Review Why You Shouldn’t Invest With This Broker!

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Chase You Invest Trade Review

Chase You Invest Trade provides current Chase Bank customers a convenient way to invest in the stock market. While Chase doesn’t provide all the bells and whistles like some of its non-bank competitors, our testing found the site to be easy to use and reliable overall.

Top Takeaways for 2020

After spending five months testing 15 of the best online brokers for our 10th Annual Review, here are our top findings on Chase You Invest Trade:

  • JP Morgan Chase, the bank behemoth with over $2.6 trillion in assets, now offers self-directed investing services, which includes buying and selling stocks, ETFs, options, mutual funds, and bonds.
  • Chase You Invest Trade is great for current Chase Bank customers seeking a simple way to buy and sell stocks. The multi-account benefits are widespread, including instant transfers, universal login, and discounted trades.
  • While You Invest Trade is reliable and easy to use, it is also very basic. When compared against standalone full-service brokerages such as TD Ameritrade and Charles Schwab, Chase trails across the board, from trading tools to research to total tradeable assets.

Overall Summary

Feature Chase You Invest Trade
Overall 3.5 Stars
Commissions & Fees 4 Stars
Offering of Investments 3.5 Stars
Platforms & Tools 1.5 Stars
Research 3.5 Stars
Education 2.5 Stars
Mobile Trading 3.5 Stars
Customer Service 4 Stars
Ease of Use 4 Stars

Commissions & Fees

You Invest Trade has no minimum deposit to open an account, and, as part of its launch, all new customers receive 100 free trades for the first year, regardless of account balance or banking status. This is the offer I took advantage of for my testing. Beyond this, commissions are just $2.95 per trade.

There are two ways to receive free stock and ETF trades each year:

  • Chase Premier Plus Checking customers ($15,000 min avg account balance) – First 100 trades free each year.
  • Chase Private Client customers ($250,000 min avg account balance) – Unlimited free trades each year. Also applies to Chase Sapphire Banking, J.P. Morgan Private Bank, and J.P. Morgan Securities clients

Chase vs Bank of America: Without question, Chase You Invest Trade’s approach to free trading is modeled after Bank of America Merrill Edge and the Preferred Rewards program. However, with Preferred Rewards, all customers receive unlimited free trades each month, regardless of their account balance. Preferred Rewards also comes with a variety of additional benefits, including money market savings boosts, credit card cash back bonuses, and more. Compare Chase You Invest vs Merrill Edge.

You Invest Trade pricing summary:

Feature Chase You Invest Trade
Minimum Deposit $0.00
Stock Trade Fee (per trade) $2.95
ETF Trade Fee $2.95
Options Base Fee $2.95
Options Per Contract Fee $0.75
Mutual Fund Trade Fee $0.00
Broker Assisted Trades Fee $25.00
Commission-Free ETFs 0

Offering of Investments

Chase You Invest provides everything an investor would require to invest in the stock market. All investment vehicles are offered, from stocks, ETFs, mutual funds, and bonds. With Chase You Invest Portfolios, Chase customers can also have their money invested for them for an annual advisory fee of 0.35% per year ($500 minimum).

Offering Limitations: You Invest Trade does not offer the ability to trade during pre- and post-hours, nor can customers trade penny stocks. Also, only basic (single leg) options trades are offered. Additionally, order types are limited (order types such as trailing stop orders and conditional orders are not available), and the primary focus is on the US markets.

You Invest investment options:

Feature Chase You Invest Trade
Stock Trading Yes
OTCBB / Pink Sheets Yes
Options Trading Yes
Complex Options Max Legs 1
Bonds (US Treasury) Yes
Futures Trading No
Forex Trading No
Mutual Funds (Total) 3500
Advisor Services Yes


From basic checking and savings accounts to home mortgages and credit cards, Chase Bank is a household name brand in the United States. JP Morgan Chase holds assets of well over $2 trillion and operates in more than 100 countries, according to Wikipedia.

Compared to Bank of America Merrill Edge, Chase goes toe to toe. Both banks offer FDIC-insured banking through 5,000+ branch offices across the United States. That said, Bank of America offers more rewards for loyal customers who hold multiple accounts with higher account balances.

Platforms & Tools

Chase offers no downloadable trading platform, and only one trading tool, Portfolio Builder, is available through the website. Overall, beyond managing a basic portfolio, maintaining a simple watch list, and placing trades, You Invest doesn’t come close to competing with the best online brokers.

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Stock charts: For the average investor, everything required to conduct basic chart analysis is present, including customizations of time frame, bar type, event markers (e.g., earnings or dividends), and a respectable 20 optional indicators (think simple moving averages, volume, and Bollinger bands). Stock and index comparisons can also be conducted. However, compared to industry leaders such as TD Ameritrade and TradeStation, Chase You Invest leaves much to be desired.

