The Advent of Investment Apps
If you were to ask a random person on the street, "where do I go to invest my money?" they'll likely give you two options: Ask your bank for advice – or know someone else who already knows about investing. Up until fairly recently, this has been the standard for many ordinary US citizens looking for a way to build or grow their wealth. Bank-level advice would then usually steer you towards a savings fund (which would barely net any actual returns over many decades) or towards the bank's own standardized investment packages. In both cases, you have no way of actually customizing your portfolio to fit your personal requirements perfectly, much less taking your financial future into your own hands.
With the invention of mobile apps, this situation has changed. Today, you can invest in the stock market, in hedge funds, or any other alternative investment vehicle you prefer, without ever spending any time in stuffy boardrooms or on a trading floor. In short: You no longer need to know a guy who knows a guy – all you need is a powerful investing app such as CARL.
What Does the Investment App of Your Choice Trade In?
Investment apps are typically geared towards particular investment options. Stock-trading apps specialize in the stock market, while others may focus on fractional shares investing or hedge funds. This means your choice of app is goal-based – it's dependent on what you're trying to invest in.
CARL specializes in quant hedge funds, providing users with direct access to a number of quants, many of which you may never have heard of unless you've been in the hedge fund business for some time. Normally, investing in hedge funds would require you to collect all the relevant data yourself, this makes CARL the best investment app if you're looking to put your money into high-yield quantitative hedge funds.
How Does Investing via an App Work?
Once you've set up a brokerage account with one of the many investment apps available, you will typically have to link your bank account to the app. This allows you to transfer money directly to whichever vehicle your app trades in, making for a seamless user experience.
Once you're set up, you can now invest along the guidelines outlined in the app's terms and services. This means you can choose from the stocks, hedge funds, or other investment vehicles in which the app specializes. Thanks to smartphone technology, you can do this anywhere you have a signal and at any time you wish.
Be aware, though, that some apps require an account minimum to start trading. They may also have lock-up periods, which prevent you from putting money into or taking money out of your brokerage account until a specific period of time has elapsed. This means your investments effectively won't happen in real-time to protect the trader from unexpected withdrawals of money which may currently be invested in illiquid assets. With CARL, though, you won't have to worry about lock-up periods at all, and the account minimum is only $20,000, making it one of the most accessible investment apps in terms of the minimum balance of capital required on your investment account.
Depending on the app of your choice and its focus (hedge funds, ETFs, fractional shares, etc.), you may need to qualify as an accredited investor in order to start investing. This is a mechanism mandated by the SEC to protect potential investors who may not have the knowledge or the equity necessary to safely invest in some of the riskier investment options. CARL, for example, is required to check your status since hedge funds are only open to accredited investors. Other apps may not need to check your status as an accredited investor since they specialize in other investment vehicles that feature a lower risk but also vastly smaller potential returns.
Active Participation or Automated App?
Some apps offer robo-advisors which may give financial advice, draw your attention to potentially beneficial offers or even automate your trades for you. This allows you to sit back and let the app do all the work. Others allow you to make all of the decisions yourself since you're the only one who knows what's exactly right for you.
There are also so-called "micro-investment" apps that round up your everyday expenses and use the money thus collected to automatically invest in low-yield vehicles such as stocks or ETFs. Micro-investing is an option which offers an even more hands-off approach, though it generally yields only small returns.
Ultimately, the decision between investing actively and putting your money into the hands of a robo-advisor is up to your personal preference. As a general rule, automated systems are fine for making small-scale investment decisions and low-risk vehicles. However, once you start engaging with alternative investments on a larger scale, however, you should set a few hours aside every month to actively check on your portfolio and make investment decisions yourself. The time you spend with an app like CARL is still a much smaller time investment compared to interacting with hedge funds individually, though.
Which Fees Apply to Investment Apps?
While some apps are entirely commission-free, some require a monthly fee for their services. These fees are required to pay staff and improve the app's functionality, which means it's all spent to make the app work as smoothly as possible. Investing apps that focus on hedge funds often charge a general management fee of 2 %, in line with the standard fee most hedge funds charge investors.
