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Best Investment Apps

They’re tried and true – they’re slick, they’re polished, and they get the job done. Investment apps today are pushing the boundaries of performance and technology.

Quick look – Our favorite investment apps

So many options make it hard for a consumer to pick the right one. Benzinga took the time to look at dozens of the top Investment apps today and find the best for you in multiple categories.

Choosing an app

When choosing an app, you should be aware of the following:

Best for robo investments

Best For
  • Intermediate investors
  • Retired investors
  • College students

Plain and simple, Betterment’s platform rocks because it’s easy to understand. Betterment offers portfolio management services for those on a budget and encourages beginning investors by introducing them to asset allocation.

Great for:
  • Low balance users
  • Retirement planning
  • Goal-based investing
  • Hands-off investors

Betterment, which automatically invests in and rebalances ETFs for investors, is great for hands-off investing and retirement savers.

Betterment was one of the picks for Best Overall Robo Advisors.

No minimum investment amount is required; Betterment charges only 0.25 percent.

One strike against Betterment is that there is no direct-indexing tool.

Best for micro investing

Best For
  • Microinvestors
  • Beginners, which it calls the up-and-coming
  • College Students

If you haven’t heard about Acorns, it’s likely you’ve been living under a rock. Acorns offers low-maintenance, risk-controlled portfolio management which caters to Millennials and beginning investors.

Acorns offer a way to invest small amounts of spare change (the app invests the change from everyday debit or credit card purchases) and best of all, allows users to deposit and withdraw funds without any fees or commissions. Acorns is also free for college students with a valid .edu email address.

Acorns costs $1 a month for an account under $5,000 and only 0.25 percent each year for accounts over $5,000, and allows clients to choose a portfolio and makes recommendations based on age, investment time horizon, income, and risk tolerance.

Investors can choose ETFs from six asset classes, creating a streamlined way to choose between well-diversified investments.

One strike against Acorns is that tax-advantaged IRAs are not available through Acorns.

Best for tracking portfolio performance

Best For
  • Portfolio tracking
  • Tax loss harvesting features
  • Diversification of investments

SigFig allows you to track portfolio performance easily using an innovative Investment Checkup, and portfolios are laid out beautifully and in an easy-to-understand way.

It’s possible to create a custom portfolio with SigFig, and investors also have the flexibility to manage their brokerage account for them if investors also have an account, say, at TD Ameritrade.

SigFig offers a retirement-focused income product, and the 401(k) fee analyzer shows how much investors lose to hidden fees as well as shows the amount (it’s relatively small) you’ll pay through SigFig.

Your first $10,000 is managed for free, and account fees after $10,000 are 0.25 percent per year. Appropriately, SigFig also offers military personnel and veterans a year of free account management.

One strike against SigFig is its $2,000 minimum account requirement which isn’t as budget friendly as some other app options.

 

Best for buying individual stocks

Best For
  • Low cost stock trading
  • Beginners looking to start trading
  • Investors on the go

Robinhood is also one of those apps that you can’t take your eyes off of. Stylish and simple, the Robinhood app even won an Apple Design Award.

Most importantly, though, trading is intuitive, with simple language; Robinhood supports market orders, limit orders, stop limit orders and stop orders. It’s easy, easy, easy to use (if you can operate a smartphone, you can use the Robinhood app!)

Robinhood made our list for best brokers for beginners.

It takes about five minutes to set up an account, and with no account minimums, 100 percent commission-free stock and ETF trades and zero annual, inactivity or ACH transfer fees, why not?

Additionally, Robinhood Gold allows active traders to trade on margin for additional buying power for $10 a month.

One strike against Robinhood is the lack of tools and research resources available.

Best for following market trends

StockTwits allows traders and investors to keep tabs on the market through a social media platform, and the price tag is even better: it’s completely free to use. The app tries to gauge market sentiment based on rankings of each stock and encourages beginning traders to get involved and learn more about trading.

Our own Benzinga Pro offers a robust platform to monitor stocks and get alerts.

The $TICKER tag enables streams of information around stocks and markets across the web to funnel information, and traders can easily sort to get research by heat maps, video streams, graphs, etc. StockTwits also utilizes great video content.

One strike against StockTwits is that dialogue on the platform can become crowded and tough to wade through to get the “golden” nuggets of information.

Best for tracking personal finances

Mint offers answers to a litany of questions about personal finances, including but not limited to: How much money do I have? Do I have too much debt? What’s my net worth? How are my investments doing? This magical app pulls all financial information into one central location and can link financial accounts easily from banks, brokerages, etc.

Mint’s dashboard features credit card/bank account balances, investment performance, credit score, home value in an easy-to-view collective and offers a handy portfolio snapshot as well as a free credit score.

