Best Apps For Investing Stocks

You’ve seen the stories recently about how much money people are making from investing in stocks. Some of these investors swear that you need to jump on any company that is making a profit and take your money out of any company that isn’t turning a profit. 

5 Cool Stock Tracking Apps That Are Easy To Use

Best Apps For Investing Stocks

Wealthfront delivers a powerful, digital-only investment experience that gives users access to comprehensive money management features through an elegant, sleek design. You’ll find the financial guidance, account aggregation, goal setting, investing, and banking options to be both user-friendly and seamless to navigate. Wealthfront’s Self-Driving Money allows you to further automate your finances by using a rules based approach to move money between your accounts while optimizing for your goals, putting even control of your financial journey right at your fingertips.

The mobile apps for Android and iOS platforms are both superb and are on par with the desktop experience in terms of features, functionality, and ease of navigation. It’s clear the app is thoughtfully designed with the intention to minimize unnecessary data inputs or typing, opting instead to leverage more user-friendly sliders, drop-down menus, and auto-fill functionality. You’ll still have to input user IDs and passwords when linking external accounts, but generally the workflows are intuitive and consistent. Overall, while E*trade’s Core Portfolio robo-advisor offering won our Best for Mobile Experience category, Wealthfront’s platform provides a polished, smart user experience with exposure to a significantly greater range of comprehensive money management tools.

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Comprehensive financial planning tools

The digital-only financial guidance through Path is best in class

Thoughtful mobile experience designed to reduce errors and optimize functionality

Self-Driving money provides seamless financial management through your smartphone

External account syncing can be inconsistent

No discounts for larger balances

No human financial advisors

TD Ameritrade: Best Stock Trading App

Account Minimum: $0
Fees: Free stock, ETF, and per-leg options trading commissions. $0.65 per options contract.
Read full review
TD Ameritrade stands out for creating a mobile trading experience that can be more intuitive than the desktop version while maintaining a deep feature set. The mobile trading features are neatly organized into easy-to-understand functionalities and menus. This simple design incorporates watchlists, orders, managing positions, options, and chart customization. If you are using the TD Ameritrade app, the workflow is slimmed down to focus on what you need for buying and selling as well as monitoring the overall portfolio. With thinkorswim, however, the workflow mimics the downloadable platform and allows you to customize charts, analyze positions, and much more.

Regardless of which app you use, you’ll find that TD Ameritrade’s mobile experience has all the accessories needed to manage your money on the go. The apps provide a dynamic and powerful alternative to the full desktop versions. While thinkorswim users will still gravitate to the desktop version whenever possible, the TD Ameritrade app can serve its users as the primary trading platform.

Expertly designed mobile apps that are more streamlined than desktop versions

Choice between two apps appeals to users of all backgrounds

Charts, updates, and customizations fluidly sync between mobile and desktop platforms

Extensive investment selections and trading functionality

Drawing on charts is only available through thinkorswim mobile

TD Ameritrade doesn’t offer fractional share trading

Some tools are only available on one platform, creating a challenge for hybrid users

TD Ameritrade: Best App for Beginners

Account Minimum: $0
Fees: Free stock, ETF, and per-leg options trading commissions. $0.65 per options contract.
Read full review
TD Ameritrade also wins our best app for beginners category, boasting a clear educational focus that empowers users to better understand the market and investing. TD Ameritrade supports a range of educational offerings that match investors of all backgrounds. That said, accessing TD Ameritrade’s education through the app isn’t as full featured as going through the website. The educational angle has been slimmed down to put more focus on investing on the go rather than learning about investing on the go. Even this slimmed down educational experience is much more comprehensive than the competition, however, as TD Ameritrade is pulling from one of the deepest libraries of content around.

