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The common saying goes, “You need money to make money.” When it comes to investing, this claim stands true. You need some initial money to invest to make that amount grow.

When people pay fees to invest, that chips away at returns. These charges may include transaction fees, management charges, annual fees and more. 

When all else is equal in an investment, the less you pay in fees, the greater your overall returns. Fortunately, it’s possible to avoid all of these fees and maximize your profits through today’s best free stock trading apps.

Take a look below at the best stock trading apps you should consider opening and using to trade your stocks. We highlight the best stock trading app for beginners first. 

App Rating (out of 5)FeesBest ForPromotions
Webullwebull logo4.7Free tradesSelf-directed investors and intermediate tradersTwo free stocks with $5 deposit, valued between $11 - $2,300
SoFi Invest: iOS, Android and Desktop4.6Free tradesInvestors looking for automated investing already using SoFi’s other personal finance productsFree stock worth between $5 - $1,000
Public.compublic logo4.7Free tradesSocial theme-based investing interests$10 free stocks for signing up
M1 Finance4.3Free tradesFee-free active trading and automated investing$30 sign up bonus with $1,000 deposit; 1 year free M1 Plus
TradeStation4.6Free tradesAdvanced traders, Options and Futures traders, Active stock tradersNone
Unifimoneyunifimoney logo4.3Free tradesHigh earners looking for multiple financial products on one platform$25 - $1,000 worth of Bitcoin with initial deposit
eTrade4.5Free tradesOptions tradersFree account bonus commensurate with contributed funds
Firstradefirstrade logo4.5Free tradesMutual fund and target date fund investorsFree account bonus commensurate with contributed funds
eToro4.6Free tradesU.S. investors focused on crypto-tradingNone
Vanguard4.2Free tradesBasic ETF investingNone
Robinhoodrobinhood logo4.4Free tradesBasic stock, crypto and ETF investingFree stock with sign up
TDAmeritrade4.6Free tradesTraders interested in more asset classes like Forex and FuturesFree account bonus commensurate with contributed funds
Other Investing Apps Worth Noting
Acornsacorns logo4.8$1/month - $5/monthInvestors in college looking for a complete personal finance solution; Roth IRAs$10 sign up bonus when making first deposit at account opening
Stash4.6$1/month - $9/monthEveryday people looking to start managing their finances$5 stock bonus for making a deposit of $5 or more

Best Free Stock Trading Apps and Platforms

1. Webull: Best Stock Trading App for Beginners


webull sign up

  • Available via desktop, Apple iOS and Android App on Google Play
  • Best For: Self-directed investors and intermediate traders
  • Sign up here

Webull first hit the investing world in 2018 by offering free stock trading in addition to free trades of ETFs, options and cryptocurrencies.

The company provides you the ability to trade on your smartphone, tablet or desktop, track your stocks and charges no commissions for the trades you make in your portfolio.

It also recently began allowing fractional shares for you to buy smaller portions of stocks with higher share prices.

Why Choose Webull to Trade Stocks?

Webull also provides you access to several powerful tools useful for in-depth trading analysis. These easily make the service one of the best stock research and analysis apps for conducting technical analysis.

For traders, in addition to the commission-free trading and analytic tools, the brokerage offers a subscription to Nasdaq TotalView for $1.99/month, allowing you to see Level II quotes.

This can help you to gain a better sense for the full supply and demand for a stock outside of the national best bid offer (NBBO).

These advanced quotes will provide you with a deeper look into the market for understanding market direction and any potential supply and demand imbalances for a stock you pick.

If these account features sound attractive, the best part might also come with knowing setting up a Webull account is free and comes with no account minimums you must meet or maintain.

If all the free listed above isn’t enough, Webull also runs frequent promotions which involve you receiving free stocks.

Read more in our Webull review.

 

2. SoFi Wealth: Best for Personal Finance-Focused Investors


sofi invest free stocks

  • Available via desktop, Apple iOS and Android App on Google Play
  • Best For: Investors looking for automated investing already using SoFi’s other personal finance products
  • Sign up here: (iOS), Android, Desktop

SoFi Invest is an app that allows you to track and trade your money. The service is the latest from the SoFi financial wellness platform and offers free trades on stocks, ETFs, cryptos and more.

The service allows you to be an active trader by buying and selling offered assets on a daily basis or passive through its automated investing service.

