With mobile app development on the go, the stock market is no longer limited to Wall Street employees: smartphones today enable their users to invest in stocks with ease. And, with several investment apps available in the market, choosing the right investment app can be a fix. Given that, we bring to you 5 best investment apps based on their ease of use and return on investment.
1) Robinhood: Individual Stock Trades
Touted as the best stock trading app, the Robinhood app enables its users to trade stocks for free. It’s an easy-to-use stock trading platform that is completely mobile-based, and available on Android and iOS devices. What differentiates it from other investment apps is its “zero-dollar commission trading,” making it completely free to use.
This zero-commission free trading structure, in addition to their no minimum investment required to get started, truly makes investing accessible to all people on this platform. Thus, it offers a real exposure to the stock market. It offers the following benefits:
Being completely mobile-based, users are able to check at the slide of a finger, any investments they may have, any stocks they are currently looking at, and so on. While the larger brokerages like E-Trade, Fidelity, etc. are mainly designed to be used on a computer desktop with their apps functioning only as an add-on; hence, they are not purely mobile-intuitive. Robinhood, on the other hand, was built to be a completely mobile-based platform, and because of that, it serves as a better trading and investing on-the-go experience.
Safe and Secure Brokerage
As compared to other brokerages that are about a decade old, Robinhood is relatively new (founded in 2013). Robinhood is Securities Investor Protection Corporation (SIPC) insured up to $500 and that’s the same type of insurance that larger brokerages have as well. Further, Robinhood enables users to login via a personalized pin. Once you log in, you can also set up a two-factor authentication via settings. This is a facility, which not all of the larger brokerages provide. Thus, it provides an extra layer of security.
Ability to Make Basic Orders
Although limited, you can put in special types of orders such as limit orders, stop plus orders, etc. and these allow you to automate your trades, and your buying and selling. With this feature, it joins the likes of larger brokerages that have been existing for decades.
Support for Bitcoin
This is its latest offering. With added support for Bitcoin, users can Invest, Trade or Sell Stocks to buy cryptocurrencies.
Therefore, Robinhood offers minimal risk on investment. While it may not offer users a complete access to invest in mutual funds, yet it’s a great platform to get started when it comes to Tracking stocks and ETFs (Exchange-Traded Fund)
2) Acorns: Investment Made Easy for Beginners
For those who have never invested before, Acorns is the best platform to get started. It is a popular micro-investing app that allows users to take their digital “spare change” and put it into a portfolio of stocks and bonds. Here, the investment list is prepared as per your financial goals. All you need is to attain 18 yrs of age, download the app, add your bank details, select the stocks you wish to invest into, and then click the “spare change” option, which will optimize the excess change from your bank transactions into investments, which you pre-selected.
Listed below are some of its notable benefits:
Wide Portfolio Range
Once users set up their portfolio, they will get five options, based on the risks they want to take. Users can opt for the Conservative account where they would be investing in corporate bonds, which grow with time. Then there is the Moderately Conservative account, where users may be required to have a considerable downturn in the market to begin losing money. Other accounts include Moderate, Moderately Aggressive, and Aggressive, the last being for those users who are still trying to build money and are more open to more risks, provided if that fetches them more returns towards the end.
Option to Buy Partial Shares
In the Acorn app, users get to invest in Vanguard funds. Also, there is a group of exchange-traded funds (ETFs), which is a collection of companies, which users do not need to know thoroughly about. The benefit here is that you will be able to see the number of shares. While in a normal scenario, users may have to purchase a full share of a company or the ETF; however, with Acorn, you have the option to purchase partial shares as well. Therefore, a user may own only 0.875 of a share. Hence, this is considerably beneficial to users.
Low Budget App
Being a low budget app, users stand to gain more. Therefore, for users who have a balance less than $5000 are charged with a fee of $1 per month; and, for users having a balance of over $5000, are charged with 0.25% fee.
Thus, Acorns enable you to make investments sans risks. With a simple and easy-to-use interface, all you have to do is link the app with your credit or debit card, add some money, make your day-to-day transactions, and whatever change will remain, that will automatically be invested in the best!
3) Stash: Managing Investments Made Easy
If you fall under the segment of users who are not well versed with the A-Z of investment but wish to build a good investment portfolio, then there’s Stash for you. Now managing your money and investments have become much easier by getting started with as little as $5. The Stash App automatically allows users to deposit funds from their banking account and then make the investment sans a trading fee.
