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Best Investment Apps of 2018

Advisors, Brokers, Investing, Investing Strategy

NerdWallet offers financial tools and advice to help people understand their options and make the best possible decisions. The guidance we offer and info we provide are deeply researched, objective and independent.

We spent over 300 hours reviewing the top online brokers before selecting the best for our readers. And to help you find the one that’s best for you, we’ve highlighted their pros, cons and current offers.

These days, you can do just about anything on your phone — including invest, thanks to a steady stream of investment and stock trading apps. And there’s no more convenient way to invest than having the keys to the market in your pocket (or purse).

Mobile trading offers some appealing benefits. Beyond being able to trade on the go and stay engaged with your portfolio from virtually any place with an internet connection, all the real-time trading information you seek is but a few taps away if you choose the right app. (That said, it’s important to guard against all that information prompting you to make rash decisions you’ll regret.)

These investing apps, all of which available for both Apple iOS and Android users, are NerdWallet’s picks for the best services of 2018.

NerdWallet rating

Fees

$6.95

per trade

Account minimum

$500

Promotion

60

days of commission-free trades with a qualifying deposit

The bottom line

E-Trade has long been one of the most popular online brokers, largely because of its easy-to-use tools. They offer a tiered commission structure that favors frequent traders but can add up to high costs for casual investors.

Show pros & cons

Pros

  • Easy-to-use tools.

  • Large investment selection.

  • Excellent customer support.

  • Access to extensive research.

  • Advanced mobile app.

  • Reduced commissions for frequent traders.

Cons

  • Higher commissions for low-volume traders.

  • Minimum balance requirement for active trading platform.

Read full review
NerdWallet rating

Fees

$6.95

per trade

Account minimum

$0

Promotion

500

commission-free trades + up to $600 with qualifying deposit

The bottom line

TD Ameritrade makes up for higher-than-average trading commissions with better-than-average service, research and trading tools that will make everyone from beginner investors to active traders happy.

Show pros & cons

Pros

  • Large investment selection.

  • Free research.

  • High-quality trading platforms.

  • No account minimum.

  • Good customer support.

Cons

  • Higher trade commission.

  • Costly broker-assisted trades.

  • High short-term ETF trading fee.

Read full review
NerdWallet rating

Fees

$0

per trade

Account minimum

$0

Promotion

None

no promotion available at this time

The bottom line

Robinhood is truly free: There are no hidden costs here. You’ll give up a few things in exchange for free trades — trading tools, research, education, investment options beyond stocks and ETFs — but if limiting costs is your No. 1 concern, Robinhood is a solid choice.

Show pros & cons

Pros

  • No commissions on stock trades

  • No account minimum

  • Streamlined interface

Cons

  • No retirement accounts

  • No web trading platform

Read full review
NerdWallet rating

Fees

1.00%

/month

Account minimum

$0

Promotion

Up to 4 years

free management for college students

The bottom line

The automatic roundups at Acorns make saving and investing easy, and most investors will be surprised by how quickly those pennies accumulate. Roundups can be supplemented by lump-sum deposits and Acorns’ FoundMoney program, a network of retail partners who offer account holders cash back.

Show pros & cons

Pros

  • Free management for college students

  • Automatically invests spare change

  • Cash back at select retailers

  • Educational content available

Cons

  • Small investment portfolio

  • High fee on small account balances

Read full review
NerdWallet rating

Fees

1.00%

/month

Account minimum

$0

Promotion

1

month free management

The bottom line

Stash offers educational assistance that can save you money in the long run, by teaching you how to manage your portfolio. But once you’ve learned the basics, you may find you’re unlikely to get much more in exchange for Stash’s ongoing monthly fee.

Show pros & cons

Pros

  • Educational content and support

  • Low account minimum

  • Fractional shares

  • Values-based investment offerings

Cons

  • High fee on small account balances

  • No management

  • High ETF expense ratios

Read full review

Best investment apps of 2018: Summary

App
Best
for
Platforms
Commiss-
ion or management fee
Promotion
Account minimum
Start investing

E*Trade

E*Trade
Stock trading
Available for iOS (including Apple Watch), Android, Amazon and Windows Phone
$6.95
per trade; volume discounts
60 days of commission-free trades ($10,000+ deposit)
$500

TD Ameritrade

Stock trading
Available for iOS (including Apple Watch), Android and BlackBerry
$6.95
per trade
$100 bonus ($25,000+ deposit)
up to $600 ($250,000+ deposit)
$0

Robinhood

Robinhood
Free trading
Available for iOS and Android
$0
per trade
Free share of stock if referred by existing customer (for select users).
$0

Acorns

Acorns
Beginners
Available for iOS and Android
$1/month
Free for college students with a valid .edu address
$0; must have $5 to begin investing

Stash

Stash

Beginners
Available for iOS and Android
$1/month for balances under $5,000; 0.25% annual fee for balances of $5,000 or more
Get the first month free
$5

Updated February 8, 2018

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