Watch lists: Watch lists are very basic, showing only the price, daily change, and a mini chart of intraday performance. Yes, there are real-time quotes, but they are not streaming, which is the same throughout the entire You Invest Trade site. Lastly, instead of a streamlined table view, watch lists are organized into lists that require scrolling, making them cumbersome for more extensive symbol lists.

Portfolio Builder: Taking a closer look at Portfolio Builder, it is accessible only to accounts with at least $5,000 available to invest. While traditional robo advisors simply funnel you into one of several predefined portfolios, Portfolio Builder does the same but requires you to choose the exact holdings, then allows you to modify the weightings for each holding. Overall, for the average investor, having significant input as to what goes into the portfolio and how each holding is weighted is not ideal. I would recommend using Portfolio Builder solely for educational purposes.


Researching the markets trails industry leaders Fidelity and Charles Schwab but is sufficient for novice investors. Just be aware of the constant site timeouts (see below).

Stock research: Less a downloadable research report for certain stocks from JP Morgan, stock quotes are on the whole, nothing unique, and include no data that cannot otherwise be found at Yahoo Finance. As a comparison, Fidelity offers 12 third-party reports with free ($0) trading for all customers, regardless of the account balance. Quotes aside, You Invest Trade does provide an easy to use stock screener tool.

Fund research: Fortunately, quotes for ETFs and mutual funds fare much better thanks to the inclusion of basic Morningstar data. Screening also includes Morningstar data, which is a nice plus. Like stocks, casual investors will be satisfied; however, research trails industry leaders by a measurable amount. For example, Schwab includes the full Morningstar PDF report alongside far more visual elements to help break down essential takeaways.

Market commentary: Also from J. P. Morgan’s research team, is the weekly market analysis articles. Considering that J.P. Morgan Asset Management manages over $1.7 trillion, I was not surprised to see their research present in You Invest Trade. On the whole, while the readability of Schwab’s Insights articles and Fidelity’s Viewpoints market commentary is much more fleshed out, I found the market analysis articles from J.P. Morgan to be informative and insightful.

Constant site timeouts: One final note here on research: while a lack of streaming real-time quotes throughout You Invest Trade was disappointing, I was more annoyed by the constant account time outs whenever I went to check my email or work on this review draft. For investors who prefer to remain logged into their accounts and check back throughout the day for quotes and research, You Invest Trade is not accommodating.

Customer Service

To score Customer Service, partners with customer experience research group Confero to conduct phone tests from locations throughout the United States. For our 2020 Broker Review, 280 customer service tests were conducted over ten weeks.


  • Average Connection Time: th (14 brokers)

Mobile Trading

Chase makes it easy to manage your You Invest Trade account via the regular Chase mobile app available through both Apple iOS and Android. Once logged in, you can view and manage all your Chase accounts, both banking and brokerage. While the app lacks features active traders would demand like advanced charting, streaming watch lists, and alerts, it provides a bug free, clean experience for everyday investors.

Watch lists: For whatever reason, Chase made watch lists nearly impossible to find. From your dashboard, scroll down to the Indices overview, then tap “View U.S. Overview”. Next, from the top dropdown menu, tap and select “Watchlists”.


Chase provides a positive educational experience for the topics of general investing and retirement. Navigation isn’t perfect, but a foundation for growth is in place.

Educational videos: In the Learning & Insights section of the site, market reports are accompanied by educational articles and videos, which I found to be well put together. In particular, I really enjoyed the videos, which reminded of the animated educational videos found at TD Ameritrade. I counted only seven videos in total, but given the strong emphasis on quality, I’d be surprised if more aren’t added in the future.

ETFs, mutual funds, and options education: If there is a drawback to the learning experience at Chase You Invest Trade, it is the lack of topic focused content. For example, while there are several articles on ETFs and Mutual Funds, it isn’t enough to pass our test of offering at least ten pieces of content to earn credit in our scoring.

Final Thoughts

Chase You Invest Trade is targeting current Chase Bank customers seeking an easy, convenient way to invest in the stock market.

If are already a Chase customer and all you require are the basics to buy some shares of your favorite stock, ETF, or mutual fund, then take advantage of Chase’s free trades. If you don’t meet the minimum for free trades, or you desire a complete brokerage experience, there are better online brokers to choose from.

About Chase

The roots of Chase stem back to 1955. In 2000, Chase Manhattan Bank merged with J.P. Morgan, forming JPMorgan Chase Bank. Headquartered in Manhattan, New York City, Chase is ranked by S&P Global as the largest bank in the United States, operating more than 5,000 branches and 16,000 ATMs nationwide. JPMorgan Chase is publicly traded on the NYSE, ticker “JPM”.

2020 Review Methodology

For the tenth annual best online brokers review published in January 2020, a total of 3,540 data points were collected over six months and used to score brokers. This makes home to the largest independent database on the web covering the online broker industry.

