The 5 Best Investment Apps of 2019 Revealed
From the old-school traders, yelling at the floors of the exchanges, through the birth of Electronic Communications Networks (ECNs) to the digitalization of the investment process, financial markets had gone through a significant transformation.
And the result from all this is the fact that today, we have everything needed to invest right from our mobile devices.
Nowadays, investment apps that capitalize on certain competitive advantages, such as flexible ways of investing, little-to-no commissions, fractional shares and other similar benefits, tend to attract millions of users for just a couple of years.
As a matter of fact, as the “millennials” generation gets wealthier and financially literate, app-based investment solutions are becoming a real threat to established brokers.
In the following article about the best investment apps, you will find out why traditional broker-dealer companies struggle to keep up with the pace of the apps for investing money and what you should look for when choosing the right solution.
In the end, you will be more informed about the best investment apps to use if you want to navigate financial markets. Apart from that, you will become capable of finding the most comfortable way to trade, according to your investing philosophy, background and goals.
The 5 Best #Investment Apps of 2019 Revealed | via @daytradingz #income #money
In order to ease the process of choosing an investment app to start with, we have compiled a list of the top 5 best options, currently available on the market:
Best for advanced investors: Webull
There is a reason why we referred to Webull as “the most complete investment app” in our in-depth review.
Webull provides commission-free investing services in a wide variety of instruments. The best thing about the app is how rich it is in terms of features and research tools.
The Webull app is one of the very few solutions that provide advanced investors with everything that they need.
From charting tools, through research features, news streams and insider holdings, to data on various asset classes such as stocks, FX, ETFs, indices, futures, cryptocurrencies, options and commodities, etc.
Although Webull is the best fit for advanced investors, it is also a great choice for beginner ones, due to its demo investing simulator feature.
Add to that the professional and on-time customer support and you have the reasons why the investment app is one of the best choices nowadays.
Check our in-depth Webull review
Best for young or beginner investors: StashInvest
StashInvest is designed with the idea of simplifying the investment process and bringing it closer to inexperienced individuals.
It is a great choice for those who are willing to take advantage of stocks and ETF investing without having to comply with any account minimum requirements – you can start investing with as little as $5.
The investment app also offers a wide variety of products, such as Stash Retire, Stash Banking, Stash Custodial and Smart-Save, designed to help investors easily fulfil their goals.
What makes StashInvest suitable for beginner investors is the extensive educational center and the amount of valuable content that you can take advantage of.
Yet, the StashInvest app has its downsides with the major one being the high investment fees.
Unless you are under the age of 25 and can take advantage of the free-of-charge investing rule for younger individuals, you will have to pay fees of approximately $1 per month (depending on the type of the account, the fees can increase).
Plus 0.34% ETFs expense ratios, which in cases of users with smaller portfolios, may turn out to be a pretty high price to pay for the service you receive.
Check our in-depth StashInvest review.
Best for passive investing: Acorns
Acorns is renowned for its creative idea to help individuals earn money by investing their spare change.
All you have to do to start is to link your card to the Acorns app and adjust your preferences.
After that, each time that you pay with your card, the sum will be rounded and the spare change will be used to build your Acorns portfolio.
Of course, a great opportunity like this does not come for free. Acorns’ users are charged management fees from $1 to $3 per month, depending on the type of their account.
In our in-depth review, we explore the idea why the above-mentioned fees can be considered as not so competitive.
Yet, the offered service is pretty unique and may turn out reasonable to use if you want to ensure a comfortable way to capitalize on your spare change.
And with the intuitive and easy-to-navigate platform with ready-made allocation scenarios to choose from, earning money from the financial markets has never been easier.
Check our in-depth Acorns review.
Best for commission-free investing: RobinHood
No matter how many app reviews you read, non of them will miss RobinHood – the most successful and valuable investment app worldwide.
Although RobinHood faces tough competition in the face of WeBull, it was the pioneer in the commission-free investing niche and still remains the preferred choice for more than 4 million users.
The lack of minimum deposit requirement, as well as the wide variety of investible instruments, such as US and global stocks and ETFs, options and cryptocurrencies, provides flexibility to all types of investors.
