What is micro-investing?

Micro-investing platforms make it easy to invest very small amounts of money on a regular basis. Typically targeted at young or first-time investors, these apps eliminate barriers such as costly management fees and steep account minimums.

Some apps automatically round up your daily transactions to the nearest dollar and transfer the difference into an investment account. It’s the digital equivalent of taking spare change to the bank, says Investopedia.com. While such nominal amounts won’t necessarily yield impressive returns, micro-investing can be a good place to start if you’re new to investing or if you’re on a tight budget.

Here are a few apps to consider:

Acorns automatically invests “digital change” into diversified portfolios, and you can also make recurring or one-time investments. NerdWallet.com recommends Acorns for hands-off investors and those who struggle to save.

Robinhood lets you invest in stocks, ETFs and options. There’s no monthly fee, and you can buy and sell stocks on U.S. exchanges for free. Other commissions and fees may apply in some cases.

Stash makes it simple to choose portfolios that reflect your beliefs and interests. NerdWallet.com recommends Stash for investors who prefer thematic or impact investments.