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Best Stock Apps of 2023: Online Trading and Investment Apps for Free

We’ve all seen movies like The Wolf of Wall Street or The Big Short. Full of high stakes and high
rollers living the high life—only seen on the silver screen or in fancy New York apartments.

This lifestyle isn’t as unattainable as you might think.

I’m not promising a luxury yacht, but if you’re willing to play the long game, you could strike lucky in long-term stock
investing. The general rule is—the longer you invest, the more you’ll earn.

Whether making a few extra bucks or making bank, using stock trading apps is an ideal way to get the ball rolling.

This article will show you:

  • Our pick of the best stock trading apps.
  • How to choose the best trading app for you.
  • How to get started as a beginner.
  • The cost of trading stocks.
  • How safe is online stock trading

Best Stock Apps of 2023

Best Stock Apps—Summary

These apps impressed us so much, they made it onto our exclusive list. To save you from doing hours of research, we’ve
included all the need-to-know facts in our table below.

If you want to know more about each stock app (pros and cons, why we picked it, and other notable alternatives), keep
scrolling to find our honest reviews.

Broker Best for: Rating Trading fees Min deposit Promo Learn more
Overall 4.9/5 $0 $0 Up to 12 free stocks
Long-term investing 4.8/5 $0 $0 $101 in free stock
Diverse investments 4.8/5 $0 $100 Up to $500 bonus
Cryptocurrency 4.7/5 1% $0 $5 in Bitcoin
Advanced users 4.6/5 $0 $0 $150 with a $500 deposit
International trading 4.6/5 $0 $0 $150 with a $50 deposit
Chase customers 4.6/5 $0 $500 Up to $625 for a J.P. Morgan Self Directed account
Financial guidance 4.6/5 $0 $0 $5 to $1000 in free stock
Bank of America users 4.5/5 $0 $0 Up to $600 for Merrill Edge Self Directed account
All levels 4.5/5 $0 $0 N/A
Active traders 4.5/5 $0 $0 Up to $600 in free stock
Beginners 4.4/5 $3–$5/mo $0 $10 bonus

Want to Know More? Best Investing Apps: Detailed Reviews

Best Overall App—Webull

Broker Best for: Rating Trading fees Min deposit Promo Learn more
Overall 4.9/5 $0 $0 Up to 12 free stocks

Why we picked it

If you’re still trying to wrap your head around stock trading—first, we don’t blame you, and second—Webull is a great place to start. One of our favorite features is the “Paper
Trading” platform—a virtual trading simulator that lets you trade without losing any money.

Webull offers free trades on ETFs, cryptocurrencies, and options. You can also use fractional shares to buy smaller
amounts of stock at higher share prices. Webull lets you stay on top of everything with its stock tracking and in-depth
analysis tools.

You can open an account for free. There are no pesky account minimums to catch you out or
commissions for trades
made in your portfolio. The margin rates vary from 5.49% to 9.49%, depending on the
size of the margin loan.

Pros

  • Provides traditional IRAs
  • Virtual trading simulator
  • No trading commissions

Cons

  • Required subscription for data and research
  • No mutual funds or OTC stock trading

Best for Long-Term Investing—Charles Schwab

Broker Best for: Rating Trading fees Min deposit Promo Learn more
Long-term investing 4.8/5 $0 $0 $101 in free stock

Why we picked it

For a company that’s been around for a while, Charles
Schwab
doesn’t show any signs of bowing down to the new kids on the block. With its self-described “modern
approach to investing,” Schwab is a great pick for long-term investors.

So, how has Schwab stayed on top? They’ve packed their app full of useful features to make sure users get exactly what
they’re looking for. You also have access to a bunch of account types where you can buy and sell fractional shares of
stock.

For a helping hand, Schwab has a robo-advisor platform named “Schwab Intelligent Portfolio”, and plenty of educational
resources—so you never miss a beat.

Pros

  • Research and educational resources
  • Fractional share trading
  • Good choice of mutual funds

Cons

  • Doesn’t allow cryptocurrency trading
  • High margin rates

Best Diverse Investments—M1

Broker Best for: Rating Trading fees Min deposit Promo Learn more
Diverse investments 4.8/5 $0 $100 Up to $500 bonus

Why we picked it

The world of stock trading is pretty diverse, so trading apps should cater to this diversity. M1 is a user-focused platform
with plenty of customization options
tailored to your preferences.

