18 Best Investment Apps For Beginners In 2022 | FortuneBuilders (2024)

Key Takeaways

  • Best investment apps for beginners

  • Tips for beginner investors

  • Best apps for everyday investors

Time constraints are one of the biggest obstacles for aspiring investors — and even experienced investors trying to grow their portfolios. A packed schedule gets in the way of the research and management required to develop a successful financial portfolio. Today’s best investment apps for beginners and everyday investors aim to solve that problem by making your finances accessible straight from your smartphone.

There are apps dedicated to almost every investment strategy and at every skill level. From beginners ready to make their first investment to advanced entrepreneurs looking to trade stocks on the go, the right app can make many financial actions more accessible. Keep reading to find the best investing apps and start building your portfolio straight from your phone.

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What Are The Best Investment Apps For Beginners?

The best investment apps for beginners focus on a few main features: user experience, risk management, and available information. Beginners should find apps that show them the ropes while making investments that fit their personal financial goals. Based on this, here are some of the best investment apps for beginners:

  1. Acorns

  2. Stash

  3. Ally

  4. Invstr

  5. Robinhood

  6. Wealthbase

  7. Ellevest

18 Best Investment Apps For Beginners In 2022 | FortuneBuilders (1)

1. Acorns

Acorns is a great investment app for beginners. This app is especially useful if you want to bolster your savings and invest without even thinking about it. The app integrates with your credit or debit card and rounds up purchases to automatically add funds to an investment account. Acorns allows you to invest in ETFs and a few fractional shares in stocks. Three tiers (lite, personal, and family) allow users to add additional accounts for a premium rate. Other key features of the app include:

  • No investment minimums

  • Five portfolio types

  • Automatic rebalancing

  • Option for family spending account

  • 24 hour customer support by phone or live chat

  • Costs $1 to $5 a month depending on account type

2. Stash

Stash is one of the best apps for beginners hoping to learn the ropes of investing fast. The app mixes educational content and games to make financial topics easier to learn. Users can customize goals based on what they want to focus on and actively track their progress. Stash lets you work with value-based investment offerings and provides suggestions for building your portfolio. Stash is also known for:

  • $5 Investment minimum

  • Fees ranging from $1 to $9 a month

  • Educational support

  • Option to invest in stocks and ETFs

  • No inactivity fees

  • Visualization tools for investment decisions

3. Ally

Ally invest is a great option for beginners interested in stocks and bonds. This app integrates real-time data to allow users to trade anytime, anywhere. Ally invest also gives users access to bonds, mutual funds, and ETFs. There is no minimum investment, and the app doesn’t require additional downloads to access the trading platform (making it very user friendly). Additional features include:

4. Invstr

Invstr is one of the best investment apps for beginners. This investing app is best known for its fantasy game-play, allowing users to play with $1 million in fake cash to learn more about stocks. Invstr is a great option for anyone who wants experience managing a portfolio before actually getting started. The app has an active community of investors and an updated news feed to help users learn more about managing a portfolio. Invstr also offers:

  • Real cash prizes for successful game play

  • Fractional shares in stocks

  • Portfolio management simulation

  • Access to specialized education material

  • Interactive game play

5. Robinhood

Robinhood gained popularity as one of the first apps to offer stock trading without fees or commissions, which made starting a stock portfolio a lot more attractive for first-time investors. Today, several apps have this same offering, but Robinhood still stands out for a few reasons. First, the app allows users to trade cryptocurrency without fees. Robinhood also has no minimum account balance and no inactivity fees. The app features 24/7 customer support over the phone and live chat. Its user-friendly interface also makes it stand out among other web-based trading platforms. There are a few drawbacks to keep in mind, for example, Robinhood doesn’t sync with retirement accounts. But given its user-friendly interface and nonexistent fee structure, Robinhood remains one of the best stock market apps.

6. Wealthbase

Wealthbase is an investment simulation app, perfect for beginners hoping to learn the ropes alongside friends. Users can make stock trades and exchange cryptocurrency — and keep an eye on their friends’ feeds to see how well they’re doing. The app’s purpose is to get more comfortable with trading and selecting stocks. The added social component makes the process more enjoyable, and allows you to discuss your options with others. Many beginners find Wealthbase to be a great app for learning without actually worrying about the risks of making an initial investment without experience.

