Investing for the future is always a wise move, especially during the most uncertain of times. While many adults look to options like their 401Ks, Roth IRAs, or real estate investments to earmark funds for the future, others look to the comfort of their smartphones to dip their toes into the complex world of investing. And it’s paying off.
There exists a common misconception that one need first be wealthy before being able to invest. Today, this simply isn’t true. With today’s technology, almost anybody can begin a path to investing, with many platforms requiring just $1 to get started.
There are several reasons why investment apps are appealing to small investors. For one, investing, in its most traditional forms, can take an incredible amount of time and effort. If you don’t have a basic knowledge of about investing, stocks, and other options, you may find it impossible to get started. Fortunately, today’s unique variety of investing apps make the process easier than ever before.
What are the Benefits of Investing Apps?
It may come as no surprise that many adults are intimidated by the concept of investing. Modern-day images of Wall Street portray a hectic world of numbers and seemingly random percentages. So while the world of stocks and trading can certainly be challenging to navigate, still there are millions who are investing with confidence, and they’re doing it through the use of their phones.
There are dozens of reliable investment apps available today, and a growing number of adults are using these to begin their path toward investment for free and with ease. From simplistic interfaces to gamification, some of these apps have become so user-friendly that even children have begun investing with money earned from allowance. The truth is that it’s never too soon to be investing in your future, and with today’s array of investing apps readily available at your fingertips, your entry point to investing is well within reach. This is why it’s a good idea to begin researching investing apps sooner rather than later.
But what constitutes a solid investment app? Several factors make up a great investing app, while there are other factors that may be deal breakers, like cost. Some things users should look for when choosing an investment app include a user-friendly interface, learning resources, price alerts, and safety measures, just to name a few.
Before you begin researching investing apps, you should know that there are different types of apps through which you can invest, some more popular than others. Two of these are micro-investing apps and robo-advisor apps. Micro-investing apps, for instance, help users invest small amounts of money, while robo-advisor apps use algorithms to guide users toward wise investments. There are also stock trading apps that eliminate jargon and focus on easing beginning investors into the game.
There are pros and cons to each of these, so doing your due-diligence prior to selecting one of these is advised before you begin investing for free. Make sure that the investment apps offer what you’re looking for. Something such as free Stock trading, ETFs and/or Options. Read on to learn more about micro-investing apps and robo-advisors to help determine which is best for you.
What are Micro-Investing Apps?
Micro-investing apps offer users the ability to automatically invest small amounts of money in things like stocks. These apps are useful in that they funnel users’ extra funds into stock portfolios tailored to their unique financial situation. This type of investing app is appealing to many beginner investors who have no prior knowledge of the stock market.
In the case of micro-investing apps, investment money is often used to purchase exchange traded funds, or ETFs. ETFs are helpful because they spread a user’s risk by purchasing shares of dozens of perhaps even hundreds of companies. This, for beginner investors, is far more beneficial than investing all of their funds into a single company. It’s the modern-day equivalent of not putting one’s eggs all in one basket.
What are Robo-Advisers?
Robo-advisers differ from micro-investing apps in several ways. Typically, robo-advisors collect user information such as current financial situation and future financial goals, then use this data to offer investment advice and automatically disperse users’ investment assets. Many robo-advisors offer things like easy account setup, account services, portfolio management, goal planning, and security features designed to protect a user’s investments. Robo-advisors can also offer low fees and comprehensive education, rendering them a great option for those hoping to learn more about investing and make larger investments in the future.
While there are endless options for investing, one of the main drawbacks of more traditional platforms are the fees users incur when getting started and throughout the course of building their portfolio. Many investment firms, for example, operate by taking a percentage of investors’ assets under management, charging retainers, or hourly fees. These costs can quickly add up and make a large dent in your bottom line. This is evident in one study by the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), which found that a .5% annual fee over 20 years has the power to reduce portfolio value by $10,000. At the end of the day, paying fees can cost investors hundreds or even thousands over the course of their financial lives. Unfortunately, many investors won’t give these fees much thought when signing up, and they may not even notice their significance until years down the line. This is why it’s so important to read the fine print before embarking on any type of investment platform.
Whether you’re interested in micro-investing apps or robo-advisors, there are plenty of free options to help you ease into it without risking too much up front. Even if you have years of experience with investments and consider yourself highly knowledgeable in the trade, you can still benefit from apps that help you make your moves on the go.
There’s no better time than now to begin investing in your future. Here are a few free investment apps you can use to start securing a healthier financial future, now.
10 Best Free Investment Apps
Webull is an app that encourages users to diversify their portfolios through a variety of products including stocks, ETFs, and ADRs. Like Robinhood, Webull allows users to invest in cryptocurrencies, some of which include Bitcoin, Bitcoin Cash, Litecoin, and Ethereum. Webull also contains robust resources that provide an in-depth look at trends so users are well aware of what’s happening in the world of trades at any given time. The app supports 50 technical indicators and 12 charting tools, allowing users to customize their trading panels according to their own unique investment strategy. Another perk of Webull is its easy voice commands, which allows users to “buy” or “sell” easier than ever before. If you are the busy type who his constantly off to your next meeting, it would stand to reason you’d benefit from this added dose of convenience. Webull is definitely an app to consider if ease of use is among your top priorities as well as free stock-trading.