The company wants to serve all customers who have an interest in improving their financial situation alongside participating in their other personal finance products like student loans, money management, credit cards and more.

 

3. Public.com: Best Free Stock App for Theme-Based Investing


public.com sign up

  • Best For: New investors with limited capital
  • Sign up here

Public.com is another commission-free investing app that targets Millennials and Gen-Zers who have attuned their senses to social media. These age groups want to align their investing with their social preferences as well as keep good company to socialize and learn from others. 

The stock investing app boasts an increasingly-common feature geared toward younger investors who may not have enough money to buy some higher cost shares at one time: fractional investing.

This product feature plays on the company’s mission of making the stock market an inclusive, educational investment opportunity which can be fun. They accomplish the latter point by allowing people to invest alongside friends and other well-regarded investors.

Much like social media platforms who provide the standard blue check mark logo to verify public figures, Public.com provides visibility into trade activity and other insights these verified investors wish to provide to the Public.com community.

What Makes Public.com Different?

Public.com does not monetize its trading activity through receiving payment for order flow (PFOF) unlike other free stock trading apps found on this list.

In light of the GameStop market mania in early 2021, Public.com announced a change in its revenue model, breaking with how many free stock apps generate income.

They no longer generate revenue from PFOF and has introduced a tipping feature in the app, acting as a de facto (optional) commission.

The company believes they have a responsibility to lead the industry in a different direction and no longer receive compensation for routing orders to market makers for trade execution.

With the Robinhood blow up, we saw how this created a conflict of interest between brokerage and customer.

By doing this, Public.com will better align their financial incentives with the best interests of their customers.

For those interested in starting to trade on Public.com, the online brokerage platform offers a free $10 signup bonus if you make an initial deposit. Further, you can share your special link with others and gift them free stocks (fractional shares) as well. 

If this sounds like an interesting investing app, open an account and make an initial deposit to see if the app meets your social and investing needs.

 

4. M1 Finance: Best Free Stock App to Start Investing


m1 finance

  • Available via desktop, Apple iOS and Google Android
  • Best for: Passive Investors
  • Sign up here

M1 Finance works as one of the best stock trading apps because it provides self-directed and automated investing options according to your predetermined investment decisions. This high-level of customization makes this stock trading app this site’s top robo-advisor pick.

Robo-advisors, which are almost exactly what they sound like, are automated investment managers who handle administrative investment actions on your behalf. Things like investing contributions, rebalancing your portfolio or making automated withdrawals.

Once you set up your portfolio, you can edit it as you wish or simply let the app handle all the nitty gritty while you learn how to increase your net worth with a growing account balance.

Specifically, clients can create a portfolio of stocks and ETFs tailored to their exact specifications, down to the last dollar thanks to their ability to trade fractional shares.

One major callout before going any further, however, is that while M1 Finance offers pre-made portfolios aligned to several investing goals—the company is not an advisory service.

That said, the firm has attracted billions of dollars in assets under management and has over one million users on the stock trading platform since its founding in 2015. No small feat in today’s competitive brokerage account market.

Why M1 Finance?

Sophisticated investors and beginners alike can use this stock trading app to build wealth through customizing your portfolio for free, automating additional contributions and dynamically rebalancing it over time to keep your assets allocated to your wishes.

With all these benefits, this best free stock trading app has a primary selling point: an orientation toward medium and long-term investors interested in building wealth through automated, diversified investing.

The robo-advisor provides the ability to buy and sell individual stocks and ETFs. Hence, why M1 Finance is this site’s best stock trading platform.

Additionally, you can opt to choose from 80+ expert portfolios or even purchase fractional shares if your target companies carry too high of a price tag.  

For example, if you wanted to buy an entire share of a major tech company like Google or Amazon, but couldn’t float the entire cost, you could buy a fractional share. 

Finally, investing with M1 Finance can be as simple as depositing money, setting your stock and index selections and having the platform automate your investments on your behalf.

This truly automates your investments if you set up recurring deposits, allowing your wealth to build.

Over time, M1 Finance will also rebalance your portfolio in line with your stated asset allocation targets.  Regular rebalancing has been shown to improve portfolio performance over time, all things equal.

Consider opening an investment account with M1 Finance. If you deposit $1,000, you can even earn a free sign up bonus.

Read more in our M1 Finance review.

