Best Apps For Stock Market Investing

Are you looking for the best apps for stock market investing? If so, you’re in luck.

We looked at more than 20 different apps to find the ones that were best suited to help you make smart investments and help you manage your portfolio.

In this article, we’ve ranked our top picks based on their ease of use, price, and overall usefulness. We also included screenshots of each app so you can see what it looks like before downloading.

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Robinhood vs Acorns - Comparing The Best Stock Market Apps Today

Best Apps For Stock Market Investing

Investing is risky. It comes with few guarantees. The only investing guarantee I can offer is this: everything held equal, the less you pay in fees, the better your returns. And investing apps are making it easier than ever to invest commission-free.

Fees don’t have to stop you from making wise and lucrative investments. Thankfully, we live in the 21st century, and there’s never been a better time to be a small investor.

And now, in today’s mobile world, investing is becoming easier and cheaper than ever. Plus, with the investing price war that’s been going on, it’s cheaper than ever to invest!

Here are the best investing apps that let you invest for free (yes, free). You might also check out our list on the best brokers to invest.

Top Commission-Free Investing Apps

  1. M1 Finance
  2. Fidelity
  3. TD Ameritrade
  4. Robinhood
  5. Vanguard
    Runners Up
    Other Investing Apps
    Investing App FAQ
    Note: The investing offers that appear on this site are from companies from which The College Investor receives compensation. This compensation may impact how and where products appear on this site (including, for example, the order in which they appear). The College Investor does not include all investing companies or all investing offers available in the marketplace.
  6. M1 Finance
    Best For: Building A Free Portfolio For The Long Term

M1 has become our favorite investing app and platform over the last year. With commission free investing, the ability to invest in fractional shares, automatic deposits, and more, M1 Finance is top notch.

If you’re looking for a way to create and maintain a free, diversified portfolio of stocks and ETFs, look no further than M1 Finance. They provide a pretty revolutionary tool/investing app that allows you to setup a portfolio and invest into it (correctly allocated) for free.

What do I mean? Well, imagine a portfolio of ETFs – maybe you have 5 ETFs at 20% each. Well, instead of having to do 5 transactions (and commission for each) when you buy, you can now simply invest and M1 Finance takes care of the rest – for free!

If you don’t know exactly how to set it up, you’re more than welcome to use one of their already setup portfolios as well.

Plus, M1 Finance has a great investing bonus offer right now! You can get up to $2,500 if you deposit new money!

It doesn’t get much better than M1 Finance when it comes to investing for free. Try M1 Finance >>

M1 Finance

Minimum Investment




Monthly Fees


Account Type

Taxable, IRA



M1 Finance logo
Get up to a $2,500 bonus!

  1. Fidelity
    Best For: Full Service Investing At $0 Trade Prices

Fidelity is one of our favorite apps that allows you to invest for free. This surprises most people, because most people don’t associate Fidelity with “free”. However, Fidelity offers a range of commission-free ETFs that would allow the majority of investors to build a balanced portfolio. Plus, they now offer $0 commission stock, option, and ETF trades!

The also offer fractional share investing, meaning that you can invest dollar-based, not just share-based. This is a big win for people starting with low dollar amounts.

Fidelity IRAs also have no minimum to open, and no account maintenance fees. That means you could deposit just $5, and invest it for free. That makes this a much better deal compared to companies like Stash Invest.

Furthermore, Fidelity just announced that it now has two 0.00% expense ratio funds – yes free. So, you can not only invest commission free, but these funds don’t charge any management fees. Truly free investing.

But to make it a top app, it has to have a great app, and Fidelity does. Their app is the cleanest and easiest to use out of all of the investing apps we’ve tested. They have a ton of features, but it all works well together.

Fidelity App
Plus, you get the benefit of having a full service investing broker should you need more than just free. Check out Fidelity’s app and open an account here.


Minimum Investment



$0 for stocks, ETFs, options

Monthly Fees


Account Type

Taxable, IRA, HSA, 401k, Trust



Fidelity Logo

  1. TD Ameritrade
    Best For: Free Options Trading

If you’re a trader, you may have heard of TD Ameritrade – or maybe one of their platforms, like thinkorswim. With TD Ameritrade’s commission free pricing structure (for stocks, options, and ETFs), they are more compelling than ever to use as an investing app.

