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Best Investment Apps for Beginners

10 minutes
Intermediate
Cristian Cochintu
Cristian Cochintu
09 July 2024

The best investment apps for beginners should be easy to use, offer low fees and access to the types of accounts and investment products you care about most.

In recent years, investing apps were created to “democratize” finances. Since then, the free investment app has become almost synonymous with online investment.  

But, with an increasing amount of choice and competition, it can be daunting for would-be investors to find the app that’s right for them.  

So, we’ve taken an in-depth look to identify the best investment app for their needs, paying special attention to investment choice, fees, and other key features that help enhance an experience for do-it-yourself investors who are on the move.

How to Get Started on an Investment App – Quick Guide

  • Open a brokerage account online: Search the investment app in your app store (ex. CAPEX.com), download the app on your mobile device and sign-up for an account. Some apps like CAPEX.com let you create accounts on your PC. It may be easier on a bigger screen than your phone.
  • Put money in the market: When you're new, the first thing is to explore investments. The U.S. stock market offers thousands of investment options to choose from. If it's overwhelming, that's OK. You can start with small deposits. Top investment apps like CAPEX.com let you buy shares for as little as $100.
  • Buy stocks and ETFs: Investment apps typically let you buy stocks and ETFs. Some let you trade indices CFDs and futures. If you want to trade more than stocks and ETFs, then filter out brokers that don't offer your preferred investment types. You probably want to do all your investing in one place. It's simpler.

    

With CAPEX.com mobile apps you can invest in 5,000+ stocks and ETFs, or trade 2,000+ CFDs on shares, indices, funds, bonds, commodities, currency pairs, and cryptocurrencies.      

What are investment apps?

Investment apps are aimed at do-it-yourself investors, enabling them to use their phone or tablet to buy and sell stocks and a wide range of investment funds, including index trackers, exchange-traded funds, and investment trusts.

With investment apps, you no longer must rely on other people to buy and trade stocks and funds — and you don’t have to pay anyone either. The best investment apps for beginners promise to cut trade and commission fees. It’s also very easy to create an account.  

After you have installed the app, you can transfer funds and choose your stocks. You will need to determine what type of account you want to open and to understand the benefits of each one. And in just a matter of minutes, you’re ready to invest (they even throw in a small stock for free).  

What are investment apps?
CAPEX.com App for iOS and Android

Apps for investing are used by investors of all ages. They are particularly popular with younger investors who want to get started investing but who might not have large deposits saved up to begin investing.

This sounds perfect in theory. You get to invest in the same stocks as everyone on Wall Street, from the comfort of your living room. However, even if most of the people have some sort of investment account, only a small percentage are financially literate.

Steps to take to start using investing apps

To determine which is the best investing app for your needs, you must first figure out your financial goals and how much you want to invest. There are several steps that you can take to get started on investing apps the right way:

1. Know your goals

To begin, you need to define your goals. Your goals should include both your short- and long-term goals such as saving for a down payment on a house, saving for your children’s education, saving for retirement, and others.

Modern investment app tools assist users to hone and define their goals and to set guidelines for how they can reach them. The best investment apps may recommend asset allocations according to an individual investor’s goals, age, and risk tolerance.

2. Do your research

Research is one of the components when you plan to invest money. It is important that you understand the basics of stock investing if you are new to investing. If you are more advanced, it is still essential for you to be able to have access to real-time information.

Many apps provide comprehensive advice about the basics for novice investors. Investors that are more experienced can benefit from accessing information about their investments.

3. Figure out how much you want to invest

You will next need to determine how much you want to invest. Instead of picking a specific dollar amount, it might be better to choose a certain percentage of your income.

You can access tools on the app of your choice to determine a monthly investing plan that will work the best for you and your budget. Knowing how much to invest can help you to reach your financial goals within your desired time frame.

