The 12 Best Investment Apps For Beginners Ranked

Finding a great investment app can make all the difference when it comes to saving money and growing wealth over the long term. Today, there are a huge number of options when it comes to investment platforms and strategies. This can make breaking into investing difficult for a beginner who doesn't know where to start. The reality is that there is no objectively best way to invest your money or to get into the market more broadly. Therefore, selecting the best investment app is all about your own individual needs. Thinking about your goals and planning your investment strategy accordingly is the only way to consistently reach the future you envision for yourself.

However, many beginner investors are looking for the same kinds of opportunities and services built into their investment platform. As a result, ranking investment platforms and their individual apps is actually quite achievable when approaching the marketplace from a beginner's perspective. As you grow and develop into a more experienced trader, you may look to move your assets from this initial platform to a new one, but as you spread your wings and take off on a journey to grow your wealth, these 12 great investment platforms offer a phenomenal starting point. Consider one of these options to help you launch your journey toward greater financial independence.


Acorns is an intuitive saving and investment platform that requires little knowledge and input on your part. This makes it an excellent way for a beginner to start investing in high-quality stocks without having to do a considerable amount of legwork to research opportunities and assets. Acorns links directly into your existing spending accounts and rounds up any purchases you make to the next dollar. After the round-up is complete, acorns takes the difference and invests it in a stable growth fund. As a result, your capital is able to buy into fractional shares at extremely low equity rates. For context, platforms that offer fractional share access often have a minimum value of a dollar or more. Each time you spend money, acorns will round up your purchases and continue to rack up the total value of this savings and investment account, regardless of the round-up amount.

Acorns is a great option for those totally new to investing because it takes the decision-making process completely out of your hands while giving you access to great fund options that will continue to see your investment develop over time. Acorns is easy to use, and for the most part, you won't even notice the difference in your routine spending. This means that you'll be saving every time you pull out your debit or credit card without having to even think about it.


Invstr is a unique type of investment app. Business Insider calls the platform a financial education app, and a financial resource best tailored to active traders seeking bare-bones fee structures and a fun and engaging environment for investment-related learning. Invstr is great for those new to the marketplace because it only requires a $5 deposit to start trading and offers access to fractional shares, meaning with that small upfront commitment, you can purchase equity in any type of company, not just in an asset trading at a bare minimum price point.

Invstr provides access to stocks and ETF commodities, as well as cryptocurrencies. This makes it a versatile platform that can provide access to a variety of different types of commodities for many different investor profiles. Another interesting feature of the Invstr platform is that traders can invest with a virtual $1,000,000 portfolio and participate in the chance to win real prizes. These opportunities help investors learn the art of trading while minimizing or eliminating the risks involved with standard investments.


Wealthfront has more than $27 billion in assets under management and about 470,000 users. It's one of the first platforms to make use of robo-advisors and it's a great opportunity for anyone starting out in the investment space for the first time.

The prevalence of robo-advisor accounts has reimagined what early-career stock investing can look like. Instead of struggling to balance a diversified portfolio or find great companies to invest in, using a robo-advisor to manage these features makes it simple. Wealthfront offers an excellent mobile app that's intuitive and easy to use. This means that a new investor won't have to spend a considerable amount of time learning the lingo and exploring the app itself in order to understand the ins and outs of the platform.

Another important aspect of Wealthfront is found in the socially responsible, risk parity, smart beta, and core customizations for investment portfolios. This customization capacity gives you the ability to direct your investments based on a code of conduct and morality regarding all types of personalized issues and central beliefs. This means that you can invest in companies that you believe in and a code of ethics with corporations that reflect your own spirit. This is important for many investors, and yet can be hard to find in the ranks of beginner-friendly investment apps.


Stash is a unique type of investment ally. The platform provides an automated framework for investing, and can therefore help you make decisions about how you'll manage your portfolio for maximum exposure to the kinds of assets that support your goals. Similarly, Stash allows for cryptocurrency options, automated dividend reinvestments, and for investing in fractional shares.

