12 Best Apps for Investing: Essential Choices for Modern Investors

the best investment apps - acorn

Many people are interested in investing but hesitate due to a lack of time or expertise. This is where the best apps for investing can make a huge difference. A wide range of investment apps is now available, catering to all levels of investors, from beginners to seasoned stock market pros.

Whether you’re just starting with your early investments or looking to enhance your existing stock portfolio, there’s an investment mobile app out there for you. From apps that make investing a fun, game-like experience to those that provide AI-driven investment tips, you’re sure to find the perfect fit for your investing needs.

If you’re new to the investing game, here’s a primer from productivity master Ali Abdaal you can check out after reading:

What are Investing Apps?

Investing apps are innovative software programs designed to streamline the investment process, making it more accessible and efficient for users. These apps encompass a wide range of functionalities that cater to various aspects of investing and financial management. Here’s a breakdown of what investing apps typically offer:

  • Trading Stocks and ETFs:
    • Users can buy and sell stocks and ETFs directly from their devices.
    • Real-time market data for informed decision-making.
  • Mutual Fund Investments:
    • Simplified process to invest in mutual funds.
    • Diverse fund options to match risk profiles and investment goals.
  • Portfolio Management:
    • Tools to track and manage investment portfolios.
    • Features to assess portfolio performance and rebalance as needed.
  • Access to Global Markets:
    • Opportunity to invest in international stocks and markets.
    • Exposure to a broader range of investment opportunities.
  • Educational Resources:
    • Learning tools and resources for beginners.
    • Market analysis and insights for informed investing.
  • User-Friendly Interface:
    • Designed for ease of use, regardless of investment experience.
    • Intuitive navigation and clear, concise information presentation.
  • Mobile and Desktop Access:
    • Available on multiple platforms including smartphones, tablets, and computers.
    • Syncing capabilities across devices for seamless experience.

Do Investing Apps Really Work?

Investing apps really do help investors of all experience levels better manage their financial fortunes. The best investment apps are simple to use, and they offer financial advice for a fraction of what it costs to consult a professional. Because minimum investments usually are small or nonexistent, an investing mobile app is a great option for beginner investors who are hesitant to start with a large dollar amount.

Why You Should Start Using Investment Apps Today

Why You Should Start Using Investment Apps Today

Whether you want to start investing or you want to improve your investment portfolio for better returns, you can benefit from an investing app. Not only are they simple to use, but the low minimums reduce the risk of trying a new investment strategy.

Not convinced an investment app is right for you? Consider the following benefits of using investment apps:

  • Ease of use – Most investing apps are simple for even beginners to use. The easier you can learn to master the investment app of your choice, the quicker you can start building your stock portfolio.
  • Automated investing – Most people don’t have time in their busy lives to monitor markets and make frequent adjustments to their portfolios. Many investment apps use artificial intelligence to take action at the best times for automated investing.
  • Low financial risk – Because of their low minimum balance requirements, investment apps offer a way for beginner and intermediate investors to try their hands at building a portfolio without starting with a significant financial investment.
  • Investment advice – Many beginning and want-to-be investors feel they don’t have the expertise to make sound investment decisions. Most investment apps provide tips, educational resources and even guidance from AI to serve as a virtual financial advisor.
  • Fun – Because many mobile investing apps employ elements of gamification or community, users actually can enjoy themselves while managing everything related to personal finance, including their brokerage account, stock portfolio, ETF trades and even checking account or savings accounts.

How We Picked the Best Investing Apps

At Small Business Trends, we understand the importance of choosing the right investment app. To assist our readers in choosing the best investing app that meets their financial goals and level of experience, we use the following criteria, rated on a scale from 1 to 10, where 10 indicates the highest level of importance and 1 the lowest.