Participation is required to be included. Each broker completed an in-depth data profile and provided executive time (live in person or over the web) for an annual update meeting. Our rigorous data validation process yields an error rate of less than .001% each year, providing site visitors quality data they can trust. Learn more about how we test.

Why You Shouldn’t Invest in JPMorgan

Wall Street’s favorite bank is a bad investment idea.

JPMorgan Chase (NYSE:JPM) CEO Jamie Dimon began his most recent letter to shareholders on a triumphant note. He proudly reported a record $21.3 billion in net income for 2020, which he said marked the third consecutive year of record profits.

Dimon also pointed to the solid performance of the company’s stock over the past eight-and-a-half years, and said that the company is optimistic about the future.

Despite this commendable performance by JPMorgan, we strongly believe that investors should pass on buying its stock. As an investment, the possible upside in shares of JPMorgan does not outweigh the potentially considerable, though unknowable, downside risk.

Ina Drew, former CIO of JPMorgan, testifying about the Whale Trade before the Senate.

With the vast amount of news that’s printed about the banking giant on a daily basis, it’s helpful to stop and really think about JPMorgan from the perspective of how we approach the purchase of any new investment. First of all, we look for a great business that is growing and sustainable. Next, we like to check to see if the company is delivering value for all of its stakeholders. Obviously, a close look at the valuation is also very important. And finally, we ask ourselves if the company’s management is effective and trustworthy.

Let’s lay the facts out on the table and see how JPMorgan holds up in those key areas.

Risky business
JPMorgan is primarily a large, traditional bank attached to a massive corporate and investment bank. Traditional banking is a cyclical, but decent business. It’s very competitive, of course, but companies can muster reasonable levels of profitability through leverage and cross-selling different products to loyal customers. The corporate and investment banking business can be extremely profitable, though it’s also quite competitive and cyclical. Careful risk management is crucial to survival.

Compared with the other banks traded on U.S. exchanges, JPMorgan has average profitability that becomes larger if you take into account leverage; superior growth rates (zero) that resulted from avoiding the worst of the financial crisis; and a somewhat weaker balance sheet:

One caveat worth noting: A good chunk of JPMorgan’s profits probably results from its lenders’ perception that the bank remains too-big-to-fail. Economist Deniz Anginer calculated that such funding advantages saved JPMorgan $16.27 billion from 2009 through 2020. That amount comes out to 24% of the bank’s total pre-tax profits during those years.

But overall, JPMorgan does have a moderately profitable business that stacks up reasonably well against its competitors, and certainly better than fellow megabanks Bank of America (NYSE:BAC) and Citigroup (NYSE:C) .

As the financial crisis demonstrated, however, banks that fail to manage risk can post record profits for years before suddenly collapsing. And like its Wall Street peers, JPMorgan faces considerable risks. Its most recent 10-K devotes more than 12,000 words to a dizzying array of risk factors such as regulatory risk, market risk, credit risk, liquidity risk, legal risk, and operational risk. Recently, The New York Times reported that the bank is being investigated by at least eight federal agencies in addition to investigations by federal prosecutors and the FBI.

How well does JPMorgan serve its stakeholders?
We believe that you can’t predict how successful a company will be solely by looking at its profit model and historical bottom line. Over the long run, corporate performance is also driven by how well a company satisfies its key stakeholders. If a company cheats its customers, they’ll shop elsewhere. If it mistreats employees, they’ll be less effective in their jobs or find another employer. If a company creates enormous problems for society, society ultimately won’t tolerate it anymore.

According to the website Glassdoor, employees actually give JPMorgan pretty good marks all around. On the compensation front, JPMorgan’s investment banking employees took home an average of $217,000 in 2020, and managing directors and top traders can make several million in a year.

It’s not quite so clear that the company is serving its customers and society well. Some of the evidence is pretty troubling, in fact. One analyst noted that JPMorgan has paid well over $8.5 billion in regulatory and legal settlements since 2009 to settle accusations spanning multiple lines of business. A few of the charges included:

  • “Egregious” violations of sanctions against Cuba, Iran, Sudan, and the Former Liberian Regime of Charles Taylor.
  • MF-Global-like failures to segregate customer funds, over and over, again.
  • Misleading investors in synthetic and residential mortgage-backed securities.
  • Overcharging and wrongfully foreclosing on soldiers.
  • High-pressure and deceptive auto-finance sales tactics.
  • Abusive processing of checks to maximize overdraft payments.
  • Mis-investing client pension funds.
  • Illegally boosting credit card payments.
  • Bribing officials in Jefferson County, Alabama in a sewer bond deal that bankrupted the county.
  • Bid-rigging 93 municipal bond deals in 31 states, and paying its lobbyists with proceeds from municipal bond offerings.
  • Derivatives sales fraud in Italy (found guilty).

The bank is also under investigation for allegedly manipulating energy markets and hiding evidence that it did so, working with other banks to manipulate global interest rates, and failing to sound the alarm on Bernie Madoff’s Ponzi scheme, among other things.