TD Ameritrade offers over commission free ETFs from industry giants iShares, Vanguard and more. Because of the diversity of no load ETF funds, TD Ameritrade is my top broker for people who want to consider tax loss harvesting on their own.

Remember, TD Ameritrade also offers $0 commission stock, ETF, and options trades.

Furthermore, TD Ameritrade also have no minimum and no maintenance fee IRAs. That makes it a better pick to options such as Acorns, which charge maintenance fees.

TD Ameritrade’s mobile app also offers research, information and portfolio analysis that makes the free investing that much sweeter. Just remember, TD Ameritrade charges for some ETFs, mutual funds, and equity trades. Filter for no load ETFs before you buy.

TD Ameritrade
It’s app also isn’t as user friendly as Fidelity’s but we put them as a very, very close second.

TD Ameritrade

Minimum Investment



$0 for stocks, ETFs, options

Monthly Fees


Account Type

Taxable, IRA, HSA, 401k, Trust



TD Ameritrade

  1. Robinhood
    Best For: 100% Free Stock Trades & Limited Crypto

Robinhood is an app lets you buy and sell stocks for free. Users can buy or sell stocks at market price. The app allows you to make limit orders and stop loss orders too. Unless you’re an active trader, this is plenty of functionality. Plus, the app comes with a clean user interface and basic research tools.

Most serious investors should pair Robinhood with one or more free research tools. This will help them develop a more systematic approach to investing. That said, you can’t beat Robinhood’s free trades, but its shortcomings here make it third.

They also allow options, fractional shares, and cryptocurrency investing, but these are limited as well.

The drawbacks are really limited, but one of the biggest is that the platform has become unreliable in recent months with large outages impacting investors.

Robinhood Account Screen
If you’re curious how Robinhood makes money, it’s through Robinhood Gold. Robinhood Gold is a margin account that allows you to buy and sell after hours. Buying on margin means you double your expected returns. It also means you double your expected losses. The result (based on the magic of compounding) means that trading on margin tends to eat into your principal.

Check out the other options for trading stocks for free.

Check out our full Robinhood review.

Open a Robinhood account here and get a free share of stock >>


Minimum Investment



$0 for stocks, ETFs, options, crypto

Monthly Fees


Account Type




Robinhood Logo
Get a free share of stock!

  1. Vanguard
    Best For: Low Cost Index Fund Investing

Vanguard is consistently known as the low cost investment service provider. They were one of the original mutual fund and ETF companies to lower fees, and they continually advocate a low-fee index fund approach to investing.

At Vanguard, you don’t pay any commissions when you buy and sell Vanguard ETFs. You also pay no account service fees if you sign up to receive your account documents electronically, or if you’re a Voyager, Voyager Select, Flagship, or Flagship Select Services client.

Furthermore, Vanguard recently announced that they won’t charge a commission on a huge amount of competitor’s funds and ETFs as well!

Vanguard also doesn’t have an account minimum, and there is no minimum purchase requirement for mutual funds, but stocks and ETFs it’s the cost of 1 share.

What holds Vanguard back is that their app is a little more clunky that the other apps. It feels a little “old school”, and it seems to be built for the basics only.

However, it is free, so maybe only the basics are needed?

Vanguard Personal Advisor Services

If you’re looking for professional help with your investments and financial planning, Vanguard offers Personal Advisor Services to help you build, execute, and continue to manage your financial plan. These are fiduciary advisors and will help you create a plan based on your goals (it’s not a robot). It costs 0.30% AUM, which is one of the lowest you’ll find.

Sign up for a no-obligation consultation here >>


Minimum Investment



$0 for stocks, ETFs, options

Monthly Fees


Account Type

Taxable, IRA, 401k, and More



Vanguard Logo
Runners Up
There are a lot of apps and tools that come close to being in the Top 5. When the competition is so good, it’s hard to make the cut.

Webull has been gaining a lot of traction in the last year as a competitor to Robinhood. It’s an investment platform that is app-first, and it focuses on trading.

Webull offers powerful in-app investment research tools, with great technical charting. This is a step above what you can find on most other investment apps.

Bonus: WeBull is offering a great bonus of 2 free shares of stock!

Read our full Webull review here.

WeBull Logo
Get a free share of stock!

J.P. Morgan Self Directed Investing
J.P. Morgan Self-Directed Investing is the latest update from Chase when it comes to investing (previously this was known as Chase You Invest). The great thing is that they made their platform truly commission-free. That’s what makes it a runner up on our list of free investing apps.

