- M1 Finance – One of the most flexible investing apps that allows you to create unique portfolios and purchase fractional shares.
- Robinhood – Perhaps the most well-known trading app that allows free stock trades.
- Betterment – One of the original robo-advisors for those who like a hands-off approach to investing.
- Fundrise – An app that makes passive real estate investment accessible to the average investor.
1. M1 Finance: Best All-in-One AppM1 Finance is one of the most flexible investing apps available. It's like a blend of Betterment (Robo-advisor) and Robinhood (free stock trading apps), with its unique spin on asset allocation. While most Robo-advisors lock you into their pre-selected mix of ETFs, M1 Finance differs. They offer “pies,” which allow you to create your portfolio allocations. For instance, if you are a big fan of Tesla, you can make a pie that includes 25% Tesla stock and 75% of whatever else (diversified ETFs, other individual stocks, etc.) You can also take the hands-off approach, invest in pre-defined expert pies, and still benefit from automatic rebalancing and free ETF and stock trades. Another unique feature of M1 Finance is M1 Borrow, which allows you to borrow up to 35% of your taxable account value at a low-interest rate (3.5-5.0% as of this writing). You can use these funds for anything – buying a car, fixing your house, etc. Since the value of your investment assets secures the loan, there is no set timeline for repayment. This feature can be helpful as an emergency fund or source of short-term borrowing when you need it. Start Investing With M1 Finance Available on Android and iOS.
2. Fundrise: Best for Real Estate InvestingFundrise offers passive real estate investing to the masses and boasts 300,000 active investors and over $160 million in dividends since the app's inception. The app offers access to commercial real estate equity and debt deals through managed funds called eREITs. In exchange for performing asset management, Fundrise charges a 1% annual fee. Start Investing With Fundrise Available on Android and iOS.
3. Acorns: Best for Automatic SavingsAcorns was one of the original investing apps, and it's still around and thriving. One of Acorn's main benefits is its “round-up” feature, which links to your bank account and sweeps excess change from each purchase into your Acorns account. So if you spend $3.30 on your morning coffee, it automatically rounds up to $4.00 and deposits $0.70 in your savings account. While it's not the same as learning how to make extra money, it's close to finding free money in your couch cushions! By working behind the scenes to add to your savings, you don't even have to think about it, which often helps people save more with less effort. Once the money is in your account, investing with Acorns is pretty simple too. Depending on your age, investing goals, and time horizon, the app recommends one of five different portfolios. While the lack of control over your investments may be a con for some, it adds to the app's hands-off approach to help you save and invest. Start Investing With Acorns Available on Android and iOS.
4. SoFi Invest: Best for New InvestorsSoFi started in the student loan space and has branched out to offer many other financial planning products. Aimed at younger investors, SoFi Active Investing offers free trades of stocks and ETFs and the ability to buy and sell cryptocurrencies, all with a $0 account minimum. It also provides the ability to trade fractional shares. More advanced investors will probably want access to more options, such as mutual funds, bonds, and more. However, with low account minimums and even access to free financial counseling, SoFi can be an excellent option for new investors. Start Investing With SoFi Invest Available on Android and iOS.
5. Personal Capital: Best Investment Tracking App
While Personal Capital's $100,000 minimum investment may be too high for some, everyone can use their free tools to track external investment accounts and net worth.
For those interested in a more human-centric financial management, Personal Capital offers access to a team of financial advisors or even your advisor if you invest $200,000 or more. You pay more for this feature than a Robo-advisor, starting at 0.89% and going down to 0.49% for larger accounts. Track Your Investments With Personal Capital Available on Android and iOS.
6. Stash: Best for Fractional Share Investing
Stash personal finance app is a great place to start investing as a beginner. You can trade stocks, ETFs, options, and cryptos to diversify your portfolio. Stash features offer fractional share options, financial planning tools, banking, and a Stock-Back card. While they charge a monthly fee, Stash also offers all features you need to manage your finances.
