Archive for July, 2019

Best Investment Apps of 2019

by eric rosenberg and latoya irby


We are committed to researching, testing, and recommending the best products. We may receive commissions from purchases made after visiting links within our content. Learn more about our review process.

Investment apps are growing to become one of the top options for new investors to get involved in the stock market. And even experienced investors may find opportunities to save money and improve their portfolios with one of the available investing apps.

While you used to have to pick up a phone and call a stockbroker to make a trade, which came with a steep commission, now you can pick up your phone and tap your screen a few times to trade instantly—either for free or at a relatively low cost.

Whether you want to buy your first stock or you’ve been doing it for years, consider these top investment apps that are poised to be top performers in 2019 and beyond.


 Best for Free Stock Trades: Robinhood

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Download the App for Android

Sir Robin of Locksley, better known as Robin Hood, became a famous character for stealing from the rich and giving to the poor. If you like the idea of empowering everyone to get into the stock market, Robinhood is a favorite option.

Robinhood offers free stock trades. And “free” doesn’t mean “free, but with fees and other costs.” Trades have zero commission. Just download the app, connect to your bank, fund your account, and you can trade fee-free. For extended trading hours and margin accounts, you can upgrade to Robinhood Gold for a fee.

Robinhood is essentially a no-frills online stock brokerage. Because they don’t have fancy offices around the country, they can run a lower cost operation and pass on the savings to investors like you. The company makes money from Robinhood Gold users and earning interest on account cash balances.

Interested in reading more reviews? Take a look at our selection of the best stock trading apps.


 Best for Automated Investing: Acorns


If you don’t want to think much about your investments but want to contribute regularly, Acorns is a top option. Link a debit or credit card to the app and Acorns will “round up” your transactions to the next dollar and invest the “spare change” you would have received had you paid in cash. Acorns invests your funds automatically in one of five professionally managed ETF portfolios.

Accounts with a balance up to $5,000 pay just $1 per month and accounts with a balance over $5,000 pay a competitive 0.25% fee. For college students with a .edu email, you can use Acorns for free for up to four years from the date of registration.

The existing portfolios focus on low-cost exchange-traded funds that offer you diverse investments without a giant starting investment. A few dollars here and there adds up, and Acorns makes it easy to invest at small dollar levels.

Check out our guide to the best stock market apps you can buy today.


 Best for Learning About Investing: Stash

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With identical pricing to Acorns, Stash offers a low-cost method to build a diverse portfolio. But where Acorns invests for you automatically, Stash can help you learn how to make the best investment decisions yourself.

The Stash app includes educational content customized to your investment preferences. You can choose between values-driven portfolios focused on different investing themes, or build your own custom portfolio. Then you can set up an “Auto-Stash” plan for recurring investments or add funds when you choose.

For any beginning investor, all of the terms, acronyms, and phrases of the investment world can be overwhelming. Stash does not give the depth of research on companies that many stock brokerages do, but if you don’t yet speak the language of investing, you have to start somewhere. Stash is an excellent choice for a starting point.


 Best for Retirement: Vault

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Download the App for Android

If you’re a self-employed freelancer, you won’t have access to an employer 401(k) plan and will have to put together your own retirement plan. There are many options for the self-employed to invest, but one of the coolest around is Vault.

Vault allows anyone to open an IRA, Roth IRA, or SEP IRA account for their investments. A SEP is a type of IRA specific type of retirement account for self-employed workers. But whatever form of IRA you want, Vault gives you the ability to invest based on a specific percentage of your income.

When money is deposited into your account through a freelance job, the Vault app gives me a notification to approve depositing the percentage you picked in your IRA account at Vault. You can also choose to invest your percentage automatically without requiring manual approval. Vault uses the same pricing model as Acorns and Stash.


 Best for Stock Gifting: Stockpile

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Download the App for Android

Stockpile offers a unique approach to buying and selling stocks. You can buy fractional shares of nearly any company through Stockpile. Alternatively, you can fund an account with a stock gift card that gives the lucky recipient shares of stock starting at $5.

There are no monthly fees and all trades are 99 cents. This app is especially exciting for parents or grandparents looking to get kids or young adults interested in investing and the stock market. Instead of giving a gift card that they will blow shopping, you can give them $20 of your favorite stock.

Stockpile offers over 1,000 investments include single stocks and ETFs. For example, you can gift shares of a stock like Disney or Apple, or give a basket of stocks in a Vanguard, iShares, or other ETF. You can give e-gift card or physical gift cards or fund an account through a bank transfer. This is a gift that literally pays dividends.