Read our full J.P. Morgan Self-Directed Investing review.

The information about J.P. Morgan Self-Directed Investing has been collected independently by The College Investor. The product details have not been reviewed or approved by the company.

J.P. Morgan logo
Ally Invest
Ally Invest is a solid choice for free investing. They have a solid app that allows you to invest, and like others on this list, you can invest in stocks, options, and ETFs commission-free.

Ally also offers solid bonus offers if you transfer your account to them. Right now, you can get up to $3,000 when you move your assets over to them.

Read our full Ally Invest review here.

Ally Invest logo
Charles Schwab
Charles Schwab also offers commission free stock, options, and ETF trades, similar to Fidelity and TD Ameritrade. In fact, Charles Schwab advertises that they offer more commission-free ETFs that most other companies, and they even offer some commission free mutual funds.

Charles Schwab Checking
Public is another free investing platform that emerged in the last year. It’s actually a rebrand of the Matador investing app. Public is one of the few investing apps that allows fractional share investing, and they’ve been growing a solid following.

Read out full Public review here.

Public Investing App Logo
If you’re looking for an easy way to do socially-responsible investing, check out Aspiration. For a $10 minimum investment, you can get started. They don’t charge any commissions to invest, and it’s super easy to start a portfolio of companies that are socially and bottom-line focused.

Read out full Aspiration review here.

Aspiration Bank Logo
ETrade ETrade also offers a large selection of commission free ETFs. We are actually big fans of E*Trade for our solo 401k account, but they don’t make the top 5 when it comes to investing apps and free investing.

They just recently announced $0 stock, ETF, and options trades, but we’ll see how they compete with others on this list.

While they do offer IRAs with no minimums, and charge no transaction fees, we didn’t find their app as user friendly as the rest. Similar to their website, it’s just a bit harder to use. However, we still really like E*Trade and they are definitely a runner up.

Etrade Logo
Other Investing Apps
There are other investing apps that we’re including on this this, but they aren’t free. However, they are popular and may be useful to some investors.

Acorns is an extremely popular investing app, but it’s not free. Acorns charges anywhere from $1 to $3 per month ($5 for a family), but it does make automating your investments easy!

Acorns allows you to round up your spare change and invest it easily in a portfolio that makes sense for you. However, if you don’t have a lot of money invested, that subscription cost can eat up your returns.

Read our full Acorns review here.

Bonus Offer: Right now Acorns is offering a $10 bonus when you open a new account. Start investing with as little as $5 >>

Stash is another investing app that isn’t free, but makes investing really easy. They have turned the investing process into an easy to understand platform, and they don’t charge any commissions to invest. However, they do charge a monthly fee that ranges anywhere from $1 to $9 per month.

Stash used to be known for $5 investing, but they have since gone to $0 minimums, and they allow fractional share investing.

Read our full Stash review here.

Investing App FAQ
Here are some common questions about investing apps.

What makes an investing app different than a brokerage?

Investing apps are mobile first investing platforms. They are brokerages (just like the names you may be used to), but they allow investors to trade and invest in an app.

Are investing apps safe?

Yes, they are just as safe as holding your money at any major brokerage. These apps all are insured by the SIPC and have a variety of investor protections.

Can I invest in anything on an app?

Depends on the app. Some apps significantly limit what you can invest in, while others offer the full ranges of investment options.

Are these apps really free?

Yes. The top apps we list don’t charge a monthly fee to use, and don’t charge a commission to invest in stocks, ETFs, and options. Of course, these apps may charge service fees for additional services, such as wire transfers, paper statements, and more.

best trading app to earn money

The common saying goes, “You need money to make money.” When it comes to investing, this claim stands true. You need some initial money to invest to make that amount grow.

When people pay fees to invest, that chips away at returns. These charges may include transaction fees, management charges, annual fees and more.

When all else is equal in an investment, the less you pay in fees, the greater your overall returns. Fortunately, it’s possible to avoid all of these fees and maximize your profits through today’s best free stock trading apps.

Take a look below at the best stock trading apps you should consider opening and using to trade your stocks.

We start with the best stock trading app for beginners and then look at the best stock trading app for personal finance-focused investors before highlighting our other best stock app picks.

