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Venmo Review

Maybe you haven’t heard of Venmo, but you must have heard of PayPal before or even used it for money transactions.

venmo australia

Now, think of Venmo as a child-company of PayPal since it is powered by PayPal. It is also similar to Cash App.

Venmo is not available in Australia. If you are interested in sending money and pay the lowest fees possible, try TransferWise.

Hard cash, much like compact discs and cassettes, is becoming more and more phased out falling victim to today’s mobile and internet-steered society.

No one likes carrying paper money anymore, and bank cards are confusing not to mention susceptible to fraud and theft. Besides, doing all the math involving your funds every time you make a transaction is tedious.

This is where Venmo comes in. Venmo offers you an easy way to transact money with friends. What’s more, it has an optional social network where you can connect and interact with your friends.

What’s Venmo?

Venmo is a digital wallet & mobile payment service that lets you make or share payments with individuals. Account-holders can transact money between each other as long as the sender both live in the U.S.

If you are interested in sending money with low fees, we recommend TransferWise.

venmo card

Venmo was established over a decade ago in 2009 by Andrew Kortina and Iqram Magdon-Ismail. The two were college roommates having met randomly during their freshman year. This peer-to-peer payment service was initially started as a messaging platform to send and receive money. It later evolved to become a social payment app with several features.

Is Venmo Available in Australia?

No. Venmo is not availabe in Australia yet, however they may add more countries soon. We will update this page, as soon as Australia is added to their list of accepted countries.

At the moment there are three conditions you have to meet, when applying for an account:

  • You physically have to be located in the US
  • You can to have a US bank account
  • You need  US phone number.

Products

1.Make and Share Payments: Venmo allows you to send money to friends and family that also have a Venmo account using funds in your Venmo account. You can also link your account to the debit card or bank account to facilitate quick payments.

2. Connect with people: Using its integrated social element, you can interact with your contacts, send birthday gifts or even split dinners.

3. Make purchases: The Venmo account offers a payment method for purchases you make as long as the merchant accepts Venmo.

4. Transfer money to your bank: You move funds in your Venmo account to the bank if after linking the two.

Free Market

Venmo works on the two popular mobile operating systems – Android and iOS. It also works on the web platform. To get started, choose your platform and proceed to create an account with Venmo. Complete your profile by filling in the bank account details or even debit card for authentication.

You’ll be provided with an option to connect with friends that are already using the platform, usually through Facebook. The more information you enter, the higher your one-time transaction limit is, from a $300 weekly to $3,000.

Transacting funds between friends using Venmo

Before sending and receiving funds, Venmo must first identify your friends. The app scans through your contacts to find other Venmo users. You have the option to invite people you know to the service.

Venmo also imports your Facebook profile to create a potential friends list based on your Facebook friends. Making a payment on the app is straightforward. Just tap the bill icon then choose the friend. Select an option between asking for money (if he/she owes you) or paying money then write a short description for the transaction before sending the bill.

In the description field, you can use an emoji if you’re not feeling like writing words. There’s a confirmation button to give a green light for the transaction once you’re done. The app will send an alert if and when you have new pending debts or when your friend complies with your request.

You can also transact with non-friends on Facebook using the Venmo Codes feature. Point your phone’s camera at the other person’s QR code and proceed to send or request funds.

This may be a turn off to many, but Venmo makes your transactions visible by default. However, the app gives you an option to restrict the information to Participants Only under privacy and sharing setting.

More Features

You can also choose to prevent anyone from sharing your activity under the settings. If you’re one of those that don’t like clicking on the phone, scrolling to find the app before completing a transaction, you’ll love the next feature. You can use Siri on iOS to ask Venmo to pay your friends. Your phone will open the app for you, and from here, you can transact the funds.

Venmo keeps a running list of past transactions for tracking & reference purposes. Funds deposited to your account shows up in green whereas funds out of your account are in red. Since it is also a digital wallet, you can keep your fund on the app. The service allows you to complete payments through your bank account, debit card and credit card.

Also read:

Fees

We particularly like that Venmo has no fees for the following services:

  • Sending money from a debit card or bank account linked to your account.
  • Receiving money to your account
  • Using the standard transfer to your linked bank

Besides, the platform doesn’t charge any monthly or annual fees.

There is, however, a $2.50 fee for ATM withdrawals when out of network. It is free when in-network. Here is a round-up of all fees charged by Venmo:

  • 1% (min. $0.25 and max. 10) for instant electronic withdrawals depending on how you use your account
  • 3% for sending money to people using credit card
  • 3% for sending money to friends that use Venmo Purchase Program (using Venmo balance, bank or debit card)
  • $3.00 for over-the-counter cash withdrawal (bank or any other financial institution). The fee applies per signature withdrawal if a signature is required to obtain cash.

It is worth mentioning that if you have set up Direct Deposit and own a Venmo card, you’re automatically eligible for FDIC insurance.

Venmo Card

Venmo provides a debit card that comes with different functionalities to its users. It gives you an option to choose the card colour that suits you.

The platform tracks all your card purchases, so you don’t have to do the math. You can also share and split purchases with friends if they have Venmo accounts.

The Venmo card adds convenience when shopping as you can use it to pay. You automatically earn Venmo Rewards when you spend using the card. These rewards are only available for a short time at specific merchants on specific purchases. Earned rewards are sent to your account.

You have the option to disable the card if you misplace or lose it and enable it through the app when you find it.

The direct deposit feature allows paychecks to reflect in your account two days earlier than usual.

Customer Support

If you have any concerns and inquiries, you can get in touch with Venmo via email i.e.  [email protected].

If you have issues with your card, use the email address [email protected].

You can alternatively send a request on the website or use the mobile app to contact Venmo. The mobile app support is available Monday to Friday 7:00 am-1:00 am EST, and 9:00 am-11:00 pm EST on weekends.

Security

Venmo employs strong encryption to safeguard your information. The service also regularly monitors your account activity to identify suspicious or unauthorized transactions. Venmo gives you an option to sign out of the app if you suspect someone might try to access your account through the phone. Further, the app supports multifactor authentication so you can add a PIN code in the app for extra security.

Social commerce platform

Apart from a mobile payment application, Venmo also has a social platform where you can connect with your real friends. Here you can share shopping experiences. You and your friends can see, like, and comment on a shared purchase(s).

Pros and Cons of Venmo

Pros

  • Let’s you make quick transactions with friends on contacts list that have the app
  • It is reliable and popular since it is affiliated with PayPal (parent company)
  • The app is interactive and fun owing to the integrated social media element

Cons

  • You incur costly fees when you use a credit card incurs for each transaction as opposed to using a debit card
  • Venmo is only available in the U.S.
  • You can only transact funds between Venmo and Venmo
  • Lacks an ‘accept or reject payment’ option that can come in handy when you want to reject payments especially from friends

Conclusion

Venmo is a great digital wallet and payment method application that can serve you well, especially if your circle of friends are already using it. The platform doesn’t charge a lot of additional fees like other P2P mobile payment platforms. Besides, its mobile apps have a nice and user-friendly interface. The social element of the platforms makes it a fun and great way of transferring funds between your friends and co-workers.

Thinkorswim Review

Thinkorswim is a platform with a focus on self-directed stock, options, and futures traders.

thinkorswim australia

If you wish to engage in any of these investment vehicles, you may be wondering if this is the best platform for you.

Is Thinkorswim Available in Australia?

Unfortunately Thinkorswim is NOT available in Australia. If you want to start investing we recommend eToro, as an alternative.

AFSL 491139.Capital at risk. See PDS and TMD.

For some time, thinkorswim was available in Australia. However, TD Ameritrade took over the platform in 2009.

The platform closed Australian accounts and stopped taking on any new Australian traders. This is due to the financial legalities of offering trading services within Australia.

Therefore, at this time, Australian residents are unable to use the services offered by thinkorswim. Nevertheless, the situation could change in the future.

Best Thinkorswim Alternatives in Australia

Thinkorswim is unfortuantely not available in Australia, however you can check out these brokers instead. They accept Australian traders, and all of them are great choices.

HFTrading eToro
Headquarters New Zealand Cyprus
AU License ASIC #414198 ASIC #364264
Min. Deposit $50 $200
Demo Account
CFD Trading
AUD Forex Pairs
Info Best New Broker Best for Social Trading
Trust Score 4.8 4.7
Overall Winner
VISIT BROKER
VISIT BROKER

AFSL 491139.Capital at risk. See PDS and TMD.

How Does Thinkorswim Work?

To make an informed decision, you must first have access to the performance and features of thinkorswim. On this note, you will find all the facts and figures that you require below.

The thinkorswim platform is meant for pro traders. As such, it equips you with top-level tools and a dedicated trade desk. Furthermore, the platform also offers up insights as well as useful information to all traders. One of the main functions of the thinkorswim platform is to assure a customized experience for each and every trader.

The Thinkorswim Signup Process

As mentioned, thinkorswim is associated with TD Ameritrade. Thus, before doing anything else, you need to set up an account with the parent company. It is only then that you will be able to move forward with the thinkorswim platform.

