Stock Market Today: New S&P, Nasdaq Highs Thanks to Apple, Nvidia

The stock market lumbered through another tame session at the broader-index level Thursday, but a few exciting individual moves in Big Tech were just enough to get the S&P 500 and Nasdaq Composite back into record territory.

Initial unemployment claims for the week ended Nov. 13 didn’t seem to affect stocks much. The week’s 268,000 filings were just barely more than expected (260,000), but also slightly lower than last week’s upwardly revised 269,000.

More encouraging was the Philly Fed, which showed activity jumping to 39.0 in November from 23.8 last month (any reading above zero is indicates growth).

“The Philly Fed index was the second regional survey this week to blowout expectations,” says Michael Reinking, senior marketing strategist for the New York Stock Exchange. “The regional surveys are the first pieces of November data and this suggests that next Tuesday’s Markit PMI data could also be strong.”

However, a couple mega-cap tech moves were the strongest drivers of Thursday’s index action.

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Apple (AAPL, +2.9%) shot to record highs amid a Bloomberg report that the company is accelerating the development of a full self-driving electric vehicle, with a possible model reveal by 2025, citing people familiar with the matter. And chipmaker Nvidia (NVDA, +8.3%) resumed its red-hot run after reporting a 50% year-over-year improvement in Q3 revenues and better-than-expected earnings thanks to a big quarter from its gaming and datacenter products.

That resulted in another standout daily performance for tech, which in the bigger picture has broken out to fresh relative highs for the first time since September 2020, according to Scott Brown, technical strategist for LPL Financial.

“Technology continues to be a key enabler of higher productivity and home to many of the fastest-growing companies,” he says. “Despite topping all sectors with 9% earnings growth in 2020, earnings growth this year is on track to exceed 30%.”

The S&P 500 gained 0.3% to a record 4,704, and the Nasdaq finished up 0.5% to a new high of 15,993. The Dow Jones Industrial Average, however, slipped 0.2% to 35,870; Cisco Systems (CSCO, -5.5%) pulled on the industrial average after delivering weak quarterly guidance.

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Other news in the stock market today:

  • The small-cap Russell 2000 dipped 0.6% to 2,363.
  • U.S. crude futures rose 0.8% to $79.01 per barrel.
  • Gold futures slipped 0.5% to settle at $1,861.40 an ounce.
  • The CBOE Volatility Index (VIX) climbed 1.6% to 17.40.
  • Bitcoin dropped to roughly one-month lows, declining 3.9% to $57,998.79. (Bitcoin trades 24 hours a day; prices reported here are as of 4 p.m. each trading day.)
  • It was a red-hot market debut for Sweetgreen (SG). The Los Angeles-based fast-casual salad chain opened today at $52, well above last night’s initial public offering (IPO) price of $28 per share – and more than double the expected range of $23 to $25 per share. SG’s opening price gave the company a market value of more than $5.5 billion, though it eventually closed the day just shy of here at $49.50. There’s still a handful of names waiting to go public in the final weeks of 2021, capping off what has been a big year for IPOs.
  • Macy’s (M) was a big winnerpost-earnings, with the retail stock surging 21.2%. In its third quarter, the department store reported higher-than-expected adjusted earnings per share of $1.23 on $5.4 billion in revenue. M also said comparable sales surged 35.6% year-over-year on an owned-plus-licensed basis, while digital sales surged 19%. Still, CFRA Research analyst Zachary Warring maintained a Hold rating on the stock. “We like the improvements to the balance sheet and business model but expect FY 22 to be a peak year for Macy’s,” he wrote in a note.

2022: The Year of the Stock Picker?

As we head into the final innings of 2021, Morgan Stanley Research is lukewarm about the 12-month risk/reward proposition offered by the broader indexes, but they do think investors can find opportunity in individual equities.

Even then, “while our primary theme for 2022 is to focus more on stocks than sectors and styles, one can’t ignore them. We go into year-end favoring earnings stability and undemanding valuation given our view for a tougher operating environment and higher long-end rates,” the team says in its 2022 outlook.

That has Morgan Stanley overweighting the healthcare sector, which stands out for its defensive qualities and reasonably priced growth. No small wonder there. Healthcare seems to offer something to everyone, from blue-chip pharmaceutical companies with ample dividends to growthy biotechnology firms.

But if you’re looking at the sector with a specific eye toward the new year, look no further. We’ve begun our annual dive into the market’s various slivers with the best healthcare stocks for 2022, where COVID-19 should still be a factor for some potential winners … but not all of them.

Kyle Woodley was long NVDA as of this writing.


In 2 Minutes, Credit Sesame Can Help Improve Your Chances of Getting a Home in This Market

If you’ve been trying to buy a house in this chaotic pandemic housing market, you know you could lose an opportunity from right under your feet in an instant.
But there’s one thing that you do have control over — and that’s making sure you get approved for a mortgage, at a rate you can afford. Home sellers want to sell to someone who won’t give them any trouble during the closing process — and having a pre-approval for a mortgage loan is a great selling point. But without a good credit score, you might not stand a chance.
And with a poor credit score, you might not get a pre-approval at all — meaning just putting an offer on a home is out of the question.

A Bad Credit Score Can Deny You a Pre-Approval — Or Cost You Thousands

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Ready to stop worrying about money?
A higher interest rate on your mortgage could cost you tens of thousands of dollars more over the life of your loan. In just 90 seconds, Credit Sesame will show you your free credit score, plus what’s impacting it. It’ll even tell you if there are any mistakes on your credit report — one in five people have one, according to the FTC. Then, they’ll give you customized advice to get your credit score back on track, which could make you more appealing to lenders — and home sellers.
Credit Sesame does not guarantee any of these results, and some may even see a decrease in their credit score. Any score improvement is the result of many factors, including paying bills on time, keeping credit balances low, avoiding unnecessary inquiries, appropriate financial planning and developing better credit habits.
The market is as competitive as we’ve ever seen it, and cash buyers are snatching up houses left and right. Bidding wars start within hours of a house being listed, and it’s not uncommon to see people offering ,000 over asking price. Some things are just out of your control.
Make sure your dreams of homeownership don’t get squashed by bad credit. Get your free credit score here (it only takes about 90 seconds) and see how much you could improve your score. You could be that much closer to getting the keys to your new home.
Kari Faber is a staff writer at The Penny Hoarder. <!–


60% of Credit Sesame members see an increase in their credit score; 50% see at least a 10-point increase, and 20% see at least a 50-point increase after 180 days.

