trying to do seemed relatively basic,” Barnes penned in a recent post on M1’s site. “I wanted to be able to pick my investments, and have recurring deposits automatically added to those allocations.”
And that’s exactly what M1, which has $US60 million under management, allows users to do. M1 users can pick the stocks they want to invest in and then they can determine what percentage of their portfolio they want each position to make up. M1 automatically updates as you put in more money and as stock prices fluctuate to maintain your preferred portfolio allocation. So if you want Apple to make up 25% of your portfolio, M1 will balance your portfolio as such. That means you can’t buy one Apple share, or one Amazon share. It’s all about the portfolio.
Unlike most brokerage sites, M1 doesn’t charge a fee for users to buy a stock. It does, however, charge users an annual percentage-based fee on their assets.
Last Monday, I opened up an M1 account to try my hand at the markets. Business Insider rules prohibit trading in and out of securities, and I plan to hold these investments for the long term.
Here’s what it’s like to have an M1 account based off of my experience.