Setting Up TD Ameritrade Account

To set up an account with TD Ameritrade, you first have to decide which account is right for you. The most common options with the agency are:

  • Individual brokerage
  • Joint Tenants WROS
  • Traditional IRA
  • Roth IRA
  • Rollover IRA
  • UTMA/UTMG

When opening an account with TD Ameritrade, you will be expected to provide different types of information. First and foremost, you will have to offer up contact details. Then, you will need to provide personal information and financial information.

There will then be a review of the process and you will have to sign agreements in accordance with TD Ameritrade conduct. Once these steps have been completed, you can move onto receiving your User ID and Security elements.

Downloading Thinkorswim

To use thinkorswim, you have to first download it onto your desktop. The software is compatible with virtually all operating systems and there is a download version for each one. Once the download and installation process has been completed, you can begin to use the software.

You have to first activate your account before you begin Live Trading. To do this, you will need to contact the Trade Desk and follow their instructions. The Trade Desk is available from Monday to Friday, 7 a.m. to 7 p.m.

The Thinkorswim Educational Features

The thinkorswim platform is geared towards more professional traders. At the same time, the behind-the-scenes trade team does make every effort to accommodate all traders. Due to this, you will plenty of learning features associated with this platform.

To begin with, there is a 30-minute, one-on-one demo. Here, someone from the Trade Team will walk you through all the finer points of the platform. This will outline the most important features of thinkorswim.

You also have plenty of other educational resources including the Learning Centre. Here, you can find tutorials and guides that will make it easier to maneuver thinkorswim. There is also the thinkManual, and daily thinkorswim Lessons. The Wading Pool offers up webcasts that help you understand the basics of the platform.

The Thinkorswim Planning Features

The thinkorswim developers appreciate that you can only increase your chances of trading success with proper planning. As such, you are provided with many different planning features. For instance, you have access to a great deal more data, improving the efficiency of your charts.

With thinkorswim, you can pull data from over 400 studies, including candlestick, resistance and profile charts. In case you are looking for something a bit more advanced, you have the option to select monkey bars and renko charts.

You also get economic data straight from the Fed. This means that you have access to 400,000 data points that can help you identify new key indicators, making it easier for you to chart them over time. You can get information on leaders in the industry, uncovering company revenue drivers. You can make hypothetical adjustments for various departments and determine what will happen.

Perhaps the most useful planning tool for thinkorswim, though, is the paperMoney practice account. Here, you are provided with $100,000 virtual money to practice your various strategies. Depending on the results, you can adjust them accordingly.

The Thinkorswim Trading Features

Then, there are the actual trading features. One of the top benefits of using thinkorswim is that it gives you the opportunity to trade with a variety of products. This includes options, equities, options on futures, ETFs, futures, and forex.

Thinkorswim provides you with the option of improving your analysis as well. The thinkScript feature lets you build your own order execution as well as strategic testing algorithms. As such, you can determine how various scenarios will play out.

You can define custom attributes for stocks and then scan those that meet your requirements. The unnecessary ones can be easily filtered out by using technical, fundamental, and option related data. A feature called the Sizzle Index can quickly compare the day’s movements against a five day average volume and volatility. Therefore, you can spot unusual conditions without any problems.

The Earnings Tool lets you compare old incomes per share, the resulting impact on options prices, as well as the original estimates. You can then determine particular trends before making your move. With the help of custom alerts, you will never be left out of the loop again. You will be immediately informed when your preferred parameters are met, letting you strike then and there.

The Top Alternatives

Thinkorswim isn’t currently available in Australia. Due to this, you may be looking for alternatives that are a little closer to home. If this is the case, you can consider the following options:

CommSec

This is a great option if you want to maximize your trading opportunities while simultaneously reducing how much you pay in return. To begin with, this is an adaptation of the Commonwealth Bank. As a result, you can do more than just trade with stocks – you also have the means to create watch lists and place orders. Best of all, there are virtually no fees involved. Only if you enjoy returns over $1000 are you expected to pay just $2 to the app. On top of this, this app boasts some of the best security features available.

Westpac Online Investing

Here, you have the ability to trade various shares, commodities, and funds. This app gives you access to global markets such as New York Stock Exchange, London Stock Exchange, NASDAQ, and more. While there is a brokerage fee, you don’t have to pay anything for account maintenance. And, the fees are worthwhile considering the efficacy of the app. If you are someone who likes to minimize the risk involved with investing, you will enjoy the tools that provide you with real-life alerts on various movements.

CMC Markets Stockbroking

This platform works equally well for beginner and more experienced traders alike. One of the main benefits is that you can trade with a significant selection of stock. Furthermore, you are treated to real-time news, live feeds, and customized orders. This is a renowned platform, making it far easier to put your trust in it.

This is what you need to know about the Thinkorswim platform. It is an excellent choice for experienced traders who want to make the most of any information that is available to them. It has plenty of features that ensure you can improve and grow as a trader. In this way, it is certainly one of the best platforms available today.

M1 Finance Review

The first step in your investment journey is to find the right platform. As a result, you may be wondering if M1 Finance is an option for you.

m1finance australia

Before you make this decision, it is important to understand the premise behind the platform and to get a better idea of its features.

M1 Finance is not available in Australia yet. However eToro is an even better alternative, if you want to start investing online.

AFSL 491139.Capital at risk. See PDS and TMD.

To do this, simply check the details mentioned below:

How Does M1 Finance Work?

M1 Finance has three areas of focus – investing, borrowing, and cash management. The three services are combined on a single platform, ensuring that you can seamlessly access each element at any given time.

With M1 Finance, you can:

  • Build your portfolio for free
  • Schedule weekly, biweekly, or monthly deposits
  • Access a flexible portfolio line of credit after certain portfolio value
  • Use M1 Spend checking account for loan repayment, direct deposits, and automatic investments

M1 Finance is mostly involved in what is known as pie investing. This is when the platform works to ensure that you are engaged in balanced investing.

The pies show you the distribution of your assets and holdings.

Is It Available in Australia?

There is some confusion about whether M1 Finance is available in Australia. This is because it is possible to access the site and download the app regardless of where you are. Despite this, it appears that this platform isn’t currently available in Australia.

To begin with, the company hasn’t provided any information about a support system in Australia. Furthermore, it is stated that only US citizens or US permanent residents with a current US mailing address can open up an account with the site.

Nevertheless, as the popularity of this platform grows, it could become available in Australia.

M1 Finance Disadvantages

M1 Finance is a popular investment platform that offers a range of features and benefits for investors, including commission-free trading, fractional shares, and customizable portfolios. However, as mentioned in the fact above, there are some disadvantages to using this platform that investors should be aware of.

One of the main drawbacks of M1 Finance is that it does not offer human advisor support. While the platform provides a range of tools and resources to help investors make informed decisions, it may not be the best option for those who prefer to work with a professional financial advisor.

Another disadvantage of M1 Finance is that it does not provide tax-loss harvesting. This feature allows investors to offset capital gains with capital losses, potentially reducing their tax liability. While some other investment platforms offer this feature, M1 Finance does not.

Finally, M1 Finance is limited in the types of investments it offers. The platform currently only supports stocks, ETFs, and cryptocurrencies. This may be a disadvantage for investors who are interested in other types of investments, such as bonds, mutual funds, or alternative assets.

It’s important to note that while these disadvantages may be significant for some investors, M1 Finance still offers a range of benefits and features that may make it a good option for others. For example, the platform’s customizable portfolios and fractional shares can be a great way to build a diversified investment portfolio with minimal fees.

Ultimately, whether or not M1 Finance is the right platform for you will depend on your individual investment goals and preferences. It’s important to research and compare different investment platforms before making any investment decisions, and to choose the platform that best meets your needs and priorities.

The Signup Process

Here is a breakdown of the signup process:

Registering an Account

Registering an account with M1 Finance is fairly straightforward. You simply have to provide an email address and a password. There are no fees included to sign up with this platform. At this point, it is possible for you to open an IRA account as well as a general investing account.

If you sign up for your account during normal business hours, the account will be opened immediately. In case you attempt to do it at other times, the account will only be opened the next business day. In the event that your account is flagged for any reason, it may take up to five business days for it to be opened.

Establishing Portfolio Preferences

The moment that you have opened your account, you will need to point out your portfolio preferences. The platform will provide you with some preselected investment categories. These will be selected according to your profile.

There are several prebuilt pies on the platform. Nevertheless, you do have the option to customize them as you see fit. To do this, you will need to amend your portfolio and change up your investment categories.

Selecting Your Account

Your next step will involve selecting from different brokerage accounts and some IRAs. Once you have done this, you will need to provide the platform with several details. This includes your social security number, birth date, and details about your assets and income.

Funding Your Account

The final step involves funding your account. This will involve linking your M1 Finance account to your bank account. After this, you will be able to directly move funds into and out of your M1 account. This particular step is carried about by a third-party system to keep all your information secure.

M1 Finance Invest Features

One of the main features of M1 Finance is the Invest element. Here are the top features:

Free Investing

One of the main advantages of this platform is that there are absolutely no fees included when investing. As such, you aren’t required to pay any fees whenever you trade. At the same time, you will not be charged a commission either.