This Sesame Cash Debit Card Gives You up to $100 for Raising Your Credit Score

You know this classic dilemma: You want to build credit, but first you need to prove you can be trusted — that you’ll make your payments on time and keep your usage low. Of course you can, but how can you prove it if no one will extend you any credit?

Luckily, we found a debit card with a credit builder feature that can help you get you into the credit game by helping you raise your score, much like a credit card could. It’s from Sesame Cash, a digital, all-in-one account from Credit Sesame. The Sesame Cash debit card isn’t your typical debit card. It has a free credit builder feature you can enable, and it’ll even pay you up to $100 just for raising your credit score.1

Here’s how it works: Once you have your free Sesame Cash debit card, they’ll open a virtual secured credit card, or “credit builder,” which gets reported to the major credit bureaus. You’ll pick the security deposit amount to put toward your credit builder account each month, then Sesame Cash tallies up some of your already-made debit purchases (not more than your deposit amount), moves them to your credit builder account, and reports them to the bureaus. Then you get to watch your credit grow!2

It gets even better — your Sesame Cash account will pay you for raising your credit score. Just put $100 toward your account every month and Credit Sesame will pay you as much as $100 when your score increases.1

Once the money is deposited into your Sesame Cash Account, you can spend it however you want to. And if it’s at one of the more than 5,000 stores Sesame Cash partners with, like Burger King, Sephora or Walmart, you could earn up to 15% back instantly on your purchase.3 It’s like a gift that keeps giving.

Creating a Sesame Cash account is quick and secure. And if you need to raise your credit score anyway, getting paid to do it makes the process that much sweeter.

1 This is a limited time offer. To be eligible for cash rewards, a minimum deposit, every 30 days, must be made into your Sesame Cash account. Rewards earnings are available for credit score improvements of ten points or more within a 30-day reward cycle. Improvements are calculated from your baseline credit score, as determined by Credit Sesame. Please review the full program terms for more details, including the minimum deposit amount for this program term.

2Sesame Cash is a prepaid debit card issued by Community Federal Savings Bank (CFSB). Building credit with Sesame Cash requires you to also open a secured line of credit with CFSB that is reported to the credit bureaus. Use money from your Sesame Cash account to create a secured line of credit (Secured Account). Your debit card purchases are then added up to create a balance on your Secured Account. As you make these purchases, an amount equal to the balance on your Secured Account is also set aside in your Sesame Cash account to ensure you can make timely payments to pay off the balance on your secured line of credit at the end of each month, allowing you to build a positive payment history. Credit Sesame does not guarantee credit score improvement. Any predicted credit improvement from the use of your Secured Account assumes that you will maintain healthy credit habits, including paying bills on time, keeping credit balances low, avoiding unnecessary inquiries, appropriate financial planning, and more.

3 Cash back offers are powered by Empyr, Inc. Cash back requires the activation of any active offer before payment is made. Payment must be processed as a credit transaction and made before the offer expires. Offers vary by geographic location and are subject to change. Please review the full program terms for more details. 




What Are Personal Loans Used For?

Even the savviest budgeter occasionally runs into a circumstance they’re simply unprepared for, which is where a personal loan may come in handy. Common personal loan uses include covering an unexpected medical expense or home repair or even managing existing debt.

Borrowing money vs. paying cash isn’t ideal, but if you need cash ASAP and don’t have enough in savings to cover the expense, a borrower has options — one of which is a personal loan. We cover what you can use a personal loan for, as well as the drawbacks and benefits of obtaining a personal loan to consider before you borrow.

What Can You Use a Personal Loan For?

Personal loans may be used for just about anything personal (that’s legal, of course). Here are some of the most common personal loan uses.

Debt Management and Consolidation

Refinancing or consolidating high-interest debt into better loan terms is one of the most common uses for a personal loan — and possibly one of the most financially savvy.

Interest rates on credit card debt are some of the highest rates out there. In addition, credit cards almost always have variable rates, making it challenging to create a predictable budget to pay down outstanding debt.

Rates for personal loans, on the other hand, tend to be lower than credit card APRs, which could save borrowers money in interest payments just by refinancing. The fixed payback time frame of a personal installment loan also may help borrowers avoid getting into the cycle of revolving debt that could easily occur with a credit card that has no set time to repay the loan.

Even if you’re not drowning in credit card debt, but instead are facing down a multiplicity of different kinds of loans, consolidating your debt with a personal loan could be a useful tactic, depending on the financing terms a borrower may qualify for.

Instead of keeping track of payments on debts that might be due at different times of the month, it could make sense to consolidate those into one personal loan with just one payment to make each month. This may simplify a bill-paying schedule and also potentially help implement a better budget going forward — provided you don’t use the opportunity to dig yourself into even more debt.

Wedding Expenses

According to The Knot, the average cost of a wedding in 2020 was $19,000, and pre-COVID times, in 2019, it was $28,000. Unfortunately, many young couples have not saved up enough to pay for their entire wedding bill themselves, and the days when the bride’s parents footed the entire wedding bill are dwindling.

A personal loan, also referred to as a wedding loan when used for this purpose, could possibly cover all or a portion of a well-budgeted wedding. Personal loans also tend to offer much lower interest rates than an average credit card offers, which The Knot reports a significant portion of newlyweds use to fund their foray into wedded bliss.

Think long and hard about whether you really want to start out your married life in debt though. Consider if you can actually afford to pay off the loan in a timely manner. If not, it might be better to see if there’s anywhere you can cut back on your wedding budget, or if you could take some more time to save up for your dream day.

Unexpected Medical Expenses

When an unexpected medical emergency occurs, it’s important for the main focus to be on health, but the financial burden can’t be ignored. Being able to pay for the out-of-pocket expenses with a low-rate personal loan may relieve some stress and offer time to heal without additional financial stress.