Marketed as a combination of a traditional investment broker and a robo-advisor, M1 Finance offers automated investments with room for customization, which is important when zeroing in on your most prioritized financial goals. This free app allows users to invest in pre-made ETF portfolios or offers them the option of building their own “custom pie”, which can consist of both ETFs and stocks. M1 also allows for fractional shares, which isn’t something every app offers. If you decide to download M1 for investing, you’ll need to set up an account with at least $100 for brokerage accounts and $500 for retirement accounts prior to initiating your first trade. You won’t, however, be stuck with fees for account management or tax minimization. This is just one of the many perks associated with use of M1.
Even those with very little interest in investing have likely heard of Robinhood. Robinhood is among the most common investing apps you’ll find on app stores today, and with good reason. This smartphone and laptop accessible, free app offers a simple approach to online investing that’s easy to get used to. A favorite of young investors for its user-friendly interface, Robinhood is changing the game for those hoping to dabble in investing without gambling with too much of their hard-earned cash. At $0 per trade, you can move your investments around freely, making it one of the cheapest way to purchase and sell stock. You can even trade cryptocurrency with Robinhood. This app is highly recommended for anyone hoping for a simple way to get started on the path to investing for free.
While many small investors use apps solely as a means of free investing, there are others who use them primarily for their educational resources. And while many of today’s apps pride themselves on offering easy tools to help beginner investors acquire a basic knowledge of stocks and other methods of trading, some of them lack much to be desired. SoFi Invest, on the other hand, does an impressive job at schooling aspiring investors in the best way. It allows users to learn as they go by providing real-time investing news and educational resources. What’s more, SoFi also has a community of members that attend exclusive events and experiences. Adding a social element to their platform brings added value and provides a unique opportunity for users to connect others beyond the virtual realm. And with $0 per transaction fee, your risk is relatively low.
Etoro is distinct from other apps on this list in that it specializes in cryptocurrency. While cryptocurrency’s place in the media has waned over recent years, it’s still very much alive and people are still interested in investing. In fact, cryptocurrency is indeed so popular that over 300 million trades have been made on Etoro alone, making it one of the most popular apps for this type of trading. Another unique characteristic is its ability to copy other traders through he use of CopyTrader™. What’s more, a simple visit to the eToro website will unleash information about the basics of Bitcoin and how to begin purchasing fast. For anyone wanting a crash course in crypto, this app may be the first one you’ll want to download.
Ally Invest has a solid reputation among free investment apps. This app offers commission-free stock options at ETF trades and a host or robust research tools to help you make wise financial moves. Its strong, web-based platform prioritizes security to protect investors against fraudulent transactions. All of these make Ally a worthy contender as far as free smartphone investment apps go. Whether you’re an active trader, options trader, Forex trader or commission-free trader, or even someone with no trading experience at all, there’s something for nearly every type of investor with Ally Invest.
Fidelity is another well-trusted investment app people are using to increase their wealth. This app is favored for a variety of reasons, including a clean, easy-to-use interface that makes trading a breeze. It also offers a range of commission-free ETFs, allowing the majority of investors the opportunity to build a balanced portfolio. With Fidelity, there is also the potential for fractional share investing, which is valuable for users beginning their investments with low dollar amounts. And with the recent announcement of two 0.00% expense ratio funds, users won’t be subject to management fees.
Axos Invest operates under the creed that“Investing should be a right – not a privilege.” With this, the app’s simple, user-friendly, automated investment platform helps users embark on their investment goals with not a whole lot of risk. This app is a winner for several reasons, one of which no required account minimum. Users also won’t pay fees for investment management, trading, or rebalancing. While Axos Invest if free, initially, you just might find some of its add-on services and advice to be worth the extra cost. All in all, this is a great app for those who aren’t willing to overcommit.
The vast majority of today’s investment apps are designed for individual use. Twine is unique in that it is built for use by two. This app helps couples achieve their financial goals together, whether that be saving up for a wedding or building a bright financial future. First, you’ll pick your financial goal and an investment portfolio then track your progress through the app. Twine will also offer smart recommendations tailored to your specific goals. With Twine, you can be sure your joined finances are working for you, not against you. This unique spin on the traditional investing app is bound to help couples realize their financial goals in the future.
Practice makes perfect in nearly all aspects of life and investing is no exception. Invstr, an award-winning app, helps beginner investors become familiar with the stock market through gamification. Fantasy Finance® allows users to practice trading without investing any real money. The app also contains Invstr Academy, which is a 85-lesson course designed to provide information about everything from stocks to trading and cryptocurrency. With a community of over 500,000 members, it’s safe to say Invstr has found a loyal band of followers. And while Invstr is free to use, you can also upgrade to their unlimited subscription, where you’ll get accessto unlimited trades, allocations, and charts, Safety Net Protection, and Zero Ads for just $3.99 per month.
Everyone’s financial path is different. There is no one-size-fits-all approach to small investing, nor is there a single resource that will do everything for you with zero effort on your part. Which investment app is best for you will depend on several factors, such as your current financial situation, future goals, and how much money you are willing to invest. Once you determine which free investment app will work for the long run, you can begin investing and earmarking money for the future today.