Last updated January 18, 2023
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Do you have that one friend who’s into micro-investing, moving around money with their thumbs over cocktail hour?
There are plenty of investment apps out there right now, making investing more accessible than it’s ever been before. When you think of investing, you might think of Bill Gates or Elon Musk. Or of needing access to stodgy advisors and financial planners. It just feels intimidating.
But it’s not out of reach. The world of investing has never been more accessible thanks to the variety of apps available. You can take a hands-off approach, or fixate on the NASDAQ. There are plenty of options for you and the right investment app can help you get started.
Here’s a little more information about direct consumer investing apps.
There are tons of different investment apps out there, but not all invest in the same things. We looked into what people might be looking for from an app. The most user-friendly apps use robo-advisors. They’re easy enough that even someone who isn’t really tech-savvy can use them without too much trouble. They use fancy algorithms to manage your investments based on your values, personal preferences, budget, and risk tolerance. And they have a great personal approach, too.
Most of the apps on our list also top the top investment apps lists for Forbes, BankRate, NerdWallet, Investopedia, WSJ, and other financial outlets. Swagbucks members are eligible to earn cash back bonuses when they sign up for any of these apps shared in our review.
What is an investment app?
An investment app is the 21st Century way to invest. You can buy, trade, and sell your own investments. It’s investing directly on-the-go, from your phone, with only a few dollars (or more if you want). It’s not just for the uber-rich. And also, there’s no need for an advisor. With algorithms and robo-advisors at work, you can set up low risk portfolios that align with your values and goals. You can even pick stocks from specific companies you’re interested in. With some investment apps, you can even buy, share, and sell cryptocurrencies.
Some of the best invest apps available today include:
Price per month: $1 per month for a Lite account.
Trial Offer or Intro Rate: $10 off new memberships
About: Invest your spare change with Acorns. From seedlings grow mighty oaks. This easy-to-use robo-advisor investment app has more than 9 million users. Acorns has low fees, with three account tiers: Lite for $1 per month, Personal for $3 a month (comes with checking account and debit card, access to bonus investments and real advisor advice, and easy retirement account set-up), and Family for $5 per month (additional option to create investment accounts for kids).
Best For: Investors wanting an easy, all-in-one solution and a more hands-off approach.
Joiner’s Promotion: Get $30 when you sign up as a new Acorns user through Swagbucks. You must sign up and fund your account with at least $5.
Price per month: Free. They do not charge any trading fees or commissions. As with any brokerage or investment firm, there may be some small SEC and TAF fees, but for most Public users these transactions are so low volume that it will never cost them more than a few cents.
About: Public democratizes investment for the entire public at large. Investing isn’t just for the fat-cats. Public offers fractional investing (partial shares) with no commission fees or account minimums. You can invest any amount of money and engage with a broader public community for inspiration and accountability. Public is on a mission to make it possible for anyone to own stocks.
Best For: New investors who want an easy way to invest any amount of money, with the option to easily learn about investing and their investments. Great for people who want to learn, in-platform, about new companies, IPOs, and what the top finance gurus are investing in. You can follow their moves, and replicate them too – but on a smaller scale.
Joiner’s Promotion: Get $16 when you sign up as a new Public user through Swagbucks. You must sign up and fund your account with at least $5.
Price per month: $1 per month for a Stash Beginner account.
About: Stash aims to make it quick and easy to select investments, like stocks and exchange-traded funds or ETFs. There is no account minimum requirement. Their goal is to make it easy for everyday Americans to start investing and building their wealth. Three different levels of account membership (Beginner for $1/month, Stash for $3/month, and Stash+ for $9/month). Life insurance, Stock Back Cards, portfolio recommendations, and savings strategies are offered at every plan level. Stash Growth offers Smart Portfolio and Retirement Portfolio options. The Stash+ plan offers kids’ portfolios (custodial accounts).
Best For: Investors seeking an easy-to-use investment app with lots of extra features you can add on or grow into.
Joiner’s Promotion: Get $50 when you sign up as a new Stash user through Swagbucks. You must sign up and fund your account with at least $5.
