The best investing apps

The Best Investing Apps of 2020 (Top 8)

Investing used to be a complicated matter and even more complicated to figure out what your returns were. Not too long ago, you would have to call or email your financial advisor to see how your investments were doing. However, today all you have to do is click a few buttons to see how your assets are doing. If you think that is easy, it’s even easier to start investing. The hardest choice you’ll make is which investment app you should use.

All the apps on the list are the best investing apps you can be using. The only question you need to ask is, what is your goal with investing? Is it to save money for college, retirement, vacation, wedding, have money in savings, or something else? There are many different types of goals you could have, and each app could help you reach that goal.

NOTE these are not in any specific order; each app is a great choice, but each have different calculated benefits

TD Ameritrade

TD Ameritrade has been around since 1975 and is one of the country’s biggest online brokerage companies. More likely than not, you have heard about or have seen its bank somewhere in your city. If you are new to the world of stock investing or trading, then this is a place you want to consider starting. 

What Makes TD Ameritrade a great place to start is its vast Educational videos. The moment you create an account, you have access to all their educational resources, making it an excellent place for any starting investor. However, don’t that let that fool you TD is excellent even for the most experienced investor. TD offers all types of tools to help you out and making sure you can find out anything you need to about a specific investment.

Understand TD is best for those of you who are ok with being hands-on with your investments. If you don’t invest your money, it will just be sitting in your account losing value due to inflation.

Important Notes

  • Minimum Starting amount- $0
  • Fee- $0
  • Best for hands-on investors

The best investing apps

Acorn

If you are someone who struggles to save, then you might want to consider using Acorn to help you save and invest. Acorn has gained much popularity in the past couple of years, especially among young people. 

Acorn is a Robo-advisor investing platform that designs a portfolio based on your risk level. They have five modes of investing on their platform Conservative, Moderately Conservative, Moderate, Moderately Aggressive, and aggressive, making it an excellent choice for a wide range of investors. If you don’t know, Robo-advisors are computers that use algorithms and advanced software to build and manage your investment portfolio.

What makes Acorn so great is that it helps make investing automatic. By connecting it to your debit card, it rounds up all your purchases. If you purchase a coffee for 4.30, Acorn will round it up to $5.00 and invest that $0.70 into your account. Now while there are many positives to Acorn, there is one thing that should be known. The fee can range from $1 to $3 a month. Now that might not seem like a lot, however, if you spent 12 dollars on fees a year with only a $100 investment, that is a 12% fee. 

Important Notes

  • Fee $1-$3
  • Minimum starting $0
  • Best for those who don’t want to think about their investments

Robinhood

Chances are, if you have been doing any investing, there is a good chance that you have been using Robinhood. Robinhood gained popularity by being the first investing platform to offer a complete free trading platform. Unlike TD, there aren’t any fees for any trading that you do. The only downside is that you won’t be able to have access to retirement accounts, meaning you’ll mix out on tax benefits.

Robinhood is perfect for those of you who want an easy platform to use for trading and investing and even better for those of you who want an app that is user friendly, and you can start in a matter of minutes this is the app for you. Note that this app requires you to be hands-on with your investments. If you don’t have all your money invested in something, it will just be sitting in your account, not gaining anything.

Important Notes

  • Fee $0
  • Minimum starting $0
  • Best for those who are hands-on, but also want a simple software they can learn in just a few minutes

Fundrise

Real Estate is considered one of the best investments someone can make. It often brings much higher returns than any stock. While a real estate stock can be a good investment, it doesn’t bring the returns direct real estate investment brings. Used to, it was difficult to get into real estate deals unless you had thousands of dollars to invest. But now, thanks to platforms like Fundrise, that is no longer the case.

Fundrise is one of the biggest names out there when it comes to crowdfunding real estate deals. On average, investors get a 9.11% return on investment with them, and the best part of it all is they manage all your investments. Meaning that if you prefer hands-off investing Fundrise is the right choice for you.The best investing apps

Fundrise offers three different investment choices.