In summary, we’d say the company delivers significant value for its management and employees. It’s debatable, to say the least, how well it’s serving its customers and society at a large. And despite management’s myopic focus on today’s bottom line, it’s our view that the value long-term investors in this business are receiving isn’t sufficient to the risks they are taking.

So what’s the company worth?
We’ll cut to the chase here: We don’t think it’s possible to derive a meaningful valuation for JPMorgan’s stock or its assets in general.

And we’re not the only ones. According to Jesse Eisinger and Frank Partnoy, a recent survey found that “more than half of institutional investors did not trust how banks measure the riskiness of their assets.” And 60% of hedge fund managers gave our big banks unsatisfactory marks when it came to the trustworthiness of their “risk weightings.” Eisinger and Partnoy write of one CEO who “regularly hears from investors that banks are “uninvestable.”

During the financial crisis, banks wrote down hundreds of billions of dollars in ordinary mortgage assets. But major trading institutions like Goldman Sachs (NYSE:GS) , Morgan Stanley (NYSE:MS) , and JPMorgan work with assets that are notoriously difficult to value. And JPMorgan is the largest derivatives dealer in the world, with $69 trillion in notional value, nearly all of which are traded over the counter instead of on a transparent exchange.

In early 2020, as JPMorgan’s so-called “London Whale” trades began to unravel toward at least $6.2 billion in losses, traders began employing dubious valuation practices to cover their tracks. The bank conducted an internal investigation that discovered the “aggressive” pricing, but determined it to be “consistent with industry practices” and “acceptable under bank policy” — good enough, in other words, for the bank’s official quarterly earnings filing. JPMorgan didn’t consider the books to be mismarked for several more months, until after they found out traders had been disparaging their own valuation with descriptions like “idiotic.”

As the Senate Permanent Subcommittee on Investigations put it, “That the Controller concluded that the SCP’s [Synthetic Credit Portfolio] losses could legitimately be reported at anywhere between $719 million and $1.2 billion at the end of March exposes the imprecise, malleable, and potentially biased nature of the credit derivative valuation process.”

No outside investor can truly understand this bank. We think you’re kidding yourself if you believe you can peruse its financial statements and come away with an informed, clear view of the riskiness of its assets.

As an investor in JPMorgan, you are ultimately relying on the ability and trustworthiness of the company’s management to deliver solid gains, while preventing the whole enterprise from blowing up. This is faith-based investing.

Is JPMorgan’s management worthy of such extraordinary faith?
So, assuming we’re not already dissuaded from investing in such a company, the question we now have to ask is: Can we trust the leadership team at JPMorgan?

When Warren Buffett looks for an investment, he insists that the people operating it are “honest and competent.” The recent JPMorgan Whale Trade debacle as outlined by the Senate Permanent Subcommittee on Investigations raises some reasonable doubt about those two attributes. Take a look at the following table we put together based on the report by the Senate Permanent Subcommittee on Investigations:

Public Disclosure on the JPMorgan Whale Trade

Ultimately, the Subcommittee concluded that “derivative trading and financial results were misrepresented to investors, regulators, policymakers, and the taxpaying public, who, when banks lose big, may be required to finance multi-billion-dollar bailouts.”

Now, if this were an isolated incident, we might be tempted to write it off (so to speak) as an unfortunate mistake. Dimon has taken responsibility for the fiasco, and has promised that he will fix the problems that led to the trading losses. He also said recently of the trading debacle, “Businesses make mistakes, they learn from it and get better.” For the most part, we couldn’t agree more.

The problem, of course, is that there have been far too many breakdowns in internal controls and risk management of late at JPMorgan. When the litigation section of your quarterly filings is almost 9,000 words and even your CEO talks of regulatory orders requiring improved performance in multiple areas (with more to come), then there’s a worrying pattern that needs to be properly evaluated and fixed. At a certain point, it’s only natural to ask, how many investigations are too many?

Just say no
Ultimately, JPMorgan operates a pretty profitable business that could be considerably safer and more sustainable, if the company possessed much better internal controls and risk management. What is particularly worrying for us is that there’s been scant evidence of improvement in those areas despite past promises.

The company has a mixed track record of taking care of all its stakeholders (other than management and employees). It’s basically impossible to value. And it’s not obvious to us why JPMorgan’s management team would deserve the extraordinary level of trust such an inscrutable investment would require.

Why should we invest in a black box of unknown but potentially enormous risk when there are dozens, if not hundreds, of more attractive publicly traded, large-cap companies out there? We strongly believe this one is a pass.

5 reasons why you should invest in market research

A quick-fire guide to making the case for greater investment in market research

There’s so much you can learn from customer satisfaction surveys, exit-intent surveys, claims testing, ad testing, concept testing and by simply getting closer to your customers.

Market research is always changing but maybe isn’t talked about as an industry as much as other parts of marketing, such as SEO, paid media and even CRO.

