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Top Investing Apps for Beginners


If you’re a beginner investor, the array of investment apps from various established brokerages and new companies can be daunting. The best investment apps for beginners do not adhere to a one-size-fits-all approach because beginners have diverse interests and preferences. Some beginners prefer access to various investments and comprehensive learning tools, while others opt for quick-and-easy access to the stock market sandbox to learn independently. Check out some of our top choices below, or consider working with a financial advisor to get more personalized help with your investments.

Top Investing Apps for Beginners

The following apps are all good options for beginner investors and can provide you with the ability to invest in most things that may benefit you if you’re not really sure what you’re doing. The following list is in no particular order and is intended to be exhaustive.

1. Stash

Apple App Store Rating: 4.7/5

Google Play Store Rating: 4/5

Stash is an ideal platform for beginners venturing into the world of investing. It emphasizes educating newcomers through its vast educational resources and a unique feature called Stash Coach. This Coach is both a game and an educational tool, helping you grasp the fundamentals of investing.

Upon downloading the app, you’ll be prompted to answer a few questions to determine your risk tolerance and investment goals. Based on your responses, the app will recommend a selection of ETFs (exchange-traded funds) and individual stocks. Furthermore, the education section will be tailored to your situation, providing valuable content.

When building your actual investment portfolio, Stash offers suggestions, but the final decisions rest with you. However, if your portfolio lacks diversification, the app may guide you to build a more balanced portfolio.

One of the attractive features of Stash is the low entry barrier, as you can start investing with just $5. This is made possible through the option to purchase fractional shares of the 110 individual stocks available in the app. Additionally, Stash offers two subscription plans: Stash Growth, which allows you to open a taxable account with a retirement account (traditional or Roth IRA) for $3 per month and Stash+, which includes a taxable account, retirement account and two accounts for kids for $9 per month.

2. SoFi

Apple App Store Rating: 4.8/5

Google Play Store Rating: 4.1/5

SoFi Invest is a user-friendly investment app tailored for beginners. Its $0 account minimum stands out, making it accessible to anyone interested in investing. You can start investing with as little as $1, thanks to the option to purchase fractional shares of stocks for just $5. The app also boasts 0% fees for both active trading and automated investing, making it an attractive choice for cost-conscious investors. While there is a 1.25% fee for cryptocurrency trading, it still offers a variety of investment options.

One of the notable advantages of SoFi Invest is its access to certified financial planners at no extra cost, providing expert advice and guidance. The platform also enables cryptocurrency trading and access to IPOs, expanding your investment opportunities.

On the downside, SoFi Invest lacks tax-loss harvesting, an advanced technique for optimizing taxes through selling investments at a loss. Additionally, stop-loss orders are not available for active investing, as the platform only supports market orders. SoFi Invest is currently available exclusively to US residents.

3. Ally Invest

Apple App Store Rating: 4.7/5

Google Play Store Rating: 3.6/5

Ally Invest, whose roots go back more than 100 years to the financing arm of General Motors, is an exceptional investment platform catering to the diverse needs of beginners. Its $0 account minimum ensures accessibility for all investors and the absence of trading commissions is a significant advantage. The platform’s automated portfolios are free from advisory or management fees, making it an appealing choice for many novice investors. While most trades have no fees, certain investment types like bonds, mutual funds and specific stocks do incur fees (up to 0.85%).

For those interested in Wealth Management services, there’s a minimum account requirement of $100,000. Additionally, options contracts are available for $0.50 per contract. While Ally Bank offers various banking services, including bank accounts, mortgage refinancing, car loans and personal loans, cryptocurrency trading is not available.

Although Ally boasts an extensive selection of mutual funds, it does not offer no-transaction-fee funds, which may be a critical consideration for some investors.

4. Acorn

Apple App Store Rating: 4.7/5

Google Play Store Rating: 4.6/5

Acorns is a user-friendly and accessible investment platform designed to streamline your financial journey. Its low account minimum of just $0 and the minimal $5 required to start investing make it highly approachable for investors. The platform has a monthly charge of $3 for personal accounts and $5 for family accounts.

One of the standout features of Acorns is its effortless automatic saving and investing tools, simplifying the process of growing your savings. The platform’s portfolio suggestions are personalized based on your risk level, ensuring an investment strategy tailored to your preferences and goals. Additionally, the “Found Money” feature automatically invests a percentage of your purchases from select companies, enhancing your investments without extra effort.

While Acorns offers excellent convenience, it’s essential to consider the flat monthly fee, which may be relatively high, particularly for smaller accounts. Moreover, the platform does not provide the option to select individual investments.

5. Robinhood

Apple App Store Rating: 4.2/5

Google Play Store Rating: 4.1/5

Robinhood is a user-friendly investment platform that offers numerous advantages for newbie investors. With a $0 account minimum, it’s accessible to all users. For those interested in fractional shares, the account minimum is just $1, while margin trading through Robinhood Gold requires a minimum of $2,000.