Investors can start with TD Ameritrade without committing to the platform by trading via a paper account, a helpful feature for investors to understand how the market behaves without risking capital. For paper trading on mobile, you have to use the thinkorswim mobile app. This is a great feature for aspiring traders to test out, but it can be intimidating if you are just looking to do basic investing. Overall, however, you will find that the mobile experience gives a comprehensive feel without being overpowering, allowing you to choose features that match your capabilities. This allows for a gentler introduction to investing and makes TD Ameritrade an excellent choice for beginner investors.

Mobile app is designed with ease of use and education in mind

Wide-ranging educational tools to empower investor knowledge

Blend of trading platforms and investment options for variety of users

Extensive learning pathways covering the basics to advanced investing strategies

Higher fees than similar competitors

No fractional share trading

Low interest on uninvested cash, no money market sweep

Interactive Brokers: Best App for Active Traders

Account Minimum: $0
Fees: Maximum $0.005 per share for Pro platform or 1% of trade value, $0 for IBKR Lite
Read full review
While TD Ameritrade has the best app for self-directed trading, Interactive Brokers (IBKR) edges out the competition for our best app for active traders category. Sophisticated traders will find an immediate fit as the mobile experience carries over all the core features from the desktop Traders Workstation (TWS) functionality, which is one of the most comprehensive trading platforms in existence. Users will also have access to every available asset class, including cryptocurrency for direct coin trading, to go alongside unmatched research, analysis, and strategy tools.

The overall mobile experience generally flows smoothly for experienced traders who already know TWS. The mobile app provides synchronized functionality with watchlists created on the app also being visible on the desktop offering. While the core features of the IBKR app maintains nearly all the functionality of the desktop version, there are some reasonable constraints given the depth and breadth of the full TWS platform. For example, you can customize your charts in IBKR mobile and apply a wide range of studies, but you cannot access the full range of drawing tools available on TWS desktop. Despite these constraints, the Interactive Brokers app stands above the rest as the top option for active traders because of the range of assets and markets it puts into your hands.
Mobile experience successfully mimics core functionality of the comprehensive desktop version

App stock screeners, option strategies, and research capability matches web offering

Mobile charts are detailed, intuitive, and provide useful indicators

Outstanding order execution processing

Attractive, low margin interest rates

Drawing tools are not available on mobile app

No fixed income screener on mobile

Expansive platform capabilities may have a learning curve

Real-time data streams on only one platform at a time, limiting investors who use multiple devices simultaneously

tastyworks: Best App for Options Traders

Account Minimum: $0
Fees: $0.00 stock trades, $1.00 to open options trades $0.00 to close
Read full review
Tastyworks specializes in options trading with a focus on intuitive tools, education, and seamless design. This relentless focus on options trading—and nothing but—has tastyworks taking our top spot in the best app for options traders category. The workflow is built with seamless options order management in mind, which results in an effective and quick trading experience. The mobile app has order types, asset classes, and quote streaming capabilities that mirror the desktop version.

While tastyworks’ option workflow optimization makes it stand out in this category, there are some notable mobile constraints such as a lack of news, research, and drawing tools. Graphs on mobile devices also cannot be rotated horizontally, which is the biggest drawback of the mobile platform. Simply put, tastyworks is a great broker for options traders and the majority of those traders will be using the desktop whenever possible. That said, the tastyworks mobile app is singularly focused on options trading, whereas other brokerage mobile apps have to balance options features against more heavily used asset classes. This means tastyworks’ mobile app is stripped down by comparison, but still gets the job done for options traders when they are away from the desktop version.
Mobile user flow is optimized for full options trading

Drag and drop feature for options legs

Outstanding blend of tools and pricing compared to competition

Excellent library of educational content and tools

Account opening isn’t supported on mobile devices

Price alerts and order notifications aren’t available

Heavy options traders won’t find the mobile experience a suitable desktop replacement

