10 Best Free Investing Apps

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Do you currently pay high fees to invest? Do you only invest small amounts of money and can’t afford the fees most online brokers charge?

It’s time to consider these investing apps instead. You won’t pay any annual account fees that eat into your investment returns.

For “hands-off” investors that don’t want to handle the daily investing decisions and portfolio rebalancing, some of these apps can manage your entire account.

Regardless of your investment background and strategy, these apps can help you maximize your returns at the lowest possible cost.

Our Top Picks

COMPANYFEATURES
M1 FinanceFree to use, $100 minimum to open an account
BettermentMost popular, low fees, and easy to use
Personal CapitalFree tool to track your portfolio and net worth

Top Free Investing Apps

Since you invest to boost your income, the notion of free investing apps boils down to more money in your wallet every month!

These investing apps let you trade almost anything for free. Some specialize in ETFs (Exchange Traded Funds), others might only trade stocks. Others are full-service brokerages offering stocks, bonds, ETFs, mutual funds and forex.

In addition to the different investment options, you will need to pay attention to the research and charting capabilities. Some are very primitive while others will let you run more than 100 different charts on your phone or tablet.

Whether you are a novice investor or have been investing for 30 years, you can choose a fully automated app and others are entirely self-directed.

When choosing an investing app keep these three criteria in mind:

  • Investment options
  • Research capabilities
  • Is the app self-directed (DIY) or automated?

Knowing how each of these free investment apps works will help you better choose the app that’s right for you. Now, on to our favorite free investment apps.

1. Vanguard

Vanguard
Company Vanguard
Minimum Investment $0
Account Types IRA, 401(k), Taxable & More
Promotion None
Google Play Rating1.7
Apple App Store Rating4.7

Vanguard is one of the oldest and largest online brokers and offers free stock and ETF trades. This broker manages several stock and bond index ETFs that most robo-advisors invest in.

By investing directly with Vanguard and using their app, you can avoid the robo-advisor annual advisory fees. You will need to be comfortable managing your own portfolio though.

As Vanguard has a loyal group of investors known as Bogleheads, finding investment ideas can be easy. You may decide to build a “three-fund portfolio.”

Stocks and ETFs can have the lowest investment minimums but investors must purchase whole shares.

Many Vanguard mutual funds have a $3,000 minimum initial investment. Their Target Retirement funds require a $1,000 initial investment. Despite this high initial investment, subsequent investments are only $1.

Read our full Vanguard Review to learn more.

2. Webull App

webull investing app logo
CompanyWebull
Minimum Investment$0
Account TypesTaxable and More
PromotionFree Stocks
Google Play Rating 4.4
Apple App Store Rating 4.7

An up-and-coming free investing app is Webull. All stock and ETF trades are free. You can even trade foreign-listed ADR companies other free investing apps don’t offer.

Webull also lets you trade options and cryptocurrency. But you must buy whole shares of stocks and ETFs.

You can access Webull from their Android or iOS app plus any computer.

Webull offers some of the best stock research tools for a free investing app. These tools can be good for short-term traders that rely on technical analysis.

One cool tool you may like is paper trading. This tool lets you simulate trading stock to see what your potential profit or loss can be.

Webull doesn’t require a minimum balance to join. Although a $100+ opening deposit lets you get one free stock. Your free stock will be worth between $8 and $1000. Which stock you get is a mystery.

Read our full Webull review to learn more.

3. M1 Finance

CompanyM1 Finance
Minimum Investment$100
Account TypesTaxable and More
PromotionGet $30 when you deposit $1,000+
Google Play Rating 4.5
Apple App Store Rating 4.6

M1 Finance is another free investing app that can be good for those wanting a free robo-advisor. Investors can invest in premade portfolios that don’t charge an annual advisory fee.

DIY investors can also build a self-managed portfolio of stocks and ETFs. M1 Finance offers fractional shares for all stocks, ETFs and premade portfolios.

M1 Finance touts itself as a hybrid of a robo-advisor and traditional investment broker. This is because it offers automated investments but also includes customization options.

Unlike full-service robs-advisors, M1 Finance doesn’t offer tax-loss harvesting.

Note that M1 Finance doesn’t offer 529 plans or 401k plans. However, it does offer IRAs include Roth IRAs, traditional IRAs and SEP IRAs.

The initial account minimum is $100 for brokerage accounts and $500 for retirement accounts before you can make your first trade. Subsequent trades have a $25 minimum.

Read our full M1 Finance review.