M1 Finance goes one step further – there aren’t any annual fees involved in the platform. Also, there are no charges involved with selling your securities either.

Numerous Accounts

There are four types of financial accounts that you can open on this platform:

  • Individual: this is an individual taxable account that can be set up for general purpose investing needs.
  • Joint: this is where you can set up an account with a spouse, relative, or a domestic partner.
  • IRA: you can select from traditional, ROTH, and SEP IRAs.
  • Trust: you can manage your trust accounts via M1 Trust Account.

The Pie

As mentioned, M1 Finance is involved in pie investing. Due to this, you have the option of selecting either customizing your pies or choosing from professionally designed pies known as Expert Pies.

Expert Pies are based on evidence-based systems that are used by successful brokerages and advisors. You can select from pies based on your desired outcome. Thus, you can select ones that will either help you reach certain financial goals, minimize risk, or invest with whole industries more easily.

With custom pies, it is up to you to decide which categories to invest in. Once you have selected your investments, you can pick your desired weight – these percentages will be dedicated according to your portfolio’s current standing.

Whenever you fund your portfolio, the money will automatically be added to your investments depending on your target asset location. The money will also go into each investment to balance out your targets according to your initial plan.

M1 Finance alternatives include Xoom, Thinkorswim and Betterment.

M1 Finance Borrow Features

The Borrow feature on this platform allows you to optimize your money management. It is possible for you to borrow up to 35 percent of your portfolio and pay it back on a scheduled basis.

With M1 Borrow, you can do the following:

  • Fund Expensive Purchases: you can fund personal purchases without having to take money away from your investments. The flexible borrowing options ensure that you can borrow the money for virtually any purchase.
  • Refinance Current Debt: you can refinance any kind of loan such an auto loan, mortgage, or student loan. In doing so, you can enjoy lower payments and flexible due dates.
  • Add Leverage to Portfolio: you can invest even further and increase your returns.

M1 Finance Spend Features

As mentioned, you can link up your bank account to your M1 Finance account. When you do this, you can experience the following advantages:

  • No annual fee
  • ATM fees covered once a month
  • No balance minimum
  • FDIC insurance up to $250,000

The Top Alternatives

As M1 Finance is currently not available in Australia, you may be looking for other alternatives. In this case, here are your top options:

Raiz

This is an ideal platform for beginner investors who have very little money to invest. You can invest as little as $5, while simultaneously standing the chance to make a decent profit. Here, the platform will look at your purchases and round up the number – the difference is placed into your investing account so that it can accumulate.

SelfWealth

Here, you can buy shares at a flat rate. As a result, you don’t incur any hidden costs whenever you place a trade. Furthermore, the general setup and layout of this platform make it easy for novice investors to manage. The only issue is that you only have access to approved, local, bank and markets.

Plus 500

This is a great option for a trader that wants a platform that will grow with them. The Plus 500 CFD platform has different features for traders of all levels. It also offers CFDs over a number of instruments, allowing you to broaden your trading horizons. The fees for this platform are higher than most others.

This is what you need to know about M1 Finance. It is clear that it is a useful option for newer investors who want to learn the ropes of the industry. This platform makes it incredibly easy to invest and keep track of your portfolio. Thus, if you are new to financing, this is one of the better options available to you.

Cash App Australia

If you’re interested in Cash App Australia this article is for you. However, Cash App is not available in some countries.

cashapp australia

Below, we’ll find out if it’s available in Australia and whether you should use it or not.

Update 2024: CashApp is still not available in Australia. If you are looking for a similar Australian platform to make investments, take a look at eToro.

AFSL 491139.Capital at risk. See PDS and TMD.

Update 2: Looks like CashApp started hiring in Australia. It looks like they will accept Australians soon. Make sure to bookmark this page and stay up to date.

Best Cash App Alternative in Australia

If you’re looking for a reliable alternative to Cash App in Australia, then Wise is your best bet.

Here’s why.

Wise offers a no-nonsense way to send money both domestically and internationally without any hidden fees or unfavourable exchange rates. This means you can send money to your friends and family abroad without worrying about getting ripped off.

And that’s not all.

Wise also has a multi-currency account that allows you to manage up to 50 different currencies all in one place. So if you’re someone who often deals with multiple currencies, this feature will save you from a world of hassle. No more opening separate bank accounts in different countries or dealing with cumbersome exchange rates.

Plus, Wise has a user-friendly mobile app and website that makes it super easy to manage your money, keep tabs on your transactions, and monitor exchange rates. And don’t even get me started on the security – your personal and financial information is safeguarded by top-of-the-line encryption technology.

wise austalia

But the real kicker?

Wise offers competitive exchange rates and charges a minimal fee for its services. This makes it an affordable option for both personal and business purposes. So why settle for anything less when you can have Wise on your side?

In short, Wise is the smart choice for anyone who wants to manage their money efficiently and save some cash while they’re at it.

Wise is awesome. Visit Wise.

What Is Cash App?

It lets you send and receive cash. However, it does so much more as you can invest as well. Unfortunately, you can’t pay your bills or top-up reloads, like with Xoom.

It wasn’t always called Cash App. It used to be known as Square Cash and was developed by Square Inc.

Easily, the app is one of the leading ways to transfer funds. In February 2018, they stated that they had over 7 million active users. This is an amount that many of its competitors can’t beat.

One of the reasons it became popular was due to its business accounts. In 2015, Cash App (then known as Square Cash) allowed businesses to create accounts for this purpose. It also introduced the $cashtag, which we all know and love.

Over the years, the company allowed Bitcoin to be traded, and in 2018, allowed for direct deposits.

They came into being in 2013. It’s been 7 years and it’s clear that Cash App has made a name for itself.

Is Cash App Available In Australia?

Unfortunately, it’s not available in Australia. However, it isn’t available in most countries as you can only make an account if you’re from the UK or the US.

How Do you Sign Up?

Although it’s an app, you can open an account through their website.

  • First, you’ll have to enter your mobile number or email address. This is to verify your identity
  • With the verification process done, you’ll be asked to include your bank details
  • After entering your debit card details, add your full name
  • With that done, create a user name

Sending money is easy. All you do is get the recipient’s user name and add a designated account. Once they click accept, they’ll receive the funds.

You Can Easily Send Cash

The best thing is that you can send cash to anyone. Even if they don’t have an account, you can send them a link that will create an account for them, and let them accept whatever you just sent.

There are limits to sending cash. You can’t send over $7500 a week or $17,500 a month. Truth be told, this isn’t that bad.

Save Money

You can save money with the Cash App. There is a feature called Cash Boost. When making payments with your Cash App account, the feature lets you take advantage of discounts. It’s handy, but know that the discounts aren’t too big. They’re only available with a certain number of vendors.

This isn’t all. You can only use one boost at a time. If you want, you can swap it with your friend, and vice versa.

If you haven’t guessed it yet, you can only use the feature when you have Cash App’s cash card.

You Get A Debit Card

One of the many perks of using Cash App is that you get a debit card. The card is used by Sutton Bank. With it by your side, you can make a range of payments. This is a feature that many users appreciate and you won’t have your private card or bank details linked to the account.

Get Free Money

Without much effort, you can get a lot of cash with the app. All you have to do is send a link to the app. When they sign up with your referral code, you get $5 added to your account. It isn’t a one-time thing. The more friends you get to sign up, the more cash you’ll get.

It’s great for your friends too. They’ll receive $10 when they create the account.

There Are No Fees

A major perk of using Cash App is the fact that you don’t have to pay anything. When it comes to their competitors, many of them charge a fee for sending and receiving. Their services are free too, so you’ll not be charged a monthly subscription. This isn’t the case with the app’s competitors.

If you’re a fan of sending cash through your credit card, we have some bad news for you. You’ll be charged 3% of whatever you just sent. Although this could seriously dent your wallet, it’s not the worst thing. It’s quite normal when it comes to money transfer services.

You Can Trade Bitcoin

In this day and age, Bitcoin is one of the best ways to make cash. Instead of using an online broker, you can use Cash App to make purchases. You can easily make a lot of money this way. However, there aren’t detailed guides for you to use. So, you’ll have to study up on your own.

There are fees you have to pay when buying and selling bitcoins. The first is a flat rate. These are service fees, while the second is a variable that depends on how volatile the market is. Depending on this, you could be paying a lot, so keep this in mind.

Their Services Are Encrypted

You’re sending cash online. You want to be safe when doing so. This is possible with the app as they are heavily encrypted. However, there is something you should know. The cash in your account is not insured. Many people might assume it is because their account is linked to Sutton Bank. This is not true and could affects people’s decisions to work with the company.

Invest In Stocks

Not only can you buy Bitcoins, but you can also invest in stocks. Cash App lets you purchase them with your Cash App account. You can buy stocks for whatever price you want. This is great as many online brokers have fixed amounts.

If you don’t have enough cash in your Cash App account, don’t fret. The app lets you tap into your personal account.

Withdraw Cash For Free

You can also withdraw cash from an ATM for free. This depends though. You can only do this if you’ve set up a direct deposit. If not, you’ll be charged a fee. Thankfully, it isn’t much as it’s usually $2.

