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What are the Best Automated Investments in 2019?

Last Updated: 30. July 2019
What are the Best Automated Investments in 2019?
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Work, family, and business commitments have the tendency of holding you back from trying a hand in investment. And even in the off-chance that you do, they still find a way of limiting your productivity. But what happens when you cannot have a great time fighting off productivity.

To help solve these unavailability and inconsistency issues, most investment service providers have started embracing automated investing. An additional feature that either helps you create a personalized investment portfolio, manage an existing one or both.

Note: When looking for a hands-free approach to investing, only go for the auto investment option that either helps you create the portfolio or just takes over management after you decide on your preferred investment options.

But how does automated investing work?

It starts with identifying an investment company that supports automatic investments. And it doesn’t have to be just robo investors, though they too are a great option, it can be virtually any investor drawn from such fields as real estate, shares and stock markets and innovative finance like peer-to-peer lending sites. The automated investments craze has swept throughout the different sectors of the investment world. To help you get started, we take a look at some of the ways in which you can earn decent passive incomes through automated investing.

You then have to select the auto investment option that either helps you create the portfolio or just takes over management after you decide on your preferred investment options

Who can benefit from these auto investments?

  • The working class looking to build a side income

When you are working two or three jobs every day or juggling between work and school, you have zero time to learn about different investment opportunities. But you still need to invest if you are to create a supplemental income stream. In such a case, you will need an automated investment opportunity that takes care of your investments right from portfolio creation to its management.

  • Mums and Dads:

Achieving a level of financial freedom is just as important as running a happy family. It’s hard to always be available and still make time for your investments. But what if you didn’t have to choose between either? Automated investments make it possible to make time for your family while the systems make money on your behalf.

  • Individuals seeking to master investments in a specific industry:

There are two ways of learning about a particular subject. You can either sit in class or behind online tutorials, or you can start learning by watching a trading tool in action. Most auto invest tools don’t just execute buy and sell orders blindly, they leave a trail of investment data that you can use to master learn from the system’s mistakes and improve on.

  • Career investors:

If you are a career investor, such as a money market trader, diversification plays a key role in minimizing risks and expanding your take home. And since it is practically impossible to effectively monitor and manage handful portfolios effectively, you will need an auto-investment tool to help manage some.

What are the pros and cons of automated investments?

Pros

  • 100% passive income
  • A great way of learning about an investment opportunity
  • Presents you a supplemental income stream
  • The management and transaction fees associated with most is extremely low
  • Most don’t require you to have prior experience in the invested niche
  • They will take care of both your investment portfolio creation and its management
  • Give you access to award-winning and proprietary investment algorithms

Cons

  • The portfolio achieved by this isn’t as personalized as the auto investor may want you to believe
  • They aren’t immune to market volatilities
  • Some auto-invest tools are expensive to acquire and complicated to interact with

Criteria used to identify the most potent auto investment markets:

  • Ease of use
  • Acquisition costs (if any)
  • Minimum investment and operating balances required
  • The annual average rate of return
  • Access to education and investment training
  • Regulation and reputation

Best performing automated investment services in the country

1. P2P lending sites with auto-investment settings – (8-12% return p.a)

Peer to peer lending sites is a branch of innovative finance and investments and one of the best performing investments. Here, investment companies promise returns in excess of 10% per annum while limiting the level of risk your investment is exposed to through extensive diversification and securitizing loans. Ideally, P2P lenders provide personal and business loans to individuals and small and medium enterprises. They break long requests into small fractions of about $25 referred to as Notes and allow several investors to invest a fraction of their funds with a single borrower, effectively distributing the impact of loss in case of defaults.

SMEs are however required to attach business or director’s assets as collateral. Some of the most promising P2P lenders whose platforms allow for automated investments include LendingClub, Upstart, and Prosper with an average annual rate of returns stand at 12%, 10%, and 8.90% respectively.  The auto-investing tool guides you through the portfolio creation and through screening borrowers and using the settings to advance loans automatically.

Pros:

  • Highly rewarding
  • Minimal investment risks
  • Relatively liquid – secondary loan markets

Cons:

  • Risk of defaulting on loans still high
  • Not FDIC insured

2. Real estate crowdfunding investments – (8-11% pa)

There isn’t much difference between crowdfunding sites for real state and peer to peer lending. While the peer-to-peer lending sites is more inclined to personal and business loans. Crowdfunding sites are more concerned with the lucrative real estate industry investments. They create platforms that offer a link between smallholder real estate companies and both accredited and non-accredited investors.