It’s no secret that the cost of medical care in America can be sky-high — especially for the large portion of Americans that have high-deductible health plans. The situation is even worse for those who don’t have health insurance coverage at all. When paying out-of-pocket, even a seemingly simple procedure, like casting a broken leg, could cost a shocking $7,500 , according to

Moving Expenses

A low-interest personal loan (also known as a relocation loan) may help defray some of the out-of-pocket costs associated with moving.

According to the American Moving & Storage Association , a local move could set someone back about $1,250 on average if using professional movers. Moving a long distance (1,000 miles or more)? The average cost is typically $4,890 using the pros.

And these figures only account for the move itself. As anyone who has moved knows, additional hidden costs associated with moving out could pop up every day — storage, boxes, cleaning fees and partial security deposit returns, just to name a few.

There are also costs that could come with the new place. Most new rentals require upfront cash for a deposit, sometimes totaling three times the monthly rent (first, last and security). Opening new utility accounts may also require a deposit. And don’t forget about replacing household items left behind — even basics like soap, light bulbs, shower curtains and ketchup could easily total a few hundred dollars.

Lastly, miscellaneous costs may arise during the move itself, such as replacing broken items. Even with insurance, there’s usually a deductible to pay.

Funeral Expenses

A person may already have life insurance for their own funeral, but what if mom, dad or grandpa didn’t plan ahead? If the deceased did not plan appropriately to finance their death, and life insurance doesn’t cover the bill, a personal loan may be a quick, easy solution for the family. And when you’re dealing with a major personal crisis like the death of a loved one, the last thing you want to do is pile a financial crisis on top.

With an aging U.S. population, the costs associated with death are increasingly being passed onto children of the deceased and could escalate quickly in this time of mourning. Basic costs include the funeral service, burial or cremation, and any gathering of friends and family surrounding the memorial. The average cost of a traditional funeral service with a burial is around 12,500 to $17,500 , with caskets alone costing up to $10,000.

Home Improvement Expenses

Many renters and homeowners feel that annual or biannual itch to spruce up their living spaces, which might mean a fresh coat of paint, a new piece of art, upgraded appliances or a kitchen remodeling. Depending on the level of your upgrade, the cost of home improvements could come in anywhere from a few hundred to tens of thousands of dollars.

If you’re making upgrades that will improve a home’s value, the cost may be made up when selling the house later — and you’ll enjoy a more comfortable space today. Using a personal home improvement loan can help you focus on the renovation instead of fretting about the costs. Plus, if you get an unsecured loan you won’t have to worry about putting your home equity on the line as collateral.

Deciding Whether to Take Out a Personal Loan

Going into debt should never be taken lightly, so it’s important to set out a realistic plan to repay the debt and ensure it’s realistic with your budget. No matter the reason for taking out a personal loan, a borrower will be on the hook for repaying a significant amount of money including interest, and there might be hidden fees to worry about too.

When taking out any new debt, research is essential. Shopping around for the rate, fee and terms that best fits your needs is an important step to take before applying with a lender, as it could go a long way toward ensuring you get the best bang for your buck. The good thing is there are lots of different unsecured personal loans available from a wide variety of lenders. Credit history and score may have a significant impact on the loan terms, and interest rates and qualifying criteria may vary from lender to lender.

Pros & Cons of Taking Out a Personal Loan

As you’re weighing your decision, it may also help to take a look at the overall pros and cons of personal loans.

Personal Loans: Pros and Cons

Pros Cons

•   Fast access to cash

•   Usable for a variety of purposes

•   Lower interest rates compared to credit cards

•   No collateral required for unsecured personal loans

•   Increases your debt

•   Can carry fees and penalties

•   Sufficient credit and income necessary to qualify (especially for unsecured loans)

•   Applying might ding your credit score

Get a Personal Loan With SoFi

There are a number of reasons why you might want to get a personal loan, from funding your wedding to paying for a home renovation project. No matter your reason, it’s critical to start by taking a hard look at your budget and figuring out exactly how much you can comfortably afford when it comes to rates, future payments and total loan size. SoFi’s personal loan calculator is one tool that might be helpful in determining how your interest rate can affect your monthly payments.

From there, shop around the wide variety of loan providers to see where you can get the best rate and terms. One option for where to get a personal loan is through SoFi, which couples low interest rates with no hidden fees.

To learn whether a SoFi Personal Loan is right for you, check your own rate in just minutes.

Disclaimer: Many factors affect your credit scores and the interest rates you may receive. SoFi is not a Credit Repair Organization as defined under federal or state law, including the Credit Repair Organizations Act. SoFi does not provide “credit repair” services or advice or assistance regarding “rebuilding” or “improving” your credit record, credit history, or credit rating. For details, see the FTC’swebsite .
External Websites: The information and analysis provided through hyperlinks to third party websites, while believed to be accurate, cannot be guaranteed by SoFi. Links are provided for informational purposes and should not be viewed as an endorsement.
Financial Tips & Strategies: The tips provided on this website are of a general nature and do not take into account your specific objectives, financial situation, and needs. You should always consider their appropriateness given your own circumstances.
Third Party Brand Mentions: No brands or products mentioned are affiliated with SoFi, nor do they endorse or sponsor this article. Third party trademarks referenced herein are property of their respective owners.
SoFi Loan Products
SoFi loans are originated by SoFi Lending Corp. or an affiliate (dba SoFi), a lender licensed by the Department of Financial Protection and Innovation under the California Financing Law, license # 6054612; NMLS # 1121636 . For additional product-specific legal and licensing information, see



Stock Market Today: New Week, New Highs for Stocks

A downright persistent market rally kept its mojo into a new week, with the major indexes again making a slow grind upward to all-time highs Monday.

Helping fuel the optimism was a final push in Washington to get an infrastructure bill across the finish line. Late Friday, the House sent the $1.2 trillion piece of legislation to President Joe Biden, who is expected to sign it into law soon.