With Stash, users can understand the why’s and how’s of investment as well as the possible outcomes when compared to Acorns which automates users’ investments.
Following are a few of its outstanding benefits:
Minimum Investment Required
According to the National Institute on Retirement Security, saving for retirement, budgeting and establishing and maintaining a financial plan remains a challenge for millennials.
With Stash, users can begin investing with as little as $5, which is a very nominal amount as compared to investing in large brokerages, where users may have to spend over $100 to get started. Thus, it makes Stash an ideal app for millennial investing.
Further, all the investment funds available on Stash are well established ETFs from well-known firms, and Stash breaks it down into simple language for the benefit of the average investor. The best part is that users are not charged with any trading fee or add-up commissions for using the app when compared to larger brokerages. Users only have to pay a nominal monthly fee of 1$.
Option to Build Investment Profiles
The Stash App offers users to build their investor profile as per the risk that they wish to take – Conservative, Moderate, or Aggressive. For users who wish to take fewer risks and are satisfied with lesser returns and stability, they can opt for the Conservative option; and those users who are willing to bear modest losses in return for modest gains, then they can choose the Moderate option. The Aggressive option works for that segment of users who wish to take as many risks as possible and can afford large market swings in return for larger gains.
Built For Diverse User Segments
Stash accommodates a wide array of user segments. On the one hand, it may benefit the new investors who are looking to get started in the stock market. It also offers this user set with tools and resources to help them build a portfolio as per their investment objectives.
It is a good option for users who wish to invest passively and also create a diversified portfolio from their selection of ETFs which, in simple terms, is a big basket of stocks.
A notable feature that Stash offers is that it enables users to research on the app itself, should they wish to learn about a specific stock; and, with as little as $5 to get started, this newer investing mobile-based platform with a seamless user-friendly interface, is here to stay.
4) Gold Silver Vault: The Retirement App
For those who are self-employed, and wish to invest, the Vault investment platform offers retirement plans. As self-employed individuals do not have access to an employer’s 401(k) plan, Vault offers this segment with all the tax, savings, and retirement benefits, which a typical 401(k) company has.
Investment Made Easy With IRA
Through Vault, the self-employed can open an IRA (Individual Retirement Account), Roth IRA (a special retirement account that they can fund with post-tax income), or SEP (Simplified Employee Pension) IRA account for making investments. And, whichever type of IRA the user chooses, Vault enables them to invest a percentage of their income, either manually or automatically.
Once the user receives the salary from the employer into their account, the app sends a notification to the user to approve the percentage that was quoted in the IRA account at Vault. Like Acorns and Stash, it follows the same pricing model.
All in all, the Vault app has been designed to help users save money based on their income and enables them to make investments based on the plan they choose.
5) Stockpile: The Gift App
Considered as a combination of Stash and Robinhood, Stockpile enables users to buy a fraction of shares, instead of the entire share, which usually comes at an enormous price. Like Robinhood, users can also buy more than ETFs, i.e. they can buy stocks. And, with low trade fees of 99¢ per trade, unlike traditional brokerages, stock investing becomes easy and affordable with this app.
Following are a few of its outstanding benefits:
Invest Without A Huge Budget
Stockpile is for those who wish to invest in shares but don’t have huge funds to invest, and who do not have a complete know-how of the workings of the market. It enables users to buy a fraction of a company’s share by investing with the least amount. As for example, Amazons’ share is priced at about $1000, which an average investor cannot afford. But through Stockpile, they can buy a fraction of a share, say at $25, and get .025 shares of Amazon.
Redeem Stocks With Gift Cards
Users can gift shares of a company stock (Facebook, Amazon, Tesla, Disney, Nike, etc.) or a basket of company stocks in ETFs. They can also give e-gift or physical gift cards to friends and family starting at $5 or fund an account, thereby giving the recipient stock shares starting at $5. Therefore, gifting gift cards pays dividends.
Investment Apps – The Way Forward
Investment Apps make investing super easy and affordable; and with the rise in Mobile Technology, its reach have scaled up considerably. While it is understood that returns are not guaranteed, and investing in stocks can be tricky, but the market thrives on speculation. With Investment Apps, there is a market shift in the user base, with more and more investors coming from a non-traditional (trading) background, learning the science of investments, and enjoying the returns.