Fortunly's Guide
Advertiser Disclosure

The Best Investment Apps for 2023

Written By
G. Dautovic
Updated
December 23,2022
Some or all of the products/services listed on this page are from our affiliate partners from which we receive commissions. This, however, does not influence the evaluations in our reviews. Learn more by reading our Advertiser Disclosure.

Becoming a stock trader has never been easier, even if you don’t want to sit in an office and look at indexes all day. There are plenty of reliable investing apps that can help streamline the process, and all you have to do is select a few assets to start off your portfolio. Read on to learn more about them.

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Best for: advanced and active traders

Moomoo

Moomoo Logo
OVERVIEW

If you're looking for a simple investment app with useful analytics tools to help you get the most out of your trading, Moomoo may be a good fit for you. Moomoo was founded in 2018 as a subsidiary of Futu Holdings Ltd., which guarantees safe and secure trading. With no account minimums and zero-commission fees, it's easy to get started. Once you do, Moomoo will offer a lucrative welcome bonus and access to high-quality analytics tools to help you make the most informed decisions. Read Review

  • Robust analytics tools
  • Lucrative welcome bonus offer
  • Extensive choice of stocks
Learn More
On Official Website
Price:
Free
Commission:
$0
Bonus:
Up to 10 free stocks
APY:
N/A
Best for: assisted portfolio building

J.P. Morgan Self-Directed Investing

J.P. Morgan Self-Directed Investing Logo
OVERVIEW

J.P. Morgan Self-Directed Investing offers existing Chase clients and new investors a clean and intuitive investing toolkit. The provider doesn’t impose investment fees and offers a powerful app with a portfolio-building tool. Read Review

  • Investment app connects with all Chase accounts
  • No fees for trading stocks, options, and mutual funds
  • Easy-to-use platform
Learn More
On Official Website
Price:
Free
Commission:
$0
Bonus:
Up to $625
APY:
N/A
Best for: portfolio diversification

Public.com

Public.com Logo
OVERVIEW

Public.com is a commission-free* trading platform established in 2019. It allows users to buy and sell stocks, ETFs, crypto, and alternative assets such as fine art and collectibles. The company is headquartered in New York City with a branch in Copenhagen, Denmark, and has raised over $300 million since its founding. Public.com has quickly become one of the most popular trading platforms available today. Read Review

  • Allows fractional shares
  • Over 25 cryptocurrencies to trade
  • Supports alternative assets
Learn More
On Official Website
Price:
Free, 1%-2% markup for crypto
Commission:
$0
Bonus:
$150-$10,000 for transferring to Public.com**
APY:
N/A
Best for: beginners

Robinhood

Robinhood Logo
OVERVIEW

If you’re getting started on your investment journey, you should definitely check out Robinhood. It’s especially handy for making investments on the move and a frontrunner among investment apps thanks to the absence of fees. This will give you the confidence you’ll need to make bold investments, as you won’t automatically lose out due to additional charges. There are also some great investment options, and it’s one of the few apps that allows you to trade cryptocurrencies. Read Review

  • No fees
  • Cryptocurrency options
  • Excellent welcome offer
Learn More
On Official Website
Price:
Free
Commission:
$0
Bonus:
Free Stock
APY:
0.30%
Best for: retirement investing

Betterment

Betterment Logo
OVERVIEW

Betterment is another great solution for people looking to achieve their financial goals by putting investments on autopilot. Its beautifully designed and intuitive app requires minimal input but does all the investing on its own. All you have to do is tell it your goals, sit back, and relax. There are no required balances, and it is free to get started - making it an excellent choice for those just starting out in the investment world. Read Review

  • Automated investing
  • 0% accounts minimum
  • One-on-one advising available
Learn More
On Official Website
Price:
Free
Commission:
$0.25% per year
Bonus:
None
APY:
0.10%
Best for: setting investment goals

M1 Finance

M1 Finance Logo
OVERVIEW

Compiling a solid portfolio and setting realistic investment goals are key to earning money through trading assets. M1 Finance is a portfolio management app that can help you with these tasks. Its interactive dashboards make investing a breeze. Not to mention that the company offers several enticing promotions to its new clients. Read Review

  • 80+ pre-built portfolios
  • Supports fractional share investing
  • One-year free premium account
Learn More
On Official Website
Price:
Free
Commission:
$0
Bonus:
$30 cashback
APY:
1% with M1 Plus
Best for: families

Acorns

Acorns Logo
OVERVIEW

Acorns is designed for newcomers to the world of investing. It synchronizes with your credit or debit card so that the cost of anything you buy rounds up to the nearest dollar, with the difference being deposited into your investment plan. It’s one of the leading apps for micro investing and is simple to use, as Acorns invests the money for you depending on the level of risk you select. Read Review

  • Superb for beginners
  • Range of investment plans
  • Turns spare change into profit
Learn More
On Official Website
Price:
$3/month
Commission:
$0
Bonus:
$10 after investing $5
APY:
N/A
Best for: multiple portfolio management services