 

5. TradeStation: Best for Intermediate to Advanced Traders


tradestation

  • Available via desktop, Apple iOS and Android App on Google Play
  • Best For: Advanced traders, Options and Futures traders, Active stock traders
  • Sign up here

TradeStation is a powerful stock trading app and platform which comes with analytic tools useful to seasoned professionals and new traders alike. The platform comes equipped with brokerage services and trading education resources recognized by respected industry reviewers.

Much like every other online broker found on this list, the free stock trading app charges no commissions for stock and ETF trades and low fees on options and futures contracts.

TradeStation caters to its target audience: advanced, active and technically-minded traders. Beginning traders likely will be overwhelmed by this service and may even face fees.

The technical tools and screeners provided by TradeStation are all at or near the top of the class.

What Makes TradeStation Different?

TradeStation is one of the most high-powered stock trading platforms on this list.

The stock trading platform helps you analyze stocks, options, ETFs, futures, and crypto markets. If you open a TradeStation brokerage account, you can use the company’s robust TradeStation Analytics platform for free. 

You have access to backtesting, historical intraday data, and extensive charting capabilities.

TradeStation Analytics helps you to find the right opportunities in real-time, when to get into and out of trades and discover hidden opportunities with technical analysis.

You can use the free stock trading app to monitor and rank up to 1,000 ticker symbols in real-time with access to more than 180 technical and fundamental indicators useful for valuing a stock and identifying likely price action.

If you’d like to purchase the analytics software without using the platform for making your trades, you can pay a monthly fee of $99 for non-professionals and $199 for professional subscribers. 

TradeStation Pairs Well with Trade-Ideas


trade ideas sign up

  • Available: Sign up here
  • Best for: Day traders and long-term investors
  • Price: Trade of the Week Newsletter: Free; $2,268 / year, $228/mo for Premium; $1,068 / year, $118/mo for Standard

You can also do more robust monitoring and uncover trade ideas in an AI-driven way through a paired service like Trade Ideas. This provides an AI-powered research analyst which runs millions of potential trade scenarios each day to highlight trading opportunities as a day trading stock picking service.

TradeStation Support

If you use TradeStation, one of the best stock trading apps for advanced traders, you can also receive personalized support from the company’s brokerage professionals.

Further, TradeStation provides state-of-the-art trading technology, catering to active individual and institutional traders who may or may not need support.

Consider signing up and opening your account with TradeStation.

 

6. Unifimoney: All Financial Products in One Place [iOS Only]


unifimoney sign up

  • Available: Sign up here
  • Best For: High earners looking for multiple financial products on one platform
  • Price: Free stock/ETF trades

Unifimoney is a digital money management app allowing users to invest in stocks, ETFs, precious metals and cryptos as well as bank, purchase insurance, sign up for credit cards, loans, mortgages, and even more!

The service combines robo-advisor with self-directed investing capability, allowing you to customize your portfolio on the fly or automate your portfolio in the background. Depending on your lifestyle and financial goals, Unifimoney offers the capability to invest how you want.

Further, you can even dive into cryptocurrency trading if that attracts your interest.

The company’s integrated banking and investment platforms help higher earning individuals make the most of their money in one location.

To qualify for the company’s competitive high-yield checking account’s top tier rates, you’ll need to deposit at least $2,000 per month or maintain a minimum balance of $20,000.

What Makes Unifimoney Different?

Where the app differentiates itself from other investing apps on this list is that it also offers access to other financial products like insurance, credit cards, mortgage and more. They offer perks for buying financial products through their platform.

Of note, Unifimoney only offers services to iOS users right now. Further, it does not offer a retirement account (IRA) at this time.

If you’d like to sign up for an account with Unifimoney, you’ll need to pony up at least $100, one of the higher minimums on this list, though certainly not a major barrier.

To get you started, Unifimoney offers to deposit BTC into your account if you meet certain deposit minimums. The lowest deposit amount you can make within 30 days of account opening to get free BTC is $1,000.

 

7. E-Trade


e-trade sign up

  • Available via desktop, Apple iOS and Android App on Google Play
  • Best For: Options traders
  • Sign up here

E-Trade has long been seen as a leading stock trading app for retail investors. E-Trade provides investors access to educational resources that assist you with conducting investment research and analysis and diversifying your portfolio.