App isn’t optimized for trading anything outside of options

Compare the Best Investment Apps
Company Fees Account Minimum Mobile App
Wealthfront 0.25% for most accounts, no trading commission or fees for withdrawals, minimums, or transfers. $500 Android, iOS
TD Ameritrade Free stock, ETF, and per-leg options trading commissions. $0.65 per options contract. $0 Android, iOS
Interactive Brokers Maximum $0.005 per share for Pro platform or 1% of trade value, $0 for IBKR Lite $0 Android, iOS
tastyworks $0.00 stock trades, $1.00 to open options trades $0.00 to close $0 Android, iOS
How to Pick a Broker That’s Right for You
The Evolution of Investing Apps
The rapid advancement of technology has benefited investors by providing more market knowledge, transparency, and investment options than ever before. Originally this technological transformation was more keenly felt on desktop trading experiences. However, with more investors opting to use mobile devices, brokers have focused on improving these experiences as well. As a result, many app and desktop experiences are very close to parity in terms of functionality, ease of use, and synchronization. It is fast becoming industry standard to provide the same investment functionalities across all trading platforms.

That said, more sophisticated investors and active market participants like traders will likely never feel completely comfortable moving to mobile only experiences. There are physical limitations to mobile screen size that will frustrate chart enthusiasts and many of the heavier features and tools on trading platforms are still often missing or watered down on the mobile versions. Heavy traders, in particular, tend to prefer the higher level of customization that can really only be done on a desktop platform. For average investors, however, the choice between using mobile or desktop investment platform versions is now mostly a matter of preference. Investors looking to buy-and-hold or trade intermittently throughout the year can now do so entirely on mobile apps without missing much of significance if they never use their broker’s desktop platform. The speed at which the market went from trading by phone to trading by computer to trading by smartphone has been truly remarkable.
Desktop vs. Mobile Experiences
Desktop trading platforms still have a strong customer base because of the superior trading experience they provide. Thanks to the growth of app-only retail investors, however, brokers can’t focus solely on the desktop experience. Mobile-first and mobile-only brokerages already exist, and established brokers are having to simultaneously develop their desktop and mobile platforms to keep up.

To do this, many brokerages have changed their product approach to focus on creating a consistent experience across multiple devices. This means you can usually find similar workflows and key tools regardless of which platform you are on. This comes with a trader-specific caveat, as many desktop platforms intended for active traders have to cut out a lot more when transitioning to mobile when compared to brokerages with platforms aimed at average investors.

The extent of this feature reduction has been lessened as the smartphone technology running these trading apps has improved, however, and more brokers are aligning and synchronizing key features across both the mobile and desktop workflows such as analysis, research, screening tools, money movement, and charting. More recently, complex trading strategies originally reserved for desktop experiences like multi-leg options trades and contingent orders have been enabled on apps as well.

What are the advantages of using an investing app to trade stocks?
The key advantage of using an investing app to trade stocks is accessibility. Investing apps have leveraged rapid mobile technological advancements to make it easier than ever to invest and trade stocks. Like most people now, you probably carry your mobile device with you all the time, allowing you to react to market movements and monitor your investments in places where it just wasn’t practical before. The convenience of mobile trading has also made the market more accessible to users of all backgrounds, interests, and experience levels. You don’t need a trading terminal with four monitors anymore. Increased competition among brokers and innovation in the form of new apps and platforms has reduced barriers to entry such as cost and education. With a supercomputer in your pocket, you have access to the same real-time market data on the go and can trade accordingly.

What are the disadvantages of using an investing app to trade stocks?
While investment apps are moving closer to full feature parity with the desktop versions, there are still some functionality gaps that impact certain types of investors. The gaps vary by investment platform and investor preferences, but generally you can expect there to be some product differences between desktop and mobile trade experiences in terms of the charting and analysis tools. Some investing apps also omit asset types or market exchanges that are available through the desktop version. Another disadvantage to app-based trading is the size limitations on mobile devices compared to full computer monitors. These factors tend to affect active traders the most, but they can be a downside for any investor depending on your preferences and trading strategies.

