BEST OF

11 Best Investment Apps of October 2021

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You can do just about anything on your phone — including buy stocks, mutual funds and other investments thanks to a variety of investment apps.

All of the brokers on our list of the best brokers for stock trading have high-quality investment apps that are suitable for beginners and advanced investors alike. But if investing on the go is most important to you, we've narrowed down that list to the below picks for the best investing apps — all are rated highly by consumers and scored well in our analysis. (Need more info to get started? Read our primer on how to buy stocks.)

Summary of Best Investment Apps of October 2021

Fidelity
Learn more

on Fidelity's website

Fidelity

5.0

NerdWallet rating 
Fidelity

Fees

$0

per trade for online U.S. stocks and ETFs

Account Minimum

$0

Promotion

Get $100

when you open a new, eligible Fidelity account with $50 or more. Use code FIDELITY100. Limited time offer. Terms apply.

Learn more

on Fidelity's website


Promotion

Get $100
when you open a new, eligible Fidelity account with $50 or more. Use code FIDELITY100. Limited time offer. Terms apply.

Why we like it

Fidelity offers $0 trading commissions, a selection of more than 3,700 no-transaction-fee mutual funds and top-notch research tools and trading platform. Its zero-fee index funds and strong customer service reputation are just icing on the cake.

Pros

  • Commission-free stock, ETF and options trades.

  • Large selection of research providers.

  • Strong customer service.

  • Expense-ratio-free index funds.

  • Highly rated mobile app.

Cons

  • Relatively high broker-assisted trade fee.

Read Full Review
SoFi Active Investing
Learn more

on SoFi Invest's website

SoFi Active Investing

4.0

NerdWallet rating 
SoFi Active Investing

Fees

$0

per trade

Account Minimum

$0

Promotion

$5 to $1,000

in free stock for users who sign up via mobile app

Learn more

on SoFi Invest's website


Promotion

$5 to $1,000
in free stock for users who sign up via mobile app

Why we like it

SoFi Active Investing's $0 trading commission and $0 account minimum are attractive to new investors, but a lack of investment choices such as mutual funds and bonds is a drawback for those saving for retirement.

Pros

  • Commission-free stock and ETF trades.

  • Cryptocurrency trading.

  • Fractional shares available.

  • No account minimum.

  • Free financial counseling.

Cons

  • Small selection of tradable securities.

Read Full Review
E*TRADE
Learn more

on E*TRADE's website

E*TRADE

4.5

NerdWallet rating 
E*TRADE

Fees

$0

per trade

Account Minimum

$0

Promotion

Get $600 or more

when you open and fund an E*TRADE account with code: BONUS21

Learn more

on E*TRADE's website


Promotion

Get $600 or more
when you open and fund an E*TRADE account with code: BONUS21

Why we like it

E*TRADE has long been one of the most popular online brokers. The company's $0 commissions and strong trading platforms appeal to active traders, while beginner investors benefit from a large library of educational resources.

Pros

  • Easy-to-use tools.

  • Large investment selection.

  • Excellent customer support.

  • Access to extensive research.

  • Advanced mobile app.

  • Commission-free stock, options and ETF trades.

Cons

  • Website can be difficult to navigate.

Read Full Review
TD Ameritrade
Learn more

on TD Ameritrade's website

TD Ameritrade

5.0

NerdWallet rating 
TD Ameritrade

Fees

$0

per trade

Account Minimum

$0

Promotion

None

no promotion available at this time

Learn more

on TD Ameritrade's website


Promotion

None
no promotion available at this time

Why we like it

TD Ameritrade meets the needs of both active traders and beginner investors with quality trading platforms; $0 commissions on online stock, options and ETF trades; and a large selection of mutual funds.

Pros

  • Commission-free stock, ETF and options trades.

  • Free research.

  • High-quality trading platforms.

  • No account minimum.

  • Good customer support.

  • Large investment selection.

Cons

  • No fractional shares.

