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Best Stock Apps of July 2024

The best apps to buy stocks offer free trades, powerful mobile trading platforms and high user ratings. Below are our picks for the best stock apps.

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Written by Alana Benson
Lead Writer
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Reviewed by Chris Davis
Assigning Editor
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Edited by Arielle O'Shea
Lead Assigning Editor
Fact Checked
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Co-written by Sam Taube
Lead Writer

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The investing information provided on this page is for educational purposes only. NerdWallet, Inc. does not offer advisory or brokerage services, nor does it recommend or advise investors to buy or sell particular stocks, securities or other investments.

Our deep, independent analysis of stock trading apps cuts through the details to find and evaluate the information investors want when choosing an investing account. To see our full methodology and learn more about our process, read our criteria for evaluating brokers.

Over 60 investment account providers reviewed and rated by our expert Nerds.

More than 50 years of combined experience writing about finance and investing.

Hands-on testing of the account funding process, provider websites, apps and investment platforms.

Dozens of objective ratings rubrics and strict guidelines to maintain editorial integrity.

Stock trading has gotten more mobile, and the best stock apps now closely mirror powerful desktop and web platforms, with advanced functionality, analysis tools, research and watch lists. They also offer completely free stock trades, low or no account fees and no minimum investment. Some, like Webull, Public and SoFi Active Investing, don't even charge fees to trade options contracts. In fact, Public offers a rare structure that actually pays you to trade options.

If you're looking to place trades on the go, review our list of the best apps to buy stocks below. You'll note that many of these come from established online brokers — that's because these companies tend to offer apps with the most well-rounded capabilities for stock and options traders.

Best apps for trading stocks

Here's a summary of our picks. To get more detail about each broker, including pros and cons, our editorial star rating and a link to our full review, click on the broker's name.

Our deep, independent analysis of stock trading apps cuts through the details to find and evaluate the information investors want when choosing an investing account. To see our full methodology and learn more about our process, read our criteria for evaluating brokers.

Over 60 investment account providers reviewed and rated by our expert Nerds.

More than 50 years of combined experience writing about finance and investing.

Hands-on testing of the account funding process, provider websites, apps and investment platforms.

Dozens of objective ratings rubrics and strict guidelines to maintain editorial integrity.

Stock trading has gotten more mobile, and the best stock apps now closely mirror powerful desktop and web platforms, with advanced functionality, analysis tools, research and watch lists. They also offer completely free stock trades, low or no account fees and no minimum investment. Some, like Webull, Public and SoFi Active Investing, don't even charge fees to trade options contracts. In fact, Public offers a rare structure that actually pays you to trade options.

If you're looking to place trades on the go, review our list of the best apps to buy stocks below. You'll note that many of these come from established online brokers — that's because these companies tend to offer apps with the most well-rounded capabilities for stock and options traders.

Best apps for trading stocks

Here's a summary of our picks. To get more detail about each broker, including pros and cons, our editorial star rating and a link to our full review, click on the broker's name.

Best Stock Apps

NerdWallet rating 

4.9

/5
Charles Schwab
Learn more

on Charles Schwab's website

Fees

$0

per online equity trade

Account minimum

$0

Promotion

None

no promotion available at this time

Pros

  • Commission-free stock, options and ETF trades.

  • Four trading platforms with no minimums or fees.

  • Above-average mobile app.

  • Extensive research offerings.

  • Large fund selection.

Cons

  • Low interest rate on uninvested cash.

Why We Like It

With no account minimum or annual fee, the Schwab mobile apps are easy to use for investors both new and experienced. Schwab mobile and StreetSmart mobile apps allow commission-free trades across a wide selection of stock, options, and ETFs, and the broker provides access to over 4,000 no-transaction fee mutual funds. Schwab is also highly rated for its research, including Schwab’s own equity ratings and analysis from 14 providers including Morningstar, Credit Suisse and Thompson Reuters.

Best Online Broker for Advanced Traders 2024

NerdWallet rating 

5.0

/5
Interactive Brokers IBKR Lite
Learn more

on Interactive Brokers' website

Fees

$0

per trade

Account minimum

$0

Promotion

None

no promotion available at this time

Pros

  • Commission-free stock, options and ETF trades.

  • Large investment selection.

  • Strong research and tools.

  • Over 19,000 no-transaction-fee mutual funds.

  • High order execution quality.

Cons

  • High minimum to earn interest on uninvested cash.

  • Website can be difficult to navigate.

Why We Like It

Active and casual traders alike will benefit from Interactive Brokers' advanced execution, strong trading platforms and rock-bottom pricing.

NerdWallet rating 

4.4

/5
E*TRADE
Learn more

on E*TRADE's website

Fees

$0

per trade. Other fees apply.