The online brokerage platform also has a significant amount of options trading and data functionality after the company acquired OptionsHouse.

These tools can assist with making more-informed options investment decisions. The company also acts as a stock futures app for more experienced investors.

As another service, E-Trade also offers retirement planning to clients as well as in-person informational sessions annually in certain areas.

E-Trade has three platforms. All are free and have no minimum investment limit.

  1. Power E-Trade offers investors real-time data and studies.
  2. E-Trade Web provides live market commentary and stock analysis.
  3. E-Trade Pro gives you strategy scanners and back-testing.

Each stock trading platform gives you access to a dashboard for tracking your investment accounts, types of investment vehicles, and your trades. E-trade does have small fees for options contracts and some fees involved with retirement accounts.

 

8. Firstrade: Best for International Investors


firstrade sign up

  • Available via desktop, Apple iOS and Android App on Google Play
  • Best For: Mutual fund and target date fund investors
  • Sign up here

Firstrade is a leading online brokerage firm offering a full line of investment products and tools designed to help investors improve their financial position through sound investing practices.

Like every other investing app provided on this list, it too does not assess commissions for making stock trades.

Firstrade combines proprietary trading technology with an intuitive user interface, offers customer service availability and utilizes a mobile application like all others in this article.

In short, the platform offers access to over 11,000 different investments, including index funds, stocks, bonds, target date funds, mutual funds, and more.

Firstrade offers a comprehensive solution for all of your investing needs, committing itself to excellence and putting customers first.

 

9. eToro: Best for Crypto Trading


etoro sign up

  • Available via desktop, Apple iOS and Android App on Google Play
  • Best For: U.S. investors focused on crypto-trading
  • Sign up here

If you’d like to invest in more than just stocks or ETFs and also invest in cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin, Ethereum and Dogecoin, you might want a high-powered, user-friendly app like eToro.

eToro is the world’s leading social investing platform, offering a social trading feature where you can learn and copy the strategies of other traders.

If you are a profitable trader, you can have eToro users follow you and earn income based on how well you perform and how many people follow your trades.

The platform offers multi-asset trading capabilities with over 2,000 instruments available through the brokerage. You can trade crypto and other assets in 14 exchanges worldwide.

eToro can fulfill your needs for crypto investing by offering commission-free trading on 17 cryptocurrencies and other assets. Opening an account is simple and only takes $50 to start.

The bad news is that the forex fees are high and there is a $5 withdrawal fee charged.

Transacting in virtual currencies is subject to various risks, such as price volatility, and is therefore not suitable for everyone. Your capital is at risk.

10. Vanguard


  • Available via desktop, Apple iOS and Android App on Google Play
  • Best For: Investors looking for a simple index fund investing app
  • Sign up here

Vanguard has long been regarded as the low-cost index fund investing service provider. In fact, John Bogle originated the idea of index fund investing and first offered them to retail investors as mutual funds and eventually exchange traded funds (ETFs).

The company has slashed fees over the years in a bid to outcompete other companies in the space and will always advocate for a low-fee index fund approach to investing. 

Vanguard excels as a free stock trading platform when you wish to buy and sell Vanguard securities like index fund ETFs. You pay no commissions on their products like VTI or VTSAX or VFIAX.

Recently, Vanguard also announced it will no longer charge trading fees on competitors’ ETFs as well, a departure from a long-standing position. Vanguard also carries no account minimums.

What Vanguard lacks compared to some of these other apps is its clunky nature. I use the app for managing my work’s 401k plan and will admit to its bloat and lack of clarity on calculating investment returns on a percentage basis. 

My main beef with their interface is my performance statistics will not save after I add them to assess how my funds have performed. All that said, Vanguard might have made this by design, incentivizing you to check your funds less often and thus living by their index fund ethos.

11. Robinhood


robinhood

  • Available via desktop, Apple iOS and Android App on Google Play
  • Best For: Investors looking for a simple, no frills investing platform
  • Sign up here

Robinhood became the first free stock app to slash trading commissions to $0. This shook up the industry and caused several competitors to rethink how they make money and follow suit.

Many merged as a result in the hopes of shedding costs and remaining competitive to this investing startup.

Likewise, many new apps like Robinhood have cropped up in recent years, many of which feature on this list.

The service boasts free stock trading alongside index funds, options, penny stocks and cryptocurrencies.  