There’s a whole new world of opportunity out there to get insights, quicker, faster, and cheaper than ever. Research should always be done to the highest quality, with standards respected – and I think, combined with its often-lengthy timescale, this scares people off. But it shouldn’t. You wouldn’t produce a blog post without typo checking it and you wouldn’t write an ad for Google Ads without making sure the message is relevant to the audience you’re targeting. Market research is no different.

It’s easier than you may think

Firstly, conducting research is easier than you think. Just like with SEO, paid search, and content marketing, there’s a wealth of information out there and hundreds of high-quality training courses that can help you with anything from writing questionnaires to selecting the right respondents and interpreting the data. Marketers work with data a lot and especially B2B marketers who may produce a lot of insight reports into the industry. Smart Insights spends a lot of time surveying our members to produce useful reports that help us all to understand the industry.

Smart Insights produces objective, non-leading questions, survey our members and incentivize fairly and then produce a visual report that helps our members. This is market research in a nutshell: good questions, finding relevant participants, interpreting the data, and sharing the insight with relevant people.

It’s also cheaper, quicker and faster than you might think

The industry hasn’t slowed down. Companies of all sizes have worked tirelessly to make research faster and cheaper.

Zappi, formally known as Zappistore, has also produced solutions with large market research companies to provide ad testing, concept testing, and all sorts of other useful research but as an all-in-one solution for less. Knowledge of statistical methods isn’t needed as they have the whole solution all set up for you. Research agencies are also innovating to automate research and reduce cost. YouGov has recently launched YouGov Collaborate that automates research services and gives you an expert researcher to help you along the way. A truly innovative service and exactly what the market needs.

From Udemy courses to loads of webinars by various market research agencies and the industry associations Market Research Society (MRS) and Esomar – there are lots of options when looking for online and offline training courses.

Recruitment is easier than ever

The biggest challenge and cost can be getting relevant respondents, but Survey Monkey Audience, Toluna, and Google Surveys have produced solutions which get you responses from just $0.10. One of the hardest parts of market research is recruiting relevant participants, as it’s integral to the validity of the research. Research panels can help to get you the panels you need as they have large pools of participants who want to take part in surveys and research. There are also participant recruiters who can help recruit for focus groups and depth interviews.

Here’s a handy process for conducting a survey online, which is compatible with the tools mentioned above:

  1. Screening questionnaire: These are the questions that help you get the respondents you need. It’s important to make sure your requirement isn’t obvious so you get genuine respondents who are relevant.
  2. Write survey: Start by writing your survey in a Word Document. This makes it easier to tweak between stakeholders and then you can copy and paste directly into your survey platform of choice.
  3. Recruitment respondents: You can do this via email if you have your own database, social media, panels or using a service like Google Surveys or SurveyMonkey Audience.
  4. Analyze: Read through your data, create and review charts – create a story and summarize your insights.
  5. Influence: Make decisions based on your research.

People are increasingly building their own research panels, especially if they conduct research often. But if you need niche audiences or want to tap into pools of large databases of real people who actively take part in research there are panels and participant recruiters that can help you.

It helps confirm a plan and reduces risk

Risk is a critical factor for businesses – reducing risk helps stabilize the business, encourages investment, and provides stability for employees. By conducting research with customers and employees you can make better, more informed decisions and react to how customers and employees feel. You can assess the risk of a change and an investment.

Let’s also take employee surveys and employee satisfaction as an example. Recruitment costs are high – replacing staff isn’t cheap and employees surveys can help you to make sure you’re supporting staff and they have what they need to do their job. The changes you can make based on this insight mean staff will be less likely to leave your business, increasing morale and reducing cost. Ideas for reducing risk include:

  • Testing messaging and advertising before launch
  • Testing changes to products and services before they are made
  • Testing new concepts before proceeding
  • Testing pricing if you’re struggling to increase sales

As a result, your marketing will be more targeted and your customers will be happier as their needs are met.

It helps you understand your customers

It’s time to get close to your customers. This isn’t just the latest marketing industry buzzword or phrase, it’s an obsession with getting close to customers to make informed decisions. Not all customers can be pleased all of the time but the closer you get the more understanding you will have of their experiences. For example, are customers genuinely happy with the online ordering process and is customer support resolving complaints?

There is only one way to find out what customers are thinking – ask them! There are quirky ways of getting close to your customers, such as focus groups that can involve testing activities and exercises. Walking with a customer while they browse your shop, conducting user testing or holding a customer workshop are all ways of getting your customers involved. You could also have a mini customer ambassador panel comprised of customers who use your products or services regularly and can give feedback in regular one-on-one meetings.

Understanding your customers helps you plan for the future, give customers what they need, and find issues you never knew existed. The best thing – customers want to talk to you more than ever!

Market research guide

Learn how to conduct market research and gather meaningful insights from your customers that will inform your future digital marketing strategies.

