The Best Investment Apps for 2023
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.
Top-Rated Investing Apps in September 2023
Fortunly's Rating: Our editorial team determines the rating based on a set of evaluation criteria developed for each product and service category.
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
Fortunly's Rating: Our editorial team determines the rating based on a set of evaluation criteria developed for each product and service category.
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
J.P. Morgan Self-Directed Investing
Fortunly's Rating: Our editorial team determines the rating based on a set of evaluation criteria developed for each product and service category.
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
Best Investment Apps of 2023 - Our Picks
Public.com - Best for portfolio diversification
J.P. Morgan Self-Directed Investing - Best for assisted portfolio building
- 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 of Investing Apps
M1 Finance Review
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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!
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.
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.
J.P. Morgan Self-Directed Investing Review
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.
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.
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.
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.
J.P. Morgan Self-Directed Investing rewards users with up to $700 when they open and fund their account with qualifying deposits ($25,000 or more from a non-Chase or non-J.P. Morgan account).
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.
INVESTMENT AND INSURANCE PRODUCTS ARE: NOT A DEPOSIT • NOT FDIC INSURED • NO BANK GUARANTEE • MAY LOSE VALUE
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
TD Ameritrade Review
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Ally Invest Review
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
An In-Depth Guide to Investment Apps
Our investment app guide will lead you through all of the basics that every beginner investor should learn and be aware of, from what stock investment apps are, to how they work, what you can trade through investing apps, and how much money you should invest.
What Is an Investment App?
Investment applications are smartphone and mobile-centric services that have brought the world of investing to our pockets. These apps allow users to quickly and easily manage their portfolios and invest in stocks, bonds, cryptocurrencies, and other assets in a multitude of financial markets.
Investment apps also usually come with a wide variety of additional features, like educational content for beginners, real-time notifications on news and market trends, performance trackers, analysis, and research tools.
Types of Investment Apps
Almost all of the investing apps fall under one of the three main types:
- Full-service brokerages: These are the most traditional and most expensive brokers on the market because with a full-service brokerage app, you hire a professional advisor to manage your portfolio and buy and sell assets on your behalf. Naturally, these brokerages come with higher fees and account minimums, but they do also offer a wider selection of services to their clients, handling estate and tax planning, wealth management, and much more. We recommend these types of investing apps to traders who wish to handle sizable investments, as most can be better off with a discount brokerage, which leads us straight to the next type on our list.
- Discount brokerages: These online brokers have exploded in popularity in recent years, offering investments in stocks, ETFs, mutual funds, and other products without charging a standard percentage for every trade, like it is the case with traditional brokerages. In fact, there are some discount brokerages that charge no commission fees at all.
- Robo-advisors: The automatic investing app market is booming since the advent of robo-advisors, which are automated investment services using advanced software and algorithms to manage portfolios, tax optimization, retirement planning, and much more. This type of investing app comes with low fees and opening balance requirements, but you also lose that human contact and guidance that you get with a personal advisor.
What Can You Invest In With an Investing App?
Investment apps usually do not have the same amount of investment opportunities as online stock brokers, but some apps like Robinhood or Fidelity Investments do provide the ability to trade in multiple securities.
Acorns, on the other hand, only allows trading in ETFs, while some applications offer a fuller range of investments like bonds, options, mutual funds, cryptocurrencies, precious metals, and more. There are now even some specialized apps like Masterworks, which offers investing into fine art.
What to Look for When Choosing an Investment App
Choosing the best app to invest in stocks or other securities mostly comes down to your personal needs, experience, and investment preferences. However, there are some things that you should keep in mind, whether you are looking for an app with a specific investment option, a beginner-friendly platform, or a robust, full-service brokerage.
First and foremost, the investment app and the broader company that powers it should be well respected and reliable. You'll want to check customer reviews and testimonials and make sure that there is a high level of satisfaction and feeling of security with the platform before opting to commit to it for a longer period of time.
Secondly, you'll want to compare commission fees, account minimums, and any limited extra fees that come with certain apps and accounts. These costs and fees can mount up quickly, so it's imperative to find the best deal possible and gravitate more towards investor apps that offer low or no commission fees, come with cheap account minimums, and do not charge withdrawal, inactivity, transfer, or annual fees.
Last but not least, you should look for apps with a large selection of online investing tools and educational resources like stock analysis and third-party research. This is especially important for those looking for the best beginner investment apps, as having great support and learning structure means that you can grow with the same app and continue using it even when you become a more advanced trader.
How Much Money Do You Need to Start Investing Through an Investment App?
With the rise of investment apps and the highly competitive market with an expected CAGR (compound annual growth rate) of 20.8% in the next ten years, it has never been cheaper or easier to become an investor.
Most apps have zero or extremely low minimum requirements and fees, so it's possible to start investing with as little as $1. For example, some of the best micro-investing apps like Acorns will literally use your spare change to start building your portfolio, sweeping your linked debit/credit account and rounding up purchases to the nearest dollar before investing with the change.
The price of investing into an individual stock share varies depending on the worth of the company you are investing in, so it's a naturally highly variable investment choice, but you are definitely able to start investing with a few dollars as well. One of the most costly investment choices is mutual funds, which usually have set minimums of $1,000 or more.
How Much Money Should You Invest?
The amount of money you should invest depends on your individual needs and your personal financial situation.
There are some strategies and rules that financial experts recommend, for example investing 15%-25% of your post-tax income, 10% of your total monthly income or following the 50/30/20 rule, but the most important thing we can point out is that any outstanding debts and loans should come as a priority before opting to put some of your funds into investments.
Even if you start with as little as possible, investing a dollar or two each month, the key to success is precisely in regularity and the continued investment in your positions in order to build wealth as your investment compounds and appreciates in value.
Are Investment Apps Worth It?
Choosing to start investing with an app has its own advantages and disadvantages, but ultimately these depend on your own personal needs and goals.
Pros of Investment Apps
Some of the most notable advantages of investment apps are:
- Zero or low commissions and fees
- Professional portfolio management
- Quick access to educational resources
- Variety of investment plans
Cons of Investment Apps
Some possible disadvantages of investment apps include:
- No advanced tools
- No personalized financial advice
- Fees can add up with larger accounts
- Riskier due to the gamification of apps
How We Evaluate Investment Apps
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!
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.
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.
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.
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.
Investment App 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.
What app is best for first-time investors?
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?
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?
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.
Are investing apps good for active trading?
Some investment apps are definitely a good choice for active traders, especially those that provide a wide range of securities and other investment options to trade with, such as Fidelity Investments or Charles Schwab.
What is the safest investment with the highest return?
Treasury bonds, high-yield savings accounts, and fixed-funded annuities are among the safest investments with high returns. You can also consider certificates of deposit, money market accounts, and corporate bonds, as these investments are also considered safe and highly profitable.
How much money do I need to open an investment app?
You can open a beginner investment app account with as little as $1.