4 Best Investment Apps

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Investments can be quite confusing, not to mention risky too and there are very few guarantees. While the future payoffs can be quite lucrative, as a beginner, you may lack the understanding of the market to make smart investment decisions.

However today, thanks to the many investor web solutions and apps, investing has become extremely easy. The user-friendly design and interactive interfaces along with excellent security features and low cost have indeed made investing very easy for everyone. In this article, we will be discussing some of the top investing apps that allow you to invest free of cost.

Robinhood

Robinhood is a brokerage service app which allows you to buy and sell stocks, options and ETFs (exchange-traded funds) for free. Robinhood does not offer access to the complete range of investments such as mutual funds but has recently added trading of Bitcoin and Ethereum since 2018.

 

Robinhood is essentially for investors who are experienced and are on the lookout for a trading platform which is commission-free. The app does not offer any investment recommendations or management advice for any of your ongoing investments. The Robinhood app is only meant for trading and allows you to monitor and track the stocks and buy them instantly or place the stocks on a “watchlist” to buy later on.

 

Robinhood does not require you to have a minimum balance in order to open an account or maintain it. Just having a standard account with Robinhood allows you access to the instant deposits and while making deposits or selling stocks up to an amount of $1,000, you don’t need to wait for your funds to be processed. You also have the facility of automatic transfers between the Robinhood and your bank accounts.

 

The mobile app of Robinhood was launched much before the website and is among the best apps for stock trading. The app offers plenty of functionality and has basic research tools and a clean and simple user interface. Having a Robinhood Gold account offers larger instant deposits, extra buying power and extended hours for trading.

 

Robinhood’s Pricing

Robinhood does not charge any fees to download or use the app and also does not charge any trading fees.

 

Advantages and Disadvantages of Robinhood

Advantages

  • Robinhood is a free app, does not charge any fees and is a free trading platform.
  • The platform is excellent for traders looking for commission-free trading.
  • No minimum balance required.
  • Started selling and buying Bitcoin and Ethereum since 2018.
  • Well-designed, easy-to-use app that allows you to track your investments and keep track of market data in real time.

 

Disadvantages

  • Despite requiring a minimum balance or no fees, Robinhood is not suited for small or new investors as the platform does not offer any investment recommendations or investment management advise.
  • Robinhood is not a full-service platform and allows you to trade only ETFs, stocks, options and now cryptocurrencies.

 

Stash

If you are just starting out on investments and don’t have a lot of knowledge about it and want to make investment decisions on your own, then Stash is an excellent choice. Stash is a robo-advisor that also performs as an investment app for your mobile phone. Stash allows you to make investments with as little as $5 and helps you in choosing your investments and also educating you as you go along.

 

When you sign up with Stash, you need to fill out a profile, which allows Stash to recommend investments for you taking factors such as historical performance, low fees and managed risk into consideration. However, instead of letting you invest in a traditional portfolio, Stash creates a customized portfolio for you based on several themes built from different ETFs such as environment, innovation, information technology, etc. And, Stash does not manage your portfolio. They make investment recommendations for you and allow you to handle the actual investment process.

 

Stash is not only an investment and trading app but also provides articles and tips to develop your investment knowledge. Stash also has a feature known as “Auto Stash”, that helps you make investing a regular habit. Stash also offers savings and retirement investment options.

 

Stash’s Pricing

  • Stash is free to sign up and is free of cost for the first month.
  • Invest Account Fee: $1 per month.
  • Retirement Account Fees: $2 per month.
  • Annual Management Fee: 0.25% per annum for balance over $5,000.

 

Advantages and Disadvantages of Stash

Advantages

  • You can begin investing with a very small amount, even as low as $5.
  • The ETFs are organized into categories that make it extremely easy to find the companies you’re looking for and the values that matter to you.
  • Offers 30 varied investment themes that you can choose from.
  • You can choose your own investments, as well as, individual stocks, an option not generally available with other robo-advisors in this category.

 

Disadvantages

  • The investment management is not handled by Stash, which means that you will have to make the investments on your own, including periodic rebalancing, if required.
  • The fees that you pay is not to manage your account but only for investment recommendations.
  • Fees of $1/ month for an account with less than $5,000 can be quite expensive and you could lose money on accounts with small balances.

 

Acorns

Acorns is an excellent stock trading app that can help you invest if you are a beginner and don’t really know what to do. Acorns tracks your transactions, both debit and credit, and rounds them up to the nearest dollar. All the spare change in your account is then transferred to your Acorns account, which is then invested. For example, if there is a charge of $8.50, then 50 cents (the rounded off amount) is moved to your Acorns account. The process is known as ‘roundups’.

 

You then need to link your mobile phone to your bank account and your credit cards and any change from your purchase transactions is invested by Acorns automatically. You have the option of setting up the roundups on basis of the next dollar or next $10. And, once the roundups reach a total of $5, it is then transferred to the Acorns account. You also have the option of transferring funds manually to your Acorns account. Acorns is an excellent way for you to start investing money, even if you’re not a natural saver.