TD Ameritrade

TD Ameritrade Logo
OVERVIEW

There’s a reason why approximately 11 million clients have entrusted TD Ameritrade with their investing and trading needs. In addition to its wide range of financial services, it also provides not one but two trading apps. The TD Ameritrade Mobile app is perfect for rookies, while the thinkorswim investing platform is sure to delight any veteran investor. Read Review

  • Two top-notch apps
  • Wide range of investment products
  • Numerous customer support channels
Learn More
On Official Website
Price:
Free
Commission:
$0
Bonus:
$2,500 cashback
APY:
N/A
Best for: low-cost investing

Webull

Webull Logo
OVERVIEW

Some people believe that to become an investor you have to have deep pockets. But this isn't necessarily true. If you’re searching for an investing application with a relatively small sum of money, Webull may be an ideal solution. There are many potential traders with low-income jobs who are risk-averse and thus want to limit their trading budget. They will be happy to know that this app charges the lowest fees possible. Read Review

  • Numerous charts and graphs
  • Crypto trading available seven days a week
  • No per-contract fees
Learn More
On Official Website
Price:
Free
Commission:
$0
Bonus:
Free stocks after funding the account
APY:
N/A
Best for: long-term investing

Ally Invest

Ally Invest Logo
OVERVIEW

Ally is suitable for both beginners and experienced investors. Depending on what types of investments you make, you can do pretty much all of your trading without incurring fees. There’s also a great range of investment options and strategies you can undertake. Those who decide to invest sums of $10,000 and upwards will get some great cashback offers, making Ally one of the excellent options for long-term investments. Read Review

  • Suits all levels of investment
  • Excellent strategies
  • Big offers for serious investors
Learn More
On Official Website
Price:
Free
Commission:
$0
Bonus:
Up to $3,000 cashback
APY:
0.50%
Best for: flexible investing

SoFi

SoFi Logo
OVERVIEW

SoFi stands out due to its option for either active or automated investing, giving investors flexibility in how they spend their money. Making general investments in stocks is essentially feeless, and there’s also an excellent refer-a-friend scheme. You’ll also get free investment advice from brokers if you invest a certain amount. Read Review

  • Invest proactively or automatically
  • Barely any fees
  • Refer friends for cash
Learn More
On Official Website
Price:
Free
Commission:
$0
Bonus:
$15 per referral
APY:
0.25%
Best for: automated investing

Wealthfront

Wealthfront Logo
OVERVIEW

Not everyone has the time to devote themselves to investing. But instead of giving up on the potential earnings from this type of asset manipulation, we suggest you consider opening a Wealthfront account. Wealthfront is a great choice for investing with minimal effort. Once you answer a few questions, you’ll be able to sit back and have the app do all the work for you. Read Review

  • Automated investing
  • Highly customizable
  • Fast account setup
Learn More
On Official Website
Price:
0.25% of invested assets
Commission:
$0
Bonus:
Get $5,000 managed for free
APY:
N/A
Evaluation Criteria

How We Evaluate Investment Apps - Review Methodology

Even investing experts could use advice on choosing an app if they’ve never used software like this before. After all, if you’re staking your future on it, your app of choice must be efficient and safe to use. We know this can be tricky to find, especially when every app seems to offer everything you could ever need without any apparent downsides.

To help you choose, we’ll explain our method for picking each candidate. You can apply the same criteria to make your decision, but always remember to put things in the context of your investing resources and goals. Let’s dive in!

Interface

A basic benchmark of app quality is its accessibility. If you can’t easily reach everything you need because the app’s interface is too complicated, you won’t be able to capitalize on its features, no matter how good they are.

This is especially true for beginner investors or those who aren’t particularly tech-savvy, but no one likes complicated interfaces. As a rule, the more visible the features and metrics, the better.

Investment Options

Unless your investment focus is laser-sharp, you’ll want to have as many asset classes from as many issuers as possible at your disposal, just in case. Therefore, the app you invest through must support having a wide variety of investment options.

Luckily, reliable financial investment apps will have the most important bases covered, although many will focus on domestic trading. If you want to capitalize on the rising markets outside the US, make sure your app of choice has ample and diverse international investment opportunities.

Fees

Good investing apps aren’t free. Even though they won’t be as expensive as full-service personal brokers, many apps still need to collect fees to keep running. Still, even if you want premium service, it shouldn’t cost an arm and a leg.

The online investing apps we chose tend to be very affordable, but we advise reading every fee schedule thoroughly to ensure there are no hidden costs. After all, you’re investing to make money, so you don’t want to end up overpaying for your apps.

Promotions

Mobile investment apps have been around for a while, but they’re always interested in attracting new customers. Therefore, you can expect some of them to offer incentives for fledgling investors or Wall Street experts who switch to their products.

For example, a platform might offer to match your initial deposit with bonus investment funds to help get you started. Still, sometimes bonuses come with strings attached, so check the terms of every offer carefully.

Customer Service

Even the best-laid investment plans sometimes go awry. If and when that happens, you’ll need expert support to determine your next steps. In other words, platforms that can connect you to a broker or dedicated support team via multiple avenues of communication have the edge over the competition. If the company also offers 24/7 customer support, that’s a win in our book.

