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12 Best Stock Trading Apps in 2024

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A reliable stock trading app is an essential part of any successful investing career, especially for those of us who like to place trades and check our account balances on the go.

But with so many stock trading apps to choose from, finding the right option for your mobile trading needs can be a challenge.

In this article, we’ve compiled a list of the best stock trading apps on the market today. We’ll discuss what makes each app unique, and we’ll do a deep dive into each broker’s pros and cons so you can get the perfect trading app for building your portfolio.

TL;DR


Best Stock Trading Apps

Struggling to find a quality stock trading app for your portfolio? Worry not, we’re here to help. Here are the best stock trading apps to check out before placing your next trade.

1. E*TRADE: Best for Intermediate Investors

E*TRADE Stock trading app
Source: E*TRADE

Founded in 1982, E*TRADE was one of the first companies to pioneer online investing. They’ve since taken the world of mobile trading by storm by offering commission-free trades on stocks, ETFs, and options

E*TRADE also offers a slew of fee-free mutual funds for investors to choose from, and it has no minimum deposit requirement. Plus, E*TRADE has a powerful mobile app, 24/7 access to phone and live chat support, and opportunities to open a robo-advisor account in addition to its self-directed trading service. Read our full E*TRADE review to learn more.

Main Features

  • Zero-commission trading: customers can trade US-listed instruments, including stocks,  ETFs, and mutual funds, for free, while this provider’s trading fees for other investment products are highly competitive.
  • Managed investing solutions: the Core Portfolios solution is a great alternative for investors who prefer a hands-off approach, as a robo-advisor will provide recommendations for the best portfolio allocation based on the customer’s unique risk tolerance and financial goals.
  • Great selection of available investment products: the number of asset classes to which E*TRADE provides access to, it’s quite ample and includes traditional instruments like stocks and bonds along with more sophisticated asset classes such as cryptocurrencies and futures.
  • Educational materials for beginners: customers with little experience in the financial markets can take full advantage of E*TRADE’s educational resources, including a risk tolerance calculator, articles and blog posts, market news, stock screeners, and research materials covering a decent number of investment securities.
  • Powerful trading systems: E*TRADE’s trading interfaces include the Power E*TRADE platform, which is suitable for sophisticated users who can use its tools to analyze opportunities in the market, such as advanced charting tools and risk analysis for options. A web version is also available, along with mobile apps for both iOS and Android devices.

Commissions & Fees

E*TRADE is a low-fee brokerage firm that offers zero-commission trading for US-listed instruments, including stocks, ETFs, and an ample selection of mutual funds. At the moment this is written, margin rates start at 13.2% per year, which is 2.5% above the base rate.

Broker-assisted trades generate a $25 charge, while over-the-counter (OTC) instruments generate a fee ranging from $4.95 to $6.95. 

Most bonds can be traded for free, although some others generate a $1 fee per bond. Moreover, some mutual funds may generate a $19.99 commission to be paid by new investors. Future contracts can be traded for $1.50 per contract.

The Managed Portfolios feature carries an annual advisory fee of 0.30%, and the minimum deposit required to open an account is $500. Other non-trading fees include a $25 charge for outgoing wire transfers.

Pros

  • Commission-free stock, ETF, and options trades
  • 24/7 phone and live chat customer support
  • No minimum account balance requirement
  • Opportunity for self-directed and robo-advisor investing

Cons

  • Options and margins fees are relatively high
  • Doesn’t provide good access to foreign investment options

Where E*TRADE Excels

E*TRADE’s slew of investing features and its powerful yet user-friendly app makes it a solid choice for intermediate investors that want to take their portfolios to new heights.

In A Nutshell

  • Account Minimum: $0
  • Trading Fees: $0 per trade for ETFs, stock and options (*other fees may apply)
  • Promotion: Get up to $600 or more when you open and fund an account
  • Best For: Intermediate Investors
E*TRADE

on E*TRADE’s website

2. TD Ameritrade: Best for Powerful Charting Tools

TD Ameritrade stock trading apps
Source: TD Ameritrade

One of the most popular broker-dealers in the US, TD Ameritrade is a full-service investment platform where you can trade stocks, ETFs, and options commission-free. TD Ameritrade also has more than 4,000 no-transaction-fee mutual funds available for investing, and it supports futures and futures options trading.