These sites are run by industry professionals who conduct thr groundwork like looking for high income earning properties and agree on investments terms like repayment interests and time limit. They then break the huge investment into smaller affordable portions that anyone can contribute to. Some of the crowdfunding real estates that have an automatic investment feature include Peer Street and PropertyCrowd whose annualized average income stands at 9% and 11% respectively.

Pros:

  • Above average annual returns
  • Offer secure loans minimizing risk
  • Thoroughly researched investment options
  • You don’t have to be an accredited investor to invest with most of these sites.

Cons:

  • Deposits aren’t FDIC insured

3. Robo advisors – 3-6% return depending on portfolio

Robo Advisors are probably the most popular and most effective form of fully automated investments. Unlike most peer-to-peer related automated investment tools, robo advisors take care of the entire process right from helping you create a personalized investment portfolio to managing it. Investing in a robo advisor takes no more than a few minutes and starts with answering such questions as your risk tolerance levels, the amount you want to invest, and how long you want to invest it.

The robo advisor then uses these criteria to come up with a diversified pool of investment options that match your investment goals. Some of the most popular robo advisors include M1 Finance, famed for its considerably low management fees of up to 0.25% annually. And if you don’t know where to start, they have a large pool of present investment portfolios that you can customize.

Pros:

  • Full automation guarantees 100% passive income
  • Preset investment portfolios make it beginner friendly
  • Most present you with valuable trading tools

Cons:

  • Investment portfolios are picked from a pool of preset features and therefore not fully personalized
  • Not immune to the shares and stock market volatilities

4. Certificate of deposit (CD) rates – 3% interest pa

Certificate of Deposit (CD) are best for long term savings. They are considered high yield investments and offer fixed rate on deposits for a fixed term. These tend to offer higher interest rates than your average savings account with a commercial bank. The funds deposited herein however can only be withdrawn upon maturity of the account with premature withdrawals often subjected to high punitive penalties in the form of loss of interest rates.  Some of the CD rates provides with the most elaborate automated investment systems include Ally Invest, the online bank, and Goldman Sach’s Marcus.

Pros:

  • Relatively high annual return rates, up to 3% for Marcus
  • Relatively low minimum initial deposit
  • Long term deposits encourage savings

Cons:

  • Highly rigid and doesn’t support withdrawals

5. Digital investment apps that automatically build portfolios for you

The internet is awash with different pure online investment options that you can invest in. Most are however inclined to investing in the fast-moving money markets like stocks, shares, and equities. Leading the pack here is Stash investment app that lets you build an investment portfolio with just $5. It has a pool of thousand stocks and shares that you can use to create a highly customized investment portfolio.

And if you aren’t sure with regards to where to invest or don’t have enough time to vet all these investment options, they have an auto invest tool dubbed Coach that will walk you through the investment process, guide you through the investment portfolio creation phase and also manage the portfolio on your behalf. And management fees here start from 0.25%. Its competitors include and Acorns.

Pros:

  • Affordable minimum investment amounts starting from $5
  • Stash auto invest features handle all your savings and investments affordably
  • Supports custodial accounts for children under eighteen years

Cons:

  • Investing apps are also subject to the highly volatile shares and bonds markets

6. Forex Trading EAs and AutoTrading

Forex trading is probably one of the most lucrative investments currently available. But its volatilities and risk exposure on your capital investments are up to the roof. Ideally, forex trading is part of thr contracts for difference (CFD) investments and this means that by engaging in forex trade you are trading the price actions and not actual currency purchases. Your broker promises to pay you the contract difference if the price moves according to your prediction or you will pay them the price difference if it moves against your expectations.

The sheer number of trades being executed per second as well as the numerous factors that impact currency prices right from negative news, comments from world leaders bring about the highest price fluctuations. Most brokers and industry operatives have come up with numerous highly effective trading robots that help automate the entire process. These auto-invest options for forex trading are ranked by such advanced features as a stop loss and take profit levels and price movement alerts. These are also easily integrated into the MT4 trading system with some of the pioneering automated forex brokers including Forex.Com.

Pros:

  • Gives you a competitive edge over the competition and the average trader
  • Helps you maximize forex trading returns
  • Most can trade 24/7 across the different forex trading markets
  • You can follow their trading strategies using them to perfect yours
  • Recent advancements in trading automation like copy trading make it more beginner friendly

Cons:

  • Effective forex trading robots are expensive to acquire
  • The number of scams out there makes it almost impossible to differentiate between a good deal and a scammer.