Quick Breakdown

12 Best Investment Apps in 2023 - Our Picks

  • Moomoo - Best for advanced and active traders

  • J.P. Morgan Self-Directed Investing - Best for assisted portfolio building
  • Public.com - Best for portfolio diversification

  • Robinhood - Best for beginners
  • Betterment - Best for retirement investing
  • M1 Finance - Best for setting investment goals
  • Acorns - Best for families
  • TD Ameritrade - Best for multiple portfolio management services
  • Webull - Best for low-cost investing
  • Ally - Best for long-term investing
  • SoFi - Best for flexible investing
  • Wealthfront - Best for automated investing

In-Depth Reviews

Moomoo Review

Quick Facts
4.5 stars Our Rating

Fortunly's Rating: Our editorial team determines the rating based on a set of evaluation criteria developed for each product and service category.

Price:
Free
Commission:
$0
Bonus:
up to 10 free stocks
APY:
N/A

Founded in 2018 as a subsidiary of Futu Holdings Ltd, Moomoo is one of the best real-time investment apps that has won several awards, including The Best Trading Platform 2022 by Fintech Breakthrough Awards.

Moomoo offers investors zero-commission trading and access to high-quality analytics tools, making it a popular choice for active traders. 

Moreover, the investment app is regulated by the United States Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC). It is a member of the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA) and Securities Investor Protection Corporation (SIPC), which means it’s a safe and secure platform for investors.

Interface

The Moomoo interface is primarily designed for mobile devices and is available as an app. Besides being one of the best investment apps for Android and iOS, it works as a web-based platform, too.

The interface is clean and simple, with a dashboard that allows you to see all of your account information in one place. Speaking of which, Moomoo supports only Individual Margin Accounts for now.

The trading tools are robust and include advanced charting with 63 technical indicators, 38 pro-level drawing tools, and news from leading financial media. You'll also get free real-time Level 2 market data that shows the real-time bids and asks from the NYSE, a cutting-edge Stock Screener with 100+ stock indicators, and an option to compare multiple stocks side-by-side. 

Investment Options

Moomoo might be one of the best investment apps in the USA when it comes to trading times. Namely, it lets users trade at extended hours from 4:00 a.m. to 9:30 a.m. ET and 4:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m. EST, so they can take advantage of market movements even after the markets have closed for the day.

Moomoo offers a wide range of investment options, including stocks, options, ETFs, mutual funds, and ADRs (American Depositary Receipts). You'll also have access to international markets, including China, Hong Kong, and Singapore. 

Unfortunately, Moomoo doesn't offer automated investing, so you'll need to look elsewhere if that's something you're interested in.

Fees

As we mentioned, Moomoo is a commission-free platform so you will be charged no trading fees, platform fees, or inactivity fees. If you wish to trade Hong Kong or China stocks, though, the commission will be 0.03% of the transaction amount.

When opening an account, you won’t be asked for a minimum deposit, which makes Moomoo one of the best investment apps for college students and beginner investors.

However, there are other fees to be aware of, including a $75 stock transfer fee and $10 for assisted phone trading. There are also fees for domestic and international wire transfers, which range from $10 to $25.

Promotions

Moomoo offers a lucrative welcome bonus for new investors. As soon as you open your account, you'll get one free stock worth between $3 and $2,500. Once you fund it, you can count on five more free stocks. If you deposit $2,000 or more, you'll get nine free stocks, each one worth up to $2,500.

This bonus makes Moomoo one of the best investment apps on the market, and using it can be a great way to kickstart your investment journey.

Customer Service

The first stop in case you encounter any issues is the Moomoo Help Center, which offers a searchable knowledge base of articles.

If you can't find what you're looking for, you can submit a request to the customer support team via the live chat feature that's on round-the-clock or hotline, which is available on trading days 8:30 a.m. - 4:30 p.m. EST. 

You can also send an email, but you'll have to wait a bit longer for a response. Finally, the Moo community boasts 18 million members, so you can always find someone to chat with about trading or investing.

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J.P. Morgan Self-Directed Investing Review

Quick Facts
4 stars Our Rating

Fortunly's Rating: Our editorial team determines the rating based on a set of evaluation criteria developed for each product and service category.

Price:
Free
Commission:
$0
Bonus:
Up to $625
APY:
N/A

J.P. Morgan’s online brokerage has recently undergone a makeover and emerged as J.P. Morgan Self-Directed Investing, a bulky new name accompanied with a solid brokerage experience. While this isn’t the optimal app for investors with lots of experience, it still gets all the core parts right.

The J.P. Morgan Self-Directed Investing can be accessed via mobile app, which is outstanding in terms of functionality, and the broker doesn’t charge commission on trading stocks, ETFs, and mutual funds.

Interface

The idea of building an entire portfolio from scratch may sound complicated enough to turn some - especially those who have just entered the trading world - off from investing altogether. That’s why the J.P. Morgan Self-Directed Investing app is rightfully on our list - it comes with a Portfolio Builder tool that makes the whole process much quicker and less intimidating.

