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When it comes to investments, a lot of people may look the other way because the process may seem too complicated. Or worse, too expensive.
Most of the time, it costs a lot of money to buy stock in a company or brand. If you have the capital to do this, then it’s a great way to grow some income for your future.
If you don’t have that kind of cash on hand, the next best thing is to check out apps and websites that allow you to do investing on a much smaller scale.
There are a couple of investment apps available that I will list toward the end of this article, but for now I want to focus on the new guy on the scene called Bumped.
Bumped is totally unique when it comes to investments, because it gives you the opportunity to work with your favorite brands and earn a small percentage of shares with those brands.
In this review I’ll talk about how to get started with Bumped, how it works, the pros and cons and whether or not I think this app is worth checking out.
Bumped is a Portland, Oregon based investing start-up that launched their investment app in 2018. In a nutshell, Bumped gives you free stock when you shop at the stores you love.
Brokerage accounts at Bumped are serviced by Bumped Financial LLC, member FINRA/SIPC and held at APEX Clearing Inc. Bumped Financial LLC is a wholly owned subsidiary of Bumped Inc.
Bumped claims that their mission to to provide a lasting relationship between customers and the companies that they care about.
They strongly believe that a small percentage of ownership can help build and strengthen brand loyalty.
How Bumped Works
As a Bumped customer, you apply for a brokerage account, link a debit or credit card, and then select your favorite brands that are affiliated with Bumped. And there are absolutely zero fees to worry about!
When you shop with those selected brands, Bumped will give you a percentage of your purchase back in the form of fractional stock.
As you use the app, you will be able to make your loyalty selections (choose the brands you love), see the details for your stock ownership and make any direct updates to your account.
Since Bumped is extremely new, they are working to make the app perform in the best way possible. Currently there is a waitlist to use the app.
When you provide an email, you will be notified that you are on the waitlist and that Bumped will contact you when they are ready for you to move forward with using the app. The wait time could take up to one month.
But, thankfully, when you sign up, Bumped will also give you a referral linkthat you can share with your friends and family. If you share the link, you can potentially get “bumped” up faster on the waitlist and therefore have access to the app sooner.
Getting Started With Bumped
Anyone 18 years and older and based in the US can use the Bumped app, which is available for both IOS and Android platforms.
Since you are opening a brokerage account, you will need to provide some key information when getting started with Bumped. This includes your full name, address, date of birth, employment status, income and even your social security number.
In some cases, additional information may be required, like a photo ID, but Bumped will let you know as they process your application.
Don’t worry all of your information is secure. The information you provide is encrypted when you open your account.
And if you are worried about linking your bank account, you can rest easy because Bumped authenticates your data through a third party and doesn’t actually see any of your login credentials.
Linking Your Debit/Credit Card
Once you sign up, you only need to link a credit or debit card before choosing the loyalty brands that you want to shop with and earn stock from. You also have the option to link more than one debit or credit card.
Then, similar to a cashback app, you simply shop as usual. You will earn stock whether you shop in a physical store or online.
When the transaction posts to your account, you will be notified that your shares have been awarded.
Keep in mind that Bumped does monitor returns, so don’t think you can earn stock and then simply take something back to the store. Your earnings can be reversed.
Choose Your Loyalty Brands
After linking your card, you need to choose your loyalty brands from the listed group of categories. You can only choose one brand from each category, but do have the option to switch after 30 days if you prefer.
The stock accrued from a previous brand is yours to keep, but you can only do this switching around a few times in a calendar year so make your initial choice count.
Some of the categories include:
- Family Dining
Again you can only choose one brand from each category, which is how these brands are able to determine the depth of your loyalty when you opt to choose them over someone else. And you must choose a brand, so no skipping this step.
Each brand will offer a different percentage of sales that are awarded to you with the lowest being 1% and some being up to 5%. The higher percentage is a great way for these brands to sway you to their side.
Since Bumped is still in beta testing, the available categories may be different for each user when they sign up, and this could be determined by your demographic and location.
Once Bumped is fully available to everyone, all the categories will be there as well.
Earning, Selling, and Transferring Stock With Bumped
The primary way to earn cash, i.e. stock, with Bumped is to link your card and shop at one of your chosen loyalty brands. The more you shop, the more your shares will increase.
Your reward will show up as soon as the purchases post to your bank account, which takes about 2-3 days. After that you’ll see the percentage of your shares updated as pending as Bumped works behind the scenes to finalize your investment.
Please note that it could take up to two weeks for your stock to go from pending to available.
Bumped doesn’t allow you to directly buy individual shares of stock, so the only way to keep earning stock is through your regular transactions at your favorite vendors.
Other than this, there is no way to really earn extra with Bumped, as they currently do not have a referral program offering extra rewards. You can certainly refer friends and family, but it won’t benefit you in any way.
Since you are earning fractional shares, which just means a small portion of shares in a full stock, these funds are not usually transferrable.
If you end up wanting to close or transfer your Bumped account, you might have to sell your fractional shares first. Bumped will do this free of charge.
You can opt to sell your stock any time after it posts in your Bumped account. From the app, you just need to go to your menu and stocks screen and select the stock you wish to sell.
The value of your stock will vary based on the price when Bumped does the trade. Bumped does trades at least once per day across all accounts.
Cash from the sale of your stock is usually available within two days after the stock is sold.
Your Bumped account will show that you have available cash after the sale of your shares. You can transfer this money to a savings or checking account using an ACH transfer.
Expect these funds to arrive in your bank account within 3 to 5 business days.
Pros and Cons of Bumped
- 100% FREE to use
- No fees associated with your brokerage account
- Can sell your stock at any time
- Chance to earn stock with the brands you love
- Well designed app that is easy to use and navigate
- Make changes and updates directly with the app
- App only platform, so everything is done at the tip of your fingers
- Excellent communication from the Bumped team
- Unique way to earn stock unlike any other app on the market
- Still in beta testing and could be for a while
- Currently there is a long waitlist, so the app isn’t available for immediate use
- No idea to know exactly what loyalty brands you’ll get to test the app out with
- Limited number of loyalty brands offered during the beta testing period
- This is an app only platform (I also consider this a pro)
- Cannot buy additional stock
- Not a full service brokerage app
Is Bumped Worth the Download?
Bumped is definitely worth the download. It is a FREE app that is very well designed and easy to use. There is a lot of potential for genuine growth in your fractional stock. Though you won’t get rich off of the app
That being said, it is a bit frustrating that Bumped is still beta testing and placing people on a waitlist as they work to fine-tune the app.
To be fair, they are only doing this so that they can deliver you the best investment app possible, but still one can only hope that things start moving a little faster.
Despite this, I think that Bumped is too unique to pass up. They are a total game-changer when it comes to micro investing, especially because they are connecting you directly with some of the brands you love. And charging you zilch to do it.
I do hope that they become a bit more transparent about the companies that they will be featuring on the app. And about when they can expect to launch the app fully to the public.
Other Investment Apps to Check Out
I wanted to let you know that there are a few micro-investing apps that could be worth your while. On the plus side, these are available right now.
I really think Bumped has the potential to make it as an investment app. Though like most start-ups, nothing is guaranteed.
Even so, I still believe the app is worth getting on the waitlist for. The time will fly by faster than you think. Before you know it, you’ll be “bumped” ahead in the line and using the app.
If you are already using Bumped, let me know your thoughts in the comments below.