  1. User Interface and Usability
    • Importance Scale: 9/10
    • Rationale: A user-friendly interface is essential, especially for new investors, to navigate and make informed decisions easily.
  2. Range of Investment Options
    • Importance Scale: 8/10
    • Rationale: Apps offering a diverse range of investment options, including stocks, bonds, ETFs, and more, cater to varied investor needs.
  3. Fees and Commissions
    • Importance Scale: 9/10
    • Rationale: Lower or no fees and commissions are preferable as they allow investors to maximize their returns.
  4. Educational Resources
    • Importance Scale: 8/10
    • Rationale: Comprehensive educational materials help users, particularly beginners, to understand investing principles and strategies.
  5. Security and Privacy Protections
    • Importance Scale: 10/10
    • Rationale: Robust security measures are crucial to protect personal and financial information.
  6. Customer Support
    • Importance Scale: 7/10
    • Rationale: Reliable customer support is important for addressing technical issues and investment queries.
  7. Account Types and Flexibility
    • Importance Scale: 7/10
    • Rationale: Offering various account types, like IRAs, taxable accounts, and more, provides flexibility to cater to different investment goals.
  8. Mobile and Web Accessibility
    • Importance Scale: 7/10
    • Rationale: Apps that are easily accessible both on mobile devices and web browsers offer more convenience.
  9. Research Tools and Insights
    • Importance Scale: 8/10
    • Rationale: Access to quality research tools and market insights supports informed investment decisions.
  10. Reputation and User Reviews
    • Importance Scale: 7/10
    • Rationale: A strong reputation and positive user reviews are indicative of the app’s reliability and effectiveness.

By applying these criteria, we aim to provide a thorough guide for our readers to select an investing app that aligns with their investment style, experience level, and financial objectives.

Best Investment Apps for Small Business Owners

Interested in expanding your investment options but unsure which mobile app is right for you? Check out the following 12 of the best investing apps for investors of all experience levels:

1. Thinkorswim Mobile App

A popular investment platform, the Thinkorswim mobile app from TD Ameritrade features an elaborate and customizable interface as well as plenty of research and analytics. The app offers mobile, desktop and web-based versions so it truly can be accessed from anywhere with an internet connection. Users can rely on the app to trade a variety of options including stocks, mutual funds, ETFs, options, futures, bonds, CDs and even forex.

Account Minimum: $0

Fees: $0 commissions on online, U.S. exchange-listed stocks, American and Canadian ETFs and options. Over-the-counter stocks not listed on a U.S. exchange charge a $6.95 commission. Broker-assisted trades cost about $25.

2. Acorns

Acorns is a great investment app for beginners because it helps those who aren’t active traders to build their financial portfolios with little time or effort. By integrating credit and debit card data, the app automatically adds funds to an investment account, making it incredibly easy to use. Acorns users can invest in not only ETFs but also a few fractional shares in stocks. It even offers the option to establish a family spending account, and 24-hour customer service is available to help users with questions or issues.

Account Minimum: $0

Fees: $1 or $5 per month, depending on account type

3. Stash

Are you a beginner investor hoping to quickly join the leagues of active traders? The Stash mobile app combines educational topics with games to make gaining financial literacy fun and easy. Users can customize their financial goals, and the app provides visual suggestions for building a stronger portfolio. Stash users have the option to invest in both stocks and ETFs, helping them to establish a productive trading profile.

Account Minimum: $5

Fees: Ranging from $1 to $9 each month.

4. Invstr


invstr app

Another great investment app for beginners, Invstr features a popular fantasy stock game where users can “invest” as much as $1 million in fake cash as they learn about investing and vie for real cash prizes. Satisfied with your fantasy picks and ready to invest? You can buy fractional shares and whole shares commission-free from within the app. Invstr also offers commission-free trading in cryptocurrency.

Account Minimum: $0

Fees: Free with a $3.99 premium option

5. Ally

Beginners interested in stocks and bonds rely on the Ally investing app for the real-time data it provides, allowing them to strategically trade anytime from anywhere. Ally users can build their portfolios with bonds, mutual funds and ETFs, and the app features convenient support via phone, email or chat. Ally is an all-in-one financial solution since the app also integrates data from personal banking portfolios like a checking or savings account.

