Since Robinhood launched in 2015, we have seen a tremendous influx of both retail investors and retail investor applications. While Robinhood has had its issues, they’ve proven 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 investment apps, and it’s difficult to decide where to put your hard-earned cash. I wanted to talk about three investing apps that are great for anyone looking to either start or continue their investing 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 the apps mentioned will also have a crypto investing feature, but I’ll avoid that and mainly talk about traditional stock investing (which is much safer). I also look at these apps mainly from an iOS lens. Some of these apps have a desktop view, but I like using my iPhone to invest, so I’ll judge my user experience! Let’s begin!
1. Public Investment
Public is a free investing app that aims to make investing social and accessible to all. What drew me to this app was the community aspect; It was the first investment app that allowed its users to share their trades and portfolios with each other. It seemed very similar to Twitter but with investing was the only topic. Public allows its users to follow other investors and see their portfolios, their trades, their communications and anything else they choose to share. This was extremely helpful for me as a new investor when I got started. Public offers a wide range of stocks, ETFs, and cryptocurrencies, giving users a variety of options to choose from. The app also has a zero commissions policy, which means users can invest in stocks and ETFs without paying any fees.
Other notable features of Public
Aside from the social aspect of Public, they offer a number of other useful features that really set it apart from the rest. They recently launched a new Lessons feature that encourages users to go through a simple educational prompt and quiz. After completing the quiz, they will be awarded a few dollars’ worth of stock in a relevant company in that space. In the end it’s a win-win situation. Since Public focuses on sharing among users, they adopted Twitter’s Spaces feature. They hold open “town hall” type meetings where they invite company CEOs to talk about the market and their company’s activities. It’s great to sit down and listen to what they have to say and how they position themselves in the market.
Public also has great comparison tools that you can use to compare different stocks and make an informed decision about what to buy next. They also recently opened a high-yield Treasuries account where users can earn 5.3% APY on their money, which is the highest I’ve seen. Public offers a paid tier of the app that adds additional features like portfolio management tools and after-hours trading, but for me the free tier is more than enough.
Overall, I think Public is a great investing app for anyone, whether you’re just starting out or you’ve been around for a while. It’s a great way to learn to build a community and interact with other people in a space you wouldn’t otherwise have. This has been my personal favorite app for the past two years.
SoFi Investing is an investing app that is part of the larger SoFi ecosystem, which includes personal loans, student loan refinance, and more. If you read my article about my top three modern banking apps, you know that I use Sofi as my main bank of choice. I love having my checking, savings, retirement and investment accounts 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 through the app.
What appeals to me about SoFi investing is the educational approach; SoFi provides everything you need to know to gain a basic understanding of the stock market. Users are taught to make informed decisions based on what they have 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 their earnings and their stock watch list. It’s a great way to get started.
There are a few notable features to consider when using SoFi. They offer the same fee-free trading opportunities as other competitors, but some different features are:
Free after-hours trading Ability to invest in IPO companies Splitting stocks into collections 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. Having a SoFi investment account gives you the opportunity to invest in companies before they even go public. So if you believe in an upcoming company that is about to go public, you can invest in it before anyone else!
One last feature to mention is the leaderboards. SoFi has made the investing experience a bit gamified by creating rankings that show what percentage growth other investors have seen. So if you’re a competitive person and want to see how your portfolio compares to 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 my retirement account as well as an IPO investment account; The main attraction of SoFi is the app’s user interface. You can tell 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 right, Cash App made the list of top investing apps for iOS. Now listen to me! Cash App is known as a money transfer app. People use it like they use cell or Venmo to pay friends or businesses. A few years ago they decided to offer their own investment services and I love it. Cash App Investing is the first app that got me into the retail investing space. If anyone is just getting into the investing space, especially younger users, then start with the Cash App.
Simplicity is the ultimate feature
One of the outstanding 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. In addition, Cash App Invest offers a range of educational content, including articles and videos on various investment topics. The app is extremely simple. They get your portfolio amount front and center, then they give you relevant news, they show you the stocks you follow and then give you some stats on the rest of the market.
Setting up an account is easy, and if you already have a Cash App account it’s even easier. All you have to do is connect a debit card and start 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 necessary tools to start investing – you get news and information, and you get a nice breakdown of each stock stat so you can make an informed decision to move forward.
Again, I know that Cash App is not really considered an investing app, but this is the investing app that I would recommend to all beginners. You will be surprised at how much Cash App offers from an investment perspective. The familiarity and simplicity of the app set them apart.
Today we live in a world where you can download an app, get verified, link your bank account and start investing in five minutes. So what separates an app from the rest for me is how convenient and efficient we can make the investment process. I’m not a day trader, so I don’t want to trade in front of my computer 24/7. I want to be able to set up automatic investments, scroll my investing app for 10 minutes for updates, 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, you can check out some of these. Let me know what you think of these decisions! Have you heard of these platforms? Have you used them before? What are you currently investing your money in? Let’s discuss in the comments!
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