Fortunly's Guide

Best Investment Apps for 2021

By
G. Dautovic

March 26,2021


It’s never been easier to get yourself into the stock market. What was once something many people found intimidating has now become fully accessible thanks to the introduction of investment apps.

With a few spare dollars and one of the best investment apps, you can begin to make your mark and grow a successful portfolio that will secure your finances well into the future. 

Show More...

4 Best Investment Apps

Price:
$1/month
Commission:
$0
Bonus:
$10 after investing $5
APY:
N/A
Learn More
Offer details
Price:
Free
Commission:
$0.50
Bonus:
Up to $3,500 cashback
APY:
0.50%
Learn More
Offer details
Price:
Free
Commission:
$0
Bonus:
Free Stock
APY:
$0.30
Learn More
Offer details
Price:
$1
Commission:
$0
Bonus:
$50 per referral
APY:
0.25%
Learn More
Offer details
Evaluation Criteria

Our Guide to How the Best Investment Apps Work

You don’t want to jump straight into using an investment app that hasn’t been robustly checked. Remember, this is your money and your future. Although it may sometimes feel like just a bit of fun, deciding what to invest in isn’t a game, and there can be serious consequences if you get it wrong. 

We wrote this best investment apps review to help you make the right decision. After all, the last thing that you want is for an investment app to skim you with excruciatingly high fees and confuse you with an interface that just isn’t logical. We’ve laid out our methodology to distinguish the useful apps from the worthless ones so you can manage your investments with the right technology. For every review we write, we take the following factors into account.

Interface

One of the most important aspects of an investment app, particularly the best investment apps for beginners, is the performance of its interface. Stocks can be confusing and challenging to get your head around when you’re beginning your investment journey. The last thing you need is an archaic app packed with popup ads that could confuse even Wall Street’s most prolific predators. Mobile apps are supposed to simplify things, so it’s essential that the interface is as user-friendly as possible.

Investment Options

You want to install an app that gives you access to a plethora of investment opportunities. An investment app that severely limits your access to the number of companies you can invest in can be detrimental to you, as it narrows your options. The best financial investment apps should give you access to a healthy variety of industries and a large range of options within each industry. They should also offer a range of international options. After all, you don’t want to miss out on the chance to invest in the ever-expanding markets in regions such as Asia and Africa. 

Fees

Fees are necessary for covering the running costs of many investment apps. Of course, you want to try to avoid them, particularly high ones. If the app charges a base fee or takes a percentage on each transaction, the costs can quickly add up, particularly if you’re making many small investments or day trading. This does not mean to say that you should write off any of the best online investment apps if they charge fees, as you’ll be severely limiting your options if you do. Just make sure you’re fully aware of what you’ll have to pay before you sign up.

Promotions

This article is targeted at readers who are fairly new to investing, and what better way to encourage you to purchase your first stocks than a small promotion. It can be a bit nerve-racking making your first investments, so an incentive to get you going is a great thing. We believe that the best mobile investment apps should offer some incentives to help beginners get motivated to start investing. This could include some free stock or even a cash bonus.

Customer Service

Making investments can be confusing, so there’s every chance you’ll need a helping hand along the way. Whether you’re dealing with the technical aspects of your investment app or you have a question only a broker will be able to answer, high-level customer service should be available when making investments.

Quick Breakdown

4 Best Investment Apps in 2021:

  • Acorns - Best for families.
  • Ally - Best overall.
  • Robinhood - best for beginners
  • SoFi - Best for flexible investing.

Best Investment Apps of 2021 - In-Depth Reviews

Acorns Review

Quick Facts
5 stars Our Rating
Price:
$1/month
Commission:
$0
Bonus:
$10 after investing $5
APY:
N/A

Acorns is a particularly great app for micro-investments as it puts your spare change to use. For instance, if you buy a coffee for $2.30, Acorns rounds that up to the nearest dollar and makes an investment worth $0.70 with the difference. Many of these small investments add up over time to build something significant for you. Let’s take a closer look at why Acorns is one of the best small investment apps on the market right now.

