Best Investment Apps

Mobile phones have achieved deeper penetration than other devices like desktop computers, laptops, and tablets. Most people in the US are already using a smartphone. Most of an individual’s social and financial activities also happen through the phone.

Stockbrokers and asset management companies also seem to have adopted the mobile-first mantra in their strategies. Most of them have apps that allow you to invest, track your portfolio, and perform multiple functions with just a few taps.

Thanks to mobile apps, you do not need to speak to a financial advisor on the phone for half-an-hour just to get started with your portfolio. You can simply answer a few questions and get a tailor-made portfolio.

Alternatively, you can directly invest in stocks and mutual funds of your choice. You also do not have to wait for the quarterly report to find out where your investments stand.

You can check the value of each of your investment on any day or night. In that sense, mobile apps are time-efficient and they give you a lot of control over your investment portfolio.

Many technology-driven platforms and fintech companies have entered the asset management industry in recent times. There are plenty of investment apps available to every investor.

The key is to find the ones that are the best in terms of the user interface, the features they offer, and the costs involved. Other factors like customer service, data security, and other specific features are also important for some users.

Below is a list of investment apps that we found to be the best among the various offerings currently available.

E-trade

If you are the kind of investor that actively does research and invests in a variety of asset classes, then E-trade offers plenty of options. You can invest in stocks, bonds, mutual funds, ETFs, futures, and options.

E-trade also has one of the best research libraries among all the investment apps that we looked at. One can dig into minute details like balance sheet ratios, earnings, dividends, and company news.

Do-it-yourself investors will definitely love using E-trade.

Stash

If you are a rookie investor or new to investing, then Stash can be the perfect partner to hold your hand. It has excellent educational resources. Its “Stash Coach” feature is a game-based tool that makes learning about investing quite engaging.

Since you may be new to investing, you wouldn’t want to risk a lot of money during the early stages of your investing journey. Stash, therefore, allows users to open accounts with only $5.

In fact, Stash allows you to purchase fractional stocks from a select list as well. The app even offers traditional IRA and Roth IRA accounts.

TD Ameritrade

Ameritrade is a well-known online discount broker. Since, its niche is technology, it naturally has one of the best investment apps. Ameritrade makes sure it provides users with some of the best research and data. Its user interface is also well-designed.

Ameritrade actually offers two apps, the mobile app for beginners, and the trading “thinkorswim” app for advanced users and traders. Having two apps ensures that all experience levels are catered to.

The app isn’t cheap and charges a fee of $6.95 per trade. But, in return, it offers perhaps one of the widest range of assets and a high-quality customer support feature.

Ameritrade has been acquired by Charles Schwab and both companies will merge their apps into a single offering which might end up being even better than the existing setup.

M1Finance

M1 is actually a unique robo-advisory. It lets algorithms manage portfolios with a caveat; the user gets to choose what portion of the portfolio is robo-managed and what proportion is manually selected.

M1 offers a hybrid setup which gives the user some flexibility in managing his/her investments.

M1 offers IRA accounts, regular investment accounts, and a line of credit. There is no account minimum requirement and the app is completely free to use.

Other plus points include strong data security including two-factor authentication.

Wealthfront

Sticking with robo-advisories, Wealthfront is a low-cost offering with no fee for the first $10,000 in account balance.

Anything above that level will lead to a low 0.25% fee, which is possible because technology is cheaper than hiring a human to manage portfolios.

A minimum of $500 is needed to open an account. This app is great for someone who falls in the $0 to $10,000 sweetspot and wants to follow an “invest and forget” style of passive investing.

Betterment

Betterment is considered to be a direct competitor to Wealthfront. It also has a technology-driven robo-advisory offering.

However, its fee structure is slightly different. It charges a 0.35% fee for the first $10,000 in account balance. The fee drops to 0.25% for balances between $10,000 and $99,000.

There is a premium plan for balances over $100,000. One unique feature of Betterment is the socially responsible investing (SRI) portfolio.

Investors who wish to invest in alignment with their personal values regarding ESG and social responsibility will find Betterment’s SRI portfolio to be quite valuable.

Personal Capital

If you are a relatively higher-net-worth individual with account balances of over $100,000 or $200,000, then Personal Capital makes sense.

It offers dedicated financial advisors to accounts over $200,000. Accounts over $100,000 get a combo of robo-advisory and a human advisor.

Personal Capital also includes plenty of financial planning tools which track investment performance, spending patterns, net worth, and retirement progress.

The app also has a savings-account-like product known as Personal Capital Cash which offers a fixed interest rate on deposits and no-fee withdrawals of large amounts.

Acorns

If you are a student and do not have enough money to invest, then Acorns lets you start small. The app allows you to invest your spare change so that you build up a substantial amount by the time you graduate.

The way this works is the app rounds up your everyday purchases (at select retailers) to the next dollar or two, and the difference between the actual purchase price and the rounded amount gets invested into a portfolio of ETFs.

However, in order for this app to be worthwhile, you will have to be regular with your purchases as Acorns charges a monthly fee of $1, $2, or $3 depending on the account balance.

Your investments will have to be large enough to pay for those fees and still make you some money over a few years.

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