“[The bill] represents the largest public works investment in the U.S. in nearly a decade, and would bring about an additional $555 billion in new infrastructure projects that were not planned for by states and municipalities,” says Jeff Spiegel, head of U.S. iShares Megatrend and International ETFs.

A few other pieces of news moved the needle, too. The U.S. ended its international travel ban, providing a lift to a number of travel stocks. Also, chipmaker Advanced Micro Devices (AMD, +10.1%) broke out to new highs after landing Facebook parent Meta Platforms (FB, -0.7%) as a customer; that move sent most of the semiconductor industry higher in sympathy, including rival Nvidia (NVDA, +3.6%).

The major indexes didn’t move much – the Dow Jones Industrial Average gained 0.3% to 36,432, the Russell 2000 improved 0.2% to 2,442, and the S&P 500 (4,701) and Nasdaq Composite (15,982) made marginal advances. However, they all managed to scratch out fresh record closing highs.

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Other news in the stock market today:

  • Following a down week, U.S. crude futures kicked off Monday with a 0.8% improvement to $81.93.
  • Gold futures were also higher, settling up 1.3% to $1,816.80 per ounce.
  • The CBOE Volatility Index (VIX) improved to start the week, gaining 4.3% to 17.20.
  • Bitcoin surged 8.1% over the weekend to $66,093.98, nearing its all-time high of 66,974.77. (Bitcoin trades 24 hours a day; prices reported here are as of 4 p.m. each trading day.)
  • Tesla (TSLA, -4.9%) was on the decline after CEO Elon Musk seemingly committed to selling a hefty sum of shares. This weekend, in response to a Democratic billionaire tax proposal on unrealized gains (one that didn’t make it into a bill), Musk conducted a poll asking his followers whether he should sell 10% of his TSLA shares, and a majority of his followers said he should. “Either way, it was well known that Musk had a big tax bill coming due from his 23 million stock options awarded in 2012 that have vested and expire in August 2022 and he was going to sell some stock before year-end,” says Wedbush analyst Dan Ives, who rates TSLA at Outperform. But it might be much ado about nothing. Ives called it a “digestible number we are not overly concerned about, but added that “holding a Twitter poll to sell 10% of his stock is another bizarre soap opera that can only happen to one company and one CEO in the world: Musk.”
  • Ford (F) shares improved by another 4.5% on no particular news, extending its year-to-date rally to roughly 130%. The automaker is now trading above $20 per share for the first time in more than 20 years. Jefferies analysts Philippe Houchois and Himanshu Agarwal (Buy) recently sounded off on the stock, saying, “Presenting good numbers helped of course, but we found Ford management on the call more in control of operations and strategy than any time in the past two years despite industry uncertainty. Ford is early in an intense cycle of replacing and reviving key product franchise and playing to brand strengths with FordPro.”

How to Play the Infrastructure Deal

While Wall Street has largely bet on an infrastructure bill passing at some point, at some time, opportunities still abound – including in not-so-traditional infrastructure plays.

“The bipartisan infrastructure bill will be a huge boost to the ongoing renewable energy and 5G revolutions,” says Josh Duitz, deputy head of equities and manager of the Aberdeen Standard Global Infrastructure Income Fund (ASGI). “We expect both these areas to create investment opportunities moving forward as we transition toward a carbon-neutral economy and enhance our broadband capabilities.”

That could mean a new burst of excitement for 5G-related stocks, not to mention continued business uptake for clean energy stocks.

But largely speaking, this is a win for infrastructure stocks of all types, including traditional industrial and materials plays.

“The infrastructure package includes $579 billion of future incremental federal spending, which amounts to $974 billion of total infrastructure spending over five years and $1.2 trillion over eight years,” says a team of Stifel analysts. “Of the incremental $579 billion, $312 billion is expected to be spent on transportation of which $109B is earmarked for roads, bridges and major projects. Other transportation spending includes public transit, rail, EV infrastructure (half EV chargers), airports and ports, among other categories.

“There is also $266 billion of other infrastructure spending including investments in water, broadband and the grid.”

For a wide variety of ways to invest in this new spending glut, check out our updated list of infrastructure stocks poised to benefit.


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Using a Coborrower on Your Loan

Qualifying for a loan is sometimes easier said than done. Just because you need a mortgage to buy your first home, or a personal loan to consolidate and pay off credit card debt, doesn’t mean a lender is going to magically understand and give you the exact loan and interest rate you want.

Thankfully, if you’re struggling to qualify for a loan, you might be able to ask a friend or family member to step in to help. If they agree, essentially, you leverage their income, credit score, and financial history to help you get a loan that’s right for you.

The downside is that this type of borrowing (as in, borrowing money with another person) can get a little jargon heavy. “Coborrower,” “co-applicant,” and “cosigner” are all terms that are going to come up. Let’s dive into the details.

What is a Coborrower?

A loan coborrower basically takes on the loan with you. Their name will be on the loan with yours, making them equally responsible for paying back the loan. They will also have part-ownership of whatever this loan buys — for example, a coborrower will own half of the home if you take out a mortgage together.

Spouses, for example, might coborrow when buying property, or if they are taking out a home improvement loan for a remodel. You and your coborrower may qualify for a larger loan or better loan terms than if you were to take out a loan solo, and this way you both own the investment and are equally responsible for loan payments.

Another quick piece of jargon: A co-applicant is the person applying for the loan with you. Once the loan is approved, the co-applicant becomes the coborrower.

Coborrower vs. Cosigner

A cosigner, on the other hand, plays a slightly different role than that of a coborrower.

A cosigner’s financial history and credit score is factored into the loan decision, and their positive financial history can be a boon to the primary applicant’s loan application. But they do not have ownership of any property the loan might be used to purchase, they do not receive any loan proceeds, and would only help make your loan payments if you were unable to make them.

Cosigning helps to assure lenders that someone will be able to pay back the loan. Typically, a cosigner with a stronger financial history than you have, which can help you get a loan you might not qualify for on your own (or for better terms than you may qualify for on your own). Lenders might be more comfortable lending to you if your cosigner has a strong credit score and a dependable income, but loan underwriting criteria (that is, the personal financial factors used to determine who gets a loan at what rates and terms) differ from lender to lender.