Before you can start using this tool, you’ll need to take a short quiz that will assess your goals and risk tolerance. Once you determine the best way to allocate your assets, you’ll be free to search, compare, and pick investment opportunities. Note that the Portfolio Builder only lets you choose stocks and exchange-traded funds.

If you are Chase Bank’s existing customer, you’ll be glad to know that you won’t need to download a separate investment app to access this functionality. In other words, all J.P. Morgan Self-Directed Investing features are available on the Chase Mobile app, where users can research and manage their investment while also accessing any other Chase accounts they may have.

It’s also important to mention, however, that you can still open a Self-Directed Investing account if you don’t own a Chase bank account or credit card.

Investment Options

The list of tradable securities includes stocks, options, bonds, ETFs, and mutual funds. However, the Self-Directed Investing app isn’t that great for experienced investors who may find its scope of assets limited. For example, J.P. Morgan Self-Directed Investing doesn’t support futures, forex, or cryptocurrency.

Fees

The broker doesn’t charge commissions on trading stocks, ETFs, mutual funds, or options (except for the $0.65 per option contract fee). On the other hand, your initial deposit must amount to at least $500, you’ll have to maintain an account minimum of $250, and the annual advisory cost equals 0.35% of your account balance.

Also, the Portfolio Builder tool won’t be available to you unless you have an account balance of at least $2,500. Also, transferring securities out of your account incurs a $75 fee.

Promotions

J.P. Morgan Self-Directed Investing rewards users with up to $625 when they open and fund their account with qualifying deposits ($25,000 or more from a non-Chase or non-J.P. Morgan account). 

Customer Service

Should you have any questions or run into any issues, you’ll be able to get in touch with the investment app provider via phone, email, or social media, as well as in person. Support hours are from 7 a.m. until 11 p.m. ET Monday through Friday and between 10 a.m. and 7 p.m. ET on Saturdays and Sundays. In-person meetings take place at branches during the bank’s working hours.

Disclaimer:

INVESTMENT AND INSURANCE PRODUCTS ARE: NOT A DEPOSIT • NOT FDIC INSURED • NO BANK GUARANTEE • MAY LOSE VALUE

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Public.com Review

Quick Facts
4.5 stars Our Rating

Fortunly's Rating: Our editorial team determines the rating based on a set of evaluation criteria developed for each product and service category.

Price:
Free, 1%-2% markup for crypto
Commission:
$0
Other fees:
See Fee schedule*
Bonus:
$150-$10,000 for transferring to Public.com**
APY:
N/A

Public.com stock and ETF trading is done through an SEC-registered broker dealer Open to the Public Investing, Inc. which is a member of FINRA and the SIPC. It also doesn’t accept the payment-for-order-flow business model. With timely updates and insights, a helpful community, and an extensive list of stocks, ETFs, cryptocurrencies, and alternative assets, Public.com offers investors an excellent platform in our view.

Interface

The app is designed to help beginners and experienced investors alike make the most of their assets. Public.com operates primarily as an app and, in our opinion, has proved to be one of the best investment apps for your iPhone or Android device. There’s also a web version, but it is not as comprehensive as the mobile app.

Creating your taxable individual brokerage account takes a couple of minutes, and you can fund it right away using your debit card instead of linking to your bank account, which will save you a lot of time.

The dashboard is well-organized and hosts an investment-related news feed you can use to generate insights and ideas. Market data is listed on the top of the screen, and you can scroll down to see your watchlist, portfolio, and recent activity. However, the app has limited features and trading tools compared to other online brokerages.

Investment Options

Public.com will review your investment goals and time horizon to provide you with a portfolio suited to your needs. With it, you can trade stocks, ETFs, cryptocurrencies, and alternative assets.

The platform boasts over 9,000 stocks and ETFs from a diverse lineup of companies and industries. Public.com also allows you to trade fractional shares, which is a great way to invest in high-priced stocks such as those of Amazon and Tesla. At the same time, you can easily diversify your portfolio with over 25 cryptocurrencies in its virtual offer and take advantage of this ever-growing market.

Public.com has also tapped into the alternative assets market with fine arts, collectibles, and exclusive items, and we believe this might be its biggest advantage compared to the competition. The lineup of alternative assets includes some of Banksy’s original work, NFTs, and even Michael Jordan’s sneakers. 

There are also plans for the platform to offer yield-generating music royalties, real estate, and more in the future.

Fees

Public.com boasts a transparent fee structure. You won't be charged for trading stocks and ETFs during regular market hours (9:30 a.m. - 4:00 p.m. EST), whereas non-Premium members will have to pay $2.99 for extended hours. Cryptocurrency trading comes with a 1% to 2% markup – a standard fee in the industry. Trading alternative assets will cost you 2.5% per transaction.

There are no account maintenance fees; however, the platform does charge an inactivity fee of $5 every six months, and an SEC regulatory fee of $5.10 per $1 million on sell transactions, along with standard fees for domestic wire transfers, outgoing ACAT, overnight check delivery, and other additional services.

