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Last Updated: 10th July 2021

The Best Investing Apps to Start Investing With

Accessing the stock market as an ordinary person has become drastically easier over the past few years. With a plethora of apps rushing to market to provide the best investing experience for everyday investors, it has never been a better time to start investing. 

Written by: Piggyy

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Whether you want to set it and forget about it, or actively manage your picks with low trading costs, there are great options for everyone!

Each app provides a unique spin on investing so you can pick whichever one fits your needs and personality the best. 

The only problem is with so many great investing apps out there, which one should you pick? Well don’t worry, in this article, we will cover all of the best investing apps and their features to help you pick the best tool for your path to financial success.

 

The Best Investing Apps

 

Wealthbase

 

Wealthbase is not technically an investing app, since it doesn’t let you invest real money. It is a great way to learn about investing and have some fun while you are at it though! Wealthbase allows you to do simulated trading with a $100,000 portfolio, as well as invite your friends and make competitions to see who can perform the best! It is an exciting way to learn about investing and start the conversation with your friends, coworkers, or family. It’s like fantasy sports but for investing.

 

Special Features

  • Simulated Trading
  • Group competitions to compete with friends
  • Great way to learn and start talking about investing with those around you

 

Robinhood

 

Robinhood has become the quintessential investing app. It doesn’t offer too many unique tools for investors, instead opting to be a simple and free way to buy and sell stocks. If you want to manage your portfolio and buy your favorite stocks or ETFs actively, then Robinhood is a good choice. It also allows you to open options and margin accounts if you are a more advanced user. Overall Robinhood is a staple of the industry and does what you need it to, allows you to buy and sell stocks easily and for free.

 

Special Features

  • Quick, simple & free trades
  • Options & margin accounts for advanced investors 

 

Invstr

 

Invstr is an app attempting to be your all-in-one finance tool. It has commission-free trading for both stocks and crypto. Plus banking, a debit card, and fantasy finance features. It also gives you great metrics to track your portfolio and financial goals in simple and actionable ways. It could very well be the only finance tool you ever need.

 

Special Features

  • Crypto trading
  • Debit card and bank accounts
  • Zero commission trading

 

Acorns

 

Acorns is a great app to get started investing if you don’t have much saved up yet. It rounds up your purchases by an amount you set and invests the money automatically. This allows you to invest every day automatically and build your wealth without even noticing a difference. This is best for people who are not good at saving by themselves and are not interested in the specifics of investing.

 

Special Features

  • Automatic round-up investing
  • Automatically invests for you
  • Set it and forget it to grow wealth in the background

 

Wealthfront

 

Wealthfront is an all-in-one money management platform. It allows you to keep all your money matters in one place including checking accounts, automatic investing, and even loans. This makes for a great way to manage all of your finances in one place instead of switching between accounts frequently. It also has a great automatic investment system so you can grow your wealth consistently without having to learn the technical aspects of investment.

 

Special Features

  • Great banking features
  • Loans and borrowing in-app
  • Automatic investing done for you

 

Webull

 

Webull is similar to Robinhood in that it offers zero commission trading and no minimum deposits. You can open an IRA or a normal taxable investing account easily and get started investing right away. It also offers some great analysis tools and charts for more advanced traders and investors.

 

Special Features

  • The simple setup allows you to start right away
  • No commissions
  • In-depth analysis tools
  • Desktop version

 

Stockpile

 

Stockpile is a very unique investing app. It is catered towards gifting stocks or setting up accounts for children. It allows you to send gift cards redeemable for stocks and give them to those around you. This makes for great gifts for children, friends. or family to get them started financially as well as get them interested in investing!

 

Special Features

  • Custodial investment accounts for children
  • Stock gift cards

 

Betterment

 

Betterment strives to make investing and personal finance simple for everyone. It allows you to personalize and optimize your financial scenario no matter who you are. They invest automatically for you into a diversified portfolio of low-cost ETFs. This means you can set and forget your investments and know they will grow steadily over the long term. On top of this betterment tracks your finances and allows you to manage your entire financial life in one place.

 

Special Features

  • Diversified investing
  • Automatic set and forget investing
  • Track and optimize your entire financial life

 

Stash

 

Stash sets out to make investing simple and accessible for everyone. They allow you to invest with no minimum amounts and you can get started right away. They also offer a great stock-back Visa debit card that rewards you in stocks instead of cashback. On top of investing, Stash offers bank accounts and also gives you customized advice for retirement and tax planning. It does cost $1, $3, and $9 monthly depending on the plan you pick, however. Overall it is a great all-in-one platform to manage your investments as well as all of your financial plans for life.

