Types of investment apps

Investment apps give quick and easy access to the stock market and there are lots of different ones to choose from. Use this guide to learn about the different types of investment apps.
By:  &  James Knight
Updated: Jul 19, 2022

There are lots of reasons why you may want to use an investment app and you can be sure there’s one out there to suit your requirements. This beginner-friendly article explains the types of investment apps out there and who they’re most suitable for.

What is an investment app?

An investment app is a mobile application that allows you to track your investment portfolio and buy and sell financial assets. Most of these apps are provided by online brokerage firms and offer a relatively standard service where you log in, deposit money, and make investments from your phone. Others have been developed by innovative financial technology (Fintech) firms, and these tend to offer something unique, such as investment portfolios based on artificial intelligence. 

The different types of investment apps

Investment apps come in all shapes and sizes, although they generally fall into two categories; DIY or Robo-advisor. DIY investment apps give full control to the user. Robo-Advisors take a different approach and use technology to invest automatically on your behalf. 

Below we have broken these categories down further to include low cost apps and micro investing apps as well. Underneath each is a brief description of what it is and who it’s most suited for.

DIY apps

The most common type of investment app falls into the DIY category. These types of apps give you full control over your portfolio. They’re generally offered by online brokerages and let you invest how and when you want. DIY investment apps are the easiest way to manage your portfolio while using your own expertise to make decisions. 

Who is a DIY investment app suitable for?

Any type of investor can use a DIY app although they’re most suited to those with some investing experience. When using these apps you’ll be left to your own devices and have to use your own knowledge to find stocks to buy and decide how much money to put into each investment.

Low cost apps

Each DIY app has its own fee structure. You may be charged a flat rate for each trade, or a monthly subscription fee, or there may be no trading fees at all. You should always consider fees when choosing an app, but the cost of trading is more important the more active you plan to be. If you plan to buy and hold individual stocks for a long time, paying a one-off trading fee is acceptable. If you plan to buy and sell frequently, the costs can mount up quickly.

Who is a low cost app suitable for?

Any type of investor that wants to invest while keeping costs at a minimum. Generally, cost is more important the more short term your approach is, but cost should only be one consideration. You may find an app that doesn’t charge much, for example, but offers fewer assets compared to those that have slightly higher fees. 

Robo-advisors

Robo-advisors are a fairly new approach to investing and offered by many FinTech start-ups. Using a Robo-advisor is straightforward and after depositing money you’ll need to complete a questionnaire to determine your goals. The app then uses software and AI to make investments automatically for you based on your answers to the questions. Robo-advisors tend to charge a management fee, so can be more expensive than a DIY app.

Who is a Robo-advisor suitable for?

Beginners and anyone wanting to take a hands free approach to investing. Robo-advisors make it easy for just about anyone to invest and are particularly suitable to those who may lack market knowledge. They are also the best investing apps for students and make a good addition to users wanting multiple investment apps. 

Micro investing apps 

Micro investing apps are a new trend in the investing world and there are lots of services allowing you to save and invest your pennies. Micro investing apps are similar to robo-advisors and everything can be automated. They work by investing small amounts of money (usually rounding up your everyday spending) into low cost stocks and ETFs. 

Who is a micro investing app suitable for?

They’re a good choice for investors wanting to invest with little money. Micro investing apps are generally cheap to maintain with their low fees and offer a very hands off approach to investing. It’s unlikely a micro investing app will earn you large sums of money so they’ve not for investors wanting big gains. 

Should I use an investment app?

Investment apps are certainly an excellent way to manage your portfolio while on the go. Most apps also have web based services so you always have the benefit of using a computer to access your account. You can use apps from anywhere in the world at any time of day or night allowing you to quickly react to market changes. 

One thing to note is that investment apps are designed for quick and easy access. The simplicity of using an app to invest should not be confused with investing being simple. Before using an investment app you should take the time to research and learn about the stock market. 

Where can I learn more about investment apps?

Right here on Invezz. If you’re new to investing you can check out our free courses where you can learn about the stock market and other assets. We also have detailed guides on the best investment apps to help you choose the right one. You can use these to sharpen your investment skills and choose the most suitable app for your goals.


Our editors fact-check all content to ensure compliance with our strict editorial policy. The information in this article is supported by the following reliable sources.

Invezz is a place where people can find reliable, unbiased information about finance, trading, and investing – but we do not offer financial advice and users should always carry out their own research. The assets covered on this website, including stocks, cryptocurrencies, and commodities can be highly volatile and new investors often lose money. Success in the financial markets is not guaranteed, and users should never invest more than they can afford to lose. You should consider your own personal circumstances and take the time to explore all your options before making any investment. Read our risk disclaimer >

Prash Raval
Financial Writer
When not researching stocks or trading, Prash can be found either on the golf course, walking his dog or teaching his son how to kick a… read more.
James Knight
Editor of Education
James is a lead content editor for Invezz. He's an avid trader and golfer, who spends an inordinate amount of time watching Leicester City and the… read more.