These 9 investing apps and Robinhood alternatives want your business so bad, they’ll give you free stocks and cash just for checking them out!
Times are tough, but as Warren Buffet would remind us – “be greedy when others are fearful” – there is no better time to get your hands on your first stocks than amidst crashing markets and waiting for the long-haul.
How do you earn free stocks and cash?
Well, whether you’re a struggling entrepreneur, laid-off employee, or just looking to take advantage of stockbrokers giving away free stocks and cash, here’s a list of 10 brokers and investment apps literally giving away stock and cash just for checking them out.
I can’t promise you’ll be the next investor prodigy rolling around in a Lambo, but I can promise you some free cash and stocks just for clicking some links and checking out what they have to offer.
Our first Robinhood alternative that gifts a free stock ranging from $2 to $200 for creating an account is Dough. This new brokerage comes from the creators of TastyTrade and has a similar, no-commission stock trading app. Arguably, the user interface is on par in simplicity with Robinhood while providing a wealth of financial data, stock suggestions, and financial news.
I recommend Dough to anyone that loves Robinhood that is just looking for a simple app to invest with or that doesn’t need access to options trading.
Important to note; however, is that while Dough is the most restrictive in terms of features available, which happens to be great for beginners to investing.
While the user interface is more complex than Robinhood and Dough, WeBull provides more features, including paper trading competitions with paid prizes! It can take a bit to find your way around the app, but individuals who give it a shot will receive a stock valued at $2.50 to $250 just for signing up. That’s pretty generous, but if you further deposit ANY amount, they’ll give you a second stock worth $12 to $1400.
Unlike Dough’s approach with simplicity and access to strictly commission free-trading, you’ll find features like commission-free option-trading, a stock lending income program, IPO offering access, and some of the best charting of the apps (if you can read it on your small screen device) with technical indicators galore.
Unlike Robinhood, Dough, and WeBull, you’ll find M1Finance offers a unique perspective to investing that allows you to purchase partial shares in companies. This means if you can’t afford to purchase an entire share of Amazon or Tesla, but still want a piece of that pie, you can actually invest in partial shares.
In fact, you can fund your account, choose 100 (or more) different stocks at a variety of prices and it will divide your total deposit amongst each of those shares proportionately to your percentage of allocation requested.
The downside is that unlike other brokers where you can buy and sell shares any time you want during the open Wall Street session, M1Finance limits you to trade once (twice for upgraded members) per day during their trade window. If you’re a long term investor, especially if you need an IRA, this is the great option and the limit of one trading window doesn’t matter so much since you’re dollar-cost averaging over time.
Public (formerly Matador) is a relatively new broker that blends the partial share aspect of M1Finance with the social investing aspect built into WeBull. Like SoFi’s partial shares investing, you won’t be able to invest less than $1 into partial shares – in fact, Public requires a $5 minimum slice.
That said, Public’s 2.5% interest on uninvested cash is probably about the highest return for non-invested savings I’ve found without jumping through ridiculous hoops.
While the promotional offer is a solid $50 in stocks, the $1000 deposit is pretty steep! However, if you have the cash available to make a quick deposit into a SoFi account, you’ll find yourself in the presence of a slick, one-stop-shop for finances – including low-interest personal loans.
Like M1Finance, Sofi allows you to invest in partial shares with companies, although they require a minimum $1 investment in the partial share. Also like M1Finance, these fractional shares that SoFi calls “bits” are only traded once per day in the afternoon.
Unlike M1Finance, SoFi also has access to trading crypto-currencies, if your risk capacity is open to that.
While most people consider Cash App to be a person-to-person money transfer service the likes of Venmo, the Cash App has broadened their services to include both fractional share investing and crypto-currency offerings.
Once you have created your account, Cash App will send you a Lincoln ($5) just for creating an account and you can use that money to buy partial shares in a variety of companies or Bitcoin among others!
While crypto-currency can be speculative and risky for many, there is some free cash to be found just by trying out the app and learning about different crypto-currencies with Coinbase Earn.
To earn the free cash, you simply watch short videos about popular crypto-currencies Coinbase supports and then answer a couple of questions about what you learned. In exchange, they’ll deposit upwards of $150 in cryptos to your account you can sell and withdraw or keep invested absolutely free.
Note: Earning the maximum promo reward for Orchid, EOS, and Stellar Lumens requires referring friends (kind of like I am here), but it isn’t required to earn the cash free for taking the quizzes or signing up for Coinbase. Psst! Those are all names of available crypto-currencies beyond bitcoin.
Nvstr is not my favorite app to suggest, mostly because despite it’s cool community features and access to ex-hedgefund advice for investing, NVSTR is one of the few options here that still require commissions per trade ($4.50 per). That said, they will give away up to $1000 with an $8 minimum guarantee.
Unfortunately, you can’t just withdraw those funds and have to invest them, but free cash to freeroll on stocks isn’t something I’ll complain about. If you end up getting only $8, the $4.50 commission means you’re left with $3.5 to find a stock (no partial shares) to invest it in. This also means, to effectively come out ahead you then need the price of a the stock you buy to end up higher than $4.50 to pay for the commission.
Not ideal. But there isn’t anything to lose!
Worthy Bonds is unique from the other investment opportunities here as it focuses on bonds (fixed income loans). Rather than buying stock (equity) in companies, with Worthy Bonds, you deposit money which is then used to purchase bonds that return a fixed 5% return.
These bonds represent loans with your bonds representing part of the capital used to fund those loans. This is different from Peer-2-Peer lending as the bonds represent loans that tend to be secured by assets rather than just unsecured loans.
Worthy lends your money out to businesses and individuals using their assets as collateral and then gives you, the ultimate lender a 5% return, while charging the borrower a higher rate to cover Worthy’s expenses.
Promo: Not Applicable
Unlike the other options on this list, the fractional shares you receive in your Bumped brokerage account are rewards for spending money with those companies. Each month you can choose various companies from a variety of categories and each time you spend money at those retailers, you receive a cash back reward in the form of stock.
For instance, in the coffee category, you can choose between Starbucks, Dunkin’ Donuts, or Caribou Coffee and get a 2% stock back reward for each purchase. That can add up pretty quick and is in addition to any cash back rewards you receive directly from the linked credit/debit card.
To use Bumped, all you need to do is link a credit card or debit card account (or multiple) and select your favorite public company from each category. Every time you spend money there, you’ll get bumped some stock.
Okay…I lied – we’ll include Robinhood alongside the Robinhood alternatives.
The O.G. of commission-free stock trading, Robinhood is still offering a free stock ranging from Facebook, Apple, and many more. The trading interface is simple, almost gamified and has introduced countless individuals to the world of investing.
In addition to basic buying and selling, you’ll also find options trading in case you really want to ramp up your trading strategies as you work toward that Lamborghini.
PS – In exchange for clicking the links (and earning cash for yourself), I also earn a cash or stock reward for referring you. Thank you so much for those of you that do!
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