But what really sets TD Ameritrade apart is its proprietary thinkorswim app, which offers some of the most powerful mobile charting tools on the planet. The thinkorswim mobile app also provides unparalleled access to stock screeners and other market data on the go, so it’s a great choice for the numbers-focused traders among us. Read our full TD Ameritrade review to learn more.

Main Features

  • Ample portfolio of financial securities: TD Ameritrade has one of the richest platforms by the number of asset classes and investment products available. Customers can trade stocks, options, exchange-traded funds (ETFs), mutual funds, futures, forex, cryptocurrencies, and IPOs with this provider.
  • Top-notch trading platform: customers can choose between four different trading systems, including the firm’s thinkorswim® proprietary web and desktop platforms, along with a highly user-friendly mobile app available for both iOS and Android devices. 
  • Demo account for paper trading: TD’s paper trading solution called paperMoney® is a stock market simulator that allows investors to give the company’s platform a try and test new trading techniques before risking real money.
  • Ample library of educational materials: TD’s educational module called “The Ticker Tape” provides access to blog posts, videos, market news, and other similar materials so traders can learn and improve their skills.
  • Outstanding customer support: working with a large corporation like TD Ameritrade has its advantages, and one of those is being able to reach out to a representative by any means necessary, including a phone call, a visit to one of the firm’s branches, or via a support ticket.
  • Dividend Reinvestment Plan (DRIP): TD supports DRIP programs for an extensive number of financial securities, including 5,000 stocks and ETFs and all mutual funds supported by its platform. This service is free of charge.

Commissions & Fees

TD Ameritrade has joined the chorus of brokerage firms that offer zero-commission trading services for US-listed stocks and ETFs. Meanwhile, the firm charges a flat $0.65 fee per contract for options trading.

Traders can also operate with more sophisticated products. The trading fees for these products are as follows:

  • Penny stocks: $6.95 per trade
  • Futures and options on futures: $2.25 per contract
  • Broker-assisted trades: $25
  • Mutual funds except those listed as no-fee funds: $49.99

Bonds can be traded for free with TD Ameritrade. Meanwhile, forex trades are available, and the fee is embedded in the bid/ask spread of the pairs.

At the moment this is written, margin rates start at 13.75% per year, which is 1.25% above the base rate.

Pros

  • thinkorswim mobile app provides some of the best charting tools available
  • Commission-free stock, ETF, and options trades
  • Support for investing in thousands of no-transaction-fee mutual funds
  • Offers reasonably priced options, futures, and futures options contracts

Cons

  • Doesn’t offer fractional shares investing
  • Platform can sometimes be overwhelming to beginners

Where TD Ameritrade Excels

TD Ameritrade is a great platform for intermediate and advanced investors who want to access some of the industry’s finest mobile charting tools.

In A Nutshell

  • Account Minimum: $0
  • Trading Fees: $0 per trade for ETFs, stock, and options (*other fees may apply)
  • Promotion: None
  • Best For: Powerful Charting Tools
TD Ameritrade

on TD Ameritrade’s website

3. Fidelity: Best for Portfolio Diversification

Fidelity Investments app for trading
Source: Fidelity

As one of the world’s largest brokerages, Fidelity is a sure bet for anyone looking to kick-start their investing portfolio. With Fidelity, investors can open a taxable brokerage account or any one of more than a dozen different tax-advantaged account types. There are no minimum balance requirements for most self-managed Fidelity accounts, either.

Our favorite aspect of Fidelity is the broker’s support of many different asset classes. You can get commission-free stock, ETF, and options trades, as well as access to thousands of no-transaction-fee mutual funds. Fidelity also supports precious metals trading and offers fractional shares investing. If that wasn’t enough, Fidelity’s customer service team is top-notch. Read our full Fidelity review to learn more.