One thing that sets the Stash platform apart from its competitors is the stock-back card that the app offers. Instead of providing cash back on purchases made with the Stash card, you'll earn fractional shares of stocks with every purchase that you make. When investing in brands listed on the stock exchange, you'll earn shares of that company, while private companies will give you credit toward shares listed on the exchange that you can use to make your own investments. This means that you can invest directly in the kinds of businesses that help you manage your daily activities. Investors often think about buying into companies that they use on a regular basis because they already know and love the brand. With this perk offered with the stock back card, you can automate your investments in the brands that support your lifestyle. The stock-back card functions as an alternative round-up card, further enhancing your savings potential.


Betterment is another robo-advisor-driven investment platform. This option is perfect for new traders or older investors who want to take a hands-off approach to wealth management. Betterment charges just 0.25% annually, making it a cost-effective investment option for traders of all levels.

Robo-advisors are a great asset for new traders because automatic rebalancing and portfolio management based on an investment profile that you define can give you a well-rounded allocation of quality assets. Betterment offers access to fractional shares and goal-based balancing tools that will help your investments shine. Fractional shares are incredibly important for new investors because novices may not have access to significant funding, blocking off access to some of the favorite assets of higher net worth traders (like FAANG stocks that each trade in the hundreds or thousands per share). 


E*TRADE has been one of the most popular online trading platforms for many years. The resources that E*TRADE leverages for investors are widespread, and deploy many excellent learning and educational opportunities that can help even the most inexperienced beginner gain their footing in the marketplace. E*TRADE is another platform that currently offers commission-free trading, and combined with all the learning resources that E*TRADE users have at their disposal, the platform quickly rises to the top of the pack when speaking of trading spaces for novices. E*TRADE makes available both a desktop trading site and an advanced app for mobile users. Fee-free trading and resource-rich plugins make this an excellent option for anyone thinking of getting into the investment space.

Another thing that sets E*TRADE apart from competitors is the wide array of mutual funds that are supported on the platform. ETFs, index funds, and mutual funds should be a staple component of any new investor's portfolio. Rather than investing solely in individual companies, buying into fund holdings will give you access to built-in diversification and the security that comes along with it. With a wide selection here, E*TRADE is easily a winner for anyone looking to break into the investment space.


Robinhood is a useful trading platform for anyone just starting out in the marketplace, as well as those with a bit more experience and looking for some advanced features embedded in the investment process. Robinhood is perhaps the original low-cost trading platform, pioneering the now universal concept of zero-fee trading. Robinhood offers quick access to just about any stock market asset an investor could want to own and Robinhood has expanded to include options trading and cryptocurrency holdings in recent years as well. All these features make Robinhood a great resource for a trader looking to make use of a variety of different investment opportunities.

Robinhood has also recently introduced enhanced market metrics that make the research process more streamlined than ever. The Robinhood app tracks information about buy and sell orders and can give you some insights into what other Robinhood users specifically are purchasing and holding. Likewise, it's incredibly easy to create lists and add company stocks to each one. This will allow you to track brands over time, even if you don't own shares in the business. Lastly, Robinhood also offers a debit card and interest payments on any assets held in cash and routine bonuses on spending, as well as leverage for increasing the potential gains you stand to make in the marketplace. All these features make Robinhood a versatile investment app that beginners and more advanced investors alike can make ample use of.


Fidelity is a major player in the investment landscape, and a phenomenal choice for investors early in their trading careers. Fidelity incorporates rock-solid research products and learning opportunities for investors looking to gain knowledge as it relates to investments and wealth management. As well, the Fidelity trading platform includes an immense number of analytical tools the traders can use to ensure they are getting the most out of any trade they're thinking of placing.

Fidelity is the largest American brokerage firm, and it leads the pack in many ways. For one thing, Fidelity joins many other brokerage options in extensive no-cost trading, and for market orders such as an options contract, investors can expect to pay fees as little as $0.65. Where Fidelity falters however is in crypto, commodities, and futures trading. These are not supported on the platform and if you want to branch out into these new asset classes, you'll need to add in a secondary trading app to accommodate these expansions. Regardless, Fidelity remains a phenomenal opportunity to break into the market for those new to trading. It can help build your confidence and set you on the path to success as you start to consider your future financial goals and the journey that it will take to reach them.


