Best Stock Trading Apps

TD Ameritrade Mobile is the best stock trading app

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Stock trading apps are applications that can be downloaded on your mobile phone or tablet that allow you to trade stocks and manage your portfolio on the go anytime. These apps can be for infrequent investors or those who trade daily. 

The best stock trading apps are easy to use, have features to help you meet your trading goals, offer some form of customer support, and make it easy to transfer money from your bank account into your brokerage account. These apps charge affordable fees and offer a wide range of assets to trade.

Best Stock Trading Apps of 2021

Best Overall : TD Ameritrade Mobile


the TD Ameritrade Logo
  • Deposits: No minimum 
  • Fees: $0 commission for online stock, ETF, and options trades, but there is a $0.65 flat fee per options contract; $25 for broker-assisted trades; $49.99 for no-load mutual funds; additional fees may apply 
  • Account Types: Supports standard, retirement, education, and other types of accounts
Why We Chose It

With a variety of account types, no minimum deposits, and $0 commissions for online stock trades, TD Ameritrade is our top pick for the best stock trading apps. 

Pros & Cons
Pros
  • Low-cost accounts

  • Beginner and advanced mobile apps

  • Support for a wide range of assets and account types

  • Extensive research resources

Cons
  • Uncertainty of future after Schwab acquisition

Overview

TD Ameritrade gets the top spot because it offers something for everyone and excellent pricing. The basic TD Ameritrade Mobile app is great for beginners and casual stock traders who want to manage their investments on the go. Advanced and expert traders can use the upgraded thinkorswim mobile app for a professional-style experience.

You get access to both apps with a TD Ameritrade brokerage account, which has no minimum balance requirements and no fees to trade stocks and ETFs. The fully-featured apps combine important account management features and trading features regardless of which one you choose. thinkorswim also includes a live CNBC feed inside the app.

In November 2019, Charles Schwab announced that it is acquiring TD Ameritrade. The acquisition was completed in 2020. According to the firm, services will begin combining over the next 18 to 36 months.

Key Features

  • App names: TD Ameritrade Mobile and thinkorswim
  • Account minimum: No minimum deposit required
  • Fees: $0 commission for online stock, ETF, and options trades, but there is a 65 cent flat fee per options contract; $25 for broker-assisted trades; $49.99 for no-load mutual funds; additional fees may apply
  • Tradable assets: Wide range, including stocks, options, ETFs, mutual funds, bonds, and more
  • Account types: Supports standard, retirement, education, and other types of accounts

Best for Beginners : Fidelity


Fidelity Investments logo

 Fidelity Investments logo

  • Deposits: No minimum deposit 
  • Fees: $0 commission fees on stock, ETF, and options trades, but there is a 65 cent flat fee per options contract; $32.95 for broker-assisted trades; $49.95 for transaction-fee bearing mutual funds; no recurring fees for most accounts; additional fees may apply
  • Account Types: Supports brokerage, retirement, education accounts, and more
Why We Chose It

Since it comes with no minimum deposit requirements, intuitive screens, and easy-to-learn features, Fidelity is our choice as best for beginners. 

Pros & Cons
Pros
  • Investment and trading features meet the needs of most traders

  • Support for a wide range of account types

  • Extensive research and education resources

Cons
  • Few advanced charting options

Overview

Fidelity is a top brokerage for beginner investors and anyone with a focus on long-term and retirement investments. It’s full-service, with a wide range of account and investment types supported. With $0 stock and ETF trades, you get a lot of services at a low cost.

Fidelity Investments is the app for Android, iOS, and Amazon devices. It includes anything you need to manage your Fidelity investment accounts and enter trades. It doesn’t have as many advanced charting features as some competing mobile apps, but that’s just fine for beginners who may not want or need advanced features.

Key Features

  • App name: Fidelity Investments 
  • Account minimum: No minimum deposit required
  • Fees: $0 commission fees on stock, ETF, and options trades, but there is a 65 cent flat fee per options contract; $32.95 for broker-assisted trades; $49.95 for transaction-fee bearing mutual funds; no recurring fees for most accounts; additional fees may apply
  • Tradable assets: Stocks, ETFs, mutual funds, fractional share investing, and more
  • Account types: Supports brokerage, retirement, education accounts, and more
  • Other important details: Intuitive screens to enter trades and track performance, and social media style feed of custom-tailored account and investment information

Best Free App : Webull


Webull logo
  • Deposits: No minimum deposit
  • Fees: $0 commission or contract fees for online stock, ETF, or options trades; $8 to $45 for wire transfers; additional fees may apply
  • Account Types: Brokerage and IRA accounts
Why We Chose It

Webull offers a no-commission platform with no minimum deposits and generous stock promotions for new users, making it an ideal choice for the best free app. 