By Robert Jones

Robert Jones is a specialist in Insight, UX Research, Digital and Content Marketing. He has a Psychology Masters of Research, has built research panels and worked in insight roles for Vision Critical, ASDA and WhatUsersDo. He also managed all of Smart Insights member resources and published several guides such as “How to conduct Persona Research” as well as contributing over 100 blog posts to the Smart Insights blog. You can connect with Robert on LinkedIn or follow him on Twitter

Turbocharge your results with this toolkit containing 13 resources

How to make money online without investing

Reading time: 12 min.

Is it possible to make money online without paying anything? You may have no seed capital, but you certainly have access to useful information that’s right here in front of your eyes to shed perspective on effective methods of earning. We’ve prepared a guide on how to earn money online without paying anything.

Ways to make money online

Unfortunately, we live in the world of unequal opportunities. But, the internet has made positive adjustments which give everybody a chance to achieve financial well-being without any investments or useful relationships. Wherever you are, if you have an internet connection, you have the same opportunities as billions of other people around the world. Let’s look through the most credible methods of making money online in 2020:

  1. Content writing
  2. Blogging
  3. Affiliate marketing
  4. YouTube
  5. Trading
  6. Selling photos
  7. Other ways

Next, we’ll tell you how to make money online without investments in terms of those methods, and how to reap the maximum benefits from them to increase your income and make it stable.

Content writing

You see written content every day on the web pages you visit in the form of articles, blog posts, announcements and press releases (event content), technical and other tutorials, guides and descriptions. However, it’s not the same type of writing that you did in school, like compositions, summaries or dictations.

Content writing should be unique and creative enough to immerse users in the essence of the texts and to help them embrace the idea, motivate them for the certain action, convince them of something or provoke certain feelings. In this case, you can succeed and earn money online for free.

How much you can earn

You can make anywhere from $500 up $2,000+ per month writing content for diverse web resources. The exact amount depends on your skills, type of content and the volume of of articles you produce. The rates for top content writers can range from as low as $15 dollars an hour to as high as $80, though most fall in the $30-50 range. The prices depend on markets, the writer’s location and experience, as well as his/her expertise.

How to start

As a rookie, you’ll be looking for a good start. In our digital era, there are plenty of job boards that give good opportunities to beginners. To start, you can use:

You can find short-term tasks or full-time contract work there. Your specialized skills can get you on a cool project team.

Some skills are required to earn money online without paying anything by writing content. Let’s look through some recommendations that would be very helpful for you at an early stage of your new career:

  • Use a task management program (Trello, Google Sheets or others)
  • Use an image editing program and editing apps (Grammarly or Hemingway)
  • Practice writing constantly
  • Create a portfolio
  • Keep track of all your projects
  • Jot down content ideas

Using a job board is not the only way to start your career as a paid content writer (however, it is the fastest and the easiest). You could start a blog that you then can use to showcase your skills. Another approach is to find related communities on social media (Facebook or LinkedIn) to get a job.

How to become an expert

You should keep an eye on the quality of your work and continue to gradually improve your writing up to the highest standards. Here are some common recommendations to make your texts more valuable:

  • Form a killer title and first paragraph
  • Keep it simple, sans exaggeration
  • Edit, read and edit again
  • Deliver value through your content
  • Conclude with a powerful note
  • Pay attention to the critics

To make it easier to get started, and make quick money online for free, you should pick a niche at first. After mastering that niche, then you can try to become a multitasker. Besides, you should learn different writing styles, but finding your own is crucial.


Plenty of people have their own blogs, but not everybody seeks to gain benefits from them. However, it is possible and profitable. A blog is a site with mostly written content, where the author writes about a certain topic from his/her own perspective. They then go on to correspond with readers to make direct contact.

Blogging is a hobby and it’s a good way to share your knowledge with the world. The reader’s’ interest and positive comments are just a bonus, but they can bring in a lot of revenue if you want. While your blog is gaining popularity and the number of subscribers increases, you can add products or services on your blog to sell.

The easier approach is to sell your blog space for ads. You shouldn’t need to find advertisers, because your blog will be popular and they will have already started hunting you. You can join Google Adsense or other contextual advertising networks at the beginning.

How much you can earn

Blogging allows you to make money online from home for free, but how much can you get? The payments depend on you as a blogger. Are you independent or are you employed as a blogger for an established company or website? For the last one, the ranges vary from $19,000 to $79,000 a year. Freelancers can get $10,000 or more for just a post!

Your salary will depend on several factors – the frequency of updates, the relevance and quality of your content, the competitiveness in the niche you’ve chosen and the effectiveness of your marketing strategy to build an audience and generate traffic.