Account minimum

$0

Promotion

Get up to $1,000

when you open and fund an E*TRADE account

Pros

  • Commission-free stock, options and ETF trades.

  • Easy-to-use tools.

  • Strong customer support.

  • Advanced mobile app.

Cons

  • Website can be difficult to navigate.

  • Low interest rate on uninvested cash.

  • No fractional shares.

Why We Like It

E*TRADE offers two free mobile apps that allow you to not only manage your account and place trades, but also access real-time quotes, as well as stock and ETF screeners. The broker's Power E*TRADE app can be used for trading complex strategies, including four-legged option spreads. It also offers access to popular technical studies, charts and streaming quotes.

NerdWallet rating 

5.0

/5
Webull
Learn more

on Webull's website

Fees

$0

per trade

Account minimum

$0

Promotion

Get up to 75 free fractional shares (valued up to $3,000)

when you open and fund an account with Webull.

Pros

  • Commission-free stock, options and ETF trades.

  • Easy-to-use platform.

  • Advanced tools.

  • Access to cryptocurrency.

  • High interest rate on uninvested cash.

  • High order execution quality.

Cons

  • No mutual funds.

  • Thin educational support.

Why We Like It

Webull will appeal to the mobile-first generation of casual investors with its slick interface for desktop and mobile apps. The brokerage also delivers an impressive array of tools for active traders and a wide investment selection, including stocks (plus fractional shares), options, ETFs, crypto, commodities and futures. However, its relatively weak educational content may leave true beginners in the lurch, and it lacks access to bonds and mutual funds.

NerdWallet rating 

4.2

/5
J.P. Morgan Self-Directed Investing
Learn more

on J.P. Morgan's website

Fees

$0

per trade

Account minimum

$0

Promotion

Get up to $700

when you open and fund a J.P. Morgan Self-Directed Investing account with qualifying new money.

Pros

  • Commission-free stock, options and ETF trades.

  • Easy-to-use platform.

  • App connects all Chase accounts.

  • In-person customer support at Chase branches.

Cons

  • Limited tools and research.

  • Portfolio Builder tool requires $2,500 balance.

  • Low interest rate on uninvested cash.

Why We Like It

J.P. Morgan’s mobile app offers a way to begin investing and managing your portfolio. The Self Directed Investing app connects to Chase accounts, creating a seamless and streamlined experience for Chase customers to easily trade stocks, ETFs, options, bonds and mutual funds. However, J.P. Morgan’s additional investment products, such as the Portfolio Builder tool, require a $2,500 minimum that could be prohibitive to some investors. Self-Directed Investing also doesn’t allow investing in futures, forex or cryptocurrencies, nor does it offer fractional shares.

NerdWallet rating 

4.6

/5
Public
Learn more

on Public's website

Fees

$0

Account minimum

$0

Promotion

Earn up to $10,000

when you transfer your investment portfolio to Public.

Pros

  • Commission-free stock, options and ETF trades.

  • Rebates for trading options.

  • Impressive selection of alternative assets.

  • Easy-to-use signup and trading interface.

  • High interest rate on uninvested cash.

Cons

  • No mutual funds.

  • No margin trading.

  • Lack of tools (e.g. customizable investment screeners).

  • No IRA accounts.

Why We Like It

Public provides free stock and ETF trades, pays you to trade options, and gives traders access to crypto, alternative assets and bonds, as well as a high-yield savings account. The platform will appeal to traders looking for a low-cost options broker and access to many types of assets.

NerdWallet rating 

4.2

/5
SoFi Active Investing
Learn more

on SoFi Invest's website

Fees

$0

per trade

Account minimum

$0

Promotion

Up to $1,000

in free stock for users who sign up via mobile app

Pros

  • Commission-free stock, options and ETF trades.

  • Free financial counseling.

  • IPO access.

Cons

  • Low interest rate on uninvested cash.

Why We Like It

SoFi Active Investing offers two free mobile apps that are both highly rated by iOS and Android users. The apps allow investors to place trades, track the performance of their existing investments and access real-time quotes.

NerdWallet rating 

4.5

/5

Reviewed in: Oct. 2023

Period considered: Aug. - Oct. 2023

Stash
Learn more

on Stash's website

AD

Paid non-client promotion

Fees

$3 or $9

per month, depending on selected plan

Account minimum

$0

Promotion

Get $25

when you open a personal brokerage account and deposit at least $5. Subject to T&Cs.

Pros

  • Both DIY and automated investing options.

  • Fractional shares available.

  • Values-based investment offerings.

  • No account minimum ($5 required to start investing through Smart Portfolios).

  • Option to round up purchases to the nearest dollar to invest the change.