Table of Contents
Best Free Stock Trading Apps and Platforms
App Best For Fees Promotions
robinhood logo
Robinhood ☆ 4.4 / 5
Basic stock, crypto and ETF investing 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
sofi logo
SoFi Invest: iOS, Android and Desktop ☆ 4.7 / 5
Investors looking for automated investing already using SoFi’s other personal finance products Commission-free trades Free stock worth between $5 – $1,000
tradestation squarelogo
TradeStation ☆ 4.6 / 5
Advanced traders, Options and Futures traders, Active stock traders Commission-free trades $150 for making $500 deposit; $10 for opening Crypto IRA
jpm wealth management logo
J.P. Morgan Self-Directed Investing ☆ 4.8 / 5
Self-directed investors and Chase customers Commission-free trades $125 when funding with $25,000 – $99,999, $300 when funding with $100,000-$249,999 and $625 when funding with $250,000+
public logo ☆ 4.7 / 5
Social theme-based investing interests Commission-free trades $10 free stocks for signing up
m1 finance logo
M1 Finance ☆ 4.3 / 5
Fee-free active trading and automated investing Commission-free trades $30 sign up bonus with $1,000 deposit; 1 year free M1 Plus
axos sdt logo
Axos Self-Directed Trading ☆ 4.2 / 5
Current Axos Bank customers looking for a basic trading solution or Axos customers seeking premium research and attractive active trading capabilities Commission-free trades $150 for depositing $2,500
etrade logo
eTrade ☆ 4.5 / 5
Options traders Commission-free trades Free account bonus commensurate with contributed funds
firstrade logo
Firstrade ☆ 4.5 / 5
Mutual fund and target date fund investors Commission-free trades Free account bonus commensurate with contributed funds
vanguard logo
Vanguard ☆ 4.2 / 5
Basic ETF investing Commission-free trades None
tdameritrade logo
TDAmeritrade ☆ 4.6 / 5
Traders interested in more asset classes like Forex and Futures Commission-free trades Free account bonus commensurate with contributed funds
Other Investing Apps Worth Noting
acorns logo
Acorns ☆ 4.8 / 5
Investors in college looking for a complete personal finance solution; Roth IRAs $3/month – $5/month $10 sign up bonus when making first deposit at account opening
stash logo rebrand
Stash ☆ 4.6 / 5
Everyday people looking to start managing their finances $1/month – $9/month $5 stock bonus for making a deposit of $5 or more

  1. Robinhood: Best Stock Trading App for Beginners

Available via desktop, Apple iOS and Android App on Google Play
Best For: Investors looking for a simple, no frills investing platform
Sign up here
Robinhood became the first free stock app to slash trading commissions to $0, earning the top slot on this list of stock trading apps.

This shook up the industry and caused several competitors to rethink how they make money and follow suit.

Many merged as a result in the hopes of shedding costs and remaining competitive to this investing startup.

Likewise, many new apps like Robinhood have cropped up in recent years, many of which feature later on this list.

The service boasts free stock trading alongside index funds, options, penny stocks and cryptocurrencies.

Robinhood’s app offers a simple and easy-to-use design. There aren’t numerous features called out to distract you from what you are using the app to accomplish: trade commission-free.

Robinhood has no fees upon account opening and includes no minimum balance requirements. Robinhood has been a brokerage at the vanguard for eliminating the common barriers associated with investing in the stock market.

Consider signing up for a Robinhood account to see what you think. The company makes it worth your while by offering a free stock for signing up.

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 Android App on Google Play
Best For: Self-directed investors and intermediate traders
Sign up here
Webull first hit the investing world in 2018 by offering free stock trading in addition to free trades of ETFs, options and cryptocurrencies.

The company provides you the ability to trade on your smartphone, tablet or desktop, track your stocks and charges no commissions for the trades you make in your portfolio.

It also recently began allowing fractional shares for you to buy smaller portions of stocks with higher share prices.

Why Choose Webull to Trade Stocks?
Webull also provides you access to several powerful tools useful for in-depth trading analysis. These easily make the service one of the best stock research and analysis apps for conducting technical analysis.

For traders, in addition to the commission-free trading and analytic tools, the brokerage offers a subscription to Nasdaq TotalView for $1.99/month, allowing you to see Level II quotes.

This can help you to gain a better sense for the full supply and demand for a stock outside of the national best bid offer (NBBO).

These advanced quotes will provide you with a deeper look into the market for understanding market direction and any potential supply and demand imbalances for a stock you pick.