Finally, there’s also a subscription cost for upgrading to the Premium tier. With this account type, you get access to Town Halls with industry experts, Morningstar research containing advanced data, unique market metrics, and analyst insights, price alerts for assets, and much more. Premium account holders won't be charged for trading outside market hours, either. All this for $10 per 30 days!

Promotions

As Public.com aims to compete with the best investment apps/brokers, it's no surprise that it offers excellent promotions to users. If you have investments with another brokerage, you can easily transfer them over to Public without selling your eligible whole share stock and ETF* positions. If you transfer to Public from another brokerage, you can get up to an extra $10,000*.

Disclosures: *Cash bonus will be applied to qualifying accounts one (1) month after the transfer initiation date. Transferred funds must stay in your Public account for at least 9 months or the bonus will be revoked. Cash bonus terms and conditions are at public.com/transfer-account.

No matter which provider you're moving from, you may not have to pay any fees for incoming transfers. Even if your current broker charges you for leaving, Public.com will reimburse the cost of your incoming account up to $150 on transfers of $500 and up.

Customer Support

The customer support team, made up of FINRA-associated specialists, is available through the in-app chat, web chat, and email. This accessibility makes Public one of the best investment research apps. The company's FAQ section is comprehensive and covers all the essential topics, such as account opening, deposits and withdrawals, trading, fees, and more.

Public.com boasts an active investing community where you can discover new investment opportunities. There's also an option to tune into Public Live, a regular show that discusses the latest market trends, features special guests, and hosts investment challenges for viewers.

Disclosures: This does not constitute investment advice. Investing involves the risk of loss, including the potential loss of principal. Public.com launched in October 2019. Brokerage accounts opened on Public.com are held through the registered broker dealer, Open to the Public Investing, Inc. (Public), a member of FINRA and SIPC. Public provides brokerage services for US listed and registered securities only. Cryptocurrency trading on Public.com is conducted through Apex Crypto LLC(NMLS ID 1828849). Apex Crypto is licensed to engage in virtual currency business activity by the New York State Department of Financial Services. Brokerage services for alternative assets on Public.com are offered through Dalmore Group LLC, a registered broker dealer and a member FINRA and SIPC. Alternative assets and cryptocurrency investments are not covered by SIPC and are not held in a brokerage account.

*Full terms, conditions and disclosures including fractional share disclosure and fee schedule at www.public.com/disclosures. New customers of Public receive free stock valued between $3 - $1,000 (0.3% receive the maximum value).

**Full terms and conditions of the offer at public.com/transfer-account.

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Robinhood Review

Quick Facts
4 stars Our Rating

Fortunly's Rating: Our editorial team determines the rating based on a set of evaluation criteria developed for each product and service category.

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 it fired up. 

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 compared to some of the competitors. 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 cryptocurrencies.

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. However, there are some minor charges, such as the  FINRA fees, that Robinhood passes on to customers.

There’s an option to receive a better overall experience by signing up for Robinhood 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 an in-depth analysis of stocks and level-two market data. 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. 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.

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Betterment Review

Quick Facts
4.5 stars Our Rating

Fortunly's Rating: Our editorial team determines the rating based on a set of evaluation criteria developed for each product and service category.

Price:
$0/month
Commission:
$0.25% per year
Bonus:
None
APY:
0.10%

An excellent solution for people yet to get familiar with the world of investing, Betterment allows you to create financial goals and reach them without having to lift a finger. This intuitive software can help guide you in investing, managing your finances, and planning for retirement. Let’s break it down.  

Interface

The interface of this app alone would be enough to earn Betterment a place among the most prominent investment apps. The application is streamlined to the fullest, and you will be able to get a quick overview of your finances and your progress towards your goals whenever you want. After all, you don’t need the app for much else, as it automates the investment process once you add your financial goals.

Investment Options

Unlike some other options on this list, Betterment focuses on portfolios rather than individual investments. With this app and a bit of help from its one-on-one advisor, you can select a portfolio that matches your interests, goals, and overall investment plan. 

Currently, Betterment offers various ETF-based portfolios and those focused on individual bonds. You can also choose an all-cash or all-bond option or go with a flexible solution that will allow you to customize your automated investments. 

You can also have multiple portfolios depending on your goals. It is up to you to choose and adjust your investment strategy based on your goals, and you will be able to see the returns according to the plan you’ve chosen. 

Fees

Betterment is very straightforward about its fees and doesn’t hide them in the fine print. For example, its basic checking account is completely free. However, when it comes to investments, there are two tiers. 

The first plan has a 0.25% annual fee and requires no minimum balance. The second is for people that have a balance of at least $100,000. For this amount, Betterment charges a 0.40% annual fee. There are no other hidden fees to worry about, though.

Betterment also offers flat-fee advice packages for in-depth financial advice from its team of professionals. If you would like their help, the fees start at $299.

Promotions

Unfortunately, unlike with some other companies on this list, we couldn’t find any special promotions on Betterment’s site for investments apart from its referral program.  