 

When the money is transferred to your Acorns account, the app builds a portfolio for you comprising of stock and bond investments automatically, which is based on the questionnaire that you have to fill up once you sign up for a new Acorns account. The robo-advisor then invests in ETFs exclusively to build a broad and diverse portfolio for you which is in accordance with your investment objectives. Acorns usually recommends up to 5 different portfolios, each of them consisting around 6 low-cost ETFs. Your investment account is completely managed by Acorns.

 

Acorns also offers various other investment options such as One-Time Investments, Recurring Investments, Found Money features and Referrals. The diversified portfolios offered by Acorns has been developed in partnership with the Nobel Prize Winner and Economist, Dr. Harry Markowitz.

 

Acorns’ Pricing

  • $1 per month for account balance less than $5,000.
  • 0.25% per annum when the account reaches the $5,000 balance.
  • Trade Securities: Free.
  • Transfer Funds: Free.

 

Advantages and Disadvantages of Acorns

Advantages

  • Acorns is an excellent app for you if you have not been able to save money and invest.
  • The savings process is passive and very simple. When you spend money, the spare change lands up in your Acorns investment account and is then invested.
  • No requirement for a minimum balance or setting up recurring deposits.
  • The Acorns app is free for full-time college students for a period of up to 4 years from the registration date.
  • The feature of “Found Money” automatically invests money in your Acorns account when you shop at Walmart, Macy’s, Nordstrom and other Acorns partners.

 

Disadvantages

  • The fee structure of $1 per month for an account balance less than $5,000 may be quite excessive for small balance accounts.
  • Using only 6 ETFs is on the lighter side, as while most robo-advisers use a limited number of ETFs, they use at least around 12.

 

TD Ameritrade

TD Ameritrade is one of the most popular and the largest online brokerage stock trading platforms that offers its investors the best stock trading app experience. The biggest advantage of TD Ameritrade is that it does not require any minimum amount of investment. With just $50, you can begin investing. With TD Ameritrade, you can buy and sell stocks at a simple flat pricing. TD Ameritrade offers over 100 ETFs that are commission-free from industry giants such as Vanguard, iShares, etc.

TD Ameritrade offers tax-loss harvesting, which is essentially tax-efficient strategies that help to minimize your portfolio losses. As an investor, you can access the QuoteScope, Strategy Desk, Command Center 2.0, Market Motion Detector and Pattern Matcher tools that can help to make stock trading easier for you.

TD Ameritrade offers trading and investing reports from various research companies such as S&P Research, Consensus, Market Edge, etc. that offers insight about the market and allows you to make the right decisions on where to invest. With TD Ameritrade, you have plenty of investment options. You have over 1,200 fund offerings you can choose from and you can use these funds in your regular account or start a 529 plan or a retirement account and all these accounts can be set up with TD Ameritrade.

 

Thinkorswim, TD Ameritrade’s trading platform has been voted as the No.1 trading platform. There are mobile applications available for iOS, Android, Windows and Blackberry phones. If you are either a beginner or a passive investor, then TD Ameritrade’s mobile app offers you plenty of features for all your trading requirements.

It allows you to customize your screens, dashboards, access advice and research, get market alerts, transfer funds and also watch videos about how various investments and trades work. The Mobile Trader App is designed for active and advanced investors. It has technical indicators, charts and analysis that allow you to make trade and investment decisions on the go.

With TD Ameritrade, you can get guidance to portfolio building, education on how to invest, access to high-quality trading and research tools, a wide range of ETFs that are commission-free, mutual funds without any transaction fees and 3 platforms under a single roof and the best part is that all these features are available free of cost.

TD Ameritrade’s Pricing

Trading Fee: $6.95 per online equity trade.

 

Advantages and Disadvantages of TD Ameritrade

Advantages

  • The Thinkorswim platform offers a lot of features and tools that make research possibilities endless and are excellent for both beginners, as well as, veteran traders.
  • Offers more than 100 commission-free ETFs.
  • The interface is extremely easy to use and has various useful features.
  • No account value or trade thresholds are required in order to get access to the gold standard Thinkorswim platform.
  • 24×7 customer support that can be accessed by either phone or by email.
  • Many options that allow you to find the right mutual fund, ETF or stock as per your investing requirements.

 

Disadvantages

  • The fee of $6.95 for every trade charged by TD Ameritrade is quite expensive and even its other services are quite expensive.
  • You need to hold the TD Ameritrade commission-free ETFs for a period of at least 30 days, failing which, you will be charged a short-term trading fee of $19.99.
  • Having multiple apps and platforms for different target audiences may be confusing if you are new to the TD Ameritrade platform. And, you will need to do your homework before you are able to figure out which mobile app and platform are the best for you.

 

Making a decision on which online investment app to use from the various choices available can be difficult. It is a good idea that you evaluate the various options available along with the various features, their pros and cons and your individual requirement before you decide on the best investment app for you.

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