Making money off the stock market is no longer exclusively the domain of high rollers. The advent of online stockbrokers and robo-advisors has made investing your hard-earned pennies easier than ever.
Most of these online services are now taking a mobile-first approach, which means you can have your portfolio at your fingertips and buy and sell in a matter of minutes.
But, with so many options on the market, it is hard to know where your investment is safest.
We have assessed a variety of U.S.-based stock trading apps to see which offer the most bang for your buck. We think that the below are ten of the best currently available for your average investor (besides Robin Hood, of course)
If you are looking to combine a bank account with your investment options, then Ally Bank offers from of the best checking, saving, and investment accounts available. Partner this with the low-cost brokerage feature, and you have a winning combination.
While there might not be enough features in the Ally app to satisfy serious investors, new investors will appreciate the simplicity of the informative charts and a data, and the easy step-by-step interface.
There is no minimum deposit to get started, and no commission on online stock, ETF, or option trades.
Ameritrade actually offers two stock trading apps, TD Ameritrade Mobile, which is aimed at basic investors, and thinkorswim Mobile, for more experienced market players. The basic app contains everything that most investors will need, including account summaries, price alerts, and a wealth of investment news and research.
The thinkorswim app has more sophisticated workflows for planning and assessing trades, and offers the kind of complete functionality that you would expect from a full desktop trading service.
There is no minimum investment to open your account, and there is free stock, ETF, and per-leg options.
Betterment is the ideal app if you are just getting started. Enter your age, annual income, and goal, and Betterment will present you with a number of investment options and the associated risk of each.
Pick something that works for you on day one, but then it is easy to change your portfolio risk, or switch to a different type of portfolio, as your investment needs change. There are real financial advisors behind the app which you can speak to if you want, but usually for a hefty fee.
You only need $10 to start investing, and there is a 0.25% fee for a basic annual plan, and 0.4% fee for a premium plan.
The Schwab mobile app offers a lot of flexibility for investors as you can choose pretty much any type of investment account that you want.
The investment guidance provided within the app works well for beginners, but there is enough advanced functionality to suit experienced investors. There is also a free robo-advisor to help with key investment decisions.
There is no minimum investment to get started, and no commission fees, making it an affordable way to get trading.
This is a great service for beginner investors, and anyone focussed on long-term investment. The interface is intuitive and takes you through everything step by step. There is also nice functionality for tracking performance.
One cool feature is a social media style custom news feed that provides pertinent investment information based on your investment profile. It also provides links to extensive research resources if you want to further educate yourself about the market.
There is no minimum deposit required to get started, and $0 commission fees on stock, ETF, and options trades.
When you want to go beyond just investing and get into active trading, InteractiveBrokers should be among your top choices. Offering nearly as much functionality as the company’s web-based platform, you can assess the market and open new positions on the go from your mobile.
Just like on the website, you receive a complete set of useful indicators to inform quick trading decisions, and there are great research and excellent chart features.
There is no minimum deposit to get started, and pay just $0.005 per share when using Pro.
SoFi is short for Social Finance and is much more than just a trading app. It offers loans, banking, and investment, all in one convenient place.
It is good for anyone just getting started as you can start small. There are commission-free trades and fractional trades if you just want to experiment. There are also lots of learning articles, that cover the basics for absolute beginners.
You only need $1 to get started, and there are no fees for online stock and ETF trades, though there is a mark-up on cryptocurrency transactions.
This application is squarely focussed on options traders, specifically designed for options order entry, making the process easier and more intuitive than in most apps with drag and drop functionality.
The app does offer minimal functionality in terms of research and analyzing trade data, but you can access this on the TastyWorks website as needed. This is part of a plan to keep the app uncluttered, so that options traders can focus on what is really important.
There is no minimum deposit to get started, and there is no commission on stock trades and costs just $1 to open option trades. You will have to go to the website to open account, as it cannot be done directly through the app.
This is an elegant and user-friendly app that offers the full range of tools needed to not only buy and sell, but also set goals and plan your approach to investing. The financial guidance provided is via a fully automated robo-advisor, which does mean that there is no online chat if you have questions.
There are also lots of sophisticated financial management features. For example, the app can monitor your bank accounts and move funds above a set monthly spending figure into your investment account.
The minimum for opening account is $500, and there is a 0.25 percent fee for most accounts, but no trading commissions or withdrawal fees.
WeBull is targeted at more experienced traders, with less educational features and more functionality, especially when it comes to data crunching. There is a community area for interacting with other users, which some experienced brokers may prefer to generic guidance.
But this app does lack bells and whistles, and is very focussed on stocks, with no mutual fund or other asset investment opportunities catered for. But what will appeal to most people about this application is that it is virtually free.
No minimum deposit to get started, and no commission or contract fees for online stock and option trades, though fees apply for wire transfers.
It has never been easier to get started with investing. You only need $1 in your account to start figuring out how the market works. Do this all from the comfort of your couch or your commute with one of these convenient stock trading apps.