How to start

  1. Find a good descriptive blog name that is relevant to your topic
  2. Choose a great domain name and domain extension (.com, .net, .org, etc.)
  3. Employ a blog host and software to get a template
  4. Customize your blog (change the design)
  5. Write several blog posts
  6. Publish the blog
  7. Promote the blog to gain traffic and an audience
  8. Start monetization

To succeed in blogging, you should be passionate about your topic, but also about your long-term business model. Analyze competitors and take into consideration potential challenges. If you need more tips, visit Travelpayouts for valid information.

How to become an expert

Interesting content is paramount and helps grow your income. There are two main ways to monetize – take money for ads or sell something. Other ads may not be as profitable as you want.You allow other people to use your traffic. This means that you may earn money on an ad, but it may not resonate with your audience and cause dissatisfaction. However, such an approach doesn’t demand much of your time and effort, so you can take this route if you don’t care about your “personal space.”

If you are selling a physical or digital product, you should know for sure that your readers need it. Then, you should get your leads’ contact information in exchange for a valid giveaway.You can make a sidebar opt-in box on your site, as well as a popup to encourage users enter their email to win the giveaway.

We’ve prepared a set of useful articles to make your work easier:

Affiliate marketing

If you want to make money online with no money to start, you can join affiliate marketing and become an affiliate. That means you direct your site/blog visitors to the product and get commissions for purchases they make. In this case, you can combine blogging and affiliate marketing to get more revenue.You can trash the blog and use affiliate arbitrage to resell traffic via PPC. For this purpose, you should know more about making money without a website.

How much you can earn

Affiliate rewards usually start at 1% and can reach 10% or even more. The percentage depends on the company’s policy. Additionally, you can get extra promotions and privileges.

Note that you do not get money for clicks, but for real purchases. Moreover, if you get $500 today, it doesn’t mean you’ll earn the same amount tomorrow.

Affiliates are divided into levels according to their income. Low-level affiliates usually earn up to $100/day. The affiliates at the highest level manage to earn a profit of more $10,000/day.

How to start

First, you should find an appropriate affiliate program, taking into consideration the program’s terms and conditions, along with your own preferences. To choose a niche you already like is much better than to start from scratch. You should select an evergreen niche like traveling. You don’t need pay anything to earn via travel, just follow the steps:

  • Join Travelpayouts
  • Get your personal affiliate link to flight tickets, hotels or other travel services
  • Share this link on your blog or even with your friends

You will be rewarded for each purchase that was made through your affiliate link. After you make your first profit, you can re-invest it to create a blog or continue to develop your current project.

Set up your own blog or website and fill it with content related to the product you promote. Then, start development by using relevant keywords – this is not a fast way to make money, but it’s a good way to build your own source of steady income.

Content can be diverse – product reviews for individual products, comparisons, information-based articles, guides, etc. You should use an appropriate set of marketing tools to gain more traffic – PPC, email marketing or SMM, for example.

How to become an expert

Affiliate marketing is not rocket science, but you should acquire some knowledge first, though. Your goal will always be traffic generation to direct users to the merchant’s resource through your affiliate link.

You should care about both free and paid traffic. Utilizing social media marketing is very helpful for getting traffic. Doing videos on social networks is extremely effective today. Don’t forget to use anchor links in order to make them short, friendly and attractive users.

Another crucial skill is copywriting. Note that only a few affiliate programs provide you with ready posts. You will need to prepare articles yourself or hire someone.

We’ve prepared a set of useful articles to make your work easier:


It is possible to make money online with YouTube without having millions of subscribers. You can create your channel with a great earning potential depending on the niche you’ve chosen and the level of engagement that you create. If you already have your own blog and a strong subscriber base, you can start making money quickly. You can also earn via video ads, sponsorships and crowdsourcing.

How much you can earn

Nobody can say exactly how much you’ll earn, because of many factors influence the result – CPM (cost per million), views, CPC (cost per click), watch time, CTR (click through rate), user retention, traffic source, traffic region and video category all play a role. You only start earning money after 4,000 watch hours for the previous year, plus 1,000 subscribers.

You can forecast your result using the Youtube Money Calculator that was developed to calculate the estimated income from your videos or channel. The calculations are based on the factors listed above. For example, if your daily video views equal 20,000 views/day, you can get from $28.50 up to $47.50 dollars a day.

You can combine different income sources to earn more. Read about how you can earn from a YouTube channel. This interview with a channel owner may also be useful for you.

How to start

First, build your channel and then add keywords in the settings to allow people to see your channel in the YouTube SERP according to their requirements. The second step is to add high-quality, yet brief content. Note that uploads must be on a regular schedule and you should track the results of each one.

Your next task is to build an audience to increase monetization and that starts with allowing YouTube to place ads in your videos. Then, you should set up Google AdSense to let the service send you money per click or per view.

