There’s a shroud of mystery surrounding millennials. Will they ever move out of their parents’ homes? What do they look for in a banking experience? Why do they keep eating Tide Pods?

The last one is easy: for attention. Speaking of which, by paying attention and  examining the most popular financial apps, you can learn a lot about what matters most to this age group… and their wallets.

Take Acorns, the investment start-up that has been on the up-and-up with over 700,000 accounts opened over the past 16 months. It’s backed by world-class financial advisors, which is cool, but Ashton Kutcher also uses it, which is even cooler.

Acorns is a study in “micro-investing.” The app connects to your credit and checking accounts. Whenever you spend money, it rounds up to the nearest dollar. That difference is then invested in a mutual fund, selected based on your risk tolerance and financial goals.

For a demographic struggling with crippling student debt, this “a little goes a long way” approach is a great way to teach potential investors that the stock market isn’t restricted to the rich.

Stash is another great tool, and it capitalizes on millennials’ belief that they can change the world—and of course they can, but perhaps they might also earn a little cash while doing so?

The portfolios Stash offers are named after personalities. So if you fancy yourself an “activist,” you can invest your money in companies that are eco-friendly. If you’re more “techie,” you can push some coin at technology that’s revolutionizing life as we know it. It’s a great lesson in getting people invested in investing: even with a global market, money can remain a personal experience.

Millennials have had a slower start to investing than other generations and just 1 in 4 feel as if their savings are on track for a secure retirement. That’s why they’ve created a guide to investing for millennials. It explains why it’s important for millennials to invest, how to determine their investment goals, and getting started in the stock market. 

Both Acorns and Stash have corresponding blogs and personal finance publications that go into more depth explaining money matters. For example, the team behind Acorns launched Grow Magazine, whose content includes everything from “Money 101,” to how-tos, to interviews with influencers like Tony Robbins.

These blogs are helpful and easy to understand without ever dipping into condescension.

Finally, it’s obvious but worthy of mention that these apps are both so convenient, literally allowing investors to have their finances at their fingertips.

We can learn from what’s currently #trending in the finance world, but personalization, convenience, and easy-to-understand language will always be in style.  

Have a liquid weekend, everybody!

– Your financial forecasting friends at Brokaw

@Acorns is backed by world-class financial advisors, which is cool, but Ashton Kutcher also uses it, which is even cooler.

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