Although it lacks rich research tools, it is a great fit for investors who can make their analysis elsewhere and use the RobinHood app only for trading.
Bear in mind that today, there are plenty of apps that offer free-of-charge investing. Yet, in the course of the investment process, most of them can surprise you with some hidden fees.
With RobinHood, commission-free investing does really mean that you won’t be charged a penny.
Check our in-depth RobinHood review.
Best for stock giving: Stockpile
Investing on Stockpile will cost you $0.99 per trade, no matter whether you are buying or selling an instrument.
Although this is not the most competitive price on the market, the app still gathers plenty of interest from the wide audience. The reason for that is its main selling point – the “gift share” option.
The service works exactly the way traditional vouchers or even the Amazon gift cards do. You can buy a stock and give it to a friend or a family member easily and at reasonable rates.
Stockpile is suitable mostly for beginner investors, due to the lack of research tools and advanced features.
Other downsides of the platform are the facts that it does not offer plenty of investible assets and its end-of-the-day trades execution policy
However, if you have basic investment needs and intend to buy and hold for the long-term, then Stockpile is one of the best choices available on the market.
Check our in-depth Stockpile review.
Another 11 Cool Investment Apps
Apart from the above-mentioned options, there are plenty of other investment apps that worth your attention. Some of them are time-tested, others are just starting, third are additions to advanced desktop solutions by leading brokers – there is something for each type of investor.
Here are 11 additional investment apps that may turn out to be the perfect solution that fits your philosophy and satisfies your needs:
A free investment app that allows you to link your checking account and determine what percentage of your restaurant bill, shopping purchase, etc. you would like to set aside and how often.
The funds, allocated to your Clink account are then used for building a diversified portfolio, based on the principle of the Modern Portfolio Theory. Clink invests only in a limited number of Vanguard ETFs – VOO, VWO, VGK, VCIT, VTIP and BND.
After you set your risk preferences, the Clink app will invest on your behalf. The major downside here is that you cannot choose the instruments that your money will be invested in.
The app is free but is said to soon be charging $1 per month. Although there is nothing official from the company, even if such a fee is introduced, it will be reasonable, considering the fact that there is no account minimum.
Clink is a good choice for short-term goals like saving or capitalizing on your small contributions, as well as to simplify the investing process for beginners. Yet, if you want more freedom, flexibility or advanced features, then you should look elsewhere.
TD Ameritrade’s Mobile App
TD Ameritrade is one of the leading brokers worldwide. For more information about the pros and cons of using their services, check our in-depth review.
The TD Ameritrade app is simply one of the best that you can find. It has won several awards, including #1 for mobile trading (Stockbrokers.com), #1 trading app (Barron’s), #1 platform & tools (Stockbrokers.com).
As the company states on its website, it is “the industry leader in mobile trading” which is an absolutely correct statement.
TD Ameritrade offers two different mobile apps that cover the needs of new and experienced investors.
They are offering in-depth research and education content, rich charting features, a variety of investible instruments, such as options, FX, ETFs, stocks and futures, third-party analysis and much more.
Simply put, if you want to experience investing to the full extent and like a pro, go for TD Ameritrade’s services.
However, be aware that, unlike commission-free investing apps such as RobinHood or WeBull, it will charge you (although you can still take advantage of the rich list of commission-free ETFs) a hefty fee.
Check our in-depth TD Ameritrade review.
Wealthfront is another option from the calibre of TD Ameritrade, although it goes even further by offering robo-advising services, including automatic investing and portfolio rebalancing.
Currently, the company manages more than $11 billion and is a preferred choice from both – investing newbies and industry veterans.
Although Wealthfront offers relatively low management fees of 0.25%, in order to start, it requires an account minimum of $500.
The investment app provides access to ETFs from more than 11 asset classes and rebalances users’ portfolios for free. Yet, users have to pay also for the associated fund fees which vary in the range of 0.07% - 0.16%.
Wealthfront is a perfect solution for beginner investors who do not have the time or the expertise to manage their funds and prefer to leave all that to professionals and a passive investing strategy.
The low fees and the wide range of products, including tax benefits, 529 college savings, all types of IRAs, etc. make the Wealthfront app a solution worth trying.
