Investing is one of the most powerful ways to build long-term wealth.
From saving for retirement to reaching your financial goals, investing is key.
Fortunately, investing is much simpler than it used to be. Investing apps have made it easier — and cheaper — to get started your money out of your bank account and into the stock market.
The problem is there are many investing apps to choose from. So, this comprehensive guide breaks down the best investing apps available in 2022.
Features to look for in an investing app
How do you choose? Here’s what to look for:
Keeping fees low is vital to long-term investing success. The best investing apps have no commissions on trading. This means that there is no fee charged to buy or sell stocks. Some investment apps also have monthly fees or an annual fee.
Beyond trading commissions, look out for other fees and costs:
- Investment account maintenance fees
- Options contract fees
- Expense ratios of available mutual funds
- Margin loan rates
- Management fees
A wide variety of investment options will allow you to build a diversified portfolio. Even if you’re only interested in investing in stocks, consider that your needs may change in the future.
The best investing apps will offer a wide variety of investment options, including:
- Individual stocks
- Mutual funds
- Exchange-traded funds (ETFs)
- Real estate investment trusts (REITs)
Investment account options
You can invest in a standard brokerage account, but your trading profits will be subject to federal taxes. Retirement accounts, such as Roth IRAs, offer substantial tax advantages.
The best stock trading apps will offer a variety of account options, including:
- Standard brokerage account (AKA taxable brokerage)
- Roth IRA
- Traditional IRA
- Retirement accounts for business owners (SEP IRA, Solo 401k, etc.)
- Specialty accounts (529 college accounts, health savings accounts, etc.)
Investment account minimums
Some brokers require you to deposit a minimum balance from your bank account before you can open an account. $1,000, for example. Others require a minimum amount per trade.
It’s helpful to look for options that have no minimums, so that you can invest with any amount of money.
Fractional shares are simply smaller pieces of shares of stocks. If Amazon stock is trading at $3,000 per share, you would need a full $3,000 to buy a single share with some brokers.
Brokers who support fractional shares allow you to invest any amount into Amazon. You could buy 5% of a share for around $150, for example.
Ease of use
Investing apps should be easy to use, even for beginners. Ideally, they should also have some educational resources for new investors.
And they should support the device(s) you like to use. All the services below have apps for iOS and compatibility with Android.
Some investing apps come with a signup bonus that can help jump start your investment goals.
For example, a service may offer a free stock bonus if you sign up and deposit $500.
The best investing apps of 2022
These are the best investing apps available today.
1. Fidelity Investments
Best app for all-in-one financial services
Fidelity Investments is one of the largest stock brokers in the US. As a “full service” broker, Fidelity offers a wide variety of account types, investment products, funds, and services.
It’s also one of the cheapest ways to get started with investing. Fidelity has no account minimums on most account types, so you can get started with any amount of money.
Normal stock trades are commission-free, and Fidelity has a wide variety of low-cost (and even no-cost) index funds.
- Offers most account types (taxable brokerage, Roth IRA, traditional IRA, checking and more)
- Commission-free trading of stocks, bonds, ETFs and many mutual funds
- Several funds have zero account minimum
- Fidelity ZERO Index Funds have zero expense ratio
- Supports fractional shares
- Competitive rates on margin loans (margin loans allow you to borrow money to invest more)
- Does not support crypto trading
- Limited guidance for beginners
- Doesn't provide investment advice
Fidelity is best for investors who want a one-stop-shop that can be used for all financial needs.
Best app for active trading
Webull is a free investing app that’s very simple to use. It’s designed primarily for active traders — individuals who frequently buy and sell assets.
Webull has advanced research and analytics tools for experienced traders. These allow traders to analyze charts, research new investment opportunities, and more.
For beginners, the basic functionality is very user-friendly. Even a complete beginner can get started investing on Webull with minimal setup required. There’s no commission on trades for stocks, ETFs or options.
