Since Robinhood came on the scene in 2015, we’ve seen an influx of both retail investors and retail investing apps. Although Robinhood has had its issues, it has proven that the average person likes the idea of being able to invest when they want, how they want, and with little or no cost. This new paradigm sent shock waves through the traditional investment world.
Now, eight years later, everyone from legacy banks to fintech startups seems to have their own investment apps, and it’s hard to say where to put your hard-earned money. I wanted to talk about three great investment apps for anyone looking to either start or continue their investment journey. Here are my favorite investing apps for iOS!
before we start
This is not investment advice. I am not a financial advisor. Please do your own research before investing in the stock market. All of the apps mentioned will also have a crypto investment feature, but I’ll avoid that and talk mostly about traditional stock investing (which is much safer). I also primarily look at these apps from an iOS lens. Some of these apps have a desktop view, but I love using my iPhone to invest, and that’s where I judge my user experience! Let’s get started!
1. Public investment
Public is a free investment app that aims to make investing social and accessible to everyone. What drew me to this app is the community aspect; It was the first investment application that allowed its users to share their trades and portfolios with each other. It looks a lot like Twitter but with investment being the only topic. Public allows its users to follow other investors and see their portfolios, trades, communications, and anything else they want to share. This was very helpful to me as a new investor when I joined. The public offers a wide range of stocks, ETFs, and cryptocurrencies, so users have plenty of options to choose from. The app also has a zero commission policy, which means that users can invest in stocks and ETFs without paying any fees.
Other notable general features
Apart from the social aspect of the audience, it offers a bunch of other useful features that really set it apart from the rest. They recently introduced a new Lessons feature, which motivates users to follow a simple tutorial prompt and test. Then, after they complete the test, they will receive a few dollars’ worth of stock for a related company in the field. It ends up being a win. Since audiences focus on sharing between users, they have adopted the Spaces feature from Twitter. They hold town hall-type open sessions where they invite CEOs to talk about the market and what their company does. It’s great to sit back and hear what they have to say and to hear how they position themselves in the market.
Audience also has great comparison tools so you can stack different stocks against each other and make an informed decision about what to buy next. Recently, they also opened a high-yield Treasury Account where users can earn 5.3% APY on their funds, which is the highest I’ve seen to date. Public offers a paid tier of the app that adds extra features like portfolio management tools and after hour trading, but for me, the free tier is more than enough.
Overall, I think Public is a great investment app for anyone, whether you’re just starting out or have been using it for a while. It’s a great way to learn, build community, and interact with others in a space you wouldn’t otherwise have. This has been my favorite app to use personally in the past two years.
SoFi Investing is an investment app that’s part of the larger SoFi ecosystem, which includes personal loans, student loan refinancing, and more. If you’ve read my article on my top three recent banking apps, you’ll know that I use Sofi as my main bank of choice. I love being able to have my checking, savings, retirement, and investment accounts all under one roof. SoFi Investing offers a range of investment options, including stocks, ETFs, and cryptocurrencies. SoFi also offers the ability to plan for retirement using Roth IRA accounts that can be easily managed from the app.
What draws me to SoFi investing is its education first approach; SoFi provides everything you need to know to get a basic level of understanding of the stock market. Users are taught to make informed decisions based on what they have learned about both stocks and the stock market itself. They also provide insight into the accounts of other traders to show what their split is. They brag about their earnings and stock watchlist. It’s a great way to start.
There are a few notable features to look at when considering SoFi. They offer the same no-fee trading capabilities as other competitors, but some other features are:
- Free trading after business hours
- The ability to invest in underwriting companies
- Divide the shares into groups
- Offering popular ETF investment options
- Gamification with leaderboards
The big standout features are the ability to trade after hours as well as the ability to invest in IPOs. If you have a SoFi investment account, you will have the ability to invest in companies before they even get to the stock market. So if you’re confident there’s an upcoming company that’s about to go public, you can invest in it before anyone else!
The last feature that needs to be mentioned is the leaderboards. SoFi has experimented with investing a bit by creating leaderboards of what other investors have seen grow. So if you’re a competitive person and want to see how your portfolio stacks up against the rest, this feature is for you!
If you’re already in the SoFi ecosystem, investing with them is a no-brainer. I use it as a retirement investment account as well as an IPO investment account; The main attraction of SoFi is the user interface of the app. You can tell they want people to invest from their phones and not from their desktop or computer, so investing with SoFi is a very interesting experience.
Yes, you read that right, Cash App made our list of best investing apps for iOS. Now hear me! Cash app is known as money transfer app. People use it as if they use Zelle or Venmo to pay friends or businesses. A few years ago, they decided to offer their investment services, and I love it. Invest in Cash App is the first app I used to get into the retail investing space. If anyone is getting into the investing space for the first time, especially younger users, go with Cash App.
Simplicity is the ultimate advantage
One of the standout features of Cash App Invest is its simplicity. The app is designed to be easy to use, with a simple interface that makes it easy for anyone to get started investing. In addition, Cash App Invest offers a range of educational content, including articles and videos on various investment topics. The app is very simple. You get your portfolio amount front and center, then they give you relevant news stories, show you which stocks to follow and then give you some stats on the rest of the market.
It’s easy to create an account, and if you already have a Cash App account, even easier. All you have to do is plug in your debit card and start your investment journey. The best feature of Cash App Invest is its integration with the Cash App ecosystem. Users can easily transfer money between their Cash App and Cash App Invest account, making it easy to manage their investments and other financial transactions in one place. The Cash App provides all the tools to start investing – you get news and education, you get good analysis of individual stock stats, allowing you to make an informed decision moving forward.
Again, I know the Cash App is not really seen as an investment app, but this is the investment app I would recommend to all beginners. You will be amazed at how much Cash App offers from an investment point of view. The familiarity and simplicity of the application is what distinguishes it from others.
It is contained
We live in today’s world where in five minutes you can download an app, get verified, link your bank account, and start investing. So, for me, what sets the app apart from the rest is how convenient and efficient the investment process is. I’m not a day trader so I don’t want to be in front of my computer trading 24/7. I want to be able to set up automatic investments, scroll for 10 minutes in my investment app to get some news, and get on with my day. Long-term investing is my goal, and these apps have helped me get there.
Use what works best for you. If your bank offers investment platforms, look there first. If you want to diversify a bit, feel free to check out some of these. Let me know what you think of these options! Have you heard about these platforms? Have you used them before? What are you currently using to invest your money? Let’s discuss in the comments!
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