Personalization starts with the portfolio, with over 80 expert portfolios to choose from—after which M1 rebalances your
portfolio with your asset allocation to gradually improve portfolio performance. Depending on your investment choices,
M1 also offers automated and self-directed investing options.

M1’s user-centric approach provides free trades and decent cash back on Owner’s Reward Cards. With Auto-invest, M1
allocates money from your deposits into your portfolio, so everything stays on track.

Pros

  • Wide range of expert portfolios with regular rebalancing
  • High level of customization
  • Provides a robo-advisor

Cons

  • Lack of trading windows
  • Expensive M1 Plus service

Smarter Investing: M1Finance.com

Best for Cryptocurrency—Coinbase

Broker Best for: Rating Trading fees Min deposit Promo Learn more
Cryptocurrency 4.7/5 1% $0 $5 in Bitcoin

Why we picked it

If you’re eager to try cryptocurrency, this is the app for you. As one of the top cryptocurrency apps
in the US, Coinbase has a ton of features that
are a good fit for both novices and crypto experts.

You have plenty of choices, with access to more than 170 cryptocurrencies and over 500 crypto-to-crypto transaction
options. The account comes with a $0 minimum—and the easy-to-use app lets you use US dollars to buy
cryptocurrency.

For those still getting to grips with crypto, Coinbase has a ‘Earn to Learn’ feature—you can earn a few dollars worth of
crypto by learning a thing or two from their video classes.

Pros

  • Advanced charting options
  • Range of educational video classes
  • Access to over 170 cryptocurrencies

Cons

  • Higher fees compared to other cryptocurrency exchanges
  • Lacks fee transparency before making transactions

Best for Advanced Users—Trade Station

Broker Best for: Rating Trading fees Min deposit Promo Learn more
Advanced users 4.6/5 $0 $0 $150 with a $500 deposit

Why we picked it

If you already have a knack for investment and trading, keep on reading. Trade Station has many advanced features while keeping all your
banking and investment accounts in one place
.

It lets you buy and sell not only stocks, but also ETFs, mutual funds, and options. You can also get ahead with the
app’s analysis tools, which cover stocks, futures, ETFs, and crypto markets.

If you want to take it further with a Trade Station brokerage account, you can use the Trade Station Analytics platform
to access historical intraday data, extensive charting capabilities, and backtesting. And the best thing about the
platform—it’s completely free.

Pros

  • Low mutual fund commissions
  • Real-time tracking
  • Advanced features

Cons

  • More complex for beginners
  • Certain cryptos come with high withdrawal fees
  • Doesn’t provide a no-transaction-fee for mutual funds

Best for International Trading—Fidelity

Why we picked it

True to its namesake, Fidelity has stayed loyal
to its users by providing them with various investment choices and tools to help them get the best bang for their
buck.

This high-quality app keeps you nicely up-to-date with a customizable news feed and access to stock research
tools
. There’s no time-wasting either—you can also use the app to deposit checks and pay bills on the
go.

Like many of our picks, Fidelity has a $0 account minimum and doesn’t charge a cent for online stock and ETF
trades
. Plus—unlike many of our other choices—Fidelity lets you spread your wings by trading on
international stock exchanges.

Pros

  • $0 account minimum
  • $0 commission for online stocks
  • High-security features

Cons

  • High margin rates
  • No options to trade cryptocurrency
  • High options commissions

Other Considerations

Interactive brokers have
clients from over 200 countries who can make investments in stocks,
options, bonds, and futures from all over the world through their platform.

Best For Chase Customers—JP Morgan

Broker Best for: Rating Trading fees Min deposit Promo Learn more
International trading 4.6/5 $0 $0 $150 with a $50 deposit
Broker Best for: Rating Trading fees Min deposit Promo Learn more
Chase customers 4.6/5 $0 $500 Up to $625 for a J.P. Morgan Self Directed account

Why we picked it

Chase users struck gold with this one. JP Morgan’s investing app can be accessed through the Chase Mobile app or
Chase.com—making it a handy all-in-one solution.

