Investing today has become so easy and accessible that you no longer need a lot of money, or prior experience. Thanks to modern technology, the ability to invest is as easy as downloading an app, opening your account in just a few minutes, and making your first investment purchase. The dilemma people are facing is no longer “how do I invest..”? But rather “what are the top investing apps for investors like me?”
I've personally tried each of the apps below, and know from firsthand experience the value they provide. Here is a detailed list of the top investing apps available today, what they are known for, who would benefit most from them, and how to get started.
5 Trustworthy Investing Apps To Invest In The Stock Market
Each of the following investing apps have a unique competitive advantage that sets them apart from the rest. Thus, each may cater more directly to a different market or type of investor. I'll discuss what their competitive advantage is, and what type of investor will most likely benefit from their style of investing. But first, for those of you who want the quick rundown, here's the snapshot of 5 trustworthy investing apps to investing the stock market:
- M1 Finance – Best investing app for investing in fractional shares and building your own funds, or “Pies”, as they call them.
- Stash Invest – Best investing app for new investors wanting to invest with little money, invest in fractional shares, and learn the basics of the stock market.
- Acorns – Best investing app for those wanting an automated investing plan with a diversified portfolio, and the ability to invest your spare change.
- Robinhood – Best investing app for those wanting to invest in stocks, ETF's, option contracts and cryptocurrencies in one place.
- Stockpile – Best investing app for those seeking to invest in fractional shares of stocks and ETFs with low cost trade commissions (just $0.99 per trade).
Below is a detailed explanation of each app listed above, and who will benefit most from each.
M1 Finance is an investing app that seeks to automate your investments with commission free trades. Users of M1 Finance can invest in almost any company stock or ETF fund listed on the NYSE, NASDAQ or BATS Global Markets exchange, totaling over 6,000+ listed securities.
Another popular benefit of M1 Finance is the ability to purchase fractional shares. Most investment banks require you to purchase shares in full share amounts, making it difficult for a new investor with limited money to buy a share of Apple, Inc. at $1,000+ per share.
Users can also create their own funds or “Pies” as they call it, and allocate their money by percentage among multiple companies and ETF funds. If you have 10 favorite companies and 5 great ETFs you want to invest in, you can create a “Pie” that includes each of them and how your money should be balanced among each, then each new deposit will be allocated among the companies accordingly.
Who Will Benefit The Most from M1 Finance?
Investors seeking to have more of a hands on approach to managing their investments, but have less funds to invest, will benefit most from M1 Finance. They cater to this market because they offer commission free trades so those with lower investment amounts don't suffer the costly fees, and they allow you to invest in fractional shares while creating your own portfolio of stocks and ETF's.
Stash Invest App
Stash is an investing app whose focus is helping beginning investors get started with little money and access to a wide variety of investments. Similar to M1 Finance, they offer the ability to buy fractional shares, but the available companies to invest in is much less than what's available on M1 Finance. Their focus is teaching investors how to create proven investing habits such as investing for the long term, diversifying your portfolio, and investing on a regular basis.
Stash Coach is their in app coach that gives you points for completing next steps and milestones within your investing account. These points can be earned from setting up automatic investments, reaching certain balances, and investing in different vehicles such as individual stocks, multiple stocks and ETF funds.
Furthermore, their new Stash Back options enables users to open up a basic checking account. When you use your debit card at any of the named companies within Stash, such as Walmart for example, you get “Stash Back”, or cash back in the form of stock ownership of the company you recently shopped at.
Who Will Benefit The Most From Stash Invest?
New investors with little experience investing in the stock market will get the most benefit from Stash Invest. Why? They provide all the basics to get started investing, with great tutorials, Stash Coach, and easy to follow guides to start investing properly. Furthermore, while investing in individual stocks may be considered “risky” for new investors, the stocks available on Stash are only from well reputable large companies, which lowers the risk but allows new investors to experience investing in individual stocks as well.
