Best Investment and Stock Trading Apps of 2024 (2024)

According to our research, Wealthfront is the best automated investment app due to its excellent account services, best-in-class usability, and comprehensive money management features. We researched 43 brokerage and digital wealth management platforms and evaluated them on a wide range of factors, including costs, account services, usability, and additional features.

Best Investing Apps

Wealthfront: Best Automated Investing App

  • Account Minimum: $500
  • Fees: 0.25% for most accounts, no trading commission or fees for withdrawals, minimums, or transfers

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Fund your first taxable Investment Account and get a $50 bonus.

Why We Chose It

Wealthfront delivers a powerful, digital-only investment experience that gives users access to comprehensive money management features through an elegant, sleek design. You’ll find the financial guidance, account aggregation, goal setting, investing, and banking options, including debit cards, to be both user-friendly and seamless to navigate. Wealthfront’s Self-Driving Money allows you to further automate your finances by using a rules-based approach to move money between your accounts while optimizing for your goals, putting even control of your financial journey right at your fingertips.

The mobile apps for Android and iOS platforms are both superb and are on par with the desktop experience in terms of features, functionality, and ease of navigation. The app is thoughtfully designed to minimize unnecessary data inputs or typing, opting instead to leverage more user-friendly sliders, drop-down menus, and auto-fill functionality. You’ll still have to input user IDs and passwords when linking external accounts, but generally, the workflows are intuitive and consistent.

Overall, while E*TRADE’s Core Portfolio robo-advisor offering won our Best Robo-Advisor for Mobile Experience category, Wealthfront was our best overall robo-advisor, and its platform provides a polished, smart user experience with exposure to a significantly greater range of comprehensive money management tools.

Originally founded by Andy Rachleff and Dan Carroll in 2008, Wealthfront Inc. is based inPalo Alto, California.

Pros & Cons

Pros

  • Comprehensive financial planning tools

  • The digital-only financial guidance through Path is best in class

  • Thoughtful mobile experience designed to reduce errors and optimize functionality

  • Self-Driving Money provides seamless financial management through your smartphone

Cons

  • External account syncing can be inconsistent

  • No discounts for larger balances

  • No human financial advisors

In the News

On Nov. 3, 2023, Wealthfront increased the APY on its Cash Account from 4.80% to 5.00%.

Interactive Brokers: Best App for Day Traders

  • Account Minimum: $0.00
  • Fees:$0.00 commissions for equities/ETFs available on IBKR’s TWS Lite, or low costs scaled by volume for active traders that want access to advanced functionality such as order routing.$0.65 per contract for options on TWS Lite; that is also the base rate for TWS Pro users, with scaled rates based on volume. $0.85 per contract for futures.

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Why We Chose It

Interactive Brokers (IBKR) edges out the competition for our best app for day traders category. Sophisticated traders will find an immediate fit as the mobile experience carries over all the core features from the desktop Traders Workstation (TWS) functionality, which is one of the most comprehensive trading platforms in existence. Users will also have access to every available asset class, including cryptocurrency for direct coin trading, to go alongside unmatched research, analysis, and strategy tools.

The overall mobile experience generally flows smoothly for experienced traders who already know TWS. The mobile app provides synchronized functionality with watchlists created on the app also being visible on the desktop offering.

While the core features of the IBKR app maintain nearly all the functionality of the desktop version, there are some reasonable constraints given the depth and breadth of the full TWS platform. The desktop option has a lot more options for analysis and trading strategies. Despite these constraints, the Interactive Brokers app stands above the rest as the top platform for day traders because of the range of assets and markets it puts into your hands.

Founded in 1977 by current chairman Thomas Peterffy, Interactive Brokers is headquartered in Greenwich, Connecticut.

Pros & Cons

Pros

  • Mobile experience successfully mimics core functionality of the comprehensive desktop version

  • App-based stock screeners and option strategies match web offering

  • Mobile charts are detailed, intuitive, and provide useful indicators

  • Outstanding order execution

  • Attractive, low margin interest rates

Cons

  • No fixed income screener on mobile

  • Expansive platform capabilities may have a learning curve

In the News

On Dec. 15, 2023, Interactive Brokers announced a number of enhancements to its IBKR Mobile platform that offer an upgraded experience with an innovative design, new and improved features, and quick access to learning resources.

tastytrade: Best App for Options Traders

  • Account Minimum: $0
  • Fees & Commissions: $0 stock trades, $1 to open options trades (capped at $10 per leg), $0 to close

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Why We Chose It

Tastytrade specializes in options trading with a focus on intuitive tools, education, and seamless design. This relentless focus on options trading—and nothing but—has tastytrade taking our top spot in the best app for options traders category.