Get Easy Help

Cash App has a very organized FAQ section. It’s one of the easiest to read, and best of all, the answers are succinct. However, there are times that you might need a more thorough answer. So, keep this in mind.

Unfortunately, they don’t have a customer service line. Although the FAQ section is great, the number of customers who’ve had issues with the app are quite high. As you can imagine, this has turned quite a few people away from working with them.

Are There Any Alternatives?

Yes, Cash App is easy to use, with a multitude of benefits, but there’s an alternative that is just as good.

Venmo

Venmo is easily Cash App’s biggest competitor. They have an app as well, which is owned by PayPal. Like Cash App, they’re not available worldwide. You have to be from the US if you want to use their services. They also have a 3% fee for credit cards. Other than that, they are free.

To send cash, you have to link your real account. This isn’t too surprising. You can only send $3000 a week. This amount is much less than what Cash App lets you send.

Similarly, you get a debit card. You can either have the cash deposited in your Venmo account or have it transferred to your bank account.

Conclusion

All in all, Cash App helps you save time. They also help you save cash with their Cash Boost feature. Let’s not forget that you can make a pretty penny as well, either through investing or referring your friends to the service.

Unfortunately, as said previously it’s still not available in Australia. Lets hope they will accept Aussies soon.

Xoom Review

Are you interested in using Xoom Australia? Well, many users are crazy over it too.

xoom australia

This is to be expected as Xoom is one of the most popular ways to send and receive cash.

They’ve been around for a while, so they certainly know what they’re doing. That’s why we’ll be taking a look at the American giant below.

What Is Xoom?

It’s an electronic fund transferring system. With it by your side, you can send cash, pay bills and even reload mobile numbers.

The service was created in the United States and is based in San Francisco, California. They came into being in 2001 and have been highly successful. That being said, Xoom isn’t an independent company anymore. They were until November 2015, when PayPal bought them. They acquired the company for $1.09 billion.

Cash can either be sent through a computer or Xoom’s mobile app. What’s great is the fact that you can send it to pick up locations, not just bank accounts.

Xoom’s services aren’t free as you’re charged for transfers. Depending on the method you’re using, this can either be a little or a lot. This isn’t too surprising as many of the company’s competitors do this too.

They are strict when it comes to money laundering and fraud. Hence, you’ll need to verify your identity.

Is Xoom Available In Australia?

You can send cash to Australia. However, you can’t send cash from the country. Xoom doesn’t allow a number of other countries to transfer money as well.

How Do You Create An Account?

Since it’s owned by the company, you use your PayPal account to create an account with them. If you don’t have a PayPal account, don’t worry. All you have to do is enter your:

  • First name
  • Last name
  • Mobile number
  • Location
  • Email address

Once you do this, you’ll receive an email to verify your identity. After this, you can use their services but to an extent. If you want full access, you’ll have to send your personal documents as well.

These are:

  • Passport, national ID card, driver’s license or residential permit
  • Utility bills to verity your address
  • Bank statement or a payment stub

The documents needed differ per country. For example, if you’re American, you may also need your Green Card.

Xoom Is Easy To Use

They have agents around the world. So, if you ever face a problem, you’ll always find someone to help you. As of now, they have support centers that can handle calls in English, Spanish, French, and Filipino. The fact that it’s 24/7 support means you don’t have to worry.

They aren’t just easy to reach, they’re helpful too. Many of Xoom’s users have stated that the service has friendly and informative workers.

If you’re not fond of calling customer support, you can get your questions answered through their FAQ section.

Their website makes Xoom easy to use as well. You’ll notice a clean design, which anyone would appreciate. It showcases all the delivery options, costs, and speeds that you can utilize in your country. Such a feature is more than useful.

If you regularly use Xoom, the site would be optimized for you. The moment you log on, you’ll see a quick transfer button. It’ll send cash to whoever you’ve been working with recently.

Let’s not forget that their app is just as good. It’s known for its responsiveness and ease-of-use, which isn’t something money transferring apps are known for.

Xoom Has A Range Of Transfer Methods

A feature everyone loves about them is their transferring methods. You can send cash to someone’s bank account, arrange for a cash pick up, or even send money directly to their house. The latter is everyone’s favourite but it’s only available in a few countries.

Many transferring services don’t allow users to send small sums, but you can do this on Xoom. The minimum amount you can send is $10. On the opposite end of the spectrum, you can send a lot of cash. They allow transfers for up to $25,000 a day.

That being said, not all users can send such a sum. You can only send $3000 if you have a basic account (not verified your identity).

Xoom Is Fast

The majority of the time, your transfers are received in a matter of minutes. Depending on the country you’re sending to, this might be quicker, or vice versa. The service is fast all around, even with bank transfers.

As mentioned, the speed depends on the country you’re transferring to. Some countries can accept payments days later.

Speaking of the countries you can send to, the company allows for 70.

Xoom Is Affordable (To An Extent)

If you’re sending cash through your bank account, you won’t be charged much. It’s around $5 which is not as bad as Xoom’s competitors. What’s best is that the amount is the same no matter how big or small your amount is.

This is great, but the service is known for having high markup rates. They’re above the mid-market rate, and at times, 3% higher. This is unfortunate as a range of transferring services have markups that are less than the mid-market rate.

You’ll need to pay $90 to send cash through your credit card. This isn’t the only sum you could be charged. Depending on your credit card provider, there may be additional fees. Unfortunately, the $90 is only when you’re transferring $3000. If you’re sending more, it can double.

Xoom Is Safe

When sending cash online, you want to be safe. You can do this with Xoom as they’re fully licensed and authorized. They have a large corporation backing them up with PayPal. This is why they have a multitude of positive reviews.

Xoom Is More Than Cash Transfers

The service lets you pay bills as well. They aren’t utility bills, but for private companies. This service is only available for several countries. They are:

  • Costa Rice
  • Dominican Republic
  • El Salvador
  • Guatemala
  • Honduras
  • Jamaica
  • Mexico
  • Vietnam
  • Nicaragua

You can also pay for reloads. Once again, this is only available in some countries. However, it’s much larger than the selection of countries you can pay bills in. What’s more, if your reload doesn’t work, the company promises your money back.

Are There Any Alternatives?

Xoom is great, but there are several equally great alternatives out there. These are WorldRemit and TransferWise

WordRemit

Like Xoom, WordRemit is known for their less than great mark up rates. However, their fees aren’t that bad. They are also a fully licensed and authorized company, so you have nothing to worry about.

You can send cash to a bank account, have it picked up, or send the cash to a mobile bank account. Similarly, you can pay for reloads.

They’re known to have one of the best customer services in the game, even better than Xoom’s.

Moreover, cash is sent instantly, but at times it can take a week. Although this is not the best, it’s the same with Xoom.

WordRemit is certainly not hard to use, but Xoom is known to have a better UI.

TransferWise

Once again, TransferWise doesn’t have the most competitive markup rates. However, their transfer fee is great as you only have to pay a percentage of what you’re sending. For example, it’s 0.35%, along with £0.80 fees if you’re sending pounds to euros.

WordRemit has a very easy-to-use site, on par with Xoom. They’re trustworthy as they’re licensed and authorized. It wouldn’t an alternative if it didn’t have great customer service. The best thing is that customer support is also available in multiple languages.

Conclusion

Xoom is one of the leading electronic fund transfer services out there. They’ve been at it for 19 years, after all. Whether you want to send cash, pay a bill or top up your phone, it should be your go-to.

 

Betterment Review

If you’re looking to work with Betterment Australia is one of the best places to do so. Betterment is a leading robot-advisor, after all.

It’s known for its expert cash management tactics and is very goal-oriented. However, is it available in the country? And is it worth buying? Read ahead to find out.

betterment australia

Betterment Overview

The platform helps with cash management through savings advice and investing. It does this by gathering information from you. This is done through easy to read questions that are no hassle.

Depending on the goal you’ve set, you’re given investment portfolios. Users love how extensive they are, and you will too.

You can link Betterment to multiple bank accounts. This can be done through Betterment’s Cash Reserve system. As you can imagine, you can track your expenditure greatly. This also allows for some detailed projections.

Overall, the brand is doing very well. They’ve been around since 2008, being created in New York City. They’ve lasted 12 years and will keep making new strides.

Is Betterment Available In Australia?

As you’ll see, it’s a platform that is quite useful. However, it’s not available outside the United States. You either need to be an American citizen or resident to utilize it. You could use one of its alternatives, but many of them aren’t available in Australia either.