Acorns is perhaps one of the fastest growing investing apps today as the pioneers and original founders of the “round ups” investing strategy. Round-ups refer to rounding up your daily purchases to the next nearest dollar amount, and investing that spare change in the stock market.
Round ups can be active for any linked bank account, debit card, credit card or even an Acorns Spend account which is their checking account. You can choose to double or even triple your round up amounts if you want to invest your round-ups at a faster pace.
Here's how round ups work:
- Link your bank account
- Make a purchase for $3.10 (for example)
- Acorns rounds up your purchase to $4 and invests the extra $0.90.
- You can double or triple your round ups so instead of investing just $0.90, it would be $1.80 (2x) or $2.70 (3x).
Another popular benefit available through Acorns is the Acorns “Found Money” which seems to be growing in popularity among other companies. Acorns Found Money is a program that partnered companies with Acorns will deposit a percentage of your purchase into your Acorns investing account.
Who Will Benefit The Most From Acorns Investing?
Investors ranging from new investors to even experienced investors, who are seeking to automate their investments without tightening the budget much will benefit the most from Acorns. If you're someone who has a hard time setting aside a certain dollar amount to invest each week, Acorns will be a great fit because your daily purchases will be rounded up and invested automatically. The best part is, you will hardly notice a difference in your budget because they are small bite size change being invested that adds up over time.
Robinhood is another investing app that allows users to invest in the stock market for free. They also allow you to invest in ETF's, option contracts and even cryptocurrencies, all with commission free trades. Their app allows you to project your potential future balances based on your current investments and average returns, allowing you to adjust your investments and learn from the past.
They allow you to set price notifications and watch different stocks and investment vehicles to ensure you don't miss out on a potential opportunity, or an investment loss. Robinhood teaches new investors how to trade options, what a “Put” option is and what a “Call” option is and how to make money with them.
Who Will Benefit The Most From Robinhood?
Investors with at least some experience and expert investors alike will benefit from the Robinhood investing app. Their available investment options are a bit more complex making it difficult for a brand new investor to get started and benefit much from the app. If you're at least experienced with the basics of investing, and want to test the waters with options trading and cryptocurrency trading, then Robinhood is a great place to start.
Stockpile is your basic investing app with options to invest in stocks and ETF funds. Their main focus is allowing users to invest in fractional shares for just $0.99 per trade. Take a basic investment bank like Fidelity or TD Ameritrade, and allow for users to invest in fractional shares, and that's what Stockpile does. Keep in mind, however that they don't offer mutual funds or other investment vehicles that may be offered on Fidelity or TD Ameritrade, just stocks and ETFs.
Stockpile also enables you to open up an account for your children or teenagers, and let them place trades that are then approved by you. The focus of this is to teach youth how the stock market works and how to invest and grow your money.
Who Will Benefit The Most From Stockpile Investing?
Investors ranging from beginners to expert traders can benefit from using Stockpile's investing app. If you have children and want to teach them how to invest, Stockpile has got the best possible option for you. If you're an individual simply wanting to invest in fractional stock shares and ETF funds with as little as $5, you can't go wrong with investing with Stockpile.
So Many Options, But Where To Start?!
If you're anything like me, you often take more time than is necessary deciding where to start. My advice is to first state your investment goals. This may be to simply save for retirement, or learn how the stock market works, or to have your investments automated for you.
Next, decide your time horizon, is it a 3 year investment, 5 year investment, or longer term investing plan? Or are you looking to day trade stocks to make a quick profit?
Lastly, what are you most interested in? Do you simply want to grow your money? Do you like investing in companies you use every day and love? Do you want the ability to diversify and pick your stocks yourself? Or are you a more hands off investor that wants the professionals to do the work?
Once you've answered these questions, you should have a pretty good idea of where to start. Without further thought, simply start investing and watch your money grow! My personal pick as of right now is M1Finance. I like being able to create my own “Pie” of stocks and ETF's, and enjoy being able to invest in fractional shares. Lastly, they make it super easy to open an account and all is done completely free!
Which of the above 5 investing apps is your top pick and why? Post your comments below!