Note from PT: I asked my admin and editor Jessica, who is completely new to taxable investing, to give me her take on LOYAL3. Here’s Jessica’s LOYAL3 review…
You no longer need Gordon Gecko and a large sum of money to invest in the stock market. LOYAL3 is an investing company for every day people who want to dip their feet into the murky waters of stocks.
LOYAL3 is built around a core philosophy “Own What You Love.” Basically, they believe that people want to invest in companies they are loyal to. And, conversely, being able to invest in companies that perform well will improve customer loyalty.
Are you an avid Apple user, but you could never afford more than 1 or 2 shares (currently in the $500+ range)? Or do you firmly believe Starbucks coffee is incomparable? Well, now you could own a fractional share of it.
How much of a fraction is up to you: $10, $25, $50, or a custom amount (up to $2500 per company). There are around 50 well-known companies to choose from (Amazon, Coca-Cola, Google, etc.), and they offer IPO shares, as well.
No Hidden Fees
There are no fees to buy or sell stocks, either, which is a huge selling point when compared to other online stock brokers like E*Trade, Charles Schwab, and TD Ameritrade.
CEO Barry Schneider explains how they can go without charging you fees:
“We generate revenue by providing services to companies and charging them for those services…100% of what you invest goes toward buying stock.”
LOYAL3 wants to make stock purchases as easy for the Average Joe as buying anything else online. It’s incredibly simple—just 3 steps: choose the company you want to purchase stock in and the amount, enroll, and you’re an investor.
You have the option to use your bank account or a credit card for payment. If you’re enrolled in any sort of credit card rewards program, you could get points or cash back on your investment. As long as you’re not racking up debt, that’s a nice bonus.
Is It Really So Simple?
The most I’ve ever delved into the stock market was when I followed some stocks in a business class competition in high school. And even then, the one I chose was based on what was important to my high school life: fashion. In other words, I’m a beginner—the kind of person LOYAL3 is hoping might jump on board.
While LOYAL3 is for beginners, those “beginners” need at least some prior understanding about the market—or at least more than I had. So I read the “New to Investing” part of the site.
It turns out LOYAL3 is not in the business of stock market education. Their FAQs explain that they offer a support center to help the buyer clarify the meanings of any terms he/she might not understand. However, if I wanted help grasping the market and how things work, they recommend using investor.gov.
It would’ve been easier for me to pull the trigger if they would include a primer on the stock market. Instead, I stalled for a couple of days trying to figure out if I really knew what I was getting into. I spent more time researching everything. And by “more time,” I mean “days.”
Is It Really for Beginners?
If LOYAL3 really wants to be the go-to site for the Average Joe to invest, educating them within the site would probably ensure greater conversions. Fortunately, I was writing a review so I eventually returned for my first foray into the stock market.
Armed with more understanding, I invested a small amount. I clicked $25 for Apple stock, filled out my information, and purchased. It really was as simple as buying an Apple product online—except Apple doesn’t make me enter my Social Security number to do so.
I’ve read a lot of information about Loyal3 and how it’s great for beginners. My only complaint is that maybe the term “beginner” is slightly misleading. A true “beginner,” like me, is starting with zero understanding.
But for those who have a basic understanding of the workings of the market, LOYAL3 really does make investing easy for ordinary people.
PT’s take: Use LOYAL3 freely with a very small percentage of your overall investing portfolio to get started in taxable investing. Do the vast majority of your investing with tax-advantaged retirement accounts. I’m trying out LOYAL3 myself with $50.