June 10, 2024

Free Investing Apps

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Want to invest but don't want to pay trading or subscription fees? Check out these free investing apps and start today.

What are the best free investing apps?
The 5 best free investing apps are:
  1. Fidelity for best all-around app
  2. Robinhood for beginners
  3. Webull for analysis tools
  4. SoFi Invest for financial advisors
  5. Public for social investing

Investing apps have made it easy for anyone to start investing, from anywhere. Many have become free to use, erasing the barrier to entry into the investment world.

Now, because there are so many free investment apps, you can pick up your phone, download an app, and start trading.

But are they all good? Read on for the best free trading apps on the market. Plus, learn what makes each so unique.

Top 5 Free Investing Apps

The best app for you depends on your investment needs. Are you a beginner or more advanced trader, or do you want to be hands-off? Do you want to trade stocks or mutual funds? Keep these in mind as you scroll through the list.

Can I invest in stocks for free?
Yes. Many online brokers allow you to buy and sell stocks with no trading fees. You don't have to be rich, with many of these platforms letting you buy stocks and ETFs for just a few dollars.

Fidelity: Best All-Around App

Minimum InvestmentFractional shares starting at $1
Tradable AssetsStocks, ETFs, Options, Mutual Funds, Crypto, U.S. Treasuries, CDs
Account TypesIndividual Taxable, IRA (Traditional, Roth, SEP), HSA, 529, Custodial, Teen, Robo-Advisor, Cash Management Account, and more[1]
App Store4.8/5 stars (2.3+ million reviews)
Google Play Store4.4/5 stars (128,000+ reviews)

Fidelity is a full-service investment firm that allows you to buy a wide range of assets via web browser, mobile app, and desktop app. There are no trade commissions, minimums, or account fees.

Why we like Fidelity:
If you're planning on investing in mutual funds, Fidelity is your best option. Through their FundsNetwork, they offer over 10,000 mutual funds to invest in. These include over 3,000 no-transaction-fee funds (NTFs).

Additionally, with how comprehensive the platform is, Fidelity can be your one-stop shop for all your investing needs. It has pretty much any type of asset you'll ever want to trade and every type of account you might need.

Fidelity also has advanced in-depth research tools like:

  • Quotes on individual stocks, company financial statements, key company statistics, and more
  • Key information like stock earnings, growth rates, dividend yields, and more
  • News and research reports that help you stay on top of the latest trends
  • Stock screeners that let you sort through extensive lists of stocks and pick one based on your criteria

Pros + Cons

  • In-depth research and analysis tools
  • Diverse assets and account types
  • Extensive educational content
  • High fees on broker-assisted trades
  • High fees on options contracts

Robinhood: Best For Beginners

Minimum InvestmentFractional shares starting at $1
Tradable AssetsStocks, ETFs, Options, American Depository Receipts (ADRs), and Crypto
Account TypesIndividual Taxable, IRA (Traditional & Roth), Margin, Cash Management Account
App Store4.2/5 stars (4.3+ million reviews)
Google Play Store4.1/5 stars (485,000+ reviews)

Robinhood is a simple investing app that's tailor-made for beginner DIY investors. It's free to use and requires no minimums to open.

They offer commission-free trades and you can buy stocks with as little as $1.

Why we like Robinhood:
If you're looking to open a retirement account, Robinhood offers matching contributions on their IRAs. This is the first IRA to give you extra money for every eligible dollar you contribute, including all IRA transfers and old 401(k) rollovers.

To learn more about Robinhood IRAs, check out our review and see if they're a fit for you and your investment needs.

The Robinhood app is also clean and beginner-friendly. New investors won't be bombarded with jargon and charts that might overwhelm you.

You also have educational and research tools like investment education modules, Robinhood Learn, real-time market updates, side-by-side stock comparisons, and prices paid by other Robinhood investors.

