Review Don’t Invest Here Before Reading This Review!

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Do you read the reviews about a movie before deciding whether to watch it or not?

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First of all, paying for something without knowing anything about it is pretty stupid.

Yes, I could have just watched a trailer, but that’s essentially the same thing as a movie review – you are finding something out about the movie before you even watch it. There’s not much difference in the long run – parts of the movie are spoiled for you whether you watch trailers or not.

There’s also the fact that even average movie trailers often make the mistake of spoiling the entire movie in the trailer, so if we consider that, the playing field becomes even more level.

Freedom Checks – SCAM or Legit? Read This Review Before Investing!

According to a video found on a newly launched website named Freedom Checks, as of February the 1st 2020 certain companies in the USA will be paying out a combined total of $34.6 billion to American taxpayers through something called U.S. Freedom Checks…

And whilst there doesn’t appear to be much information on these so-called Freedom Checks elsewhere online, the “official” Freedom Checks website (operated by Banyan Hill Publishing) claims it can show you how to access these funds in return for a small fee.

But what’s the deal here, is the whole Freedom Checks thing actually legit or is Banyan Hill a scam company that’s just put together some clever BS to part you with your hard earned cash? Well thankfully you’ve landed in the right place to find out because I’ve done the digging, trawled through hundreds of Freedom Checks reviews & in this post I’ll be sharing everything there is that you need to know. ��

What Exactly Are Freedom Checks?

Freedom Checks is merely a term that’s been made up by a company named Banyan Hill Publishing & it refers to the so-called checks that will be getting paid out to American taxpayers through this alleged new scheme. It’s also the name of the website they’ve created through which they promote their “assistance” in obtaining these Freedom Checks (found at

At a glance the Freedom Checks website looks fairly legitimate, and the video that you’re presented with on the site seems very convincing. You’re basically led to believe that this Banyan Hill company will help you obtain your “slice of the pie” from the funds that are going to be getting paid out by these designated big-name companies in the USA.

Throughout the video you’re also shown several testimonials from people who’ve apparently already received Freedom Checks (which is a little peculiar since according to the website they haven’t become available yet), but nevertheless it appears to be reassuring. Then, on top of that the website itself is also packed full of alleged testimonials too.

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At a glance all of the testimonials seem amazing, and you’re led to believe that Banyan Hill’s clients are all thrilled after receiving thousands, some even millions of dollars in Freedom Checks thanks to a so-called loophole which was exploited on their behalf by Banyan Hill Publishing.

But Is Freedom Checks Actually Real?

It’s easy to get sucked into the whole hype of this Freedom Checks thing, and so far it seems many people have. In fact after a guy named Matt Badiali shared the information on these so-called Freedom Checks people have literally been going crazy about it… And who could blame them? I mean who wouldn’t want access to a “free” check that could see you depositing thousands or millions of dollars without actually having to do anything?

The problem here though is that it all just seems too good to be true, don’t you agree?

And if it’s actually real as it’s made out to be then why hasn’t it been covered by any mainstream media?

This alleged “loophole” still remains a secret, only to be known by a small company named Banyan Hill Publishing even after they have apparently successfully helped hundreds of people obtain millions of dollars in free cash.

It’s all just a little too weird, and here’s the real kicker – in order to get access to the “secret” on how to obtain your Freedom Checks you have to firstly pay Banyan Hill Publishing a fee of $49 to sign up to their newsletter…

This is where it all gets very, very suspicious.

The promise of easy money is one thing, but to actually have to pay money to get access to the easy money is another – this sounds like a classic scam & the whole thing actually looks very similar to one I recently exposed named the Ultimate Retirement Loophole… In fact I wouldn’t be surprised if the two were actually linked.

So Who Is This Matt Badiali Guy Anyway?

Whilst the whole Freedom Checks thing is operated by a company named Banyan Hill (as I’ve mentioned throughout this review), it seems the whole hype surrounding these checks was actually set off by a guy named Matt Badiali… So you might be wondering just who this Matt Badiali guy actually is…

Well according to his own personal website he is supposedly an expert in the mining, energy and agricultural industries. He claims that he has perfected a way of finding profitable investments in natural resources as he supposedly has solid experience as both a geologist & financial analyst.

And surprise surprise it seems Matt Badiali is also the main man beyond the company Banyan Hill Publishing, which is the company that is selling this whole Freedom Checks newsletter thing… So essentially Matt could just be feeding us a whole bunch of BS…

Sadly there appears to be nothing else online that backs up any of Matt’s claims which ultimately leans me towards thinking that he is indeed just spouting a whole load of BS, and that he is just trying to create hype around these checks to get as many people as possible to sign up to his $49 monthly newsletter. Of course though that’s just my own personal speculation, but in my opinion it looks very likely to be the case.

