Saving on Brokerage Commissions

Are you tired of paying broker commissions for every stock you buy?  Do you wish you could just buy a basket of stocks that you're interested in owning for one low price?  Do you want to be able to customize your portfolio, which is something you can't do with an index fund?  Ok, ok,  this is sounding like an informercial, but seriously, you need to take a hard look at Motif Investing.

Motif Investing Invite

Motif is the only platform that allows you to buy up to 30 stocks, ETFs, and CEFs for $9.95.  Most sites charge between $5 and $10 per stock, which means that you would spend between $150 to $300 in brokerage commissions in order to accomplish the same strategy.  There also isn't a limit to the number of Motifs that you can own.  Want a portfolio filled with utility,REITs, dividend, or growth stocks?  You can build one your self or search their platform for pre-built portfolios. Motif is also a social platform where you can invest with friends and share investing ideas.  It is currently the only brokerage firm that is social. You can see your friend's watchlist as well as what they are investing in, which is really cool.

Motif also allows its users to earn a royalty on the motifs they build, at no extra charge to the builder of the motif or to the person who buys the motif.  If you've created a well built portfolio, you can invite friends to invest alongside you and earn a royalty every time your motif is purchased. You can then reinvest those royalty payments into your motif account.  To the right, you'll see two Motifs that I've built and invest in, for the purpose of investing alongside my friends and family.

Here's a quick pros and cons list of what motif does well, and what it lacks:


- Low commission - $9.95 for up to 30 stocks in one Motif, no limit to the number of Motifs you can make or own

- DIY portfolios - Create a Motif with the stocks you want to own, or even customize someone else's motif to your standards

- Pre-built models - Don't want to build one?  Motif has thousands of portfolios for you to choose.

- Get paid for your ideas - Receive a royalty for the Motifs you build if someone buys it.

- Social Investing - Invest with friends and share ideas

- Fractional share ownership, and all the benefits of full ownership - You can own less than one share of a business with Motif, but still be able to vote at shareholder meetings.


- Lack of research - Motif doesn't offer a lot of research options, if you want to learn more about a stock, you'll have to use another site

- No DRIP - If you invest in stocks that pay dividends (like me) you'll only receive cash dividends when they are paid by the company.  A DRIP is a dividend reinvestment plan, which offers shareholders the option of receiving a dividend in the form of more shares rather than cash.  This automatically increases the number of shares you have, which further increases the dividends paid in the future, and you don't have to lift a finger.

- Minimum $250 - Motif has set a minimum of $250 in order to invest in one idea.  This makes it difficult to reinvest cash from a dividend portfolio, since you would have to wait until you have at least $250 plus commission in order to invest


Overall, I think Motif is a great tool for investors.  If you're starting out, the platform offers a great opportunity to own multiple businesses for a fraction of the commission price.  If you have some experience investing, you can earn a royalty on your most profitable ideas.  Open an account today!

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