The truth is that there are plenty of options when it comes to investing. There are plenty of benefits to investing, too. Whether you are hoping to save up for retirement, pay for your children’s tuition, or repay loans like your mortgage early, building an investment portfolio is a great way to reach your financial goals. And the sooner you start, the better.
Best Investment Apps
Check out these investing apps to start solidifying a hopeful financial future.
If you’ve ever spent some time sifting through investing apps, chances are good that you’ve come across Robinhood. Ideal for young investors, Robinhood allows users to learn, manage and customize their way to a more sound financial future. With Robinhood Financial, app users are able to invest in funds, stocks, and options, as well as buy and sell Bitcoin, Robinhood Crypto and other cryptocurrencies. It’s a particularly useful app for young investors because it places emphasis on education through the use of unique tools, services, and in-depth financial info, that teachers users how to invest and trade wisely. There are also a number of opportunities to invest in Fortune 500 companies, with fractional shares available for as low as $1. For these reasons, in many ways, Robinhood can’t be beat.
Best for: Low-risk investing
If you’re on the hunt for a commission-free trading platform, Webull may very well be it. In addition to no minimum deposit requirements and free account set-up, there are other benefits to Webull, too. This comprehensive and sophisticated trading platform offers historical data, real-time quotes and other valuable technical indicators to help make your stock market experience as smooth as can be. And when it comes to customer service, Webull is a solid competitor. With 24/7 account monitoring and customer support, and even full extended trading hours, Webull is bound to have your back.
Best for: Free trading
Looking for more free apps like Webull? Check out this article: Best Free Investing Apps
A leader in the realm of robo-advisor apps, Betterment is a great tool for those with clear financial goal, such as saving up for retirement. Better yet, Betterment offers a variety of options for users hoping to embark on wise investing. Betterment Digital, for instance, carries no account minimum but charges an annual fee of .25% of assets under management. A step above this is Betterment Premium, with has a $100,000 account minimum and a .40% fee. But for this, you’ll receive the big benefit of unlimited phone access to a team of certified financial planners ready to help you navigate your investing with ease.
Best for: Clear financial goals
Cost: .25% annually
Apps like Fundrise thrive on diversification. While it’s not the only real estate investment app on this list, it does seek to be the simplest. Whether you are investing $1,000 or ten times that, focused on consistent cash flow or maximizing long-term growth, Fundrise has an account for you. First, you’ll choose your account level, then your strategy. With this, Fundrise will diversify your portfolio and keep you on track with everything from real-time updates to alerts for stuff like asset acquisitions, dividend payments, and other market commentary. While there are associated fees, like a 0.15% annual investment advisory fee and a 0.85% annual asset management fee, it’s a small price to pay to enter the lucrative world of real estate investing.
Best for: Diverse portfolios
Cost: 0.15% annual investment advisory fee + 0.85% annual asset management]
Investing, at first, can be intimidating. Stash allows users to ease into it slowly by showing them how to invest. Upon signing up for an account, users are asked a series of questions to help determine their risk tolerance and their financial goals. With this, Stash provides a list of suggested ETFs conducive to the user’s unique financial situation. While building a portfolio is the responsibility of the user, the Stash Coach can offer guidance through the use of educational content aimed at diversification. Another benefit of Stash is its offering of individual stocks and fractional shares, which makes it possible to own a tiny piece of a company for as little as $1.
Best for: Investors hoping for some guidance
Cost: $1 to $9 per month
If you’re one of the millions who favors spending over saving, you may find unique value in an app like Clink. Clink makes building your savings account easier by tying your saving to discretionary spending like shopping and dining out. It does this by linking with your checking account, allowing you to decide how much of your money you’d like to invest in a diversified portfolio. A built-in scheduler also lets you pick how often you’d like to add money to your account, and you can change it during the month, allowing you to tailor your saving to your financial standing at any given time. And with several different investment portfolio options, you can determine how aggressive you’d like to get with your investing so you are never committing to more than you can handle. Added perks include the ability to withdraw your money as you see fit. It’s a win-win if you hope to save in one of the most convenient ways possible.
Best for: Frequent shoppers
Cost: $1 per month
7. Benzinga Pro
Benzinga, unlike other platforms, does more than simply allow you to invest. This popular platform actually lets you really get to know the market in which you’re investing. It does this by providing real-time news, watchlists, and social sharing, among other tools designed to give you the information you need to invest wisely. While Benzinga’s basic version is free to start, you can easily upgrade to the pro version, which is ideal for small investors looking to up their game. For $99 per month, you’ll gain access to watchlist alerts, calendar suite and movers, as well as newsfeed access to keep privy on all the latest happenings. Whether you’re a beginner ready to get your feet wet or a seasoned investor with gains on the brain, Benzinga has something for you.
