Renewable Energy, Free Investment Apps, & More On ‘How To Money’

On this episode of How To Money, Matt and Joel talk about the downsides to free investing apps, discuss rising costs due to the pandemic, get enthusiastic about soccer coming back, and tell us about exciting developments with renewable energy sources. Last year, in 2019, consumption of renewable energy like wind, solar, and hydroelectric power surpassed coal use in the U.S. for the first time since the 1880s. Plus, we’re seeing a lot more investment in offshore wind farms, where wind turbines float out in the middle of the ocean. Estimates say that even if only 1% of the potential energy is captured, we could power 6.5 million homes on wind energy alone. This is good news for consumers, since renewable energy is more cost-effective than fossil fuels, but of course it’s also fantastic news for the planet, too.

With so many free investing apps out there, stock trading has become more democratized than ever, which is a good thing, right? Mostly yes, the guys say – but there are some downsides. Right now, the stock market is more turbulent than ever: The pandemic continues to affect investor confidence, but also, because free trading apps make it so simple for us to speculate in the marketplace, we’re seeing a lot of wild buying, selling, and trading going on. However, that can lead to a lot of investment risks that don’t usually pay off. Even though the market seems tempting right now, the best thing to do is to invest in widely diversified, low-cost index funds, and “hold onto them forever,” the guys tell us. If you want to do some speculating, don’t give yourself more than 5% of your investment portfolio to play with, and ideally no more than 3%. “Only invest what you’re willing to completely lose,” Joel says, because that’s more likely than hitting a big jackpot. 

They also have some words of caution about sustainable investing. We may be seeing a lot of headlines about this trend, but probably don’t realize that different investment managers define “sustainable” in different ways. So there may be companies included in these funds that aren’t actually very green or sustainable at all. Just be sure to do your research before jumping on the bandwagon, the guys say. They also stress the importance of keeping track of our credit reports and credit scores – while many of us paused our credit card and loan payments, some lenders are reporting these as missed payments. However, the law is on your side, so make sure you’re taking note of any changes to your score and reaching out to get any wrong information taken off. Get all this great information and much more on this episode of How To Money.

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