Looking for the best investing apps to get your financial life back on track? A solid finance app can handle routine financial tasks, shuffle money into investing accounts, and track spending. But the best investment apps can also let you quickly trade stocks, follow your account in real time, help you learn about the markets and more. Because they can do so much, investment apps have become increasingly popular.
Here are some of the top apps for getting your finances organized and invested. All of these apps are great for beginners, and they make it easy for those just starting to invest or looking to play a stock-picking game for fun.
1. SoFi Invest
As one of the top investing apps in the Apple Store, SoFi Invest is made for all experience levels. Beginners can easily opt for automated investing and let SoFi's investors build your wealth for you. For the more hands-on beginner, you also have the freedom to diversify your own portfolio by choosing from crypto, stocks, or exchange-traded funds (ETFs).
- Fees: None
- Commissions: None
- Minimum balance: None
|User-friendly platform||Limited investment options|
|Fractional share options||–|
|No-cost financial planning||–|
If you want a beginner investing app designed to help you reach your goals, start out with Betterment. This app is great for beginners because it takes care of everything, including managing your money, investing it, trading, and rebalancing your portfolio. The only caveat is that Betterment does it all for you if you're willing to spend a little extra, offering two investing plans for you to choose from.
- Fees: Annual fees of 0.25 percent or 0.4 percent of your balance, various fund fees
- Commissions: None
- Minimum balance: None for Digital, $100,000 for Premium
|Hands-off investing||Annual fees for advising (high with large balances)|
|Goal-oriented platform||High minimum balance for Premium plan|
Another way to diversify your portfolio is through real estate. Fundrise's unique low-fee model changes the real estate investing game and opens up the opportunity to beginner and savvy investors alike. In just a few minutes, you can create an account with a low investment minimum, select your preferred investing strategy, and sit back as Fundrise diversifies your portfolio for you.
- 0.15 percent annual advisory fee
- 0.85 percent annual asset management fee for standard portfolios
- Commissions: None
- Minimum balance:
- $500 for Starter account
- Varying minimums for other account types
|Low fees and balance minimum||Not good for short-term investing|
|Open to non-accredited investors||Investments are not liquid|
|Two-factor authentication and biometric security||–|
4. Charles Schwab
Investing with Schwab Mobile is a great option for beginners who want to learn and put their knowledge to use. Schwab's free and expansive research offerings include real-time news, a quarterly magazine, research reports, and expert quotations. As you level up your skills, you can use the mobile app to trade and monitor your positions at all hours, as well as customize your investing experience with alerts, summaries, and notifications.
- Fees: None
- Commissions: None
- Minimum balance: None
|Large investment selection||Small cash sweep rate for uninvested funds|
|Ample research offerings||–|
|No fees or minimums||–|
Acorns makes investing with whatever you have easy by automatically investing your spare change. Users can set up an account in less than five minutes and begin automating micro-investments at price plans of $1 (Lite), $3 (Personal), or $5 (Family) per month. Investors at any level can avoid constantly thinking about their investments or managing them, as there's a team of advisers there for support if you ever need them.
- Fees: $1 to $5 per month
- Commissions: None
- Minimum balance: None to open, $5 to invest
|Invests spare change from purchases automatically||High monthly fees compared to low account balances|
|Built-in robo-advisers||Small portfolio|
|Educational and investing support||Can't build your own portfolio|
|Cash back at select retailers||–|
Another one of the best stock investment apps is E-Trade. This app is known for the number of options it provides users. With thousands of stocks, options, mutual funds, and ETFs, investors get the freedom to choose how their portfolio is set up. This is a great fit for investors who already have a little knowledge on the stock market and where they want to invest. Other features to keep in mind are as follows:
- No commission for trading stocks
- Live news and market analysis
- Personalized notifications on stocks
- Robo-advisor offerings available
- Minimum balance of $300
7. TD Ameritrade
If you like diving into all the details of a subject before getting started, TD Ameritrade is about to become your best friend. This app allows users to access information on stocks, companies, and markets to make informed decisions when investing. There are even educational videos available to break down more complex topics. TD Ameritrade also offers users:
- Multiple trading platforms
- No investment minimums
- Wide variety of investments
- Customer support and advice
- Free educational resources
Wealthbase is another simulation-based app for those who want to gain a little experience before investing their funds. The app connects to your social media accounts to show you updates of friends who play as well. This allows users to discuss potential investments with friends who are interested in stocks as well. Wealthbase is primarily known for its in-app game, but can also be accessed from the web as well. This social-oriented investment app can be a great entry into the world of investing, especially if you want to learn from those around you.