One of the standout features of Robinhood is the absence of trading fees, making it a cost-effective choice. Additionally, non-Gold users get a 1.50% APY on uninvested cash, while Gold members receive an impressive 4.65% APY. The platform also allows free trading of stocks, options, ETFs and cryptocurrencies, along with IPO investing opportunities.

Cash management accounts are available, enhancing the overall financial experience for users. Robinhood’s website is designed to be user-friendly and easy to navigate and advanced charts are accessible to all users, regardless of their experience level.

On the downside, Robinhood needs more extensive investing research and trading tools, with professional research only available to Robinhood Gold members. The platform does not offer joint accounts, education savings accounts or mutual funds.

6. Stockpile

Apple App Store Rating: 4.7/5

Google Play Store Rating: 3.4/5

Stockpile is an investment platform with enticing features for novice investors. It stands out with a $0 account minimum, making it easily accessible to everyone. The platform charges a flat monthly subscription fee of $4.95, offering simplicity and transparency in its fee structure.

One of the significant advantages of Stockpile is the absence of minimums and gift card/funding fees, allowing you to invest without unnecessary constraints. The platform offers a diverse selection of over 1,000 stocks and ETFs, providing a range of investment options. Additionally, you can fund your account through bank transfers or stock gift cards, adding flexibility to the funding process. The availability of fractional shares further enhances your investment opportunities.

However, it’s essential to note that Stockpile’s investment selection is limited to stocks, ETFs and cryptocurrencies, which may not suit those seeking more investment choices.

7. Public

Apple App Store Rating: 4.7/5

Google Play Store Rating: 4.2/5

Public is a commission-free investing app tailored for Millennials and Gen-Zers. It offers various assets, including individual stocks, ETFs and over 25 cryptocurrencies. Recently, the platform introduced alternative assets like art and sneakers to diversify investment choices.

While Public boasts a social aspect, enabling users to share portfolios and interact with corporate leaders through live “Town Hall” meetings, it does have some limitations. It does not support mutual funds, options, bonds or futures; retirement accounts are currently unavailable.

Users can invest in fractional shares with as little as $1 for micro-investing. Furthermore, opting for the $10/month Public Premium subscription provides extended-hours trading, stock price alerts, advanced data on companies, institutional-grade research by Morningstar, exclusive audio programming and members-only analysis.

How to Choose The Right Investment App

Happy user with a beginning investment app

Discovering the perfect investment app for beginners can be challenging since no universal solution suits everyone’s needs. To determine the best app for you, consider what features and investments matter most. Here are some questions to guide your decision-making process:

  • Are you inclined to purchase individual stocks or do you prefer the convenience of an automated robo-advisor? Certain apps offer both choices, enabling you to customize your investment strategy. Opting for individual stocks and ETFs is ideal if you relish conducting research and actively managing your portfolio. On the other hand, automated investing is well-suited for those who prefer a more hands-off approach.
  • Are you planning to adopt a buy-and-hold, long-term investment approach or do you lean towards active trading? Certain apps cater to active traders, while others specialize in long-term investment strategies.
  • Do you place greater importance on low fees or having a wide range of features and investment options? While some brokerages offer low fees, they may need to provide more educational tools and stock research reports.
  • Are you comfortable with technology or prefer a straightforward and easy-to-use app? Beginners should lean towards user-friendly platforms, but a spectrum of complexity is available. Some apps offer a seamless stock trading experience, while others provide more advanced features.
  • Are you intrigued by investing in cryptocurrencies, options and futures? If so, ensure that your chosen app offers these diverse investment options.
  • Are you primarily focused on investing for retirement or do you need the flexibility to access your funds when necessary? If retirement investing is your priority, verify that the app supports traditional and Roth IRA accounts.

By asking yourself these questions, you can narrow down the options and find the investment app that aligns with your preferences and goals. Keep in mind that while this list is not exhaustive, it can serve as a starting point in your search for the best app for your investment journey.

Bottom Line

Couple who are not experienced at investing using an app

Before choosing an investment app, take the time to explore your options thoroughly. By comparing features, investment options and costs, you can ensure you select the best solution for your specific investment needs. If you need extra guidance or personalized assistance, speak with a financial advisor who can help you make well-informed investment decisions.

Tips for New Investors

  • If the prospect of investing substantial amounts of money seems overwhelming, you don’t need to go through it alone; a financial advisor can be a valuable resource. Finding a financial advisor doesn’t have to be hard. SmartAsset’s free tool matches you with up to three vetted financial advisors who serve your area, and you can have a free introductory call with your advisor matches to decide which one you feel is right for you. If you’re ready to find an advisor who can help you achieve your financial goals, get started now.
  • To enhance the resilience of your portfolio, diversify your assets across various asset classes and economic sectors. By doing so, you reduce the reliance on a single market area for the success of your investments.

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