Best for: Learners
Cost: $99 per month
Motif is a triple-threat when it comes to investing. Part portfolio manager, part broker, and part idea tool, Motif allows investors to trade stocks and ETFs for $4.95 per trade. Motif’s robo-advisor platform also allows users to choose automated investing across a number of socially responsible themes. While there is no minimum required to open a Motif account, you’ll need a $300 balance in order to invest in a “motif”, which is a themed collection of up to 30 stocks or ETFs. You’ll also need a $10,000 minimum in order to open a direct index account. Bottom line: whether you are an impact investor, looking for direct indexing, or are interested in investing in IPOs, Motif is a worthy opponent when it comes to the best apps for you.
Best for: IPO investors
Cost: $4.95 per trade
If a low-fee personalized portfolio is what you’re after, Wealthsimple can help you get it done in an easily manageable way. In some aspects, this app offers the best of both worlds. For one, Wealthsimple’s smart technology lets users take a hands-off approach to investment, meaning they can stay on track of their investments with automatic rebalancing and dividend reinvesting, leaving little to be done on their end. On the other hand, Wealthsimple employs a team of skilled financial advisors who are readily available to provide assistance as needed if you are dedicated to taking control of your investments on your own. And when it comes to fees, Wealthsimple is competitive, with users paying a .5% management fee. All in all, Wealthsimple is a smart option for investors wanting to grow their wealth slowly and steadily without a lot of risk.
Best for: Slow and steady investors
Cost: 0.5% fee
10. Charles Schwab
Charles Schwab has earned a solid reputation among big-time and small-time investors. Customers can choose from a wide variety of investment offerings, including ETFs, options, mutual funds, and stocks. And for those looking for help building their portfolio, there is Schwab’s Personalized Portfolio Builder Tool, which factors in things like risk tolerance, financial goals, and time before retirement to create a diversified portfolio. And while Schwab goes easy on users by charging zero for commissions for stock, options, and ETF transactions, there is still a contract fee for trading options. Do keep this in mind.
Best for: Diverse investors
Cost: $.65 per contract
Robo-advisors are a wise option for small investors who don’t want to invest too much time or effort into research and training. In this regard, Wealthfront does just as it should. Founded in 2008, the app is designed to invest your money in a portfolio of low-cost ETFs and/or individual stocks. Like many of the other apps on this list, you’ll begin by answering a few questions about everything from your financial goals to your preferred level of risk, then Wealthfront’s software will rebalance your portfolio automatically as needed. While it’s not free — you’ll need to pay an account management fee of .25%, the app employs incentives, like referring a friend to wave fees for the first $5,000. You’ll need $500 for a brokerage account, which is more than other apps, but still not a dealbreaker.
Best for: No-fuss Investors
Acorns, with over 7 million users, is one of the most widely regarded investment apps available today. It’s also one of the easiest to use. This is not a coincidence. Acorns’ widespread use may be due to several factors, one of which is its simplistic view of investing. Ideal for beginner investors, Acorns allows users to invest their spare change from everyday purchases, rounding these cents up automatically. These funds are then put into a separate account to invest for the future. Monthly memberships can be had for as little as $1 to $3 per month, which is a relatively low cost to begin building your financial future. If you’re searching for a no-fuss way to get started investing, Acorns may very well be it.
Best for: Beginning investors
Cost: $1 to $3 per month
Robo advisors are a common tool for passive investing. While Round uses things like an automated questionnaire to get a feel for users’ financial situations and generate portfolios, it also gets help from outsiders, which isn’t a bad thing. Backed by the aid of fund managers like Doubleline, Guggenheim Partners, and Gabelli, Round offers expert investing advice from some of the most notable players in the game. These institutional managers utilize alternative strategies and assets like real estate and asset-backed securities to help Round’s users build diverse portfolios. And while they do charge a fee of .5% of your account’s value, you won’t be responsible for fees in the event that you yield a negative return. This is one of the many perks of Round.
Best for: The professional treatment
Cost: .5% of account value
It’s never too early to start saving for the future. Today’s apps make it easier than ever before for kids and teenagers to familiarize themselves with the concept of investing. Stockpile does a great job at making the process fun for the younger generation, employing mini-lessons for those hoping to develop their knowledge in investing. Another perk of Stockpile is its availability of fractional shares, allowing users to invest any amount they choose in big name companies like Netflix, Amazon, Nike, and Facebook. Stockpile is also the only brokerage that allows gift cards or e-gifts redeemable for stocks. And at just $.99 per trade, you’re bound to get your money’s worth.