Account Minimum: $0

Fees: Free for eligible stock and options trading

6. Merrill Edge

Merrill Edge appeals to investors looking for mobile apps without trading fees. Owned by Bank of America, the Merrill Edge app offers integrations for the bank’s account holders, allowing them to move funds between platforms with ease. The app offers educational resources and investment guidance and a customizable dashboard for trading stock and options. Merrill Edge even features a preferred rewards program for eligible investors.

Account Minimum: $0

Fees: No annual fee or inactivity fees

7. Betterment

The Betterment mobile app helps investors create tax-friendly stock portfolios. The app’s robo-advisor helps users make investment decisions that reduce their losses and tax liability. With Betterment, users can invest in stocks, bonds, ETFs and even establish a cash management account. A special user survey helps Betterment users create tailored portfolios, and the app provides phone support from certified financial planners.

Account Minimum: $10

Fees: no trading fees, .25% management fee

8. Charles Schwab

best apps for investing - Charles Schwab

Users enjoy the Charles Schwab investment app because of its large investment selection and lack of transaction fees. The user-friendly mobile app is designed for investors of all experience and skill levels, and it provides educational resources for those just starting their investment portfolios, as well as those who want to strengthen their financial stability. With the Charles Schwab mobile app, users can invest in stocks, bonds, ETFs, futures and options, and fractional shares are also available.

Account Minimum: $0

Fees: No annual or inactivity fees

9. TD Ameritrade

The TD Ameritrade mobile app offers users a streamlined investing experience. The app features educational resources and information on stocks, companies and markets to help users make informed investment decisions. You don’t have to be an advanced investor to succeed with this investment app since it offers educational videos that help explain complex topics. TD Ameritrade app users can trade through multiple platforms, and the app offers customer support when users need extra help.

Account Minimum: $0

Fees: No annual or inactivity fees

10. Robinhood

best apps for investing - Robinhood (1)

An excellent mobile app for beginning and active investors, the Robinhood app allows users to invest in and manage stocks, ETFs, options trading, fractional shares, IPOs and even certain cryptocurrencies. The user-friendly app pioneered the concept of zero-commission stock trading, and it remains popular for its lack of fees. The app’s no-frills approach makes it a great choice for investors looking for a low-cost broker, and certain fractional shares can be purchased for as little as $1.

Account Minimum: $0

Fees: No monthly fee

11. Wealthfront 

Investors looking for a hands-off approach to growing their portfolios can rely on Wealthfront‘s robo-advisors to guide their financial strategy. The app features a questionnaire to help users determine their financial goals and risk tolerance, then it provides specific investment options based on those results. Wealthfront’s user-friendly investment experience also helps with banking options, and it automates finances by automatically money between all your financial accounts while optimizing the transactions to meet users’ goals.

Account Minimum: $500

Fees: $0 per trade, .25% management fee

12. M1 Finance

With the M1 Finance mobile app for investment options, users enjoy automated portfolio management while retaining the control of a hands-on experience. The app is a great option for investors looking for a flexible way to build their portfolios while investing in a range of investment options, including both stock and ETFs, but it still provides guidance to help build a better investment strategy. M1 Finance even offers its users access to taxable investment accounts and IRAs. A premium version with additional stock options is also available.

Account Minimum: $100

Fees: $0 commissions and no management fee, .06-.2% expense ratio

This table provides a quick overview of various investment apps, highlighting their suitability for different investor profiles, account minimum requirements, fee structures, and key features.?

Table: Comparison of Top Investment Apps for Small Business Owners

To help you decide on the best app, this table provides a quick overview of various investment apps, highlighting their suitability for different investor profiles, account minimum requirements, fee structures, and key features.?