However, those with a Betterment checking account can enjoy some excellent rewards in the form of cashback deals at some major brands. 

Customer Service

Betterment offers better customer service than most companies on our list. Its support team is available Monday through Friday via phone and email, from 9:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m. (ET). There is also live chat available on the site, and you can speak one-on-one with an advisor for a fully personalized support experience. 

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M1 Finance Review

Quick Facts
4.5 stars Our Rating

Fortunly's Rating: Our editorial team determines the rating based on a set of evaluation criteria developed for each product and service category.

Price:
Free
Commission:
$0
Bonus:
$30 cashback
APY:
1% with M1 Plus

Brian Barnes, the founder and CEO of M1 Finance, has been investing from a very young age, and the app that he created was inspired by his own experiences. The services that M1 Financial offers focus on millennials, meaning that they are convenient and budget-friendly and provide plenty of automation.

Interface

M1 Finance can be an excellent choice for those that like a highly customizable trading experience. It allows you to use interactive dashboards called Pies to create a unique investment portfolio. You can assemble Pies within Pies, each with different investment strategies and themes. An interface like this enables you to set clear investment goals and helps you make safe choices.

Although creating Pies is extremely simple, you might not be able to create your own right off the bat. Fortunately, you won’t have to thanks to M1 Finance’s Expert Pies. These Pies were put together by the company’s portfolio management specialists, and there are more than 80 of them to choose from. It’s also worth noting that whenever you decide to compose your own Pie, you’ll be able to combine it with the Expert Pies.

Investment Options

M1 Finance offers more than 6,000 stocks and funds, which is great if you only want to focus on these specific financial assets. You’ll have to look elsewhere for a more diverse assortment. 

Another important detail that you should be aware of is that the platform supports the buying and selling of fractional shares. Fractional share trading allows you to benefit from every single penny in your account.

Fees

With M1 Finance, you don’t have to worry about commission, management fee, or transaction fees. There are, however, a few miscellaneous charges that you should watch out for, including the SEC, TAF, inactivity, and wire transfer fees.

If you’d like to get some additional perks such as two trading windows, a checking account with a 1% APY, and custodial investment accounts, you can sign up for the M1 Plus plan. Your first year is free after which the annual price is $125.

Promotions

Like many of the competitors, M1 Finance offers promotions to its new customers. For funding your account with $1,000 or more, you’ll get a $30 bonus. 

Those that already have an account with another broker can earn a reward of up to $2,500 when they transfer their securities to M1 Finance. To qualify for the promotion, you have to transfer at least $100,000. The bigger the amount being transferred, the bigger the cashback.

If you decide that M1 Finance is worthy of praise, you can earn $30 by sending a referral code to one of your friends. Your friend will receive $30 as well, but know that if you choose to take advantage of this promotion, both of you won’t be eligible for the $1,000 deposit bonus.

Customer Service

You can contact the customer support team by submitting a ticket, and although they are usually quick to respond, you might want to check out the comprehensive Help section first.

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Acorns Review

Quick Facts
5 stars Our Rating

Fortunly's Rating: Our editorial team determines the rating based on a set of evaluation criteria developed for each product and service category.

Price:
$3/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.

Interface

Even among leading investment apps, Acorns stands out. 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. 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 excellent choices for first-time stock buyers.

Fees

Acorn’s fee structure is as straightforward as you can get, with two tiers: Personal and Family.

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 kids 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 excellent investing apps for families. 

Promotions

Acorns doesn’t offer mind-blowing incentives as 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. 

Customer Service

The customer service experience at Acorns isn’t as strong as what you’d find with others. 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 top choices for beginners, even if its support offer isn’t top-notch.

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TD Ameritrade Review

Quick Facts
5 stars Our Rating

Fortunly's Rating: Our editorial team determines the rating based on a set of evaluation criteria developed for each product and service category.

Price:
Free
Commission:
$0
Bonus:
$2,500 cashback
APY:
N/A

For years now, TD Ameritrade has been among the top brokerages on the market thanks to its large assortment of services. If you’re looking for a one-stop shop for all of your portfolio management needs, TD Ameritrade should definitely be on your radar.

Interface

TD Ameritrade offers two investment apps – TD Ameritrade Mobile and thinkorswim. We’d recommend TD Ameritrade Mobile to any beginner as it has an extremely intuitive interface and provides plenty of educational material. On the other hand, the thinkorswim app is better suited for advanced users who need reliable investing tools for frequent trading.

The main feature that sets these two apps apart from the competition is their customizability. They can be adjusted to meet all of your personal preferences and needs.

Investment Options

With thinkorswim, there are almost no investment products that you won’t have access to. It enables you to trade stocks, ETFs, bonds, CDs, futures, foreign currencies, as well as both simple and complex options. 

Although TD Ameritrade Mobile’s range of investment options is more modest, the software still deserves a place among the top investing apps. That’s because it’s designed to accommodate beginners who are yet to master the basics of investing. Therefore, the fact that TD Ameritrade Mobile offers only stocks, ETFs, and options makes perfect sense.