4. Robinhood

robinhood
CompanyRobinhood
Minimum Investment$0
Account TypesTaxable and More
PromotionFree Stocks
Google Play Rating 3.8
Apple App Store Rating 4.1

Do you want an app that lets you trade stocks and options for free? Robinhood has an investing app and a laptop-accessible platform.

This app doesn’t steal from the rich to give to the poor like its namesake. However, you will pay $0 per trade making this the cheapest way to buy and sell stock shares and ETFs.

It’s possible to buy fractional shares of stocks and ETFs with a $5 minimum investment. Not all investing apps offer fractional share investing.

If you still rely on research reports and advanced charting before you trade as Robinhood only has very basic charting capabilities. But the fractional investing feature is a good tradeoff.

Robinhood and Webull operate very similar. Read more about the two here. Both investing apps are good choices but each fits different investing needs.

Read our Robinhood review to learn more.

5. Ally Invest

CompanyAlly Invest
Commission$0
Minimum Investment$0
Account TypesIRA, 401(k), Taxable, and More
PromotionUp to $3,000 cash

If you use Ally for your online banking, Ally Invest can be a convenient investment option. The minimum initial deposit is $0 to open a Self-Directed Account.

The Ally Invest features are robust and easy to use too. There are several stock screener tools for trading stocks and options, including a trading simulator and probability calculator.

Stock and ETF trades are free. Options trades are commission-free but cost $0.50 per contract.

Another reason to consider Ally Invest is access to the Managed Portfolios feature. Investors can divide their portfolio between a Managed Portfolio and buy handpicked stocks and ETFs in a Self-Directed Account.

Also, the Ally Invest Managed Portfolios don’t have an advisory fee like most robo-advisors. But these portfolios maintain a higher cash balance than other automated investing apps.

Read our full Ally Invest review.

6. Betterment

CompanyBetterment
Commission0.25% annual fee
Minimum Investment$0
Account TypesTaxable and More
Promotion1 Year Free Management

Betterment is one of the most popular “robo-advisors” because of their low fees, ease-of-use and automatic portfolio rebalancing.

They also include tax-loss harvesting for free. That means Betterment will try to make tax-friendly investments whenever possible to keep your year-end capital gains as low as possible.

To start investing with Betterment, you only need $1. After filling out the initial questionnaire where Betterment determines your investment goals and risk tolerance, they will invest in an ETF portfolio of stocks and bonds.

As you grow older, Betterment will automatically shift your portfolio allocation from stock-centric ETFs to more bonds that are less volatile as you age and near retirement.

Socially responsible investing portfolios are available too. But these funds have higher fund fees than a standard index fund strategy.

The basic management fee is 0.25% on your total portfolio value. It’s possible to waive the management fees for one year depending on your initial deposit amount.

Read our full Betterment review here.

7. Personal Capital

personal capital
CompanyPersonal Capital
Commission0.49% annual fee
Minimum Investment$0
Account TypesTaxable and More
Promotion$25 Amazon gift card

Personal Capital is a two-fold financial platform. Many people use Personal Capital’s free budgeting app to track their spending and create financial goals.

They even have a free investment fee analyzer that looks at your current investments and makes recommendations to find similar low-fee funds. Many people also like to use Personal Capital as a net worth tracker.

If you have at least $100,000 to invest, you can invest with Personal Capital and have free access to a financial advisor.

Even if you don’t have this much capital to invest (yet), you can track your current investments for free regardless of which brokerage you use.

If you use more than one broker, Personal Capital can be the easiest way to see all your money in one place.

Read our full Personal Capital review.

8. Fidelity

Fidelity logo
CompanyFidelity
CommissionNo base commission; $0.65 per contract
Minimum Investment$0
Account TypesIRA, 401(k), Taxable and More
PromotionUp to $2,500 cash

There is a lot to like about Fidelity which is one of the largest online brokers.

First, there is no account minimums for taxable and retirement investing accounts. Investing accounts for children are available too.

Like the other free investing apps, it’s free to trade stocks and ETFs. There is also a lineup of Fidelity ZERO index mutual funds with no fund fees, trade fees and a $1 investment minimum.

With the Fidelity mobile app, fractional investing is available for over 7,000 US stocks and ETFs. Investors must buy whole shares when using the Fidelity website on their laptop.

One other reason to consider Fidelity is for its analyst reports and research tools. Many barebones investing apps only stream the news headlines and have some charting tools.

When performing investment research with Fidelity, investors can read free third-party reports from well-known research firms.

Those wanting an automated investment portfolio can consider Fidelity Go. This robo-advisor doesn’t charge an advisory fee for account balances below $10,000.