How to become an expert

To grow as a YouTuber and to improve your content, you should always check your analytics to see how your strategy is performing. Here are some additional tips:

  • Don’t use YouTube exclusively for placing videos. Share them wherever possible – social media sites, blogs, etc
  • Join YouTube as a partner to get access to more content creation tools
  • Use services to create free quizzes and polls to encourage people to answer your questions. In this case, you get paid for visitors and you get audience feedback at the same time
  • Improve your content by using various high-quality equipment like software, cameras, tripods, etc
  • Make eye-catching descriptions

Don’t view your subscribers as traffic. They are real people and that’s why you should always try to respond to them. Answer their questions and discuss their comments. Your loyalty and readiness for communication is an effective tool to build an audience.


Another way to make money online for free without scams is trading. That essentially means exchanging one thing for another. You could buy and sell plenty of things – currencies, shares, oil, crypto or anything else. You don’t need to be the owner of the product, but you can deposit and trade on a special platform that takes commissions from payouts. However, financial trading carries risks with it:

  • Marketability – the possible decrease in the liquidity of your investments
  • Currency translation – when the value of your currency falls against another currency
  • Hidden transaction costs
  • The price you expect may differ from the price you really get
  • An opening stock opening is different from its last close

You should actively avoid frauds in this niche. The most credible platforms are Ally Invest. It’s the best for cheap trading. E*TRADE is mostly a good fit for beginners. Be very carefully though.

Warning: Trading without knowledge and skill can be dangerous and we do not recommend using this method without both. Learn through this demo-account using fake money.

How much you can earn

Your income is determined by your level of risk aversion – the riskier you are per trade, the more you get. On average, if you invest $1,000, you can make around $100-150 per year what is 10-15% p.a. Your revenue depends on the strategy you choose. It usually consists of many components and its profitability can be measured according to its win-rate and risk/reward ratio.

How to start

First, you should learn the stock market. That will help you understand the value of the company and its shares. Then, you should consider your means and assess the risks properly. The next step is to find out which platform relates the most closely to your purposes. It should be reliable and honest, provide you with a set of tools for research and offer low commissions.

Warning: Practicing before depositing is crucial in trading. That’s why it’s best to choose the broker with a demo mode to use to study. Before trading, you should choose your strategy and constantly check its effectiveness.

How to become an expert

To achieve success, you should steady your income and grow your benefits regularly. If you choose small or medium-sized stocks, you can win a jackpot, but suffer heavy losses. Trading on large platforms allows you to enjoy stability.

If you are rapidly losing money, get out of the market and don’t try to get revenge.You should identify your point of failure. Don’t be greedy and buy more, because the price hike is a result of market manipulations and not company efforts. One more tip is to only trade at your own expense and remain calm despite market conditions.

Sell photos

If your main goal is to earn money online without investing, and you’re a creative person at the same time, you can earn revenue through stock photography. Stock photos are licensed pictures used by businesses, web-designers, marketing agencies and media companies. How do they work? You take photos and then sell them to global companies like Shutterstock or Fotolia.

How much you can earn

Your profit is determined by your own skills, authenticity and creativity. It is important to note that some companies have strict rules and won’t pay you until they sell your photo. However, there are some sites that work on a pay-per-download basis, in which case you have a chance to increase your commission.

Your income also depends on the number of photos that have been approved. You may earn more for one photo that has been downloaded several times than for several photos that have only been downloaded once.

How to start

There are many of stock photography websites. First, you should sign up on the stock photography website you decide to go with. One of the most popular ones is Shutterstock. Here are some simple steps to get started:

  • Sign up on the website
  • Download high-quality images
  • Upload content with their platform to get tips for success
  • Earn a fee every time your image is downloaded

Note that you will need an account at You’ll have to provide personal information and verify your email. You can provide some photos, illustrations or videos for your debuted submission debut.

How to become an expert

Choose a single topic to sell more – business, everyday life, medical or education, for example. Take everything that happens every day in to consideration to help catch a moment and make your photo extremely natural. You should always look at what is happening on TV and in normal life.You can draw graphics as well, with the aid of drawing tablets (they make digital art easier and faster).

Most of the large stocks want you to shoot authentic people and things that inspire you. At the same time, some contributors track hits and competitor sales and want similar photos. Therefore, to become an expert you should focus on both your own preferences and the company’s policy.

Other ways to make money online without paying anything

If you still have questions about how to earn money online quickly and easily without investment, here are a few ideas.

  1. Client work through digital marketing to sell websites and other tools for promotion online. For example, you can create logos or business cards if you are a designer. If you are keen on copywriting and SEO, you can fill websites with relevant content.
  2. Complete small surveys providing your feedback and opinions which can earn from $1 up to $20 per one survey.
  3. Join a PTC websites to click and read the apps. It takes just up to 30 seconds to view one ad and be paid for it.
  4. You can become a captcha solver who reads captcha images and types the related symbols. It only takes two hours a day and lets you put $2 for every thousand captchas in your pocket.

Indeed, there are plenty of other ways to raise money without any investments. These great possibilities made possible via the internet are giving equal chances for everybody to make a good living sitting in the comfort of their home.

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