Are you into the idea of investing? Do you wish that saving money and building on your savings was easier? If so, then this app might ‘interest' you quite a bit (pun not intended… but it worked anyway!)! But can you really make money with the Clink app? We downloaded it and decided to give it a try.
Here’s what we found out.
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To get started, let's talk about the idea behind Clink.
Clink is an investing app that’s available as a free download on the Google Play Store. To date, it has been downloaded over 10 thousand times, has a 3.7 star rating, and has been reviewed by over 230 people.
Here’s a quote from the Read Me section of the Google Play store that does a good job of describing exactly what the app does.
“Clink is an investing application which facilitates your savings by making you save every time you go out.”
Clink basically takes money from your bank account and invests it for you into a diversified ETF portfolio. Here, the money can grow without you needing to worry about it or hassle with it.
So, in short, this is a handy, easy-to-use investing app (at least, that’s what it’s supposed to be).
But does it really get the job done where it ‘counts?' (Get it? ‘Counting' your money? Yeah… that one is a stretch…)
That’s what we were determined to find out.
Opening Clink led us to a pretty straightforward log in/sign up page.
They also hosted a video on this page that was designed to show exactly how the app works. The video did a good job of this, and basically demonstrated how Clink allows you to set up a savings/investment schedule that’s completely tailored to your own personal life.
Whether you want $20 taken out of your account and invested every Tuesday, or 10% added to every burrito purchase and sent to your investment portfolio, Clink has you covered.
But we were still curious about how easy the app is to operate. Obviously, investing is a slow-growth sort of thing, and saving money is a pretty straightforward concept. So what we were really looking for here was an answer to the following question… is Clink the app to choose if you want to save money and start investing?
To answer this query, we signed in and got started.
We chose the ‘Sign In With Facebook’ option, as we usually do when it is presented to us. After going through the usual permissions, we were taken to a series of screens that gave us a general, quick overview of how the app worked. The screens basically described the process as follows… Register, Schedule, Add Bank.
We clicked ‘next' after going through these screens, and were taken to a screen where we needed to fill in our personal information.
I was then taken to a more in-depth screen that asked me for quite a bit of additional information. Here’s a look at what it looked like. These screens were pretty easy to fill out, and despite the seemingly complicated array of questions, it barely took a few minutes to get it wrapped up.
But, I would like to point out that this section did require some sensitive information.
Not only do you need to include information about your overall financial situation here (how much you make per year, what your net worth is, etc.),but the app also needs information like your social security number, date of birth, phone number, employer name, etc.
To be fair, this doesn’t seem like such an unreasonable array of information to request, seeing as how Clink is an investment app. I tried to skip through it without filling some of this in, but it wasn’t possible—and I can’t really say anything negative about it.
This is a financial savings/investment app. And despite this, it’s still pretty quick and easy to fill out.
To put it really simply, you are filling out an investment account when you register for Clink. The app then allows you to choose your savings method.
Basically, you can either link your credit/debit card to the app and send an additional percentage of the money spent on transactions to your investment account, or you can plan on having a certain amount of money deducted from your bank account and invested for you at the given times you choose on your schedule.
Up to this point, it seemed pretty easy to us. The next stage of our research, however, revolved around figuring out exactly how much this app was going to cost to use in the long run.
Clink is super-transparent about how much their services cost—which is really cool. They have a flat fee of $1 per month if your account balance is under or equal to $5,000. If you have more than $5,000 in your account, then you get charged annualized fees equal to 0.25%.
So, let’s just say that you had $10,000 in your account at some point. Your yearly fees on such an account would equal $25… which is pretty much $2 per month.
This honestly isn’t bad at all—though the fees would get higher as you acquired more money in your account.
But on the flipside, even the higher fees aren’t that big of a deal when you take into account everything that Clink does for you.
Plus, all of your money is SPIC insured (up to half a million dollars) when you use Clink, which would certainly provide me with a lot of peace of mind! They also use all of the standard security measures that you would expect any bank to use—such as 256 bit encryption and the like.
Here are some examples of reviews that I found in the Google Play Store for the app. Obviously, the amount of money that you will actually earn in the app is based on how well your portfolio is doing. It is also important to remember that investing in small amounts like this is a lengthy process, and will not get you rich overnight.
So what we are really looking at here is the quality of the app and the service behind it. These are the details that will likely make or break Clink for the majority of users.
Most of the people who had a problem with the app seemed to complain about money being withdrawn from their account without their permission. But some other reviews also said that people who had such complaints just didn’t understand how the app worked.
According to these reviews, you need to give the app permission to move funds around—so it is possible that some of these people just didn’t realize exactly what they were doing when they set up their scheduled withdrawals/investments.
But really, overall, the app seems to do a great job. It’s quick, efficient, seems to work without glitches or bugs, and seems to make the process of investing super-simple.
More experienced investors might be a little bit perturbed by the simplicity of the process, and may desire more investment options. But new investors or people who wish to ‘set it and forget it’ will likely find the app, and the service it renders, very desirable.
No. Personally, I liked how the app worked. I’m also a bit of a novice when it comes to investing—so the idea of setting it up and just forgetting about it was really attractive to me.
I am getting to that age where I really need to start thinking about retirement, and apps like this are really starting to get my attention because they are not only cheap to use, but also easy and pretty effective if you want to save money without doing a bunch of extra leg work.
Granted, the app isn’t perfect… and some people may disagree with how the money is invested or handled. But the ETFs are all managed by Vanguard, who seems to be an industry leader as far as I can tell—so it seems to me that your money would be in good hands with this app.
Will you earn a return on your money? Again, this sort of ties into what I just said about how the money is invested—but yes, it seems that most people do see a positive return on their investment. It’s a small gain, because these investments tend not to be high-risk—but the gains are there.
I liked it. It’s not for everyone, and it’s important that you understand what you are allowing when you set up your schedule—but overall, I think Clink is a pretty well-done piece of software investment machinery!
Should you download it onto your phone?