You might be thinking though that it would be quite extreme to go to all this trouble, but what you’ve got to realize is that if he can get even just 10,000 people to sign up to his newsletter he will be making a whopping total of $490,000 per year.

If he increases that figure to 50,000 people he will be generating an even more whopping $2,450,000 per year, so in reality it doesn’t seem so extreme at all that he would set all this up merely as a ploy to get newsletter subscribers.

And what’s even more worrying is that that’s exactly how the Ultimate Retirement Loophole scam worked so this is potentially just a re-hashed version of that…

But I will state once again that this is only speculation based on my experience with similar scams. Another worrying thing though is that if you search for “Matt Badiali scam” you will actually arrive at an article which starts out by calling the Freedom Checks a scam, but then it twists it round and refers you to the Freedom Checks website. It seems like Matt is anticipating people to call his service a scam & he has attempted to cover all bases (which is very odd indeed).

Why would you anticipate people calling you out as a scammer if you were in fact legit?

It’s all very odd.

Where Do The Freedom Checks Come From?

As I mentioned towards the start of this review the Freedom Checks are supposedly to be paid out from “designated entities”. These designated entities, according to Matt, are basically companies working within the natural resources sector (such as oil & gas companies).

Matt claims that he has been carrying out historical analysis on these companies & that he is expecting them to see gains of up to 39,832% in the coming year due to the fact the oil production has declined in Middle Eastern countries & has instead remained in the USA due to a recent fracking boom.

He states that these companies will be offloading their profits to investors through dividends & that due to the extremely large gains you could potentially see a huge ROI on your stake as an investor.

Again, this all sounds a little too good to be true, but the problem here is that even if this all were true it’s still just reliant on guesswork. Nobody can say for certain that a company is going to see such gains because anything can happen – yes you can assume, but that’s all you can do, so even if Matt is telling the truth then these so-called Freedom Checks are by no means guaranteed.

My Verdict – Is Freedom Checks a Scam?

Here’s the real bummer, unfortunately there’s absolutely no way to tell for certain whether or not this is a scam without signing up for the $49 (or $79) auto-renewing newsletter which honestly is something I’m not prepared to do (because in my opinion it all looks very sketchy).

I will say though that without signing up, based on pure speculation in my opinion I believe it shares many common traits to a typical get-rich-quick scam, and even if it’s not the whole thing still relies on guesswork so there is absolutely no guarantee of any “Freedom Checks” coming through even if you do pay the $49 fee.

You see the big problem here for me is the fact that you’re promised easy riches yet have to pay to access the “secret”. I mean if this really worked as promised then why can’t our guy Matt just take a cut of the profits handed to you?

The reason as far as I can see is because it seems unlikely that you’ll actually be making any money, instead Matt himself will be the guy making all the money & that money will be coming from everybody that’s signed up to his newsletter.

Again – it’s speculation, and my personal opinion but that seems to be the real deal here. For those reasons I personally won’t be investing & I wouldn’t advise you to invest either. There are much better, free alternatives available.

But anyway hopefully this review provided you with the insight you were looking for into this whole thing & hopefully you can see why I have decided not to recommend it. If you happen to have any further comments or questions don’t hesitate to leave them below. ��

How to Invest in Stocks

You can buy individual stocks or stock mutual funds yourself, or get help investing by using a robo-advisor.

At NerdWallet, we strive to help you make financial decisions with confidence. To do this, many or all of the products featured here are from our partners. However, this doesn’t influence our evaluations. Our opinions are our own.


1. Decide how you want to invest in stocks

2. Open an investing account

3. Know the difference between stocks and stock mutual funds

4. Set a budget for your stock investment

5. Start investing

Investing in stocks is an excellent way to grow wealth. But how do you actually start? Follow the steps below to learn how to invest in the stock market.

1. Decide how you want to invest in stocks

There are several ways to approach stock investing. Choose the option below that best represents how you want to invest, and how hands-on you’d like to be in picking and choosing the stocks you invest in.

“I’m the DIY type and am interested in choosing stocks and stock funds for myself.” Keep reading; this article breaks down things hands-on investors need to know. Or, if you already know the stock-buying game and just need a brokerage, see our roundup of the best online brokers .

“I know stocks can be a great investment, but I’d like someone to manage the process for me.” You may be a good candidate for a robo-advisor, a service that offers low-cost investment management. Virtually all of the major brokerage firms offer these services, which invest your money for you based on your specific goals. See our top picks for robo-advisors .

Once you have a preference in mind, you’re ready to shop for an account.