Cons

  • Smart Portfolios don't offer tax-loss harvesting.

  • No automated IRA management.

  • Monthly fees can be significant for small balances.

Why We Like It

Stash offers both DIY and automated investing, meaning it's a good option if you're looking for more customization. Keep in mind that only a standard brokerage account can be managed automatically. If you want an IRA managed as a robo-advisor, you'll need to look elsewhere. Stash also has no tax strategy or human advisor access.

NerdWallet rating 

4.2

/5
Merrill Edge® Self-Directed
Fees

$0

per trade

Account minimum

$0

Promotion

None

no promotion available at this time

Pros

  • Commission-free stock, options and ETF trades.

  • Robust third-party research.

  • Integrated with Bank of America.

  • High order execution quality.

Cons

  • No fractional shares.

  • Low interest rates on uninvested cash.

Why We Like It

Merrill Edge's extensive research and educational offerings, its Idea Builder investment-finder tool, and its seamless integration with other Bank of America accounts make it a solid choice for beginner investors.

NerdWallet rating 

4.4

/5
Ally Invest
Fees

$0

per trade (on eligible US securities)

Account minimum

$0

Promotion

None

no promotion available at this time

Pros

  • Commission-free stock, options and ETF trades.

  • No account minimum.

  • Strong web-based platform.

  • Integration with Ally Bank, with easy transfers to high-yield savings account.

Cons

  • No fractional shares.

  • Limited third-party research providers.

Why We Like It

Ally’s investing app offers competitive pricing that appeals to beginner investors and advanced stock traders alike. Commission-free trades, an easy-to-use platform and investing tools make it simple to get started. Ally also offers robust research and free screening tools, charting and real-time data. For more advanced trading, investors can access Ally’s suite of tools for technical investors, including forex trading. The drawbacks: Ally doesn’t offer no-transaction-fee mutual funds, which can be helpful in diversifying your portfolio.

NerdWallet rating 

4.4

/5
Firstrade
Fees

$0

per trade

Account minimum

$0

Promotion

Up to $200

in Transfer Fee Rebates

Pros

  • Commission-free stock, options and ETF trades.

  • $0 contract fee on options trades.

  • All mutual funds are commission-free.

  • Chinese language options.

Cons

  • No 24/7 customer support.

  • Low interest rate on uninvested cash.

Why We Like It

Firstrade's mobile app is available on iOS and Android and includes a consolidated portfolio dashboard, upgraded research and advanced charting capabilities. It also instantly syncs with the desktop platforms.

Best App for Investing 2024

NerdWallet rating 

5.0

/5
Fidelity
Fees

$0

per trade for online U.S. stocks and ETFs

Account minimum

$0

Promotion

None

no promotion available at this time

Pros

  • Commission-free stock, options and ETF trades.

  • Large selection of research providers.

  • Strong customer service.

  • Expense-ratio-free index funds.

  • Highly rated mobile app.

  • High interest rate on uninvested cash.

Cons

  • Relatively high broker-assisted trade fee.

Why We Like It

Fidelity's mobile apps are highly rated by users, and offer real-time quotes, advanced options trading strategies and streamlined access to investment research. Fidelity also offers a customized app experience for its Youth Account, with in-app educational resources.

More about these apps

Charles Schwab

Schwab already had some of the best educational offerings of any broker we review — and its acquisition of TD Ameritrade puts its above the other stock apps listed here in terms of ways to learn about investing and practice trading. The combined Schwab-thinkorswim platforms offer best-in-class paper trading tools, newsletters, webcasts, articles and more.

Fidelity

Fidelity's brokerage service is one of the best in the business, and regularly scores the highest in several categories. It's beginner-friendly, but also offers a suite of advanced trading products and tools. In addition to its main Fidelity Investments mobile app, it also offers the Fidelity Youth app, designed to acquaint teens with investing, and Fidelity Bloom, which is meant to help users build good money habits. And, for anyone who has a Fidelity workplace 401(k), setting up a separate brokerage account for non-retirement investing can all be done in-app.

Webull

Webull offers investors some of the lowest margin rates among these stock apps. While many brokers charge annual interest rates of at least 10% for borrowed investment money, Webull’s margin loans have an interest rate range of just 5.74% to 9.74%, depending on the balance.

J.P. Morgan Self-Directed Investing

J.P. Morgan Self-Directed Investing's stock app could be a clear choice for existing Chase Bank customers. As the retail investing arm of the largest bank in the U.S., the app seamlessly integrates with Chase credit cards and bank accounts. But non-Chase Bank members still get full access to J.P. Morgan's suite of educational tools, including newsletters, videos and daily market insights. And for anyone looking for in-person customer support, J.P. Morgan has more than 4,000 branches across the country — more than any other brokerage we review.