Ready our full Fidelity Investment review.

9. TD Ameritrade

CompanyTD Ameritrade
Commission$0
Minimum Investment$0
Account TypesIRA, 401(k), Taxable and More
PromotionUp to $2,500 cash

Consider TD Ameritrade if you want impressive research tools. TD Ameritrade offers impressive charting tools and third-part analyst reports with its web browser and mobile app.

Its thinkorswim platform for advanced traders is free to use. Other brokers charge a hefty fee to provide similar features.

Stock and ETF trades are free. There are no account minimum for taxable and retirement accounts.

New and experienced investors can also benefit from the TD Ameritrade education tools. There are short online videos and live webinars covering popular investing topics.

Read our TD Ameritrade review to learn more.

10. Public

public investing app logo
CompanyPublic
Commission$0
Minimum Investment$0
Account TypesTaxable and More
PromotionUp To $70 In Free Stock Sign Up & Referrals

Public offers fractional investing of stocks and ETFs with as little as $1.

You might like this app as they do not accept payment for order flow (PFOF) when you buy or sell positions. Other free apps may collect a small surcharge from market makers and you may not get the best trading price as a downside.

This investing app offers several customization tools:

  • Advanced order types: You can place limit and stop order to only execute a trade at a specific price instead of the current market value.
  • Portfolio organizer: You can sort your positions into short-term and long-term investment ideas. If you sell a long-term idea before holding your shares for at least one year, the app sends a nudge notification.
  • Investing themes: The service has investment themes that can help you easily invest in certain environmental, social and market trends.
  • Online community: It’s possible to connect with other investors, see their portfolios and chat inside the app to swap investing ideas and opinions.
  • Education tools: New investors can benefit from the basic educational tools to get a basic understanding about how the stock market works.

It can be a great platform for new investors and experienced investors that don’t need the additional investment options that traditional brokerages provide like mutual funds or CDs.

However, this platform only offers individual taxable brokerage accounts.

Investment App Comparison Table

BrokerMin. InvestmentFees Per Trade Account Type
Vanguard$1$0 Individual Taxable
Joint Taxable
Traditional IRA
Roth IRA
Rollover IRA
SEP IRA
529 plans
Webull$0$0Individual Taxable
Traditional IRA
Roth IRA
Rollover IRA
M1 Finance$100 (Taxable)$500 (IRA)$0Individual Taxable
Joint Taxable
Traditional IRA
Roth IRA
SEP IRA
Robinhood$0$0Individual Taxable
Ally Invest$0$0Individual Taxable
Joint Taxable
Traditional IRA
Roth IRA
Rollover IRA
Custodial
Betterment$10.25% to 0.40%Individual Taxable
Joint Taxable
Traditional IRA
Roth IRA
Rollover IRA
SEP IRA
Personal Capital$100,0000.49% – 0.89%Individual Taxable
Traditional IRA
Roth IRA
Rollover IRA
Fidelity$0$0Individual Taxable
Joint Taxable
Traditional IRA
Roth IRA
Rollover IRA
SEP IRA
Custodial
TD Ameritrade$0$0Individual Taxable
Joint Taxable
Traditional IRA
Roth IRA
Rollover IRA
SEP IRA
Custodial
Public$1$0Individual Taxable

Summary

Not having to pay trade commissions or account fees makes it easier for any person to invest and begin earning compound interest.

And using popular investment apps like the ones mentioned above can help make investing easier and more convenient than ever. Whether you’re investing in stocks, ETFs or real estate, there’s a free investing app that can help you.

Author

Comments

  1. What about Motif?

    • Motif is a good option too, as you get instant diversification with each trade and can build personalized Motif portfolios. You do have to pay either $4.95 or $9.95 per trade, which is why they aren’t included on this list.

  2. Please how can I start trading as an individual with as low as $10 to $20.

    • Quite a few of these allow you to start with a very low amount. Even as low as $1! Just do a little research with the links below to see what is right for you!

  3. I personally am using Robinhood and loving it. I can see everything in a snapshot, track potential stocks and ETFs for future.

  4. I only want to find out if the APP itself has a fee attached to it before downloading it? That information. Seems to be a guarded secret.
    However, I enjoyed your article and learned a lot from reading it. Thank you.

  5. Very surprised that SOFi is not on this list, not only do they offer Stocks and ETF’s, but they also have Banking, Loans, Mortgages, Cryptos, and a Credit Card. Seems that they should be on this list.

    Joe

    • Thank you for the suggestion!

Comments are closed.