The trends overview shows users how much they’ve spent in a certain area (shopping, entertainment, etc.) and users are notified through alerts if budgets have been exceeded or there’s a suspicious credit card charge (an attempt to watch for identity theft).

Best of all, it’s free!

One strike against Mint is that there is a lot of ad targeting, which is how they make money.

Best for saving for future investments

Maybe you’ve wanted to save for a new car or home for awhile but just can’t seem to make it work. BoostUP makes it quite a bit easier.

The app allows you to choose how you want to save. You can use a combination of automatic deposits, roundups when you charge your card, and immediate deposits into a matched savings account.

The best part: BoostUP’s partners with Hyundai and Quicken Loans, who will match your saved funds up to $500 and $750, respectively.

You just need to connect your bank account and set your preferences. And, the app is completely free and safe. Accounts are FDIC insured, use 256-bit encryption, and you are able to withdraw and cancel your account at any time.

Best desktop app

Thinkorswim offers everything an advanced trader would want in a platform: Scanners, heat maps, research and an active trader community and forum, and more.

Thinkorswim is well-designed, customizable and intuitive. Entering and executing orders is lightning-quick, and the charts and scan tools are incredible! An analysis tab allows clients to view risk graphs, which is unique compared to other platforms. Thinkorswim’s desktop version offers more features than the mobile app.

Paper trading is available with $100K, and a current promotion is Thinkorswim’s offer to trade free for 60 days and get up to $60.

One strike against Thinkorswim are its higher commissions compared to other brokerage accounts: $6.95/trade, $49.99 per transaction for mutual funds, options are $6.95 plus $0.75 per contract.

Best for tracking ETFs

Best For
  • Hands-off investors, who require advice and assistance
  • Beginners
  • Investors who want to invest in specific industry groups/sectors

Uniquely, Stash weaves a social aspect into choosing its funds. Stash customers who have friends connected on Stash can view whether someone they know has chosen the same investments, usually ETFs. (See explanation below.)

You can also see what percentage of Stash users invest in the particular investments that you’re viewing in their own portfolios.

According to the Stash website, ETFs make up the majority of the investments currently available on Stash. ETF stands for Exchange-Traded Funds. An ETF is a basket of investments (for example: stocks and bonds) bundled into funds that are traded on an exchange.

Top Rated on iOS and Android

Five more top-rated apps on iOS:

Five more top-rated apps on Android:

Too many choices?

Once you’ve Googled one robo-advisor, you’ve seen them all? It’s understandable to see how it’s possible to get into that thought pattern, considering there are so many choices, but it’s important to realize that there are certain nuances to a lot of investment apps that may make say, WiseBanyan better for you than for your next-door neighbor.

For example, Wealthfront offers tax optimization, whereas Betterment doesn’t. And if you’re the type of person who has taxable accounts, maybe it’s better for you to go with Wealthfront instead of Betterment.

Ultimately, it’s important to do your own research, too, and once you carefully review your personal situation and choose certain apps based on your exact needs, you can’t possibly miss a beat.

Compare all investing apps

Broker Best For Commissions Account Minimum Choose your platform
Acorns
  • Microinvestors
  • Beginners, which it calls the up-and-coming
  • College Students
$1 Per month accounts < $5000 balance 0.25% Annual fee accounts > $5000 $5
Get started securely through Acorns's website
1 Minute Review

This Fintech startup advocates small value investment, making it affordable for even a Tom, Dick or Harry, take a plunge into the world of investing. It simplifies the whole process of investing and is available for U.S. residents, and the Australians through its Acorns Australia unit. This smartphone app makes investing a cakewalk even for that most inexperienced traders and opens up the world of investment to micro-investors, who can invest the spare change from their routine spending.

Pros
  • Automated approach makes investing an automatic choice
  • Cheaper than traditional mutual funds and DIY ETFs
  • Cash back from your spending with Acorns’ partners through Found Money program
Cons
  • Expensive relative to many other automated investment tools such as Weathfront and Betterment
  • Limited asset classes, with just six available for investing
  • Only individual taxable accounts are on offer, whereas an IRA or 401(k) account is advantageous from the tax perspective.
Current Promotion

None at this time

Betterment
  • Intermediate investors
  • Retired investors
  • College students
0.25% annual fee for accounts 0.4% Premium Plan with additional features annual fee for accounts more than $100,000 $0
Get started securely through Betterment's website
1 Minute Review

Offering personalized investment strategies, Betterment tailors customer portfolios based on a host of factors such as goal type, risk tolerance, account type, time horizon etc. The firm focuses on tax-efficient investing at all stages, which is its unique selling proposition.