For an example, let’s go back to our hypothetical home-buying experience. A parent with a strong credit history might cosign their child’s mortgage, allowing the child to get a lower interest rate on their home loan than they would have on their own. The parent wouldn’t own the home, but they would have to make mortgage payments if their child couldn’t.

Benefits of a Coborrower

Having a coborrower can help two people who both want to achieve a financial goal — like homeownership or buying a new car — put in a stronger application than they might have on their own. Because the lender will have double the financial history to consider (and two borrowers to rely on when it comes to repayment), the loan is a potentially less risky prospect for them, which could translate to more favorable terms.

Basically, having a coborrower has the potential to improve the borrowing power for both partners involved — whereas having a cosigner is generally more beneficial to the primary applicant than it is for the cosigner.

When Does Having a Coborrower Make Sense?

Applying with a coborrower makes the most sense when you’re working as a team toward some financial objective. Spouses buying a house together is a common example, but a joint personal loan with a partner might also be considered in order to fund home improvements or consolidate debt to get your finances in better shape before getting married. Business partners also sometimes coborrow loans to help get their ventures up and running.

Many companies, including SoFi, now allow qualified individuals to coborrow on personal loans. That means you and your coborrower (whether they’re your spouse, friend, or a member of your family) may be able to qualify for an even better interest rate and fund your financial goals that much more easily.

The Takeaway

It’s a big decision to take out a loan, so it may be a good idea to make sure both coborrowers are 100% ready to take on this financial commitment. Both of you will be responsible for making monthly loan payments.

Thinking about coborrowing on a personal loan? Check out your rate on a SoFi Personal Loan in minutes.

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SoFi loans are originated by SoFi Lending Corp. or an affiliate (dba SoFi), a lender licensed by the Department of Financial Protection and Innovation under the California Financing Law, license # 6054612; NMLS # 1121636 . For additional product-specific legal and licensing information, see

Checking Your Rates: To check the rates and terms you may qualify for, SoFi conducts a soft credit pull that will not affect your credit score. A hard credit pull, which may impact your credit score, is required if you apply for a SoFi product after being pre-qualified.


Top 22 Black Friday and Cyber Monday Shopping Apps for Android & iPhone

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Additional Resources

Whether you skip into the holidays on a cushion of unbridled glee or grudgingly face it with stoic resignation, you know what you’ll be doing at some point between the middle of November and the last week or so of December: steadily accumulating gifts for family, friends, coworkers, and people to whom you’re obligated for one reason or another.

If you’re a savvy shopper, you know that using a little modern technology can go a long way.

The Right App Makes All The Difference

Holiday shopping is now an omni-channel affair. The vast majority of holiday shoppers now do at least some of their shopping online, whether with all-digital retailers like Amazon or hybrids like Walmart or Best Buy. Of the millions of shoppers who still hit the stores in November and December, most bring their smartphones. Deloitte’s 2017 holiday shopping survey found that 40% of holiday shoppers planned to use a retailer’s shopping app that year, and another 36% planned to use a mobile payment app. holiday shoppers use mobile devices to enhance the in-person retail experience.

Mobile aids really come in handy on the two most hectic days of the early holiday shopping season: Black Friday, the day immediately following Thanksgiving and the purported genesis of the “doorbuster” sale; and Cyber Monday, the original digital shopping holiday the following Monday.

All the apps listed here have features designed to simplify and enhance the holiday shopping experience, especially on chaotic, deal-ridden days like Black Friday and Cyber Monday. A few are specifically designed for the two big days, but most are just shopper-friendly digital aids that offer clear advantages over desktop e-commerce sites.

Unless otherwise noted, these apps are all free to download and require no ongoing membership fees. Some retailers or app owners may have paid membership programs and clubs, but app users are under no obligation to join.

While you’re at it, please take a few minutes to read our tip sheets for better shopping on Black Friday and Cyber Monday shopping.

Retailer Apps

These apps are all backed by major U.S. retailers. All pair up with brands mentioned in our twin holiday shopping guides: the Black Friday 2019 shopping guide and Cyber Monday 2019 shopping guide.

1. Amazon

Let’s address the elephant in the room: Amazon’s main shopping website isn’t very mobile-friendly. That hasn’t stopped Amazon from growing into North America’s unquestioned retail behemoth, but it’s a deficiency nonetheless.

Good thing there’s the Amazon app, a mobile-friendly distillation for iOS (including Apple Watch) and Android. Newer versions of the app are equipped with Alexa, Amazon’s voice-modulated AI assistant, making for a (nearly) hands-free experience.

Check in the day before Thanksgiving, and again on Black Friday itself, for the complete lineup of Thanksgiving weekend deals. Don’t miss Amazon’s Cyber Monday and Cyber Week sales, which stretch through the week following Thanksgiving.

2. eBay

Enjoy bidding for holiday gifts, but not willing to park at your desktop for the second half of November and most of December? The eBay app for iOS and Android can help.

The eBay app’s handy price and bid alerts put an end to superfluous logins – you’ll know when it’s finally time to pull the trigger and when you need to bid again (if your budget can handle it) without checking your eBay account or even opening your email suite. Use the watchlist feature to check in on your gifting shortlist – and, when the time is right, bid or buy.

If you need some extra cash this holiday season, you can always downsize and declutter your life while padding your holiday gift budget. For more, check out our guide to selling stuff on eBay, Craigslist, and Amazon.

3. Best Buy

The Best Buy app is one of the slickest and most comprehensive on this list. Unlike many retail apps, it’s clearly built with the brick-and-mortar shopping experience in mind. That makes it a great addition to your Black Friday arsenal.