Read Full Review
J.P. Morgan Self-Directed Investing
Learn more

on J.P. Morgan's website

J.P. Morgan Self-Directed Investing

4.0

NerdWallet rating 
J.P. Morgan Self-Directed Investing

Fees

$0

per trade

Account Minimum

$0

Promotion

None

no promotion available at this time

Learn more

on J.P. Morgan's website


Promotion

None
no promotion available at this time

Why we like it

J.P. Morgan Self-Directed Investing is a clear-cut investment platform that is great for beginners looking to learn how to buy and sell investments. More advanced investors, however, may find it lacking in terms of available assets, tools and research. INVESTMENT PRODUCTS: NOT A DEPOSIT • NOT FDIC INSURED • NO BANK GUARANTEE • MAY LOSE VALUE

Pros

  • Easy-to-use platform.

  • $0 commissions.

  • App connects all Chase accounts.

  • No account minimum.

Cons

  • Limited tools and research.

  • Portfolio Builder tool requires $2,500 balance.

Read Full Review
Robinhood
Learn more

on Robinhood's website

Robinhood

4.0

NerdWallet rating 
Robinhood

Fees

$0

per trade

Account Minimum

$0

Promotion

1 Free Stock

after linking your bank account (stock value range $2.50-$225)

Learn more

on Robinhood's website


Promotion

1 Free Stock
after linking your bank account (stock value range $2.50-$225)

Why we like it

Robinhood provides free stock, options, ETF and cryptocurrency trades, and its account minimum is $0, too. Mutual funds and bonds aren't offered, and only taxable investment accounts are available. Still, if you're looking to limit costs or trade crypto, Robinhood is a solid choice.

Pros

  • No account minimum.

  • Streamlined interface.

  • Cryptocurrency trading.

Cons

  • No retirement accounts.

  • No mutual funds or bonds.

  • Limited customer support.

Read Full Review
Acorns
Learn more

on Acorns's website

Acorns

4.0

NerdWallet rating 
Acorns

Fees

$3 - $5

per month

Account Minimum

$0

Promotion

$10 Sign Up Bonus
Learn more

on Acorns's website


Promotion

$10 Sign Up Bonus

Why we like it

If you want to make the most of your spare change and get the occasional retailer kickback, there’s really no better place to do that. The automatic roundups at Acorns make saving and investing easy, and most investors will be surprised by how quickly those pennies accumulate. The downside? At small balances, Acorns fees can cut into or completely wipe away investment returns.

Pros

  • Automatically invests spare change.

  • Cash back at select retailers.

  • Educational content available.

Cons

  • High fee on small account balances.

Read Full Review
Zacks Trade
Learn more

on Zacks Trade's website

Zacks Trade

4.0

NerdWallet rating 
Zacks Trade

Fees

$0.01

per share

Account Minimum

$2,500

Promotion

None

no promotion available at this time

Learn more

on Zacks Trade's website


Promotion

None
no promotion available at this time

Why we like it

Zacks Trade is an online brokerage firm committed to active traders and investors, offering penny-per-share trades and a robust trading platform. Unusual in the world of discount brokers, Zacks offers free broker-assisted trades, so if you're at all likely to seek help making a trade, Zacks could be a good choice.

Pros

  • Ample research offerings.

  • Robust trading platform.

  • Access to international exchanges.

Cons

  • Trails competitors on commissions.

  • High account minimum.

Read Full Review

Want to compare more options? Here are our other top picks:

Disclosure: The author held no positions in the aforementioned securities at the time of publication.

Last updated on October 19, 2021

You may also like these

People often identify opening a savings account as their next money move.

