M1 Finance: The Pie That Beats All Other Pies

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As an engineer, celebrating Pi (π) Day has become almost like a tradition. Pi-day is celebrated on March 14th (3/14) in honor of the first three digits of Pi (3.14). The mathematical definition of π is the ratio of the circumference to the diameter of a circle. There are a few fascinating facts about Pi such as its indefinite decimal places since it is an irrational number. To date, around 50 trillion decimal places have been discovered.

What do π, pies, and M1 Finance have in common? Well, more than you think. If you have not heard of M1 finance, it is an all-in-one financial platform that lets you save, spend, invest, and borrow all in one place. They have no fees to use their services (beyond expense ratios and other investment fees) and they leverage the power of technology to automate your investment to make sure your investment experience is as simple as possible.

Let’s dive deeper into why I use and personally recommend M1 Finance…

M1 Finance Features

There are a lot of great features for all levels of investment knowledge. I think this is one of the super powers of M1 Finance. While they have other services beyond investing such as SpendBorrow, and the newly introduced Credit Card, I will focus this article on the investment side.

I started using the platform in late 2020 as I was starting to get into investment and realizing that I was missing out by not investing beyond my 401k. What truly got me to use M1 is how simple the process is. The whole investment portfolio is created using pies and finding stocks or funds is simple and intuitive.

The beauty is that while you can create your own pie, there are hundreds of community pies you can use when starting. This is great if you are just starting to learn about investments or simply looking for some inspiration. It is all up to you.

Once you have your pie set up, it is time to fund your account. You can either use an existing checking account or my personal favorite, have part of your paycheck directly deposited into your Spend account, and then invest from there. Having your money taken from the top ensures you don’t even think about spending the money but instead you are investing in your future.

Lastly, watch M1 work for you. Investing is simple and books such as The Simple Path to Wealth can help you learn the basics but there is some maintenance that needs to be done to ensure your portfolio is balanced and meeting your financial goals.

With time, your pie can become unbalanced as some funds or stocks grow faster than others. This is where the M1 magics come into play. M1 will automatically fund the underperforming positions when your deposit money into your pie. This ensures that over time, the pie will remain balanced and avoids some positions to grow beyond the percentage your set up at the beginning.

Time to Bake your Own Pie

Thankfully I decided to become an engineer and not a baker. Like I said, investing in M1 is very simple, surely easier than baking the pie in the picture from scratch. Let’s recap how easy it is to create and fund an M1 account:

  1. Go to www.M1.com
  2. Open an account (select from a variety of taxable and non-taxable accounts)
  3. Create a pie or use one of the community pies
  4. Fund your account using your checking account or have work directly deposit money into your Spend account and invest from there.
  5. Voila, you are done!

I recommend you poke around and see all the great features M1 has such as their research tab and various resources to keep you informed. Reach out if you have any questions!

Plan for the Future

At the end of the day no matter what investment platform you use, I recommend you check out The Personal Finance Guide That Will Teach You How to Make, Manage, and Spend Money in 2022 and Beyond. This ultimate guide will help you get a strong financial foundation as well as share a lot of great resources and information to help you in your financial journey.

There is nothing more important than to start early in your financial journey and get educated. I missed so many years because I was afraid of investing and I did not have the knowledge. That is why I am so passionate about helping others in their financial journey. There are so many books out there that can help you but ultimately you need to take action.

Right after you read this article, go to M1 (if you think it is the right place to invest) and fund a pie with $100. Even if you don’t invest more for some time, play around with the pies, see how they work, and get comfortable with investing.

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