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You no longer have an excuse to skip out on investing

20 February 2017 in

If you’re not investing yet, you’re not alone. According to a 2016 Bankrate survey, 54% of Americans aren’t playing the market. [1]

The reasons are varied, with lack of money taking the number spot. Beyond that, however, Americans are opting out of investing because they don’t know about stocks, they find them too risky, they don’t trust brokers or advisors and they’re not interested in paying high fees. [1]

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Source: http://www.bankrate.com/finance/consumer-index/money-pulse-0716.aspx

While those are all valid reasons, holding off on investing isn’t necessarily the best choice if you’re focused on creating wealth. Fortunately, technology is making it easier than ever to build your portfolio. If you’ve been dragging your feet on getting started, here are four reasons why technology may be the game-changer you need.

  1. Automation

Automation has revolutionized certain industries, such as manufacturing, and it’s also reshaping the way people invest. For instance, you no longer have to remember to make a monthly contribution to your retirement or brokerage accounts; with automation, you can grow your net worth with a set-it-and-forget-it approach.

The move towards automation has already caught on with employer-sponsored retirement plans. A 2016 survey revealed that 75% of workers support automatic plan features, such as auto-enrollment and auto-escalation. [2] Automatic rebalancing of your investment is yet another perk that technology allows for.

Motif Blue, for example, allows you to schedule automatic investments for up to three motifs each month, based on the subscription level you choose. Auto-rebalancing of your chosen motifs is also included, so you don’t have to worry about your asset allocation straying off-course. Those kinds of tech-driven services eliminate two major barriers to investing right off the bat.

  1. Simple diversification

Diversification sounds complicated but it really just means have the right mix of investments so you’re not taking on more risk than you’re comfortable with. The idea is that if one of your investments tanks, the rest of your portfolio will help to compensate for any losses. In a global survey, diversification ranked as the number one way for investors to combat volatility in the market. [3]

If you’re not an investing expert, the prospect of choosing stocks or other investments may be frightening but again, technology offers a solution. There are a number of online platforms that offer prepackaged investments so you don’t have to undertake the guesswork of choosing the right asset allocation.

With Motif, you can invest in a basket of up to 30 stocks or exchange-traded funds (ETFs). You can review the explore the catalog of available motifs and choose your investments based on what you’re passionate about. You’ll find motifs focused on precious metals, biotech and virtually everything in-between so you can build a portfolio of investments in the sectors that interest you most.

  1. Convenience

Approximately 87% of Internet users say they spend at least some of their time online managing their finances. [4] Sixty-two percent rely on online sources when making long-term financial decisions. [4] If you’re already using your laptop or mobile device to check your bank account balance or pay bills, making the leap to investing digitally isn’t that much of a stretch.

Motif, for instance, offers an app for Android and iOS users that allows you to browse our catalog of over 150 professionally created motifs from anywhere. You can check the position of your current investments, purchase new motifs or even build your own custom motif, all through a user-friendly online dashboard. That kind of access is something that’s directly the result of technological advancement opening the doors to a wider pool of investors.

  1. Cost-efficiency

Cost is certainly an important consideration when it comes to investing. After all, the more you’re paying in fees to an advisor or brokerage, the more you’re shrinking your net returns. In 2016, the average advisory fee charged by Registered Investment Advisors was reported as 0.99 percent. [5]

That doesn’t seem high but it can make a significant dent in your investment earnings over time. According to one 2016 study, a fee of just 1 percent could eat away $590,000 in earnings over a period of four decades. [6] There’s also another argument for keeping an eye on fees. A Morningstar analysis found that cheaper investments are three times likelier to outperform their more expensive counterparts. [7]

Once again, technology is answer to the problem of high fees. Motif features low commission fees to trade motifs, or you can get unlimited commission-free trades with Motif Blue Unlimited for $19.95 per month. There are no additional management fees to contend with, meaning you get to hang on to more of your investment returns.

Consider the cost of delaying

If you’re still on the fence about whether to pull the trigger on investing, doing some number-crunching can help you figure out what you may be missing.

For example, say you want to sock away $1 million for retirement and you have 30 years to save. If you were to start right now and earn a 6 percent annual return, you’d need to save a little under¬†$12,000 per year. Wait five years, however, and that number grows to just over $17,000. Put it off for 10 years and you’d have to save almost $26,000 annually to hit the mark.

The takeaway? The longer you wait to save, the steeper the climb to reach your goals. Thanks to technology, however, you’ve got some incentives to to get started sooner rather than later.

Sources:

[1]Cornfield, Jill. “Millennials slow to start investing in stock market, Bankrate survey finds,” Bankrate, July 6, 2016.

[2]J.P. Morgan Asset Management. “2016 Defined Contribution Plan Participant Survey Findings,” July 25, 2016.

[3]Allianz Global Investors. “2016 RiskMonitor: How Today’s Investors View Risk,” June 21, 2016.

[4]BlackRock. “Global Investor Pulse: The rise of the digital investor,” July/August 2015.

[5]RIA in a Box. “2016 RIA Industry Study: Average Investment Advisory Fee is 0.99%,” December 8, 2016.

[6]Yochim, Dayana and Todd, Jonathan. “How a 1% Fee Could Cost Millennials $590,000 in Retirement Savings,” NerdWallet.com, June 2016.

[7]Kinnel, Russell. “Fund Fees Predict Future Success or Failure,” Morningstar.com, May 5, 2016.

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