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- 1. Compare the best stock trading apps in 2023
- 2. Best stock trading apps overall for 2023
- 3. What is the best stock trading app?
- 4. Top 7 stock trading apps, reviewed
- 5. Different types of stock apps
- 6. What is a stock trading app?
- 7. How does a stock trading app work?
- 8. How should I choose the best stock trading app for me?
- 9. Quick answers to key questions
- 10. Should I use a stock trading app?
- 11. What are the risks of using a stock trading app?
- 12. The best stock trading apps: How did we choose them?
- 13. FAQs
Compare the best stock trading apps in 2023
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82% of retail CFD accounts lose money.
The amount of people using trading platforms on their phones has tripled since the outbreak of the pandemic. The battle to attract all these new users has been fierce, which means there are now hundreds of stock trading apps to choose from. Use this guide to compare the best stock apps and pick one that suits you.
Best stock trading apps overall for 2023Copy link to section
What is the best stock trading app?Copy link to section
These are our favourite stock trading apps ranked so you can get started quickly. If you want a more detailed comparison between the apps and the service they offer, then keep reading to learn more about each one.
77% of retail CFD accounts lose money.
Top 7 stock trading apps, reviewedCopy link to section
1. eToro. Best for beginners, copy-trading & demo-account
Pros & Cons
We love eToro because you can trade more than 3,000 stocks, commission free. When you buy stocks on eToro, you’re buying the underlying asset, which means you can earn dividends. Or you can trade fractional shares, which means you can invest in even the most expensive stock from just $10.
As well as being a broker that offers lots of investor protection, eToro offers a very social trading experience. You can easily see what’s trending on the stock market every day, browse the latest analyst opinion about every one of those stocks, and copy other people’s trade suggestions from your desktop or the eToro app.
The fees: Stock and ETF trades are commission free. Stock CFDs are charged a 0.15% spread and overnight fees can apply. You can deposit money for free but you have to pay $5 per withdrawal, and there’s a minimum withdrawal of $30. A $10 per month activity fee is charged if you don’t log in for a year.
77% of retail CFD accounts lose money.
2. Public. Best for sharing beginner trading ideas
Pros & Cons
We love Public because it’s a social platform where you can share trading tips and get ideas from other people. Public offers 9,000+ financial instruments, including cryptocurrencies and stocks from around the world.
Alongside a community of other investors all sharing their ideas, Public offers real time news and information so that you can see the full picture before you invest. And the assets don’t just include your run-of-the-mill assets; you can make alternative investments in things like handbags and comic books as well.
The fees: There are no fees for investing in stocks during regular trading hours in the US – 9.30am-4pm EST. There is a $2.99 fee for trades outside of regular hours.
Different types of stock appsCopy link to section
Best stock app for beginnersCopy link to section
When you’re new to the stock market, it’s a good idea to choose an app that’s inexpensive and easy to use. The best stock trading platforms for beginners boast features like copy trading services and plenty of educational material to help you learn how to trade.
77% of retail CFD accounts lose money.
Top day trading appCopy link to section
If you plan to trade quickly and often, you want an day-trading platform with low fees that gives you as many options as possible. That way, you can use tools and charts to time your entry and exit from the market, without paying out lots of money in fees every time.
Top penny stocks appCopy link to section
To trade penny stocks you need a penny stock platform that offers the widest possible range of stocks. Find an app where you can access every stock on leading exchanges like the FTSE100 or the NYSE, as well as small-cap stocks and emerging markets.
82% of retail CFD accounts lose money.
What is a stock trading app?Copy link to section
It’s an application that allows you to trade the stock market from your mobile device. Most brokers offer the ability to use their platforms via an app and can be accessed by either a smartphone or tablet. When using a stock trading app you will usually be able to carry out the same functions as you can on a broker desktop platform.
How does a stock trading app work?Copy link to section
To use a stock trading app you need to first register with an online broker. Once your account is created you simply download an app to access your account on the go. Stock trading apps let you monitor and analyse the markets from your mobile device. You can buy and sell stocks as well as carry out technical analysis on price charts.
How should I choose the best stock trading app for me?Copy link to section
Safety, security, and an easy-to-use interface are three of the most important things to look for. While specific features might affect those that you choose from, take all these factors into consideration before you make a final choice. That way you’ll get the best experience in the end.
Design and ease of useCopy link to section
One of the main advantages of using an app is making it easy to purchase and sell company shares. You want to be able to find your way around and use all the features available. If you’re a beginner this is even more important, you want useful information to be laid out in a way you can understand as you learn.