If these account features sound attractive, the best part might also come with knowing setting up a Webull account is free and comes with no account minimums you must meet or maintain.

If all the free listed above isn’t enough, Webull also runs frequent promotions which involve you receiving 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. SoFi Invest: Best for Personal Finance-Focused Investors
    sofi invest free stocks

Available via desktop, Apple iOS and Android App on Google Play
Best For: Investors looking for automated investing already using SoFi’s other personal finance products
Sign up here: (iOS), Android, Desktop
SoFi Invest is an app that allows you to track and trade your money. The service is the latest from the SoFi financial wellness platform and offers free trades on stocks, ETFs, cryptos and more.

The service allows you to be an active trader by buying and selling offered assets on a daily basis or passive through its automated investing service.

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 student loans, money management, credit cards and more.

SoFi Invest | Free Investing
No trading fees or commissions
No account minimums
Invest in Stock Bits (fractional shares)
Trade select cryptos
Automated investing options for a hands-off approach
SoFi Invest | Free Investing
iOS Sign Up
Android Sign Up

  1. TradeStation Go: Best for Advanced Traders

Available via desktop, Apple iOS and Android App on Google Play
Best For: Advanced traders, Options and Futures traders, Active stock traders
Sign up here
TradeStation is a powerful stock trading app and platform which comes with analytic tools useful to seasoned professionals and new traders alike.

The platform comes equipped with brokerage services and trading education resources recognized by respected industry reviewers.

Much like every other online discount broker found on this list, the free stock trading app charges no commissions for stock and ETF trades and low fees on options and futures contracts.

TradeStation caters to its target audience: advanced, active and technically-minded traders. Beginning traders likely will be overwhelmed by this service and may even face fees.

The technical tools and screeners provided by TradeStation are all at or near the top of the class, making it the best stock trading platform for advanced traders on this list.

What Makes TradeStation Different?
TradeStation is one of the most high-powered stock trading platforms on this list.

The stock trading platform helps you analyze stocks, options, ETFs, futures, and crypto markets. If you open a TradeStation brokerage account, you can use the company’s robust TradeStation Analytics platform for free.

You have access to backtesting, historical intraday data, and extensive charting capabilities.

TradeStation Analytics helps you to find the right opportunities in real-time, when to get into and out of trades and discover hidden opportunities with technical analysis.

You can use the free stock trading app to monitor and rank up to 1,000 ticker symbols in real-time with access to more than 180 technical and fundamental indicators useful for valuing a stock and identifying likely price action.

If you’d like to purchase the analytics software without using the platform for making your trades, you can pay a monthly fee of $99 for non-professionals and $199 for professional subscribers.

TradeStation Support
If you use TradeStation, one of the best stock trading apps for advanced traders, you can also receive personalized support from the company’s brokerage professionals.

Further, TradeStation provides state-of-the-art trading technology, catering to active individual and institutional traders who may or may not need support.

Consider signing up and opening your account with TradeStation.

TradeStation | Claiming a Financial Edge
TradeStation is a powerful trading platform which comes with analytic tools useful to seasoned professionals and new traders alike.
The platform comes equipped with brokerage services and trading education resources recognized by respected industry reviewers.
Limited Time Offer: Receive $10 when opening a new Crypto IRA account*
TradeStation | Claiming a Financial Edge
Open Account

  1. J.P. Morgan Self-Directed Investing: Best for Self-Directed Investors & Chase Customers
    jpmorgan self-directed investing sign up

Available via desktop, Apple iOS and Android App on Google Play
Best For: Self-directed investors and Chase customers
Sign up here
J.P. Morgan Self-Directed Investing acts as an investing solution offered from Chase and is accessible through the Chase Mobile® app or

You can use this investing app to make unlimited commission-free trades in thousands of investment options, including a wide range of stocks, ETFs, fixed income, mutual funds and options.

The investing app allows you to utilize tools to build your portfolio including screeners and watchlists—both useful for building diversified portfolios and staying on top of market activity.

The app provides personalized news and J.P. Morgan Research and market analysis to empower informed investment decisions. You can leverage these resources to design your own target allocation for your investments.

Consider using J.P. Morgan’s Self-Directed Investing platform if you’d like the flexibility to invest much as you want without paying any commissions on equity and options trades. Some regulatory fees and fund expenses may apply.

You can choose an account that’s right for you: an individual taxable account, Traditional IRA or Roth IRA. All carry a $0 minimum.