- Commission-free trading of stocks, options and ETFs
- Very user-friendly
- In-depth analysis tools
- Supports fractional shares
- Supports extended hours trading (trading before and after the market has closed)
- Supports crypto trading (25+ cryptocurrencies available to trade)
- Frequently offers signup bonuses
- Account types are limited (IRA and standard brokerage only)
- Some advanced trading analysis features require a paid subscription
Webull is best for two categories of investors:
- Frequent traders who could benefit from zero commissions and advanced trading tools.
- Beginner investors who want free trades and a user-friendly app.
Best app for automated investing
Betterment is a unique investing app that is known as a “robo-advisor” or automated investing. It provides a more hands-off approach to investing, by automating your investments.
When signing up, investors can select their desired risk level. From there, Betterment will customize an investment portfolio of stock index funds and bonds. The portfolio is rebalanced automatically, and all newly deposited funds will be reinvested. This means you can set everything up once, and continue investing in a balanced portfolio without any manual effort required.
Betterment also has tax-optimization features to help you minimize your tax liability on investment profits. For instance, Betterment uses “tax-loss harvesting” — an automatic strategy that sells investments at a loss, and then re-buys similar assets. These losses can offset profits from other trades when you file your taxes.
- Makes it simple to diversify your investments through recommended portfolio presets
- Tools to automate your savings and investments
- Tax optimization features like tax loss harvesting
- Simple for beginners to use
- Portfolio rebalancing
- Transparent costs
- Annual fee of 0.25% of assets
- Not designed for active trading
- Limited options to customize your portfolio
Betterment is best for investors who prefer a hands-off approach, and those who want to minimize the taxes owed on investment profits.
Best for investing spare change
Acorns is an app that encourages automatic saving and investing. It uses “micro investing”, by syncing up with your debit card to automatically round up all your purchases.
For example, if you spend $13.32 at a convenience store, Acorns will round up to $14. The “extra” $0.68 will be deposited into your Acorns account, and invested automatically.
You can also customize this to save even more. For instance, you can set up the app to round up by a factor of three. In the example above, Acorns would deposit 3x $0.68 into your account, for a total of $2.04.
Acorns is ideal for people who feel like they don’t have enough spare money to invest. It automates the process in a way that most people won’t even notice, and it encourages regular saving of small amounts of money.
- Automatically round up your purchases, investing the spare change
- No commission on trades
- Earn bonus rewards when you shop at certain merchants
- Schedule small automatic investments to build wealth faster (as little as $5/month)
- Automatically invest in diversified ETF portfolios
- Investment education resources built into the app
- Acorns Checking account and debit card
- Sustainable investments portfolio available
- Monthly fee of $3 per month
- Does not support active trading
Acorns is best for people who are brand new to investing, and for people who want to automate their savings using micro-investing.
Best app for active trading & options trading
Robinhood is a free stock trading app that’s very simple to use. The app aims to make investing cheaper and more accessible for everyone.
Robinhood has zero commissions on stocks, options, and even cryptocurrency. Plus it’s incredibly easy to use, even for more advanced strategies like limit orders or options trading.
- Commission-free trading of stocks, options and cryptocurrency
- Allows early access to invest in initial public offerings (IPOs)
- Very simple user interface
- Simplifies complex investing strategies like options trading by showing estimated profit and loss based on how a stock price might move
- Limited account options (no retirement accounts)
- Limited selection of cryptocurrencies, mutual funds, and ETFs
- Doesn't provide investment advice
Robinhood is best for beginner investors who want to learn the ropes, without paying any fees along the way.
6. M1 Finance
Best app for a mix of investment strategies
M1 Finance is a unique investment app that enables you to build a balanced portfolio with almost unlimited flexibility. M1 uses a “pie” system that lets you customize your portfolio in “slices”.
You could have 50% of your portfolio in US stock ETFs, 20% in bond ETFs, 10% in international stock ETFs, and 1% each in 20 different individual stocks.