The workflow is built with seamless options order management in mind, which results in an effective and quick trading experience. The mobile app has order types, asset classes, and quote streaming capabilities that mirror the desktop version.While tastytrade's option workflow optimization makes it stand out in this category, there are some notable mobile constraints such as the inability to rotate graphs on the mobile platform.

Simply put, tastytrade is a great broker for options traders and the majority of those traders will be using the desktop whenever possible. That said, the tastytrade mobile app is singularly focused on trading options, whereas other brokerage mobile apps have to balance options features against more heavily used asset classes.

Launched in 2017,tastytrade is headquartered in Chicago, Illinois.

Pros & Cons

Pros

  • Mobile user flow is optimized for full options trading

  • Easily edit multi-leg options trades

  • Outstanding blend of tools and pricing compared to competition

  • Full offering of asset classes beyond options

Cons

  • Account opening isn’t supported on mobile devices

  • Price alerts and order notifications aren’t available

  • Heavy options traders won’t find the mobile experience a suitable desktop replacement

  • App isn’t optimized for trading anything outside of options

Compare the Best Investment Apps

CompanyFeesAccount MinimumMobile App
Wealthfront0.25% for most accounts, no trading commission or fees for withdrawals, minimum balance requirements, or transfers.$500Android, iOS
Interactive BrokersMaximum $0.005per share for Pro platform up to 1% of trade value, $0 for IBKR Lite.$0Android, iOS
tastytrade$0.00 stock trades, starting at $1.00 to open options trades $0.00 to close.$0Android, iOS

Why You Should Trust Us

Investopedia collected and analyzed several key data points from over 43 online brokerage and digital wealth management companies to identify the most important factors for readers choosing the right investment app to fit their needs. We used this data to review each company for their pricing, account services, usability, technology, and other features to provide unbiased, comprehensive reviews to ensure our readers make the right decision for their needs. Investopedia launched in 1999, and has been helping readers find the best online brokerage and digital wealth management platforms since 2019.

Everything You Need to Know About Brokerage Accounts

The Evolution of Investing Apps

The rapid advancement of technology has benefited investors by providing more market knowledge, transparency, and investment options than ever before. Originally this technological transformation was more keenly felt in desktop trading experiences. However, with more investors opting to use mobile devices, brokers have focused on improving these experiences as well.

Because many app and desktop experiences are very close to parity in terms of functionality, ease of use, and synchronization, it is fast becoming the industry standard to provide the same investment functionalities across all trading platforms.

It's hard to imagine a time when more sophisticated investors and active market participants will feel completely comfortable moving to mobile-only experiences. There are physical limitations to mobile screen size that will frustrate chart enthusiasts and many of the heavier features and tools on trading platforms are still often missing or watered down on the mobile versions. Heavy traders, in particular, tend to prefer the higher level of customization that can really only be done on a desktop platform.

For average investors, the choice between using mobile or desktop investment platform versions is now mostly a matter of preference. Investors looking to buy-and-hold or trade intermittently throughout the year can now do so entirely on mobile apps without missing much if they never use their broker’s desktop platform. The speed at which the market went from trading by phone to trading by computer to trading by smartphone has been truly remarkable.

Desktop vs. Mobile Experiences

Desktop trading platforms still have a strong customer base because of the superior trading experience they provide. Thanks to the growth of app-only retail investors, however, brokers can’t focus solely on the desktop experience. Mobile-first and mobile-only brokerages already exist, and established brokers are having to simultaneously develop their desktop and mobile platforms to keep up.

To do this, many brokerages have changed their product approach to focus on creating a consistent experience across multiple devices. This means you can usually find similar workflows and key tools regardless of which platform you are on. This comes with a trader-specific caveat, as many desktop platforms intended for active traders have to cut out a lot more when transitioning to mobile when compared to brokerages with platforms aimed at average investors.

The extent of this feature reduction has been lessened as the smartphone technology running these trading apps has improved, however, and more brokers are aligning and synchronizing key features across both the mobile and desktop workflows such as analysis, research, screening tools, money movement, and charting. More recently, complex trading strategies originally reserved for desktop experiences like multi-leg options trades and contingent orders have been enabled on apps as well.

Frequently Asked Questions

What Is the Best Investment App?

Determining the best investment app depends on individual preferences and goals. Our research has determined that Wealthfront is the best automated investment app among its competitors, because of its excellent account services, best-in-class usability, and comprehensive money management features. Ultimately, however, the app you choose should align with your investment strategy, risk tolerance, and financial objectives.

What Are the Advantages of Using Investing Apps to Trade Stocks?