 

Special Features

  • Stock back debit card
  • Automatic monthly investing
  • Personalized financial advice

 

Digit

 

Digit is a super simple and effective way to reach your financial goals. It handles the math and difficult stuff and tells you the best ways to optimize your savings to reach your goals. With Digit you can set multiple savings goals and have it automatically allocate a portion of your income to these goals in the background. Same with investing, it will automate your money towards investments and manage your portfolio for you. You can set up Digit and it will operate in the background of your life, allowing you to reach all of your financial goals without even noticing.

 

Special Features

  • Automatic investing in diversified portfolios
  • Automated savings for your goals
  • Allocates money towards your goals for you in the background

 

Qapital

 

Qapital makes it easy to track and manage all of your income, expenses, and savings. It creates a personal dashboard either for you or you and your partner to show you each of your goals and accounts. It also allows you to automatically split up your income into each designated goal. You can set it up so that as soon as you get paid you automatically contribute to investing, savings goals as well as spending and bills. Qapital is designed to make your financial life incredibly easy.

 

Special Features

  • Automatic paycheck splitting
  • Share your plan with your partner
  • Debit card and bank accounts for spending and saving

 

M1 Finance

 

M1 finance claims itself to be “the investing super app.” It gives users the unique ability to create investing “pies” (AKA custom portfolios) and automatically reinvest all of their dividends as well as new funds directly into their desired allocations. This is best for more advanced investors who want more direct control over their portfolios. Overall it is a great tool and will allow you to do more in-depth investing and portfolio management with incredible ease.

 

Special Features

  • Create your custom portfolio and auto-invest into it
  • Automatic dividend reinvestment
  • Borrow, spend and save features

 

SoFi

 

SoFi aims to be more than just your typical investing app. It offers loans, bank accounts, insurance, credit cards, and more. It allows you to optimize every aspect of your financial life all from one convenient place. Its investing function allows you to either use automated investing or buy individual stocks, ETFs, and crypto. Overall SoFi can replace and potentially improve every aspect of your finances all in one convenient spot.

 

Special Features

  • Loans, credit cards, and insurance
  • Multiple investing options: Automated, self-directed, crypto
  • Keep all your finances in one place

 

Ally Invest

 

Ally Invest is a product offering from Ally bank to help make investing simple. It will work best if you bank with Ally already because you will then naturally have all your finances in one place, but it is not necessary. They offer automated investing in a broad range of portfolios as well as commission-free stock trading. You can also open a margin and options account if you want to dive deeper into investing. Ally offers the best of both worlds, zero commission trading and automated investing.

 

Special Features

  • Automated portfolios based on your needs
  • Commission-free trading
  • Margin and options account available

 

Wealthsimple

 

Wealthsimple is very similar to Robinhood but for Canada. It offers zero-commission trades on all Canadian and US stocks with only a 1.5% currency exchange fee when buying US stocks. If you are buying Canadian ETFs this is a great choice. It is also the only zero commission broker in Canada. It has a great user interface and makes investing easy so it is a great choice for getting started investing in Canada!

 

Special Features

  • For Canadians
  • Zero commission trades

 

Pros and Cons of using investing apps

 

Pros

  • Simple and easy to understand user interface
  • Get started right away
  • Automatic contributions 
  • Automated investing portfolios
  • Allow you to manage your entire financial life in one place
  • Low cost and accessible to everyone
  • Lots of options to choose from, find what fits you best

 

Cons

  • Must put in personal information, it is safe to do so but opening tons of different accounts shares lots of data
  • Some make gambling behavior very simple and incentivized without explaining the risks

 

Should you use multiple investing apps?

 

Now that you have seen each of the best investment apps out there, you may wonder why pick just one? While this is a reasonable thought, it may not be the best long-term decision. Keep in mind it is a good idea to try multiple investment apps out and decide what works best. Once you find the one you like the most, however, it is best to pick that one and stick to it by itself for the long run. This avoids overcomplicating your finances by having too many accounts in different places. 

 

Many of these investment apps offer all-in-one tracking of all of your finances, so using one app gives you a simple place to see your entire financial life at once. Using multiple apps at once makes this more complicated as your finances will be split. This is not a huge deal but you may prefer to keep it simple and go all-in on your favorite app instead of having small amounts split between many different investing apps at once.