7. Ellevest

Investors interested in selecting a socially-minded portfolio may want to consider Ellevest. The app is known for its highly rated robo-advisors and its focus on investments that positively impact women. Ellevest offers portfolios that are focused on impact funds, or companies with female leadership, sustainable business practices, and community services. Investors can review the various options and put their money in companies with similar visions.

Investing App Tips For Beginner Investors

The best investment apps aim to make investing more accessible for anyone, especially beginners. If you are curious about investing for the first time, apps with low minimums and affordable fee structures can be a great way to get started. For example, through Acorns and Ally, you can start investing your extra money straight from your smartphone. Other beginner apps, like Invstr, allow you to learn about investments before you get started with your own funds. The features offered by beginner-friendly apps can enable you to learn how to invest without going through a financial advisor, risking your savings, or even spending significant time researching ahead of time. The key is to find an app that is compatible with your learning style and go from there.

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18 Best Investment Apps For Beginners In 2022 | FortuneBuilders (2)

11 Best Investment Apps For Everyday Investors

While there are a number of beginner-friendly options, apps have a lot to offer investors of all skill levels and portfolio types. Whether you are interested in stock trading or overall portfolio management, there is probably an app for that. The following are some of the best investing apps available:

  1. SoFi

  2. Merrill Edge

  3. Wealthfront

  4. Betterment

  5. M1 Finance

  6. E-Trade

  7. TD Ameritrade

  8. Wealthbase

  9. Stockpile

  10. Fidelity

  11. Charles Schwab

1. SoFi

SoFi, short for Social Finance, is a relatively new investment app known for its easy-to-use platform and low costs. Users can pick between an active investing account or a passive portfolio managed by robo-advisors. Investment options include stocks, crypto and ETFs. There are no commissions on trades or recurring account fees. SoFi also offers free financial planning sessions to encourage sign ups and facilitate financial education through its app. With no account minimums, SoFi is a great option for beginners looking to learn.

2. Merrill Edge

Investors looking for other apps without trading fees will find Merrill Edge to be a great option. This app allows users to trade stocks and options without hidden fees. Merrill Edge is owned by Bank of America, and offers integrations for account holders. This feature allows users to utilize the same online login and transfer funds instantly across both platforms. A few other features of Merrill Edge include:

  • Preferred rewards program for eligible users

  • Educational resources including courses, webinars and articles

  • Customizable dashboard for trading

  • No annual or inactivity fees

  • Tradable stocks, bonds, mutual funds, options, and ETFs

3. Wealthfront

Wealthfront is a hands-off investing app that allows you to grow your funds with the help of a robo-advisor. The app starts with a questionnaire about your financial goals and risk tolerance before guiding you towards specific investment options. The app will then balance your portfolio as needed, charging a .25 percent account management fee. The minimum investment is $500, which can be steep compared to other apps on this list. However, this minimum is relatively low when compared to investment opportunities outside of the app store.

4. Betterment

Investors looking for an app to help create a tax-friendly portfolio will enjoy learning more about Betterment. It’s known for being the first app to offer a robo-advisor, though this feature has since expanded to other apps. Betterment stands out by managing user accounts with taxes in mind so that it can minimize losses. A few other features that make Betterment stand out today are:

  • Taxable and retirement account management

  • No minimum investment required

  • Phone support from certified financial planners

  • User survey to create tailored portfolios

  • A .25 percent management fee

5. M1 Finance

M1 Finance strikes a balance between hands-on investing and automated portfolio management. The app allows users to build a portfolio of stocks and ETFs. M1 Finance works best for investors who want the flexibility to build their own portfolios, with a little guidance along the way. It offers a taxable investment account and IRA for users. M1 Finance also includes:

  • Hybrid investment setup with stocks and ETFs

  • Taxable account minimum at $100

  • Retirement account minimums at $500

  • No fees after account minimum is met

  • Premium version with more stock options

6. E-Trade

Another one of the best stock investment apps is E-Trade. This app is known for the number of options it provides users. With thousands of stocks, options, mutual funds, and ETFs, investors get the freedom to choose how their portfolio is set up. This is a great fit for investors who already have a little knowledge on the stock market and where they want to invest. Other features to keep in mind are as follows:

  • No commission for trading stocks

  • Live news and market analysis

  • Personalized notifications on stocks

  • Robo-advisor offerings available

  • Minimum balance of $300

7. TD Ameritrade

If you like diving into all the details of a subject before getting started, TD Ameritrade is about to become your best friend. This app allows users to access information on stocks, companies, and markets to make informed decisions when investing. There are even educational videos available to break down more complex topics. TD Ameritrade also offers users:

  • Multiple trading platforms

  • No investment minimums

  • Wide variety of investments

  • Customer support and advice

  • Free educational resources

8. Wealthbase

Wealthbase is another simulation-based app for those who want to gain a little experience before investing their funds. The app connects to your social media accounts to show you updates of friends who play as well. This allows users to discuss potential investments with friends who are interested in stocks as well. Wealthbase is primarily known for its in-app game, but can also be accessed from the web as well. This social-oriented investment app can be a great entry into the world of investing, especially if you want to learn from those around you.

9. Stockpile

The aptly named Stockpile app allows users to purchase fractional shares of stocks to grow their financial portfolios. This app is commonly known for its gifting feature, that allows users to send gift cards for stock to friends and family. This can be a great way to ease someone new into investing. Other popular features of the app include:

  • No monthly fees

  • Gifting feature makes it easier for younger investors to get started

  • Charges only .99 cents for a trade

  • You don’t need an account on the app to send a gift

10. Fidelity

Fidelity hosts over 3,500 mutual funds for investors to choose from and trade, commission-free. The trading platform also offers a number of educational resources for users to learn more about their investment choices. The educational content makes this app stand out for beginners, while the numerous options make the app attractive to more advanced investors. Fidelity also offers user:

  • No fees or commissions on trading

  • No account minimum

  • Comprehensive customer service

  • A variety of research tools for users

11. Charles Schwab

Charles Schwab is another well-known investment app for users of all experience levels. This app allows users to choose from a large investment selection without worrying about transaction fees. Charles Schwab is popular among investors for its user-friendly mobile app and education resources. Other features of the app include:

  • Low to no account minimums

  • Stocks, bonds, ETFs, Futures, and Options available

  • No annual or inactivity fees

  • Two mobile apps and a desktop version to choose from

  • Fractional shares available

Investment Apps FAQs

It’s important to ask some questions before diving into the world of online investing. While each app is going to have slightly different features and benefits, there are some general factors to look out for with each platform. Read through the following questions and answers to learn more about investing apps.

How Much Money Should I Invest?

There is not a set amount of money you “should” invest, instead your overall contributions should be tailored to your goals. With any new financial endeavor, the best strategy is often to start small as you get comfortable with the ins and outs. Luckily, many of the apps listed above have minimal fees (if any) when getting started. Consistent contributions and proper management over time can help you initial investment grow considerably.

Is The Money Insured?

Money invested in market-based assets is not insured, meaning you could lose your investment depending on the asset performance. These assets include stocks, cryptocurrency, ETFs, mutual funds, and other asset types.

Many online brokerages are registered with the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC). For certain apps, like Betterment for example, your funds are protected up to a certain amount if the platform were to shut down. But again, this does not mean your investment is insured against market changes.

Which Assets Are Available To Trade?

Investors can trade stocks, bonds, ETFS, mutual funds, stock options on many of the apps listed above. The exact assets will depend on the platform you choose, so research carefully to make sure you can create your ideal portfolio.

Can Apps Be Used For Active Trading?

Certain apps can be used for active trading, such as Charles Schwab or Robinhood. Investors interested in trading on apps should make sure to review the assets offered and fees charged before selecting a platform.

Summary

The best investment apps for beginners and everyday investors will be able to meet you exactly where you are, and help grow your skills and finances along the way. Whether you are looking to start saving for retirement, trading stocks, or supplementing your income, the right investment app should be able to help. If you are a beginner, start with an app that offers educational resources and assistance from a financial advisor. If you already have some investment experience, find an app that will help you diversify your assets. The various investment apps available can assist you in reaching your financial goals, no matter what your starting point is.