Open your J.P. Morgan Self-Directed Investing account today and get up to $625 when you open and fund an account with qualifying new money:

$625 when you fund with $250,000 or more
$300 when you fund with $100,000-$249,999
$125 when you fund with $25,000-$99,999
Learn more by visiting J.P. Morgan Self-Directed Investing’s website to see if it’s the right fit for your needs.

J.P. Morgan Self-Directed Investing
Get unlimited commission-free online stock, ETF, fixed income, and options trades when you open an account.
$0 online commission trades
Choose an account that’s right for you: General Investing, Traditional IRA or Roth IRA
Access your account through the secure, easy-to-use trading experience online or through the Chase Mobile® app
Use J.P. Morgan’s powerful tools and resources to help you take control of your investment
J.P. Morgan Self-Directed Investing
Learn More

  1. Best Free Stock App for Theme-Based Investing sign up

Available via desktop, Apple iOS and Android App on Google Play
Best For: New investors with limited capital
Sign up here is another commission-free investing app that targets Millennials and Gen-Zers who have attuned their senses to social media. These age groups want to align their investing with their social preferences as well as keep good company to socialize and learn from others.

The stock investing app boasts an increasingly-common feature geared toward younger investors who may not have enough money to buy some higher cost shares at one time: fractional investing.

This product feature plays on the company’s mission of making the stock market an inclusive, educational investment opportunity which can be fun. They accomplish the latter point by allowing people to invest alongside friends and other well-regarded investors.

Much like social media platforms who provide the standard blue check mark logo to verify public figures, provides visibility into trade activity and other insights these verified investors wish to provide to the community.

What Makes Different? does not monetize its trading activity through receiving payment for order flow (PFOF) unlike other free stock trading apps found on this list.

In light of the GameStop market mania in early 2021, announced a change in its revenue model, breaking with how many free stock apps generate income.

They no longer generate revenue from PFOF and has introduced a tipping feature in the app, acting as a de facto (optional) commission.

The company believes they have a responsibility to lead the industry in a different direction and no longer receive compensation for routing orders to market makers for trade execution.

With the Robinhood blow up, we saw how this created a conflict of interest between brokerage and customer.

By doing this, will better align their financial incentives with the best interests of their customers.

For those interested in starting to trade on, the online brokerage platform 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 micro-investing app, open an account and make an initial deposit 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. M1 Finance: Best Free Stock App to Start Investing
    m1 finance

Available via desktop, Apple iOS and Google Android
Best for: Passive Investors
Sign up here
M1 Finance works as one of the best stock trading apps because it provides self-directed and automated investing options according to your predetermined investment decisions. This high-level of customization makes this stock trading app this site’s top robo-advisor pick.

Robo-advisors, which are almost exactly what they sound like, are automated investment managers who handle administrative investment actions on your behalf. Things like investing contributions, rebalancing your portfolio or making automated withdrawals.

Once you set up your portfolio, you can edit it as you wish or simply let the app handle all the nitty gritty while you learn how to increase your net worth with a growing account balance.

Specifically, clients can create a portfolio of stocks and ETFs tailored to their exact specifications, down to the last dollar thanks to their ability to trade fractional shares.

One major callout before going any further, however, is that while M1 Finance offers pre-made portfolios aligned to several investing goals—the company is not an advisory service.

That said, the firm has attracted billions of dollars in assets under management and has over one million users on the stock trading platform since its founding in 2015. No small feat in today’s competitive brokerage account market.

Why M1 Finance?
Sophisticated investors and beginners alike can use this stock trading app to build wealth through customizing your portfolio for free, automating additional contributions and dynamically rebalancing it over time to keep your assets allocated to your wishes.

With all these benefits, this best free stock trading app has a primary selling point: an orientation toward medium and long-term investors interested in building wealth through automated, diversified investing.

The robo-advisor provides the ability to buy and sell individual stocks and ETFs. Hence, why M1 Finance is this site’s best passive investing platform.

Additionally, you can opt to choose from 80+ expert portfolios or even purchase fractional shares if your target companies carry too high of a price tag.

For example, if you wanted to buy an entire share of a major tech company like Google or Amazon, but couldn’t float the entire cost, you could buy a fractional share.

Finally, investing with M1 Finance can be as simple as depositing money, setting your stock and index selections and having the platform automate your investments on your behalf.