Like Chase, JP Morgan offers plenty
of features to keep you busy—from screeners and watch lists to portfolio-building tools. You can also brush up on your
knowledge with a personalized news feed and market analysis features.

JP Morgan provides unlimited commission-free trades with countless investment options. You can also
take your pick from various stocks, options, mutual funds, ETFs, and options. The personalization doesn’t stop there—you
can also choose your account type (they all come with a $0 minimum).

Pros

  • $0 account minimum
  • Wide range of stocks
  • Connects to all Chase account

Cons

  • A minimum $2,500 balance is required for the Portfolio Builder
  • Lack of research tools

Best For Financial Guidance—SoFi

Broker Best for: Rating Trading fees Min deposit Promo Learn more
Financial guidance 4.6/5 $0 $0 $5 to $1000 in free stock

Why we picked it

Short for Social Finance, SoFi gives you the chance to mingle, while managing all your investing and
banking needs in one place.

You can opt for active investing (which covers stock trading) or automated investing
(which comes with a robo-advisor to help you pick and manage your investments). To make sure you don’t make any costly
slipups, you also have unlimited and free access to a financial advisor through video or phone.

SoFi offers free trades on stocks, cryptos, and ETFs. You’ll get your hands on plenty of banking features, such as
personal loans, private student loans, mortgages, and high-yield savings accounts.

Pros

  • No account minimums
  • No commissions or trading fees
  • Fractional shares and retirement accounts

Cons

  • Lack of stock research tools
  • 1.25% trading fee for cryptocurrencies
  • No mutual fund trading

Other Considerations

Personal Capital also gives access to
financial advisors, and offers investment management tools—but the fees are notably higher, with a $100,000 account
minimum for a robo-advisor.

Best For Bank of America Users—Merrill Edge

Broker Best for: Rating Trading fees Min deposit Promo Learn more
Bank of America users 4.5/5 $0 $0 Up to $600 for Merrill Edge Self Directed account

Why we picked it

There’s an app for everything these days, overloading you with options and crowding up your phone. Merrill Edge tackles this with its
all-in-one banking and investing app—so you have all the tools in the palm of your hand.

The Merrill Edge® Self-Directed account is also an excellent choice for Bank of America users, as the
investing and banking apps are nicely integrated. Speaking of apps, Merrill works well on both Android and iOS⁠—with the
ratings to prove it.

Merrill Edge offers various account types, with a $0 account minimum. And like our other top choices,
Merrill also provides commission-free stock and ETF trades.

Pros

  • $0 stock and ETF trades
  • Range of account types
  • Easy integration with Bank of America

Cons

  • No cryptocurrency investing
  • Fewer securities for advanced stock traders

Best For All Experience Levels—TD Ameritrade

Broker Best for: Rating Trading fees Min deposit Promo Learn more
All levels 4.5/5 $0 $0 N/A

Why we picked it

The world of stock trading can be confusing at the best of times. TD Ameritrade has a range of active trading platforms for both newbies and
seasoned traders.

TD Ameritrade provides a fully customizable experience that lets you take the reins and decide on the
right trading strategies and techniques for you. And if you’re still feeling lost, there are great customer service
options to help you out.

Keeping up with our other top apps, TD Ameritrade also includes no trading commissions, a $0 stock trades, and a
$0 account minimum
.

Pros

  • Free trading features
  • Multiple trading platforms for different expertise
  • No trading commissions or minimums

Cons

  • No fractional shares investing
  • No cryptocurrency investing

Other Considerations

Ally Invest has enough tools and features for
all experience levels. For beginners, there are $0 trading costs and no account minimum. Experienced users can use their
Forex trading feature and a range of free tools.

Best for Active Trading—E-Trade

Broker Best for: Rating Trading fees Min deposit Promo Learn more
Active traders 4.5/5 $0 $0 Up to $600 in free stock

Why we picked it

If you’ve fallen prey to bad investment decisions, look no further. The E-trade app helps you turn your luck around with educational resources—complete
with investment research and knowledge to avoid future investment blunders.