Another issue that has often been tied back to mobile investing apps is the gamification of finance and overtrading. Having constant access to your portfolio throughout the day, and possibly being nudged to look at it by badges and alerts, can push an investor to pay too much attention to day-to-day market noise. Active traders, of course, live for market fluctuations, but longer-term investors are often hurt when they act on short-term market moves. Gamification is a related issue where some investing apps are designed to nudge users to be active on a daily basis through in app awards and recognition. Again, this is fine if you are looking to be an active investor, but it’s a negative if that is not your goal.

Is there any other advice you’d offer someone who is considering using a stock trading app?
App-based trading gives you access to financial markets right at your fingertips, wherever you are located. When considering investing through a mobile app it’s helpful to identify your goals, preferences, and investment strategy. Being aware of your personal investment experience and educational opportunities can also help match you to the right trading platform. It is also important to evaluate the broker as a whole, rather than just by the mobile app. A slick app can’t make up for the impact of higher than average fees and poor execution, for example.

As you decide between different apps, you may find some platforms provide paper based accounts to experiment without risking your personal capital. Testing out more than one app-based investment offering can also give you more insight so as to properly compare and contrast features that match your preferences. All these factors can help determine which app will be the right fit for you.

Best investing apps for beginners 2021

What are the Best Stock Trading Apps for Beginners?
investing from smartphone medium

In truth, no one app serves every individual person’s needs the same. Some investors choose to follow a more active approach while others would rather a set-it-and-forget style.

While I espouse the latter more so on this site, I don’t necessarily think investing in individual stocks is a bad approach when using research and analysis to guide your decision-making.

In fact, stock advisor services like the Motley Fool’s Stock Advisor and Rule Breakers have shown tremendous outperformance over the last two decades and really represent a significant value for investors looking to rely on others for making stock picks.

Some stock newsletters may even want to practice a more active form of trading and get vetted stock alerts sent directly to their phones to take advantage of market movements.

As long as you account for your risk preferences and level of commitment to following the market, your investment choices will depend on you.

No matter your investing style, when you want to get started investing, you want to look for apps that provide the functionality you want without feeling overwhelmed.

Therefore, the best stock trading app for you depends on your experience, trading goals, and desired level of educational support.

Beginners benefit from apps that have the least amount of fees and a lot of charts, quotes and educational stock research sites. But they also don’t want to get lost in all this distraction if they can’t make sense of the information provided.

The adage of “keep it simple, stupid” usually applies—especially at the start.

Apps that provide a one stop shop for managing your personal finances often act as a great starting point.

This means including your banking and investing needs, but also services that act as the best stock news apps for you to follow the market and learn as you go.

As you develop a better understanding of the market, you’ll want to extend your investing reach into new areas and see if other investing styles suit your needs. Your app should accommodate this.

With that in mind, this list of the best stock trading software platforms for beginners tries to offer simplified investing experiences at the start but ones which can still serve your needs as you grow your investing knowledge.

I try to highlight free apps where possible because investing your money shouldn’t come with charges unless the service provides other value-added products for managing your money. Descriptions of each app follow the table below.

App Best For Fees Promotions
robinhood logo
Robinhood ☆ 4.4 / 5
Basic stock and ETF investing; options Commission-free trades Free stock with sign up
webull logo
Webull ☆ 4.7 / 5
Self-directed investors and intermediate traders Commission-free trades Five free stocks with $5 deposit, valued between $27 – $9,600 and $5 worth of crypto for making one crypto trade
betterment logo
Betterment ☆ 4.8 / 5
Investors looking to build a globally-diversified portfolio 0.25% AUM None
public logo ☆ 4.7 / 5
Social theme-based investing interests Commission-free trades $10 free stocks for signing up
sofi logo
SoFi Invest:
iOS, Android, & Desktop ☆ 4.6 / 5
Fee-free active trading and automated investing Commission-free trades Free stock worth between $5 – $1,000
acorns logo
Acorns ☆ 4.8 / 5
Automated investing in the background into diversified investments $3/month – $5/month $10 sign up bonus when making first deposit at account opening
m1 finance logo
M1 Finance ☆ 4.3 / 5
Passive investors
Fee-free active trading and automated investing Commission-free trades and automated investing; $125/year on M1 Plus subscription for custodial account $30 sign up bonus with $1,000 deposit
stash logo rebrand
Stash ☆ 4.6 / 5
Young investors looking for a complete personal finance platform
Everyday people looking to start managing their finances $1/month – $9/month $5 stock bonus for making a deposit of $5 or more
vanguard logo
Vanguard ☆ 4.2 / 5
Basic ETF investing Commission-free trades None

