Every investor has to start somewhere. To cater to the fledgling demographic, Acorns provides free management for college students. Unlike most investing apps, it also offers a spare change savings tool, which rounds up purchases users make at select retailers. The balance is due, and the next dollar is then invested in the user’s Acorns account.
Acorn is a nice platform for investors suitable for beginners as well. However, Acorns’ flat fees can be stiff for those with smaller account balances. For $1, $2, or $3 per month, depending on the user’s account balance, Acorns offers a passive portfolio of ETFs.
Wealthbase is a newer entrant into the world of stock market games. It has one of the most user-friendly investing apps out there for having fun and picking stocks. You can set up games with friends to last however long you want. Wealthbase joins social media with stock picking.
You’ll see a feed of stocks your friends are picking, with daily updates of who’s winning, and you can engage in a little friendly trash talk. It is doing business with added fun and pleasure. The wealthbase app also runs very smoothly — no delays to load, no hiccups. Even if you’re not a vast stock-picker, you’ll have fun here. And you can trade crypto in the simulation as well. It is an excellent option for beginners and old-timers, ensuring a fun chat while making money.
Betterment is one of the relatively new waves of robo-advisors, and it’s one of the largest and most popular. The app provides professionally managed portfolios using a selection of ETFs and is calibrated against your risk tolerance. Betterment can create socially responsible portfolios, including those that focus on climate change or social impact. If you’re willing to stomach a little more risk, the app can find your investments with a potentially higher return over the long run.
If you need a safer portfolio, Betterment can do that, too. You can set up Betterment and then kick back while the pros do the rest of the work. In addition, betterment charges a much smaller price than you’d pay for a traditional financial advisor. The management fee for the primary account amounts to 0.25 percent — a competitive rate in the robo-advisor world or $25 annually for every $10,000 you have invested. The platform lets you set goals to invest for, such as a safety net or retirement, and there’s no account minimum.
Similar to Betterment and other robo advisors, Wealthfront invests in passive portfolios and charges a management fee of just 0.25%. Though the investing app requires a $500 account minimum, it does support daily tax-loss harvesting or realizing losses to offset taxes on capital gains.
The value of tax-loss harvesting is limited for everyday investors, but it remains popular among robo-advisor apps. To make the most of Wealthfront, though, your balance needs to fall in its sweet spot. Unlike many robo-advised apps, Wealthfront doesn’t deal in fractional shares. Serious investors should look elsewhere, too: Although it does offer extras like the Wealthfront Risk Parity Fund to six-figure accounts for an extra fee, there’s no human management option or bonus for large balances.
In search of a fantastic investing platform, Invstr is what you get when you mix learning, real-life investing, and community into an app that’s designed to give beginning investors a way to get into stocks, especially if you like games. The app combines a fantasy stock game, where you can assist in managing a $200 billion virtual portfolio, with access to investors’ thoughts on stocks and other investments.
The fantasy game gives you $1 million in virtual money, and you can use the app’s social network and news feed to source ideas. The month’s top performers win real cash, too. And if you want to turn some of those fantasy picks into real-life stakes, you can buy fractional shares and whole shares commission-free in the app.
The app will even give new users $5 when they open and fund an account. Invstr has also started offering commission-free trading in cryptocurrencies. Invstr gives you a platform for investment with added pleasure.
Robinhood is the platform to have if you like a smooth interface and avoid trading commissions. The app allows you to trade stocks, ETFs, options, and cryptocurrency all for free, and you’ll be able to do it in a slick mobile interface that makes smooth work of it all.
The stripped-down app is simple to navigate, and after a while, you’ll move from screen to screen intuitively as you trade the market. But you’ll have to know what you want to invest in since there’s no advising here. You can access a stock’s page from a search bar at the top of the screen and pull up charts and vital statistics.
Also useful is a feed that aggregates stories from news and investing sites in keeping you updated on recent happenings. After you’ve decided what you want to trade and enter the number of shares to buy or sell, swipe up, and the order is on its way.
Like Acorns, Stash is one of the best investing apps for beginners. Stash stands out in its account options: For a flat $3 monthly fee, users get brokerage, bank, and retirement accounts. At the $9-per-month level, they also receive two custodial accounts, monthly investment research, a more robust rewards structure, and an upgraded debit card. Stash requires just $5 to open an account, and users can purchase fractional shares in stocks and ETFs. Unfortunately, though, Stash only offers about 150 stores and 60 ETF options. To make their holdings more obvious to beginners.