The 10 Best Investment Apps for Growing Your Money (2019)
Smartphones make it easy to access information at any time, and what better way to make use of technology than to grow your money?
In the past few years, loads of new financial apps have been released, and some older ones have been improved. In the past, we’ve looked at apps for saving money, apps for making money, and budgeting apps. Today, we’ll shift our focus to apps that help with investing your money.
Many of these apps have been created with new investors in mind, which means you can get started with small amounts of money. Many of them will also prioritize ease of use and some offer additional learning and educational resources that can help you to become a better investor.
10 of the Best Investment Apps
Please note that these are in no particular order as all of these apps have their own pros, cons, and unique features. Ultimately, it will be up to you to choose one that best fits your needs and taste.
1. Personal Capital
Personal Capital offers wealth management services that are somewhat of a hybrid between a robo advisor and a traditional financial advisor. As a Personal Capital client, you will have a dedicated advisor, but they also make excellent use of technology.
In addition to wealth management services, Personal Capital offers a totally free app. You don’t need to be a customer to use the app, and the app has a ton of awesome features like net worth calculation and tracking, and reporting tools that pull in data from your various investments. It’s easily one of the best financial and investment apps.
Personal Capital – Pros
- Personal Capital is a combination of a human advisor and robo advisor. The goal is to give you the best of both worlds.
- They have many other products that help your financial life and many of them are free. For example, they can help manage your net worth as well as liquid net worth, scan your portfolio for any hidden or excessive fees, manage your cashflow, budget for you, and many more things. All for free.
- There are no hidden fees, selling products with kickback, and no selling underperforming products.
Personal Capital – Cons
- Fees are significantly higher for Personal Capital than many of its competitors (but Personal Capital provides many great, unique services as well. However, management and other fees may be too expensive for you, at 0.49% to 0.89%, which are much higher than like Wealthfront, which is only 0.25%).
- You need $25,000 minimum to invest with Personal Capital.
- You must manually input certain investments and expenses to track them on your dashboard, even though most of them do get automatically added by connecting your various bank accounts, credit cards, etc.
Get $20 for Free from Personal Capital
Personal Capital is a free app that syncs with your bank accounts, investment accounts, and credit cards to automatically calculate and track your net worth. It’s easy to set up and very powerful. Right now, Personal Capital is also offering a free $20 Amazon gift card just to try it. To get the gift card, sign up here, and after you’ve linked your first account, you will get an email with the code for the $20 gift card.
Robinhood is a very popular mobile app that makes it easy to buy and sell stocks, ETFs, and cryptocurrencies. The company has had a significant impact on the industry by offering free trades and no minimum investments, making it a great option for beginners.
Robinhood – Pros
- This is where Robinhood shines and makes up for its simplicity; it provides 100% commission-free stocks, options, ETFs, and the ability to invest in cryptocurrencies, which is in itself another massive upside to Robinhood. Investors who trade often will love Robinhood as it saves them lots of money on commissions and trading fees.
- Robinhood has no account minimum, so you can get started as soon as you like. You will obviously need money to purchase a share or a cryptocurrency, but you don’t need to put $25,000, as you do in Personal Capital, into the account to start investing.
- Robinhood is very easy and quick to use. It takes a few minutes to open up the account and only one business day to transact anything under $1,000. Anything above that will take a few more days.
- Robinhood Gold allows investors to trade on margins, meaning with borrowed money, at a relatively low monthly fee of $5.
Robinhood – Cons
- Mutual funds and bonds are not supported. Nor is the ability to reinvest dividends into the security that issued them.
- Only one account option is available – the brokerage account.
- Customer support is only available through email, though their website is very helpful.
Like Robinhood, Webull also offers free trades on stocks and ETFs, although it does not allow you to trade options or crypto. Webull also requires no account minimum, making it another great option for new investors.
While Robinhood is a little more simple, Webull offers advanced reporting and analysis features that many investors will love.