Robinhood’s app offers a simple and easy-to-use design. There aren’t numerous features called out to distract you from what you are using the app to accomplish: trade commission-free.

Like Webull, Robinhood has no fees upon account opening and includes no minimum balance requirements. These brokerages have been at the vanguard for eliminating the common barriers associated with investing in the stock market.

Consider signing up for a Robinhood account to see what you think. The company makes it worth your while by offering a free stock for signing up.

 

12. TD Ameritrade


tdameritrade sign up

  • Available via desktop, Apple iOS and Android App on Google Play
  • Best For: Traders interested in more asset classes like Forex and Futures
  • Sign up here

TD Ameritrade is another one of the best stock trading apps on this list. It is a popular brokerage which recently purchased Scottrade and now is being purchased by the mega-retail brokerage Charles Schwab.  

For the time being, the brokerage has managed to shed commissions on their clients’ stock and ETF trades (with competitive threats from Robinhood and Webull).

The company’s scale has garnered it a large retail trading presence and many have come to use the service for many of its free or low cost trading features.

You may have heard of the company through its thinkorswim stock trading platform, widely touted as a premier trading service. The company backs this platform by insights, education materials and a dedicated trading desk to place your trades.

It offers a fully-customizable trading experience which can pin down however complex of a trading strategy of technique you might want to employ.

You will want to be careful about TDAmeritrade for some investment choices. When sorting through the company’s security choices, make sure you filter for no load ETFs before you buy.

Likewise for mutual funds and equity trades, lest you get hit with a fee for trading certain stocks and equities.

Other Investing Apps Worth Noting


While the list above focuses only on free stock trading apps and platforms, other investing apps are worth mentioning despite them not being free.

These are popular with many investors for their simplicity and bundled approach to offering you an all-in-one financial solution to manage your money.

This includes your investments, bank accounts, retirement planning and financial literacy.

1. Acorns


acorns

  • Available via Apple iOS and Google Android
  • Best For: Investors in college looking for a complete personal finance solution
  • Sign up here

Acorns is an investing app for minors and young adults who wish to start with a small amount of money which will grow into a large portfolio over time. Hence the name, Acorns, and the company’s goal of maturing from an acorn into a mighty oak tree.

The service doesn’t charge money to make trades on your behalf, but it does charge an account fee depending on the services you select for your account. Currently, the service has multiple offerings including Acorns Lite for $1/mo, Acorns Personal for $3/mo, and Acorns Family for $5/mo.

These subscriptions provide various products which fit well for goals of young adults and even allow the service to act as one of the best money apps for kids with its all-in-one platform (Acorns Family).

Their plans come as follows:

    1. Acorns Lite ($1/mo): Comes with the Acorns Invest plan, which invests spare change through the popular “Round-Ups” feature, earns bonus investments and provides access to financial literacy articles
    2. Acorns Personal ($3/mo): Everything on Acorns Lite (Investing), plus it also includes Acorns Later for tax-advantaged investment options like individual retirement accounts (IRAs) and Acorns Spend. This service acts as your bank account, offering free withdrawals at over 55,000 ATMs nationwide and no account fees and the ability to earn up to 10% bonus investments
    3. Acorns Family ($5/mo): Everything in Acorns Personal (Acorns Invest, Later and Spend), plus Acorns Early. This allows you to take advantage of the best way to invest $1,000 for your child‘s future and can teach you how to invest as a teenager or minor through opening a custodial account.

 

 

2. Stash


stash sign up

  • Best For: Young investors looking for a complete personal finance platform
  • Sign up here

Stash is a mobile-friendly personal finance app that comes paired with investing options and a checking account. Stash acts as a low-cost, all-in-one financial platform.

It caters to hands-off investors looking to automate their investing as you spend money and make recurring deposits into your account.

Stash comes with a recurring monthly fee, therefore disqualifying it as a true free stock trading platform. While it does charge a monthly account service fee for its full-suite of products, it does not charge trading commissions for your investment holdings.