Price per month: Free. They do not charge any trading fees or commissions, but as with any brokerage or investment firm, there may be some small SEC and TAF fees.
About: Robinhood offers commission-free stock, ETF, and options trades. The streamlined trading platform allows you to trade stocks with ease and also has free cryptocurrency.
Some users feel Robinhood has less customer service compared to other brokers, but they do have an account minimum fee of $0 so it may still be worth it.
Best For: Users who want a streamlined trading platform with the ability to trade cryptocurrency. Robinhood is also good for consumers new to the investing world who want to trade in small quantities and fractional shares.
Joiner’s Promotion: Get $40 when you sign up as a new Robinhood user through Swagbucks. You must sign up and fund your account with at least $5.
Price per month: No commission fees or management fees. Withdrawals may incur a $5 fee and FX rates will apply to non-USD deposits and withdrawals. Other fees may apply.
About: eToro allows for users to begin trading cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin, Ripple, or Ethereum for as little as $50. Additionally, users can emulate select traders with successful (profitable) track records. You can see the moves they have made and copy them.
Best For: Users who want to trade cryptocurrencies and have a higher risk tolerance. There is inherent risk that comes with speculation (cryptocurrencies).
Motley Fool Review
Rating: 3.8 of 5 stars on Sitejabber (based on 220+ reviews)
Price per month: $8.25 (charged $99 annually)
About: Motley Fool is all about beating the stock market and investing better. Motley Fool’s stock recommendations have beaten the market over the past 18 years by staying true to our investing philosophy. Motley Fool believes your best chance to succeed in the stock market is by buying at least 25 stocks and holding them for at least five years. They have nearly 200 stock recommendations with 100%+ returns, and their average. Every month members receive new stock pick recommendations from their expert analyst team. A downside is that Motley Fool currently does not have a phone app.
Best For: Investors who are obsessed with performance and want to follow expert recommendations. Also, investors who are in it for the long haul (5+ years) are OK with the Motley Fool’s lack of smartphone apps for mobile users.
Joiner’s Promotion: Get $40 when you sign up as a new Motley Fool user through Swagbucks. You must sign up and purchase a yearly subscription.
Price per month: Transaction fees range from 0.02% to 0.20%. Crypto buy-in fees can range from $0.99 for an instant transfer (ACH) to 4.25%.
About: OKCoin is one of the world’s largest cryptocurrency exchanges. Their mission is to make cryptocurrency trading and investing easy, accessible, and safe. They are the world’s largest Bitcoin exchange, with millions of Bitcoin exchanges transacted every month. The OKCoin trading platform is intuitive, well-designed, and easy to use with a clean interface. They also offer 24/7 customer support and the platform regularly supports extremely high withdrawals and more advanced order types. There is limited regulatory information when comparing OKCoin to other cryptocurrency exchanges.
Best For: OKCoin is good for investors who want to buy and sell cryptocurrencies and only cryptocurrencies. There are no other investment options.
Joiner’s Promotion: Get $15 when you sign up as a new OKCoin user through Swagbucks. You must sign up and make your first deposit (at least $10) and trade.
Price per month: Free. SoFi offers commission-free stock and ETF trading with no fees for withdrawals or account inactivity. Additionally, there are no account minimum requirements.
About: Build confidence as an investor with SoFi. Trade stocks and ETFS, buy cryptocurrency, or start automated investing. SoFi is intuitive and easy to use and offers personalized ETF portfolios for passive or hands-off investors. There is good customer support and access to certified financial planners. Advanced investors might find their portfolios too limited and their research tools too basic.
Best For: Good investment app for beginners who are investing modest amounts and want a more hands-off approach. Also good for consumers who already have other SoFi products, like loans or bank accounts.
Joiner’s Promotion: Get $150 when you sign up as a new SoFi user through Swagbucks. You must sign up and fund your account with at least $50.
Please read the fine print for each joiner’s promotion listed, including any additional eligibility requirements and crediting timelines. Joiner’s promotions are subject to modification or termination at any time. All joiner promotions listed were current at the time of this article’s publication.
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