Working earns you a salary, trading gets you profits, but investments generate a passive income that grows your finances on their own. And today, you can do that with apps.
There are quite a few offers out there. And they each approach the solution with unique features that try to make your investment journey easier. But then, they also share many features, such as commission-free executions and other perks.
This post looks at the top offers out there, picks out their best features, and shows how they can help you to make the best investments.
Some Investment App Tips
If you are new to the world of finance and investments, then it is good to know that these apps can help you along. However, there are many issues to consider, including the dangers involved. So, the following tips should hopefully be of help.
- Take your time first to set your investment goals.
- Keep a close eye on commissions. They can quickly add up.
- Automate things when possible. Make use of available tools.
- Investing is a risky business. So, try to diversify your investments to minimize your exposure and risk.
- Use Robo-advisors or listen to advice when you can.
- Focus on the long term. Investments mature over many years, while speculation is for fast trading and quick profits.
- Read as much as you can and educate yourself on investing. This includes learning about stocks, mutual funds, bonds, CDs, treasury bills, and so on.
- Be careful with cryptocurrencies because of their high volatility. Avoid it if you cannot handle the ups and downs.
- Read business news and keep up with the markets you are invested in.
Top 10 Investment Apps
|Name||Best For||Fees||Account Min.||Website|
|SoFi Invest||Beginners, automation||$0, 1.25%||$0||sofi.com|
|TD Ameritrade||Intermediate investors||$0 – $0.65||$0||tdameritrade.com|
|Acorns||Automated investing||From $1/month||$0||acorns.com|
|Ally Invest||New & experienced investors||$0, $0.5||$100||ally.com|
|Public||Stocks, social network||$0||$0||public.com|
|Wealthfront||Robo Advisor||$0, 0.25%||$1, $500||https://www.wealthfront.com|
|Fidelity||Self-directed investing||$0, $0.65||$0||fidelity.com|
|Betterment||Socially responsible||0.25%||$0, $10||betterment.com|
- Best-For: Overall
- Fees: $0
- Website: robinhood.com
When Vladimir Tenev and Baiju Bhatt stumbled into the financial world as computer programmers in 2013, they discovered inefficiencies of traditional banking institutions and how they overcharged their clients. So, they came up with the aptly named Robinhood app.
The platform offers you commission-free investing and access to startups about to list an IPO (Initial Public Offering) at attractive prices. There is also real-time and fractional trading of stocks, where you can invest as little as $1 in your chosen picks.
Robinhood additionally offers management of your un-invested cash with a 0.3% APY (Annual Percentage Yield), commission-free access to ETFs (Exchange Traded Funds), and the Gold and Crypto-currency markets.
Keep in mind, however, that crypto trading on Robinhood is outside FINRA regulation. In other words; you are on your own.
The app is available for Android devices, where it has seen over 10 million downloads. On the App Store, it is available for iOS devices from version 11.0 upwards. It currently has over 30 million users.
2. SoFi Invest
- Best-For: Beginners, automation
- Fees: $0 for most, 1.25% for crypto
- Website: sofi.com
The SoFi app includes everything you need to get into the world of investing. It lets you trade cryptocurrencies, stocks, and bonds, as well as manage your money.
SoFi INVEST lets you buy and trade financial instruments without commissions. It also requires no minimum account balance to run. Plus, you can use it to maintain and build your portfolio automatically, once the system has determined your investing goals and risk tolerance.
SoFi Money is an account that lets you manage your money for free. There are no annual fees, no overdraft fees, or any other type of banking charge. Still, it lets you earn interest on your funds.
With SoFi RELAY, you can budget and keep track of your finances, including monitoring your credit score, free of charge. Finally, SoFi loans offer you credit with 2- to 7-year loan periods.
While there are no minimums and you can trade stocks for free, trading crypto-currencies attracts a small charge. Asides from that, you can trade fractional shares of popular stocks starting from $5. And you can get involved with the initial public offerings of startups that interest you.
3. TD Ameritrade
- Best-For: Intermediate investors
- Fees: Free for most, $0.65 for options
- Website: tdameritrade.com
Formed from the merger of over six financial brokers, TD Ameritrade was founded in 1975 and currently has over 11 million customers.
It offers everything from bonds to ETFs, cryptocurrencies, options, fractional shares, and forex trades. There is also a Robo advisor and lots of learning material, including third-party material from top financial brands like Thomson Reuters and CNBD.
You get commission-free trading for all instruments traded online, except for options, where you have to pay a $0.65 fee per contract.
Extra features include a dashboard with an overview, price alerts, real-time, and level II quotes. Sign-in and authorizations use Face ID and fingerprint recognition.
You should note that this app is not for those looking for hands-free investments with automated processes. It is for those who know what they are doing and want a professional mobile platform for on-the-go.
- Best-For: Automated investing
- Fees: 3 plans from $1 to $5 per month
- Website: acorns.com
The Acorns app approaches the micro-investment issue from a different direction. Simply choose any of three account types and it will automatically invest and manage your funds for you. No hidden fees, no surprises.
The system invests in a portfolio of EFTs created by experts. This makes it diversified and relatively safe. All you have to do is set up your account, set an investment amount, and Acorn will invest a portion of your paycheck each month.