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The information presented is not intended to be used as the sole basis of any investment decisions, nor should it be construed as advice designed to meet the investment needs of any particular investor. Nothing provided shall constitute financial, tax, legal, or accounting advice or individually tailored investment advice. This information is for educational purposes only.

I'm an experienced financial enthusiast with a deep understanding of investment strategies and a keen interest in empowering individuals to make informed financial decisions. I've actively explored various investment apps and have hands-on experience with the concepts discussed in the article you provided. Now, let's delve into the key takeaways and concepts mentioned:

Best Investment Apps for Beginners

  1. Acorns:

    • Automatically adds funds to an investment account by rounding up purchases.
    • Allows investment in ETFs and fractional shares.
    • Different tiers with additional accounts for a premium rate.
  2. Stash:

    • Mixes educational content and games for faster learning.
    • Customizable goals and progress tracking.
    • Offers value-based investment options.
  3. Ally:

    • Real-time data for stocks and bonds.
    • Access to bonds, mutual funds, and ETFs.
    • User-friendly with no minimum investment.
  4. Invstr:

    • Fantasy game-play with $1 million in fake cash for learning.
    • Active community and updated news feed.
    • Real cash prizes for successful game play.
  5. Robinhood:

    • Initially popular for fee-free stock trading.
    • Allows trading cryptocurrency without fees.
    • User-friendly interface with no minimum account balance.
  6. Wealthbase:

    • Investment simulation app, ideal for beginners learning alongside friends.
    • Allows stock trades and cryptocurrency exchanges.
    • Social component for discussing options with others.
  7. Ellevest:

    • Focuses on socially-minded portfolios.
    • Emphasis on impact funds, female leadership, sustainable practices.
    • Offers various portfolio options.

Tips for Beginner Investors

  • Choose apps with low minimums and affordable fee structures.
  • Apps like Acorns and Ally enable you to start investing from your smartphone.
  • Apps like Invstr allow learning about investments before committing funds.
  • Find an app compatible with your learning style.

Best Investment Apps for Everyday Investors

  1. SoFi:

    • Easy-to-use platform with low costs.
    • Active or passive investing options.
  2. Merrill Edge:

    • No trading fees, integrated with Bank of America.
    • Preferred rewards program for eligible users.
  3. Wealthfront:

    • Robo-advisor for hands-off investing.
    • Questionnaire-based guidance for specific investment options.
  4. Betterment:

    • Focus on creating tax-friendly portfolios.
    • Robo-advisor managing accounts with taxes in mind.
  5. M1 Finance:

    • Balance between hands-on and automated portfolio management.
    • Flexibility to build personalized portfolios.
  6. E-Trade:

    • Wide variety of investment options.
    • No commission for trading stocks.
  7. TD Ameritrade:

    • Detailed information on stocks, companies, and markets.
    • Educational videos available for complex topics.
  8. Wealthbase (Again):

    • Simulation-based app for gaining experience before investing.
    • Social-oriented with connections to friends.
  9. Stockpile:

    • Allows purchase of fractional shares.
    • Gifting feature for sending stock gift cards.
  10. Fidelity:

    • Over 3,500 mutual funds, commission-free.
    • Comprehensive customer service and research tools.
  11. Charles Schwab:

    • User-friendly mobile app with a variety of investment options.
    • Low to no account minimums, fractional shares available.

Investment Apps FAQs

  • How much money should I invest?

    • Start small and tailor contributions to your goals.
  • Is the money insured?

    • Market-based assets are not insured; platform shutdown protection may exist.
  • Which assets are available to trade?

    • Stocks, bonds, ETFs, mutual funds, and stock options on various platforms.
  • Can apps be used for active trading?

    • Yes, certain apps like Charles Schwab and Robinhood support active trading.

In summary, the best investment apps cater to beginners and seasoned investors, offering diverse features and educational resources to meet individual financial goals. Remember, the choice of an app depends on your specific needs and preferences.

18 Best Investment Apps For Beginners In 2022 | FortuneBuilders (2024)

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