Since Robinhood emerged in 2015, we have seen a huge influx of both retail investors and retail investing apps. Even though Robinhood had its problems, they proved that the average person likes the idea of being able to invest when they want, how they want, and for little to no cost. This new model sent shockwaves through the traditional investment world.
Now, eight years later, it seems like everyone from legacy banks to fintech startups have their own investment apps, and it’s hard 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 start or continue their investing journey. Here are my favorite investment apps for iOS!
Before we start
This is not investment advice. I am not a financial advisor. Do your own research before investing in the stock market. All of the apps listed will also have a crypto investment feature, but I’ll avoid that and talk mostly about traditional stock investing (which is much safer). I’m 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 investments, so that’s where I judge my user experience! Let’s start!
1. Public Investments
Public is a free investment app that aims to make investing social and accessible to everyone. What drew me to this app was the community aspect. was the first investment app to allow its users to share their trades and portfolios with each other. It was very similar to twitter, but the only issue was investment. Public allows its users to follow other investors and see their portfolios, trades, communications and anything else they want to share. This was extremely helpful for me as a new 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-fee policy, meaning users can invest in stocks and ETFs without paying fees.
Other notable features of Public
In addition to the social aspect of Public, they provide a bunch of other useful features that really set it apart from the rest. They recently introduced a new Lessons feature, incentivizing users to go through a simple training prompt and quizzes. Then, after completing the quiz, they get a few dollars worth of stock in a related company in that field. It ends up being a win-win. Since Public focuses on sharing between users, they adopted the Spaces feature from Twitter. They hold open “town hall” sessions where they invite CEOs of companies to talk about the market and what their company is doing. It’s great to sit and hear what they have to say and hear how they’re positioning themselves in the market.
Public also has great comparison tools so you can stack different stocks against each other and make an informed decision about what to buy next. More recently, they also opened a high-yield fund account where users can earn 5.3% APY on their money, which is the highest I’ve seen so far. 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 investment app for anyone, whether you’re just starting out or have been at it for a while. It’s a great way to learn, build community, and interact with other people in a space you wouldn’t otherwise have. This has been my favorite app for personal use for the past couple of years.
SoFi Investing is an investment app that is part of the broader SoFi ecosystem, which includes personal loans, student loan refinancing, and more. If you read my article on my top three modern 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 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 invest in SoFi is its approach to education. SoFi provides everything you need to know to gain a basic level of understanding of the stock market. Users are taught to make educated decisions based on what they have learned about both the stock and the stock market itself. They also provide information on other traders’ accounts to show what their split is. They show off their earnings and stock watchlist. It’s a great way to start.
There are some notable features to consider when considering using SoFi. They offer all the same free trading features that other competitors have, but some other features are:
- Free trading after hours
- Ability to invest in IPO companies
- Breakdown of inventory into Collections
- Offering well-known 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, then you will be able to invest in companies before they even go public. So if you are sure about an upcoming company that is going to go public, then you can invest in it before anyone else!
One last feature to mention is the leaderboards. SoFi has gamified the investing experience a bit by creating rankings of the growth rate other investors have seen. 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 are already in the SoFi ecosystem, then 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 app’s UI. You can tell they want people to invest from their phones rather than a desktop or computer, so investing with SoFi is an extremely enjoyable experience.
Yes, you read that right, Cash App made it to the list of top investment apps for iOS. Now listen to me! Cash app is known as money transfer app. People use it like they use Zelle 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 I used to get into retail investing. If anyone is entering the investment space for the first time, especially the newer users, then start with the Cash app.
Simplicity is the ultimate feature
One of the distinguishing 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 application is extremely simple. You get your portfolio amount front and center, then they give you relevant news, show you the stocks you’re following, and then give you some stats about the rest of the market.
It’s simple to create an account, and if you already have a Cash app account, it’s even easier. All you have to do is link a 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 account and Cash App Invest, making it easy to manage their investments and other financial transactions in one place. The Cash app provides all the tools you need to start investing – you get news and education, and you get a nice breakdown of individual stock stats, allowing you to make an informed decision moving forward.
Again, I know the Cash App isn’t really thought of as an investment app, but this is the investment app I would recommend to all beginners. You will be amazed at how much the Cash App has to offer from an investment perspective. The familiarity and simplicity of the application is what sets it apart.
We live in a world today where 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 we can make the investment process. I’m not a day trader so I don’t want to be in front of my computer 24/7. I want to be able to set up automatic investments, scroll for 10 minutes in my investment app to get 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, then feel free to check some of these out. Let me know what you think of these picks! Have you heard of these platforms? Have you used them before? What are you currently using to invest your money? Let’s discuss it in the comments!
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