  1. Robinhood: Best Stock Trading App for Beginners

Available via desktop, Apple iOS and Google Android.
Sign up here
Robinhood became the first commission-free stock trading app by slashing trading commissions to $0. Others in the industry had no choice but to follow if they wanted to remain relevant to retail investors.

Likewise, many new stock trading mobile app options like Robinhood have cropped up in recent years, many of which feature on this list.

The service offers commission-free stock trading, as well as the ability to make ETF trades, as well as options trading and penny stock investing, commission-free. Robinhood doesn’t support mutual funds on its mobile app or desktop trading platforms.

Robinhood’s stock trading app offers a simple and easy-to-use design. Many have found this useful for placing their trades by not overcomplicated it.

Robinhood brokerage accounts have no account minimum requirements.

Robinhood carries Securities Investor Protection Corporation (SIPC) coverage on all brokerage accounts.

Robinhood | Commission-Free Trades, No Minimums
Robinhood is an investing app famous for its commission-free trades on ETFs, options and cryptocurrency.
It has no account minimums and comes with a free stock upon signing up for the service.
Robinhood | Commission-Free Trades, No Minimums
Learn More

  1. Webull: Best Stock Trading App for Intermediate Traders
    webull sign up

Available via desktop, Apple iOS and Google Android.
Sign up here
Webull came into the stock trading world in 2018 when it started challenging Robinhood for market share. This stock trading app offers commission-free stock trading as well as commission-free trades on ETFs, options and cryptocurrencies.

Like most investing apps available, the company provides access to trade on your smartphone, tablet or desktop.

As touched on above, it charges no commissions for the trades because Webull makes money on other actions you take, like Payment for Order Flow (PFOF), margin loans, interest on cash and service fees for their Nasdaq TotalView Level 2 Advances quotes subscription.

Webull also provides you access to several powerful tools you can use for in-depth trading analysis. These low-cost or free services easily make the stock trading app one of the best stock research and analysis apps for conducting technical analysis.

If these account features sound attractive, you’ll also be happy to learn your Webull stock trading app and brokerage account comes with no account minimum you must meet or maintain. Finally, to de-risk your sign up, Webull also runs frequent promotions that give free stocks.

Read more in our Webull review.

Our Self-Directed Investing App Pick
Webull | No Minimums, Free Trades
The Webull app offers free equity, crypto and option trading, advanced reporting and in-depth analysis.
LIMITED TIME OFFER ($27 – $9,605 value): Open an account and deposit at least $5 to receive 5 free stocks ($27-$9,600 value) and make 1 crypto trade to earn $5 of crypto.
Webull | No Minimums, Free Trades
Learn More
Our Review

  1. Betterment: Best Investment App for Automation & Tax-Loss Harvesting
    betterment sign up

Available via desktop, Apple iOS and Google Android.
Sign up here
You can use the Betterment robo-advisor platform to buy fractional shares of ETF index funds like the S&P 500 in taxable accounts as well as individual retirement plans.

The service does not allow you to invest in individual stocks but will automatically place deposits into fractional bits of index fund ETFs aligned with your portfolio objectives.

The features of this platform make it one of the best investment apps for beginners, specifically being most suitable to investors looking to diversify instantly as they make contributions to their accounts.

