Investing can seem daunting for beginners. With so many options, platforms, and strategies, it’s hard to know where to start. However, technology has made investing more accessible than ever through user-friendly investing apps. These apps allow you to open an account, fund it, and start trading stocks, ETFs, and other securities quickly and easily from your phone or desktop.
In this article, we will look at the 12 best investing apps for beginners based on fees, account minimums, educational resources, and more.
What to Look for in an Investing App
Here are some key factors to consider when evaluating investing apps for beginners:
- Low fees – Many investing apps offer commission-free trading. Look for zero commission fees and low expense ratios on ETFs and mutual funds.
- Account minimums – Many apps allow you to open an account with little or no money to start. This enables beginners to start small as they learn.
- Easy to use interface – The app should be intuitive with clear menus and flows for finding investments, executing trades, and monitoring your portfolio.
- Educational resources – Look for apps that offer education for beginners on investing basics, retirement planning, developing a portfolio, and more.
- Automatic investing options – Features like roundups that invest your spare change can make it easy to start investing small amounts.
- Customer support – Solid customer support resources via phone, chat, FAQs can provide helpful guidance for beginners.
The 12 Best Investing Apps for Beginners
Based on the criteria above, here are 12 excellent investing apps for beginners:
Robinhood offers $0 commission fees and no account minimums. The easy-to-use interface allows you to invest in stocks, ETFs, options, and cryptocurrency. While robo-advising and retirement planning features are lacking, the app is fantastic for beginners looking to start investing with tiny amounts.
Stash makes investing affordable for beginners. You can open an account with just $5 and the managed portfolios provide automatic investing options. Stash offers retirement account options, banking services, and stock-back rewards on purchases to make investing accessible.
3. M1 Finance
M1 Finance offers customizable, automated investing so you can create a portfolio aligned to your goals with minimal effort. The app has $0 management fees and allows you to invest in fractional shares with no minimums. Portfolio automation and retirement account options provide great tools for beginners.
Betterment provides optimized, automated investing through robo-advising services. The app builds you a personalized portfolio matched to your goals and risk tolerance. Management fees range from 0.25% to 0.40% depending on account size. Betterment is great for hands-off, beginner investors.
With robust research, retirement planning tools, and $0 trades, Fidelity is a strong option for beginners. The account minimum is $0 for a basic brokerage account making it easy to start small. The app provides extensive educational resources guiding you on strategy. Overall, great for learning the ropes.
6. TD Ameritrade
TD Ameritrade offers $0 commission trading along with powerful education through the thinkorswim app and website. thinkorswim provides videos, tutorials, virtual workshops, and more to guide beginners. Accounts can be opened with $0 minimums although some investments have minimums.
7. Merrill Edge
Merrill Edge has a clean, easy-to-use investing interface with $0 trades and no minimums. The app offers good research tools for finding investments. Retirement planning tools and automated investing options make Merrill Edge a solid choice for beginners seeking to learn or take a hands-off approach.
A long-time leader, ETRADE enables $0 stock and ETF trades along with robo-advising for automated investing. Retirement, savings, and checking accounts provide essential banking services for investors. ETRADE provides a nice blend of DIY investing with robo-advising options great for beginners.
Specifically targeted to women, Ellevest offers customized portfolios based on your salary, spending, and goals. Portfolio management fees range from 0.25% to 0.50%. The app focuses on education through articles, videos and workshops tailored to women’s financial situations.
Wealthfront creates and automatically manages diversified ETF portfolios based on your risk tolerance. Management fees range from 0.25% down to 0.05% for larger accounts. With portfolio automation and solid educational content, Wealthfront makes investing in ETFs easy for beginners.
11. SoFi Invest
SoFi Invest offers $0 commission trading on stocks and ETFs. You can open an automated investing account for as little as $1. SoFi also provides extensive educational resources to help guide beginners. The app allows you to consolidate investing, loans, and more in one place.
Acorns makes investing completely hands-off for beginners. Just link your credit/debit cards and the app invests your spare change in ETF portfolios. For $1, $2 or $3 per month, Acorns will automatically invest and diversify your money making it easy to build a nest egg.
Key Takeaways for Investing Beginners
- Take advantage of commission-free trading and no minimums to start small until you build confidence.
- Consider robo-advisors or automated investing if you want a completely hands-off approach tailored to your goals.
- Use apps with educational resources and community support which are invaluable for learning the ropes.
- Don’t underestimate the value of convenience – being able to manage your investments completely from your phone fosters better ongoing engagement.
- Pay attention to account fees and fund expense ratios which can eat away at returns if not minimized.
Investing can certainly seem complicated as a beginner. However, with a host of technology platforms that minimize fees, provide educational resources, and simplify portfolio management, it’s never been easier to get started. Using one of the investing apps above can help beginners build confidence through ongoing learning and small amounts of hands-on experience managing a portfolio.
This article was researched and written using the following sources:
- Investing Apps for Beginners via U.S. News & World Report
- Best Investment Apps of 2022 via NerdWallet
- 8 Best Investment Apps for Beginner Investors via Forbes
- Best Investing Apps for 2022 via The Balance
- Best Stock Trading Apps for Beginners 2022 via Bankrate