Marcus by Goldman Sachs Online Savings Account

5.0

NerdWallet rating 
Marcus by Goldman Sachs Online Savings Account

APY

0.50%
With $0 minimum balance

Bonus

N/A

at Marcus by Goldman Sachs, Member FDIC

American Express® High Yield Savings Account

4.5

NerdWallet rating 
American Express® High Yield Savings Account

APY

0.40%
With $1 minimum balance

Bonus

N/A

at American Express National Bank, Member FDIC

Axos Bank® High Yield Savings

4.0

NerdWallet rating 
Axos Bank® High Yield Savings

APY

0.61%
With $0 minimum balance

Bonus

N/A

at Axos Bank®, Member FDIC

Methodology

NerdWallet’s comprehensive review process evaluates and ranks the largest U.S. brokers and robo-advisors by assets under management, along with emerging industry players, using a multifaceted and iterative approach. Our aim is to provide an independent assessment of providers to help arm you with information to make sound, informed judgments on which ones will best meet your needs.

DATA COLLECTION AND REVIEW PROCESS

We collect data directly from providers, and conduct first-hand testing and observation through provider demonstrations. Our process starts by sending detailed questionnaires to providers to complete. The questionnaires are structured to equally elicit both favorable and unfavorable responses from providers. They are not designed or prepared to produce any predetermined results. The questionnaire answers, combined with product demonstrations, interviews of personnel at the providers and our specialists’ hands-on research, fuel our proprietary assessment process that scores each provider’s performance across more than 20 factors. The final output produces star ratings from poor (one star) to excellent (five stars). Ratings are rounded to the nearest half-star.

RATING FACTORS

Evaluations vary by provider type, but in each case are based upon the weighted averages of factors that include but are not limited to: advisory and account fees, account minimums and types, investment selection, investment expense ratios, trading costs, access to human financial advisors, educational resources and tools, rebalancing and tax minimization options, and customer support including branch access, user-facing technology and mobile platforms.

Each factor can involve evaluating various sub-factors. For instance, when gauging the investment selections offered by robo-advisors, 80% of the score is based on the potential for diversification (how well-diversified a resulting portfolio of investments could be) combined with the availability of specialty portfolios and level of customization for investors. Expense ratios form an additional 10% of the score, and low or no management fee the remaining 10%.

FACTOR WEIGHTINGS

The weighting of each factor is based on our team’s assessment of which features are the most important to consumers and which ones impact the consumer experience in the most meaningful way. The factors considered, and how those factors are weighted, change depending upon the category of providers reviewed.

Provider categories include: Best Brokers for Stock Trading, Best Brokers for Beginners, Best Brokers for Day Trading, Best Brokers for Options Trading, Best Discount Brokers, Best Brokers for Free Trading, Best Investment Apps, Best Brokers for Penny Stocks, Best IRA Brokers, Best Robo-Advisors, Best Financial Advisors, Best Real Estate Platforms, Best Brokers for ETFs and Best Brokers for Mutual Funds.

INFORMATION UPDATES

Writers and editors conduct our broker and robo-advisor reviews on an annual basis but continually make updates throughout the year. We maintain frequent contact with providers and highlight any changes in offerings.

THE REVIEW TEAM

The review team comprises seasoned writers, researchers and editors who cover stocks, bonds, mutual funds, index funds, exchange-traded funds, alternative investments, socially responsible investing, financial advisors, retirement and investment strategy on a daily basis. In addition to NerdWallet, the work of our team members has been published in The New York Times, The Washington Post, Forbes, USA Today, Bloomberg News, Nasdaq, MSN, MarketWatch, Yahoo! Finance and other national and regional media outlets.

The combined expertise of our Investing team is infused into our review process to ensure thoughtful evaluations of provider products and services from the customer perspective. Our writers and editors combine to have more than 70 years of deep experience in finance, ranging from a former Wall Street Journal reporter to a former senior financial advisor at Merrill Lynch.

CONFLICTS OF INTEREST

While NerdWallet does have partnerships with many of the reviewed providers, we manage potential conflicts of interest by maintaining a wall between our content and business operations. This wall is designed to prevent our writers and the review process from being influenced or impacted by our business partnerships. This way, all reviews can provide an unbiased review that serves the interests of our users.

Frequently asked questions