Buying into the Stock Market for Poor People

You might have heard of meme stocks, which are stocks that catch fire due to small-time investors on Reddit and other social media channels investing heavily in them for a time. Right now AMC, the movie chain, is in their crosshairs. I wouldn’t advise getting caught up in that, because as soon as those stocks can rise, just as quickly can they fall. You just have to get lucky with the timing, and I don’t know about you, but I’ve never been that lucky.

Still, it’s a wise move to invest in the stock market if you do it right. I’ve always wondered how people buy stocks. In the past, you needed a broker, which usually required a good sum of money upfront. You also had to pay commissions, and you relied on their expertise. That’s not a bad way of investing, but for those of us who don’t have big bucks to invest, there are other options.

One way that I’ve discovered to easily invest in the stock market is through the Public app. There are other similar apps, but I went with Public and have been happy with them so far.

There are no commissions, and you can begin investing in a company for as little as $1. Instead of having to buy a whole share, you can buy slices of a share. So, instead of having to spend $2,400 for one share of Google, you can invest $50 into the company, or any amount, and still reap rewards as the stock value increases. Of course, you also lose money if the stock goes down in value.

A Bad Day:

A Good Day:

I didn’t know anything about the Public app until I watched a review of an electric vehicle on Electrek. The EV company was new, and I saw a lot of potential. Something about investing in the new company was mentioned, so I got on my phone and looked for a stock market app, not knowing if one even existed. That’s how I found Public, and since then I’ve been learning as much about the stock market as I can.

As of right now I’ve invested into 7 different companies: Sunrun (designs and installs residential solar energy systems), Fisker (a new automotive company designing electric vehicles), AYRO (another new company that builds small electric vehicles), Affirm (involved in finance/payment plans for e-commerce), Arcimoto (electric vehicle maker), Apple (I don’t think I need to tell you about Apple), and BarkBox (provides subscription based e-commerce for dog owners).

In the near future, I’ll begin investing in index funds, which allows you to buy into a larger number of companies. This is the best way to reduce the risk of financial loss, since you’re not investing in just a handful of companies or a single sector.

But since I only have about 15 years or so before retirement, I’m willing to be a little more daring for a bigger gain. The advice is to be conservative, and I will be with a large chunk of my investments, but I’ve allocated a certain percentage to go to short-gain stock and the possibility of hitting it big with a start-up company that grows massively within the next 5 years or so.

It’s important to choose companies that you know something about. If I wouldn’t consider buying a product or service from a particular company, I don’t invest in them. I figure my thinking isn’t that different from a lot of consumers. We all buy soap and laundry detergent regularly, so it makes sense to invest in a company that makes those things, like Procter & Gamble. Google isn’t going to dry up and blow away anytime soon, so not a huge risk there. Just use common sense when choosing stock and think long term.

That being said, I’m willing to risk some.

I follow electric bike makers and other companies producing small EV’s out there. There’s a lot of money to be made in the next few years, as the transition away from gas-powered vehicles accelerates. Electric cars are the future. We know that, so it’s not a huge gamble to invest in a company like Tesla, which leads the pack. Investing in small, largely unknown EV companies is more of a risk, but then there’s also the possibility of greater reward.

Below: The app has warnings for more risky stock

I also know quite a bit about how websites are developed and e-commerce. That’s why I chose to invest in Affirm. I’ve used their services in the past and feel like they have a very good business platform that will continue to grow.

I’m also a big supporter of sustainable, renewable, and cleaner energy, so Sunrun was of interest to me. Their stocks are projected to double in the near future. I love the idea of solar-powered homes. Wouldn’t it be wonderful to live in a house that generates all the energy you need? You could kiss your power company goodbye. This was a dream 40+ years ago, but it’s very close to reality today.

Then there’s BarkBox, because who doesn’t love their dog? The pet industry is huge, and I don’t think people are going to get rid of their dogs and cats anytime soon, even during an economic downturn. It’s just a fun stock to own.

I’m not saying to go out and buy the same exact stocks I have.

Diversifying my stock holdings is something I’ll be doing over the next several months. Right now I’m invested heavily in tech stocks, but I’ll be buying into other boring but stable sectors. Think laundry detergent.

Anyway, I just wanted to share with others who might want to begin investing in the stock market how easy it is to get started. I never heard of the Public app until a few weeks ago, and so far I’m making money with my picks. Yes, there are down days too. The daily fluctuations of stock prices can play with your mind, but as long as you think long-term, and pick stocks wisely you’ll be okay. Just don’t risk more than you can afford to lose.

I’d highly advise that you learn as much as you can. If you’re younger, you can take bigger risks. When you’re only 15 years away from retirement like me, you have to be much more strategic and on top of the news.

What I love about the app is that you can communicate with other investors, see relevant news for the companies you’re invested in, and the app also shows whether it’s a good time to buy, sell, or hold any particular stock. There’s even warnings when you’re investing in a stock that is risky, so you’re not investing blindly into companies, you may not know much about.

If you want to check out Public, click here. It’s available for iOS and Android phones.

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