Interface

Even among the top investment apps, Acorns really is a standout. It has a smooth green interface that makes you feel at home from the moment you open the app. From here, it’s straightforward to review your previous investments and make some more. It’s not just aesthetics, either; this is perhaps the most user-friendly investment app on the market. Acorns takes the work out of investing and does it all for you automatically.

Investment Options

Acorns takes your money and automatically invests it into a range of different companies, making it among the best auto investment apps. You can choose how risky you want your investments to be through five different tiers. 

The most conservative option is to put a large proportion of your money in short-term government bonds. From there, you can choose to get gradually riskier with your investments, with the next tier investing mostly in large multinational companies. A more conservative approach is more likely to see your money slowly but surely grow, whilst a riskier approach could make you a lot more money, but you could also lose it all. 

We think this is one of the app’s strongest selling points, as there is little need for you to be concerned about micromanaging your stocks, making it among the best investment apps for first time stock buyers.

Fees

Acorn’s fee structure is as straightforward as you can get, with three tiers: Lite, Personal, and Family. The Lite subscription costs $1 per month and is aimed at those who want to make spare change investments. 

The Personal account costs $3 per month and as well as an investment account, you’ll also receive a retirement account to help you to focus on long-term investment goals that you can enjoy later in life. Personal account holders also receive a bank account, which is a useful option if you want to keep all of your finances on one platform. 

You can help your children secure their future finances by opening a Family account for $5 per month. It’s a great way to get their finances moving, and it’s the reason we consider Acorns to be one of the best investment apps for families. 

Promotions

Acorns doesn’t offer mind-blowing incentives like we saw with Ally. However, there’s a $10 sign-up bonus to encourage you to get your portfolio up and running. All you have to do is create your Acorns account, make an investment worth as little as $5, and answer a few questions about yourself. Once you’ve done that, you’ll receive $10 in your account courtesy of Fond, a partner of Acorns.  

Bear in mind that Acorns isn’t really designed for big investors. Instead, it focuses on beginners and small-scale investors, making it one of the best investment apps for spare change.

Customer Service

The customer service experience at Acorns isn’t as strong as what you’d find with other investment companies. There’s no live chat support, which is usually our preferred method of contact. Phone times are limited from 6:00 a.m. to 7:00 p.m. PST; there’s no 24-hour hotline available. 

That said, service response times are good and team members are usually very amicable when you speak to them. Indeed, we still consider Acorns one of the best beginner investment apps, even if its support offer isn’t top-notch.

+ Show more
Read Full Review

Ally Review

Quick Facts
4.5 stars Our Rating
Price:
Free
Commission:
$0.50
Bonus:
Up to $3,500 cashback
APY:
0.50%

Ally Invest is a subsidiary of Ally Bank, a great online bank that’s known for serving its customers well. If you want your savings and investments to be managed under one roof, signing up for Ally’s banking services and investment app could be well worth your while. It’s one of the best stock investment apps for beginners; let’s find out why. 

Interface

We’re sure you’ll be impressed by Ally’s interface, which uses HTML 5 technology to provide you with a comfortable trading experience. The Ally Invest app is compatible with a wide range of devices, meaning the accessibility of the app is as good as it can be. 

If you have a bank account with Ally, then all of your finances can be managed within the same app, allowing you to switch between paying your bills and investing big in an up-and-coming tech firm with a flick of your finger. It’s one of the most intuitive and best investment apps on the market thanks to its user-friendly design.
Investment Options

If you choose to use the Ally investment app, you’ll have a fairly robust set of investment options in front of you, with stocks, ETFs, options trading, bonds, mutual funds, and low-priced securities all available. It’s simple to trade these in real time through Ally’s customizable dashboard, making this a simple process overall. 

This excellent range of options allows you to form your own unique investment strategy that suits your needs. The choices Ally offers its users go a long way towards making it one of the best personal investment apps you can download.

Fees

Ally has something to boast about with regards to its low and sometimes nonexistent fees. All US-listed stocks are commission-free, allowing you to trade easily without bleeding money. The only fee you need to concern yourself with is the $0.50 contract commission fee, which is still lower than the industry standard. 

There’s also no fee for ETFs and stocks priced at $2 or above, but for lower-priced securities you’ll need to pay $4.95 plus 1c per share. Service fees are another story; you should check the Ally website for details, as there are too many to list here. 

