How to Join the 1%, No Tights Required
Most Americans who own stock could be considered part of an elite class. In fact, the chart above shows that 84% of America's equity is owned by just 10% of Americans.
About half of all Americans own no stock whatsoever, and another third have stock only in a retirement account. That's unfortunate, as investing is the best way to secure financial independence for you and yours.
A 401(k) is all well and good, but if that's your only interaction - or a majority of your interaction - with the market, you're missing out on a potential fortune.
That said, keeping track of various accounts and brokerages, as well as the latest investment research and market movements can be difficult and time-consuming.
Wouldn't it be great if you could access all the information you need to manage your investments in one place? It'd be even better if it kept you posted on the market and your investments at all times.
Well, thanks to technology, you already have all of that in the palm of your hand...
Enter Robinhood. Like the eponymous thief of British folklore, this free app is all about putting the power in your hands and allowing you take more control of your financial future.
Released in 2013, Robinhood was created by college friends Vlad Tenev and Baiju Bhatt. It now has more than 6 million users.
Stock trading can be intimidating if you have no experience. There's risk involved. And if you have a money manager investing for you, it can be expensive when you factor in their fees.
Robinhood eliminates many of these barriers. It's straightforward, easy to use and completely free.
You can research and trade stocks, ETFs and cryptocurrencies. Robinhood even allows for options trading. It keeps you notified of price movements, dividend payments, corporate actions, news, you name it.
Think of Robinhood (and apps like it) as your investing Swiss Army knife.
This app puts the power of Wall Street's top traders and massive institutional investors in your pocket.
Robinhood's popularity is a sign that the market is changing and becoming more accessible.
It has been for a while now.
Take startup investing, for example. Long the playground of the world's plutocrats, it was finally opened up to all investors in 2012.
You previously needed millions to get into the space. Venture capitalists with means could get in on the ground floor and make a fortune. It's how people like Peter Thiel and Reid Hoffman got so wealthy. They invested in the likes of Facebook and PayPal before their IPOs and made billions.
But that was then. Now there's no set minimum on venture capital. Services like Wefunder and SeedInvest make it easier than ever to invest in the next big thing before it's the next big thing.
Their expertise will help you invest in the next Uber or Facebook before anyone else. They find the cream of the startup crop and send it right to your inbox.
The bottom line is this... Whether you want to invest in startups or equity, it's easier now than it's ever been.
Be like Robin of Locksley and his band of Merry Men and take fortune into your own hands.