Nearly half of all North Americans aren’t investing their money. With an education system that doesn’t explain the importance of investing, an arduous path has been paved for those who are looking to be savvy with their money.
Thankfully, a surge in curiosity about investing has created a burgeoning market for beginner investment apps, such as Robinhood, Acorns, Betterment, Ally and more. These amazing apps can help otherwise untrained individuals to know what to do with their money.
If you’re looking for the best beginner investment apps, you’re in luck because I’m about to share with you my top picks.
In this article:
Although the final decision is up to you, I’ll suggest which one(s) might be right for you based on your financial situation.
1. Robinhood: Best Overall Investment App
For most beginners, Robinhood is an intelligent choice if you’re looking for an investment app that is easy and versatile.
When you sign-up, they give you a free, random stock share. This can be worth a few dollars or a few hundred dollars, so let’s hope luck is on your side.
The app also allows you to buy fractional shares, which can come in extremely handy if you’re investing small amounts of money. Why is this? Because a single share of a stock like Apple (NASDAQ: AAPL) costs well over $100.
This is not to mention that the app is entirely commission-free. Plus, the account minimum for the app is $0. This means that you can pull money out without having to worry about paying a fee for going below a minimum.
On top of all of this, Robinhood is the only investment broker that lets its users trade cryptocurrency.
That’s right, if you’re a crypto-lover, Robinhood will be the beginner investment app for you.
Currently, Robinhood lets you trade Bitcoin, Bitcoin Cash, Litecoin, Ethereum, and Dogecoin, among other kinds of cryptocurrencies. This is on top of its ability to allow users to trade stocks, options, and exchange-trade funds (ETFs).
If you’re looking for a great savings option, Robinhood offers that, too. The app started offering a cash management account that provided its users with a debit card and free ATM withdrawals.
Because Robinhood sealed agreements with many different banks, these accounts became insured by the FDIC for up to $1.25 million.
Robinhood offers customer support through email and social media. While they don’t have a phone line currently, they make it easy to contact them through these means.
Finally, Robinhood has optimized its services for both phone and web now, making it easier for individuals to choose the platform they’d like to trade from.
2. Acorns: Best Automated Investment App
If you’re on social media at all, you’ve probably heard of Acorns. Popular for its rounding techniques and recurring investment options, Acorns has struck a wave in the financial community, especially among younger individuals.
Acorns allows its users to sign up for “rounded investments,” which means that each time you spend money on the card or bank account that you’ve connected to Acorns the system rounds that purchase up to the next dollar. This extra change adds up over time and those funds get invested into your portfolio.
It’s a sneaky way of making sure that you’re investing with every single purchase you make.
Unfortunately, Acorns does charge a fee of $1 a month to process and maintain all of this for you. However, as far as financial advisors and investment experts go, Acorns costing $1 won’t break your bank.
Unless you’re only investing $1 a month, you’re not likely to lose any money going with this beginner investment app. However, it can add up over time. Plus, additional accounts such as their retirement account can cost upwards of $3 and $5 per month.
I highly recommend opening an account with Acorns for those of you who plan on investing, but don’t want to put in too much work.
3. Betterment: Best Goal-Oriented Investment App
If you have some great financial goals lined up for your investment account, then I’d recommend starting with Betterment.
Betterment does charge a small account fee, but this covers the management of all of the money that you invest. The app takes the money that you give it and places it in the appropriate investments.
Then, it tackles the trading and rebalancing for you.
To determine where to put your money, Betterment recommends a base portfolio of investments for you based on a series of questions about your type of investing style.
From there, you can choose to go with the recommended portfolio or go off and choose your own.
Unless you have extensive financial knowledge, I probably won’t want to go against your recommended portfolio. If you want to make sure the recommendation is right for you, then do some research or consult a financial adviser before switching anything around.
4. Ally: Best Combined Investment App
If you’re looking to manage all of your money in one place, you should consider making an account with Ally. With options to open checking and savings accounts, Ally allows its users to control all of their money in one place.
The best part is that Ally’s services don’t cost a cent unless you want to consult a robo-advisor.
Ally is also known for its simple setup and straightforward patterns. Any newcomer can figure out how to use Ally. And, if you don’t have any investment experience, Ally can walk you through everything you need to know, since the app doesn’t expect you to do the investing for yourself.
It works as a managed portfolio rather than a self-directed portfolio, meaning that Ally organized your investments for you.
It simply gives you an idea of where your money is going without requiring you to have extensive knowledge of the stock market.
Beyond Beginner Investment Apps
Now that I’ve shared my top picks for beginner investment apps, it’s time for you to put the advice to work. Pick your favorite app and get started with multiplying your hard-earned money.
If you’re still feeling lost, don’t worry. This site has an awesome finance section that can help you acquire the financial lessons that you should’ve been taught about in school.
*Disclaimer: Nothing in this article should be construed as financial advice. Before making any decisions, you should consult with a professional adviser, such as a financial planner or CPA. I have no financial relationship with any of the companies mentioned in this article.