Getting started with investing can be overwhelming. You probably realize it’s something that can help you build wealth, but where do you begin?
There are actually apps that are a great option for new investors. They make it easy to get comfortable with investing since they only require small amounts of money.
Here are some of the best micro-investing apps to help you get started with investing.
In This Article
What is Micro-Investing?
Micro investing is where you can invest a small amount of money and get started with as little as $1.
There are many apps that allow you to buy fractional shares of companies, so lets say you want to buy a stock that has a stock price of $2000, you can actually invest $1 in to the same company and own 1/2000 of a share.
This is great because pretty much anyone can invest in the stock market without having a lot of money.
Top Micro-Investing Apps
When it comes to investing, starting small means you can build your comfort levels and learn about your personal risk tolerance. You can take it slowly and work up to larger investments over time.
This is better than making a big investment at the get-go that makes you uneasy or results in a financial loss.
These micro investing apps can help you get started.
1. SoFi Active Investing
Of the apps in this list, SoFi boasts the most features. This makes it a great option for new and experienced investors.
You can open an account for free, make free trades and not worry about account minimums.
SoFi checks all of the boxes when it comes to easily opening investment accounts and investing small amounts of money in fractional shares. That said, they also provide other financial services.
With SoFi, you can:
- Open cash management accounts
- Have access to debit and credit cards
- Apply for loans
- Refinance student, personal and home loans
It’s important to note that all of SoFi’s services can be used independently. This is ideal for someone who might need one service now, like investing, but may require additional services in the future.
Investing for specific goals in an individual brokerage account and for your retirement are both possible at SoFi. Investing in cryptocurrencies is another possibility.
One downside of SoFi is that it does not allow you to open custodial accounts and invest on behalf of your children.
Best for: New and experienced investors interested in other financial services
2. M1 Finance
M1 Finance is another great free investing app offering stocks, ETFs and premade investment portfolios. Buying is easy with the option to buy fractional shares or full. Plus you can assign targets, limits, stops and more.
Taxable accounts start at $100 minimum. IRA retirement accounts start with a $500 minimum. Subsequent investments only require $25 yet you can buy multiple stocks with each trade.
How you build a portfolio with M1 Finance is different than most investing apps. Instead of deciding how many dollars to invest in a stock, you assign a target percentage. Like building a pie one piece at a time.
Some of the best features are:
- Dynamic rebalancing: The brokerage automatically buys shares of your holdings currently below their target allocation. Automatic rebalancing doesn’t sell shares of overallocated holdings until you request a manual rebalance or decide to close a position.
- Premade pies: In addition to indiviudal stocks and ETFs, you can add expert pies for a variety of investment strategies. Some of these pies mimic robo-advisors but you won’t pay any annual advisory fees.
- M1 Plus: A premium membership program giving you access to an afternoon trading window, automated investing rules, custodial accounts and other banking perks. The annual membership fee is $125.
Best for: Scrupulous investor that likes to build their own self-directed portfolio.
Acorns was one of the first apps that offered micro investing to hit the market. This platform is known for rounding up your purchases and investing the difference in your investment account.
The great thing about Acorns is that they provide an all-in-one solution for new investors. They have a checking account with a debit card that will automatically round up your purchases each time you use it.
For example, if you’re at the grocery store and swipe your Acorns card for a $47.62 purchase, that amount will be rounded up. Then, your 38 cents of change will be deposited into your Acorns account.
Acorns also has recurring, automatic investments with a $5 investment minimum. This means that you can set up larger deposits into your retirement accounts.
Acorns monthly plans:
- $3 for Personal: Invest spare change, get a debit card, money advice and more
- $5 for Family: Access accounts for kids, exclusive content and more
If you decide to change or cancel your plan, it’s easy to do since plans are on a month-to-month basis.
As a result of its hassle-free and automatic approach to investing, Acorns is one of the most popular micro investing apps on the market.
Best for: Beginners who want a simple, all-in-one investment solution.
Fees: $3 – $5 per month
Webull might be the best app on this list for more experienced investors.
With Webull, you can open an investment account for free and not worry about account minimums or trading commissions. Both retirement and non-retirement accounts are available.
Webull is a great option for investors who are interested in more thorough stock analysis and want to be more hands-on. The platform has one of the most detailed interfaces for stock research.
Trading options or on margin are also available. Remember that these should only be done with careful consideration of the risks involved.
The platform lets you buy fractional shares with as little as $5 at a time.
Best for: Intermediate investors who prefer options trading and charting tools
Robinhood is a popular choice for both new and intermediate investors. This micro investing app allows you to invest small amounts of money in fractional shares.
The platform does not charge monthly management or commission fees.
Unlike Acorns, Robinhood is only for investing and does not offer a checking account. This is ideal for those who are solely focused on building their investments.
Currently, Robinhood allows you to open individual investment accounts and cryptocurrency accounts. However, it does not offer retirement accounts.
If you are interested in getting more involved with investing, you can trade options with Robinhood.
Keep in mind that trading options is riskier and requires more research, but this route is appealing to some investors. If that’s you, Robinhood could be a good choice for your investing needs.
Best for: New and intermediate investors who want to be hands-on and trade options
Public.com is a micro investing app with a different approach than the previous apps. It is a mix of an investing app and a social media platform where you can learn from other investors.
With Public.com, you can see what others are investing in and send messages via the app.
You can open an account and begin investing with as little as $5 in fractional shares called “slices.” This is ideal for new investors with limited funds.
While Public.com does not currently offer retirement accounts, they are a free investing app and do not charge any monthly management fees.
A key differentiating feature that Public.com provides includes themed portfolios. These help you easily invest in a specific group of stocks at a time.
Themes can include:
- High-dividend earning companies
- Businesses run by female CEOs
- Green energy
And more. Themes are a great selling point for investors who want to take a more targeted approach to where their money goes.
Best for: New investors interested in learning from other investors
Here are some answers to commonly asked questions about micro investing apps.
It depends. It’s important to understand your needs as an investor. The best app for you might not be the best one for someone else.
Investors who want to take investing slowly and have a checking account with the “rounding up” function might consider Acorns.
Those who do not want to pay a monthly fee for their investment accounts might consider Public.com, Robinhood or SoFi.
Investors who don’t need access to fractional shares can evaluate Webull.
Yes. Every micro-app on this list is a member of the Securities Investor Protection Corporation (SIPC). However, the SIPC does not protect cryptocurrency.
Some apps also use two-factor or biometric authentication to protect your data.
That said, it’s important to keep in mind that investing is risky. There’s no guarantee that you won’t lose money, so remember that as you use any investing platform.
Micro investing apps offer retirement, checking, individual brokerage, cryptocurrency and even investment accounts for kids. However, offerings vary between apps.
It’s important to identify which type of account you are looking for before signing up for a micro investing app to ensure the app you choose offers options that fit what you need.
It depends on the app. Some are free and don’t charge commission or monthly management fees. Others charge monthly fees to use their platform.
Apps including Public.com, Robinhood, SoFi and Webull don’t charge fees.
Platforms like Acorns do charge monthly fees that range from $1 to $9 per month depending on the plan you choose.
Micro Investing App Comparison
|Company||Apple Store Rating||Min. Monthly Cost|
|Sofi Active Investing||4.8||$0|
If you are a beginning investor, many of these micro investing apps have useful features that can help you get started. Some of the options are also helpful for intermediate investors.
You can start slow with apps that help you manage your spending and invest automatically, or you may opt to get more involved by learning about individual stocks and options.
Understanding what you need as an individual will help you choose the best app for you. Being clear with your goals can help you stay motivated and reach financial stability.