Pros
  • Built in tax-saving strategies
  • Automated rebalancing
  • Personalized service
Cons
  • Lack of customization
  • Other Robos can be free
Current Promotion

None at this time

SigFig
  • Portfolio tracking
  • Tax loss harvesting features
  • Diversification of investments
Free First $10k managed 0.25% annually for $10k+ $2,000
Get started securely through SigFig's website
1 Minute Review

Whether you’ve got $2,000 (the required minimum) or $200,000, SigFig’s low fees are its major attraction. This robo-advisor turns out tax-efficient, diversified portfolios for free if your portfolio cuts under $10,000. If you’re over that, it’s only 0.25% annually.

Pros
  • Free annually for first 10k managed
  • Free current portfolio review
  • Superior technology
Cons
  • Limited investment platforms available
  • Reports of broken syncing with brokers
Current Promotion

None at this time

Robinhood
  • Low cost stock trading
  • Beginners looking to start trading
  • Investors on the go
Free $0
Get started securely through Robinhood's website
1 Minute Review

Robinhood is a free stock trading mobile app that serves both iOS and Android devices. They offer an easy to use interface and have excellent integrations to easily deposit money and begin investing.

Pros
  • Free trading for all stocks
  • Multiple integrations for banking deposits
  • No transfer out fees
Cons
  • Lacks research reports
  • Some features require premium paid upgrades
Current Promotion

Invite a friend and get a free stock

Wealthfront
  • Passive investors
  • Lower fees
  • Beginning investors
  • Investors who don't want to manage money on their own
0.25% annual fee $500
Get started securely through Wealthfront's website
1 Minute Review

Wealthfront offers automated investment services, customized according to the risk tolerance and investment goals of every investor. For assessing clients basic financial health, Wealthfront has designed a financial planning solution called Path. If you link all your accounts, Path can analyze your financial habits and help you determine where are your habits going to lead you in the future. Investors who wish to invest their savings can use an automatic investing feature called PassivePlus at low cost. It offers the following strategies: Tax-Loss Harvesting, Stock-level Tax-Loss Harvesting, Smart Beta and Risk Parity.

Pros
  • Relatively small fess
  • Goals and risk tolerance based strategies
  • Time-tested and academically proven investment strategies
  • Tax optimization
  • Financial planning and results tracking
  • Referrals program
Cons
  • No partial shares allowed
  • Doesn't invest entire deposit
Current Promotion

None at this time

Personal Capital
  • Retirement planning
  • Investment tracking
  • Bill tracking and management
0.49% - 0.89% Fees range based on deposit amount and services used $25,000
Get started securely through Personal Capital's website
1 Minute Review

Personal Capital differentiates itself from other robo-advisors by not using a traditional broker model, and ensuring that all of their advisors are RIAs (Registered Investment Advisor).

Pros
  • Personal Capital advisors are RIAs
  • Excellent Financial Tools
  • More than investing services
  • Free Financial Dashboard
Cons
  • Higher fees than other robo-advisors
  • Not as focused as other brokers
Current Promotion

None at this time

WiseBanyan
  • Brand-new investors
  • Those who are comfortable managing their finances solely online
  • Great technology
Free Some instances you may be required to pay transfer fees of fund fees $0
Get started securely through WiseBanyan's website
1 Minute Review

WiseBanyan’s site methodically eases you in using a goal-oriented approach. The company offers a truly relatable, tangible way to save for your future and present goals. For example, you can designate your savings goals as “Vacation to Fiji” or “Retirement” (whatever you’d like!) which cleanly categorizes your goals into manageable chunks. Risk aversion, time horizon, and money you’ve already saved are carefully considered for each individual goal and invested appropriately. It’s a slick way to manage money and is a solid way to end up with a fully-diversified portfolio while mitigating fees and tax consequences.

Pros
  • No account management fees
  • Automatic rebalancing is free on all accounts
  • No account minimums required
Cons
  • Only offers individual taxable accounts, traditional or Roth IRAs or SEP IRAs
  • Tax-loss harvesting is not included for free (which many robo-advisors offer automatically)
Current Promotion

None at this time

Stash
  • Hands-off investors, who require advice and assistance
  • Beginners
  • Investors who want to invest in specific industry groups/sectors
$1 Per month accounts < $5000 balance 0.25% Annual fee accounts > $5000 $5
Get started securely through Stash's website
1 Minute Review

Stash operates under the mantra "investing should be simple and accessible." Stash, which promises an easy start-up procedure, requires only two minutes, $5 and a phone.

Pros
  • Simplified investment procedure
  • Choice of easy-to-understand investments (ETFs)
  • Easy-to-read snapshots of all accounts
  • Very low required minimum balance
Cons
  • Income made through Stash, be it capital gains, dividends and income interest, are taxable just like any other investment.
  • It works out costly for smaller accounts
Current Promotion