Going that extra mile, E-trade provides a good dose of data functionality and options trading to help
you make smart investments. Once you start, you can keep tabs on your investments with a dashboard for tracking your
investment vehicles, accounts, and trades.

Active traders can opt for the Power E-Trade app, which has more advanced elements—such as futures
trading, real-time technical analysis of stocks, advanced options, and trading features.

Pros

  • $0 commission for online US-listed stock
  • Range of educational resources
  • Tracking tools

Cons

  • Fees for options contracts and retirement accounts
  • Doesn’t support fractional share or cryptocurrency investing
  • No international exchanges

Best for Beginners—Acorns

Broker Best for: Rating Trading fees Min deposit Promo Learn more
Beginners 4.4/5 $3–$5/mo $0 $10 bonus

Why we picked it

Acorns is great for new investors coming onto the
scene—it lets you kick-start your portfolio with only a small amount of money.

If you open an investment account with Acorns, you can invest in a portfolio of funds with access to thousands
of stocks and bonds at only $3 a month
. If planning ahead is your thing, you can choose from three
different individual retirement accounts
—as well as a regular brokerage account.

Once you start growing your portfolio, you can use Acorns’ robo-advisor for an affordable fee—giving
you a helping hand in managing your portfolio.

Pros

  • Choice of IRAs
  • Affordable robo-advisor
  • Earn bonus investments

Cons

  • Fixed fees on small balances
  • Account fees can differ depending on the account
  • No options for self-directed investing

Other Considerations

Despite past legal issues, Robinhood is
a good choice for beginners because of its simple trading features and usability. The app also has a $0 account
minimum.

How We Chose the Best Stock Trading Apps

To deliver our list of the best stock trading apps, we looked closely at what each app offers—including its features and
limitations. The trading apps that made the cut offer a good balance between trading options, educational tools,
personalization, and $0 rates
.

Even if a trading app could have all the features in the world, it would be useless if it wasn’t user-friendly.
Our top picks have all been rated highly by customers, who value easy navigation and any extra tools
designed to give them a helping hand.

Our list also caters to different experience levels.

The Best Stock Trading App

All the stock apps on our list have their own impressive features, and will likely appeal to a wide range of
preferences. Webull managed to just snatch the top spot by offering a well-rounded set of features and
tools
.

A unique feature is their “Paper Trading” virtual simulator. It’ll help you ease some pressure and try out trading
without risking your hard-earned money. The tool even offers real-time data and unlimited cash, so you can really live
out all your stock trading fantasies.

Webull’s other handy features include commission-free trading, fractional shares, buying and selling cryptocurrency, ETF trading, and OTC investing. For extra convenience, Webull also allows
extended trading hours and has in-depth analysis tools—so you can stay ahead of the game.

Check out Webull’s site for promotions and free stock when you open a new account.

How to choose the best app for stocks

choosing an investment firm

Stocks, investments, shares, ETFs—information overload. Navigating the world of stock trading is challenging—and finding
the right app can be half the challenge. Countless reviews, trading terminology, and selly spiels can make you want to
run a mile.

So, let’s break it down.

First things first—research. Yes, I can feel those eye rolls coming—research isn’t everyone’s idea of fun. But
doing some digging can save you from the endless cycle of installing and uninstalling your apps after realizing
it’s not all it’s cracked up to be
.

To get it right the first time, here are some key terms, features, and tools to watch out for when doing your stock app
research—

Commission-free trading

Anything with the word ‘free’ certainly catches out attention—especially in the precarious world of stock trading. It’s
pretty self-explanatory too—commission-free trading simply means you won’t get charged for buying or selling
shares
.

Robinhood was among the first to introduce commission-free trading—with other apps quickly
following suit. However, brokers have to make money somehow. In 2020, Robinhood made $111 million out of its $180 million total on options trades.

So—even if you see commission-free trading, watch out for other charges, such as interest, subscription fees,
margin lending costs, and additional trading fees
.

Fractional shares

Another good one to look out for is fractional shares. To put it simply, they are portions of stocks and ETFs
that represent a small amount of an overall share
.