Reputation and regulationCopy link to section
You want to be confident in the app you’re using. As with anyone you trust with your money, you want to be sure they aren’t going to disappear with it. Stock brokers have to abide by strict regulations, from the FCA in the UK and FINRA in the US, so look for proof of this before you sign up.
Similarly, brokers should have insurance to protect the customer in case they go bankrupt. Longer-term investments like ISAs and IRAs are protected by government regulation too, check your chosen service abides by all of this before you download.
Tools and chartsCopy link to section
These can be very useful when you start trading. If you’re going to do the work yourself, you want to be able to study a stock’s performance before you invest. Look out for apps that offer charts you can do some technical analysis on. Other tools worth looking for are comparison features, say between a fund’s performance and the market average.
Fees and commissionsCopy link to section
Many apps advertise themselves as free but they have to make money somewhere. Usually, it’s with fees for specific actions, like trading, deposits, or withdrawals. Other companies will make money on the ‘spread’, the difference between the buy and sell price they offer on a share. Comparing the size of the spread can be a good way of choosing the best platform – the smaller the better.
SecurityCopy link to section
You want to keep your money and assets secure all the time. Look out for the different security features that are offered; do they use encryption? Two-factor authentication? What about protection against fraud? And how do they deal with your private data? Be wary of any service that skimps on these features.
Trading optionsCopy link to section
You want flexibility on your stock app, with lots of different trading options. New traders just getting started might want to stick to simply buying and selling shares but as you get more experience there are lots of ways to trade. Here are some popular ones you should look out for:
- Share dealing is the standard way of playing the stock market. You purchase shares in a company, with the aim of making money either from it going up in value or in the form of dividends. When you sell it, ideally you make a profit on the difference in price.
- Contracts for difference (CFDs) are a way of speculating on how an asset is going to perform without owning it. They’re popular on retail trading apps like eToro and Robinhood and can be a way of trading cryptocurrencies and commodities as well as stocks.
- Trading with leverage means making bigger trades by putting up only a small amount of the overall value as a deposit. You borrow the rest from your broker but remain liable for the entire trade. You can make big wins this way but it’s very risky as losses can escalate quickly.
- Spread betting is a way of betting on the performance of an entire market, rather than individual stocks within it. You place a bet on whether it’s going to go up or down, and earn a profit of your stake multiplied by the amount of points the market moved. The reverse is also true: you lose your stake multiplied by how much it goes the other way.
Additional featuresCopy link to section
These are just the most important features to look out for. The ideal app is packed with even more that can help you make money. Demo accounts, where you trade with fake money to start with, are great for beginners. So are educational tools, tutorials, and push alerts to let you know how your shares are performing.
Quick answers to key questionsCopy link to section
Can I trade stocks on Android and iOS devices?Copy link to section
Yes. Most apps are available on both operating systems. A few are exclusive to one or the other, but you can easily find out which ones are available on your phone by going to the Google Play store or the App Store.
How much do stock apps cost?Copy link to section
To download: usually nothing. Setting up an account is also usually free for trading apps but once you get into the realm of long term investing you might need to subscribe before you can use all the services. Even for free stock apps, there’s usually a cost somewhere in the form of additional fees or commissions.
Do I have to verify my identity with a stock app?Copy link to section
Yes, usually there is some form of verification but the methods vary. Expect to have to provide some contact details and a form of photo ID to prove who you are before you can trade.
Do apps charge fees for trading stocks?Copy link to section
Some do, some don’t. Those aimed at retail investors have led the charge towards free trading. Traditional stock brokers have been forced to reduce their fees to compete but often do still charge.
Exactly how they charge varies widely, It could be a fixed rate, a percentage of the trade value, or some let you perform a certain amount of trades a month for free. It’s very important to check this before you start.
What are the fees for stock trading apps?Copy link to section
Each app will have its own fees and it will depend on your broker’s terms and conditions. Most modern apps are free to download and offer zero-fee trading. More established brokers tend to charge a flat fee per trade, or a monthly subscription. The cost of using that type of broker to trade can range from £5 to £12.
You need to decide what you want the app to do before you choose one. There are services aimed at day traders, others for long term investors, and still more that use artificial intelligence to invest your money for you. Here are some of the top stock apps, whatever your goals are.
Can I use multiple apps at the same time?Copy link to section
Yes. You can have as many as you like. Some traders prefer to have a few different apps for different asset classes. However, it’s usually easiest to use just one app so that all of your investments are in one place.