Pros + Cons

  • Fractional shares from $1
  • Beginner-friendly UI
  • Contribution match on IRAs
  • Limited research and analysis tools
  • Past controversies[2]

What is the easiest investment app for beginners?
If you're looking to trade yourself (DIY), Robinhood and Public are great for any beginner. They offer simple, easy-to-navigate user interfaces and make trading as straightforward as possible. If you want your portfolio managed for you, look to a robo-advisor like Acorns and Betterment.

Webull: Best For Analysis Tools

Minimum InvestmentFractional shares starting at $5
Tradable AssetsStocks, ETFs, Options
Account TypesIndividual Taxable, IRA (Traditional & Roth), Margin, Robo-Advisor, Cash Management Account, Paper Trading
App Store4.7/5 stars (297,400+ reviews)
Google Play Store4.3/5 stars (189,000+ reviews)

Although it's a relatively new player in the market, Webull has quickly risen as one of the best platforms to use for investing.

On top of commission-free trades and zero account minimums, Webull has support for advanced trading strategies. This includes short selling, margin trading (up to 4x buying power), and day trading (up to 3 day trades in 5 business days) for accounts with less than $25,000.

Why we like Webull:
Webull offers a free practice trading account that includes unlimited virtual money and real-time market data. This lets you simulate trades, plan out strategies, and see how they pan out.

Webull also offers some of the most advanced charting and technical analysis tools on the market. This makes it perfect for those who like to dive deep into research to make their own investment decisions.

These tools include:

  • Real-time market quotes
  • Price alerts (for stocks on your watchlist)
  • Stock screeners
  • Market data from 5 categories and 100+ exchanges
  • 50+ technical indicators
  • Analyst ratings
  • Video replay (for historical price stock action)

Pros + Cons

  • Free paper trading account
  • In-depth research and analysis tools
  • $5 fractional shares
  • Could be overwhelming for beginners
  • No mutual funds, forex, bonds, or futures

SoFi Invest: Best For Financial Advisors

Minimum InvestmentFractional shares starting at $5
Tradable AssetsStocks, ETFs, Mutual Funds, Alternative Funds
Account TypesIndividual Taxable, Robo-Advisor, Joint (Automated), IRA (Traditional, Roth, SEP)[3]
App Store4.8/5 stars (343,000+ reviews)
Google Play Store3.9/5 stars (34,000+ reviews)

SoFi Invest lets you trade US-listed stocks on the NYSE, NASDAQ, and more. There are no minimum investments, account fees, or trading fees. Plus, fractional shares from $5.

The app lets you place trades, track the performance of your stocks, and give you access to real-time quotes. It even has social features that let you share your portfolio with others on the app.

Why we like SoFi Invest:
With SoFi, you can choose between DIY and robo-investing. If you prefer to be hands-off, they will create a diversified portfolio for you. From there, all you need to do is deposit money and SoFi will do all the heavy lifting for you.

SoFi's automated investing feature is free, unlike other robo-advisors that charge a management fee.

And all SoFi members can get free consultations with a financial advisor. An expert can give you guidance based on your unique needs, including:

  • Creating investment strategies based on your risk tolerance
  • Building your budget by providing good spending habits
  • Borrowing money the correct way
  • Saving for the future as well as for emergency funds

SoFi also gives you access to IPO trading. As long as you have an Active Investing account, you're eligible. You'll be able to see what IPOs are live and select which ones you want to participate in.[4]

Pros + Cons

  • Active & automated investing
  • Free access to financial advisors
  • No management/account fees
  • Limited research tools
  • Limited tradable assets
  • No conditional orders

Public: Best For Social Investing

Minimum InvestmentFractional shares starting from $5
Tradable AssetsStocks, ETFs, Crypto, US Treasuries, Royalties, Alternative Investments
Account TypesIndividual Taxable
App Store4.7/5 stars (68,000+ reviews)
Google Play Store4.2/5 stars (47,000+ reviews)

Public is a free trading app that takes a social approach to investing. On top of stocks and ETFs, they even offer alternative investments like fractional shares of art and collectibles.

Why we like Public:
Public has a social aspect that not many other platforms have. Think of it as LinkedIn, but for investing.