While Betterment may not be available in Australia, there are other investment platforms that offer similar features and benefits. Here are some alternatives to Betterment that Australian investors can consider:

  1. Stockspot: Stockspot is a digital investment adviser that uses algorithms to create and manage portfolios for its clients. It offers a range of investment options, including diversified portfolios of exchange-traded funds (ETFs), and provides personalized advice and support.
  2. Raiz: Raiz is a micro-investment app that allows users to invest their spare change in diversified portfolios of ETFs. It also offers regular investment options and a range of features, including round-ups, recurring investments, and a referral program.
  3. Spaceship Voyager: Spaceship Voyager is an investment app that offers a range of diversified portfolios of Australian and international stocks and ETFs. It also provides educational resources and insights to help users make informed investment decisions.
  4. Vanguard: Vanguard is a global investment management company that offers a range of investment products, including index funds and ETFs. Its low-cost index funds and ETFs can be a good option for Australian investors looking to invest in diversified portfolios of Australian and international stocks.
  5. SelfWealth: SelfWealth is a low-cost online share trading platform that allows investors to buy and sell shares in Australian and international companies. It also provides access to a range of research tools and insights to help investors make informed decisions.

While these platforms may not offer the exact same features and benefits as Betterment, they can provide a convenient and cost-effective way for Australian investors to invest in diversified portfolios of stocks and ETFs. It’s important to research and compare the features and fees of each platform before making any investment decisions.

Similar Apps

Without a doubt, Betterment is a powerhouse of a robo-advisor. However, there are some great alternatives out there. Here are even more apps that are similar:

Ellevest

Ellevest is known to be Betterment’s biggest competitor. Unlike Betterment, it isn’t for everyone. It’s a robo-advisor made for women, by women.

Betterment helps you save for goals. This isn’t the case with its counterpart. You save for challenges that you may face as a woman. In the process, you’ll have access to financial planners and career consultants. Similarly, there are no minimum deposits for Ellevest Digital. However, for premium accounts, you need to make a minimum deposit of $50,000.

Also read: Webull Review and Quietgrowth Review

They both charge the same fees. Ellevest digital charges 0.25% per $2 million, annually. However, premium takes 0.50% which is 0.10% more than what Betterment takes.

They’re known to be more helpful as they have a fully dedicated resource center. However, Ellevest’s support can only be contacted during office hours. Although Betterment gives you future projections, Ellevest is known more for its accuracy.

Wealthfront

Unfortunately, there’s a minimum balance. This is $500, which is considerable.

What’s great about Betterment is that you get access to CFPs, which you don’t with Wealthfront. Moreover, they only allow digital financial planning, while Betterment has a premium feature as well.

In both platforms, you get charged 0.25% annually. Wealthfront is known for its college saving plans. As of now, there are over 529 of them.

Like any good robot advisor, they have a cash reserve system that lets interest collects. As of now, 0.29% gets added, which isn’t bad.

How Do You Sign Up For Betterment?

When signing up, you’ll have to pick between Betterment’s

  • Retirement
  • Cash
  • Investing options

If you click Cash, you’d be asked for your email address, then you’ll have to create a password, and fill in basic account details.

If you choose retirement or investment, you’ll be asked a series of questions. For example, whether you’re retired, and how old you are. After the questions are done, you’ll be asked for your email address, password and account details as before.

No Account Minimum

Betterment doesn’t have a minimum deposit. You don’t have to pay a minimum deposit when it comes to digital accounts.

If you have a Betterment Premium account, you need to make quite a large deposit. It should be $100,000. However, the premium account lets you contact CFPs, which is worth it.

You can make quite a bit of cash with Betterment. They provide a 0.3% interest rate for whatever you’ve collected. It is saved in their Cash Reserve system. However, the interest rate could differ. So, you could be making more.

The money is also secured. Betterment allows for a $1 million FDIC insurance coverage.

Have An In-depth Retirement Plan

You’ll have to link all your bank accounts to utilize its retirement planning feature. It uses them to tell you how well you’re saving. It also analyzes your funds and gives you a rundown of the best retirement plans you could use.

A tool everyone finds useful is Betterment’s projection of when you’ll be able to retire. It also tells you how extensive this plan will be.

Do You Want To Donate?

Betterment takes your appreciated shares and lets you donate them to charities associated with them. In total, there are 11 you could choose from.

However, this isn’t the biggest benefit. Your tax return will be less too. The giving would fall under your deductibles.

Manage Your Cash

As mentioned, you can have multiple bank accounts linked to the platform. Not only does this help with your retirement fund, but it also helps with general cash management. Whatever the platform sees as excess cash, it transfers to your savings accounts.

As it tracks them, it would see if your bank accounts are low on cash. It’ll transfer money to them if this is the case.

It can do this automatically, which is why you should opt for SMS notifications. This lets you stop transfers before they take place.

Save The Most Cash

With Betterment by your side, you can save a lot. It asks you a range of goal setting questions, giving the algorithm a better idea of how you work. This allows it to come up with how much you should be spending for your retirement fund and gives you an amount that would act as a safety net for the year.

If you want, you can add more goals and come up with more savings options. The best thing is, Betterment would auto-deposit funds from your account to reach these goals. So, you’ll never have to worry about keeping up with them.

Get Great Advice

You may want to save. This is why the platform has a resource center. It doesn’t just provide detailed guides, but live calls with CFPs as well. Unfortunately, the calls aren’t free. You’ll have to pay at least $200, depending on the package.

The CFP would you take through everything you need to know about savings, including retirement and health plans. Depending on the package, the duration of the call would vary. If you paid $199, it would be 45 mins. If you paid $299, it would be an hour.

Now, you may not know what a CFP is. It stands for Certified Financial Planner and Betterment has professionals who’ve been in the game for a very long time.

Betterment Is Not Expensive

There are 2 types of payment plans. The first is for Betterment Digital, while the other is for Betterment Premium. The former has a 0.25% annual fee, while the latter has a 0.40% annual fee.

This isn’t too bad considering that the digital package lets you access the platform’s standard tools while the latter lets you access CFPs.

If you have an account balance of over $2 million, you will be charged. However, it will not be high. For a digital account, it’s 0.15% while for premium, it is 0.30%.

If you funded the 2 million before September 2018, you won’t be charged management fees.

Invest A Lot

The platform is smart with their investment choices. They use ETFs, representing 12 different asset classes. Their investment philosophy is based on the modern portfolio theory, which allows for a diverse investment range.

The platform lets you work with the best companies. Betterment screens them, letting you find companies with less than great track records. Thus, you can avoid them.

Conclusion

Betterment is an amazing platform to use if you want to improve your cash management. It’s especially great if you have specific goals you want to save for. Unfortunately, it’s not available in Australia.

Quietgrowth Review

There is no shortage of robo-advisor platforms for investors looking to leverage automated investment. Of these many options available is QuietGrowth – an online investment service.

quietgrowth australia

A robo-advisor uses algorithms rather than human brainpower to monitor and evaluate investment trends. The service then makes an investment recommendation based on the client’s portfolio preferences.

Now that you get the gist of it let’s get back to QuietGrowth. In this article, we shall review QuietGrowth – one of the popular and leading robo-advisor. Let’s get started.

What’s QuietGrowth?

QuietGrowth is a robo advice online platform that makes investments that measure up to your risk tolerance and financial goals on your behalf. The platform was founded in 2014, and its leading executives are Dilip Sankarreddy & Krupakar Chinnasani.

QG’s investment portfolio is composed of 8 low-cost passive Exchange Traded Funds that are spread across six asset classes. QuietGrowth offers four different accounts i.e. Individual, Trust, SMSF, and Joint.

So long as you meet the eligibility criteria (we shall get to that in a minute), you can get started today with an investment fund as low as $2,000. For the optimized returns, QuietGrowth charges you a small service fee.

Robo-advisors have gained immense popularity in the US and other countries. In terms of advancement, QuietGrowth is among the leading robo advisor in Australia. It is your go-to financial advisor if you prefer automated investments or can’t afford a financial manager.

Is it available in Australia?

QuietGrowth is based in Sydney, New South Wales. Its services are available to investors (including individual investors), brokers, managed accounts, and also investment clubs. QG also offers individually tailored advice to its clients besides managing funds.

Sign-up process

First, you need to choose the account type that you will be using. The account types offered are: Individual, Joint, SMSF and Trust.

To get started, visit QuietGrowth’s website using your computer or phone. You will see a conspicuous ‘Evaluate your risk’ brown option at the top right-hand side of the homepage.

Clicking on it will redirect to a new menu. You will be prompted with the four different options to choose from.

The Individual account, you will be independently investing by yourself. The joint account is primarily for couples that want to invest in a single account. The SMSF account supports either you (individually) or you and your partner to invest through a self-managed super fund. The Trust account works just like the SMSF account, except you will be investing through a trust.

For individual and joint accounts, you will be required to provide a W-BEN form. The other two require a W-8BEN-E form.

Depending on the type of account you choose, you will be asked a number of questions. They are meant to assess and determine your risk tolerance.

These questions include your age, annual income, annual savings, the value of your investments (cash and liquid), and liabilities as well, the projection of your income, and your investment preference in terms of gain or loss.

You will also be asked a question on how you will play a situation where your investment loses its value. Based on your answers, QG will calculate your risk tolerance and present you with your diversified portfolio.

At this point, you will be provided with the Create Account option. Fill in your details (including the referral code if you have one) and then submit your application. Other details you will be required to provide are your contact information, residential & email address, tax file number, and birth date.

Saxo Capital Market holds the investment amount you fund into your account in an account operated by the HSBC Bank. The SCM venture is QuietGrowth’s partner. All the clients’ funds are pooled together, albeit one client’s funds can’t be used to level out the loss of a different client.

