• Top 10 Best Investment Apps for Beginners in 2021 (Wealthfront, Robinhood, and More) 1
  • Top 10 Best Investment Apps for Beginners in 2021 (Wealthfront, Robinhood, and More) 2
  • Top 10 Best Investment Apps for Beginners in 2021 (Wealthfront, Robinhood, and More) 3
  • Top 10 Best Investment Apps for Beginners in 2021 (Wealthfront, Robinhood, and More) 4
  • Top 10 Best Investment Apps for Beginners in 2021 (Wealthfront, Robinhood, and More) 5

Top 10 Best Investment Apps for Beginners in 2021 (Wealthfront, Robinhood, and More)

Maybe you feel like you don't have enough money, don't know which brokerage is the best for you, or just have no idea what investing really means! Investing can seem intimidating, but that's where investing apps for beginners can help. With less than $500, you can easily set up a diversified portfolio to start learning and earning.


To help you get started, we've searched the Internet and found 10 investment apps for beginners that reviewers love. Our favorite app is Wealthfront since it's very beginner-friendly, has minimal fees, and provides free financial planning. For more of our top picks, please read on. Also, check out our buying guide for tips on how to select the right investment app for you.

  • Last updated: 01-11-2021
  • 142 views
Table of Contents

Top 10 Best Investment Apps for Beginners

Investment apps allow anyone to become an investor! We've made a list of apps with many different investment and account types, features, and advisory options.

1
Investment typesETFs
Account typesBrokerages, 529 college savings, IRAs, trusts, non-profit, cash
Recurring fees$5,000+ is 0.25%/year
Advising optionsRobo-adviser
2
Investment typesETFs, fractional shares
Account typesBrokerages, joint, IRAs, 401(k)s, trusts, non-profit
Recurring fees0.25%/year, premium 0.40%/year
Advising optionsRobo-adviser, human assisted
3
Investment typesStocks, ETFs, Options, fractional shares, cryptos
Account typesBrokerages
Recurring feesGold $5/month, $1,000+ has 5% interest
Advising optionsNone
4
Investment typesETFs, fractional shares
Account typesBrokerages, IRAs, checking
Recurring feesLite $1/month, personal $3/month, family $5/month
Advising optionsRobo-adviser
5
Investment typesETFs, fractional shares, stocks
Account typesBrokerages
Recurring feesNone
Advising optionsOnline community
6
Investment typesETFs, fractional shares
Account typesBrokerages, IRAs, trusts
Recurring feesNone
Advising optionsRobo-advisor
7
Investment typesETFs, stocks, cryptos
Account typesBrokerages, IRAs, cryptos
Recurring fees$10,000+ is 0.25%/year
Advising optionsRobo-advisor, human assisted
8
Investment typesStocks, bonds, ETFs, fractional shares
Account typesBrokerages, IRAs, checking, custodial
Recurring feesBeginner $1/month, Growth $3/month, Stash+ $9/month
Advising optionsRobo-adviser
9

Ellevest, Inc.Ellevest

$0.00

Investment typesETFs
Account typesBrokerages, joint, IRAs, checking, savings
Recurring feesEssential $1/month, Plus $5/month, Executive $9/month
Advising optionsRobo-advisor
10
Investment typesETFs, stocks, fractional shares
Account typesBrokerages, custodial
Recurring fees$0.99 per trade
Advising optionsNone

Compare the Best Investment Apps for Beginners

Image
1
Wealthfront Wealthfront 1

Wealthfront

2
Betterment Betterment 1

Betterment

3
Robinhood Markets, Inc. Robinhood 1

Robinhood Markets, Inc.

4
Acorns Grow Incorporated Acorns 1

Acorns Grow Incorporated

5
Open to the Public Investing, Inc. Public 1

Open to the Public Investing, Inc.

6
M1 Finance LLC M1 Finance 1

M1 Finance LLC

7
Social Finance, Inc SoFi 1

Social Finance, Inc

8
Stash Financial, Inc. Stash 1

Stash Financial, Inc.

9
Ellevest, Inc. Ellevest 1

Ellevest, Inc.

10
Stockpile, Inc. Stockpile 1

Stockpile, Inc.