You can follow traders you like, see what they're trading, and even contact them. This allows you to build a social feed of investors to learn from and collaborate with.

Not sure what to invest in? The app has a wide range of pre-built themes, like Artificial Intelligence, Space Exploration, and American Made. This makes it easy to invest in companies that align with your goals and passions.

Let's say you want to invest in environment-friendly ETFs. Public has a theme called Green Power that contains companies that produce power through sustainable and renewable means. You can also follow and chat with other investors in that theme.

Pros + Cons

  • Sense of community
  • Thematic investing
  • Alternative assets
  • Limited account types
  • Limited analysis and evaluation tools

Can I start trading with $1?
Yes. Many platforms (like Robinhood) offer fractional shares for as low as $1. Let's say a stock of a popular company is $300/share. Instead of needing $300 for a single share, you can buy just $1 of the stock and own a very tiny piece of a share.

How To Choose A Free Investing App

Each free investing app will cater to different types of traders. Make sure to consider these important points before trading on a particular investment app:

  • Tradable assets
    Each app will let you trade a different range of assets. Most will offer the basics like stocks, options, or ETFs. Some may have wider selections like mutual funds, bonds, and cryptocurrencies, or even niche assets like fine art.

    Before you pick a free investing app, figure out what you want to trade and if you're going to stick to that asset long-term.

    Are investing apps safe?
    Yes. If the investing app is registered with the SEC and FINRA, it's a good indication that it's a legitimate broker. Most trustworthy brokerages are SIPC-insured and cover up to $500,000. Just remember that it doesn't protect you against the decline in the value of your assets due to market loss.

  • Research and investment tools
    If you like doing deep dives on data behind the stock before investing, you may want an app like Webull, which offers advanced research and analysis tools.

    But if you're just starting out, you may like something like Robinhood or Public more. Although they have fewer research and analysis tools, they're more beginner-friendly and simplify the investing process a little bit more.

    Figure out which of the two types of investors you are and select an app that fits that trading style.

  • Extra features
    All investing apps essentially allow you to do the same thing: trade assets. Where they'll differ mostly are in the features they add around that basic functionality.

    Public, for example, adds a social aspect and offers thematic investing. Webull has a paper trading account. Make sure to take a look at what each app has to offer before settling on one.

Methodology

To come up with this list of free investing apps, we first made sure the apps were truly free to use. This means no monthly or subscription fees, and no commissions on trades.

Next, we looked at each individual app and what assets are available. Every investor will have different preferences. So no matter what you like to trade (stocks, crypto, or even alternatives), we made sure that there was an option for you on this list.

Lastly, we looked at the unique features that each free investing app offered. We looked at features that would make it easy for those just starting out and extra tools that experienced investors could appreciate.

Are these investing apps really free?
Yes. None of the apps mentioned above have any monthly or subscription fees. All of them also offer commission-free trades, meaning you don't pay any fees for buying and selling. Just note that these apps may charge for additional services like wire transfers, paper statements, and more.

Bottom Line

When it comes to investing apps, you have a ton of options that won't hurt your wallet. Many apps are free to use, beginner-friendly, and won't charge you commissions on trades.

Ultimately, it all boils down to the type of trading you like to do:

  • If you want a one-stop shop for all your investing needs, Fidelity could be a great option for you.
  • If you're just starting out, Robinhood and Public have a ton of beginner-friendly tools and features that could help you kick-start your investing journey.
  • If you need advanced research tools or want support for more complex trading strategies, Webull is probably your best bet.

Each investor has a different set of needs, so be sure to reflect on that before choosing a free investment app. Take the time to research each app's features, read reviews, and then you can start investing responsibly.

References

Write to Iggi Vargas at feedback@creditdonkey.com. Follow us on Twitter and Facebook for our latest posts.

Note: This website is made possible through financial relationships with some of the products and services mentioned on this site. We may receive compensation if you shop through links in our content. You do not have to use our links, but you help support CreditDonkey if you do.


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