2017 was an epic year for stocks.  The markets gained around 20% on average – meaning if you had invested across the stock markets, you too would have had an epic year.

But what’s in store for 2018?  Well so far the bull run is continuing so I wanted to put together a little post on the different tools and platforms I’m using to take advantage of these gains.

Picking and Buying Stocks

In my opinion, picking and buying stocks on your own is the riskiest way to make money in the stock market.  Even the pros have a hard getting it right.  But if you are looking to invest in stocks on your own, then you should be using a platform that won’t charge you brokerage fees…

Robinhood

Robinhood is a stock trading app that allows you to make fee free trades!  This means you can invest smaller amounts over a longer period, aka dollar cost averaging – which is a smarter investing strategy.

Sadly, Robinhood is only available in the U.S at the moment.  They’ve been promising an expansion into other countries but so far this hasn’t happened and no word on if it ever will.

Now I can’t give you advice on which stocks to pick as I’m no expert, so if you’re not sure what to buy, maybe you should be looking at…

Copy Trading Stocks

When you copy trade, you allocate funds that will automatically be invested based on the trades made my guru traders.  Basically you just copy all their trades – but the process happens automatically.  There are a few copy trading platforms around, but the biggest and most reliable is eToro – with millions of traders to potentially copy.

eToro Copy Trading

eToro’s platform allows you to both manually trade stocks as well as copy traders who trade stocks.  If you’re new to stock trading, then I don’t recommend you try trading on your own.  Instead, copy 3-5 traders on etoro who have a history on solid returns (over the past 12-24 months).    This way you’ll take advantage of more experienced traders, and also diversify your holdings a bit.

CopyFunds

CopyFunds are also an eToro product.  They allow you to invest in a group of assets with one investment.  For example you can invest in a “Gaming” copyfund, which assets include a bunch of gaming and i.t companies.  If you have a strongly held conviction that “Banking” or “Biotech” etc will take off in 2018, this is a great wayto get exposure to those markets.

The minimum investment in copyfunds is $5k – so it’s not suited for those looking to make a casual buy.

Automated Investing

Do you want to just invest in a broad index of stocks and profit if the entire market goes up?  If so then this option is for you.

Acorns

I used Acorns over the past 12 months with great success.  The app automatically moves small amounts of money into an investment account.  This money is invested across a broad range of stocks and indices.  This is probably the most low risk of the options here, but still can be very profitable.

Practice Trading Stocks

This is where everyone should start – if you’re interested in becoming a stock trader, don’t risk actual money while you’re learning the ins and outs of trading.  Do yourself a favour a grab yourself a practice trading account.  It’s completely free.  The account will give you some virtual money to trade with under real trading conditions.