2. Open an investing account

Generally speaking, to invest in stocks, you need an investment account. For the hands-on types, this usually means a brokerage account. For those who would like a little help, opening an account through a robo-advisor is a sensible option. We break down both processes below.

An important point: Both brokers and robo-advisors allow you to open an account with very little money — we list several providers with low or no account minimum below.


An online brokerage account likely offers your quickest and least expensive path to buying stocks, funds and a variety of other investments. With a broker, you can open an individual retirement account, also known as an IRA — here are our top picks for IRA accounts — or you can open a taxable brokerage account if you’re already saving adequately for retirement elsewhere.

We have a guide to opening a brokerage account if you need a deep dive. You’ll want to evaluate brokers based on factors like costs (trading commissions, account fees), investment selection (look for a good selection of commission-free ETFs if you favor funds) and investor research and tools.

Below are strong options from our analysis of the best online stock brokers for stock trading: TD Ameritrade , E-Trade and Robinhood .

The passive option: Opening a robo-advisor account

A robo-advisor offers the benefits of stock investing, but doesn’t require its owner to do the legwork required to pick individual investments. Robo-advisor services provide complete investment management : These companies will ask you about your investing goals during the onboarding process and then build you a portfolio designed to achieve those aims.

This may sound expensive, but the management fees here are generally a fraction of the cost of what a human investment manager would charge: Most robo-advisors charge around 0.25% of your account balance. And yes — you can also get an IRA at a robo-advisor if you wish.

As a bonus, if you open an account at a robo-advisor, you probably needn’t read further in this article — the rest is just for those DIY types. Here are the top picks from NerdWallet’s latest robo-advisor comparison: Wealthfront , Betterment and Ellevest .

3. Know the difference between stocks and stock mutual funds

Going the DIY route? Don’t worry. Stock investing doesn’t have to be complicated. For most people, stock market investing means choosing among these two investment types:

Stock mutual funds or exchange-traded funds. These mutual funds let you purchase small pieces of many different stocks in a single transaction. Index funds and ETFs are a kind of mutual fund that track an index; for example, a Standard & Poor’s 500 fund replicates that index by buying the stock of the companies in it. When you invest in a fund, you also own small pieces of each of those companies. You can put several funds together to build a diversified portfolio. Note that stock mutual funds are also sometimes called equity mutual funds.

Individual stocks. If you’re after a specific company, you can buy a single share or a few shares as a way to dip your toe into the stock-trading waters. Building a diversified portfolio out of many individual stocks is possible, but it takes a significant investment.

The upside of stock mutual funds is that they are inherently diversified, which lessens your risk. But they’re unlikely to rise in meteoric fashion as some individual stocks might. The upside of individual stocks is that a wise pick can pay off handsomely, but the odds that any individual stock will make you rich are exceedingly slim.

For the vast majority of investors — particularly those who are investing their retirement savings — a portfolio comprised mostly of mutual funds is the clear choice.

» Still unsure which is right for you? Learn more about mutual funds

4. Set a budget for your stock investment

New investors often have two questions in this step of the process:

How much money do I need to start investing in stocks? The amount of money you need to buy an individual stock depends on how expensive the shares are. (Share prices can range from just a few dollars to a few thousand dollars.) If you want mutual funds and have a small budget, an exchange-traded fund (ETF) may be your best bet. Mutual funds often have minimums of $1,000 or more, but ETFs trade like a stock, which means you purchase them for a share price — in some cases, less than $100).

How much money should I invest in stocks? If you’re investing through funds — have we mentioned this is our preference? — you can allocate a fairly large portion of your portfolio toward stock funds, especially if you have a long time horizon. A 30-year-old investing for retirement might have 80% of his or her portfolio in stock funds; the rest would be in bond funds. Individual stocks are another story. We’d recommend keeping these to 10% or less of your investment portfolio.

» Got a small amount of cash to put to work? Here’s how to invest $500

5. Start investing

Stock investing is filled with intricate strategies and approaches, yet some of the most successful investors have done little more than stick with the basics. That generally means using funds for the bulk of your portfolio — Warren Buffett has famously said a low-cost S&P 500 index fund is the best investment most Americans can make — and choosing individual stocks only if you believe in the company’s potential for long-term growth.

If individual stocks appeal to you, learning to research stocks is worth your time. If you plan to stick primarily with funds, building a simple portfolio of broad-based, low-cost options should be your goal.

Nerd tip: If you’re tempted to open a brokerage account but need more advice on choosing the right one, see our 2020 roundup of the best brokers for stock investors. It compares today’s top online brokerages across all the metrics that matter most to investors: fees, investment selection, minimum balances to open and investor tools and resources. Read: Best online brokers for stock investors »

FAQs about how to invest in stocks

Do you have advice about investing for beginners?

