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.
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.
|Account types||Brokerages, 529 college savings, IRAs, trusts, non-profit, cash|
|Recurring fees||$5,000+ is 0.25%/year|
|Investment types||ETFs, fractional shares|
|Account types||Brokerages, joint, IRAs, 401(k)s, trusts, non-profit|
|Recurring fees||0.25%/year, premium 0.40%/year|
|Advising options||Robo-adviser, human assisted|
|Investment types||Stocks, ETFs, Options, fractional shares, cryptos|
|Recurring fees||Gold $5/month, $1,000+ has 5% interest|
|Investment types||ETFs, fractional shares|
|Account types||Brokerages, IRAs, checking|
|Recurring fees||Lite $1/month, personal $3/month, family $5/month|
|Investment types||ETFs, fractional shares, stocks|
|Advising options||Online community|
|Investment types||ETFs, fractional shares|
|Account types||Brokerages, IRAs, trusts|
|Investment types||ETFs, stocks, cryptos|
|Account types||Brokerages, IRAs, cryptos|
|Recurring fees||$10,000+ is 0.25%/year|
|Advising options||Robo-advisor, human assisted|
|Investment types||Stocks, bonds, ETFs, fractional shares|
|Account types||Brokerages, IRAs, checking, custodial|
|Recurring fees||Beginner $1/month, Growth $3/month, Stash+ $9/month|
|Account types||Brokerages, joint, IRAs, checking, savings|
|Recurring fees||Essential $1/month, Plus $5/month, Executive $9/month|
|Investment types||ETFs, stocks, fractional shares|
|Account types||Brokerages, custodial|
|Recurring fees||$0.99 per trade|
Robinhood Markets, Inc.
Acorns Grow Incorporated
Open to the Public Investing, Inc.
M1 Finance LLC
Social Finance, Inc
Stash Financial, Inc.
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
|Investment types||ETFs||ETFs, fractional shares||Stocks, ETFs, Options, fractional shares, cryptos||ETFs, fractional shares||ETFs, fractional shares, stocks||ETFs, fractional shares||ETFs, stocks, cryptos||Stocks, bonds, ETFs, fractional shares||ETFs||ETFs, stocks, fractional shares|
|Account types||Brokerages, 529 college savings, IRAs, trusts, non-profit, cash||Brokerages, joint, IRAs, 401(k)s, trusts, non-profit||Brokerages||Brokerages, IRAs, checking||Brokerages||Brokerages, IRAs, trusts||Brokerages, IRAs, cryptos||Brokerages, IRAs, checking, custodial||Brokerages, joint, IRAs, checking, savings||Brokerages, custodial|
|Recurring fees||$5,000+ is 0.25%/year||0.25%/year, premium 0.40%/year||Gold $5/month, $1,000+ has 5% interest||Lite $1/month, personal $3/month, family $5/month||None||None||$10,000+ is 0.25%/year||Beginner $1/month, Growth $3/month, Stash+ $9/month||Essential $1/month, Plus $5/month, Executive $9/month||$0.99 per trade|
|Advising options||Robo-adviser||Robo-adviser, human assisted||None||Robo-adviser||Online community||Robo-advisor||Robo-advisor, human assisted||Robo-adviser||Robo-advisor||None|
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.
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).
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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!
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
Home electronics, PC, camera
Cosmetics and skincare
Food and drinks
Kids and baby
Interior and furniture
DIY and tools
Sports and fitness
Books, CDs, DVDs
Cars and motorcycles
Housing equipment and renovation
Smartphones and mobile phones
Investment and asset management
Credit cards and loans