Pros & Cons
Pros
  • No commissions platform-wide

  • Community area for interacting with other users

  • Paper trading available (virtual currency trading)

Cons
  • Limited assets available

  • Limited customer service options

Overview

Webull is a technology-centric trading app that’s best for stock traders with at least some experience. Webull isn’t heavy on educational resources, but it’s filled with tons of useful features. Active and expert traders will enjoy advanced charting and optional add ons for advanced quote data.

With all of these advanced features, you may expect an advanced price tag. However, Webull is almost completely free to use. There are no commissions for any trades on the app, including stocks and ETFs. However, that’s all there is to trade in the app. Cryptocurrencies are new to the platform, but you won’t find bonds, mutual funds, or other assets. While Webull is a newer app than most others on this list, it doesn’t lack in features for active stock traders.

Key Features

  • App name: Webull: Stocks, Options & ETFs 
  • Account minimum: No minimum deposit required
  • Fees: $0 commission or contract fees for online stock, ETF, or options trades; $8 to $45 for wire transfers; additional fees may apply
  • Tradable assets: Stocks, ETFs, options, and cryptocurrencies
  • Account types: Supports brokerage and IRA accounts
  • Other important details: Generous free stock promotions for new users and for customers who refer others, advanced charting features, and global markets and news

Best for Learning About Trading : SoFi


SoFi

 SoFi 

  • Deposits: $1 minimum deposit required
  • Fees: No fees for online stock or ETF trades; 1.25% markup on crypto transactions; expense ratios vary on SoFi-branded ETFs; additional fees may apply
  • Account Types: Supports self-directed and managed portfolios, plus retirement and cryptocurrency accounts
Why We Chose It

SoFi offers robust tools to help you learn more about stocks and put them into practice on the same app. 

Pros & Cons
Pros
  • Low fees

  • Easily trade full or fractional shares

  • Member events

Cons
  • Limited tradable assets

  • Few types of accounts

Overview

SoFi, short for Social Finance, offers loans, banking, and investments through a convenient mobile app. It’s ideal for investors looking to learn about stock trading. This brokerage offers commission-free trades and fractional shares (it calls them “Stock Bits”) in an account with a low $1 minimum balance requirement.

Learning section articles are a part of the SoFi Invest tab in the app. You can also browse collections of stocks and funds to help you decide what to buy. The individual pages for each stock don’t include too many details, but that makes it easier for beginners to manage their accounts without getting overwhelmed.

Key Features

  • App name: SoFi Invest Money & Buy Crypto
  • Account minimum: $1 minimum deposit required
  • Fees: No fees for online stock or ETF trades; 1.25% markup on crypto transactions; expense ratios vary on SoFi-branded ETFs; additional fees may apply
  • Tradable assets: Stocks, ETFs, and cryptocurrencies, fractional shares
  • Account types: Supports self-directed and managed portfolios, plus retirement and cryptocurrency accounts
  • Other important details: SoFi also offers loan products and cash management accounts; clean, uncluttered, and easy-to-use app; and integrated learning resources great for beginner investors

Best for Options Trading : tastyworks


tastyworks logo

 tastyworks

  • Deposits: No minimum deposit
  • Fees: No fees for stock or ETF trades; $1 per option on stocks or ETFs, with $10 maximum; $2.50 per option on futures; $1.25 per futures contract; $0.85 per futures e-micros contract; additional fees may apply
  • Account Types: Individual and joint margin or cash accounts, and retirement, corporate, trust, and international accounts
Why We Chose It

Due to its niche options and features set up just for options trading as well as capped fees, tastyworks is our top pick for options trading. 

Pros & Cons
Pros
  • Capped fees for options trades

  • Advanced options trading features

  • Follow community members for trade ideas

  • Many account types supported

Cons
  • Not the cheapest per-contract fee

  • Limited education resources compared to major brokers

Overview

tastyworks isn’t a household name like some of the biggest brokerage firms, but that doesn’t mean it isn’t the best at what it does. Its app is ultra focused on options trading. While those are not exactly shares of stock, many options trade based on stock price movements, so tastyworks earns a mention on this list.

