I'm about to enter my senior year as a highschooler and was wondering how beneficial it would be to start investing in a app for robin hood. I could invest a thousand or so and was wondering if it would be worth it
Whether you have $100 or $1 Million, the earlier you start investing, the better. That said, if I were your parent I would add the following conditions:
- Make sure you have college expenses covered (if you plan on going to college), either through college savings or through scholarships. The last thing you want to do is borrow money for college because your money is tied up in investments. (Others will say you should borrow as much as possible since college loans are "cheap", but I would strongly disagree)
- Don't invest more in any single stock that you are willing to lose completely. A max of 10% of your portfolio is a general rule of thumb for a single stock
- Don't invest in anything that you don't fully understand (options, crypto, etc.)
- Your goal at this stage is to learn. With $1k it will take you many years to build up a significant portfolio, so use the time to learn what works and what doesn't, and to figure out what you're good at.
From my experience, I was able to invest in Robinhood while I was in college, and it is a great starter investing app if you are looking primarily for specific stocks. With saying that, you need to know lookup and research the certain stocks you want to purchase. This was the hardest part for me, since I did not have the time to do that. I then came to my senses and just put my money into a brokerage mutual fund. I believe being that young of age you should put your money into a mutual fund and have the professionals do all of the work. It will save you time, and money once you see how much money you can actually lose by choosing the wrong stocks. But, if you do decide to invest with RobinHood, stay away from the cheap stocks and don't put all your eggs in one basket.(all money in one stock). A thousand dollars might seem like a lot at first, which in High school it is, but in reality it is not much. But you have a great mindset on starting off investing early.
Robinhood is an easy-to-use app and it's what I use for my personal stock investments, I have a separate 401k with my employer.
If I were you I would invest in things you know/care about. Then when you get updated with information on those companies you can be better prepared about your decisions to sell/buy.
One of my rule of thumbs is whatever I invest on the app I have to be ok with losing some/all of it. Investing in the stock market is always a gamble and never certain so be ok/prepared to lose whatever you invest.
If you are interested in less volatile stock options ETF's are comprised of normal stocks, but they are diversified so less volatile than investing in individual stocks. You can look them up in the app and see their track record (last 1-5 years). As an example I invest/ed in SPY, VOO and PXLG.
Good luck investing!
You need to be honest with yourself about your risk tolerance and go from there. What you plan to do with the account has some bearing on what brokerage you should choose, but "is it worth it to invest with robinhood?" ... it might be?
How much do you know about investing? I'm not asking, did you know that if you invested $100 in amazon 10 years ago you'd have $100,000 now (or whatever other anecdote you'd like to use). I mean, how much do you actually understand about investment? Where did your $100 go? What did you get in return? What was your decision tree before you used your $100 to invest in amazon stock? If your decision is nothing more than, I'll have millions tomorrow, this is not different than lottery tickets.
Once you have your head wrapped around investment as a general concept you can decide what assets you'd like to own. The real decision here revolves around when you'll need to spend these assets. You can't buy dinner with 0.03 shares of Tesla. At some point these assets will be turned back in to cash and spent, so you have to come to a real decision about how long you can be without this money. Make sure you have enough of a stable buffer that you'll be able to sell when it makes sense for you to sell, not because you need money.
After you've decided that, yes, absolutely, the proper use for this money is learning about investment, you'll pick your investments. You'll quickly come to learn that the average market increase over the last 100 or so years is ~11%. 11% on your $1,000 is $110 (less than a netflix subscription each year). You'll then start rationalizing more risky companies, because how are you going to make any money at $100 a year. So you'll give a penny stock a try because you can make 50% in one day. And that's when you should go right back up to the second paragraph and by those lottery tickets, because you're not making investment decisions anymore.
Investing is a discipline. Rule number one of investing is "Don't lose money," it is certainly not "make as much money as you can." You want to make an appropriate return for the given risk. What did I do when I started years ago, I deposited some money and split it between common stock of three companies. I think playing with play-money accounts is a waste of time because I have no retention if I have no skin in the game. I did some research, I made my picks and the rest is history. IF this is money that you could literally set on fire and you are being honest that this money is essentially "learn to invest tuition" then yes, do some research and make your picks. If this is, "I just want some stock market exposure" go to Schwab or Vanguard or some other big established discount broker and buy the lowest cost index mutual fund you can like SWTSX.
It's admirable that you're so young and interested in investing and have built up your warchest. Positive investment returns are not a guarantee. The market is not guaranteed to go up. GE is one of the country's oldest and most stable companies, it has lost 50% in the last 12 months (in fact, it's also about -50% over the last 20 years). That's minus $500. If, after you research, you decide that it's appropriate for you to put all 1,000 of your dollars in to one company's stock, then that's fine. But make that decision with your eyes open and remember the first rule of investing.
Robinhood is great in that it's commission free but there are downsides to using it. It can be great for getting a basic understanding of how the stock market works, and the dangers associated. Robinhood even offers a somewhat limited version of margin trading if you deposit at least $2000. This will let you trade on credit so you can open bigger positions, but what they don't tell you is that they will sell off your position if you don't deposit more money in the likely event that the stock falls below a certain value.
I recommend paper trading as a first step to learning to trade. It will allow you to become familiar with the process of buying and selling as well as letting you test out different investment strategies without the risks of putting actual money on the line.