Features That Any Good Investing App Should Have
Whether you're looking for low-fee stock-trading apps, an investing app that helps you build your wealth, or a powerful tool to diversify your portfolio outside of the usual "mutual funds and ETFs" bubble; you will need specific features to allow you to have complete control of what's happening with your money:
- An easy-to-use interface that gives you all of the necessary information at a glance is a must-have when you're handling a lot of money. For a hedge fund investing app like CARL, this includes showing the annualized volatility and annualized returns as well as the overall performance of the hedge fund in question, without having to navigate all over the place. A historical analysis of stock/fund performance is also helpful for planning future decisions.
- A concise overview of all of your currently active investments and a history that shows all of your investments and returns help you keep the big picture in mind. Ideally, such an overview should be in real-time to allow you to react to any changes in your stock or fund quickly.
- Advanced security features are a must. Since your mobile app will be connected directly to your bank account to ensure smooth investing, keeping your personal information and banking details safe should be your top priority. This is why top-rated investing apps like CARL typically feature strong security protocols like two-factor authentication and up-to-date certificates.
- Helpful customer support may not be a strict requirement, but it's a safety measure to ensure you can operate the app with no technical problems. If you're having trouble signing into your app or connecting your bank account, you can rely on customer support to help.
If your chosen brokerage or investing app has all of these features, you can typically start trading without needing any additional outside information or tools – your app already has everything you need to make financial decisions from home, from your place of work, or even while on vacation abroad.
Keep in mind that apps like CARL do everything they can to keep your personal information and banking details safe. However, you still need to exercise common safety rules when making financial transactions from your smartphone.
This includes not using a public or potentially unsafe internet connection, such as a hotel's wireless network. Unless you're in a trusted network, you should always switch to mobile data when interacting with investing apps to protect yourself against man-in-the-middle attacks.
What Is the Best Investment App?
If you're looking to get into the stock market or invest in ETFs, there are plenty of apps out there to choose from. But if you're looking for a way to make the most out of your money, then quantitative hedge funds may be the perfect alternative investment vehicle for you. So if you're wondering, "what investment app should I use?" the answer is clear: CARL is the way to go!
CARL is an easy-to-use U.S.-based investment app that gives you access to a number of exciting quantitative hedge fund opportunities. Once your status as an accredited investor has been confirmed, you can set up your investment account, link it to your bank account and start investing right away. CARL offers several advantages over other hedge fund investment apps, such as:
- No lock-up periods: Many investment apps and trading platforms take between one and six months to process your investments, which means if you're trying to take your money out of a fund that's bound to go down, you might already have missed the window of opportunity. With CARL, you can put money into or take money out of your hedge funds on a monthly basis. This gives you much more flexibility and a greater amount of control over your money.
- Only $20,000 minimum investment: Many apps require an account minimum – a certain amount of money you need to have on your brokerage account before you can start investing. This can often exceed $1,000,000 or more. With CARL, you only need $20,000. That's the perfect amount for anyone deciding to seriously get into quants while also leaving the door open for anyone simply looking for a small-scale investment to diversify their portfolio.
- Access to sophisticated investment options: CARL lists several quantitative hedge funds, all of which have undergone a rigorous due-diligence process. With 15%+ targeted returns, these may outperform many other types of alternative investment options significantly.
- All the tools you need in a single app: Whether you're looking for in-depth information about your hedge funds (from annualized volatility to portfolio simulations), the tools needed to invest and withdraw money, or for a real-time overview of your portfolio – CARL has it all.
Get Into Quants With CARL
Unlike most other investing apps, CARL specializes in quantitative hedge funds – a special type of hedge fund which uses computer modeling and advanced algorithms for investing. In other words: Where traditional hedge funds rely on the expertise of their hedge fund managers to make investment decisions, quants use comprehensive mathematical data instead.
This makes quants perform exceptionally well, especially during times of high market volatility, where traditional hedge fund managers may not be able to react quickly enough or to see the potential gains presented by small-scale market changes.
However, quants have also always been slightly harder to understand and value for people without a computer science degree. So while you may invest in a traditional hedge fund simply on the basis of the hedge fund manager's professional history and credentials, quants are harder to judge. By presenting you with quants that have already undergone our due-diligence process, CARL makes it much easier for you to get into the exciting world of quants. All of the information relevant to investing is right there in the app, and your path to building your wealth may only be a few investments away.