You want to invest and most platforms highly checking account linking to your investment account for easy transfers.
It makes sense since it’s a lot easier to do automatic transfers and stay consistent in your investment efforts, but is it safe? What should you know?
What Does it Mean to Link your Checking Account to your Investment Account
Checking account linking means you link your checking account to your investment account. You can then transfer funds either automatically or on-demand. You can set the account up as your default account for transfers and other transactions.
As long as you use a reputable investment platform that utilizes top-of-the-line security measures, it’s generally safe. But as with anything, there’s can be too much of a good thing. Don’t assume it’s safe to give your account information to any platform, limit it to as few as possible to decrease the risk of fraud.
How to Link your Checking Account to your Investment Account
Each platform has its own steps, but here are the common checking account linking methods:
• Log into the investment platform using the credentials you set up
• Click on Profile or Settings
• Choose Link Accounts or something similar
• Click Add Account
• Enter your account information
• Save the information
Pros and Cons of Checking Account Linking
There are pros and cons to checking account linking. Here’s what to consider.
• It’s convenient to make investments. You can make regular contributions without the hassle of figuring out how to deposit the funds.
• You can have any earned dividends sent directly to your bank account rather than letting them sit in your brokerage account not earning interest.
• You may be able to set up automatic transfers from your checking account to ensure you make consistent contributions (great if you do dollar cost averaging).
• You may over invest. If you know your account is linked, you may set up transfers quickly should you see a ‘hot investment opportunity’ without thinking about whether you can afford it.
• You give someone else access to your account. Even if you use a reputable platform, there’s always the risk of fraudulent activity. Be careful about who you share your account details with.
• You may miss out on interest opportunities. The lower your balance in your bank account, the less interest you’ll earn. If you’re investing in a ‘bad’ investment, you lose money on it and lose out on the interest you may have earned.
Checking account linking is generally safe when you use the right investment platforms. Do your research before sharing your credentials! Know the investment platform is safe and that you are protected.
If they share information with third parties or don’t use bank-level encryption, look elsewhere. Limiting the number of platforms you share your banking information with helps ensure you don’t put your information at risk.