Schwab is a well-known brand in the investment space. The company recently acquired TD Ameritrade, and investors can expect to see a customizable layout that allows for a personalized trading environment ranging from basic to nearing professional. Schwab offers fractional shares via Schwab Stock Slices, making it a great option for beginner investors who haven't yet amassed a sizeable war chest to trade with or who aren't ready to fully commit to more expensive stock options.

Another important feature of investing with this well-known player is the way it treats crypto assets. Although you can't buy cryptocurrencies through Schwab, you can invest in companies like Coinbase and funds that track cryptocurrency prices like the Grayscale Bitcoin Trust. It's also worth noting that Schwab incorporates a vast library of trading resources and learning assets for investors looking to beef up their knowledge base for continued future growth in the market.

Merrill Edge

Merrill Edge is another great option for investors looking to gain access to the stock market. The Merrill Edge platform provides its biggest benefit to investors using Bank of America for their checking and savings accounts. The brand is owned and managed by Bank of America and so those who use the bank for their routine consumer needs gain access to an integrated investing and budgeting space that is immensely beneficial for long-term financial success. This seamless experience makes Merrill a huge asset for the millions of people already using Bank of America for their everyday financial services. Merrill Edge users are able to trade on their own or with the help of dedicated advisors. There are also ample research products embedded in the platform so investors are able to conduct their own research surrounding funds and individual stocks that may be of interest to them.

Merrill Edge also offers retirement savings services, and customers can manage their Roth IRA or traditional IRA directly on the Merrill platform as well. This makes Merrill Edge an excellent one-stop shop for all things financial planning and wealth building for many investors.


TradeStation is a great option for anyone thinking of getting into the options trading marketplace or commodity space. TradeStation has always been a valuable asset for more advanced traders. The platform makes available a variety of advanced tools and charting layouts that can be used to employ all kinds of day trading strategies. But recently, TradeStation has made a switch to zero-fee trades, so investors thinking of breaking into commodity and options investing might want to consider TradeStation as their first stop in this new endeavor.

Investors looking to trade commodity pairs or buy puts on assets like oil and gold will need to move beyond the typical investment platform. Trading apps like Robinhood or Merrill Edge are fantastic for investors looking to buy and sell traditional market assets. Investors in ETFs and index funds, blue chip companies, and dividend producers or REITs will want to place most or all of their holdings in a standard investment brokerage account. But as you start to gain your footing in the marketplace, you'll become keenly aware that these new areas of exploration can provide a wonderful profit augmentation to your standard investment practices. Moving up into other opportunities involves a big leap, but TradeStation offers both an easy-to-understand trading space and great tools to learn the skills required to make smart investment decisions.


Coinbase is the most widely known investment platform designed to provide access to cryptocurrencies. Coinbase is the only cryptocurrency trading space that has become a public company, and therefore you can actually buy shares of the business on traditional stock investment platforms. Coinbase is different from the others on this list specifically because it's focused on the use of crypto assets rather than traditional stocks. It's important for beginners to understand the potential value that cryptocurrency holdings can provide. Crypto trading isn't for everyone as it sits somewhere vaguely in between forex and commodity investing, and the traditional stock market. But cryptocurrency holdings are growing in the United States with 46 million Americans owning at least some volume of Bitcoin as of 2021.

Coinbase is a good option when it comes to cryptocurrency investment because the fees for trading are quite low and Coinbase makes learning opportunities and embedded data analysis a standard of the platform's experience, whereas these features aren't always front and center in other investment platforms dealing with cryptocurrencies. Coinbase is trusted by more than 108 million users, and with excellent security and support for hundreds of unique cryptocurrency entities, Coinbase is a great option for anyone interested in trading or holding crypto assets.