7. Share and Commodity Investments with trading robots

Shares, stocks, bonds, equities, and commodities are by far the oldest form of investments. Commodity trading, for instance, dates back to ancient civilizations and so does futures contracts, especially the ones relating to agricultural produce. It is also a highly volatile market whose product and services price movements are influenced by not just the forces of demand and supply but also by such external factors as the performance of global economies, political stabilities, and world leader opinions and comments. The extensive research about the industry has helped industry players come up with highly successful trading robots that go a long way in fully automating the process. Most are however run by some of the most accomplished online stock brokers like Charles Schwab’s Options Express and TD Ameritrade’s ThinkorSwim.

Pros:

  • They are relatively inexpensive to acquire and their management fees affordable
  • They are beginner friendly
  • Help you create and profitably manage your investments

Cons:

  • You may need help mastering how some of these auto-trading stock and commodity systems like ThinkorSwim work

8. Cryptocurrency trading bots

The first thing that comes to mind for most individuals every time someone mentions cryptocurrency trading or investing is their unending risks. They can only recount unending hacks associated with the trade, highly volatile market conditions where crypto coins lose values in hours, or minutes, and unregulated markets with no filters to screen out the bad and prevent them from tainting the rest of the industry.

You have to dig deep enough to get any inspirational information about the numerous success stories of people who got in during Initial Coin Offerings (ICOs) and achieved 1,000%+  in returns on investments. Trading and investing in cryptocurrencies is no different from forex trading, safe for its higher risks and even more volatile trading environment. Several auto investment tools have however cropped up in the recent past that support hands-free investments. Top on this list is trading software like Bitcoin Loophole Cryptohopper, and cryptoblizz whose key features include price alerts, expert and independent market analysis as well as automated reinvestment of earned funds.

Pros:

  • They are relatively straightforward and don’t require expert help to operate
  • Will help create an investment portfolio and manage it independently
  • Supports auto re-investments of the principal amounts and interests earned

Cons:

  • Different  plans and subscription packages lock most investors out of key benefits
  • They both are relatively expensive to acquire

What should you avoid when choosing different auto investment options?

  • Get-rich-quick hype

The internet is rife with cons and scammers hoping to profit from your naivety in a particular niche. These individuals have therefore come up with bold and highly exaggerated assertions about the profitability of their ‘proprietary’ auto trading software. Before committing to any auto-investment tool, research extensively about its effectiveness by consulting reputable review sites like the Better Business Bureau (BBB). And if it sounds too good to be true, it probably is and the more reason to think it through.

  • Unregulated products

Don’t pay to test out an automated system. You will be risking more than its acquisition costs when you trust it with your capital investment. This is especially true for relatively new auto trading systems that are neither approved nor regulated by the relevant agencies or have no history of effectiveness. You will be wise not to take the developers word for it. And if they have total confidence in the auto-investor they will be more than willing to offer free trial periods.

  • Auto-invest tools of ill-repute

The better business bureau and Trust Pilot maintain large databases of verified customer reviews about different products, brands, individuals and services. Check out these reviews and customer trust scores before committing to the preferred auto investor tool.

  • Pulling off the plug too quickly

When the financial crisis rocked the United States money markets in 2007/8, most stocks and shares shed more than 50% their value. Today, however, virtually every brand has recovered its original market share and stock value. We understand that staring at your investments shed value day after day is not easy. We discourage you from canceling every investment that cedes ground to negative news or commentaries from industry leaders without thorough research on its probability of rebound.

  • Investments that you have little to no knowledge about

Robo advisors and numerous other auto trading tools will hold your hand right from the investment portfolio creation stage. This implies that you don’t necessarily need any prior experience in this market. But we believe that if you are to create a perfect investment portfolio, you need a basic understanding of your preferred industry.

Bottom line

Automated investment systems have played a key role in advancing the finance and investment industry. The fact that you can create a portfolio and manage it on your behalf, independently, in virtually any profitable investment field has pulled in every investment enthusiast. It has also drawn in scammers and cons who seek to profit from its misuse in equal measure. You, therefore, have to be extremely careful about the automated systems you commit to. Research extensively about an auto-invest tool’s effectiveness before purchasing or subscribing to its use or trusting it with your hard earned cash.

FAQs

What are automated investments?

Automated investments refer to a hands-free approach to trading and investments where all your interactions with the market are handled by a specially designed software/algorithm. Most of these algorithms will take total control of the investment process right from the creation to the management of a portfolio.

What types of investment supports automatic investments?