Is a mobile stock trading app better than a desktop version?Copy link to section
That will depend on your own requirements. Desktop versions sometimes have more features and are generally easier to use. However mobile apps give a lot of flexibility and you can check on your trades even on the go.
Are stock apps regulated?Copy link to section
Yes, in a manner of speaking. The stockbrokers themselves are strictly regulated by financial authorities across the world and have to put in place lots of consumer protections. So if you choose a respected, established company then you can be confident their app is regulated too.
Should I use a stock trading app?Copy link to section
If you plan on trading the stock market then using an app to do so is a good idea. Most traders use a combination of both desktop and mobile applications and both have their benefits. A desktop app may offer a few more features that are not available on a mobile app, however, mobile apps offer a great deal of flexibility.
The best stock trading apps incorporate most of the functionality of their desktop versions and make buying and selling stocks from your device an easy process. These apps offer the freedom to check on your trades even when you’re not at your computer and make it easy to spot new opportunities very quickly.
What are the risks of using a stock trading app?Copy link to section
There is a high risk of losing money from trading, particularly if you’re new or inexperienced. That risk applies whether you trade via an app or on your desktop. The convenience and ease of using an app to trade can add more risk, because you can open and close a trade from anywhere.
It’s important to stay disciplined when you trade. Create a list of rules in advance to set out the conditions that must be met before you open a trade and the maximum you’re prepared to lose on any one trade. Similarly, set hard and fast rules for when to take profit.
In short, you should make stock trading decisions based on strict guidelines set when you have a clear head. Trading becomes significantly more risky when you make emotional decisions in the heat of the moment. Below is a short summary of the risks, as well as the benefits, of using an app to trade stocks.
If you’re still undecided on if you want to use a stock trading app then you can use the pros and cons below to help you make up your mind.
BenefitsCopy link to section
- Apps offer easy access to the stock market even when you’re on the go
- Get the latest stock market information at your fingertips
- The best apps have the same features as desktop apps
- Apps are almost universally free to download and use
- Many apps have a free demo account that you can use to practice trading
The best stock trading apps: How did we choose them?Copy link to section
Helping people make better financial decisions is at the heart of our mission at Invezz.
We periodically test more than 63 stock trading platforms to provide our users with clear, accessible guidance on the investing options available. All testing is carried out by our panel of stock market experts, analysts, and active traders who sign up to each broker, conduct research, and score each service.
Our tests are designed to find stock brokerages that offer a beginner-friendly, secure investing experience at a fair price. To supplement our practical testing and experience, we research each trading platform to gather any further relevant information. We read online customer reviews, app reviews on the Play Store and App Store, and conduct user surveys to get feedback from real people about what works, and what doesn’t.
Each stock broker is awarded a final score based on 130+ data points across 8 ranking categories: cost, reliability, user experience, deposit & withdrawals, investing options, range of products/markets, research & analysis tools, and the availability of educational & learning resources.
We work closely with individual brands to ensure all factual information displayed here is accurate. All data is then fact-checked by an independent reviewer. You can learn more about our expert panel and how we test, rate, and review platforms in our review process.
FAQsCopy link to section
Yes, although this might vary depending on where you are in the world so make sure to check.
Downloading them is usually free. These companies make their money elsewhere, so you might have to pay trading fees or to withdraw your money. It’s important to check the fee structure before you start.
It depends where you live. Usually you do have to pay some kind of capital gains tax, especially if you make a lot of money on your trades. In the UK, for example, you have to pay tax on gains over £12,300. It’s very important to check the capital gains tax laws in your region.
Again, it depends. Those that offer a wide range of trading options tend to let you short stocks as well. Simply put, when you short a stock you borrow the shares from your broker and sell them, and not all want to act as a market maker like this. Check with your broker before you sign up.
Generally, yes, although you should be very careful. If there are no trading limits then you can try scalping but beware of the spread between buy and sell price, trading fees, and the fact it’s very difficult to make money this way. If you are going to do it, use stop limits to protect you from big losses.
No. Uninstalling one doesn’t normally delete your account. So long as you don’t delete the account itself without withdrawing your money, you won’t lose it.
It depends on the platform. Paypal is increasingly accepted as a means of payment by many brokers and exchanges, but you may not be able to if you’re depositing to an ISA or long term investing account.
Some do, like eToro. Copy trading allows you to mimic the stock market trades of more experienced or professional traders and is a great way to profit while you learn.
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 >