Some of my favorite Best Buy app features:

  • A QR scanner that you can use to call up detailed product information in-store and build a gift registry or wishlist
  • Full e-tailing capabilities
  • Detailed product ratings and reviews
  • Access to daily deals and promotions, including Black Friday and Cyber Monday discounts
  • Secure Touch ID sign-in
  • Comprehensive help channels, including text and talk

4. Target

The iOS- and Android-compatible Target mobile app is pretty handy. Like the Best Buy app, it’s clearly designed to augment the in-person shopping experience. I’m particularly pleased with:

  • Detailed product listings that include aisle locations in your preferred store (which you set in the app) – a huge time-saver in large-format Target stores
  • User-supplied product reviews
  • Up-to-date store maps
  • Cartwheel, Target’s in-house coupon and deal aggregator
  • Weekly sales flyers, including Black Friday and Cyber Monday scans when available
  • Barcode scanner to pull up product listings

5. Walmart

The Walmart mobile app is also iOS- and Android-compatible. Notable features include:

  • Weekly flyer scans, including Black Friday and Cyber Monday when available
  • Walmart Pay, a house-made mobile contactless payment app that you can use to check out without help from a human or fixed self-scanner
  • Internal receipt storage for easy budgeting and returns (both clutch during the holidays)
  • A mobile pharmacy ordering and pickup app-within-an-app – not directly relevant to Black Friday, but still useful
  • Discounts on in-store pickup for select items – order online, swing by at your convenience
  • Order tracking for ship-to-store and ship-to-home purchases

6. Macy’s

The iOS- and Android-compatible Macy’s shopping app comes with a sweet kick-off bonus: 25% off your first order placed through the app. Other useful features include:

  • Barcode scanner to reveal detailed product listings and check availability on variants (such as different colors or sizes)
  • Online ordering in-store after you try it on – just scan the product code, use your saved payment card information to complete the transaction, and arrange shipping to your home
  • Store directories and maps (though nothing as comprehensive as Target’s aisle directory and map)
  • Weekly flyer scans, including Black Friday and Cyber Monday when available
  • Real-time deal alerts based on your location within the store – if you walk by something Macy’s thinks you’ll link, you’ll know about it

7. Home Depot

The Home Depot app facilitates home improvement projects in any season, but it really shines during the holidays. It does a few things better than most other retail apps I’ve seen:

  • Detailed store maps with exact item locations in aisles – if you’ve ever wandered, agape, through one of these cavernous stores, you know how important this is
  • Near-real-time item availability by product and department
  • Image search – just snap a picture of an unfamiliar item and the program will return a list of probable matches
  • Side-by-side product comparisons with detailed specs
  • Barcode scanner for in-depth reviews and descriptions
  • Create project- or person-based shopping lists – perfect for holiday gift-getting or post-holiday remodeling

8. Lowe’s

Lowe’s has multiple mobile apps, but the flagship is the appropriately named Lowe’s mobile app. It’s compatible with iOS and Android. Highlights include:

  • An in-store product locator with basic aisle maps and a storage system for flagging and “bookmarking” your favorite items
  • Quick Lists, or user-friendly shopping and watchlists ideal for the gifting season
  • Barcode scanners for comprehensive product information and add-to-list functionality
  • Store-specific shopping lists
  • MyLowe’s, a free loyalty program that stores your discount card and Lowe’s credit card (if you have one), plus keeps track of your purchase history

If you’re planning a major home improvement project, or simply want to imagine what could be, don’t miss the Lowe’s Creative Ideas app. It boasts a project database with step-by-step instructions, ideas and tips from Lowe’s network of influential bloggers, and an interactive makeover tool that lets you “remodel” your house on your phone.

9. Menards

The iOS- and Android-compatible Menards app is a comprehensive retail aid that’s equally useful at home and in the store. My favorite features:

  • An augmented reality tool that lets  you visualize Menards products in your home – for instance, a new microwave in its natural kitchen environment or a new lounger just where you want it on the patio
  • Product calculators that tally up the amount of raw materials (and their cost) you’ll need to complete your next home improvement project
  • Barcode scans revealing detailed product information
  • Lists that you can organize by gift recipient, project, or trip
  • Customizable gift registries – definitely a help around the holidays
  • In-store maps with detailed aisle renderings

10. doesn’t have a physical store to show off in its app, but that doesn’t stop this award-winning, iOS- and Android-compatible product from shining on Black Friday and beyond. Features that really grabbed my attention include:

  • A stunning augmented reality tool that lets you visualize how Overstock products will look in your living space
  • Daily deals (including Black Friday specials) and virtual “scratch and win” coupons that gamify the savings
  • Personalized in-app and email notifications
  • 10% off your first in-app purchase
  • One-click ordering with Apple Pay and Android Pay

11. Wayfair

Wayfair has iOS and Android apps offer targeted access to what Wayfair claims is “the largest online catalog of home furniture and decor.” With more than 7 million SKUs in all, who am I to argue?

The Wayfair app’s most notable features include:

  • Access to daily, time-limited deals, beginning at 12pm Eastern every day
  • Interactive Idea Boards, where you can post and swap decorating and home improvement ideas with fellow Wayfairers
  • App-optimized checkout
  • An augmented reality feature that maps potential purchases on existing indoor and outdoor spaces around your home

Deal-Finding and Discount Apps

Deal Finding Discount Apps

These mobile coupon apps aren’t limited to a single retailer. The deals are all that matter.

12. Capital One Shopping

Capital One Shopping is a free browser extension that helps shoppers save money on online purchases. With just one click, Capital One Shopping searches for better offers from other merchants when you browse a particular online seller. After testing all available coupon codes from hundreds of retailers (including big names like Costco and Target), Capital One Shopping applies the best coupon code from the group and displays the total potential savings.

Capital One Shopping also automatically searches for better offers from other retailers when you browse Amazon. When Capital One Shopping finds savings on a particular product, you’ll see the better price or prices with a summary of the matched product, including:

•  Total price with tax, shipping, and active coupons
•  Price history
•  Return policy
•  Delivery estimate
•  Related product deals from other Capital One Shopping users
•  Product reviews and rankings

Capital One Shopping is available for Google Chrome, Mozilla Firefox, Microsoft Edge, and Safari.

Capital One Shopping compensates us when you get the Capital One Shopping extension using the links we provided.