Fees

TD Ameritrade’s trading fees used to be on the pricey side, but in 2019, the broker reduced its commissions on stock, ETF, and option trades to $0. The per-contract fee for options was also lowered to $0.65.

Another perk of using these top investment apps is that if you’re ever unsure of your next investment move, you can always contact TD Ameritrade and request help from one of its skilled brokers. The fee for broker-assisted stock and ETF trades is $25, while for option trades, you’ll have to pay $25 plus $0.65 per contract.

Promotions

When you open a new TD Ameritrade account, you’ll have a chance to get a cashback of up to $2,500. Here is how the promotion works:

  • Deposit $250,000 and you’ll receive $350.
  • Deposit $500,000 and you’ll receive $700. 
  • Deposit $1,000,000 and you’ll receive $1,500.
  • Deposit $2,000,000 and you’ll receive $2,500.

As is the case with several other apps featured in this article, you’ll be rewarded every time you recommend TD Ameritrade to your friends. You’ll get $50 credited to your account, and they will be eligible to receive up to $1,000 after making their first deposit.

Customer Service

You can get in touch with the customer support team via phone 24/7. There’s even a separate line for more technical inquiries, which is available from 7:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m. ET, Monday through Friday. Alternatively, you can contact TD Ameritrade’s representatives on Facebook and Twitter.

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Webull Review

Quick Facts
4 stars Our Rating

Fortunly's Rating: Our editorial team determines the rating based on a set of evaluation criteria developed for each product and service category.

Price:
Free
Commission:
$0
Bonus:
Open an account, fund it, and get free stocks
APY:
N/A

Webull is a good option for those on a modest budget. It also brings an impressive assortment of tools to the table. However, the reason it isn’t higher on our list is that it leaves a bit to be desired when it comes to educational content for beginners.

Interface

Webull’s minimalistic interface makes it very easy to navigate. Seeing as minimalism may not sound particularly appealing to some, we should mention that adding any more details to its design would make it far too complicated, even for an advanced user.

It provides an abundance of charts and graphs, which can be confusing for someone without any experience. That said, the issue could easily be remedied with some informative guides.

On the positive side, everything we’ve mentioned so far makes Webull a great option for intermediate or advanced investors.

Investment Options

You can invest in stocks, ETFs, options, ADRs, as well as cryptocurrencies, and although these are some of the most popular trading options, it’s a shame that mutual funds, futures, and bonds aren’t at your disposal. 

On the other hand, Webull allows crypto trading at any hour, seven days a week, and currently supports Bitcoin, Bitcoin Cash, Ethereum, Dogecoin, Litecoin, Zcash, Ethereum Classic, and Stella Lumens with more options on the way.

Fees

Many investment platforms are free-to-use but charge trading and per contract fees. Webull doesn’t; there are absolutely no commissions that you’ll need to cover. The company makes money through payments for order flow, interest credit balances, stock loans, and margin interest. Due to the lack of commissions, we feel comfortable giving Webull a spot among the great investing apps for college students who are putting themselves through school and thus have limited funds.

When using the app, you’ll incur some fees from certain regulatory agencies. However, Webull doesn’t profit from those charges.

Promotions

Opening a Webull brokerage account comes with a free stock valued between $3 and $300. But that’s not all. If you deposit at least $100, you’ll receive one more stock with an ever higher value (between $8 and $2,000).

You’ll have a chance to acquire stock from well-known companies such as Google, Procter & Gamble, Kraft Heinz, Facebook, Starbucks, and Snap.

Customer Service

Good investing apps must be accompanied by a quality customer support team, and Webull checks this box. Its representatives can be reached 24/7 by phone, email, and various social media channels. But thanks to the extensive information available in the Help section, you may not need the additional assistance.

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Ally Invest Review

Quick Facts
4.5 stars Our Rating

Fortunly's Rating: Our editorial team determines the rating based on a set of evaluation criteria developed for each product and service category.

Price:
Free
Commission:
$0
Bonus:
Up to $3,000 cashback
APY:
0.50%

Ally Invest is a subsidiary of Ally Financial, a Detroit-based digital financial services company that’s known for serving its customers well. If you want your savings account and investments to be managed under one roof, signing up for Ally’s banking services and investment app could be well worth your while. 

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 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. 

Fees

Ally has something to boast about with regards to its low and sometimes nonexistent fees. Eligible US-listed stock, ETF, and option trades are commission-free, allowing you to trade without massive costs. The only fee you need to concern yourself with is the $0.50 options contract fee, which is still lower than the industry standard. 

For stocks and ETFs priced lower than $2, 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. If you’re planning on investing big, you’re in luck; load at least $10,000 into your Ally Invest account, and you’ll receive a $100 bonus. This increases in increments up to a $3,000 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 reach out via the 24-hour phone support, or you can make use of Ally’s live chat service to get any of your questions answered promptly and accurately. 

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SoFi Review

Quick Facts
4 stars Our Rating

Fortunly's Rating: Our editorial team determines the rating based on a set of evaluation criteria developed for each product and service category.