 

How much money should you invest?

 

You should always try to invest as much as you reasonably can. This is because the money you invest sets you up for great financial success in the future. Once you have your monthly expenses covered, and have an emergency fund of around 3 months expenses, you should start investing all the savings you have monthly. If you don’t have any monthly savings you can use round-up apps to invest the spare change on each purchase you make. You could also try to reduce your spending a bit to be able to contribute more money to yourself in the future.

 

If you can invest $250 a month that is a great starting point. Even if you never increase your monthly contributions you will likely be able to retire comfortably at a reasonable age. Investing $500 a month is great and $1000 a month or more will get you on the fast track to all of your financial goals.

 

Tips for getting the most out of investing apps

 

To get the most value out of the investing apps you choose you should make sure to lean into their features and take advantage of all they have to offer. What this means is don’t just do the bare minimum; setting up an account and putting some money in then barely looking at it again. While that will work fine, if you want to step up your game you should explore and test the limits of what these investing apps can do.

 

For example, here are some things to try out…

  • Set up auto deposits monthly into your investment portfolio
  • Create savings goals and automate savings towards them
  • Set up a round-up feature to save money while you shop
  • See what kind of Robo-advisor portfolios are offered and find out what is inside of them
  • Get a debit or credit card and test out the cashback system

 

By testing out as many features as you can you will accomplish two things. First, you will get to know the app better and know how to best work all of its features. Second, you will learn more about your personal finance needs and what works best for you.

 

Common questions

 

  • Which is the best investment app for beginners?This depends on your preferences. If you are not very interested in investing and want to set it and forget it, an automated solution such as Acorns, Digit, or Betterment may be the best choice. If you prefer stock picking and doing your analysis then a more trading-oriented app such as Robinhood or Webull may do the trick. Test out a few and find what fits your needs the best.
  • How can I start investing with little money?The best method is to automatically invest a portion of your paycheck each time you receive it. If you don’t ever see the money you won’t feel the need to spend it elsewhere. You can also turn on a roundup to invest a bit each time you make a purchase.
  • Is the Robinhood app good for beginners?Robinhood is good, but it is mainly for buying and selling individual stocks or ETFs. It doesn’t provide any financial planning, automation, or saving strategies. If you are looking for an app to help build long-term wealth and simplify your finances better options exist.
  • Do investing apps really work?In short, yes, they work great. Whatever gets you to comfortably invest in the stock market is the best choice for you. If investing apps make that simple and approachable then there is nothing to lose.
  • Where should I invest money now?The answer is different for everyone, but the best generic answer is to invest in a low-cost and broadly diversified portfolio. This can be accomplished by buying ETFs like VTI (Total US Stock Market) or using a Robo advisor such as Betterment that will create a well-diversified portfolio for you. This allows you to gain the returns of the market without taking on any company-specific risks.
  • Does Ashton Kutcher own acorns?Ashton Kutcher owns a portion of Acorns as he was an early investor. He started investing young and invested in the company as he believes in the mission to get everyone to start investing early.
  • Where can I invest $100?With any of the apps mentioned above in the article. Find one that you think fits your personality best, whether it be an auto investing Robo advisor or a simple account to buy and sell stocks or ETFs yourself. Then you can put your first $100 to work right away.
  • What is the best Spare Change Investment app?Acorns is a great option. It makes spare change investing simple and provides a great set of portfolios for you at a low cost.
  • Is my money insured on investing apps?Yes, investing apps have FDIC protection. Meaning you are covered in a loss by the insurance provided by the federal government. If the worst happens and the company goes under the government has your back.
  • What assets can I trade on investing apps?Most investing apps allow you to trade individual stocks and ETFs. Some apps like Robinhood allow you to trade options and use margin, as well as buy and sell crypto. Others allow you to invest in a prebuilt portfolio of low-cost ETFs such as Acorns.

 

Summary

 

In summary, there are a ton of great beginner investment apps out there today all competing to give you the best possible experience. Whether you are just starting, or a seasoned investor, it is likely one of these apps can make your financial life much simpler and straightforward. 

 

Some apps specialize in automation and simplicity, while some allow deeper analysis and technical features. Test out what works best for you and find the best fit. The best investing advice is to find out what works for you and stick to it for the long run. 

 

Piggyy

״The secret of happiness, is not found in seeking more, but in developing the capacity to enjoy less״ - Socrates

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