 

App Rating (out of 5)FeesBest ForPromotions
Webullwebull logo4.7Free tradesSelf-directed investors and intermediate tradersTwo free stocks with $5 deposit, valued between $11 - $2,300
SoFi Invest: iOS, Android and Desktop4.6Free tradesInvestors looking for automated investing already using SoFi’s other personal finance productsFree stock worth between $5 - $1,000
Public.compublic logo4.7Free tradesSocial theme-based investing interests$10 free stocks for signing up
M1 Finance4.3Free tradesFee-free active trading and automated investing$30 sign up bonus with $1,000 deposit; 1 year free M1 Plus
TradeStation4.6Free tradesAdvanced traders, Options and Futures traders, Active stock tradersNone
Unifimoneyunifimoney logo4.3Free tradesHigh earners looking for multiple financial products on one platform$25 - $1,000 worth of Bitcoin with initial deposit
eTrade4.5Free tradesOptions tradersFree account bonus commensurate with contributed funds
Firstradefirstrade logo4.5Free tradesMutual fund and target date fund investorsFree account bonus commensurate with contributed funds
eToro4.6Free tradesU.S. investors focused on crypto-tradingNone
Vanguard4.2Free tradesBasic ETF investingNone
Robinhoodrobinhood logo4.4Free tradesBasic stock, crypto and ETF investingFree stock with sign up
TDAmeritrade4.6Free tradesTraders interested in more asset classes like Forex and FuturesFree account bonus commensurate with contributed funds
Other Investing Apps Worth Noting
Acornsacorns logo4.8$1/month - $5/monthInvestors in college looking for a complete personal finance solution; Roth IRAs$10 sign up bonus when making first deposit at account opening
Stash4.6$1/month - $9/monthEveryday people looking to start managing their finances$5 stock bonus for making a deposit of $5 or more

Related Questions on Stock Investing Apps


Below you will find several frequently asked questions related to free investing apps.

Can I trade stocks for free?

Traders in the 1980s paid an average of about a quarter per share to buy or sell a stock. The brokerage app Robinhood paved the way and offered traders zero commission stocks. To stay competitive, almost every major U.S. brokerage began to provide the same. 

Now, it’s common to pay nothing to trade stocks. While there are still some places charging fees, those are the minority. Investors also don’t need to make phone calls to conduct trades anymore, but can trade with just a few taps on their smartphones.

At this point, you may be wondering if there are hidden fees elsewhere to make up for this change. Brokerages still need to make money. Some of the ways brokerages still charge customers are through interest on margin loans, fees for premium services, and lending user-owned securities. 

These fees typically don’t affect casual or beginner traders. However, frequent traders, or those who make more complex trades, may benefit from premium accounts that cut down on fees.

To learn more about these new brokerages’ business models, find the answer to “How Does Robinhood Make Money?

Can you invest for free?

Usually, stocks are considered riskier investments than exchange-traded funds (ETFs) or long-term investments, such as a retirement fund. Luckily, there are free stock apps that allow you to invest in ETFs and retirement funds for free as well. 

For example, the stock trading app Webull offers commission-free ETFs. You can also open a Roth IRA, Traditional IRA, or Rollover IRA through Webull. There are no opening, closing, or annual fees. 

Don’t feel the need to limit yourself to one type of investment. You can have a variety.

What are free stock trading apps?

Stock trading apps work similarly to traditional brokerage accounts. After you download the mobile app and sign up, you can start buying and selling stocks and other investments. Some people choose to sign up on their computers first. 

Most of these apps have no minimum deposits to get started and others have very low ones. For some stock trading apps, you need enough money to buy at least one full share of the stock you want. Other apps allow fractional trading where you can buy a fraction of a share.

A possible downside of mobile stock trading apps for some users is that the small screens can be challenging to maneuver. For these people, downloading the app on a tablet or using a desktop version may be better. 

Overall, most people find the benefits of stock trading apps to outweigh the disadvantages. Mobile apps allow you to manage your investments from anywhere at any time (as long as you have internet or cellular data). 

If you choose to keep notifications on, you can get updates on stock news and more.

What are the best stock trading apps?

What is the best stock trading platform?

Based on our review of the available stock trading apps in the market, we believe Webull offers the most compelling stock trading app. It offers an intuitive interface and design, useful analytics tools, easy trading and charges nothing for commissions.

Because this app likely covers most retail investors’ needs, we rate it as the best stock trading platform for beginning to intermediate traders or casual investors.

What is the best stock trading app/broker for beginners?

The best stocking trading app for you depends on your experience, trading goals, and desired level of educational support. Beginners benefit from apps that have the least amount of fees and a lot of charts, quotes, and educational tools.