Can you open multiple accounts?

At QuietGrowth, you are at liberty to open as many accounts as you wish, provided you meet the minimum deposit amount for each of the accounts. Note that you don’t incur any charges for the initial $10,000 portfolio value of the first portfolio. This only applies to the first QuietGrowth account.

Deposits

QuietGrowth supports several funding methods i.e.

  • Electronic Funds Transfer
  • BPAY
  • Direct debit
  • Cheque

Withdrawal

There’s no restriction on when you can withdraw your funds. Withdrawals are made via the website, and you will be required to avail the signed withdrawal form. Generally, withdrawals take about 2 to 5 days to be processed.

The minimum amount you can withdraw is $3,000 whilst maintaining the threshold portfolio value of $3,000.

Fees charged

Below is QuietGrowth’s fee breakdown:

  • First $10,000 – Free
  • $10,001 to $30,000 – 0.6%
  • $30,001 to $200,000 – 0.5%s
  • $200,001 and above – 0.4%

All the rates are charged annually.

You are not charged any other fees i.e. contract, registration, advisory, or brokerage contract.

Investment Methodology

The investment methodology complementing QuietGrowth’s algorithm is robust. By dint of Dilip’s association with The University of Chicago, the platform observes adherence to the Chicago School of Thoughts. Here is a breakdown of the platform’s investment approach:

  • A risk assessment to determine the client’s risk tolerance
  • Evaluation of the different asset classes
  • Finding the optimal and suitable mix of the asset classes
  • Determination of the befitting Exchange Traded Funds for the chosen asset classes
  • Building a personalized portfolio while keeping in mind the client’s risk tolerance
  • Continuous management of the constructed portfolio

Most people often ask how QuietGrowth determines the ETFs to sell when you request a withdrawal. Well, QuietGrowth will sell ETFs based on a criterion that minimizes tax liability and rebalances your portfolio.

How many portfolios does QuietGrowth offer?

The platform provides five low to high-risk portfolios. Your funds are invested by acquiring a stake in the 8 ETFs offered. The ETFs are spread across six asset classes i.e. Shares, International Developed & Emerging Market Shares, Dividend Shares, Bonds, and Natural Resources.

Can you select your own EFTs to invest in?

QuietGrowth limits you when it comes to ETFs you can invest in. It restricts you to a specific EFTs range.

Besides, QuietGrowth has a mobile application for both iOS and Android users on the respective stores for convenience purposes.

Customer Support

To get in touch with QuietGrowth either for registration, inquiries, or complaints, you can go to their website. Alternatively, you can use other social platforms such as LinkedIn, Twitter, or Facebook.

On the website, you will find a comprehensive FAQ section that is very useful. You are likely to get the solutions to your issues here without any hassle.

What are the best alternatives?

The best alternatives to QuietGrowth locally are Six Park, Stockspot, and Republic Capital. All three are based in Australia. Six Park was founded in 2014 and is headquartered in Melbourne.

Stockspot was founded a year before QuietGrowth but is also based in Sydney. Republic was founded in 2014 and is based in Miller Point.

Is QuietGrowth safe?

The online platform is an authorized representative of the HLK Group. The group holds an Australian Financial Services License (No. 435746).

Conclusion

Robo-advisors have proven to be quite effective to many. QuietGrowth, for instance, is ideal for any investor looking to leverage automated investment benefits. The low fees and array of features are a great appeal to both rookies and experienced investors.

Wealthfront Review

Several names circle around at the mention robo-advisors. However, only a few of them stand out. Among them is Wealthfront – which we shall be reviewing.

wealthfront australia

If you have had to get some pointers regarding investments, you probably are aware of robo-advisors.

Wealthfront is not available in Australia. The best alternative for investments is eToro.

AFSL 491139.Capital at risk. See PDS and TMD.

A robo-advisor is essentially a digital service that acts as a financial adviser. Robo-advisors track investment patterns on different online platforms. They then offer suggestions for potential opportunities to invest. They follow algorithms tailored to suit the client’s portfolio preference when making these recommendations.

The service has gained a lot of appeal, especially for the millennial generation. That isn’t to say it is limited to only them. Anyone seeking to invest via automated investing is welcomed to try Wealthfront. Here is everything you need to know about it.

What is Wealthfront?

Wealthfront is a robo-advisor that offers services ranging from building an investment plan to setting and attaining your financial goals. The platform was founded and launched back in 2011.

Today more than ever, making an investment is daunting if you are inexperienced. Where and how do you start? Which investment option do you choose? How will you manage your money? Who will you hire as a business manager?

These, amongst many others, are questions to which you may lack answers. Wealthfront provides an all-in-one solution, so you don’t have to lose sleep over it.

How it works

First, you are required to create and deposit a minimum of $500 into your Wealthfront account. There are several accounts available, and you are at liberty to choose one that suits you. The funds you deposit into your account are held by the Royal Bank of Canada.

Wealthfront apportions your investment amount into Exchange Traded Funds. The platform applies the Modern Portfolio Theory to develop an automated fund allocation whilst factoring in your needs and risk tolerance.

Is Wealthfront available in Australia?

Unfortunately, Wealthfront is only available in the US. To enjoy the benefits and services of Wealthfront, you are required to have a US social security number and residential address. Besides, you need to be residing in the US. US citizens that live outside the US, except for those in active military duty, don’t qualify.

Sign-up process

The process of opening an account with Wealthfront is simple.

Visit the Wealthfront website and click on the ‘Get Started’ option at the top right corner. A dialog box having an Open Account menu will pop up.

Click the blue ‘Open Account’ option. You will be provided with a bunch of details about Wealthfront, asking if you are ready.

Proceed to the next step by choosing ‘Continue.’ At this point, you’ll be required to fill your details, including the log-in credentials you will be using.

Here is the information you’ll be asked to provide throughout the registration process:

  • Name
  • Postal address
  • Email address
  • Phone number
  • Risk tolerance
  • Employment information

Tailored Transfers

This feature is exclusive to the Wealthfront platform. Usually, when migrating from one advisor or brokerage accounting to a robo-advisor, your need to sell your holdings. With Wealthfront, however, you can move your assets into a varied portfolio.

This approach effectively cuts down on your tax bill. Having said that, you still might have to trade the incompatible assets e.g. mutual funds.

Referral Program

Wealthfront has a referral program for active members. For every new customer, you refer to the platform, you get $5,000 managed at no cost.

Stock Level Tax-loss Harvesting

This feature is only available for customers with taxable accounts of $100,000 and above. Unlocking these features makes your investment more tax-efficient.

529 College Savings Plan

Wealthfront customers, except for Nevada residents, are not charged for the first $5,000. Nevada residents who are Wealth customers get free management for the first $25,000. This disparity exists because the 529 plan is domiciled in Nevada.

Smart Beta

The Smart Beta service is available for customers that have at least $500,000 in their accounts. The feature betters your returns over market indexes.

Financial Planning on the App

Wealthfront has an app that’s available at no cost at all.

Home and College Planning

On the app, you can lay down a plan for your kid’s education or home purchase. For the college plan, all you have to is choose the college. The app will then submit to you the financial aid you are eligible for. For home planning, you will receive the mortgage estimates. Besides, you can carry out a virtual house hunting.

Cash Account

This latest addition to the already stocked array of features is the cash account. Wealthfront threw in a cash account that offers a 1.82% interest rate. The account has an FDIC insurance of up to $1 million.

How Wealthfront works

Wealthfront, like many other robo-advisors, uses a questionnaire to calculate your risk tolerance and also determine asset allocation. The questionnaire is made up of both objective and subjective questions.

The asset allocation arrived at after evaluation is fixed and not affected by the investment amount. The portfolio is modified automatically after your account gets past specific thresholds.

Among the financial experts that work in Wealthfront is distinguished writer and economist Burton Malkiel. He is the Chief Investment Officer. You are probably familiar with him if you come across the investment guide ‘A Random Walk down Wall Street, ’ which he authored.

Fees Charged

Wealthfront charges a competitive 0.25% management fee. For balances under $5000, you get free management. Compared to other robo-advisors, Wealthfront has considerably low rates and charges. You also incur a small fee embedded in EFTs cost.

Deposit

The minimum amount you can deposit into your investment account is $500, which is enough for an optimized allocation across various asset classes depending on the type of account.

By ‘type of account,’ we are referring to either taxable or retirement accounts. However, for the cash account, the minimum is $1. To leverage Stock-level Tax-loss harvesting, the minimum amount is $100,000.

You can fund your account through four different methods i.e.

  • Deposit cash (ACH bank transfers)
  • Wire Transfer
  • 529 accounts support Cheques
  • Transfer/ Rollover

Withdrawal

At Wealthfront, you can withdraw a minimum of $250, and you can’t draw your account below the threshold minimum $500.

Wealthfront trades your account by routing the trade to an experienced trade execution broker. The broker must comply with FINRAs execution practices. Wealthfront doesn’t give credence to market timing and consequently can’t guarantee the timing of your trades.