Stock and ETF trades are fee-free. Options on stocks and ETFs cost $1 per contract with a $10 maximum per leg. The mobile app is best for traders with some options experience, as there are many features that can distract and overwhelm newer traders. tastyworks has essential features for options traders that make trades fast without giving up many desktop trading features.

Key Features

  • App name: tastyworks
  • Account minimum: No minimum deposit required
  • Fees: No fees for stock or ETF trades; $1 per option on stocks or ETFs, with $10 maximum; $2.50 per option on futures; $1.25 per futures contract; $0.85 per futures e-micros contract; additional fees may apply
  • Tradable assets: Options for stocks, ETFs, and futures
  • Account types: Individual and joint margin or cash accounts, and retirement, corporate, trust, and international accounts

Best With Banking Products : Ally


Ally logo
  • Deposits: No minimum
  • Fees: $0 commission fees for online stock, ETF, or options trades, but there is a 50 cent flat fee per options contract; $20, plus regular commission fee, for broker-assisted trades; $9.95 for no-load mutual funds; additional fees may apply
  • Account Types: Supports self-directed and managed portfolios
Why We Chose It

Ally is our choice as the best for stock trading app that works with banking products as it gives you access to your banking accounts as well as your trading account on one easy-to-use platform. 

Pros & Cons
Pros
  • Pair bank accounts with your investments in one app

  • User-friendly stock trades

  • Simple and easy to use and manage

Cons
  • Mobile app research somewhat limited

  • Some advanced traders may find trading tools limited

Overview

Ally features high-quality checking, savings, and investment accounts all in one mobile app. While you can definitely get bank accounts from some other brokers on this list, Ally Bank is one of the very best for online checking and savings regardless of investment needs. Once you factor in the low-cost, easy-to-use brokerage accounts, you get a winning bank/investment combo.

Ally charges no commissions for stock or ETF trades. Charts and data are fairly basic, but offer anything a beginner investor may want. It’s not the best for advanced features, but it covers most common needs with excellent pricing.

Key Features

  • App name: Ally
  • Account minimum: No minimum deposit required
  • Fees: $0 commission fees for online stock, ETF, or options trades, but there is a 50 cent flat fee per options contract; $20, plus regular commission fee, for broker-assisted trades; $9.95 for no-load mutual funds; additional fees may apply
  • Tradable assets: Stocks, ETFs, options, bonds, mutual funds, and more
  • Account types: Supports self-directed and managed portfolios
  • Other important details: Full-service, online-only bank and brokerage with no physical locations

Final Verdict

There are lots of options when it comes to choosing a stock trading app. Some companies are known for affordable fees and others offer beginner-friendly platforms. Overall, TD Ameritrade Mobile is the best stock trading app. It is easy to use, has a platform for beginners as well as a separate platform for more advanced traders. It also has affordable fees and no minimum balance requirements. 

Compare The Best Stock Trading Apps

Company Minimum Deposit  Fees  Account Types  Platforms Commission Rates  Other Trading 
TD Ameritrade Mobile
Best Overall
No minimum $0 commission for online stock, ETF, and options trades, but there is a 65 cent flat fee per options contract; $25 for broker-assisted trades; $49.99 for no-load mutual funds; additional fees may apply Supports standard, retirement, education, and other types of accounts $0 for online stock Wide range, including stocks, options, ETFs, mutual funds, bonds, and more
Fidelity Investments
Best for Beginners 
No minimum  $0 commission fees on stock, ETF, and options trades, but there is a 65 cent flat fee per options contract; $32.95 for broker-assisted trades; $49.95 for transaction-fee bearing mutual funds; no recurring fees for most accounts; additional fees may apply  Supports brokerage, retirement, education accounts, and more  $0 for stocks  Stocks, ETFs, mutual funds, fractional share investing, and more 
Webull
Best Free App
No minimum  $0 commission or contract fees for online stock, ETF, or options trades; $8 to $45 for wire transfers; additional fees may apply  Supports brokerage and IRA accounts  $0  Stocks, ETFs, options, and cryptocurrencies 
SoFi
Best for Learning About Trading
$1 minimum No fees for online stock or ETF trades; 1.25% markup on crypto transactions; expense ratios vary on SoFi-branded ETFs; additional fees may apply  Supports self-directed and managed portfolios, plus retirement and cryptocurrency accounts  $ for online stock  Stocks, ETFs, and cryptocurrencies, fractional shares 
tastyworks
Best for Options Trading
No minimum  No fees for stock or ETF trades; $1 per option on stocks or ETFs, with $10 maximum; $2.50 per option on futures; $1.25 per futures contract; $0.85 per futures e-micros contract; additional fees may apply  Individual and joint margin or cash accounts, and retirement, corporate, trust, and international accounts  $1 per contract with a $10 maximum per leg  Options for stocks, ETFs, and futures 
Ally
Best With Banking Products
No minimum  $0 commission fees for online stock, ETF, or options trades, but there is a 50 cent flat fee per options contract; $20, plus regular commission fee, for broker-assisted trades; $9.95 for no-load mutual funds; additional fees may apply  Supports self-directed and managed portfolios  $0 for online stock  Stocks, ETFs, options, bonds, mutual funds, and more 