They can also serve as the best stock news apps to follow the market. 

It’s even better if there are tools where you can communicate with other traders, as long as you remember that some people have agendas to promote certain stocks. 

M1 Finance and Webull are popular choices for beginner investors because they are commission-free and have many informational resources. Investors also enjoy that these apps give you one (or more) free stocks or sign up bonuses to get you started. 

Fortunately, you aren’t limited to signing up for only one app. New traders can try two or three different apps for free to see which they feel most comfortable using. It’s completely fine to sign up for an app and try out the interface before funding the account with real money.

For shorter term trading, Webull is your pick. It has all the bells and whistles beginning to intermediate traders want with real-time quotes, intuitive interface and free trades.

For a longer-term focus on building wealth and automating your investments, M1 Finance is the pick for you.

M1 Finance offers the ability to create customized portfolios through self-directed and automated investing for free.

Further, it offers several advantageous investment accounts like a Roth IRA for kids, providing ample ability for kids with earned income to grow their wealth from an early age.

Additionally, you can open an investment account for kids through a custodial account. This allows you to invest on behalf of your child, even if they don’t have earned income.

How do I teach myself to trade stocks?

You shouldn’t trade stocks based on guesses or gut feelings. It’s essential to learn basic terms and how to evaluate stocks before trading them. Ideally, you can take classes or have a mentor teach you. However, it’s also possible to learn how to trade stocks on your own.

Studying successful investors, such as Warren Buffet, can help. You can also immerse yourself in investment research websites, books, articles, videos, and news segments. One of the best ways to learn about stock trading is through practice. 

Before you trade stocks, make yourself some general rules. Ask yourself a few questions, such as:

  • Why am I buying this stock? If your decision is based on feelings, rather than facts, reconsider.
  • At what price will I sell the stock?
  • Is this a long-term or short-term investment?

As you become more familiar with stock traits, your list will likely grow.

For those nervous about spending your hard-earned money, you’re in luck. It’s possible to build up your confidence by first practicing stock trading through a simulator. Webull, among others, has a paper trading simulator that lets you try out trades, without actual money, to see what your profit would have been with the decisions you made. 

For those also interested in learning how to start investing money, my site has several useful resources to learn more about starting to invest. 

Because my site focuses on long-term investing, I tend to promote appreciating assets as the best investment options. Though, you can also invest in income-generating assets that allow you to see how to make money while you sleep.

Can I start trading with $100?

With most brokers, you can start trading with $100, or even less. Just make sure to trade with a company that doesn’t have a higher minimum deposit requirement.

To make the most of a small amount, it’s best to use a brokerage that has no recurring fees cutting into your profits. I recommend M1 Finance and Webull for accomplishing these goals and getting started.

Your risk tolerance will determine whether you invest in a stock index mutual fund, exchange-traded fund, or individual stocks. The first two options are considered safer investments and provide instant diversification.

However, with $100 you would only be able to buy a fractional share of major index funds or ETFs, and that isn’t even allowed on all brokerages.

If you’re starting with $100, it may be a better idea to try purchasing individual stocks. Worst-case scenario, you lose the $100 (as long as you don’t sign up to trade on margin, something I don’t recommend for inexperienced investors).

With small amounts of money, you may want to aim for higher gains. Then, when your funds have grown, you have more investment options.

Stocks with high volatility can help you achieve higher profits, but there is also a risk you could lose most of your investment. Some brokerages will allow you to buy fractional shares of certain stocks, but not all will.

When first starting out, many choose to stick to familiar companies. Then, when you’re more experienced, you can more deeply research lesser-known options. 

Conversely, if you’re just starting to invest and you’d like to automate your contributions into diversified investments, place your money into index funds through regular contributions.

Get started investing with whatever amount you’re comfortable with sooner, rather than later, to see the highest gains.

Are investing apps safe?

Yes, holding money in these accounts are just as safe as holding money with any major brokerage.

While this doesn’t mean you won’t lose money from investing in stocks, this does mean the cash held in these accounts comes with insurance by the SIPC and also carries a variety of investor protections.

How do I choose the best stock trading apps?

Watch lists and charts are the most popular features to choose the best stock trading app.

TD Ameritrade and TradeStation provide excellent chart tools and stock alerts functionality.