Interactive Brokers

Interactive Brokers has one of the most advanced trading platforms and apps in the industry, with unique features such as a customizable dashboard, an ESG dashboard, more than 200 news and research services, and support for 9 languages — more than any other broker we review. It is well-suited to more advanced traders.

E*TRADE

E*Trade offers longer extended trading hours than any other stock app listed here. In addition to a pre-market session that starts at 7:00 a.m. ET on weekdays, and a post-market session that ends at 8:00 p.m. ET on weekdays, E*Trade offers 24-hour ETF trading Monday through Friday, and 24-hour futures trading Monday through Saturday.

SoFi Active Investing

SoFi Active Investing was among the first next-generation stock apps to offer clients access to initial public offerings (IPOs), something that has typically been reserved for institutional investors. And while investing in IPOs is certainly a more advanced trading strategy, SoFi's stock app is very straightforward and simple to use. For existing SoFi customers, the app easily connects to other SoFI products, such as banking, credit cards and loans.

Stash

Stash is designed for investors who want an app to walk them through the process of investing in stocks. Stash offers both a DIY investing platform where you can pick and choose your own stocks, and an automated robo-advisor service that will manage a portfolio on your behalf. It makes our list because it has unique educational features that stand out from other apps and position it as a good choice for beginners. The downside is that the app charges a monthly fee that starts at $3. As with other apps on this list, you won't pay commissions to trade stocks or ETFs.

Ally Invest

Ally Invest offers some of the best customer support services in the brokerage business, with 24/7 phone, email and chat help available to all users. Among online-only brokers, Ally’s customer service availability is unmatched.

Firstrade

Firstrade's stock app skews more toward experienced investors, and is one of the rare brokers that charges no per-contract fee on options trades nor commissions on over-the-counter trades. The broker is also one of the few that offer access to international investors, accepting clients from nearly 30 countries.

Merrill Edge

Merrill Edge’s investing app is highly rated among iOS users for its customer support and is integrated with Bank of America for a seamless investing and banking experience. It offers robust research and a library of educational content to help you find the right investment. The broker’s Idea Builder tool helps newer investors find the right investment, including environmental and social investors.

Public

Public is the only stock app we review that actually pays you to trade options. Public users get a rebate of $0.06 per options contract traded. If you refer enough friends to Public, that rebate can go as high as $0.18 per contract traded.

Compare more features of the top stock apps

How do the best stock apps compare across other key categories? Fidelity, Ally and Webull ranked particularly well for customer service and fees:

Best overall

Fidelity

Fidelity offers $0 trading commissions, a selection of more than 3,300 no-transaction-fee mutual funds and top-notch research tools and mobile platform.

Best for customer service

Fidelity

Phone, email and live chat 24/7; more than 200 local branches.

Ally

24/7 by phone, email and chat.

Best for account fees

Fidelity

None.

Webull

None.

Note: These brokers scored five stars in these specific categories, but their overall score above may be different.

Deciding which stock app is best for you

This Nerdy video discusses the key features you should consider when evaluating stock apps, including your trading style.

Video preview image

Frequently asked questions

What is the best stock app for beginners?

Most of the brokers on our list of the best brokers for beginners also show up here, including SoFi Active Investing, E*TRADE, Fidelity and Charles Schwab. In general, mobile trading apps are a good choice for beginners because they're typically easier to navigate than online or desktop platforms.

What's the best app for free stock trading?

Nearly all of the apps above offer commission-free trades of U.S.-listed stocks and exchange-traded funds. The best one for you depends largely on your trading needs — for example, active traders often index heavily on the available investment options, and what type of functionality is possible on the go. If you'd prefer more education or a more advanced mobile trading platform, you may want to opt for an app from an online broker.

How does Robinhood compare to other stock apps?

Robinhood is wildly popular in the stock app world, but it did not make our list here. We have a full comparison of Robinhood and its alternatives, where you can dive into more details about how Robinhood stacks up to its biggest competition. In general, Robinhood offers a streamlined, clean interface that makes it easy for even beginners to trade. Traditional online brokers tend to provide more bells and whistles, including advanced tools, stronger customer support and educational resources.

Last updated on July 1, 2024

Methodology

NerdWallet’s comprehensive review process evaluates and ranks the largest U.S. brokers. Our aim is to provide an independent assessment of providers to help arm you with information to make sound, informed judgements on which ones will best meet your needs. We adhere to strict guidelines for editorial integrity.

We collect data directly from providers through detailed questionnaires, and conduct first-hand testing and observation through provider demonstrations. The questionnaire answers, combined with 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).

For more details about the categories considered when rating providers and our processes, read our full broker ratings methodology.