Our Top Picks For Best Investment Apps
- Stocks, ETFs, Crypto, Options, ADRs
- Automated Investing
Why we chose it:Webull is our choice for beginners and active traders because it offers extended market hours, advanced charting and enough educational resources.
Webull is a trading app that offers commission-free stocks, ETFs and options, with no minimum deposits. Additionally, it supports IRAs and allows investing in crypto and some foreign companies .
Although Webulls research tools and charts can seem overwhelming at first, we believe its a great choice for beginners who dont mind taking some time to learn. It has a learning center full of video explainers and how-tos, alongside a training camp that can be customized based on your investing experience. In addition, it offers a trading simulator, where beginners can learn and practice how to trade using paper money.
Active traders can benefit from Webulls advanced charting and real-time data to place orders and do market research. Another great perk is that it offers access to extended market hours, so you can trade before and after the market closes from 4:00 a.m. to 9:30 a.m. ET, and 4:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m.
Do note, Webull has a $5 minimum for fractional share orders. This might be a drawback for some traders, considering apps like Robinhood let you buy shares for just $1.
- Automated Investing
- Automated Investing
- Stocks, Fractional Shares, ETFs, Crypto
The Costs Of The Etfs
With Peaks you invest passively in ETFs, or exchange-traded funds. If you invest in funds you always have to pay for the operation of those funds. You donât pay this amount to Peaks, but to the fund providers, such as iShares or UBS. The average cost per fund, per portfolio, is between 0,15% and 0,23% of your invested money per year. This is automatically deducted from your return.
Fun Facts About Micro
- Launched in 2010, Betterment was arguably the first modern micro-investing app. It was also the first true robo-advisor on the market.
- The Dividend Reinvestment Plans was the ancestor of modern micro-investing. Starting in the late 1960s, individual companies allowed investors to reinvest stock dividends in whole or fractional shares of company stock.
- Those commission-free trades are nice, but they come at a cost. In the first half of 2021, Robinhood earned about 80% of its revenue from payment for order flow.
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The 15 Best Investment Apps For Everyday Investors
Until recently, investing was a pain. If you were lucky, youd spend an hour on the phone with a financial advisor. Then, youd cross your fingers until the quarterly report arrived.
With todays best investment apps, all it takes is a few taps. You can receive a tailored portfolio or trade your own stocks, check your portfolios performance, and shift money around without ever talking to a human being. And because both traditional brokerages and fintech startups offer investing apps, youre likely to find one perfect for you.
These 15 apps provide a painless route to investing for everyday investors.
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1. Best investment app for high-end investment management: Round
Investment apps are increasingly turning to robo advisors. Although Round uses an automated questionnaire to generate its users portfolios, it works with fund managers like Guggenheim Partners, Doubleline, and Gabelli to provide individual investors with access to institution-grade investments.
Rounds institutional managers lean heavily on alternative assets and strategies, including asset-backed securities, real estate, and merger arbitrage. No matter the account value, Round charges a 0.5% management fee. In the event of a negative return, however, Round waives its monthly fee.
2. Best investment app for minimizing fees: Robinhood
3. Best investment app for student investors: Acorns
4. Best investment app for data dissectors: E*Trade
Can You Buy Fractional Shares Of Stock With Micro
It depends on the micro-investing platform youre using, but the answer is often yes. Many of the apps on this list allow fractional share investing, some with minimums as low as $1 per trade.
Even if your micro-investing app doesnt offer fractional share investing for new stock or fund purchases, it may allow you to reinvest dividends paid by stocks and funds you own. Often, dividend reinvestment results in fractional share purchases .
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Betterment: Best For Automation And Tax
- Available via desktop, Apple iOS and Google Android.
- Price: 0.25% Management Fee
You can use the Betterment robo-advisor platform to buy fractional shares of ETF index funds like the S& P 500 in taxable accounts as well as individual retirement plans.
The Acorns alternative does not allow you to invest in individual stocks but will automatically place deposits into fractional bits of index fund ETFs aligned with your portfolio objectives.
The features of this platform make the micro-investing app most suitable to investors looking to diversify instantly as they make contributions to their accounts.
Instead of Acorns fixed monthly fee model, this service charges an all-encompassing 0.25% assets under management fee but can justify this expense in taxable brokerage accounts through its tax-loss harvesting feature.
Lowering your taxable income through their tax-loss harvesting feature is one of the products that justifies the 0.25% AUM fee for holdings in a taxable account.
It works by selling losses to lock in short-term capital losses and lowers your taxable income while taking your proceeds and placing them into a similar investment.
This lowers your taxable income or other capital gains and quickly covers the 0.25% annual AUM fee.
Further, based on your intended financial goal, the company provides investment advice by tailoring your portfolios to accomplish these goals.