Customer Support

If you experience any hitches, contact customer services either through the email or phone call. You can also refer to the platform’s FAQ that has a rich library of common inquiries and their solutions.

Wealthfront Pros and Cons

Pros

  • No fee is charged for the first $5,000 managed. You can enjoy further free perks using the referral program.
  • The risk parity option works out returns better compared to the traditional 60-40 stock and bond portfolio, respectively.
  • It has a 529 plan option – a feature that makes Wealthfront stand out since most robo-advisors tend to concentrate on retirement planning.
  • Your account is securely safeguarded using two-factor authentication
  • Offers a cash account

Cons

  • Your account may likely hold cash without it being invested

What are the best alternatives?

The best alternative Robo-advisors are Betterment and Personal Capital. Both have several useful features and offer excellent services. However, there is a variation in fee charged and minimum investment account.

Conclusion

All factors considered, Wealthfront performs well as an investment service. The fee charged is favorable compared to other platforms, not to mention, it offers you a cash account and several other features. It is an excellent choice if you are looking to jump on the automated investment ship for the first-time.

Webull Review

Making investments today has been made easy. You can now trade stocks, options, and crypto using any of the several platforms that are currently available.

webull australia

If you are in search of a trading platform that doesn’t charge any trading fees, look no further than Webull.

Unfortunately Webull is still not available in Australia. A good alternative for trading is eToro.

AFSL 491139.Capital at risk. See PDS and TMD.

What is Webull?

Webull is a fintech company founded in May 2017 that offers a trading platform to potential investors. The platform has the edge over many of its competitors as it charges on trading fees. Also, it doesn’t set a base of the minimum initial investment an investor can make.

As it is a relatively new trading platform, it has a limited number of trading options. Nonetheless, Webull has several useful features (we’ll get there in a minute) and tools that make it a good choice. Of the other fintech zero-commission companies, Webull is often compared to Robinhood.

Is Webull safe?

The company is registered under the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority Inc. and licensed to operate in more than 5o states. At the beginning of 2018, Webull earned a Security Exchange Commission registration approval.

Webull is also member of the Securities Investor Protection Corporation.

 Is it available in Australia?

No. Webull is not yet available in Australia. The platform offers services to only residents from the USA, India, Philippines, Malaysia, Japan, China, and Korea. An alternative to Webull is Robinhood but they are also closed to Australian traders.

Sign up process

The signing up process is fully digital and doesn’t require any technical know-how. Webull allows visitors to open accounts through the mobile, desktop, or on the website.

Visit the website, and on the homepage, you’ll see the option to open an account.

On clicking this option, you will be redirected to a page giving you an option of either email sign or phone number sign up.

Depending on the option you prefer, you’ll be required to fill in the details and click on sign up at the end. Some of the information you’ll be asked to provide includes:

  • Your name
  • Birthdate
  • Social security number
  • Email address
  • Contact number
  • Employment information
  • Financial details

After you are done, you can submit your application and wait for the approval. The approval process takes less than a day.

Eligibility

Here are the conditions you must meet to qualify to open an account with Webull:

  • Be aged over 18 years
  • Be a US citizen or permanent resident

Investment amount

Interestingly, Webull doesn’t have a minimum investment amount, which is a great appeal for most investors.

Types of accounts

Webull offers two types of accounts: Individual brokerage and IRA. The individual brokerage account could either be cash or margin accounts. You can open both, but you can’t own two margin or cash simultaneously.

For the IRA account, Webull supports traditional, Roth, and rollover IRA. You can only open one of them, but you’ll need to be open an individual account first.

Investment Options

The mix of investment options available are stocks, options, crypto, and ETFs.

Mobile application

Webull has a mobile application that’s supported on both Android and iOS platforms. The app brings you convenience, as you can manage your portfolio remotely.

Deposit and Withdrawal

There are two options to fund your account i.e. ACH and wire transfer. The withdrawal holding period for the two is 7 days and 1 day, respectively.

It takes 5 business days for a deposit made through ACH to get to APEX, Webull’s clearing firm. For an ACH withdrawal, funds can take anywhere between 1 to 5 business days to arrive.

Note that the withdrawal and deposit account must be the same for ACH. If you withdraw to a different account, it will take 60 days to process your withdrawal. You can withdraw or deposit funds on the website.

Placing orders

Here Webull offers several order types:

  • Stop
  • Limit
  • Stop limit
  • Market
  • Bracket orders

The order time limits available are Good ‘till canceled and Day.

Trading Platform

Webull offers web, mobile, and desktop trading platforms.

The web trading platform has a friendly interface and comes with plenty of advanced features. As such, it fits both beginners and advanced traders. The absence of a two-step log-in, however, is a big letdown.

The mobile and desktop trading platforms are equally great in design and functionality as well. Both are user-friendly and provide the relevant features.

Research

Webull has a lot to offer in the research front. What’s more, research tools are available on all trading platforms. Here you can find several tools that include:

The company offers trading ideas for some stocks in the form of analyst’s opinions for trading or holding assets. You also get fundamental data for Exchange Traded Funds and some stocks.

On the charting section, you have charting tools at your disposal, but we think Webull could improve things here. You get only 20 technical indicators. The news feed is generally good. In addition, Webull provides real-time market data and stock screener.

Customer Support

In case of any inquiries, you can reach customer support. Here are the ways to reach Webull:

The company also has social media presence on Facebook and Twitter.

Fees

On the fee and pricing end, it is all sunshine and rainbows. Webull doesn’t charge you any trading commissions.  What’s more, there are no fees involved when opening an account or for maintenance purposes.

That said, you might still incur some fees. These fees include those charged by the Securities and Exchange Commission and the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority.

Webull also offers some promotions such as the Free Stocks promotion, Referral bonus promotion, Transfer bonus promotion, and Deposit bonus promotion. Each of these promotions have different conditions and rules.  For the specifics, you can visit their website, under ‘Promotion’ in the ‘Account’ sections.

Webull Pros & Cons

Pros

  • There are no fee charges incurred when trading
  • You get bonuses from the promotions
  • Suited to accommodate the needs of experienced traders as well
  • Supports margin trading
  • Very swift signing up process

Cons

  • Webull is a new trading that is yet to mature fully.
  • Offers limited portfolio and doesn’t accommodate investment options like foreign stock, over-the-counter (OTC) stock, Forex, mutual funds, or bonds.
  • Only two types of accounts are available i.e. individual taxable and IRAs. Webull lacks other account types such as joint and trust, which are offered by other trading companies.
  • Limited to only US residents
  • Live chat & lacks telephone support are not available

What are the best alternatives?

Trading companies often vary in terms of fees, features, availability, investment options, and account options. Nonetheless, some have similar or closely similar features and services. Such platforms can be alternatives, and for Webull, these are Robinhood and Fidelity.

Final Thoughts

The fact that Webull charges no fees for the majority of its service is a big afterdeal. Besides, Webull does fairly when it comes to investment options. The platforms are also well-designed and easy to navigate around.

Unfortunately, its portfolio is limited, as it only covers ETFs, Crypto, Options, and Stocks. Whilst beginners will find Webull a worthwhile trading broker, experienced investors will feel limited.

IC Markets Review

If you’re looking for an online broker, consider using IC Markets.

As a broker in Australia, chances are that you have heard about IC Markets. IC Market is a brokerage firm specializing in online retail forex and CFDs. It is headquartered in Sydney, Australia.

  • ASIC Regulated
  • IC Markets Minimum Deposit: $200
  • Spreads from 0.0 pips
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Although IC primarily focuses on CFDs, it still lists Forex, Indices Bonds and Commodities on its portfolio. The firm was founded in 2017 by Andre Budzinski, an entrepreneur. Two years later, it was licensed in Australia by the Australian Securities and Investments Commission (ASIC).

The company is also licensed in Cyprus – since October 2018. IC Markets is generally ideal for traders whose eye is on Forex. It has a client base of over 60,000 globally.

IC Market has an almost perfect ((9/10) rating on TrustPilot.

Trading Platforms & Features

IC Market does not have a proprietary trading platform. As such, it makes use of third-party trading platforms such as cTrader. Aside from the two-step verification that cTrader lacks, it is generally a great trading platform. The search function provided is good and the platform is user-definable.

icmarkets australia

cTrader supports over 20 different languages which include English, French, Korea, Polish and Japanese amongst others. Other trading platforms that IC Markets use are MetaTrader 4 and MetaTrader 5.

The MetaTrader servers are located in New York – Equinix NY4 Data Centre. This explains why IC Markets has very low latency and fast trade execution (The company claims an average order execution of 36.5 milliseconds).

cTrader platform has fast execution of orders as well since its servers are located in London- LD5 IBX Equinix Data Centre. In addition, the platform packs other essential features such as the no restrictions on trading.

Web Trading Platform

The web platform is well-designed and easy to navigate through. At the moment, the web platform has a one-step login process. A two-step verification would be a nice inclusion.

Company: IC Markets
Type of Trading: Forex, CFD
Regulation: ASIC – Australian Financial Services Licence number AFSL 335692
Contact – Phone +1300 600 644
Contact – Email Click here

The search function works just as one would expect. There are four order types available i.e. Market, Limit, Stop loss, Trailing stop loss.