 Best for Microinvesting: Clink

Download the App for Android

Clink is a savings-based app that invests your funds into a portfolio of Vanguard based Exchange-Traded Funds (ETFs) based on how aggressive you want to be with your investments. You can schedule a certain percentage of your purchases to be added to your Clink account after transactions. Say, for example, you spend a lot on dining. You can opt to have 10% of your dining purchases transferred to your Clink account each time. You can also schedule regular transfers from your checking account to your Clink account.

With Clink, there’s no minimum investment amount — just a $10,000 daily limit. There’s a $1 monthly fee for portfolios up to $5,000 and a 0.25% fee on balances above $5,000.


 Best for Features: TD Ameritrade Mobile

Download the App for Android

TD Ameritrade is one of the biggest and most recognizable brokerages. The TD Ameritrade app is available for iOS, Android, and BlackBerry. The app is free to download and there’s no account minimum to get started.

Watch over 20 educational videos to gain additional investing knowledge. You can even set price alerts to receive a notification when your investments hit a specific price points. There’s no minimum deposit to open an account which means you can start investing with any amount. There’s a $6.95 fee for each trade.

In addition to managing your portfolio through the mobile app, you can also login online to access additional features.


 Best for College Savings: Wealthfront

Wealthfront is for those who want to use passive investment to build wealth. The app includes some built-in intelligence to help you maximize your investments, but also to invest based on your risk tolerance.

Start by connecting your most important accounts to the app and it analyzes your spending to learn about your finances. It takes into account your spending and your goals to create a strategy personalized just for you. The app invests your money into up to 11 ETFs, rebalances periodically based on deposits and market fluctuations, and even offers a 529 College Savings Plan as an investment option. It even has a few extras features like tax loss harvesting and direct and advanced indexing.

The Wealthfront app is free for the first $10,000 you invest. After that, it’s 0.25% per year. There’s a $500 minimum balance requirement.

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Genres: Self-Published Fiction Books

Genres of the Most Popular Self-Published Fiction Books


The most popular publishing genres also show up as the most popular in self-publishing. When books are read for entertainment, readers focus on genres they like. Writers who want to self-publish and make a living at it should consider writing in the genres that have large readerships.

Half of Amazon’s self-published e-book bestsellers are category romance, science fiction, and fantasy novels! Their readers are devoted to these easy-to-read and engrossing novels. They offer sheer escapism. And, readers of these genres have clearly defined interests that authors can appeal to.

Romance is the most popular genre. Happy endings and escapism have made romance an enquiringly popular genre. Science fiction, fantasy, mystery and crime are also leading genres.

The Romance Category

Romance as a publishing genre has the lion’s share. Romances have forty percent of the market share of Amazon’s e-book sales. Like other genres, romance has subgenres as well such as contemporary romances, historical romances, romance mystery, Christian romance, westerns, and erotica. Even though “Fifty Shades of Grey” is in the erotica genre, erotica actually has a very small market share of the romance genre.

Bestselling romance writers, like Lindsay McKenna, are able to move from traditional publishing houses to self-publishing with some success. McKenna started self-publishing in 2014, after leaving Harlequin. In 2015, she joined Kensington; however, she did not leave self-publishing behind.

Science Fiction and Fantasy

Almost half of the science fiction and fantasy books sold on Amazon are self-published. Books in this genre invite readers to immerse themselves in alternate universes.

The Mystery and Thriller Categories

Mysteries and thrillers also sell very well. Readers who enjoy problem solving and getting their hearts thumping for entertainment enjoy this genre.

The successes of self-published authors indicate there is room for many more such success stories. Books by Deborah Bladon, Vi Keeland, Tijan, and Penelope Ward made it to the New York Times bestseller list for digital books in 2015.

The self-publishing option is becoming more mainstream. Crossover authors are on the rise in both traditional publishing and self-publishing. These hybrid authors make the most money, according to a survey by Digital Book World. Crowdfunding remains a popular platform for publishing projects. If you are worried about money, explore the crowdfunding option. Keep in mind that to build readership, many series book authors have offered the first book for free.

For any genre, marketing is the key to success. If you do not want to write a genre book, you can remain true to your vision and see how it goes. Readers will notice if you have to force your writing. Consider generating some crossover appeal, if making a living as a writer is your goal.

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The Beginner 5K Walk Training Schedule

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Increase the time you spend walking each week before working on speed. If you find any week to be difficult, repeat that week rather than adding more time, until you are able to progress comfortably.

