Best Investment Apps
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. In order to ease the process of choosing an investment app to start with, we have compiled a list of the top five best options, currently available on the market.
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Best overall investment app offering free stocks for new accounts.
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.
Click here and download the Webull Investment App for iOS and Android (free stock included)
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 6 million users.
The lack of minimum deposit requirement, as well as the wide variety of investible instruments, such as
- US and global stocks and
- options and
provides flexibility to all types of investors. Robinhood is a great fit for investors who can make their analysis elsewhere and use the Robinhood app only for mobile trading. They now also offer one of the best cryptocurrency apps with Robinhood Crypto.
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, and they still offer free stocks to people recommending their investment app to friends.
3. TD Ameritrade
Best for traditional investors: TD Ameritrade is one of the leading brokers worldwide. The TD Ameritrade has also one of the best paper trading apps available. They have 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. Since October 2019, TD Ameritrade also offers commission-free trading for stocks. And TD-Ameritrade's mobile app is only one little feature. As a traditional brokerage, they have much more to offer.
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.
As being mentioned in the M1 Finance review - 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.
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.
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.
6. Personal Capital
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.
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. 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.
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 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.
9. 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.
10. Fidelity Go
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.
Best Investment Apps 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.
About the Best Investment Apps
No matter whether you are an experienced investor or a beginner enthusiast, choosing the right investment app for investing money is essential for your long-term success.
Even less experienced individuals often have an idea in what they want to invest - be it a high-growth potential IPO that they have heard of, news about a certain company, crushing Wall Street's estimations or just a sector-specific trend moving event.
The harder part comes when you should find the most suitable investment app to help you fulfil your investment plan in the best possible way. 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 became a real threat to established brokers. Now they also offer commission-free trading.
Above we covered the best investment apps, and some of the following categories:
- Trading apps
- Robo advisor investment apps
- Money-saving apps
- Cryptocurrency trading apps and
- Investment app allrounders.
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.