13. Ibotta

Ibotta is a cash back app that’s compatible with some of North America’s top retailers, from ubiquitous giants like Walmart and Amazon to regional superstores like H-E-B, apparel and home goods retailers like Under Armour and Kohl’s, and even third-party travel vendors like Travelocity and

Ibotta works year-round, but the volume of available deals and discounts definitely ticks up ahead of the holidays. Unlike many other cash back apps, Ibotta’s money-saving power isn’t limited to digital purchases: You can snap a picture of your in-store receipt to claim your discount retroactively. Use the Pay With Ibotta feature to claim cash back at a wider range of retailers than those found in the classic app.

14. Rakuten

The Rakuten app delivers discounts up to 40% (and higher, in some cases) from more than 2,500 retailers nationwide, including hundreds with blowout Black Friday promotions. The range of opportunities is impossible to do justice in a short blurb, but here’s a sampling:

  • Deep discounts from top online and brick-and-mortar retailers, such as Amazon, eBay, and Samsung
  • Special discounts on Lyft rides – great for beating Black Friday mall traffic
  • Push notifications when new deals come online
  • Exclusive coupon codes and discount opportunities not found anywhere else
  • In-store cash back when you securely add your credit card to the app
  • A $10 welcome bonus with your first order and a $25 referral bonus per new customer referral

15. RetailMeNot

The RetailMeNot app is one of the original digital discounting apps, and it’s still clearly among the best. With up to 70% off on select instant discounts and up to 15% cash back with select partners, RetailMeNot may offer the deepest discounts of any Black Friday app out there. It’s made all the better for its vast aperture: about three dozen shopping categories, ranging from restaurants and groceries to electronics and travel. Highlights include:

  • Up to 12% bonus value when you redeem cash back for a gift card
  • Targeted local offers through the Near Me function
  • Weekly in-store and online coupons, with volume ramping up around the holidays
  • Printable coupons for shoppers who don’t want to rely on smartphone screens

16. BeFrugal

BeFrugal has cash back relationships with more than 5,000 individual retailers and offers coupons with some 50,000 shops and stores, where users claim up to 40% off select products. Like its fellow discounting apps, BeFrugal boasts a wide range of partners, from travel and restaurant vendors to top apparel and electronics brands. Entertainment is a big business here, too, with exclusive offers from StubHub, Ticketmaster, and Fandango. Spread cheer this holiday season with a $10 bonus for each successful referral.

17. Drop

Drop is a user-friendly cash back app that rewards shoppers for direct purchases made in the app – an impossibly easy setup that makes earning rewards as easy as clicking “Check Out.” No receipt scanning or plugin activation required. Drop works with hundreds of top retail, dining, and travel brands, and boasts a slew of value-adds:

  • Themed collections tailored to shoppers’ personal preferences, reducing time spent at individual retailers’ websites on Black Friday
  • Opportunities to earn bonus cash back by watching videos or unlocking achievements
  • Referral bonuses for new Drop users
  • Opportunities to redeem rewards for gift cards, which make great last-minute holiday gifts for hard-to-shop-for recipients

18. DealNews

The DealNews app works on iOS and Android operating systems. The app works year-round, of course, but it really shines from Black Friday through Cyber Week, when the typical deal volume (some 300 per day) spikes. DealNews deals are all evaluated by professional deal-spotters who do this stuff for a living, so they’re much likelier to be worth your while than the random deals you’ll find with a cursory Google search.

Though Dealnews’s app isn’t quite as comprehensive as the desktop website, many essential features remain:

  • Today’s Best Deals, a trove of expert-vetted deals curated from around the retailsphere
  • A sophisticated deal-saving feature that lets you save non-time-limited opportunities for later – DealNews spins this as a helpful way to avoid buying products on mobile-unfriendly partner sites
  • A slew of coupon codes for hundreds of partner retailers
  • Shareable deals – perfect for spreading holiday cheer (and alerting people on your gift list)

19. Flipp

Flipp doesn’t go dormant from January through October – it was conceived as a one-stop shop for weekly flyers and ad scans. But its reason for being is definitely the holiday shopping season. Use it to collect and study Black Friday and Cyber Monday flyers as soon as they’re released to the general public: typically a few days before each holiday, depending on the retailer. More than 800 retailers participate, including big guns like Walmart and Macy’s.

The customizable shopping lists and digital clipping feature help you organize your gift list and trim your expenses – though, to be totally honest, there are more efficient apps for these purposes. Check out the coupons stash, which features rotating discounts ranging from 20% to 70% off. Flipp integrates with many retailers’ loyalty cards – just load your digital coupons and save automatically at checkout.

20. Shopkick

Shopkick is an iOS- and Android-compatible shopper loyalty app that earns real rewards on every purchase you make with participating retailers. Reward points – “kicks” – are redeemable for gift cards from Walmart, Amazon, Best Buy, and more. Use the barcode scanner for in-store purchases and the mobile checkout feature for at-home buys.

Earning rates vary by retailer, but Shopkick claims that many new users earn their first gift cards within one week of sign-up. Not bad, considering it costs nothing to take the plunge.

21. Brad’s Deals

The Brad’s Deals app is a bridge between the more impersonal coupon apps of the world and the hard-to-use Consumer Reports-style aggregators of the world. The real value here is at-a-glance access to guaranteed best prices on the latest online deals, including Black Friday and Cyber Monday promotions. Trawl the deals while you have a spare minute at work or during your commute, then save your favorite and buy later at your convenience.

22. TGI Black Friday

The TGI Black Friday app is made for Black Friday – literally. The headline is its vast collection of accurate, up-to-the-minute Black Friday ad scans, but some other features are worth calling out too:

  • Searchable, current-year Black Friday deals database
  • Personalized shopping lists that are sure to help with your holiday gift logistics
  • Push notifications for new ads released by your favorite retailers
  • Price comparisons to ensure you’re getting the lowest advertised price anywhere

Final Word

These aren’t the only apps likely to prove useful this holiday shopping season. While researching this post, I came across a whole bunch of retail apps that weren’t quite discount-y enough to make the Black Friday cut, but still clearly had utility for harried gift-getters.