After signing up, Stash will ask a few questions about your financial goals so they can offer helpful financial tips. Next, you'll pick a plan, add money to your account, and start. You can use their bank account as an automated investing platform to invest in fractional shares, create a budget, and track your spending. You'll even earn stock rewards for your everyday spending. Start Investing With Stash Available on Android and iOS.
7. Robinhood: Best for Free Stock TradingRobinhood is a free app that lets you trade stocks, mutual funds, options, exchange-traded funds (ETFs), and even cryptocurrency. Their claim to fame is no commissions or fees and no account minimum. If you want to start building your portfolio, Robinhood is one of the simplest and cheapest platforms. The app is streamlined and easy to use, allowing you to quickly and easily trade stocks and track your portfolio. Start Investing With Robinhood Available on Android and iOS.
8. Betterment: Best Robo-AdvisorBetterment was one of the first and most successful Robo-advisors, providing tools and questionnaires to help you find the right mix of investments for your age and risk tolerance. Betterment will ask for your income and investing goals when signing up. From there, it will help you craft a balanced portfolio to achieve your goals. Its management fee of 0.25%. For 0.4%, you can get access to a human financial advisor. Another useful feature in the app is automatic tax-loss harvesting, which helps you buy and sell to achieve paper losses you can use to offset gains on your taxes. Start Investing With Betterment Available on Android and iOS.
9. Ally Invest: Best Full-Featured BrokerIf you are an active trader, you may need more features than many simple investing apps can offer. Ally Invest offers $0 commissions on eligible U.S. securities, a $0 minimum balance, a large selection of no-transaction-fee mutual funds, and very low-fee options trading, making it one of the best investment apps. For the experienced investor, Ally also offers Forex trading, portfolio rebalancing features, and tons of research and technical indicators not available in some other apps. One of Ally Invest's standout features compared to traditional brokers is its web-based live trading platform. Instead of downloading software to access the trading platform, you can open it in your web browser from whatever computer you are using. Start Investing With Ally Invest Available on Android and iOS.
10. Vanguard: Best for Index Fund InvestingVanguard is the grandfather of modern investing apps. They introduced low-fee index fund investing way back before it was cool. While there aren't many bells and whistles (or technically even an app), Vanguard makes it super simple to invest in quality index funds that consistently offer some of the lowest fees. Start Investing With Vanguard Available on Android and iOS.
11. Stockpile: Best Investment App for Gifting StockAre you looking to give your kids more than toys and clothes for Christmas? The Stockpile app was founded by a CEO who wanted to provide stocks for his nieces and nephews. With the Stockpile app, you can give a gift card redeemable for stock shares. It also allows you to buy fractional shares. So if you wanted to invest in Amazon but didn't have a few thousand dollars, you could buy a partial share for $100 or $200. Start Investing With Stockpile Available on Android and iOS.
12. Webull: Best Free AppWebull is another investment app that allows zero commissions and no deposit minimums to access its trading platform. You can invest in ETFs, mutual funds, and stocks. As you become more familiar with investing, you can take advantage of their full extended trading hours, in-depth analysis tools, and fully customizable desktop platform. Start Investing With Webull Available on Android and iOS.
Final ThoughtsInvestment apps allow for a wide array of stock trading apps and investment options out there; it can be confusing or overwhelming to find the best apps. Hopefully, these descriptions will help you choose what is best for you and relieve the stress of investing. You'll never find the best online stock trading app for you unless you get started. Whether you're starting small and learning how to invest $1,000 and double it or growing your portfolio to $100,000 or more, investing is one of the best ways to build passive income and net worth. With enough time, the power of compounding will help you build wealth beyond what you thought possible.
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Andrew is the founder of Wealthy Nickel where he writes about all things personal finance. He has a passion for helping people pursue financial freedom through saving money, making money, and building wealth. Andrew documents his family’s journey to financial independence through side hustles while raising 2 kids on a single income