With so many stock trading apps available, any investor can work with their stocks and monitor the market while on the go, from their phone. You’ll find a variety of these programs, however, and some are poorly optimized for mobile use, not powerful enough, or have features that make them good for some traders but not others.
If you’re stuck on which is the best stock trading app for you, take a look at Trader Ammo’s top nine picks. Each is a good bet, and all that matters is finding the one that best suits your financial goals and personal preferences.
Top 9 Stock Apps
Mobile app stock trading should offer a consistent and compatible experience with desktop stock trading, meaning a user can easily move from computer to phone without annoying or time-consuming logins or delays. A good mobile stock app should also have the same tools, such as screeners, anyone would expect of a solid online broker service.
The top stock apps that fit or exceed these requirements include:
- Charles Schwab
- Merrill Edge
- TD Ameritrade
Acorns might be the best stock trading app for beginners, as it’s made for someone with no prior experience or even understanding of how the trading process works. The tutorials and articles make it an easy trading app, and many of the processes are automated. Before you know it, you’ll have a portfolio put together based on a brief survey. Of course, experienced traders won’t enjoy this limited control and hand-holding, but for beginners afraid of a bad start, Acorns will help you acclimate.
Acorns’ automatic investing algorithm focuses solely on exchange-traded funds (ETFs), so if you’re an experienced investor with an interest in expanding to ETFs, Acorns could serve as a handy introduction to that world.
While we’re on the subject of beginner stock investing apps, TradeHero is a great choice for paper trading, aka practice investing with pretend money. Some of the best traders in the world started small and got over their initial fears by practicing in a zero-risk environment, and TradeHero is perfect for that. The app works like a stock-market-inspired game, starting you out with $100,000 of fake money to grow and develop.
Once you start seeing your score and how you’re doing compared to others, the drive to get better and keep up that momentum can carry over into real trading. When you’re ready to make real money, the app has a section called TradeHero LIVE, where users can make actual investments. Just keep in mind that TradeHero LIVE uses derivative contracts, not stand-alone securities, so if you want to move into trading actual stocks, it’s best to graduate from TradeHero to one of the other top share trading apps on this list.
Sometimes it isn’t the risk of a bad investment that deters people from trading so much as the fees associated with using a brokerage service. Robinhood is the best free stock trading app on the market, perfect for anyone annoyed by broker fees. The service started as a mobile app and later expanded to a desktop website, so it has had plenty of time to refine its user interface and reliability on the mobile market. Stock trading apps like Robinhood have a good, though not great, range of potential securities to trade and powerful features that stick to the basics.
For those who try this free stock app and love it, there’s also Robinhood Gold, with a range of premium accounts that unlock margin trading, extended hours, and other features depending on the tier you buy. If you’ve been wondering “How can I buy stocks for free?” Robinhood is a powerful yet accessible system any trader should try.
Stash is popular for helping traders gain experience at low stakes. You can invest in various stocks and ETFs with as little as $5 to start, making tiny trades that you can work up from at your pace. This easy stock trading app has plenty of helpful tools and guides users through the process with tips and training. If paper trading isn’t your style, but you’re most comfortable making smaller trades, Stash is both a great online mobile trading app to start with and one you can stick with as you scale up your portfolio.
E*TRADE is a major player in online trading, and its mobile stock trading app includes the same analysis and performance risk tools. Best of all, there is no fee for stocks or ETFs, only for options at different volumes. You must maintain an account minimum of $500, however, and the service has no bank integration.
E*TRADE has won various awards as a great mobile stock trading platform, whether for beginners, specific securities, or as an online platform. It is an excellent choice for a savvy trader looking to set up a complex strategy with frequent moves. Be sure to download the Power E*TRADE app specifically, as it has more advanced tools not seen in the standard app. Some traders use both to get the fullest scope of the market.
6. Charles Schwab
Looking for a great iOS stock trading app? Charles Schwab has improved its Android and Apple stock apps over time, and now you won’t miss any of the features from the regular website. There’s no account minimum, stock trades are free, and the range of exchange-traded funds and other assets is massive. One factor that won the service many awards is its All-in-One tool, letting you access streaming news, research with international market data, and check on investments with ease, even when logged out. You can even choose to receive alerts on devices such as the Apple Watch.
Charles Schwab lets you mask your account balances, it offers secure authentication for your account, and the IdeaHub feature will give you trading ideas based on current information if you’re stuck.
7. Merrill Edge
Although the fees with Merrill Edge can add up quickly depending on how and what you trade, the mobile app easily links to your bank, and the service offers an incredible amount of tools and educational materials. If investor education is one of your priorities, Merrill Edge’s app will offer more than enough information, no matter your experience level. You can customize the easy-to-read portfolio summary and other performance pages down to every detail, showing only what you want to see and where you want to see it.
Like E*TRADE and Charles Schwab, Merrill Edge has earned plenty of awards over the years. Its app features a few unique calculators and other tools that go beyond the simple goals of making money, such as calculators for charity tax impact and social impact investing resources. The only downside to Merrill Edge’s service is some securities are missing or limited, such as options and futures.
Another no-account-minimum service with reasonable fees, Fidelity made a recent move to mobile while keeping things seamless with its desktop website. Responsive design keeps every chart or page fitted properly, no matter your device. The app features an impressive trade execution engine, which actively searches for price improvements. It also features a streaming, curated news feed and reminders for important dates.
The service has won plenty of awards, including ones for penny stocks, IRAs, web trading, and international trading. A game called Five Money Musts teaches brand-new investors the ropes. You can get both an Android or iOS trading app with Fidelity, and unless you’re looking to trade futures, it has everything you’re likely to need.
9. TD Ameritrade
With its mix of accessibility and power, TD Ameritrade has next to no flaws. Similar to E*TRADE, the company offers two mobile apps with different purposes: TD Ameritrade Mobile and TD Ameritrade Mobile Trader. The latter is more powerful and attuned to experienced investors while the former can get a newcomer up to speed with mobile trading.
Both apps offer tons of customization and resources for alerts, transfers, research, advice, and education. It’s also easy to start with the basic TD Ameritrade Mobile and then switch over to Mobile Trader when you’re comfortable trying more complex strategies. Some traders actively use the resources from both for a performance boost. As long as the prospect of using two apps isn’t bothersome, TD Ameritrade is worth trying.
Pick an App and Get Started
Amid the pressure for investing services to go mobile, the top players in the industry, as well as several newcomers, have risen to the occasion. You might have to experiment with a few apps on this list to find the one you are most comfortable with, but the time spent researching an app you love using will pay off over time.