App NameIdeal ForAccount MinimumFeesFeatures
Thinkorswim Mobile AppAdvanced trading$0$0 commissions, other fees varyCustomizable interface, analytics
AcornsBeginners, Micro-investing$0$1 or $5/monthAutomatic investment, family account
StashBeginners, Educational$5$1 to $9/monthEducational content, goal customization
InvstrBeginners, Fantasy Investing$0Free, $3.99 premium optionFantasy stock game, commission-free trading
AllyStocks and Bonds$0Free for eligible tradesReal-time data, personal banking integration
Merrill EdgeFee-free Trading$0No annual/inactivity feesFee-free, educational resources
BettermentTax-friendly Portfolios$10No trading fees, .25% management feeRobo-advisor, tax-friendly
Charles SchwabLarge Investment Selection$0No annual/inactivity feesDiverse investments, educational resources
TD AmeritradeStreamlined Investing$0No annual/inactivity feesInformative content, educational videos
RobinhoodZero-commission Trading$0No monthly feeZero-commission, fractional shares
WealthfrontRobo-advisor, Banking Options$500$0/trade, .25% management feeRobo-advisor, automated finances
M1 FinanceAutomated Portfolio Management$100No commissions, .06-.2% expense ratioAutomated management, flexible investment

How to Choose the Best Investment App

how to choose the best investment apps

With so many mobile apps available to invest in the stock market and build a strong financial portfolio, it can be a challenge to choose the best option. How do you choose the investment app that is right for you? Keep in mind the following considerations when determining the best investment app:

  • Minimum balance requirements – What is your risk tolerance? Some investment apps require a minimum initial investment to start using the service, while many have no minimum balance requirements.
  • Available investment options – While almost every investment app will allow users to invest in the stock market, they don’t all work on the same exchanges. Some investment apps also let users strengthen their portfolios with ETFs, options and even cryptocurrency, but the options vary.
  • Automation – Different investment apps provide varying levels of automation. Some mobile apps let users set their goals and let AI handle the details, while others offer a more involved experience.
  • Educational resources – Do you need extra investment tips and educational resources to learn about building your stock portfolio? Different mobile apps feature different types of educational resources, varying from blogs and videos to AI-led tutorials.
  • Integration – Some mobile apps for investing will integrate with a user’s bank account and other personal financial accounts, which helps users manage their cash as well as their investment portfolio.
  • Cost – Most investment apps cost very little compared to other types of advisory or brokerage services. How much do you want to spend? Consider not only usage fees but also costs like commissions.

Start Your Investment Account Today

Whether you’re interested in investing in the stock market or even if you’re wondering if you should get into real estate, there’s a mobile app to suit your needs. When choosing a mobile app, it’s important to consider factors such as risk tolerance, cost and available investment options. Don’t worry if you’re inexperienced, many of the best investing apps feature interactive educational resources and even AI-led guidance, as well as automated investing.

What is the best investment app in the US?

What’s the right investment app for you? The best mobile app available for U.S.-based investors is Betterment. It’s robo-advisors are there to guide even the most inexperienced investors in building a strong financial portfolio. The app also provides professionally-managed portfolios featuring ETFs that are calibrated against each user’s individual risk tolerance. With a $10 account minimum and no trading fees, Betterment users can start building their portfolios with little risk. Plus, since Betterment supports socially responsible investing, it’s simple for users to invest in companies that share their values.

Is app investing safe?

When people use an investment app, their money is just as safe as if they invest through a brokerage firm. The funds are protected by the Securities Investor Protection Corporation, which will cover up to $500,000 in investments. At the same time, investment apps can be safer from financial risk for beginning investors as most have either no minimum account balance or a low requirement compared to a professional broker.

Image: Depositphotos

More in:

Samantha Lile Samantha Lile is a staff writer for Small Business Trends and has been a member of the team for 3 years. She is also a freelance writer and journalist who contributes to a variety of web publications from her home office in the heart of the Ozarks.