The aptly named Stockpile app allows users to purchase fractional shares of stocks to grow their financial portfolios. This app is commonly known for its gifting feature, that allows users to send gift cards for stock to friends and family. This can be a great way to ease someone new into investing. Other popular features of the app include:
- No monthly fees
- Gifting feature makes it easier for younger investors to get started
- Charges only .99 cents for a trade
- You don't need an account on the app to send a gift
Fidelity hosts over 3,500 mutual funds for investors to choose from and trade, commission-free. The trading platform also offers a number of educational resources for users to learn more about their investment choices. The educational content makes this app stand out for beginners, while the numerous options make the app attractive to more advanced investors. Fidelity also offers user:
- No fees or commissions on trading
- No account minimum
- Comprehensive customer service
- A variety of research tools for users
Robinhood gained popularity as one of the first apps to offer stock trading without fees or commissions, which made starting a stock portfolio a lot more attractive for first-time investors. Today, several apps have this same offering, but Robinhood still stands out for a few reasons. First, the app allows users to trade cryptocurrency without fees. Robinhood also has no minimum account balance and no inactivity fees. The app features 24/7 customer support over the phone and live chat. Its user-friendly interface also makes it stand out among other web-based trading platforms. There are a few drawbacks to keep in mind, for example, Robinhood doesn't sync with retirement accounts. But given its user-friendly interface and nonexistent fee structure, Robinhood remains one of the best stock market apps.
12. M1 Finance
M1 Finance strikes a balance between hands-on investing and automated portfolio management. The app allows users to build a portfolio of stocks and ETFs. M1 Finance works best for investors who want the flexibility to build their own portfolios, with a little guidance along the way. It offers a taxable investment account and IRA for users. M1 Finance also includes:
- Hybrid investment setup with stocks and ETFs
- Taxable account minimum at $100
- Retirement account minimums at $500
- No fees after account minimum is met
- Premium version with more stock options
How to Pick the Best Investment App?
For beginners, there is no one-size-fits-all top investment app. All of these investing apps offer different investment options and features, which is why we have included several top picks on our list.
Decide what features and investments matter most to you before narrowing the list down to the best investment apps.
The following questions aren't exhaustive, but they can help you get started:
Should I invest in individual stocks or use a robo-advisor to automate my investing?
You can do both with some apps. If you have the time and desire to research and manage your portfolio, stocks and ETFs can be great investments. Automating your investments, however, isn't a bad idea.
Do I intend to hold stock positions for the long term, or do I plan to trade in and out frequently?
Active traders may find some apps appealing, while long-term investors may find others appealing.
Do you think that keeping fees as low as possible is more important than having a variety of investment options and features?
In addition to their low fees, Robinhood and other low-fee brokerages offer few educational tools and stock research reports.
Does the app have to be easy to use for me or do I need to be technically savvy?
It is generally recommended that beginners avoid the most complex trading platforms, but they can choose from a wide range of complexity levels. While some apps make it very easy to buy and sell stocks, others are more complex (but contain more features).
Are cryptocurrencies, options, and futures something I would like to invest in?
Mobile apps offering them would be a good choice if this is the case.
Can I access my money when I need it, or should I invest it for retirement?
Your app should offer options like traditional and Roth IRAs if you're planning to invest in retirement.
What is the importance of educational tools that help me learn more about investing?
Several apps offer extensive libraries of information to help investors understand the stock market.
What are the Best Investments Options for Beginners?
You should be able to trade virtually any stock or ETF listed on a major U.S. exchange with the best investment app for beginners. The following are some of the additional investment options available to you.
Stock options can be bought and sold through many trading apps. Beginners should generally avoid options. Before making a decision about whether they are right for you, you should understand how they work.
2. The Cryptocurrency
Cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin and Ethereum can be bought, sold, held, and even spent through some trading apps. Look for an investment app that offers cryptocurrency investing if you are interested in incorporating it into your strategy.
3. Shares Based on Fractions
Trading apps require you to purchase whole shares, which is technically stock and ETF investing. For beginning investors, you can buy fractional shares of stock. Fractional shares, for instance, can allow you to invest $1 in Amazon stock if it's trading at $3,000 per share.
4. Investing in Mutual Funds
Investing in a mutual fund over the long term can be a great strategy for reducing the risk of relying on individual stocks too much. Mutual funds are not offered by many trading apps. Investing in these is great for buy-and-hold investors, but make sure your app supports them.
5. The Future
Some trading apps offer futures, which are similar to options. You should be sure you understand what you're doing before investing in futures, just as you would with options.
6. The Forex Market
A trading app that allows foreign currency trading is known as a forex app. Forex stands for “foreign exchange trading.”.
A bond is also referred to as a fixed-income investment. The ability to buy and sell individual bonds is offered by some trading apps (especially those offered by major brokerages).