Best Investment Apps of 2022

The best apps for investing in stocks, ETFs, and more

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Investing is an important part of preparing for your financial future. These days, there’s an app for everything, so it makes sense that there are plenty out there to help you invest.

While most investing apps do similar things—help you buy and sell stocks, bonds, and other securities from your phone—each is designed for a different type of investor. While anyone can benefit from things like low fees, low account minimums, and a simple user interface, you’ll also want to think about what type of investor each app caters to.

If you’re looking to start using an investing app, here’s what you need to know.

Best Investment Apps of 2022

Best Overall : Wealthfront


WealthFront Logo
  • Minimum deposit: $500
  • Fees: $0 per trade, 0.25% per year
  • Account types: Traditional brokerage, retirement, education

Why We Chose It

Wealthfront is our pick for the best investing app for a few reasons.

One distinction that makes Wealthfront great is that it keeps things inexpensive. There is a $500 minimum deposit to open an account, but no fee to make trades. There is a fee of 0.25% of your assets each year, but the service offered makes this fee worth paying for many customers.

Beyond being a good app for people who want to manage their own investments, Wealthfront is our pick for the best automated, or robo-advisor, investing app.

When you open an account, you can answer a few questions about your investing goals. Wealthfront automatically designs a diversified portfolio for you and can manage your investments on your behalf. All you have to do is add money when you have some extra to save. The program even claims to save more than it charges, using automated tax-loss harvesting.

People who want a more hands-on investing experience can take a more active role in managing their portfolios with Wealthfront, making it a great app for anyone’s investing approach.

Pros
  • Best robo-advisor app

  • Multiple account types

  • 96% of clients see fees offset by tax-loss harvesting

  • Cash management account available

Cons
  • You still have to pay the 0.25% annual fee if you self-manage your portfolio

  • Limited investment options

Best DIY and Self-Directed Trading App : TD Ameritrade


TD Ameritrade best investment apps
  • Minimum deposit: $0
  • Fees: $0 for stocks, exchange-traded funds (ETFs), and mutual funds
  • Account types: Traditional brokerage, retirement, education

Why We Chose It

If you’re a hands-on investor who likes to manage your own portfolios, the TD Ameritrade app offers all the tools you need to succeed. The app includes an easy-to-use interface that makes it simple to look up stocks, ETFs, and options while on the move. It even integrates with smartwatches, so you can keep tabs on your investments.

Throughout the day, you can set price alerts to notify you about changes in the market so you can buy or sell your investments based on moves in their value. The app also includes 24/7 research and analysis, which you can use to adjust your strategies.

With no commissions for trades on stocks and ETFs, active traders don’t have to worry about fees eating away at their returns, making TD a great choice for investors who want to manage their investments on their own.

Pros
  • No minimum deposit

  • Research and analysis in the app

  • No fee for stocks, ETFs, and mutual funds

Best App for Beginners : Betterment


Betterment

Betterment

  • Minimum deposit: $0
  • Fees: 0.25%
  • Account types: Traditional brokerage, retirement 

Why We Chose It

If you want some guidance and a simplified investing process, Betterment is one of the top apps you can use.

Like Wealthfront, Betterment offers a robo-advisory service. When you open an account, you’ll tell Betterment your goals and risk tolerance. Based on this information, the program will build a portfolio for you and help you maintain that asset allocation. You can get started in just minutes.

Or, instead of letting Betterment build a portfolio for you, you can also select one from the company’s prebuilt portfolios. They include funds that focus on global diversification, innovation, or socially conscious investments. There are also crypto investments coming in the near future, as of time of publication.

Pros
  • Start investing in minutes

  • No minimum deposit

  • Low fees

  • Socially conscious and crypto investments available

Cons
  • $100,000 minimum for premium service with access to certified financial planners (CFPs) and additional guidance

Best App for Active Investors : Interactive Brokers


Interactive Brokers

 Interactive Brokers

  • Minimum deposit: $0
  • Fees: Varies from none to 0.05 cent per share
  • Account types: Traditional brokerage, IRA

Why We Chose It

While some people invest in the market by purchasing securities and holding them for years, others look to profit from short-term movements in prices. Some even decide to become day traders, making multiple trades each day. This can be a risky, though potentially lucrative, strategy.

Interactive Brokers’ app is designed for day traders and active investors, making it easy for them to buy and sell on mobile devices. It’s also tailored to advanced investors, offering more than 100 order types and letting investors trade using complex derivatives or trade on margin.

