The Best Investment Apps

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.

No matter what kind of investor you are — beginner or advanced, indexer or stock trader — you can find an app that will let you execute your strategy right from your pocket. Don’t have a strategy? No problem. There are apps that will create one for you.

Here are NerdWallet’s picks for the best investing apps this year.

NerdWallet’s top investing apps

NerdWallet rating
Fees
$6.95
per trade
Account minimum
$500
Promotion
60days 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
$100-$600 in cash bonus with a 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
Noneno 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
  • No account minimum
  • Streamlined interface

Cons

  • Streamlined interface
  • No retirement accounts
  • No trading platform
Read full review

NerdWallet rating
Fees
$1
/month
Account minimum
$0
Promotion
Up to 4 yearsfree 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. But until Acorns adds tax-advantaged retirement accounts like IRAs to its lineup, the service should be used in conjunction with those accounts, not instead of them.

Show pros & cons

Pros

  • Free management for college students
  • Automatically invests spare change
  • Cash back at select retailers
  • Educational content available

Cons

  • Limited account options
  • Small investment portfolio
  • High fee on small account balances
Read full review

NerdWallet rating
Fees
$1
/month
Account minimum
$0
Promotion
1month 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. The company currently only offers taxable accounts.

Show pros & cons

Pros

  • Educational content and support
  • Low account minimum
  • Fractional shares
  • Values-based investment offerings

Cons

  • Limited account options
  • High fee on small account balances
  • No management
  • High ETF expense ratios
Read full review


Summary: The best investment apps

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

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

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

Robinhood

Robinhood
Free trading
Available for iOS and Android
$0
per trade
None
$0

Acorns

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

Arielle O’Shea is a staff writer at NerdWallet, a personal finance website. Email: aoshea@nerdwallet.com. Twitter: @arioshea.

Updated March 31, 2017