What is unique is that you can mix and match ETFs with individual stocks. You could have a US equities slice that includes both ETFs and individual stocks that you select by hand. And each time you put more money into your M1 account, the system will automatically purchase the right mix of assets to keep you in line with your desired allocation targets.
Beyond the unique pie system, M1 also has a loan feature that lets you borrow against your portfolio at very competitive rates (2-3.5% at the time of this writing). There’s also a checking account, and a unique credit card that earns up to 10% back in stock at select retailers.
- Build your own portfolio “pie” or select from dozens of professionally constructed pies
- Mix and match ETFs, individual stocks and more
- No monthly fees or management fees
- No trading commissions
- Borrow against your portfolio with competitive interest rates
- Automatic portfolio rebalancing
- Not for active trading
- Some features (cashback checking, lower margin rates) require paid M1 Plus subscription
- Limited account types
M1 Finance is best for investors who want to construct an advanced portfolio, using a mix of individual stocks, ETFs and more.
Best app for cryptocurrency trading
Coinbase is a cryptocurrency exchange where investors can buy and sell popular cryptocurrencies. Investors can use Coinbase to trade Bitcoin (BTC), Ethereum (ETH), Solana (SOL), and over 100 other cryptocurrencies. It’s one of the best app options for cryptocurrency investors.
Coinbase also has other cryptocurrency services, including a crypto wallet to store coins, a debit card that earns cash back in the form of Bitcoin, and a lending service that allows you to borrow money using Bitcoin as collateral. It’s one of the largest and most trusted crypto exchanges available to US citizens.
- Trade over 100 different cryptocurrencies
- Store crypto securely on the Coinbase Wallet
- Access a wide variety of crypto services on one platform
- No investment minimums
- Trading fees are higher than average (use Coinbase Pro for lower transaction fees)
- Only supports crypto — no option to invest in assets like stocks or Exchange-traded funds
Coinbase is best for people who want to invest in cryptocurrency, and who want to use a simple, trusted exchange to do so.
Best app for women (but open to anyone!)
Ellevest is an investment platform built by women, for women. It aims to narrow the gender wealth gap by helping women invest, plan for retirement, and learn more about finance.
Ellevest is an all-in-one financial platform. It offers investing, a bank account, insurance, and even financial coaching. It is a paid membership, with costs ranging from $1 to $9 per month.
- Powerful all-in-one platform
- Investing, saving, banking, insurance and more
- Built to empower women financially
- Simple to build a low-cost portfolio of investments
- Offers 1:1 and group financial coaching
- Social/impact investing via the Ellevest Impact portfolio, which invests in companies with high Environmental, Social and Governance (ESG) ratings
- Monthly fee ($1 to $9 per month depending on account type)
Ellevest is best for women who want access to low-cost tools for saving, investing, and banking. While it’s designed for women, Ellevest is open to everyone.
9. Charles Schwab
Best app for retirement investing
Schwab is a great choice for retirement investing. It supports all the major retirement account types (IRAs, 401k, SEP-IRA, and more). Schwab also offers a huge variety of investment options, with thousands of ETFs and mutual funds, individual stocks, options, and more. Schwab offers both a self-managed investment account, as well as a “robo-advisor” feature.
- Supports most account types
- Low cost investing (no trading commissions, and many low-cost ETFs and mutual funds)
- Wide variety of financial services, including banking
- One of the largest brokers in the world
- Optional service to work with a financial planner
- Robo-investing service requires $5,000 minimum (no minimum for standard accounts)
- Does not support crypto trading
Charles Schwab is best for long-term investors and retirement savers. It offers all the account types and investment options you could want, along with very low costs.
10. TD Ameritrade
Best app for Forex and futures trading
TD Ameritrade is a broker and investment platform that offers a very wide variety of investment products. In addition to all the “standard” investments like stocks, bonds, ETFs and mutual funds, TD Ameritrade offers access to futures trading, Forex currency trading, and more.
