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 by using the best investment apps.
Bonus: For your convenience, YouTube videos for nearly all investment apps are included in this review.
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 investment apps.
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 list contains the five best investment apps and another 18 cool investment apps you might be interested in.
We cover the categories trading app, robo advisor investment app, money-saving apps, and investment app allrounders.
Transparency: When you buy certain products from some of the sites which we link to, we may earn a small share of the revenue.
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 Overall Investment App: 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.
Also, right now Webull offers a free stock for any new client worth up to $1,000.
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.
Update: Right now you receive a free stock worth up to $1,000 by opening an account with Webull.
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.
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 investment 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.
Best for Commission-Free Investing: Robinhood
No matter how many investment 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.
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. Thats not free like with Webull or Robinhood, but a attractive price level.
Although this is not the most competitive price on the market, the investment 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.
Another 12 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 12 additional investment apps that may turn out to be the perfect solution that fits your philosophy and satisfies your needs:
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.
See Also: 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?
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.
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 6,000 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.
See Also: M1 Finance Review
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 1,400 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.
See Also: WiseBanyan Review
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.
See Also: Is Betterment Safe?
SoFi Wealth Management
Next on the list comes SoFi Wealth Management. The service is very flexible as it allows investors to go either way – DIY or robo-assisted investing.
SoFi Wealth Management ranks as the best for entirely free active and passive investing.
Yes, that is right – the company does not charge any transaction or management fees.
In order to start with SoFi’s automated investing, you are required to fund your account with a minimum of $100. After that, depending on your risk tolerance, you can take advantage of 5 automated trading strategies.
You can also build a separate portfolio for each individual goal, as well as change it on the go.
And the best thing of all is the fact that you can consult a professional financial consultant through email, phone or chat at no costs!
SoFi builds its clients’ portfolios from a wide variety of ETFs with exposure to U.S. and foreign stocks, real estate, high-yield and Treasury bonds and many others.
In fact, the diversity of the offered instruments is one of the best in the sector.
The only downside of SoFi Wealth Management is the lack of 529 saving and 401(k) plans.
Wealthsimple is an investment app and often put in the same bracket as Betterment and Wealthfront.
Although the robo-advisor offers a similar quality of its service and $0 account balance, the truth is that it is way more expensive with management fees of 0.5% for accounts up to $99,999.
A possible reason for the pretty higher fees is the fact that Wealthsimple allows all customers, regardless of their account balance, the opportunity to get a personal consultation from one of the company’s certified financial planners.
When it comes to the investing part, the thing that makes Wealthsimple different is the fact that it grants you access to sector-specific and even exotic ETFs.
Thats being done by covering sectors and causes like clean energy, ecology, gender diversity, etc. which makes it the best for socially-responsible investing.
Wealthsimple is also a perfect solution for those who are adhering to halal investing.
The robo-advisor offers more than 50 stocks of companies that are a suitable choice for Shariah-adherent portfolios.
Although Ellevest offers a standard robo-advising service, its target market is female investors.
You may wonder how investing is different for males and females, but Ellevest points out that when it structures a portfolio it takes into account females’ generally lower incomes, longer life expectancy, earning curves, etc.
Apart from that, all accounts with more than $50,000 (Premium package) get personal career advice and access to certified financial planners. All this makes Ellevest the best for female investors.
Ellevest does not have any minimum account balance requirement. However, it has a fixed management fee of 0.25% for the standard Digital package and 0.5% for Ellevest Premium.
The best thing about Ellevest is the fact that it covers 21 asset classes (ETFs and mutual funds) which is the best in the whole category.
Another interesting feature of the robo-advisor is the Ellevest Impact Portfolios.
They are designed to help clients reach their goals by investing up to 50% of their portfolios’ value in companies, focused on changing the landscape by putting women in charge.
The robo-advisor supports personal taxable accounts and IRAs and provides an investment app too.
Schwab Intelligent Portfolios
Schwab Intelligent Portfolios covers both sides of Charles Schwab’s business by offering automated investment management services and personal financial advising.
In order to take advantage of the service, one should start with at least $5,000.
On the bright side, however, is the fact that Schwab’s robo-advising services do not charge any management fees.
Schwab Intelligent Portfolios’ clients’ money is invested in more than 50 ETFs in 20 asset classes (U.S. large- and small-cap stocks, emerging markets and international stocks, precious metals, REITs, high-yield and Treasury bonds).
This makes them the best choice for investors who seek wide diversification of their portfolios.
Another advantage of the robo-advisor is its flexibility in terms of accounts supported.
Schwab Intelligent Portfolios support taxable and retirement accounts, as well as provide the chance to roll over a 401(k) or IRA.
However, one of the main downsides of the robo-advisor is the fact that it allocates anywhere from 6% to 30% of its users’ portfolios in cash which may not be considered appropriate by non-conservative investors.
Fidelity Go, the robo-advising division of Fidelity Investments, brings a new pricing structure to the table as it charges its clients a fixed fee with all fund management costs included.
For a 0.35% advisory fee, clients’ money is invested in index funds, monitored by human advisors.
Considering also the fact that there is no account minimum, Fidelity Go can be regarded as the best for low-cost investments with human oversight.
Fidelity Go’s clients’ portfolios primarily hold Fidelity Flex mutual funds covering domestic and foreign stocks, bonds and short-term investments.
The robo-advisor’s users are not required to pay additional fees for the rebalancing of their portfolios.
As opposed to most of its competitors, instead of automatically, Fidelity Go rebalances its clients’ portfolios manually, through its investment management team.
Fidelity Go supports individual and joint taxable accounts and IRAs. The service’s main downsides are the lack of retirement accounts and tax-loss harvesting features.
Vanguard Personal Advisor Service
Apart from Fidelity Go, Vanguard Personal Advisor Service is another suitable choice for those who want to taste the robo-advising waters with a solution from an established broker.
Vanguard also has an investment app available to download via Google Play and App Store.
As a leader in low-cost mutual funds, Vanguard has plenty of expertise on how to reduce the fees that its clients pay for its services.
And it is no different with the Personal Advisor Service. The management fee starts at 0.3% of the AUM and the higher the balance is, the lower the fee gets.
Clients also get access to personal financial planners, available 12 hours per day, throughout the business days.
However, Vanguard Personal Advisor Service has one main downside and it is the account minimum requirement of $50,000, which is one of the highest in the field.
This automatically prices out beginner investors and individuals with less capital, placing Vanguard Personal Advisor Service in the same bracket as Personal Capital.
Vanguard’s robo-advisory service supports non-retirement accounts, IRAs and Trusts.
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 investment apps 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.