Like the Santa’s Bag app, courtesy of Clay Pot Software. With intuitive budgeting and storage features, Santa’s Bag is one of the cleverest shopping management apps I’ve ever seen. If your holiday gift recipient list is long, and you have a compatible iOS device, check it out – it’s a big improvement over handwritten lists or boring Excel spreadsheets.

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What is Baby Doge Coin? What Do You Need to Know?

As Dogecoin (DOGE) gained huge popularity in 2021, several related, competing coins have sprung up.

These are meme coins that are based on the original meme coin that is DOGE. Baby Doge Coin (BabyDoge) has been among the most popular of these coins. DOGE is said to be the “father” of BabyDoge.

As of July 20, 2021, there were more than 475,000 holders of the BabyDoge meme coin. That’s a lot considering the project launched in June 2021.

What is the Difference Between Baby Doge and DOGE?

The two cryptocurrencies are both meme coins that are highly volatile and speculative. That said, BabyDoge has attempted to incorporate a few added features that make it unique from DOGE.

Here are some of the main differences between the two altcoins:

DOGE BabyDoge
Supply Unlimited 420 quadrillion
Purpose Meme coin, joke currency DOGE improvement, Pet charity
Market cap $33.5 B $52.4 M
Price ~ $0.25 ~ $0.0000000019

A few things that make BabyDoge unique are its commitments to coin scarcity and a pet charity. The crypto currency accomplishes this through coin burning and donating some coins to save dogs.

Baby Doge Coin’s developers maintain a charity wallet with 2.2% of the total supply of coins, which they claim that they donate to dog rescues and shelters.

Recommended: What Are Altcoins? A Guide to Bitcoin Alternatives

Is the Supply of Baby Doge Coin Limited?

There are 420 quadrillion Baby Doge Coins in existence, according to the Baby Doge Coin team. They claim that nearly 27.6 quadrillion of these are in public circulation. Note that these numbers have been self-reported by the people behind BabyDoge and have not been verified independently.

Recommended: How Many Dogecoins Are in Circulation?

The coin is very new and no one knows the exact identity of the developers. Information on how BabyDoge works is therefore not 100% verifiable. But as far as anyone knows, the supply is capped at 420 quadrillion. While this is a large total number of coins, BabyDoge brands itself as being “hyper-deflationary” due to three functions designed to reduce the supply. These include:

•   Coin burning

•   Liquidity pair acquisition

•   Reflection

Coin Burning

Coin Burning is a common practice among altcoin projects that seek to limit their supply. This practice involves periodically sending tokens to a “burn” address from which no one can recover them, effectively eliminating those coins from existence.

Liquidity Pair Acquisition

Also known as LP acquisition, this involves adding coins as a liquidity pair on a decentralized exchange, in this case Pancake Swap.


Reflection is the process of adding coins to holder’s wallets.

Of the 10% transaction fee that Baby Doge coin pay, half gets redistributed to users of BabyDoge. A smart contract controls the other half, selling it to a smart contract into Binance Coin (BNB) and automatically added as a liquidity pair on the Pancake Swap decentralized exchange.

Recommended: Bitcoin Fees: How They Work and 3 Ways to Save on Them

Where Can You Buy Baby Doge Coin?

Because BabyDoge is a much smaller cryptocurrency, there are only a handful of lesser-known exchanges that trade the coin. At the time of writing just one of 10 centralized cryptocurrency exchanges and one decentralized exchange allowed user to trade Baby Doge Coin. The most common trading pair is Baby DogeCoin against the Tether stablecoin, or BabyDoge/USDT.

At the time of writing, the top exchanges for trading BabyDoge included:


•   CoinW

•   Pancake Swap (v2)

•   LBank


To buy Baby Doge Coin, you must create an account on one of the exchanges that trades BabyDoge, fund their account, and make a purchase. The process is generally the same for investing in cryptocurrency in general.

Is Baby Doge the Same as Dogecoin?

Baby Doge Coin (BabyDoge) is a separate cryptocurrency from Dogecoin (DOGE). The DOGE meme coin gave birth to the BabyDoge meme coin, metaphorically speaking.

BabyDoge has a market cap of around $564 million, whereas DOGE has a market cap of about $27 billion. Doge was created in 2014 while BabyDoge was created in 2021.

Refer to the table earlier in this article for additional differences between the two coins.

Other Dogecoin Inspired Coins

Baby Doge is not the only cryptocurrency inspired by DOGE. There are many DOGE-like imitators that have sprung up recently. There have even been imitations of the imitators. This has become such a problem that has had to place a disclaimer on their Baby Doge Coin page stating that the page is, in fact, about the original BabyDoge.

But besides BabyDoge and DOGE, there have been many other dog-inspired meme coins that have risen to prominence as well. Shiba Inu coin can be found among these. The original DOGE meme depicts the face of a shiba inu dog, and someone developed a separate spin-off coin based on this.

Created in August 2020 by someone using the pseudonym “Ryoshi,” the Shiba Inu coin is similar to BabyDoge in that SHIB has a campaign with Amazon Smile that collects donations to help rescue real, live Shiba Inu dogs by partnering with the Shiba Inu Rescue Association. Shib has a much larger market cap than BabyDoge, however, being valued at nearly $3 billion, making it the 40th largest cryptocurrency by market cap at the time of writing.

The Takeaway

The recent Dogecoin craze has spawned a flurry of new dog-based meme tokens. BabyDoge and Shiba Inu are among the most well-known, but there have been many others. There may be more to come in the future, too, but it’s important for investors to do careful analysis in such coins before making an investment.

BabyDoge is a very small cryptocurrency, being ranked #2589 in terms of market cap. Five hundred million BabyDoge coins would be worth less than one U.S. dollar at this time. Many investors believe that meme coins and many other altcoins have no practical value and doubt their long-term future. They are among the riskiest investments available to the average person.

Whether you want to trade altcoins or Bitcoin, a great way to get started is using the SoFi Invest crypto trading app, which allows you to build a portfolio that could include Bitcoin, Ethereum, Dogecoin, Litecoin, and Cardano. You can also use the app to easily invest in more traditional investments such as stocks or exchange-traded funds.

Photo credit: iStock/sdominick

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