Name

Wealthfront

Betterment

Robinhood

Acorns

Public

M1 Finance

SoFi

Stash

Ellevest

Stockpile

Features

An Investment App for Detailed Goal Planning

A Secure App With Both Robo and Human Advisors

An App for Active Investors of Any Level

A Simple App for Investing Spare Change

An Investing App With Public Investor Profiles

A Hybrid Robo-Advisor and Traditional Brokerage Firm

A Hybrid of Self-Service and Online Money Management

A Micro-Savings App With Good Educational Tools

An Investment App For and By Women

An Investment App That Lets You Gift Stocks

Price$0.00$0.00$0.00$0.00$0.00$0.00$0.00$0.00$0.00$0.00
Investment typesETFsETFs, fractional sharesStocks, ETFs, Options, fractional shares, cryptosETFs, fractional sharesETFs, fractional shares, stocksETFs, fractional sharesETFs, stocks, cryptosStocks, bonds, ETFs, fractional sharesETFsETFs, stocks, fractional shares
Account typesBrokerages, 529 college savings, IRAs, trusts, non-profit, cashBrokerages, joint, IRAs, 401(k)s, trusts, non-profitBrokeragesBrokerages, IRAs, checkingBrokeragesBrokerages, IRAs, trustsBrokerages, IRAs, cryptosBrokerages, IRAs, checking, custodialBrokerages, joint, IRAs, checking, savingsBrokerages, custodial
Recurring fees$5,000+ is 0.25%/year0.25%/year, premium 0.40%/yearGold $5/month, $1,000+ has 5% interestLite $1/month, personal $3/month, family $5/monthNoneNone$10,000+ is 0.25%/yearBeginner $1/month, Growth $3/month, Stash+ $9/monthEssential $1/month, Plus $5/month, Executive $9/month$0.99 per trade
Advising optionsRobo-adviserRobo-adviser, human assistedNoneRobo-adviserOnline communityRobo-advisorRobo-advisor, human assistedRobo-adviserRobo-advisorNone
Link

How to Choose an Investment App for Beginners – Buying Guide

Investment apps let people of all experience levels join in on the stock market. In order to choose the right investment app, here are a few key factors that you should keep in mind.

Determine Your Investment Goals

Determine Your Investment Goals

Before you choose an investment app, you should determine your personal finances and investment goals. Each investment app has different supported account types and features for managing your investments.


Some investment apps are better for larger deposits, while others are better for micro-savings accounts that encourage saving rather than spending. They may have various options for long- or short-term investments, as well as different minimum balances. Most beginners start with short-term one to five-year investments.


If you want to jump in the deep end and get some hands-on learning, active management is the way to go. But for beginners who want the least maintenance, the best apps will likely have robo-advisors that will do the hard work for you based on an algorithm called the Modern Portfolio Theory (MPT). 

Check Who Can Help You Invest Better on Each App

Check Who Can Help You Invest Better on Each App

Apps have different resources for guidance on becoming an investor. Generally, you will see robo-advisers, paid professionals, online communities, or all of the above.


Robo-advisers are usually free and will guide you regarding the basics. They will often have you answer a few questions about your goals and then automatically build your portfolio. In some cases, beginner robo-advisers may not even let you choose your portfolio. 

Check Who Can Help You Invest Better on Each App

Robo-advisers are best for passive investors who want to “set it and forget it.” However, some apps may let you pay finance professionals to manage your portfolio or help you learn how to manage it yourself. It may come at a price, but the gains can be worth it. Professional help is a good option for both passive and active investors.


If you can't hire a financial advisor or pay for professional services, some apps have online forums and communities. This will allow you to connect with other people just like you and can be very helpful for active investors who want to get into stock trading.

Understand the Types of Investment Accounts

Understand the Types of Investment Accounts

There are many types of investment, or brokerage, accounts. Common accounts may include stocks, exchange-traded funds (ETF), mutual funds, fractional shares, bonds, cryptocurrencies, and more. For most beginner investors, their portfolios will mainly include stocks, fractional shares, and ETFs


Stocks represent the ownership of a fraction of a corporation, which helps the company operate. The invested funds can grow with the corporation’s financial growth, leaving both the corporation and investor with financial gains in the end. Stocks can be traded, bought, and sold between investors.

Understand the Types of Investment Accounts

Fractional shares are fractions of a stock, meaning you own less than one whole stock of a corporation. They are popular on beginner investing apps since they allow you to purchase stocks based on the amount of money you want to invest.


Lastly, ETFs can contain a combination of all the types of investments and be traded on an exchange, just like a stock. They are great for diversifying portfolios at a lower cost than individually buying a little of every type of investment.


For very long-term investments, there are also retirement accounts. Retirement accounts have more growth potential, but you will have to pay a penalty if you withdraw too early. Common types of retirement accounts can be traditional and Roth Individual Retirement Arrangements (IRAs), and Solo 401(k)s.

Be Aware That Investment Accounts May Have Withdrawal Taxes

Be Aware That Investment Accounts May Have Withdrawal Taxes

All investment accounts are protected by the Securities Investor Protection Corporation, or SIPC, for investments up to $500,000. When you withdraw money from any investment account, you will have to pay taxes on the gains


Investments that you’ve had for less than one year that are sold at a gain will be taxed just like your annual salary. However, investments that you’ve had for over a year are taxed at a lower rate. Also, people in the lowest tax bracket may not have to pay any taxes at all.

Be Aware That Investment Accounts May Have Withdrawal Taxes

If you withdraw money before age 59.5 on any retirement accounts, you normally have to pay a penalty that's around 10% extra in taxes. However, people who meet certain COVID-19 related criteria may be allowed to withdraw up to $100,000 from retirement accounts without any penalties.


To sum it up, investment accounts should last at least one year. Retirement accounts can start at any time, but they should be withdrawn after age 59.5 or only for emergencies.

Want More Ways to Manage Your Finances?

Want More Ways to Manage Your Finances?

Investment apps are just one way to grow your wealth. If you want other smart ways to handle your money, check out these other finance and business tools!

Summary

No matter how intimidating investing in stocks might seem, anyone can become an investor in just a few taps. Getting into investing is the hardest part, but you'll thank yourself later when your accounts grow. 


After all, investing takes time, and understanding each app's pros and cons will help you make the right investments for you.


Author: Sarah Yip


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