Worthy Bonds Review 2020: Can You Count on a 5% Return Through This Microinvesting App?Stocks
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- Basics: Worthy is an investment platform to buy bonds that support small businesses and earn a stable 5% return.
- Pros: Low-risk investment with a stable return and easy access to your funds through the online platform or app.
- Cons: Low return compared with the potential return on stocks and some funds.
Investing is a great way to grow your savings and plan for the future. A platform called Worthy lets you invest and earn real returns with just your spare change.
The company’s low-cost bonds support carefully vetted small businesses, and you can automate your investments with round-up funds.
In this Worthy review, we’ll cover the basics of this micro-investing platform for bond investment. We’ll explain the benefits and drawbacks to its stable 5% return and present alternative investments to help you determine whether this is the right place for your money.
What Is Worthy?
Founded in Florida in 2016, Worthy provides investors an easy and affordable way to diversify their portfolios by investing in bonds, automate investments, and bring in predictable returns that surpass traditional savings.
Worthy bonds cost $10 each and are available for purchase by all investors. They have a 36-month maturation period and boast a competitive, established rate of return: 5% interest.
Worthy bonds support (well-vetted) small businesses around the United States. This allows investors to dip their toes into small business investing, even if they don’t know much about it or aren’t sure where to start.
The maximum investment limit is 10,000 Worthy bonds, which equates to $100,000 invested. Additionally, non-accredited investors are limited to investing up to 10% of their net worth or annual income.
Note that your money could earn a lot more through stocks, certain funds, and even peer-to-peer lending platforms — but you’d take on significantly greater risk by investing in those versus bonds.
Speaking of risk: Bonds are not foolproof. They are still a risk-based investment, which you should always keep in mind. If the business your bonds back fails, Worthy will attempt to recoup the loss through the assets used as collateral. However, the funds are not guaranteed.
Worthy bonds also aren’t FDIC-insured, though they are SEC-registered.
What Makes These Bonds “Worthy?”
How do you know the small businesses your Worthy bonds support are worthwhile? What makes them worthy of your hard-earned money?
This company says it believes in “supporting Main Street, not Wall Street,” offering community capital to promising businesses that need it most. While this sounds great, of course, there needs to be a balance between this idea and investment risk.
Return5%Stable return on investment
Minimum purchase$10Price per bond
That’s why Worthy only invests bond proceeds into fully secured, asset-backed businesses. In fact, most Worthy-supported companies are able to provide assets of around two-thirds the loan value as collateral.
Examples of collateral that Worthy accepts may include company inventory or even commercial accounts receivable. If a borrower were to default on their loan, Worthy would be able to sell off these assets to recoup some of the loss.
This collateral reduces the risk Worthy investors take on when supporting these small businesses.
Features of Worthy Bonds
You’ll find some great features when investing with Worthy bonds:
- Low investment minimums: To invest with Worthy, you’ll only need $10 to purchase your first bond.
- Short-term investing: Worthy bonds mature after only 36 months, so you can reinvest or put your money to work elsewhere without it being tied up for a long time.
- Investing available to all: Anyone can invest in Worthy bonds, regardless of whether or not they are accredited investors.
- Established returns: Like other bonds, Worthy bonds earn a stable interest rate of 5%, making them a more predictable investment than stocks or funds, or even a high-yield savings account.
- Easy automation: You can set up recurring investments, or link a debit or credit card to round up when you make a purchase. When you reach a $10 balance, you’ll automatically invest in another Worthy bond.
- Flexible investing: Want to cash out early? No problem. You can pull your money out at any time. (Investments of $50,000 or more can take a bit longer, though.)
- IRA linking: Already have an established IRA? You can link the account and use the funds to invest in Worthy bonds to diversify your portfolio.
- Automatic reinvesting: If you’d like, your interest can be automatically reinvested into additional bonds, rather than distributed to you.
- Interest-only withdrawals: You are able to withdraw your interest earned at any time without forcing a sale of bonds. You are, however, limited to no more than two withdrawals of less than $10 in a 30-day period.
- Referral bonus: Get a free $10 bond for each new user you refer who maintains a balance of 10 bonds for six months. User referred can also earn a free $10 bond for investing at least $200.
Additionally, the Worthy Causes program makes it easy to do good in the world with causes that are important to you. Through the Worthy app, donors can set aside money via spare change round-ups. When those savings reach $10, Worthy will use the funds to purchase a bond, then contribute them to the non-profit organizations that support your chosen cause.