Webull’s features include fundamental and technical analysis available for intermediate and advanced investors:
- Fundamental – Analyst recommendations, revenue and historical eps data, key stats, dividends, etc.
- Technical – Real-time bar, candlestick and line charts, oscillators, MACD, etc.
- Research – Markets, news, screeners, and individual stock page.
Webull – Pros
- Commission-free trading with 5,000+ different stocks and ETFs.
- No account maintenance or software platform fees.
- No charges to open and maintain an account.
- Leverage of 4:1 on margin trades made on the same day and 2:1 on ones held overnight.
- Great analysis tools.
Webull – Cons
- Cannot trade options, mutual funds, OTC stocks, or bonds.
- Only email customer support, but quick response time and great FAQ.
4. M1 Finance
M1 Finance is a hybrid robo advisor and brokerage service. With M1 Finance you can invest automatically in a custom stock and ETF portfolio. You can choose from 80 pre-made portfolios, or create your own custom portfolio. One of the reasons why M1 Finance stands out is because it is free. You can even buy fractional shares. All you need to do is choose the portfolio that you want to use and deposit money.
M1 Finance – Pros
- Unlike most asset managers that rebalance your portfolio on a monthly basis, you can rebalance with M1 Finance whenever you want.
- You can open several types of account: individual, joint, retirement, trust, LLC, and a corporate investment account.
- There are no fees or commissions so you can buy and sell and rebalance frequently. There are still fees such as SEC and FINRA TAF, but they are minimal.
- You can borrow up to 35% of your account balance in M1 at an annual interest rate of 3.75%. This can be risky, but also very beneficial and an easy way to capitalize without loan officers or any sort of approval process.
- You can easily create a diversified portfolio.
- Good for all experience levels, especially beginners thanks to “pies”.
- You can setup recurring investments and rebalance automatically.
- It helps reduce the amount owed on taxes.
M1 Finance – Cons
- Can only invest in stocks and ETFs. No mutual funds, bonds, cryptocurrencies. And the only stocks available are ones in NASDAQ and NYSE.
Acorns is a unique automated savings tool. You can automatically invest leftover change from your everyday purchases with their round-up feature. Acorns offers micro-investing, making it possible for anyone to start investing, even with very small amounts of money.
Acorns – Pros
- Management fees are waived for college students for 4 years who register with a .edu email. After 4 years, students may have saved up and earned a substantial amount of money.
- Acorns automatically takes spare “change” from every single purchase and invests it. With each purchase, Acorns rounds up to the nearest dollar and allows you to invest it. As it is automatic, you won’t have to do much work and it is saving you lots of time and money.
- Low minimum of $5 to start investing into one of the prebuilt portfolios.
- Cashback when you use a card, from a company that Acorns is partnered with, linked to Acorns.
Acorns – Cons
- Quite high management fees of $1 a month for an Acorns Core taxable investment account, $2 a month for Acorns Later, an IRA account, and $3 a month for Acorns Spend, the checking account and debit card offering, which includes the investment accounts.
- You have a choice of 5 portfolios and all of them are smaller than average robo-advisor portfolios
Stash offers investing, saving, and banking, with a focus on new investors. You can get started with as little as $5 and build your own custom investment portfolios. The investments will be in stocks and ETFs and you can also benefit from the learning resources created by Stash.
Stash – Pros
- Makes the process of selecting investments much easier for beginners. And you only need $5 to start.
- You can buy various fractional shares.
- Offers investments based on value and your risk tolerance.
Stash – Cons
- The subscription fees are high. $1 a month for the brokerage account and a bank account. $3 a month that adds a retirement account.
- ETF expenses are high – 0.30%.
- Doesn’t provide lots of detail and transparency about their fees and investment options.
Stockpile is unique because you are able to give stocks to others as a gift. You can make your own wishlist of stocks and share it with others. Stockpile also makes it easy to get started by requiring a low minimum of just $5, and also by allowing the purchase of fractional shares.