Guide to Choosing the Best Stock Trading Apps

Identify Your Trading Goals

Before diving into stock trading, you will want to identify your specific trading goals. You will want to consider the reasons you’re trading, if your goals are long-term or more short-term, and if you will be a passive or a more aggressive trader. You should also consider your budget including how much you’re comfortable investing and your profit expectations. 

Keep in mind things like your ideal timeline and if you’re trading to have more financial freedom, to educate yourself on the stock market, or to diversify your wealth. 

Compare Stock Trading Apps

When comparing stock trading apps, there are several things that you should consider. Make sure to research each app and check out its overall ratings and reviews. Keep the following in mind when comparing stock trading apps:

  • Features of the app: Check out the features and see what the app offers and if it has things like industry news and research tools 
  • Available account types: You want to know what types of accounts are supported such as IRA accounts. 
  • Fees: Read the fine print and find out if there are minimum balance requirements and what the fees are and when they are charged. 
  • Tradable assets: What can you trade? Can you only trade stocks or can you also trade cryptocurrency and ETFs? 

Actively Using Stock Trading Apps

Once you download the stock trading app, there are numerous ways to actively use it. You can use it on the go to buy and sell stocks. You can also research stocks to see how they’re performing and even look up the company’s stock tickers that you didn’t know. Other tools include adding stocks to your watchlist, and using indicators, and charts to analyze and track your investments.

Frequently Asked Questions

How Do I Use a Stock Trading App?

You can use a stock trading app to buy and sell shares of stock, as well as other investment products. A stock trading app is easy for most people who are comfortable with stock market basics and smartphones.

Start by signing up for a brokerage account at your preferred brokerage from the list above. With the exception of SoFi’s $1 minimum, all brokerage accounts on this list have no minimum deposit required to get started, and charge no recurring fees. It’s often easiest to open an account online with your computer, though you usually have the option to open an account directly through the mobile app, as well.

After you open your account, download the mobile app and log in to get started buying and selling.

Remember that stocks can go up and down in value. Never make an investment or trade that you don’t fully understand to avoid unneeded risk.

How Much Money Do I Need?

You can open an account with most major brokerages with no opening deposit. But that doesn’t mean you can buy and sell stocks for free. Most brokers require you to have enough cash to buy full shares of stock, which can range from less than $5 to more than $1,000 per share.

Fidelity and SoFi both allow you to buy fractional shares, which means you can buy less than a full share at once. This lets you start buying stocks with very little money.

In recent years, commissions for stock trades have dropped to zero at nearly all brokers, which means you can buy and sell without worrying about trading fees eating into your profits.

Pros
  • Manage your investments on the go

  • Trade stocks anywhere with an internet or cellular data connection

  • Never lose track of your portfolio or investment values

  • No major drawbacks to stock trading apps

Cons
  • May be hard to disconnect from investments

  • Features may differ from desktop browser experience to mobile app experience

  • Small mobile screen may make trading difficult for some users

How Should I Choose an App?

Everyone has different trading goals and experience levels, so it’s important to look at your stock trading background and how you plan to invest when picking a brokerage and stock trading app.

The most important places to look are fees, tradable assets, available account types, and ease-of-use for the platform. Ease-of-use is subjective, so take a few minutes to explore screenshots and even demo accounts before locking yourself in.

If you’re not sure, you can always try two or three different apps to choose your favorite. With no minimum balance requirements, you can open an account and check things out before funding your account with real money.

Methodology

To find the best stock trading apps, we started by creating a list of the 20 most popular brokerage apps. Next, we closely evaluated each company based on several factors including ease-of-use, trading fees, and supported account types. We also considered tradable assets and minimum deposit requirements, as well as any additional features such as learning tools and integration with bank accounts.