IC Markets lacks complex order types such as ‘once cancels the other’. The web platform allows you to set up alerts but only those regarding price. You will be notified about these price alerts in the form of platform pop-ups.

You can also check your trading statistics and fees that you have paid while trading.

Mobile trading platform

Just like the web platform, cTrader’s trading platform for the mobile is well organized. It also lacks a two-step verification log in process. The platform is available on both the Android and iOS operating systems.

MetaTrader’s mobile app available for Android and iOS users has essential features like multiple trading orders support, over 30 technical indicators and extensive charts.

Desktop trading platform

For the desktop platform, you can use either cTrader, MetaTrader 4 and MetaTrader 5. It offers the same user-friendliness and customizability as the web version.

It also lacks the secure two-step login process.

Commissions & Fees

The low trading and non-trading fees are probably IC Market’s biggest upsides. There is no withdrawal, inactivity or account fee charged in IC Markets.

Trading fees are the charges you incur while trading such as commission and spreads. Non-trading fees are those incurred outside the trading bound such as inactivity fees.

The financing rates at IC Markets are just around those by other competitors in the field.

Note that trading costs including spreads, swaps, and commission are dependent on your account type and trading platform.

Account opening

The process of opening an account is simple and only takes a day for your new account to be approved. IC Markets allows customers from all countries with the exception of the USA, Canada, Israel, and Iran.

After opening an account, the minimum deposit is $200 which is fairly low considering other brokers have a minimum deposit high as $2,000.

IC Markets offers three different types of accounts.  They are

  • Standard
  • True ECN with cTrader
  • True ECN with MetaTrader.

The accounts are all available in three different ownerships: individual, joint and corporate.

The standard account has commission-free trading. ECN accounts, on the other hand, come with institutional grade spreads.

Islamic accounts (swap-free accounts) are also provided. It is important to note that with Islamic accounts, a flat commission rather than percentage-based financing rates are charged for leveraged positions.

IC Markets allows you to have different sub-accounts. You can set the sub-accounts to have different base currencies.

To create an account with IC Market, you are required to pass the Australian Anti-Money Laundering and Counter-Terrorism Financial Act.  The process requires you to verify your identity.

You are additionally required to take a suitability test to determine your knowledge of Forex and CFDs. The pass mark is a score of 70% (7 puts of 10).

If you a beginner in CFDs and Forex Trading, you can start by opening a demo account to familiarize yourself. The process of opening a demo account is simple and fast.

Tradable Products

IC Markets boasts of a wide range of tradeable products and markets. This include 120 Stock products, 60 Forex products, 17 indices, 19 commodities, 5 Bonds. From these figures, you can already tell that IC Markets is mainly a Forex brokerage firm.

It is worth noting that IC Markets does not sell cryptos. The company, on their homepage, also strictly specifies that it does not provide digital currency exchange services.

The regulation of IC Markets in Australia makes it have higher maximum leverage levels for asset classes compared to the EU.

The option to change to the default leverage level of the products is a very nice touch and puts IC Market a step ahead. This is because not many other brokers offer this feature.

PRODUCT MIN MAX
Forex 1:1 500:1
Stock Index CFDs 1:1 200:1
Soft Commodities CFDs 1:1 100:1
Stock CFDs 1:1 20:1
Commodity CFDs( with an exception of soft commodities) 1:1 500:1
Crypto 1:1 5:1
Bond CFDs 1:1 200:1

Stock CFDs can only be accessed on the MT5 platform.

Deposit and withdrawal

When it comes to deposit and withdrawal, IC Markets has an edge over most of its competitors. It has instant deposit and very fast payout. There is no fee charged either for deposit or withdrawal.

Besides, there is a wide range of options when it comes to moving your money.

IC Markets does great at deposit and withdrawal. There are no fees for deposit and withdrawal. You can also use a lot of options for transferring money.

Account base currencies

IC Markets support over 10 different currencies including EUR, USD, GBP, AUD, CHF, NZD, JPY, SGD, CAD, and HKD.

Deposit

As mentioned before, deposits don’t attract any fees. There are a number of deposit methods supported although some may not allow other base currencies. BPay for instance only supports the AUD.

Bank transfers, e-Wallets, Credit/Debit cards are all supported.

Bank transfers can take a few hours to be processed, unlike credit/debit cards that are instant.

Note that the deposit method you choose to use has to bear your name.

 

DEPOSIT METHOD CHARGE FUNDING TIME
Visa/ MasterCard FREE Instant
PayPal/Neteller/Skrill/FasaPay/ POLi FREE Instant
Credit/Debit card FREE Instant
Instant Bank Transfer by Rapid transfer FREE Instant
Broker to Broker transfer FREE 22 – 72 hours
BPay/Wire Transfer/Bank Transfer/TT FREE 12 – 48 hours
Thai/ Vietnamese Internet Banking/ FREE Instant
Bitcoin Wallet FREE 1 – 2 hours

Withdrawal

There is no withdrawal fee charged if you choose to withdraw using credit/debit cards, domestic (Australian) bank transfers and e-wallets. International bank transfers are charged a small fee.

You can set your deposit and withdrawal option to be the same. The withdrawal method should also be under your name.

It is important to note that each withdrawal method has different processing times and supported currency options. PayPal, Skrill, and Neteller have instant withdrawal times while credit/debit cards can take up to 3 to 5 business days.

For credit/debits cards the accepted currencies are AUD, GBP, USD, JPY, EUR, NZD, SGD, and CAD. Accepted currencies in PayPal are AUD, USD, JPY, EUR, NZD, SGD, GBP, CAD, HKD, and CHF. Neteller accepts AUD, GBP, EUR, USD, CAD, SGD, and JPY.

Research

IC Markets provides you with a number of research tools although there is no fundamental data.

On the upside, you have quality interactive charts, news feed, and recommendations at your disposal. Although the research tools are easy to use, they are only available in English.

The trading recommendations (for the stock, bond, indices forex, and commodity) that you are provided with are based on technical analysis. The recommendations can be accessed from the ‘Trading Central’ panel.

The chartings are easy to edit and responsive. Should you want to keep a record for future reference, you can save them. There are more than 50 technical indicators. IC Markets allows you to use pattern recognition tools either at Autochartist or Featured Idea. Autochartist is a third party service provider.

You can also catch informative news feed on the IC Market website. An extension of the news feed to other platforms would be a great inclusion.

For traders that prefer API Trading, IC Markets supports cAlgo.

You can also stay atop of any developments in the market through the broker’s blog, the Information Hub for Serious Trader. Here you can find updates on Company News, Technical Analysis and Educational data.

IC Market’s homepage has an economic calendar to help traders strategize their trades. In addition, you can access the Forex Calculator page.

Customer service

In case you have an inquiry, you can get in touch with Customer Support at IC Market via telephone, email or live chat. Customer support is available on a 24/7 basis. The telephone and email options are fast and reliable. On the other hand, live chat needs a little improvement.

The email options one can use include

For Phone the contact numbers are

  • Australia: +1300 600 644
  • United Kingdom: +44 800 014 8775
  • Thailand: +661800012799
  • Indonesia: +6278033212195
  • Germany: +498007238442
  • Spain: +34900838243
  • Brazil: +558008783186
  • Malaysia +601800819013
  • South Africa: +27800172944
  • Poland: +488001125138
  • Cyprus: +35725123504

You can also reach IC Markets through the Post:

  • Australia Head Office: International Capital Markets Pty Ltd, Level 6 309 Kent Street, Sydney NSW, 2000 AUSTRALIA
  • Seychelles Head Office: IC Markets (SC), HIS Buildings, Providence, Mahe, Seychelles

IC Markets has accounts on various social media platforms including Twitter and Facebook.

Education

When it comes to educational tools, IC Market offers plenty. This includes tutorial and educational videos, educational texts and a demo account option for beginners. You can access these materials through the website.

They are comprehensive and well arranged. Topics such as risk management are covered in lengths. IC Market’s YouTube Page is ideal for beginners looking to learn more about trading. It has a number if MetaTrader and cTrader tutorials.

On the flip side, the educational videos can only be accessed on IC Markets Vimeo Channel.

Safety and Licensing

Is IC Market safe?

The primary criteria of determining if a broker is legit rests on the protection the broker offers should things go wrong and the history of the broker

IC Market’s operations in Australia are regulated by ASIC (335692). In Seychelles IC Markets is licensed by the Financial Services Authority (SD018) However, the broker lacks investor and negative balance protection which is a letdown considering most of the competitors in the industry offer the protection features.

IC Markets has been in operation for over a decade and it is hard to say anything less than it is solid.

Conclusion

IC Markets is a good choice of broker for Forex traders. Low fees, free deposit, and withdrawals, and simple and fast account opening are some of the luring features of IC Markets.

The lack of investor and negative balance protection can turn some traders away though. Both beginners and expert traders can find their taste in IC Markets. It is also ideal for automated traders too.

Each of the 3 accounts offered by IC Markets has its own drawbacks and unique upsides, therefore, you should take some time to consider before making a choice.

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