The service charges an all-encompassing 0.25% assets under management fee but can justify this expense in taxable brokerage accounts through its tax-loss harvesting feature.

Lowering your taxable income through their tax-loss harvesting feature is one of the products that justifies the 0.25% AUM fee for holdings in a taxable account.

It works by selling losses to lock in short-term capital losses and lowers your taxable income while taking your proceeds and placing them into a similar investment.

This lowers your taxable income or other capital gains and quickly covers the 0.25% annual AUM fee.

Further, based on your intended financial goal, the company provides investment advice by tailoring your portfolios to accomplish these goals.

Betterment led the way for robo-advisor services and investing apps for beginners, growing from a small business to what now represents a significant book of business.

Using them has become a popular choice for people looking to invest toward specific goals without the need for any investing experience for a reasonable fee.

Our Robo-Advisor Pick
Betterment | Investing Made Better
This app gives you the tools, inspiration and support you need to become a better investor.
Start with as little as $10 and use the top-rated mobile app to optimize your investment portfolio through automated investing and diversification
Customize your risk tolerance and investment goals with guidance available at any time
Nearly 750,000 customers use Betterment to invest
Betterment | Investing Made Better
Learn More

  1. Best Investing App for Beginners sign up

Available via desktop, Apple iOS and Android App on Google Play.
Sign up here is a commission-free investment app for beginners that allows stock and ETF trades. The stock market app targets Millennials and Gen-Zers who have attuned their senses to social media and have interest investing in the stock market.

While the company previously followed the lead of apps like Robinhood with monetizing Payment for Order Flow (PFOF), or receiving kickbacks from clearinghouses for routing trades to them, they’ve recently abandoned this practice.

Instead, they now rely on other revenue streams as well as a “tipping” system.

This places this beginner investing app firmly on the side of retail investors and not pledging allegiance to Wall Street clearinghouses.

Why is the Best Investing App for Beginners?
What is really about is making investing like an investing social network, where members can own fractional shares of stocks and ETFs, follow popular creators, and share ideas within a community of investors.

What aims to do above all else is make the stock market an inclusive and educational place, with social features that make it easy to collaborate as you build your confidence as an investor—for free.

For younger investors who want to align their investing with their social preferences, as well as keep good company to socialize and learn from others, might be the app for you.

For those interested in starting to trade on, the online broker platform for beginners offers a free $10 signup bonus if you make an initial deposit. Further, you can share your special link with others and gift them free stocks (fractional shares) as well.

If this sounds like an interesting investing app, open an account and make an initial deposit (no account minimum needed to meet, so any amount will do) to see if the app meets your social and investing needs.

Read more in our investing app review. | Commission-Free Themed Investing offers zero-commission trading on thousands of stocks and ETFs, available as fractional shares
Uses a social feed where members can share why they believe in certain companies (or don’t) and can post comments on others’ trades
Can invest in curated lists of stocks and ETFs for people to aggregate investments by interest area or values | Commission-Free Themed Investing
Learn More
Offer valid for U.S. residents 18+ and subject to account approval. There may be other fees associated with trading. See

  1. SoFi Invest: Best Investment App for Beginners
    sofi invest free stocks

Available via desktop, Apple iOS and Android App on Google Play.
Sign up here: (iOS), Android, Desktop
SoFi Invest is a stock market app that allows you to place stock and ETF trades alongside investing in cryptocurrency.

The well-known brand in the personal finance space recently entered into the investing world by offering free trades on stocks, ETFs, cryptos and more. SoFi doesn’t offer options trading nor mutual funds.

The service provides you the ability to trade actively or stand back and let its automated investing tools takeover as a robo-advisor.

Therefore, this stock market app might make a good place to hold your investment accounts because you’ll have options of how to invest money.

The company wants to serve all customers who have an interest in improving their financial situation alongside participating in their other personal finance products like refinanced student loans, money management, credit cards and more.



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