TD Ameritrade has many tools and resources for experienced investors. The thinkorswim platform offers a professional-level trading interface, real-time financial news integrations, and more — and it’s free to all TD Ameritrade members.
- Wide variety of account styles
- Wide variety of investment products
- Supports Forex currency trading and futures trading
- Quality customer service
- Free access to advanced trading platforms like thinkorswim
- App only supports stocks, ETFs and options (other assets must be traded on the desktop or browser platform)
- No cryptocurrency support (apart from Bitcoin futures)
TD Ameritrade is best for investors who want access to more specialty investment products, like futures and Forex currency pairs.
Best for beginner investors
Stash is a powerful app that makes investing simple for newcomers. You can open an account with as little as $5, and continue investing small amounts of money automatically.
Unlike some competing apps, Stash lets you choose your own investments. It also shows you a “diversification score”, which lets you know if your portfolio is balanced or not.
Stash also offers a banking solution, with the “stock back” debit card. Instead of earning cash back on your purchases, this card earns fractional shares of participating retailer stock. For instance, a purchase at Starbucks could earn you a small amount of Starbucks stock. Stash banking even lets you get paid 2 days early, if you set up a direct deposit.
- Automatic investing tools
- Online banking + debit card that earns stock with each purchase
- Get started with as little as $5
- Select your own investments and build a portfolio
- Investing education resources
- No commission on trading
- Fractional shares
- Options for personal accounts, retirement accounts, and custodial accounts for children
- Monthly fees ($1 to $9 per month)
- Not for active trading
Best for self-employed investors and business owners
E*TRADE is a stock broker and investment platform with commission-free stock and ETF trades. It offers self-service investing, as well as managed investing with the help of a financial advisor.
E*TRADE is a great choice for small business owners and the self-employed. This is because E*TRADE offers a wide range of retirement accounts tailored to business owners. You can open a Solo 401(k), Roth Solo 401(k), SEP IRA, SIMPLE IRA, or even a profit-sharing plan for your employees.
- Wide selection of account types
- Many account types for self-employed individuals and small business owners
- Commission-free trading
- Many investment choices
- Managed portfolios with investment advice from a professional (advisory fees apply)
- Frequently offers signup bonuses
- Some services and prebuilt portfolios require high investment minimums
- Interest rates on margin loans are higher than many competitors
E*TRADE is a good option for business owners, as well as for individuals who want a professionally managed portfolio.
Whichever brokerage you choose to use, you’ll have the same chance of success or failure.
To increase your chance of making smart, informed investments and reaching your financial goalsyou could try Crux Investor.
Best app for investing ideas
Crux Investor is an investment education and stock recommendation service that provides market-beating stock recommendations. Each month, Crux members gain access to a simple one-page memo, outlining a single top recommended stock from an experienced Crux Investor analyst. Recommendations are made by experts and industry veterans that have first-hand knowledge of the relevant industry.
Crux also offers an extensive video library of educational resources and expert interviews.
Crux Investor is not a trading app or a brokerage — it is a service for stock recommendations and educational resources.
- Provides market-beating stock recommendations every month
- Recommended stocks are selected by vetted industry experts
- A simple, one-page memo each month saves investors time
- Library of expert interviews, company deep-dives, and more
- 14-day free trial
Crux Investor is best for those who want unique investing ideas selected by industry experts. It’s also a great option for anyone who wants to learn more about financial markets.
Resources for new investors
Just getting started with investing? Check out these frequently asked questions to learn more.
What can I invest in?
Individuals can invest in a wide variety of assets, including:
How much money do I need to start investing?
You can start investing with any amount of money. Choose an investment app with no account minimums. If possible, invest regularly to build your portfolio over time.
Will I lose money if I invest?
Investing comes with risk. It is important to understand risk before investing, and to have a long-term investment plan.
Where can I learn more about investing?
Investing is an important part of personal finance, but it’s often overlooked. To learn more consider exploring a stock market course, or reading an investment book. You could also consider using an investing simulator. Members of Crux Investor also have access to a large library of educational content.