Promotions

Ally’s has a strong cashback scheme for first-time depositors, making it one of the best investment apps to make money. If you plan on investing big, you’re in luck; load at least $10,000 into your Ally Invest account and you’ll receive $50 gratis. This increases in increments up to a $3,500 payout for opening balances of more than $2,000,000. 

Customer Service

Ally also performs strongly in the customer service department. This makes sense, as Ally is an online bank that delivers all its customer support via the internet; there are no brick-and-mortar branches for customers to visit in person. You can also reach out via the 24-hour phone line. 

On top of 24-hour phone support, you can also make use of Ally’s live chat service to get any of your questions answered promptly and accurately. Overall, we regard Ally as the best investment app for customer support. 

+ Show more

Robinhood Review

Quick Facts
4 stars Our Rating
Price:
Free
Commission:
$0
Bonus:
Free Stock
APY:
0.30%

Taking money from wealthy firms and putting it in your pocket - that’s what Robinhood aims to do for the ordinary person. It’s another superb option for those getting started with investing. Commission-free options are available to help you get going without breaking the bank. 

Interface

A good investment app should have a clean interface, and Robinhood definitely ticks this box. A few quick clicks are all it takes to get one of the best stock investment apps fired up and making you money. 

Robinhood understands its target market - new investors who want a simple solution - and it caters to this demographic with its app. The app itself is about as intuitive as you can get from technology that operates in such a complicated field. Within the app you’ll get alerts, news, investment tips, and much more, making it an all-in-one investment hub. 

Investment Options

Robinhood’s investment options are a lot more limited than some of the other best apps for investment. You can only access long stocks; there’s no option to engage in day trading with penny stocks. This can be limiting for some users, so research this carefully before you sign up for Robinhood. 

If you take an interest in investing in cryptocurrencies, you can integrate this into the Robinhood app. Bitcoin, Ethereum, Ethereum Classic, Bitcoin Cash, Dogecoin, Bitcoin SV, and Litecoin can all be traded within Robinhood, making it appealing for those wanting to hop aboard the crypto gravy train. There are zero fees for trading in crypto, which is another reason why this is one of the best cryptocurrency investment apps.

Fees

Probably the biggest reason for Robinhood’s success is that it doesn’t charge commissions. If you’re diligent about your finances, this is an excellent solution for you. Robinhood’s system allows you to begin your investment journey without having to worry about losing money automatically through nasty hidden fees. There are some tiny FINRA fees that Robinhood passes on to customers, but you’d have to pay these with any provider.

There’s an option to receive a better overall experience by signing up for the Gold package, which costs $5 per month. This gives you the ability to instantly deposit between $5,000 and $50,000, as well as providing you with in-depth analysis of stocks and level-two market data. It’s these touches that make Robinhood one of the best investment monitoring apps. If you take your investments seriously, then this is a great way to keep on top of market trends and buy stocks at the right time.

Promotions

You’ll receive one free stock when you sign up for Robinhood. This is a random stock from Robinhood’s inventory and it’s typically valued between $2.50 and $10.00. However, while most stocks are in this range, there's a small chance you could receive a stock worth up to $200. As far as the best investment apps go, Robinhood’s welcome offer is simple but potentially lucrative.

Customer Service 

Robinhood’s customer service takes place exclusively via the app or website; there is no phone number to call. You can ask a live broker for help with trades, but this costs $10 per transaction. Help is fairly limited, so we’d recommend an alternative investment app if you place a high emphasis on great customer support.

+ Show more
Read Full Review

SoFi Review

Quick Facts
4 stars Our Rating
Price:
$1
Commission:
$0
Bonus:
$50 per referral
APY:
0.25%

SoFi - a contraction of “social finance” - was built to help students finance their college education through a grassroots mechanism. Nowadays it offers a way for ordinary people to put their extra money to good use. Let’s see why we regard SoFi as one of the best investment apps for new investors.
Interface

The SoFi app is among the easiest and most usable investment apps you’ll ever come across. As such, it’s no surprise that it’s held in high regard by its users. This begins with the aesthetics of the app, which mix plenty of white space with easily understandable graphics to make navigation a breeze.