Is Micro Investing A Good Idea
Plenty of people deride micro investing because they only see it as rounding up your Starbucks purchases to the nearest dollar for the rest of your life. They reason this will only get you a small amount of money over long periods of time.
While not entirely untrue, especially after accounting for the fees of some investing platforms, micro investing doesnt need to stop at Round-ups, Stock Backs or whatever the branded term is for topping up purchases on a linked debit or .
Instead, as you age, you should try to aim for making recurring deposits into your account as your compensation rises.
This can be from side hustles, investing in real estate, investing in the best passive income ideas, or simply building up your career.
No one expects you to invest half your paycheck each pay period when you start working. It takes time to build financial security and an investment portfolio.
What micro investment apps help is to establish the habit of knowing your purchases also result in something more important: saving for your future.
As your financial resources grow, you can contribute more and more to your account, building your wealth.
Enough derision about micro investing only producing micro results.
Instead, consider micro investment apps as part of your investment strategy that ties into other long haul decisions you make about saving for retirement.
Investing for the long term requires dedication, persistence and work over time considerable amounts of time.
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Charles Schwab Best App For Beginners
Charles Schwab does well for experts, but its also a great app for beginners, because of all the resources it provides. Schwab provides tons of research and education, helping newer investors get up to speed on topics such as investing and personal finance.
Why we like it:
- Schwab also offers fractional shares, meaning you can invest all your money into your stocks, rather than have idle investment money sitting around.
- Commission-free stock and ETF trades.
- Schwab is also great for mutual fund investors, with more than 4,000 no-transaction fee funds, one of the largest selections in the industry.
- Youll also get highly responsive customer service that gets your questions answered quickly.
- As if that werent enough, youll get one of the best sign-on promotions around, with a cash bonus that starts with just a $25,000 deposit.
Who is it best for? You like investing with a friendly company that starts off in the right direction and then helps you along the way.
Minimum balance required: $0
Wealthfront Best App For Portfolio Management
Wealthfront is one of the largest independent robo-advisors, and for a small fee it can manage your money, whether thats in a taxable account or an IRA.
Why we like it:
- Wealthfront uses hundreds of ETFs to construct your portfolio and takes into account how much risk you want to take as well as when youll need the money.
- As you deposit money, Wealthfront will add it to your portfolio and keep your account balanced and on target toward your goal.
- Wealthfronts management fee runs 0.25 percent annually, which is the industry standard but also an eminently reasonable price for the features on offer, including tax-loss harvesting, which effectively covers the annual fee for many clients, says the company.
- Wealthfront also brings an attractive cash management account , and youll receive early access to direct-deposited paychecks and a debit card all without a monthly fee.
Who is it best for? All youll need to do is add money to the account and Wealthfront manages your portfolio to help you reach your goal. The cash management account is cool, too. As a Bankrate user, get $5,000 managed for free when you open a Wealthfront investment account.
Minimum balance required: $500
Fees: Management fee of 0.25 percent of assets annually
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Best For College Students And Recent Grads: Sofi Invest
SoFi Invest is just one piece of the much bigger pie that is SoFi. Theres a lot for anyone to like about SoFi, but the company is particularly friendly to college students and recent graduates. Thats due to products and features like:
- Competitively priced student loan refinancing products
- Private student loans for borrowers with good or better credit
Plus, SoFi Invest clients get special rates and terms on SoFi loans, which already offer great value.
- Minimum of just $1 to open an account
- Option to schedule one-on-one consultations with a SoFi financial advisor
- Automatic portfolio rebalancing every quarter
- Plan for multiple financial goals simultaneously
Take A Chance On Small
Leveling the playing field
Small-change apps make investing accessible to everyone, without breaking the bank. Slightly over half of American households own stocks, with 89% of the market belonging to households that earn more than $100K or more. Investment apps allow anyone with a smartphone and some spare change to have a chance to grow their money. Unlike mutual funds, most of which often require a minimum investment of $500-$5,000, these apps let you allocate mere pennies towards your investments if thats all you have to spare. For example, the celebrity-sponsored app Acorns allows people to mindlessly invest their spare change, by rounding credit card purchases up and investing the extra change across a number of stocks. Such apps provide a solution for lower-income Americans to save.
Steady saving wins the race
Simplicity, simplicity, simplicity
In addition to not requiring a lot of money, these apps also take away the technical and bureaucratic processes involved with investing. You dont need a four-year degree in finance to invest successfully with small-change apps. Many people dont have time to properly sit and study the market, which is why these user-friendly apps do the work for you. Apps like Stash do research on companies that support causes you believe in, categorizing them for you and making it easy to choose in what to invest. Additionally, you can make automatic payments through these apps, enabling investing without a second thought.