This is a great option for those who can’t afford a full share of the stock, or those wanting to invest a set amount of
money in a stock or ETF every month. Fractional shares are a relatively new concept—so not all stock apps will
support this feature
.

Robo-advisor

Rather than taking over the world, these robots are actually here to help you.

If you’re new to trading, robo-advisors help you manage your money and build your portfolio. They’ll
make sure everything is aligned with your needs as they assess your financial preferences.

Robo-advisors help you achieve your investment goals and
manage your money—but if you’re not quite ready to let the bots take over, you can still get advice from a human
financial advisor for more tricky cases
.

Individual retirement account (IRA)

Planning for the future—something we all should do, but many of us don’t. Well, here’s your chance. Many stock
apps allow you to open an
IRA
account
so that you can save money for
retirement
on a tax-deferred basis or with tax-free growth.

These tax benefits let you make the most out of your savings, as you can potentially see more growth than a traditional
taxable account. Of course, contributing towards a
401(k)
is also advisable if that’s available to you.

Options trading

If someone were to tell you that you could learn how to predict the future, we wouldn’t blame you for being skeptical.
But that’s exactly what options trading can do—kind of.

In not-so-basic terms, options trading relies on tradable contracts (options) to speculate on future stock
markets—or individual stocks and bonds
. Option contracts let you buy or sell an asset at a predetermined
price before the contract expiry date. This way you can speculate on the rise and fall of an asset—and when these
changes will happen.

Options trading is a pretty cost-effective way to deliver high percentage returns—but you’ll need to
keep an eye on the market if you want to make a decent profit.

Educational tools

Who doesn’t like to learn? Ok, let me rephrase that—

Who wouldn’t like to learn how to make money?

Knowledge is power—and power is money. Brokers get this. That’s why so many apps have a bunch of educational
features
to give you the tools to make smart investment and trading decisions.

If you really want to nerd out, many apps also include market analysis features, stock research, and real-time
data
. Just pay attention to any sneaky extra fees—some apps charge extra or ask you to set up a paid
account or subscription.

Best Stock Apps For Beginners

So—you’re familiar withstock trading, and you’ve been told how rewarding it can be—but you’re hesitant to get in on the
action. And we don’t blame youfor being cautious.

Trading is like a puzzle—full of small parts you need to learn and piece together.

It isn’t so difficult if you know where to begin—start by looking for tools or forums to chat with other
traders, avoid all the promotional gibberish, and look out for genuinely useful tips
and tricks.

It’s also worth looking out for apps that give you access to stock charts, educational tools, and data—so you can really
get to know the market.

If you’re just getting started, you’re not going to dive headfirst into the first obscure 5000-piece jigsaw you find.
Better to go with simpler options. Companies like Webull, SoFi, and Fidelity will help you rest easy knowing
you’re in relatively safe hands
.

Once you’re more experienced, you’ll be ready to explore lesser-known options—armed with enough knowledge to see which
apps are the real deal.

How To Get Started

Sure, tips and tricks are helpful—but here are some tangible steps you can take if you’re eager to dip your toes into
the world of stock trading.

1. Do your research

Before diving in, take the time to investigate which app is the best choice for you. Take a look at
what features and tools they offer—and how this could benefit you.

Don’t be afraid to play the field, and try a few different apps. If the first one doesn’t work for you, there are plenty
more fish in the sea.

2. Learn the basics

Nobody learns to run before they can walk—and the same applies here. When it comes to stock trading, the stakes
can be high—so take your time to learn the basics
before taking the plunge.

Many online resources, courses, podcasts, and videos can help you learn and evaluate the stock market. If you know any
seasoned stock traders, feel free to (respectfully) probe them to learn some first-hand tips.

Many stock apps also have educational resources (like stock charts and research) for you to keep up-to-date with all the
latest findings.

3. Define your goals

You go to the gym to get fit and take a food masterclass to impress your dinner
date. Defining your goals keeps
you motivated and gives you something to aim for. The same goes for stock trading.

Before starting out, you should ask yourself why you want to buy and
sell stocks
and what price ranges you’re interested in. Are you planning on making short-term or long-term
investments?