Auto-invest tool shave been developed for virtually conceivable investment niche. Whether you are interested in forex, cryptocurrency, shares, stocks, and bonds, there will always be an automated system specially designed for the market.

How do I vet the effectiveness of an automated investment?

With the number of scam auto-investment tool peddlers on the rise, it becomes necessary to vet a tool extensively before trusting it to handle your cash. Start by checking the credulity of its developers and Distribution Company. More importantly, check its customer trust score from trusted reviews sites. If possible start by testing it in a demo or risk-controlled investment environment.

When do I need an auto investment system?

You will need an effective auto-investment system if you are too busy to handle the investments productively, don’t have much experience in the field and want to earn as you learn and also if you have a highly diversified portfolio that you can’t seem to manage effectively.

What is the minimum investment amount when using an automated investment tool?

If you were to start building a portfolio with Stash, the investment app, you would only need $5 while Plus500 requires a minimum $100. Some will even require that you start with a $1,000+ in initial deposit or minimum operating balance.

How can I set up an automatic investment online?

You first need to identify your area of interest. For instance, do you prefer crypto, forex or shares, and equities investments? You then have to find the most effective and auto-invest tool suited for the market. Most of these adopt a set and forget approach and therefore take no more than a few minutes to install and launch your investments.

How do auto-invest software providers make money?

When you embark on a search for auto trading software, you will realize you can either buy or embrace a monthly subscription. The investment algorithm providers, therefore, make money through the sale of these products or in the form of subscription income. Some will, however, advance it for free provided you maintain a specific a minimum operating balance or complete a fixed number of trades for a particular period.

How does an automated investment tool avoid exposing my capital to unnecessary risks?

Any effective automated investor software will be backed up by a series of risk management tools. These range from an extensive investment portfolio diversification to such practical risk management tools like the use of stop loss and take profit features. Others, like the robo advisors, will resort to asset rebalancing and tax loss harvesting. It is imperative that you first confirm this with your preferred auto-invest software provider before registering.

Views expressed are those of the writers only. Past performance is no guarantee of future results. Trading comes with severe risk. The opinions expressed in this Site do not constitute investment advice and independent financial advice should be sought where appropriate. This website is free for you to use but we may receive commission from the companies we feature on this site.
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Edith is an investment writer, trader, and personal finance coach specializing in investments advice around the fintech niche. Her fields of expertise include stocks, commodities, forex, indices, bonds, and cryptocurrency investments. She holds a Masters degree in Economics with years of experience as a banker-cum-investment analyst. She is currently the chief editor, learnbonds.com where she specializes in spotting investment opportunities in the emerging financial technology scene and coming up with practical strategies for their exploitation. She also helps her clients identify and take advantage of investment opportunities in the disruptive Fintech world.

10 Comments

  1. I like the sound of cryptocurrency auto trading. However, I have zero experience in the field. Do you think I should invest in auto-trading apps for cryptocurrencies? If so, which one would you suggest for me?
    • Hello Ashley, auto trading apps do most of the work for you and let you watch over and override when necessary. We would highly recommend you to get started on it as it will help you gain more experience. Check out Bitcoin Code if you are interested.
  2. I am keen on investing in a real estate crowdfunding platform because I know for sure that they generate a stable income. Which crowdfunding app would you suggest for me, though?
    • Hello Brown, there are a number of crowdfunding platforms present in the industry for real estate. We would highly recommend you to with PropertyCrowd as it is one of the best ones out there.
  3. How safe am I if I spent my money on a peer-to-peer loan? I have heard that a lot of people get into trouble and default on their loans. Is this something I should be worried about if I’m investing?
    • Hello Wankvor, it depends on the platform you choose. If you directly offer a loan to someone, you have no additional security. Many P2P lending applications create an environment where it is hard to default on payments and applicants are screened extensively to make sure that they won’t default on their loan. So, it is important to choose the right platform.
  4. I would rather prefer trading cryptocurrencies on my own terms. However, I have no idea as to which cryptocurrency exchange should I opt for. Any help would be appreciated.
    • Hello Sarah, we would highly recommend yout o use eToro to buy and trade cryptocurrencies. IT is currently one of the most secure and robust crypto exchanges and brokers in the industry.
  5. I don’t want to spend a lot of time and attention to whatever I invest. I prefer a source of passive income where I don’t have to worry about anything and a stable income stream is present. What would work best for me?
    • Hello Solidace, according to your requirement, we think that cryptocurrency auto trading applications would be the best option for you. You can easily get started on them and they don’t require a lot of investment or attention. We would recommend you to try Bitcoin Revolution.

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