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Publiccom: Best Free Investment App For Beginners
- Available via desktop, Apple iOS and Android App on Google Play.
- Price: Free trades
Public.com is a commission-free micro investing app that targets Millennials and Gen-Zers who have attuned their senses to social media.
This price point compares favorably with Acorns: free is free and Acorns isnt free.
While the company previously followed the lead of apps like Robinhood with monetizing Payment for Order Flow , or receiving kickbacks from clearinghouses for routing trades to them, theyve recently abandoned this practice.
Instead, they now rely on other revenue streams as well as a tipping system.
This places this beginner investment app firmly on the side of retail investors and not pledging allegiance to Wall Street clearinghouses.
Why is Public.com a Good Investment App for Beginners?
What Public.com is really about is making investing like an investing social network, where members can own fractional shares of stocks and ETFs, follow popular creators, and share ideas within a community of investors.
What Public.com aims to do above all else is make the stock market an inclusive and educational place, with social features that make it easy to collaborate as you build your confidence as an investorfor free .
For younger investors who want to align their investing with their social preferences, as well as keep good company to socialize and learn from others, Public.com might be the app for you.
How Can I Learn More About The Investment Choices An App Offers
Molly Moorhead, CFP:
Most apps will steer you toward stock ETFs. By purchasing shares in these funds, youll own small pieces of many different companies across an array of sectors.
If youre curious, log into your investment account, find the stock symbol for the companies in the fund and check out their historical performance.
Youll find that they likely all have ups and downs, but because your money is spread across multiple industries, no single companys stock will hurt you much if it drops.
Robin Hartill, CFP:
Look at online reviews to see whether users are satisfied with their investment choices and whether there are any limitations.
Once you find an investment youre interested in, do your homework.
If its an individual stock, you need to understand how the company makes money and why you think it can be profitable in the future.
Most people dont need a ton of investment options. An S& P 500 index fund is one of the most surefire ways to build wealth over time.
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Best App For Couples Investing Together
Who’s this for? Many people’s first experience with investing is for long-term goals like retirement. But there are a number of other short- and mid-term goals that can be easier to achieve if you invest the money rather than leaving it in a savings account. Twine, designed by John Hancock, focuses on helping couples save and invest together for milestones like a down payment on a future home.
With Twine, couples can choose a joint goal and identify a monetary target. Each partner then links their Twine investment and savings accounts to a checking account and sets up recurring transfers. As their balances grow, couples can see a combined account interface that includes each partner’s accounts and shows them their joint progress toward their goals.
Twine’s website says that its portfolios are “designed to beat the returns of your savings account while managing your risk.”
The Twine app is available to download for free in the App Store , where it has 4.5/5 stars at the time this article was written. The app is not currently available for Android devices.
Stick To What You Know
Aversion to automation
Small-change apps often use algorithms and questionnaires to ascertain the level of their investors risk tolerance, and then proceed to invest the money accordingly. However, because this process is automated, many feel that the risk tolerance determined by the app may be inaccurate, leading to bad investment choices. While automated processes are often adept at detecting patterns , algorithms may not be as dependable when it comes to determining if those patterns are meaningful. This is where the human component would normally come in, but its missing from these apps. Investment already comes with risk, and using an automated, impersonal app rather than trading through a broker or financial adviser heightens this risk.
Limited investment choices
Small-change investment apps usually restrict you to specific stocks or Exchange-Traded Funds. For long-term investment goals, such restrictions could confine your options. Additionally, when your income stream eventually goes up, you may want to diversify your portfolio in ways that the apps wont allow. Your money should be working for you if theres a time in your life when you suddenly have money to invest then investing in small-change stocks isnt for you.
Dont take shortcuts
The Bottom Line: What small-change investment apps provide in convenience and affordability, they may lack in variety and long-term gains. Would you use an app to invest?
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No Feedback On Account Setup
Acorns has since solved my problem, turns out they were simply experiencing a serious backlog to new accounts looking forward to the weeks ahead to see how much I can round up on my card transactions. old review below-Like everyone I was very excited to start rounding up sadly I never had the opportunity to experience any of the feature sets Acorns has to offer. The account setup was pretty easy and enjoyable although finding out after signing my certificate that it still would take 1 – 3 business days to verify my account was a bit disappointing but I get it. Here is where Acorns fell short, till this day 5 days later it still says I need to wait 1 – 3 business days for my account to be setup, uh hello its been 5 days! Like any American on day 3 I picked up the phone and called support, I was on the phone for about an hour before I got disconnected due to interruptions in service. I also tried email support but have heard nothing, no confirmation to my email over my support ticket nothing, maybe somethings up with my email but at this point I would prefer to speak with a human being and I think any service offering to make transactions from your bank account should support quick and easy customer service. I am open to changing my review if I ever get any support to rectify this rogue issue.