Acorns Lite costs $1 per month and includes the automated investment system, financial education, and rewards. With Acorns Personal for $3 per month, you additionally get a debit card, money advice, and bonus investments. Then for $5 per month, Acorn Family offers investment for your kids, retirement planning, and other exclusive offers.
Android users can get the app from Google Play Store, while iOS users from version 11.0 and later can get it from the app store. Acorn has over 8 million customers, investing an average of $50 monthly, and over $3 in total assets under management.
- Best-For: Gifting stock
- Fees: $0
- Website: stockpile.com
Thinking of gifting stock to your kids, friends, or some other loved ones? Stockpile makes that easy by letting you buy stock gift cards that you can pass on to anyone.
You can buy up to 4,000 different stocks and ETFs through the Stockpile app. And you can buy fractional shares from the companies that you love as well, starting from as little as $5. Stockpile is commission-free and signing up takes just seconds.
If you are new to investing, Stockpile also has lots of lessons and beginner guides to help you and your loved ones understand what all that market lingo is about.
There are also custodial accounts from ages 0 upwards that even let your kids monitor their investments and make trades that you will first have to approve.
Keep in mind, however, that Stockpile does not offer real-time quotes. The goal here is long-term investing and not day trading or speculations. There are also no options trading and no margin accounts on the platform.
6. Ally Invest
- Best-For: New & experienced investors
- Fees: $0 and varies
- Website: ally.com
Designed for investors at all experience levels, Ally Invest works well for both beginners and more advanced users. It is a combination of smart tools that anyone can put to use and advantage.
The Ally Mobile app offers banking and investment features. Its banking features include savings, bill payments, free money transfers, checks, and an ATM finder.
For investments, you can choose between a managed portfolio or self-directed investing. With the managed option, you can choose between four strategies and monitor your account’s performance when you have the time.
Self-directed investors can trade commission-free. There are stocks, ETFs, and options to choose from using the included filter and screener. Ally also provides charting for technical analysis, with multiple display options and lots of drawing tools.
While most of the features on Ally Mobile are free, including stocks and ETFs trading, options attract a $0.50 fee per contract, bonds attract $1, and mutual funds cost $9.95 per trade.
- Best-For: Stocks, investor’s social network
- Fees: $0
- Website: public.com
The best feature of the Public app is its social network. It lets you connect and follow companies and investors who share your interests.
Having such a profile feed lets you learn and advance your understanding of investments and the stock market. As you follow famous or experienced entrepreneurs, and see how they invest and what they invest in.
There are no account minimums and you can start investing with as little as $1. There are thousands of stocks and ETFs to choose from, and you can either buy full shares or fractions of one. You can also discover new IPOs on the platform or see which companies are about to report their earnings.
- Best-For: Robo advisor
- Fees: $0 for trading, 0.25% advisory
- Website: wealthfront.com
Robo advisors automatically invest your funds based on algorithms created by industry experts. With over $26 billion under management from 450K+ clients, Wealthfront is an attractive app to check out.
It offers investments in the U.S., foreign, and emerging markets’ stocks. You can choose to invest in socially responsible companies, specific economic sectors like health or tech, or in cryptocurrencies.
All you have to do is answer a few questions in the beginning and Wealthfront does the rest. It will rebalance and diversify your portfolio automatically, help you save taxes, and grow your wealth without further action from you.
There is a price for all this though. While the cash account starts with a $1 minimum, you will need $500 to open an investment account on the platform. Plus, they charge a 0.25% annual advisory fee, which they claim is much less than what you will save in taxes.
- Best-For: Self-directed investing
- Fees: $0 trading, $0.65 for options
- Website: fidelity.com
Fidelity Brokerage Services LLC has over 70 years of experience in the business and its app puts all of its benefits in your hands.
You can trade stocks, fractional shares, bonds, mutual funds, ETFs, and options with Fidelity. There is no account minimum and stock trading is commission-free. However, there is a $0.65 contract fee for options.
Where Fidelity shines is in its customer service and available research information. It also offers a customized price feed, order management, watch-list with all the important fields like P/E ratio, dividend yield, EPS, and so on.
You also get money management features for transfers, deposits, and other transactions. If you already know a bit about investing and want to take things to the next level, then you may appreciate this app.
- Best-For: Socially responsible investments
- Fees: 0.25% annual
- Website: betterment.com
Green or socially responsible investing tries to support only businesses that have a positive impact on the environment. From green projects to lower carbon emissions, gender diversity, and minority empowerment. You can also call this ethical investing.
Betterment lets you do this by offering different portfolio options: Broad impact, Social impact, and Climate impact.
All you have to do is sign up, deposit $10 minimum, and select pre-built portfolios, designed by experts. There is lots of automation to make things easier and you just have to pay a 0.25% annual fee. There is also a checking account with a debit card.
We have reached the end of this list of the best investment apps to grow your finance. And you can see that the fintech explosion is making life easier and investments more accessible for everyone.
Whether you are an eco-friendly or self-directed investor. Or you just want a laid-back approach where experts and Robo advisors help you build your wealth, there is something here for everyone.