Ever since Robinhood hit the scene in 2015, we have seen a huge influx of both retail investors and retail investing applications. Even though Robinhood has had its issues, they did prove that the average person likes the idea of being able to invest when they want, how they want, and at little to no cost. This new model sent shockwaves through the traditional investing world.
Now, eight years later, it seems like everyone from legacy banks to fintech startups have their own investing apps, and it’s difficult to decide where to put your hard-earned money. I wanted to talk about three investing apps that are great for anyone looking to either get started or continue their investing journey. Here are my favorite investing apps for iOS!
Before we start
This is not investing 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 investing feature, but I am going to be avoiding that and mostly speaking about traditional stock investing (which is much safer). I am also primarily looking at these apps from an iOS lens. Some of these apps have a desktop view, but I like to use my iPhone for investing, so that is where I am judging my user experience! Let’s get started!
1. Public Investing
Public is a free investing app that aims to make investing social and accessible to everyone. What drew me to this app was the community aspect; it was the first investing app that allowed its users to share their trades and portfolios with one another. It seemed to be a lot like twitter but with investing being the only subject. Public allows its users to follow other investors and see their portfolios, their trades, their communications, and anything else they want to share. This was extremely helpful to me as a newish investor when I joined. 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.
Public’s other notable features
Aside from Public’s social aspect, they provide a bunch of other useful features that really sets it apart from the rest. They recently introduced a new Lessons feature, incentivizing users to go through a simple education prompt and quiz. Then after they complete the quiz, they get a few dollars worth of stock for a relevant company in that field. It ends up being a win-win. Since Public focuses on sharing amongst users, they adopted the Spaces feature from Twitter. They hold open “town hall” type sessions where they invite CEOs of companies to talk about the market and what their company does. It’s great to sit and listen to what they have say and hear how they position themselves in the market.
Public also has great comparison tools so you can stack up different stocks against each other and make an educated decision on what to purchase next. Most recently, they also opened a high yield treasuries account where users can earn 5.3% APY on their money, which is the highest I’ve seen so far. Public does offer a paid tier of the app that adds additional 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 investing app for anyone, whether you are just getting started or you have been at it for a while. It’s a great way to learn, build community, and interact with other people in a space that you otherwise would not have. This has been my favorite app to use personally in the last two years.
SoFi Investing is an investing app that is part of the larger SoFi ecosystem, which includes personal loans, student loan refinancing, and more. If you read my article on my top three modern banking apps, you will know that I use Sofi as my main bank of choice. I love being able to have my checking, savings, retirement, and investing 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 with 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 base level of understanding of the stock market. Users are taught to make educated decisions based on what they learned about both the stock and the stock market itself. They also provide insight into other traders’ accounts to show what their split is. They show off their earnings and stock watch list. It’s a great way to get started.
There are a few notable features to look at when considering using SoFi. They offer all the same no-fee trading capabilities that other competitors have, but some other features are:
- Free after-hours trading
- Ability to invest in IPO companies
- Breaking up stocks into Collections
- Offering well-known ETF investment options
- Gamification with leaderboards
The big standout features are the ability to have after hours trading as well as the ability to invest in IPOs. If you have a SoFi investing account then you will have the ability to invest in companies before they even hit the stock market. So if you are confident in an upcoming company that is about to go public, then you can invest in them before anyone else!
One last feature to mention is the leaderboards. SoFi has gamified the investing experience a bit by creating leaderboards of what percent growth other investors have seen. So if you are a competitive person and want to see how your portfolio stacks against the rest, this feature is for you!
If you are already in the SoFi ecosystem, then investing with them is a no-brainer. I use it as my retirement investing account as well as an IPO investing account; the main attraction of SoFi is the UI of the app. You can tell that they want people to invest from their phones and not from a desktop or computer, so investing with SoFi is an extremely pleasant experience.
Yes, you read that correctly, Cash App has made the list of top investing apps for iOS. Now hear me out! Cash App is known as a money transfer app. People use it like they use Zelle or Venmo to pay friends or businesses. A few years back, they decided to offer their own investing services, and I love it. Cash App investing 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, then start with Cash App.
Simplicity is the ultimate feature
One of the standout features of Cash App Invest is its simplicity. The app is designed to be user-friendly, with a simple interface that makes it easy for anyone to start investing. Additionally, Cash App Invest offers a range of educational content, including articles and videos on various investing topics. The app is extremely simple. You get your portfolio amount front and center, then they give you relevant news stories, they show the stocks you follow and then give you some stats on the rest of the market.
It’s simple to set up an account, and if you have a Cash app account already, it’s even easier. All you have to do is connect a debit card, and begin your investing journey. The best feature of Cash App Invest is its integration with the Cash App ecosystem. Users can easily transfer funds between their Cash App account and Cash App Invest, making it easy to manage their investments and other financial transactions in one place. Cash App provides all the tools necessary to start investing – you get news, and education, and you get a nice breakdown of individual stock statistics, allowing you to make an educated decision moving forward.
Again, I know that Cash App is not really viewed as an investing app, but this is the investing app that I would recommend to any and all beginners. You will be surprised by how much Cash App offers from an investing standpoint. The familiarity and simplicity of the app are what sets it apart.
We live in a world today, that within five minutes you can download an app, get verified, link your bank account, and start investing. So, for me, what sets an app apart from the rest is how convenient and efficient can we make the process of investing. I am not a day trader, so I do not want to be in front of my computer 24/7 trading all day. I want to be able to set up automatic investments, scroll for 10 minutes in my investing 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 investing platforms, look there first. If you want to diversify a bit, then feel free to check some of these out. Let me know what you think of these choices! Have you heard of these platforms? Have you used them before? What do you currently use to invest your money? Let’s discuss in the comments!
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