4. Fund the account

Once you have chosen the best investment app for your needs and the account types that you want to open, you can then fund your accounts. You can fund your account in a few different ways, including the following:

  • Electronic funds transfer
  • Automatic transfer from your bank
  • Sending a check
  • Completing an asset transfer from another brokerage

5. Tweak your strategy

Practice investing to see what it's like. Notice when the market moves and how your investments fluctuate. Are you comfortable with growth stocks? Do you feel OK watching your picks go up and down? If not, you may want to choose a more conservative investment strategy, focusing on value stocks or high-dividend stocks.

Conservative investment strategies vary. You might put most of your money in an ETF, or you might build a portfolio of the top 10 best stocks or even more diversified stocks. The point is to keep your balance stable. That way, you stress less when the market makes big moves.

6. Diversify and review your portfolio

After you have funded your account and defined your strategy, you need to make certain that you diversify your investment portfolio. Depending on the investment app that you have chosen, you might be able to create a custom portfolio and to choose your own investments, or you might have you choose from a pre-selected list of portfolios according to different risk tolerances and time frames.

Remember, you must review your portfolio regularly. You should avoid making decisions based on emotional reactions to market fluctuations. Instead, revise your portfolio with a long-term view.

How to determine what is the best investing app for you?

To determine which is the best investing app for your needs you should compare the capabilities and the features that they offer.

There are some online investment apps that offer commission-free trading and have low minimum balance requirements. Others have a wealth of research available at your fingertips. Others may allow you to choose your own securities for greater customization or to choose a portfolio that has been created to match different risk tolerance levels and time horizons.

1. Fees

There are various types of fees charged by trading platforms:

  • Share trading fee: This is a minimum flat fee or percentage fee charged by the broker each time you buy or sell shares using the investing app. With CAPEX.com investment app you can buy US shares with a fixed commission of 0.04 USD per share and buy UK and European shares with a percentage commission from as low as 0.08%.
  • App fee: This is an annual fee charged for holding the shares and funds on your platform. Some investment apps such as CAPEX.com charge no fee for this, others charge a flat fee and some charge a percentage. These fees will usually be taken out of any cash held in your brokerage account or you can pay fees directly by debit card. 
  • Foreign exchange fee: If you buy or sell shares denominated in a currency other than pounds sterling, platforms charge a foreign exchange fee. This is also referred to as a foreign currency conversion fee and typically varies from 0.5% to 1.5%. With CAPEX.com the conversion fee is as low as 0.125%.
  • Other fees: Some of the brokers charge other types of fees for using the investing apps, such as inactivity fees and withdrawal fees. Although not technically a fee, broker can also make money on the buy-sell spread on shares.  

2. Investment choices

Different apps for investing money online vary in the types of financial securities that you can choose and in their customization.  

Some apps allow you to individualize your portfolio by choosing from a variety of stocks and ETFs investing in sectors and specific market themes, bonds, cryptocurrencies, commodities or a mix of asset classes.  

Other apps may let you choose a pre-selected asset allocation based on your risk tolerance and financial objectives.

3. The Desktop Platform

Many stockbrokers and CFD brokers also offer desktop platforms for online stock trading together with mobile apps. Some of the best trading platforms are sleek in their design and allow you to use more advanced analytics and trading tools compared to the mobile apps.

The Desktop Platform
CAPEX.com App for Browser

Mobile trading offers convenient market access but can't compete with the features of a desktop trading setup.  However, the platforms and the apps can complement each other:

  • Start with desktop: find a trading or investing platform with real-time, direct market access and full-featured tools for analysis.  
  • Use mobile for monitoring: If you happen to see surprise swings or trend continuations, you should be able to take the basic actions necessary to capitalize. 

Mobile investing apps can give you the freedom to leave your desk more often, which everybody enjoys.

4. Tools

With the best stock investment apps, you can enjoy a vast array of financial tools that can assist you with personal budgeting. These tools can send alert notifications to your smartphone for market prices.