See also: Is Wealthfront worth it?
M1Finance is an investment app that provides its users with the chance to take advantage of ready-made portfolios or build their own.
It is free to use and does not charge any commission fees. If you choose to set-up an account with M1Finance, you will be able to diversify through a wide range of stocks and ETFs (currently more than 6000 exchange-listed instruments).
This way you getting better exposure and optimizing the return potential. After the portfolio is chosen or built, the M1Finance app then automates the investment process, without the need of any human intervention.
Apart from the automated investment feature, M1Finance offers some additional account types as well.
For example, you can set-up a “Joint” account with a relative of yours or choose to go for the “Retirement” one, where you can take advantage of different types of IRAs. Also, you can set-up a “Trust” account on behalf of a certain individual or a group.
In a nutshell, M1Finance is a great option that provides everything that a beginner investor or an individual with no time to manage his investments, needs.
Next on the list is the pioneer in the commission-free investing. The financial advisory is entirely free and requires no minimum account balance which puts it ahead of Wealthfront and Betterment.
Yet, if you choose to use WiseBanyan services, you will have to pay the associated fund expense ratios of 0.12% on average which is still a very good option, considering those of other financial advisors.
The portfolios in WiseBanyan consist of ETFs (more than 1400 currently available) from a wide range of sectors (US and foreign market stocks, corporate and government bonds, emerging market stocks, real estate trusts, etc.).
The portfolios are based on the principles of the Modern Portfolio Theory, similar to all other robo-advising services.
The fact that the WiseBanyan app offers commission-free robo-advising makes the life of beginner investors a lot easier and puts it on the top of your “2019 Investment Apps” list.
This is the third robo-advisor, alongside WiseBanyan and Wealthfront, that makes the list of the most popular AI-driven investment service providers.
In fact, Betterment was the first robo-advisor and is still one of the best robo advisors.
Introduced way back in 2008, in the peak of the Global Financial Crisis. For just a decade, it has managed to attract close to $14 billion in assets under management.
The Betterment app has a simple model and does not offer any type of personalization or DIY portfolio construction features. Instead, it uses the in-house expertise of its team to build professional portfolios to reach optimize performance.
The option to adjust portfolio weights and composition is available only to individuals with a balance over $100 000.
Betterment invests predominantly in ETFs, which means that you cannot take advantage of individual stocks, bonds or other instruments.
The app charges its users a 0.25% management fee, similar to Wealthfront.
If you are more serious about investing and want to explore the process further, Betterment also offers the chance to take advantage of phone consultation with their team CFP® professionals and licensed financial experts for a fee of just 0.40% per year.
Although Twine is also a part of the robo-advising group, it offers a slightly different concept – saving and investing for couples.
After signing up, the Twine app will require from you to set a goal – be it a vacation, a new car, a house or whatever objective you wish. You and your spouse can both contribute to your team goal, thus be able to track the progress and achieve it way quicker.
In order to reach your goal, you can choose either to save in cash or invest in conservative, moderate or aggressive ETF portfolios. If you choose to save in cash, Twine won’t charge you a penny.
However, if you decide to invest in a portfolio, you will be charged an annual fee of 0.60%. For saving accounts, there are no minimum balance requirements or minimum deposit amounts.
On the other hand, if you choose Twine to take advantage of its investment services, you will have to fund your account with at least $100.
BoostUp is a free money-saving app that helps you build your saving habits and achieve your goal of having a new car, home, etc.
After you sign-up for the BoostUp app and link your bank account, you will be asked how much you would like to be saving on a daily basis.
Then, BoostUp will withdraw the sum once weekly or monthly. The minimum amount you can save is $1 per day.
There is also the “RoundUp” function that helps you make additional savings by transferring the change from your purchases to your BoostUp account, once it reaches $5.
If you have supportive friends that are willing to back you on the road to achieving your goal, you can also take advantage of the integrated crowdfunding feature.
You can withdraw your funds anytime with the only condition that you must request the whole sum and not a partial one.
One of the best features of BoostUp is that its partners, such as Hyundai, can match up your savings up to $500 when you decide to purchase your new car from them.