  • Supplemental income
  • Balance investing
  • Long term growth

Important Notes

  • Fee 1% annually
  • Minimum starting $500
  • Best for those who want to get started investing in real estate and don’t want to have to think about it too much.

Wealthfront

If you are serious about investing, then Wealthfront might be the best choice for you. Like Acorn, Wealthfront uses Robo-advisors to help create an investment portfolio for you. They offer four investment choices, depending on your specific goal.

  • Homeownership
  • Retirement 
  • Time off for travel
  • College 

Something great about Wealthfront is the college investment account they offer. Their college plan provides a 529 program to help better save for college. The money in this account is for anything that qualifies as higher educational expenses, which could include tuition, room and board, and books. And like a retirement account, the 529 plan has tax advantages that help keep more of your savings.

Important Notes

  • Fee 0.25% annually
  • Minimum starting $500
  • Best for those who have specific goals or want to start investing for retirement and get tax benefits.

Ally

If you haven’t checked out the article on online banking vs. traditional baking, you’ll want to check it out now to understand better why Ally might be the right choice for you. Wouldn’t it be nice if you could access your savings, checking, and investing all on the same app or site? If your answer to that last question is yes, then Ally might be the right choice for you.

What makes Ally such an excellent place to invest is that you have the opportunity to either do the investing yourself or give your money to managed by someone else. Making it beneficial to both hands-on and hands-off investors.

If you choose to have your money invested for you, there are four great portfolios to select.

  • Core 
  • Income 
  • Tax Optimized
  • Socially Responsible

Important Notes

  • Fee $0 for managed, and some fees apply to some trades
  • Minimum starting amount- self-managed $0 and managed accounts $100
  • Best for those who want to invest in the same place they do their banking.

Invstr

This list would be incomplete if Invstr weren’t listed. Invstr trading platform is similar to Robinhood. Invstr app is for those of you who want to be hands-on with their investment. One key difference between Invstr and Robinhood is that Invstr lets you buy a fraction of shares. Simply put, if you can’t afford a whole stock of Amazon, you could instead just buy a fraction of a share. Another notable difference is that Invstr offers a great learning program, so if you’re new to investing, they offer great educational material for you.

Even though the Invstr trading platform is excellent and their educational content is top-notch, neither of those are the reason Invstr is on this list. The reason Invstr made this list is because of their Fantasy Finance. Similar to Fantasy Football, you compete against friends, and whoever gets the highest return at the end of the month wins. Invstr also does monthly public competitions, and the top ten at the end of each month wins a cash prize. Learning a new skill like investing is always more fun with friends to do it with, and by helping each other figure out what you might be doing wrong, your skills will multiply faster than if you did it alone.

Important Notes

  • Fee $0.99 when trading fractions of shares and $2.99 for whole shares.
  • Minimum starting amount $1
  • Best for those who want to start with simulations and or want to learn how to invest with friends.

Betterment

If you are serious about investing and are in it for the long run that Betterment is the right choice for you. Betterment is similar to Wealthfront and Acorn in that Betterment uses Robo-advisors to help create your portfolio. Though one big positive compared to Wealthfront is that your required starting amount is $0 instead of $500. What make’s Betterment stand out among other investing platforms is that they give you access to Certified Financial Planners 24/7

Betterment offers a wide range of accounts that you can find one that meets your needs and goals. The accounts they offer are;

  • Roth IRA
  • Traditional IRA
  • SEP IRA
  • Trusts
  • House Down Payment Saving
  • Education Saving (NOTE this isn’t a 529 account, so there are no tax advantages.)

Like Ally, Betterment now also offers a checking and savings account that easily connects to your investment accounts, making it a perfect one-stop location for all your money needs.

Important Notes

  • Fee 0.25% to 0.40%
  • Minimum starting amount $500
  • Best for those who want to invest in the same place they do their banking or want to start preparing for retirement.

Which is best for you?

As you have seen, there are no shortages of investment apps, and the ones listed here are only a few of the hundreds out there. No one can choose for you; you have to ask yourself what are your goals, and do you want to be hands-on or have someone do all the investing for you? If you want to learn more about investing and where to start, check out our article on how to start investing.

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