Focusing on your financial goals helps you find a stock trading app with features that perfectly match your
needs and preferences
. Earning some extra cash on the right app could pay for a second dinner date, after
all.

4. Determine your investment choices

You’ve done your research, established your goals, and now you’re eager to get in on the action. But hold your horses.
First, you need to decide on your investmentstrategy.

Do you want to have more control by selecting your individual stocks yourself? Would you prefer a robo-advisor to help
manage your portfolio? (Or keep it traditional by working with a financial advisor to get some first-hand advice?

It’s also worth outlining how much you plan to invest. Remember, stocks can be volatile—so don’t go
investing all your money at once. It’s way too risky. Instead, make sure you have enough money set aside for
emergencies, savings, and your overpriced Starbucks addiction.

5. Choose your stocks

When money is on the line, you better choose wisely. When exploring options, go for the more stable stocks from
businesses you’re familiar with and understand
.

The S&P, a stock market index, has recorded the most volatile year
since 2009
. High-volatility stocks fluctuate more than your mood during puberty—and like pre-teens, they’re
pretty unpredictable—so it’s best to stay clear if you’re a beginner.

Once you start investing, keep hold of long-term investments—that’ll give you the best chance of
getting the most stable and profitable returns.

How Much Does It Cost To Start Trading Stocks?What to do with 10k for investing

These days to make money, you have to spend it. Whether it’s buying that fancy suit for that corporate job, or using
your life savings to start a never-been-done-before vegan food company.

Luckily, stock trading works a little differently.

Officially, there’s no minimum money requirement for you to begin trading stocks. When opening an
account, many top apps have a $0 account minimum—meaning you don’t need to spend a cent to get started.

No need to worry if you can’t afford to buy whole shares. Many trading apps support fractional shares, which lets you
buy a portion of the share and build it up over time. If you’re short on cash, you can also keep an eye out for
apps with $0 commissions on trading
—this means you won’t get charged extra fees for buying or selling
shares.

Can you start with $100?

The short answer is—yes. But you won’t have as much freedom.

Opening an account should be no problem—many brokers don’t require a deposit. But to make that $100 stretch, you
should use trading apps that don’t charge extra commission charges or pricey subscription fees
.

With only $100, you would be lucky to find any full shares to purchase. But no worries—you can start by purchasing
fractional shares, ETFs, or significant index funds. Just be aware that not all brokers will support this—so do your
research before considering this an option.

Are Stock Trading Apps Safe?

We get it. Handling
money online can be risky business. We’re no strangers to scrolling through reviews to make sure
everything is legit. But if you opt for an established trading app, you can rest assured knowing
everything is above board.

Holding money in a stock trading account isn’t so different from holding money with any major brokerage—and usually
comes with insurance and investor protection. Many apps also have encrypted firewalls to enable secure
transactions and prevent fraud.

Most apps use the same safety protocols for access as any standard web account—with a user ID and
password. As long as your password is
more complex than the classic 12345, you should be fine.

Key Takeaway

Online trading is a smart
way to earn extra money and make profitable investments
. Finding the right app is the key to success and
getting all your needs met with the proper support.

Stock trading requires patience and discipline—the same rules apply when searching for the right platform. Take your
time to investigate the different apps to be sure you’ve found the best fit for you.

Frequently Asked Questions

What is the best stock trading platform?

We chose Webull as the best stock trading platform because it offers free trades on stock, ETFs, and
options—as well as supporting fractional shares. Their trading simulator also lets you learn and experience trading
without any risks.

However, the best stock app for you will depend on your personal preferences and experience.

What app gives you free stock for trading?

Many apps offer $0 commission on stock trading. Robinhood paved the way for free stock trading and
gives you free stock after signing up.

What is the best stock app for iPhone?

The majority of stock apps are compatible with iOS and Android. You can also access many of them on
your desktop, tablet, or Apple Watch.

Some apps are only compatible with more recent Android or iPhone models—so check the requirements before you
decide on an app
.

 

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AUTHOR Lauren Bedford

Lauren is a published content writer who is passionate about helping and informing others through her content. In the last 5 years, Lauren has written about a range of subjects, including business, technology and finance.

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