Many of the investing apps support advanced analytic charts like TradingView and research reports as well as automatic deposits from linked funding accounts. Others offer dynamic rebalancing to help you with portfolio management.  

5. Available research

The best apps for investing online may offer you some access to research and analysis capabilities. These capabilities tend to be basic on an investing app, however. You might find general investment advice and information about investing money for beginners as well as more sophisticated investing strategies through articles and videos.

Some investment apps have educational materials that explain the basics of investing as well as different investing strategies and other resources. Others like CAPEX.com may provide access to insiders’ hot stock, market sentiment or daily analyst ratings.

6. Security

Investment apps are safe when the appropriate measures are taken. The best investment apps should have fraud protection capabilities and may also utilize network defences to prevent hackers from accessing your account or your information.

Investment apps typically use industry-standard security measures, including two-factor authentication, hashing of passwords and encryption of personal information, making it hard for someone to access them even if you lose your phone or its stolen. If your phone is stolen, let your investment app know right away and login on another device to change your passwords.

Are investment apps worth it?

Investment apps are a great way to track your portfolio's performance. If you’re a regular trader, an app can provide a quick and easy way to buy and sell on the move.

But investing is not something that should be done without the appropriate thought and research, as all investments carry a varying degree of risk. The value of your investments can go down as well as up and you may get back less than you put in.

This is why it’s important that you don’t let the simplicity of an app lead you to making hasty decisions.

Pros and cons of investment apps

It really comes down to recognizing each’s strengths and weaknesses. Once you understand those factors, you can make an informed choice. 

Pros

  • An easy way to keep track of your portfolio’s performance
  • Adding money or trading is quick and easy to do
  • The small screen format has driven platforms to communicate clearly and simply – and most platform apps are very intuitive to use

Cons

  • It makes it easy to trade, which in turn makes it easier to make quick decisions which could be costly
  • If you’re on the go, then it’s easier to get distracted so you might make mistakes or make investment decisions you later regret

Best investment apps for all-round investors?

To work out which investment apps are the slickest and easiest to use, download and try them out.

Also read the reviews and scores on the Apple and Google Play stores to see what users were saying.

With CAPEX.com mobile apps for iOS and Android you can invest in 5,000+ stocks and ETFs listed on 10 global stocks exchanges. You can also trade 2,000+ CFDs on shares, indices, ETFs, bonds, commodities, currency pairs and cryptocurrencies.

     

Free resources

Before you start using the best investment app for your needs, you should consider using the educational resources we offer like CAPEX Academy or a demo trading account. CAPEX Academy has lots of free trading courses for you to choose from, and they all tackle a different financial concept or process – like the basics of analyses – to help you to become a better trader or make more-informed investment decisions.  

Our demo account is a suitable place for you to get an intimate understanding of how trading and investing work – as well as what it’s like to trade with leverage – before risking real capital. For this reason, a demo account with us is a great tool for investors who are looking to make a transition to leveraged securities.  

Sources

Beginner Investment Apps FAQs

This information prepared by capex.com/en is not an offer or a solicitation for the purpose of purchase or sale of any financial products referred to herein or to enter into any legal relations, nor an advice or a recommendation with respect to such financial products.This information is prepared for general circulation. It does not have regard to the specific investment objectives, financial situation or the particular needs of any recipient.You should independently evaluate each financial product and consider the suitability of such a financial product, by taking into account your specific investment objectives, financial situation or particular needs, and by consulting an independent financial adviser as needed, before dealing in any financial products mentioned in this document.This information may not be published, circulated, reproduced or distributed in whole or in part to any other person without the Company’s prior written consent.Past performance is not always indicative of likely or future performance. Any views or opinions presented are solely those of the author and do not necessarily represent those of capex.com/en 

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Cristian Cochintu
Cristian Cochintu
Financial Writer

Cristian Cochintu writes about trading and investing for CAPEX.com. Cristian has more than 15 years of brokerage, freelance, and in-house experience writing for financial institutions and coaching financial writers.