Not all stock trading apps offer real time streaming quotes, but some apps only refresh stock quotes a few seconds.

We review apps to help readers see all the features and compare them with each app’s feature list and charts.

We also perform research and analysis of the best stock trading apps to give you a comprehensive list of stock apps to choose your best for you to buy the best in our broker reviews.

We recommend this list of stock trading apps because they offer significant advantages for investing, charting, analysis and more.

Consider stock trading apps like Webull, Public, SoFi Invest, E Trade, M1 Finance, TD Ameritrade, TradeStation and others.

Not on this list are some industry stalwarts like Interactive Brokers, Ally Invest, Charles Schwab or other brokerages who offer a mobile app or desktop trading interface.

These still factor in as some of the best stock trading apps for you to use for investing.

In fact, we encourage you to conduct your research on the best stock trading apps to find which make the most sense for you as passive investors, active traders and those in between will find different uses for online stock trading.

This list promotes these incumbents but also promotes newer names in the stock app space.

They provide powerful mobile trading functionality for stock trades, mostly eschew requiring an account minimum and offer free resources to enhance your trading experience.

This new age of online brokers make the old guard continue to innovate and compete in an increasingly crowded market, meriting mention in this list of best online brokers.

Make it your priority to investigate each mobile app, see if it works best for active traders or passive investors, comes without commission fees per trade, requires you to maintain an account minimum (or even a minimum deposit at account opening).

What are the advantages of using an investing app to trade stocks?

Investing apps offer low-cost or transparent investment options to help investors.

Some apps offer commission-free trading, low or no account minimum and educational resources. Analysts say the advantage is being able to have the research you need to make a wise decision.

Many investing apps are attractive to both beginner investors and experienced traders. You should look for the mobile app that will give you enough information to make your stock trades how you want.

Companies like E Trade, TD Ameritrade, Charles Schwab and Interactive Brokers have stood at the top of the industry for years. Now, new companies have come to offer you more trading options.

What are the disadvantages of using an investing app to trade stocks?

Mobile stock apps are mostly tailored toward hands-on investors. If you’re more hands-off, many of them offer an automated account option.

The disadvantage is that they discourage impulse investing and encourage frequent trading.

Also, you want to practice diversification in different investments, though not necessarily different stock app after stock app.

That means you want to make sure all of your eggs are in one basket when you trade, not all of them in all of the company’s baskets.

The cost of these mobile trading apps is what matters, both realized and unrealized.

Therefore, it’s not just about free trading versus $5 or even $10 trades, though that’s all relevant.

You want to use an app to place stock trades all in one place and not have to jump from platform to platform.

That means finding the right balance between free stock trades, user interface and even what the stock broker does with your stock trades.

Some companies monetize your order for payment flow, meaning they route your trade order to the clearing firm best able to process your order and also earn the trading app a rebate.

While companies claim not to favor clearing firms for this purpose, most rely on this as their largest source of income.

Active traders can see their funds pass through apps like Robinhood, Charles Schwab, the E Trade app, Interactive Brokers, Ally Invest, TD Ameritrade and more. Some earn money this way, while others find other monetization opportunities.

Be aware of which brokers handle your money in this manner.

The Best Commission-Free Stock Trading Apps and Platforms


Free stock trading apps are becoming more and more popular and this shouldn’t be surprising.

Being able to trade without fees, starting with a small amount of money, from the convenience of your smartphone makes stock trading accessible to more people than ever before. 

Whether you’re a beginner trader or more of an expert, there are stock app options to fit your needs.

Choose one or more stock apps to try out to start investing in your future through stocks.

About the Site Author and Blog

In 2018, I was winding down a stint in investor relations and found myself newly equipped with a CPA, added insight on how investors behave in markets, and a load of free time.  My job routinely required extended work hours, complex assignments, and tight deadlines.  Seeking to maintain my momentum, I wanted to chase something ambitious.

I chose to start this financial independence blog as my next step, recognizing both the challenge and opportunity.  I launched the site with encouragement from my wife as a means to lay out our financial independence journey and connect with and help others who share the same goal.

Disclaimer

I have not been compensated by any of the companies listed in this post at the time of this writing.  Any recommendations made by me are my own.  Should you choose to act on them, please see the disclaimer on my About Young and the Invested page.

Invest, manage and plan your money with confidence.

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