All of the above guidance about investing in stocks is directed toward new investors. But if we had to pick one thing to tell every beginner investor, it would be this: Investing isn’t as hard — or complex — as it seems.

That’s because there are plenty of tools available to help you. One of the best is stock mutual funds, which are an easy and low-cost way for beginners to invest in the stock market. These funds are available within your 401(k), IRA or any taxable brokerage account. An S&P 500 fund, which effectively buys you small pieces of ownership in 500 of the largest U.S. companies, is a good place to start.

The other option, as referenced above, is a robo-advisor , which will build and manage a portfolio for you for a small fee.

Bottom line: There are plenty of beginner-friendly ways to invest, no advanced expertise required.

Can I invest if I don’t have much money?

There are two challenges to investing small amounts of money. The good news? They’re both easily conquered.

The first challenge is that many investments require a minimum. The second is that it’s hard to diversify small amounts of money. Diversification, by nature, involves spreading your money around. The less money you have, the harder it is to spread.

The solution to both is investing in stock index funds and ETFs. While mutual funds might require a $1,000 minimum or more, index fund minimums tend to be lower (and ETFs are purchased for a share price that could be lower still). Two brokers, Fidelity and Charles Schwab, offer index funds with no minimum at all. Index funds also cure the diversification issue because they hold many different stocks within a single fund.

The last thing we’ll say on this: Investing is a long-term game, so you shouldn’t invest money you might need in the short term. That includes a cash cushion for emergencies.

Are stocks a good investment for beginners?

Yes. In fact, everyone — including beginners — should be invested in stocks, as long as you’re comfortable leaving your money invested for at least five years. Why five years? That’s because it is relatively rare for the stock market to experience a downturn that lasts longer than that.

But rather than trading individual stocks, focus on stock mutual funds. With mutual funds, you can purchase a large selection of stocks within one fund.

Is it possible to build a diversified portfolio out of individual stocks instead? Sure. But doing so would be time-consuming — it takes a lot of research and know-how to manage a portfolio. Stock mutual funds — including index funds and ETFs — do that work for you.

» Which is the better investment? Stocks vs. real estate

What are the best stock market investments?

In our view, the best stock market investments are low-cost mutual funds, like index funds and ETFs. By purchasing these instead of individual stocks, you can buy a big chunk of the stock market in one transaction.

Index funds and ETFs track a benchmark — for example, the S&P 500 or the Dow Jones Industrial Average — which means your fund’s performance will mirror that benchmark’s performance. If you’re invested in an S&P 500 index fund and the S&P 500 is up, your investment will be, too.

That means you won’t beat the market — but it also means the market won’t beat you. Investors who trade individual stocks instead of funds often underperform the market over the long term.

How should I decide where to invest money?

The answer to where to invest really comes down to two things: the time horizon for your goals, and how much risk you’re willing to take.

Let’s tackle time horizon first: If you’re investing for a far-off goal, like retirement, you should be invested primarily in stocks (again, we recommend you do that through mutual funds).

Investing in stocks will allow your money to grow and outpace inflation over time. As your goal gets closer, you can slowly start to dial back your stock allocation and add in more bonds, which are generally safer investments.

On the other hand, if you’re investing for a short-term goal — less than five years — you likely don’t want to be invested in stocks at all. Consider these short-term investments instead.

Finally, the other factor: risk tolerance. The stock market goes up and down, and if you’re prone to panicking when it does the latter, you’re better off investing slightly more conservatively, with a lighter allocation to stocks. Not sure? We have a risk tolerance quiz — and more information about how to make this decision — in our article about what to invest in .

What stocks should I invest in?

Cue the broken record: Our recommendation is to invest in many stocks through a stock mutual fund, index fund or ETF — for example, an S&P 500 index fund that holds all the stocks in the S&P 500.

If you’re after the thrill of picking stocks, though, that likely won’t deliver. You can scratch that itch and keep your shirt by dedicating 10% or less of your portfolio to individual stocks. Which ones? Check out our list of the best stocks , based on year-to-date performance, for ideas.

Is stock trading for beginners?

While stocks are great for beginner investors, the “trading” part of this proposition is probably not. Maybe we’ve already gotten this point across, but to reiterate: We highly recommend a buy-and-hold strategy using stock mutual funds.

That’s precisely the opposite of stock trading, which involves dedication and a great deal of research. Stock traders attempt to time the market in search of opportunities to buy low and sell high.

Just to be clear: The goal of any investor is to buy low and sell high. But history tells us you’re likely to do that if you hold on to a diversified investment — like a mutual fund — over the long term. No active trading required.

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