Swell represents the group of impact investing platforms. What it does is help you find high-growth potential companies, focused on solving global challenges and invest in them.
The investible companies are divided into 6 main categories – renewable energy, disease eradication, clean water, green tech, healthy living and zero waste.
You can find all types of companies - from the main players in their respective industry like Tesla, Nvidia and Unilever, to small, boutique ones.
Apart from the above-mentioned categories, you can also take advantage of the companies, included in the “Impact 400” group that contains public firms with activities aligned with the 17 United Nations Sustainable Development Goals.
By investing on the Swell platform, you actually buy shares from the represented firms.
You can take advantage of Swell’s investing concept for an annual fee of 0.75%. There are no additional trading fees or expense ratios.
Personal Capital is a wealth management company with assets under management that exceed $8 billion.
In terms of its target market, Personal Capital is way different from all other apps in this review, as it works only with individuals that can maintain an account minimum of $100 000.
The truth is that it charges pretty high fees, when compared to the industry standard. For example, until you reach $1 million, you will be charged 0.89% of your AUM.
Apart from that, the portfolio expense ratios average 0.08%. The funds of clients with an account balance in the range of $100 000 - $200 000 are invested in ETFs.
Those whose capital exceed $200 000, can take advantage of access to individual securities.
For investors with less capital, Personal Capital can be used for financial planning as it offers a wide range of tools (401k fee analyzer, spending tracker, investment checkup, etc.) for free.
In fact, the provided tools are one of the most complete and useful that you may find without having to pay for using them.
SigFig is the app that closes the list of this review. Last, but not least, the SigFig app is a wise choice for investors that want to build tax-efficient and well-diversified portfolios for the fraction of the sum they will have to pay when using a traditional investment advisor.
It offers automatic rebalancing, tax reduction and dividend reinvesting which makes it an all-around solution for all types of investors.
The investment advisor invests in low-cost ETFs from Vanguard, Charles Schwab and iShares, with average expense ratios in the range of 0.07% - 0.15%.
SigFig will manage your first $10 000 for free. Once you exceed that sum, you will be charged an annual fee of 0.25%. The only downside of SigFig is the fact that it requires a minimum initial account balance of $2 000.
Overall, we can conclude that SigFig is one of the best discount brokers, currently available on the market.
If you are not one of those who fancy reading long reviews, check the following complete table with summarized information about each of the investment apps that we covered.
Commissions & Costs
Advanced investors and commission-free investing
Young or beginner investors
Under the age of 25 – free / then – $1 per month
$1 - $3 per month
$0.99 per trade
Saving and short-term investing
TD Ameritrade Mobile App
The best investment app for beginner and advanced investors
$6.95 per trade for stocks
Beginner investors that want to take advantage of various products
The wide variety of investible assets with more than 6000 US-listed securities
Commission-free robo-advising services
Its history in robo-advising services
Saving and investing for couples
Saving – free / Investing – 0.60% per year
Setting, tracking and achieving financial goals
Investing in game-changing companies with high-growth potential
0.75% per year
High-net-worth individuals that want personal financial consulting
0.89% per year
Investors who want automatic rebalancing, tax reduction and dividend reinvesting
First $10 000 – free / then – 0.25%
Best Investment Apps Review - Conclusion
A decade ago, the main issue with investing was the lack of options for beginners or individuals with small portfolios.
Nowadays, it is exactly the opposite – there are plenty of solutions which also makes it harder for investors to not end up being confused about whether the chosen option was the most appropriate one.
In order to navigate the process easier and find the best investment app, one should, first of all, define his personal goals and figure out the limitations in front of him and his investment plan.
For example, if the investor has a smaller budget, he should choose a broker with no minimum balance requirement.
On the other hand, if he wants to invest frequently, the best choice is a commission-free investment app.
Furthermore – if the investor intends to perform in-depth analysis and needs lots of research tools, charting features and indicators, he should opt for one of the more complex solutions on the market.
The truth is that nowadays there are lots of options – from apps that will help you save and buy a new house or car easier, through saving/investment solutions for couples, to commission-free and automated robo-advising services.
And thanks to technology and the ever-increasing competition in the investment app niche, the one that benefits from all of this is the common investor.