Week 1: Getting Started

Time: Start with a daily 15 minute walk at an easy pace. Weekly total goal: 60 – 75 minutes.

Walk five days the first week. We want to build a habit, so consistency is important. Spread out your rest days, such as making day 3 a rest day and day 6 a rest day.

Shin Splints: a common problem for beginners is feeling the pain of shin splints during their first week or two of walking training. How to Prevent and Treat Shin Splints

Week 2: Work on Your Walking Form

Time: Add 5 minutes a day so you are walking 20 minutes, 5 days a week. Or you may wish to extend yourself more on some days, followed by a rest day. Weekly total goal: 75 – 100 minutes.

Walking Form: Use your walks this week to concentrate on developing good walking posture and technique. This can greatly improve your ease of walking and improve your speed.

Walking Form Technique for Beginners

Week 3: Walk at a Moderate Pace

Time: Add 5 minutes a day so you are walking 25 minutes, 5 days a week. Weekly total goal: 100 – 125 minutes.

Walk at a moderate, determined pace may be breathing noticeably able to carry on a full conversation while walking not out of breath

Now that you have been walking regularly for a couple of weeks, consider whether you need walking shoes that will allow your best performance. You should also switch to socks made of sweat-wicking fabric to help prevent blisters.

How to Choose Walking Shoes

Before You Buy Walking Socks

Week 4: Add a Long Day

Time: Add 5 minutes a day to walk 30 minutes, 4 days a week, at a moderate pace. We will keep most of your within-week walks at this distance and speed. Weekly total goal: 125 – 150 minutes.

Make your fifth day a mileage-building day. Each week between now and your 5K walk, add time to one long day a week. For week 4, this walk should be 40 minutes long at an easy pace.

Drinking right: Now that you are walking for more than 30 minutes, you should locate a source of water so you can have a drink each mile. If there are no handy drinking fountains, you may want to carry water with you. It is best to carry it in a fanny pack with a water holster, rather than carrying a bottle in your hand, as that can lead to muscle strain and poor walking form.

Week 5: Work on Speed

Time: Walk 30 minutes a day four days a week.

Long Walk: walk 45 minutes at an easy pace.

Building speed: During each of your shorter walks, concentrate on improving your walking form to add speed. If you have not been using arm motion, this can be the key to increasing speed. Fast Walking Technique

Week 6: Build Mileage

Time: Walk 30 minutes a day four days a week, paying attention to form and speed techniques.

Long Walk: walk 60 minutes at an easy pace.

Once you have accomplished this time, you know you will be able to complete the 5K. Our continued training will help you to achieve it in comfort.

Blister prevention: Now that you are walking longer and faster, you may experience a hot spot or blister. Learn how to prevent and treat blisters.

Weeks 7 and 8: Add Intervals

At this point, you could complete your 5K walk. But if you have the time to build your aerobic fitness and speed, add interval workouts to your shorter within-week walks while keeping your long walk at an easier pace.

Interval Workouts: The Economy Walk builds speed, do it for one workout each week. The Anaerobic Threshold Walk builds aerobic fitness, do it for one workout each week. When adding these workouts, you may reduce your workout week to one day of an Economy walk, a rest day, one day of the Threshold Walk, a rest day or two, and then the Long Walk one day a week.

Long Walk: walk 60 minutes at an easy pace. Once you have accomplished this time, you know you will be able to complete the 5K. Our continued training will help you to achieve it in comfort.

Week 9 and Beyond

If you still have time before your 5K walk, you can turn your long walk of the week into a simulated race every-other week. Aim to walk it at 80% of the speed that you hope to walk the 5K, rather than keeping it to an easy pace.

You can also increase the distance of your long walk on the week where you are keeping the pace easy. Add 15 minutes to it every-other week. The increased distance and time will help build your stamina and endurance. Before you know it, you will be seeking out the 10K walks and half marathons!

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Almeida Real Estate Hamburg, NY

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The Book “The 4 Routes To Entrepreneurial Success”

written by John B Miner

The book “The 4 Routes to Entrepreneurial Success” can be downloaded or read here for FREE at

This book is being used by many colleges to teach business or as part of an MBA business degree. On pages 45 and 46 the author talks about Almeida Real Estate. My older brother and I were both Real Estate Brokers and an important part of the real estate community in Hamburg and western New York at the time. I have since moved my family to DFW Texas. Almeida Realty is mostly involved in real estate consulting and investments, I’m also CEO of World News US and an aspiring writer among other things. cj Almeida

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