Compare the best stock apps

Apps make it easier than ever to trade stocks and shares wherever you are. This guide takes you through what to look for when you pick one and how to find the best option for you.
By: James Knight
James Knight
When he isn’t at work, James is an avid trader and golfer who likes to travel. He once fed,… read more.
Updated: May 24, 2021
Tip: our preferred broker is, eToro: visit & create account

The rise of the retail investor has brought stock trading apps to the mainstream. Use this page to find the best one, whether you’re looking for somewhere to trade quickly or want help investing for the long term.

What are the best apps for investing in stocks?

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.

Top apps for short term stock trading

If you plan to trade quickly and often, you want an intuitive 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.

1
Min. Deposit
$50
Exclusive promotion
Our score
10
Trade/invest in stocks with just $50
Invest for dividends and get payout on stocks on Ex-Dividend day
Over 11 payment methods, including PayPal
Start Trading
Description:
eToro is a multi-asset investment platform with more than 2000 assets, including FX, stocks, ETF’s, indices and commodities. eToro users can connect with, learn from, and copy or get copied by other users. Buying stocks on eToro is free and you can invest with as little as $50.
Payment Methods
Wire Transfer, Bank Transfer
Full regulations list:
CySEC, FCA
eToro USA LLC does not offer CFDs and makes no representation and assumes no liability as to the accuracy or completeness of the content of this publication, which has been prepared by our partner utilizing publicly available non-entity specific information about eToro. Your capital is at risk.
2
Min. Deposit
$1
Exclusive promotion
Our score
9.3
0 Commissions and no deposit minimums
Registered with and regulated by SEC and FINRA
Loss of cash protection
Start Trading
Description:
Financial company driven by technology and offering all-in-one self-directed investment platform that provides excellent user experience.
Payment Methods
Full regulations list:

Top apps for long term stock investing

Value or growth investing is a popular way of trying to build wealth over time. You want to be able to own shares in a company, earn extra money from the dividends they pay out, and sell them later after they’ve increased in value.

1
Min. Deposit
$50
Exclusive promotion
Our score
10
Trade/invest in stocks with just $50
Invest for dividends and get payout on stocks on Ex-Dividend day
Over 11 payment methods, including PayPal
Start Trading
Description:
eToro is a multi-asset investment platform with more than 2000 assets, including FX, stocks, ETF’s, indices and commodities. eToro users can connect with, learn from, and copy or get copied by other users. Buying stocks on eToro is free and you can invest with as little as $50.
Payment Methods
Wire Transfer, Bank Transfer
Full regulations list:
CySEC, FCA
eToro USA LLC does not offer CFDs and makes no representation and assumes no liability as to the accuracy or completeness of the content of this publication, which has been prepared by our partner utilizing publicly available non-entity specific information about eToro. Your capital is at risk.
2
Min. Deposit
$1
Exclusive promotion
Our score
9.3
0 Commissions and no deposit minimums
Registered with and regulated by SEC and FINRA
Loss of cash protection
Start Trading
Description:
Financial company driven by technology and offering all-in-one self-directed investment platform that provides excellent user experience.
Payment Methods
Full regulations list:

Top robo-advisor apps for saving and investing

Sometimes the best way to invest your money is to let someone else do it for you. These services let you guide their strategy by signalling your risk tolerance and the industries – like green energy or technology – you want to invest in. Then you can sit back and let them manage your portfolio for you.

What should I look for in a stock market trading app?

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 to the best experience in the end.

Design and ease of use

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 regulation

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 charts

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 commissions

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.

Security

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 options

You want flexibility on your 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

This 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.

CFD trading

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.

Leveraged trading

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

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 features

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 questions

Can I trade stocks on Android and iOS devices?

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 trading apps cost?

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 trading 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 trading app?

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?

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.

Should I use a stock trading app?

It depends what you want to do. We generally recommend them: they’re easy to use and now that we run so much of our lives through our phones, there’s no reason stock trading should be any different.

Still undecided?

If you can’t decide yet, we’re here to help. It’s always a good idea to take some extra time to think about your investments, and the platform you use to make them is no different. Below are some of the pros and cons of using an app, followed by a couple of final points.

Pros

  • Trade stocks and manage your portfolio wherever you are
  • Many come with slimmed-down versions for beginners to help you understand the market
  • However you want to trade, there’s going to be a service that offers it

Cons

Should I buy stocks with an app now?

Whether now is a good time depends on the market conditions and the economic climate in general. For instance, are there any recent developments that could affect the shares you are interested in? To help you make the best decisions on whether to dive in now, use our latest news and analysis to help you:

Apple shares have weakened from their recent highs above $140, and the current price stands around $128. Apple reported better than expected second-quarter results last week, and the company increased the quarterly dividend by 7.3%. Fundamental analysis: Morgan Stanley raised its target on Apple from $158 to $161 Apple shares…
Under Armour (NYSE: UAA) shares have weakened from their recent highs despite better than expected first-quarter results. The U.S. stock market is losing some ground this Tuesday, which also negatively influences Under Armour shares. Fundamental analysis: Under Armour shares are not undervalued Under Armour is an American sports equipment…
McDonald’s shares advanced after the company reported better than expected first-quarter results and closed the week at $236,08. Fundamental analysis: UBS raised its price target from $240 to $255 Even with the COVID-19 pandemic, this company’s business is going well, and McDonald’s reported better than expected first-quarter results last week.

Where can I learn more about stocks?

The best place is where you already are: the Invezz website. We have lots of educational content to help you learn about the stock market and the different types of stocks you can invest in. To find out what’s hot, our news section is the place to go. 

FAQs

ℹ Can I use multiple apps?
ℹ Are stock apps legal?
ℹ Can I use stock trading apps where I live?
ℹ Do I have to pay to use stock apps?
ℹ Are mobile apps safe?
ℹ Are stock apps regulated?
ℹ Do I have to pay tax on any money I make?
Are there fees when buying stocks on an app?
Can I short stocks on an app?
Can I try scalping on an app?
Can I hedge my investments?
ℹ Do apps integrate with online accounts?
ℹ What if I forget my password?
ℹ Will I lose my money if I uninstall a stock app?
ℹ What are the risks of using stock trading apps?
ℹ Can I use my PayPal account to deposit money on an app?

Fact-checking & references

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.

Risk disclaimer

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 >

James Knight
Financial writer
When he isn’t at work, James is an avid trader and golfer who likes to travel. He once fed, rode, and ate an ostrich all on… read more.