Best for: Young investors
Cost: $.99 per trade
Give These Other Great Investing Apps a Try
There are a number of great free investing apps for small investors unwilling to compromise on fees. Here are a few other options to consider when choosing an investment app that works best for you.
15. Personal Capital
Personal Capital is one of the best options available for investors with larger amounts of wealth. In fact, the company currently manages over $8.5 billion in assets. With management services available for users carrying a minimum of $100,000 in investments, this free web-based app helps review your investment plan, track expenses, and offer a “big picture” view of your finances. Personal Capital is also filled with reliable wealth management features that include smart indexing, automatic rebalancing, and advice for 401(k) and 529 plans. If you want to make the most of this app, you can also sign up for premium services that will see financial advisors guide you through your investment planning.
Best For: Wealthy Investors
It was only a matter of time before someone found out how to merge the world of investing with that of social media. Enter Public. This free app allows users to buy any stock with any amount of money without paying commission. You can invest in ETFs and hone your financial literacy through a community of like-minded investors across all professional backgrounds. The social element to this app lets you join group chats and even tag a stock ticker to gain access to real-time charts. With educational resources, a generous referral program, and a community of others to rely on, Public is a great tool for those looking for extras while investing.
Best For: Social Investors
The world of real estate investing can be complex. Diversyfund aims to simplify the process through a unique platform specializing in multifamily property investment. By creating a free account, you’ll be able to invest in real estate investment trusts for as little as $500, with no fees. The platform has become so successful that investors saw average annualized returns of 17.3% in 2018. With Diversyfund, you’ll eliminate the need for the middle man and instead build your real estate wealth on your very own. There are few better options for those hoping to gain low-cost entry into the vast realm of real estate investing.
Contrary to popular belief, investing doesn’t have to be complicated. With so many great apps to choose from, it seems your financial goals have never been more within reach. Whether you are looking to make some cash for the near future or are hoping to save money for retirement, you’re sure to meet your financial goals when you use investment apps with purpose.
Best for: Beginning real estate investors
How to Find the Right Investing App
Today’s small investors have endless selections to choose from when it comes to investing their hard-earned cash. While you can certainly look to an investment firm for guidance on where to go next, there are also a vast number of resources available right at your fingertips.
It has never been easier to take up casual investing. Investing apps are just the latest tool small investors are using to get in the game. But with so many different platforms to choose from, how can you be sure you’re downloading the one that’s right for you?
What to Look for in an Investing App
Not all investing apps are created equal. While there are dozens of options to choose from, you can start by narrowing them down by certain criteria, one of which is your financial goals.
What are your goals for investing? What type of investor are you? Asking yourself these questions while doing research will ensure you don’t waste time with apps that won’t serve you well in the long run. Other things to consider when choosing an investing app include ease-of-use, fees, and educational resources.
Ease-of-use is important to look for in an investing app for several reasons. This is especially true if you are a beginner with not a lot of prior knowledge about stocks, trades or investments in general. Apps tailored to beginners, which will likely keep jargon to a minimum and use easy-to-read data to provide insight, are a big benefit for users ready to take a slow-and-steady approach when it comes to investing.
Another thing to consider when researching investment apps are the fees associated with investing. There are a number of impressive free apps to use, but many carry fees based on the amount you invest, which can be significant when dealing with larger amounts of tens or hundreds of thousands. Not only should you take management fees into consideration, but also pay close attention to monthly membership fees. While a monthly plan may be a good use of money for serious investors, beginning investors may be searching for an option that won’t cost money up-front.
If you admit you’ve got a lot to learn about investing before putting your money at risk, apps that place a heavy focus on education may be for you. Luckily, there are dozens of useful apps to choose from, many of which employ a wide variety of tools, resources and support to help users gain an in-depth knowledge of investing. From tutorials to gamification, make sure the app you choose will make learning easy if you’re hoping to learn the ins and outs of the industry over the long run.
What Type of Investor Are You?
Just like there are different ways to invest, there are different types of investors. For instance, there are those who prefer a hands-off approach, while others enjoy performing in-depth market research to guide them in their trading. Whichever type of trader you are, there’s an app out there for you.
You can use different reference points when contemplating your financial goals and what type of investor you are. For instance, many investors consider things like age, income, and financial outlook when beginning their investing journey. Other things to consider are the time-frame in which you give yourself to achieve your goals. From short-term goals to a long-term financial plan, a timeframe can help you prioritize and make smart choices when it comes to your investing platform.