Not only do these organizations benefit from the $10 contribution, but they will also receive a 5% return on the fund… further amplifying your donation!
Worthy Bonds Cost
There are no fees involved with using Worthy. No reinvestment fees, no early withdrawal fees, no transfer fees, no fee-fees. Ok we made up that last one, but the point remains: there are no fees or penalties to worry about whatsoever.
Each bond costs $10 to purchase.
Worthy Pros & Cons
- Investing is easy.
- The platform is fee-free.
- You can automate everything.
- Support small businesses.
- Returns are predictable.
- Cash out anytime.
- Stocks have the potential for higher returns.
- There is still some risk.
- Non-accredited investors are limited to investing no more than 10% net worth or income.
- Cashing out $50,000 or more could take a few weeks.
If you need to contact Worthy, you have a few options.
No business hours are listed online, but the company lists a phone number: 833-WORTHY1. You can also send an email anytime to firstname.lastname@example.org.
You can also live chat or leave a message with a Worthy specialist through the website.
- How does Worthy make money?
The loans Worthy provides to approved small business clients are given at an interest rate higher than the 5% investors receive. Worthy keeps the difference.
- Why isn’t Worthy FDIC-insured?
FDIC insurance coverage is intended for banks, and Worthy is not a bank. However, Worthy is SEC-registered, providing an extra layer of protection for your investment.
- Is my interest taxable?
Yes, your earnings from Worthy bonds are subject to local, state, and federal income taxes, as applicable. Worthy will send you a 1099 at the end of the year for tax purposes.
Alternatives to Worthy Bonds
There is no direct competitor to Worthy. However, depending on your primary reason for considering Worthy, here are a few alternatives that might meet your needs.
If You Want to (Crowd)Fund Small Businesses
Peer-to-peer lending sites, such as LendingClub, offer investors an opportunity to support small business ventures along with other investors. By choosing a vetted platform, you can mitigate some risk in funding these businesses.
Because the platform is responsible for properly vetting the business, accepting assets for collateral, and facilitating the funding, you don’t need to do quite as much research or take on as much risk as you would going it alone.
With platforms like LendingClub, you can choose the lending terms and level of risk you’re willing to accept, and even browse expected returns.
If You Want a Years-Long Investment That’s Safe and Predictable
There is still some risk involved with bonds, even through a platform like Worthy. However, they are considered relatively low-risk, and the maturation period is only three years, allowing you flexibility. Plus, the interest rate is set at 5%, so you know what to expect.
You can find even more security by opting for something like a certificate of deposit (CD). These savings vehicles come in a variety of terms, with interest rates that often rival or surpass high-yield savings accounts. Their return is locked in, so you don’t have to worry about market trends or volatility, and your money is never at risk.
If You Want to Earn High Returns
With great risk comes great reward, right? The more you’re willing to risk your money, the more you’re often able to earn.
There is some risk involved with all bonds, though it’s not as high as with stocks or funds. However, investing in the latter can also increase the opportunity to grow your money faster.
Of course, there are no guarantees in investing, so be sure that you understand the risks involved anytime you invest.
Who Is Worthy Bonds Best for?
Worthy bonds might be right for you if:
- You want to invest in small businesses but aren’t sure how to start or how to mitigate the risks involved.
- You want a secure way to earn more than your savings account is offering, but with more flexibility than a CD… and without fees!
- You’re looking for a passive, easy investment option that lets you access your money easily.
Return5%Stable return on investment
Minimum purchase$10Price per bond
Worthy Bonds Requirements
To invest through Worthy, you must be at least 18 years old and a U.S. citizen or permanent resident.
How to Sign up
You can sign up online or download the Worthy app for iOS or Android.
You’ll need to provide:
- Name and contact information.
- Social Security number.
- Date of birth.
- Bank account information, including routing and account numbers.
That’s it. Once your bank account is connected, you can begin funding your account and purchasing bonds.
Stephanie Colestock is a personal finance expert and writer who enjoys teaching people how to be financially independent and confident about their money choices, regardless of obstacles in their path (such as the crippling student loan debt she once held). Stephanie graduated from Baylor University, and is currently working toward her CFP certification. Her work can be seen on sites such as Forbes, Dough Roller, and Johnny Jet, among many others.