Price:
Free
Commission:
$0
Bonus:
$15 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. 

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 community. 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.

Investment Options

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.

Fees

SoFi is designed for new investors. It has a commission-free policy that will get your investing journey off to a great start. There are a couple of instances involving charges, 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

Considering that SoFi’s app doesn’t charge fees, you may want to recommend it to people you know. SoFi’s excellent refer-a-friend bonus scheme enables participants to earn $15. This works both ways, as the referred person will also receive a bonus.

Customer Service

Telephone and live chat support are available from 5 a.m. to 7 p.m. Monday through Thursday and until 5 p.m. Friday through Sunday. You can chat with financial advisors, which means SoFi offers more than just basic technical support.

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Wealthfront Review

Quick Facts
4.5 stars Our Rating

Fortunly's Rating: Our editorial team determines the rating based on a set of evaluation criteria developed for each product and service category.

Price:
0.25% of invested assets
Commission:
$0
Bonus:
Refer a friend, get $5,000 managed for free

Wealthfront is an automatic investing app that has continued to improve year after year. Currently, it’s one of the most popular digital investing tools on the market. It’s a great option for anyone that wishes to become a passive investor but doesn’t have a huge sum of cash lying around.

Interface

To begin investing with Wealthfront, you need to answer a short questionnaire about your investment goals, risk tolerance, and preferences regarding certain market occurrences. You’ll also be asked to enter any relevant financial information. Keep in mind that in order to get the optimal automatic investment plans and assessments, you should provide Wealthfront with as many details as you can. 

Once you’ve completed these steps, Wealthfront will show you the portfolio it designed, and if you approve of it, you can fund your account and let the app begin investing on your behalf. If the portfolio isn’t exactly to your liking, you’ll have the option to customize it further.

Investment Options

Wealthfront invests in US, foreign developed, emerging market, and dividend growth stocks as well as US, US corporate, and municipal bonds. Treasury Inflation-Protected Securities, natural resources, and real estate can also be a part of your portfolio. Like many robo-advisor apps, Wealthfront uses Modern Portfolio Theory to determine which of the aforementioned assets are the right fit for you. 

Your portfolio could contain between four and eight assets depending on the type of account that you open and your assessed level of risk.

Fees

Once a year, you’ll be required to pay an annual advisory fee of 0.25% on all of your assets. In addition, your initial investment account deposit can’t be lower than $500. However, you won’t incur any charges associated with opening and closing an account, transferring and withdrawing funds, or trading. 

Although Wealthfront isn’t free, when compared to other investment companies that offer automated investing services, it’s definitely among the most affordable.

Promotions

You can reduce the advisory fee through the Wealthfront referral program. If the person to whom you send an invite link funds an investment or cash management account, you’ll get $5,000 managed for free. 

Wealthfront’s generosity doesn’t end there. Whoever you invite will also receive $5,000 managed for free if they open an investment account.

Customer Service

You’ll need to log in in order to see the customer support’s phone number or message them using the provided online form. If you don’t have an account yet, you’ll have to rely on the FAQ section.

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How Do Investment Apps Work? A Quick Guide

Apps are here to simplify things, whatever their target audience. Therefore, investing apps should make trading in your asset of choice easier than it would be otherwise, regardless of your experience level. If an app is “easy to use” only for people with ten years of Wall Street experience, it’s not doing its job well.

Your app of choice should complement your investment goals. If you’re planning to use your earnings to fund early retirement, you’ll need the features to support that and a choice of assets suitable for long-term holding. 

On the other hand, if you want to immerse yourself in the rush of daily trading fully, the app you use must be as flexible as possible. Finally, you might not know what you want or try to switch up things often - that means your mobile investment platform must accommodate any potential changes in strategy that happen down the line.

Investment budgets are often a significant barrier to entry for aspiring traders, but you shouldn’t just pick the first affordable-looking app you find or go for a free solution without really reading up on it and checking for hidden costs and fees. The only real advice we can give here is as follows: set a budget you can afford to lose and never go over it.

These are the basic rules you should follow on any investing app – everything else is up to your preference and budget. Happy hunting!

FAQ

What app is best for first-time investors?

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Any app with a simple interface, responsive customer support, and clearly distinguishable investment opportunities will serve fledgling investors well. Most of the apps listed on our page fulfill these criteria, but if we had to pick one, it would be Acorns.

This platform has many advantages, but we would like to emphasize that it quickly deposits any spare change from your trading back into your budget, making tracking your funds much easier.

What is the best app to use for investing?

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You want an app that represents a streamlined mix of basic and advanced features with flexible budgeting options. Any bonuses for high-rolling investors are always welcome, as are incentives for those starting their investing journey. Outside of those basic building blocks, your preferences will be the deciding factor.

What is the best way to invest as a beginner?

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Investing apps are an excellent starting choice for anyone who isn’t a career investor with many years of experience. They open the doors to asset trading to anyone with some spare time and money, effectively democratizing this lucrative endeavor.