Trying to wrap your head around trading and investments is usually a complicated process, but not here. Everything is clearly explained, which is why this is one of the best investment apps for iPhone and Android. 

Investment Options

If you’re searching for an investment app that provides users with a strong variety of options, you’re sure to be happy with SoFi. You’ll be given the choice to be an active investor or to leave all the thinking and heavy lifting to SoFi. If you go for the Active Investing option, you’ll be taking the investing decisions into your own hands. 

SoFi has a plethora of information to help you make active and considerate decisions when making these investments. If you still don’t feel comfortable making your own investment decisions, SoFi will do this for you with one of its investment programs. Simply let the app know what your investment goals are and it will build you an investment portfolio to try and meet them. Even for one of the best easy investment apps, this is above and beyond. 

Fees

SoFi is designed for new investors. To meet clients’ needs, it has a commission-free policy that will get your investing journey off to a great start. There are a couple of instances in which a fee will be applied, such as the 1.25% commission fee for cryptocurrency trading or the $15 insufficient funds fee. However, you can do all of your trading with SoFi without incurring any costs if you’re wise about what areas you invest in. 

Promotions

SoFi has an excellent refer-a-friend bonus scheme where participants can receive up to $50 if a friend deposits at least $50 into their account. This works both ways, as the referred person will also receive a bonus. That’s all the more reason to invite people you know to invest in one of the best no-fee investment apps. 

Customer Service

Telephone support is available from 5 a.m. to 5 p.m. from Monday to Thursday, and until 4 p.m. on Fridays. We’d like to see these hours extended to include weekends, and we also think live chat help wouldn’t go astray. However, you can chat with financial advisors, which means you can get more than just basic technical support from SoFi. 

+ Show more
Read Full Review

Our Guide to How the Best Investment Apps Work

Before subscribing to an app and using your money to make investments, you should have a firm grasp on how the system works. One of the great things about investment apps is that they help to simplify investments, particularly for beginners. Stocks can often look confusing when examined by an untrained eye, but a smooth, user-friendly interface means that the majority of best stock market investment apps for beginners allow users to gain an understanding of how stocks work quite quickly. 

You’ll need to devise a strategy for how you want to invest. Do you want to sit on your investments for years and use them as a safety net for retirement, or do you want to try to make some money back quickly with a high-risk investment? Both strategies have merits, so we’d recommend trying to find a middle ground if you can’t commit to either. 

It’s also recommended that you consider building up a retirement fund with the best investment apps, but it can also be worth the effort to make some strategic investments that can offer you high returns in a short space of time. Do some careful research on investment strategies before you start to use your own money. After all, it’s no longer fun and games once your own hard-earned cash is at stake. You want to build up something for the future, not lose it all.

By the same token, you should also set out a budget for your investments. In this article, we’ve looked at some of the best investment apps for low-income investors, as we know that some of our readers won’t be able to commit too much to begin with. These apps have little to no fees, so you can get your investments going with minimal financial risk. 

However, some of these apps are also excellent for those looking to invest a large amount. Many of them even have generous welcome offers for those who choose to invest big. We made sure the ones we chose were appropriate for investments of all sorts of sizes.

FAQ
What is the best investment app for beginners? +

When you’re new to making investments, it’s important to select an app that will help you ease into the task as seamlessly as possible. We recommend Acorns if you’re an absolute beginner and have little or zero prior knowledge as to how the stock market works and what the risks are. The best thing about Acorns is its intuitive mechanism, which takes the spare change from your purchases and puts it straight into your investment portfolio. You really don’t need to do or worry about anything when you use one of the best automatic investment apps.

Which investment app is the best? +

This depends on your needs. Our pick for the top investment app is Ally. It has some great investment strategies in place for both beginners and battle-hardened investors. On top of this, if you’re prepared to invest large sums, you can receive a significant amount of cashback when you make a large deposit in your account.

Are investing apps worth it? +

If you want to financially secure your future, choosing one of the best investment apps is one of the best ways to do so. Using an investment app helps to simplify something that may seem extremely complicated at first. Some of these apps even do all the investing for you once you let them know your investment goals and how risky you want your investments to be. Fees tend to be minimal or nonexistent, so this makes these apps a worthwhile way to invest.