It also caters to active investors with its low fees, charging fractions of a cent per share traded, with fees capped at 1% of the trade’s value.

Investors looking to get an edge on the competition also will benefit from the research and analysis included in the app, making it easier to find good opportunities to buy.

Pros
  • Many order types available

  • Low fees

  • Can trade on margin

  • Trade multiple derivatives

Cons
  • Not designed for beginners

Best App for Options Traders : tastyworks


Tastyworks logo

 Tastyworks logo

  • Minimum deposit: $0
  • Fees: None for stocks or ETFs; $1 per options contract to open (max $10 per transaction), none to close; $1.25 per contract for futures; 1% for crypto ($10 max per transaction)
  • Account types: Traditional brokerage, retirement

Why We Chose It

Tastyworks is the best investment app for options traders for a few reasons.

Near the top of the list is its fee structures. Many brokers charge higher fees for derivatives trades, which can significantly reduce your profits. Tastyworks keeps fees low and caps them at $10 per transaction, limiting the amount you’ll pay, even if you’re making very large trades.

Beyond its low costs, Tastyworks offers tools that make it easier for options traders to find opportunities and to decide when to buy or sell. You can use multiple stock-chart views to try to identify trade opportunities. There are also convenient tools that let you adjust your orders on the fly or find ideal price targets for your trades.

Tastyworks also supports cryptocurrencies, which may be of interest to options traders.

Pros
  • Low fees, with a $10 cap per transaction

  • Can trade many derivatives

  • Research tools to find opportunities

  • Powerful order options that make trading easier

Cons
  • Designed for derivatives first, stocks second

  • Not beginner-friendly

Final Verdict

Investment apps are important because they make it easier for people to view and manage their portfolios while on the go. When choosing the right investment app for your needs, think about things such as minimum balances and fees, but also consider to whom the app caters. Options traders will want a very different app from a beginner who prefers to take a hands-off approach to investing.

Compare the Best Investment Apps

Company Account Minimum Fees Account Types
Wealthfront $500 $0 per trade, 0.25% per year Traditional brokerage, retirement, education
TD Ameritrade $0 $0 for stocks, ETFs, and mutual funds Traditional brokerage, retirement, education
Betterment $0 0.25% Traditional brokerage, retirement
Interactive Brokers $0 Varies - None to 0.05 cent per share Traditional brokerage, IRA
Tastyworks $0 None for stocks or ETFs; $1 per options contract to open (max $10 per transaction), none to close; $1.25 per contract for futures; 1% for crypto ($10 max per transaction) Traditional brokerage, retirement

How Does an Investment App Work?

An investment app works by letting people buy and sell investments like stocks, bonds, mutual funds, ETFs, or derivatives from their smartphones.

There are a lot of different apps, each designed for varied types of investors.

While everyone should look for an app that is easy to use, has low fees, and has an account minimum they can meet, different types of investors should seek a range of features in investment apps.

For example, an advanced investor might want an app that delivers exclusive research and has powerful screening tools. Beginners likely want an app that has more hand-holding, or offers a robo-advisory service.

How Much Money Do You Need To Use an Investment App?

Each investment app is free to set its own minimum balance requirements. Many apps let you get started without having to provide a minimum deposit, although the higher your initial balance, the easier it will be for you to build a diversified portfolio.

How Should You Choose the Best Investment App?

You should choose the best investment app for your needs using a few criteria. First, think about your investment style. Do you like to build a passive portfolio of mutual funds, or do you prefer to day-trade derivatives? Once you’ve decided how you plan to invest, you can narrow your search to just the apps that cater to your style.

Next, look at things such as fees and minimums. Make sure the app you choose charges reasonable fees and is cheap to use.

Consider the apps’ other features besides basic trading. Is the user interface clean and easy to use? Does it offer other useful services, like the option to speak to a financial advisor to get help?

Are Investment Apps Safe To Use?

Yes, investment apps are safe to use in the same way it is safe to use a brokerage firm’s website to invest. These apps use industry-standard security tools and protocols to keep your data safe. They also have insurance from the Securities Investor Protection Corp. (SIPC), which protects against the loss of up to $500,000 in securities and cash if the member app provider winds up in financial distress.

Methodology

We are dedicated to providing readers with unbiased, comprehensive reviews and ratings of online brokers. Our reviews are the result of months of evaluating all aspects of an online broker’s platform, including the user experience, the quality of trade executions, the products available on its platforms, costs and fees, security, the mobile experience, and customer service. A rating scale was established based on these criteria, collecting thousands of data points that were weighed into a scoring system.

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