The key advantage of using an investing app to trade stocks is accessibility. Investing apps have leveraged rapid mobile technological advancements to make it easier than ever to invest and trade stocks. Like most people now, you probably carry your mobile device with you all the time, allowing you to react to market movements and monitor your investments in places where it just wasn’t practical before.

The convenience of mobile trading has also made the market more accessible to users of all backgrounds, interests, and experience levels. You don’t need a trading terminal with four monitors anymore. Increased competition among brokers and innovation in the form of new apps and platforms has reduced barriers to entry such as cost and education. With a supercomputer in your pocket, you have access to the same real-time market data on the go and can trade accordingly.

What Are the Disadvantages of Using an Investing App to Trade Stocks?

While investment apps are moving closer to full feature parity with the desktop versions, there are still some functionality gaps that impact certain types of investors. The gaps vary by investment platform and investor preferences, but generally, you can expect there to be some product differences between desktop and mobile trade experiences in terms of the charting and analysis tools.

Some investing apps also omit asset types or market exchanges that are available through the desktop version. Another disadvantage to app-based trading is the size limitations on mobile devices compared to full computer monitors. These factors tend to affect active traders the most, but they can be a downside for any investor depending on your preferences and trading strategies.

What Should I Consider Before Using a Stock Trading App?

App-based trading gives you access to financial markets right at your fingertips, wherever you are located. When considering investing through a mobile app it’s helpful to identify your goals, preferences, and investment strategy. Being aware of your personal investment experience and educational opportunities can also help match you to the right trading platform. It is also important to evaluate the broker as a whole, rather than just by the mobile app. A slick app can’t make up for the impact of higher-than-average trading fees and poor execution, for example.

As you decide between different apps, you may find some platforms provide paper-based accounts to experiment without risking your personal capital. Testing out more than one app-based investment offering can also give you more insight to properly compare and contrast features that match your preferences. All these factors can help determine which app will be the right fit for you.

What's the Difference Between Finance Apps and Investing Apps?

In this review, we are focused on investing apps rather than finance apps. Investing apps allow you to actually buy and sell assets and, in practical terms, are the apps provided by brokerages to trade in your account with them. There is a wider universe of financial apps out there, and some brokerages also offer finance app functions through their investment apps (i.e. external account syncing with financial analysis on your total holdings).

The key difference with a finance app is that you cannot trade stocks or assets through those apps even though you may be able to sync your brokerage accounts to the app. In contrast, investment apps enable you to research investments, check positions, and place new orders, all without having to leave the app. Finance apps generally stop at being able to display your brokerage account balance as part of your overall financial picture. Some of the most popular financial apps are budgeting apps, and we review these separately from our investment app reviews.

What Is Acorns?

Acorns is an investment app that simplifies investing by automatically rounding up everyday purchases to the nearest dollar and investing the spare change. With a focus on turning daily transactions into a pathway for wealth-building, Acorns appeals to new investors as it helps individuals learn about the power of saving and investing, even in small amounts.

What Is Robinhood?

Robinhood is a user-friendly investing and trading app where users can easily trade stocks, ETFs, options, and cryptocurrencies on the platform. A pioneer in offering commission-free trading, Robinhood remains popular among newer investors. However, the platform lacks more sophisticated financial tools, asset categories, and research capabilities that advanced traders look for in a broker.

Which Is Better Robinhood or Webull?

Robinhood and Webull are often thought of as being similar investing platforms. However, our research has uncovered the many fundamental difference between the two. For instance, Webull's platform offers a far more robust trading experience that includes advanced technical charting capabilities, available quantitative studies, deep market news, fundamental comparison tools, excellent customization, and broad options trading features. Robinhood, on the other hand, delivers a more basic trading experience that is best suited for new and beginner investors. The company's Learn vertical stands out as a plus in this regard. In addition, Robinhood's 1% match should appeal to investors looking to open a retirement account. Ultimately, our research found that Webull is the best app offered for low-cost options trading and low-cost day trading, in addition to being thebest low cost options broker.

How We Picked the Best Investment Apps

Investopedia is dedicated to providing investors with unbiased, comprehensive reviews and ratings of online brokers. Our reviews are the result of months of evaluating all aspects of an online broker’s platform, including the user experience, the quality of trade executions, the products available on its platforms, costs and fees, security, the mobile experience, and customer service. We established a rating scale based on our criteria, collecting thousands of data points that we weighed into our star-scoring system.

Read our full methodology.

Dotdash Meredith receives cash compensation from Wealthfront Advisers LLC (“Wealthfront Advisers”) for each new client that applies for a Wealthfront Automated Investing Account through our links. This creates an incentive that results in a material conflict of interest. Dotdash Meredith is not a Wealthfront Advisers client, and this is a paid endorsement. More information is available via our links to Wealthfront Advisers.

