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Why I’m Using the Stash App to Begin Investing in the Stock Market in 2021 (Part II)

by Jean Miller about a month ago in investing

The Serenity Project: Just a White-Trash Kid Winning the Wealth-Building Game

photo courtesy Pixabay: nattanan23

<<< Go Back to Part I <<<

Taxation isn't the only way money can move from the rich to the poor. (And we obviously can't count on charity out of the goodness of hearts to solve the world's problems.) Here's a brain game for you: maybe the economic system has an untapped role in liberty and justice for all.

See, our leaders, thinkers, and advocates spend so much time talking about how we need to create some kind of new wealth distribution system to help level the playing field. But… we already have a wealth distribution system that can share money from the rich to the poor. It’s called the stock market.

The following is based on personal opinions and personal experiences, and should not, under any circumstances, be considered professional investment advice. Always do your own research before making financial decisions. Please note no views or opinions of the author are endorsed by any other party mentioned herein. (I doubt they even know I exist.)

“But poor people don’t have money to invest!” I know. It sounds crazy. And in the past, when shares could only be purchased in full, for hundreds or even thousands of dollars a pop, that might’ve been true.

But it’s not like that anymore. In today’s world, with today’s technology, fractional shares let us invest in the stock market with the spare change from our pockets (or our debit cards).

That’s one way the Stash app for beginning investors lets people like me, who have no idea what they’re doing and didn’t think they could afford to invest, begin to build a portfolio—with any few bucks available to spare at the moment.

And, on top of that, there’s another way the Stash app breaks down the barriers for literally anyone, at any income level, to start investing in the stock market. This is where, from what I’ve seen so far, Stash really stands out from the crowd.

With the Stash app, there’s actually a way to earn stock rewards from your regular purchases that you’re already making, without changing your spending habits. After all, even broke people still buy gas, groceries, and other necessities in the normal course of life. With as little as a $1 monthly subscription to the Stash app services, the Stock-Back® Card, or the Stash Visa Debit Card, turns those normal purchases into fractional investments in the companies you’re buying from anyway. Talk about taking ownership in the places where you spend your hard-earned money.

As someone who grew up below the poverty line, I gotta tell ya... now that I'm finding my way around this app and having my first few ah-ha! moments as a newbie investor, everything I’ve seen is adding up to one big question in my mind: Why isn't everybody doing this?

More specifically, why is investing considered exclusive to the white-collar elite? Especially with new technology and new capabilities making the stock market more accessible to everyday Americans than ever before, why aren’t we sharing the wealth—literally? I mean, seeing social media in such an uproar about perceived threats of communism and socialism these days, it seems to me a lot of us have never really been educated about how our existing system of capitalism can work for us in the first place. (In fact, lack of financial education and unfair barriers to entry are a couple of the problems Stash was created to address.)

Understand this: the system is already in place for wealth to be distributed from the rich to the poor. The poor have just been left in the dark about it.

Critics of capitalism argue that it concentrates power in the hands of a minority capitalist class that exists through the exploitation of the majority working class and their labor, prioritizes profit over social good, natural resources and the environment, is an engine of inequality, corruption and economic instabilities, and that many are not able to access its purported benefits and freedoms, such as freely investing. (Wikipedia)

So... what if the many are able to access the benefits and freedoms of capitalism, such as freely investing? That’s a game changer. And that ties closely into the philosophy behind the Stash app.

Long story short, for the last two weeks, I’ve been experimenting with Stash. This is my first step toward learning about the stock market, venturing into the world of investing in fractional shares as I build my beginner's portfolio. I'm calling this experiment of mine The Serenity Project—an experiment in winning the wealth-building game.

I have no idea what I’m doing, but I’ve learned more about investing in these last two weeks than I’ve ever learned before. And so far, the more I understand what sets the Stash app apart from the rest, the more deeply excited I am about what this can mean for people like me—people who’ve struggled to get by, always living paycheck to paycheck, never seeming to get ahead. People who are tired of not being “good enough” to make it. (Read more about "What Poor Kids Don't Get to Learn About Money.")

I’m not saying I expect to become a millionnaire. I am finding a place to start, though. And, when it comes to investing, that’s more than I’ve ever given myself the chance to do before.

What I can say for sure is that investing in the stock market isn’t a magic bullet or a get-rich-quick plan. It’s not an overnight solution to all of the world’s problems. But in a crazy, subversive, really satisfying, revolutionary kind of a way... it’s a method to slowly but surely start turning the tables.

I mean, what could be more ironic than using a system that’s created so much inequity in our society to actually begin correcting that inequity, just by learning how to play the game? Capitalism isn’t the problem. Assuming only people who are already rich can win at capitalism—that’s the problem.

Now, you should probably know I’m a bit of a dreamer. My imagination goes zero to sixty in no time flat. But I’m also a protagonist and a strategizer. I’m one of those people who can see the big picture and the small details, at the same time.

I realize the road to building wealth by investing in fractional shares will be a long one. As a person starting from scratch in my 30s, realistically, I'm a bit late to the game. Even people who know nothing about investing know a key to successful investing is to start young. But I'm a staunch believer that the only way we get anywhere is by starting wherever we're at.

And now that I'm learning about investing in fractional shares, the potential I see… bit by bit… purchase after purchase… adding up over time… multiplied by who knows how many people… learning together and learning from each other… in it for the long haul… shifting the tide for our children, and their children to come... that’s world-changing potential.

And that’s the kind of thing that gets me really fired up.

In the year ahead, I plan to continue writing about my experiences as a beginner micro-investor, using the Stash app to build a portfolio in the stock market. I’m not saying you should do it, too—I’m just gonna try it myself and let you know what happens. I’m learning as I go, so if you’d like to come along for the ride, we’ll be learning together, hopefully doing our small part to turn the tables and win the wealth-building game, for the good of greater society.

Does that sound overly ambitious to you? Maybe we just haven't allowed ourselves to think big enough before.

If you like anything you read here, please share this article with your social media networks to get more people thinking about how we can all start winning the wealth-building game. Like to connect? Drop me a line: jeanmillersays {at} gmail.com.

investing
Jean Miller
Jean Miller
Jean Miller

Home of The Serenity Project. Just a white-trash kid winning the wealth-building game. Micah 6:8 | #hopewriters

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