Until recently, investing was a pain. If you were lucky, you’d spend an hour on the phone with a financial advisor. Then, you’d cross your fingers until the quarterly report arrived.
With today’s best investment apps, all it takes is a few taps. You can receive a tailored portfolio or trade your own stocks, check your portfolio’s performance, and shift money around without ever talking to a human being. And because both traditional brokerages and fintech startups offer investing apps, you’re likely to find one perfect for you.
15 Best Investment Apps
Here are 15 of the best options for everyday investors:
Related: Best Investment Apps Of 2021
1. Best investment app for high-end investment management: Round
Investment apps are increasingly turning to robo advisors. Although Round uses an automated questionnaire to generate its users’ portfolios, it works with fund managers like Guggenheim Partners, Doubleline, and Gabelli to provide individual investors with access to institution-grade investments.
Round’s institutional managers lean heavily on alternative assets and strategies, including asset-backed securities, real estate, and merger arbitrage. No matter the account value, Round charges a 0.5% management fee. In the event of a negative return, however, Round waives its monthly fee.
2. Best investment app for minimizing fees: Robinhood
For investors who want to do it themselves and pay as few fees as possible, Robinhood is one of the best investment apps. With no commissions and a $0 account minimum, Robinhood cuts out most of the costs typically associated with investing apps.
Unfortunately, Robinhood users do make some sacrifices. Robinhood doesn’t offer any retirement accounts or managed portfolios, meaning all investments made through the app are taxable and self-managed. It’s relatively bare-bones for an investing app, but it’s the best way to trade individually for free.
3. Best investment app for student investors: Acorns
Every investor has to start somewhere. To cater to the fledgling demographic, Acorns provides free management for college students. Unlike most investing apps, it also offers a “spare change” savings tool, which rounds up purchases users make at select retailers. The difference between the balance due and the next dollar is then invested in the user’s Acorns account.
But be warned: Acorns’ flat fees can be stiff for those with smaller account balances. For $1, $2, or $3 per month — depending on the user’s account balance — Acorns offers a passive portfolio of ETFs.
4. Best investment app for data dissectors: E*Trade
Through the Power E*Trade app, do-it-yourself investors can buy into a wide range of assets. E*Trade’s stocks, mutual funds, ETFs, futures, and options are backed by its best-in-class research library. There, E*Trade provides interactive charts and expert studies. Users of the investing app can dig deep into earnings, dividends, company news, and metrics like debt-to-equity ratio.
In exchange for that data, E*Trade does charge steeper commissions, at $6.95 per trade, than many providers on this list. Due to its educational tools and array of assets, this investing app is a smart pick at the poles: Beginning investors will appreciate the help building a risk-aligned portfolio, while veterans will like its professional-grade investment options.
5. Best investment app for banking features: Stash
Like Acorns, Stash is one of the best investing apps for beginners. Where Stash stands out is its account options: For a flat $3 monthly fee, users get brokerage, bank, and retirement accounts. At the $9-per-month level, they also receive two custodial accounts, monthly investment research, a stronger rewards structure, and an upgraded debit card.
Stash requires just $5 to open an account, and users can purchase fractional shares in stocks and ETFs. Unfortunately, though, Stash only offers about 150 stocks and 60 ETF options. To make their holdings more obvious to beginners, Stash renames ETFs with monikers, such as “Clean & Green” for the iShares Global Clean Energy ETF.
6. Best investment app for customer support: TD Ameritrade
Another brokerage competing in the investing app space, TD Ameritrade doesn’t require a minimum investment. It does, however, charge a comparatively expensive $6.95 per trade. Options cost even more, with a $0.75-per-contract upcharge.
Why would users pay TD Ameritrade’s fees? Because its asset options and customer support are second to none. Traders can choose between stocks, bonds, ETFs, mutual funds, futures, foreign currencies, ADRs, and more. If they need help, they get 24/7 phone, text, and instant messaging support. And if that’s not enough, they can stop into one of TD Ameritrade’s 364 branch locations.
7. Best investment app for parents: Stockpile
Founded by a CEO who wanted to give his nieces and nephews something more substantial than toys for the holidays, Stockpile lets investors buy blue-chip stocks and ETFs via gift cards. Although this investing app makes sense for parents who want to pique their kids’ interest in investing, beware its fee structure.
For a standard trade, Stockpile charges $0.99. Gift cards, however, cost $2.99 for the first stock and $0.99 after that. And if you buy the gift card with a credit or debit card, expect to pay an additional 3%. Although kids may not care, Stockpile users can’t see company balance sheets or portfolio performance projections.
8. Best investment app for overspenders: Clink
If you’d rather shop than save, Clink may be the best investment app for you. By linking your credit card and bank account to the app, you can invest a percentage of recreational purchases. Alternatively, you can schedule a fixed amount to be transferred into your Clink account on a monthly or daily basis.