→ Related reading: Robinhood vs. Stockpile vs. Webull
Stockpile – Pros
- You can buy and receive gift cards (starting at $5 and going to $100) that allow you to purchase specific stocks, some of which are Apple, Google, Amazon, Berkshire Hathaway, Disney, Microsoft, McDonald’s, and even Bitcoin Investment Trust
- There are no monthly or annual fees, only a very low trading fee of only $0.99 for each trade
- You can buy fractional shares
Stockpile – Cons
- Only have access to two types of accounts: a taxable and a custodial (for children, anyone under 18) one
- Can only invest in stocks and ETFs. No bonds, options, or mutual funds
- Before 3 p.m. trades are executed the same day, but after 3 p.m. trades are executed the next day
Wealthfront is a popular robo advisor that offers brokerage accounts, savings accounts, retirement accounts, and college savings accounts. Wealthfront will help you to create a custom portfolio and reduce your taxes through their tax-loss harvesting functionality.
Wealthfront – Pros
- It has great investment options. You take a survey that identifies your risk tolerance and recommends investments based on that. You get US stocks, foreign stocks, emerging markets, real estate, bonds, and many more.
- Management fees are very competitive, at 0.25%, with the first $5,000 being managed for free.
- It has one of the best tax-loss harvesting systems.
- The free financial tool, Path, helps for all of your financial planning.
- This is something very few robo-advisors have; a 529 college-savings account. (Though it is important to check locally and see if you have a better 529 plan.)
- Very high-interest savings account: 2.32%, and up to $1,000,000 of your money is FDIC insured.
Wealthfront – Cons
- You cannot buy fractional shares, so not all of your money can be invested.
- No discounts for having a large balance (some investing apps do for larger accounts).
- $500 account minimum.
Betterment is another excellent robo advisor that will help you to invest according to your goals and your level of risk tolerance. Strategies like asset location and tax-loss harvesting help yo reduce the amount that you’ll owe on taxes. In addition to investing, Betterment also offers checking and savings accounts.
Betterment – Pros
- ETFs with 12 asset classes for different levels of risk tolerance and your specific goals.
- Can choose a socially responsible portfolio which will use ETFs compromising companies with particular social causes.
- Low management fees of 0.25% for Betterment Digital offering digital advice and tools or 0.40% for Betterment Premium, which provides a team of financial planners and unlimited phone calls and/or emails.
- Financial planning packages ranging from $199 and $299, helping you with anything from college planning, marriage, retirement, etc.
- Goal-based saving helps you set goals that match your answers to Betterment’s questions about your retirement and general investing goal.
- High yield savings.
- Tax-loss harvesting.
Betterment – Cons
- No direct indexing.
- If you want to transfer from Betterment, you will need to go through immense amounts of paperwork.
Wealthsimple is “investing on autopilot”. Although Wealthsimple does offer automated portfolios like other robo advisors, you’ll also be able to get expert advice and more personalized service. Individual and joint accounts, trusts, and IRAs are available.
Wealthsimple also offers
Wealthsimple – Pros
- Open an account with as little as $1.
- Several different types of portfolios to invest in based on your needs and wants (ex: Halal Portfolio for Islamic Investors to invest in a way that is consistent with their religious laws).
- Tax-loss harvesting.
Wealthsimple – Cons
- For balances up to $100,000, there is a fee of 0.50%, which is quite high (above that, however, is 0.40%).
Wealthbase is a virtual stock market simulation. You learn, compete, and share your investing ideas with other individuals to better your own investments. Up to 15 players can join a game. You start with $100,000 and can invest in stocks, ETFs, and cryptos. If you are a starter, this is the best place to start. Wealthbase will teach you as you go and you can access several free lessons and learn about investing so that when you do choose the correct investing app for yourself, you will know what you are doing and avoid losing your money.
There are a ton of investing apps available on the market. Some are certainly significantly better than others. It is up to you to weigh the pros and cons of these apps, see what your own needs are and how knowledgeable you are about investing, to pick the correct investing app for you.
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