Article Sources

Investopedia requires writers to use primary sources to support their work. These include white papers, government data, original reporting, and interviews with industry experts. We also reference original research from other reputable publishers where appropriate. You can learn more about the standards we follow in producing accurate, unbiased content in oureditorial policy.

As an investment enthusiast with extensive knowledge in the field, I'd like to provide a comprehensive analysis of the information presented in the article about the best investing apps, covering Wealthfront, Interactive Brokers, and tastytrade.

Wealthfront: Best Automated Investing App

Overview:

Wealthfront is positioned as the best automated investment app based on factors such as excellent account services, usability, and comprehensive money management features.

Key Features:

  1. Account Minimum: $500
  2. Fees: 0.25% for most accounts, no trading commission or fees for withdrawals, minimums, or transfers.
  3. Special Offer: Fund your first taxable Investment Account and get a $50 bonus.

Why Chosen:

Wealthfront is praised for its digital-only investment experience, providing users with access to comprehensive money management features. Notable features include financial guidance, account aggregation, goal setting, investing, and banking options, including debit cards.

Pros & Cons:

  • Pros:

    • Comprehensive financial planning tools.
    • Best-in-class digital financial guidance through Path.
    • User-friendly mobile experience.
    • Self-Driving Money for seamless financial management.
  • Cons:

    • External account syncing can be inconsistent.
    • No discounts for larger balances.
    • No human financial advisors.

Recent Update:

On Nov. 3, 2023, Wealthfront increased the APY on its Cash Account from 4.80% to 5.00%.

Interactive Brokers: Best App for Day Traders

Overview:

Interactive Brokers is highlighted as the best app for day traders, offering a sophisticated trading platform with a focus on a wide range of assets and markets.

Key Features:

  1. Account Minimum: $0.00
  2. Fees:
    • $0.00 commissions for equities/ETFs on IBKR’s TWS Lite.
    • Low costs scaled by volume for active traders.
    • $0.65 per contract for options on TWS Lite.

Why Chosen:

Interactive Brokers excels in providing a mobile experience that mirrors the comprehensive desktop Traders Workstation (TWS) functionality. It offers access to every available asset class, including cryptocurrency, and is praised for its research, analysis, and strategy tools.

Pros & Cons:

  • Pros:

    • Mobile experience mimics core functionality of the desktop version.
    • App-based stock screeners and option strategies match the web offering.
    • Detailed and intuitive mobile charts.
  • Cons:

    • No fixed income screener on mobile.
    • Expansive platform capabilities may have a learning curve.

Recent Update:

On Dec. 15, 2023, Interactive Brokers announced enhancements to its IBKR Mobile platform, offering an upgraded experience with an innovative design and new features.

tastytrade: Best App for Options Traders

Overview:

tastytrade is recognized as the best app for options traders, specializing in intuitive tools, education, and a seamless design focused on options trading.

Key Features:

  1. Account Minimum: $0
  2. Fees & Commissions:
    • $0 stock trades.
    • $1 to open options trades (capped at $10 per leg).
    • $0 to close.

Why Chosen:

tastytrade's app is optimized for full options trading, offering effective and quick trading experiences. The platform stands out for its blend of tools and pricing compared to the competition.

Pros & Cons:

  • Pros:

    • Mobile user flow optimized for full options trading.
    • Easily edit multi-leg options trades.
    • Full offering of asset classes beyond options.
  • Cons:

    • Account opening isn’t supported on mobile devices.
    • Price alerts and order notifications aren’t available.
    • App isn’t optimized for trading anything outside of options.

Recent Update:

No specific recent update mentioned in the article.

Comparison of Investment Apps

The article provides a comparison table of the best investment apps, including Wealthfront, Interactive Brokers, and tastytrade. The table covers fees, account minimums, and mobile app availability.

Trustworthiness of Information

Investopedia, the source of this information, collected and analyzed data from over 43 online brokerage and digital wealth management companies. The article emphasizes providing unbiased, comprehensive reviews based on factors such as pricing, account services, usability, technology, and more.

Frequently Asked Questions

The article addresses common questions about investment apps, such as the best app, advantages and disadvantages of using investing apps, considerations before using a stock trading app, and the difference between finance apps and investing apps.

Conclusion

This comprehensive overview showcases the key features, pros and cons, recent updates, and a comparison of the best investment apps based on the article's research. Investors can use this information to make informed decisions aligning with their preferences, goals, and trading strategies.

Best Investment and Stock Trading Apps of 2024 (2024)
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