Clink investors currently pay no fees, nor do they need a minimum deposit. Instead, Clink collects receives kickbacks from the ETF sponsors offered. ETFs are currently Clink’s only asset option, unfortunately, and they’re only available in bundles based on the user’s risk tolerance.
9. Best investment app for total automation: Wealthfront
Similar to Betterment and other robo advisors, Wealthfront invests in passive portfolios and charges a management fee of just 0.25%. Though the investing app requires a $500 account minimum, it does support daily tax-loss harvesting or realizing losses to offset taxes on capital gains. The value of tax-loss harvesting is limited for everyday investors, but it remains popular among robo-advisor apps.
To make the most of Wealthfront, though, your balance needs to fall in its sweet spot. Unlike many robo-advised apps, Wealthfront doesn’t deal in fractional shares. Serious investors should look elsewhere, too: Although it does offer extras like the Wealthfront Risk Parity Fund to six-figure accounts for an extra fee, there’s no human management option or bonus for large balances.
Related: 5 Best Investment Apps For Managing Your Portfolio
10. Best investment app for human customer service: Personal Capital
Personal Capital’s minimum balance may be high, but its featured savings tools are robust. Those who can meet its $100,000 minimum get a combination of human and robo advisors. Accounts over $200,000 are assigned to dedicated financial advisors. Although Personal Capital’s management fee is a stiff 0.89%, investors with large balances may pay as little as 0.40%.
What do users get for those fees? A pile of financial planning tools, including ones to track spending, net worth, retirement progress, portfolio performance, and more. Two new features include Personal Capital Cash, a savings-like account with a 2.3% interest rate, as well as a retirement paycheck planner, which lets investors project their withdrawals during retirement.
11. Best investment app for data security: M1 Finance
Claiming to be “one finance account that does it all,” M1 Finance might be the toughest-to-categorize investing app on this list. A hybrid broker and investment management app, M1 allows for both self-serve and robo-advised investing.
Although M1 does have some drawbacks, as a free platform with no account minimum, its data security measures are strong. In addition to the typical two-factor authentication, M1 uses 4096-bit encryption for data transfer and storage. On the downside, M1 doesn’t provide tax-loss harvesting, nor does it offer as many asset types as traditional brokerages.
12. Best investment app for introductory offers: Ally Invest
Catering to both new and experienced investors, Ally Invest has a solid selection of educational materials and a fair fee structure. But the reason it’s on this list of top investing apps is its bonuses: With only a $10,000 deposit, investors earn $50, plus 90 days of commission-free trades. For larger deposits, that bonus amount goes as high as $3,500.
Although Ally’s fees are higher than many app-first tools, they’re lower than the other online brokerages on this list. Stock and ETF trades are subject to a $4.95 commission, plus $0.65 for options contracts. If you’re an active or wealthy trader, though, those fees drop to $3.95 with an additional $0.50 for options. That’s not bad, especially given Ally’s intuitive app and resources.
13. Best investment app for socially responsible investing: Betterment
Young investors, in particular, like to support socially responsible companies. To reach them, Betterment offers a best-of-breed socially responsible investing (SRI) portfolio. Compared to its core portfolio, Betterment’s large-cap SRI holdings score 42% higher on its social responsibility index. The other assets in this investing app’s SRI portfolio are mostly broad-market ETFs.
With $15 billion in assets under management, Betterment recently split its services into Betterment Digital — with no account minimum and a 0.25% management fee — and Betterment Premium. For a $100,000 minimum and a 0.40% fee, Betterment Premium provides unlimited phone sessions with certified financial planners.
14. Best investment app for index investing: Vanguard
One of the oldest and lowest-cost investment providers, Vanguard’s investing app could admittedly use some work. If you can handle a confusing interface, though, you’ll find few better options for buying into mutual funds and ETFs.
Vanguard charges no commissions for trading but does receive fees on its own ETFs. Plus, users who receive their account documents electronically pay no account service fees. And believe it or not, Vanguard doesn’t require a minimum balance, either.
15. Best investment app for couples: Twine
Saving as a couple that doesn’t completely share finances can be tough. If you’ve got a wedding or vacation ahead but still want to keep separate bank accounts, check out this investing app. Backed by John Hancock, Twine charges $0.25 per month for every $500 invested.
Although that fee structure is on par with other digital investment providers, Twine’s investment options are not. Twine gives users just three portfolio choices: conservative, moderate, or aggressive. Even more limited is its all-ETF asset mix, covering stocks as well as bonds. Twine is a fair pick for short-term savers who are new to investing.
Investing apps can be a godsend for individual investors who need a painless way to invest in stocks. Not all apps are created equal, but these 15 offer a good place to start.
Related: 5 Best Investment Apps For Managing Your Portfolio