This truly automates your investments if you set up recurring deposits, allowing your wealth to build.

Over time, M1 Finance will also rebalance your portfolio in line with your stated asset allocation targets. Regular rebalancing has been shown to improve portfolio performance over time, all things equal.

Consider opening an investment account with M1 Finance.

Read more in our M1 Finance review.

Our Self-Directed Robo-Advisor Pick
M1 Finance | Smart Money Mgmt
M1 Finance’s Smart Money Management gives you choice and control of how you want to invest automatically, borrow, and spend your money—with available high-yield checking and low borrowing rates.
Special Promotions: Open an account and make a $5,000 deposit within 14 days to receive a $25 bonus* and get 1-year free of M1 Plus ($125 value).
M1 Finance | Smart Money Mgmt
Learn More
Our Review
Higher deposit bonus tiers available, worth up to $250. Terms & conditions apply.

  1. Axos Self-Directed Trading
    axos self-directed trading sign up

Available via desktop, Apple iOS and Android App on Google Play
Best For: Self-directed investors currently banking with Axos
Sign up here
Axos Self-Directed Trading (SDT) offers no commission trading on US-listed equities—providing you with an easy-to-use platform and the tools you need to succeed.

Axos SDT also works to save you time with an intuitive interface and mobile access so you can trade anytime or anywhere.

So, just how will Axos help your self-directed investing experience?

For starters, Axos SDT offers commission-free equity and exchange-traded funds as well as access to 10,000+ mutual funds.

Where Axos SDT differs from its competitors is its unified financial dashboard with its other Axos Banking products, allowing you to sync all of your accounts in one convenient place.

If you’d like to upgrade to a higher level of service, you might consider Axos Elite. This service provides:

Instant fund access
Lower fees
Increased buying power with leverage
Enhanced market knowledge through real-time market data expert insights and premium TipRanks market research
You can open individual taxable accounts, joint accounts and IRAs.

Axos Self-Directed Trading (SDT)
Axos SDT offers no commission trading on US-listed equities—providing you with an easy-to-use platform and the tools you need to succeed.
Axos SDT also works to save you time with an intuitive interface and mobile access so you can trade anytime or anywhere.
Serious investors can upgrade to a higher level of service with Axos Elite, providing instant fund access, lower fees, premium market research from TipRanks and added leverage.
Axos Self-Directed Trading (SDT)
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  1. E-Trade
    e-trade sign up

Available via desktop, Apple iOS and Android App on Google Play
Best For: Options traders
Sign up here
E-Trade has long been seen as a leading stock trading app for retail investors. E-Trade provides investors access to educational resources that assist you with conducting investment research and analysis and diversifying your portfolio.

The online brokerage platform also has a significant amount of options trading and data functionality after the company acquired OptionsHouse.

These tools can assist with making more-informed options investment decisions. The company also acts as a stock futures app for more experienced investors.

As another service, E-Trade also offers retirement planning to clients as well as in-person informational sessions annually in certain areas.

E-Trade has three platforms. All are free and have no minimum investment limit.

Power E-Trade offers investors real-time data and studies.
E-Trade Web provides live market commentary and stock analysis.
E-Trade Pro gives you strategy scanners and back-testing.
Each stock trading platform gives you access to a dashboard for tracking your investment accounts, types of investment vehicles, and your trades. E-trade does have small fees for options contracts and some fees involved with retirement accounts.

E-Trade | Best In-Class Online Trading
$0 commission for online US-listed stock, ETF and options trades, a full range of investments (including professionally managed accounts), and best-in-class online and mobile trading platforms.
Opening an account is easy and only takes a couple of minutes.
E-Trade | Best In-Class Online Trading
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  1. Firstrade: Best for International Investors
    firstrade sign up

Available via desktop, Apple iOS and Android App on Google Play
Best For: Mutual fund and target date fund investors
Sign up here
Firstrade is a leading online brokerage firm offering a full line of investment products and tools designed to help investors improve their financial position through sound investing practices.

Like every other investing app provided on this list, it too does not assess commissions for making stock trades.

Firstrade combines proprietary trading technology with an intuitive user interface, offers customer service availability and utilizes a mobile application like all others in this article.

In short, the platform offers access to over 11,000 different investments, including index funds, stocks, bonds, target date funds, mutual funds, and more.

Firstrade offers a comprehensive solution for all of your investing needs, committing itself to excellence and putting customers first.


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