Main Features

  • Large array of investment products and solutions: Fidelity offers one of the most complete investment services portfolios in the industry providing access to both traditional (stocks, bonds, mutual funds) and exotic (crypto, IPOs) investment products along with tailored solutions for retirement and estate planning. 
  • Powerful trading interfaces: Fidelity has created powerful tools for sophisticated trades, such as its Active Trader Pro® solution for desktops and a mobile app that is available for both Android and iOS devices, including the Apple Watch.
  • Automated investing solution: Through Fidelity Go® and the Managed Accounts service, Fidelity has given investors the chance to let the company manage their portfolios in exchange for a highly affordable management fee.
  • Straightforward pricing: trades of US-listed securities, including stocks, ETFs, and options, are free of commissions with Fidelity. In addition, customers can easily compare the cost of its trading services by visiting the website.
  • Top-notch customer support: a representative from this broker can be easily reached via phone call, live chat, or by visiting one of the firm’s many branches. In addition, Fidelity’s network of financial professionals is huge, and this allows customers to easily discuss their personal finances with someone located nearby.

Commissions & Fees

Same as most brokers in this list, Fidelity is offering zero-commission trading services for US-listed securities, including stock, options, and ETFs. Meanwhile, the applicable trading fees for options are $0.65 per contract, while bonds and certificates of deposit (CDs) can be traded for $1 per bond.

Customers who opt to invest in any of Fidelity’s mutual funds can do so without paying a trading commission or fee. Cryptocurrencies, including Bitcoin (BTC) and Ethereum (ETH) can also be traded for free with this provider, and the same goes for the firm’s crypto-focused ETF called the Fidelity Crypto Industry and Digital Payments ETF (NASDAQ: FDIG).

As for the managed investing solutions, customers with account balances lower than $25,000 can use Fidelity Go® for free, while wealthier accounts pay a 0.35% annual fee that includes unlimited 1-on-1 coaching calls.

At the moment this is written, margin rates start at 12.58% per year, which is 1.25% above the base rate.

Pros

  • Commission-free stock, ETF, and options trades
  • Supports dozens of investing account types
  • Thousands of no-transaction-fee mutual funds
  • Fractional shares and limited precious metals trading are available

Cons

  • Mobile app can sometimes be a bit buggy
  • International stock investing opportunities are fairly expensive

Where Fidelity Excels

If you’re looking to diversify your portfolio, Fidelity’s wide array of asset classes and support of fractional shares investing is hard to beat.

In A Nutshell

  • Account Minimum: $0
  • Trading Fees: $0 per trade for ETFs, stock, and options (*other fees may apply)
  • Promotion: Get $100 when you open a new, eligible Fidelity account with $50 or more.
  • Best For: Portfolio Diversification
Fidelity Investments

on Fidelity’s website

4. TradeStation: Best for Experienced Investors

TradeStation app for trading stocks
Source: TradeStation

TradeStation is a self-professed trader-centric brokerage that’s ideal for experienced investors. With TradeStation, you can place trades commission-free on stocks, ETFs, and options through both taxable and tax-advantaged brokerage accounts. The company also lets you trade futures, bonds, mutual funds, and crypto in a single account.

The TradeStation mobile app is also particularly great for more experienced traders as it offers an easy-to-navigate interface that’s jam-packed with market data. In fact, TradeStation’s market data is some of the best in the industry. The firm even offers a suite of comprehensive research and analysis tools for investors to choose from. Read our full TradeStation review to learn more.

Main Features

  • Multiple accounts to choose from: TradeStation offers multiple types of accounts for individuals and households, including taxable and tax-advantaged alternatives, along with corporate, custodial, and margin accounts.
  • Ample portfolio of tradable investment products: TradeStation supports a large number of investment products for both beginner and expert traders, including stocks, bonds, cryptocurrencies, options, ETFs, futures, and mutual funds.
  • Top-notch educational materials and platform tutorials: regardless of how experienced you are in the financial markets, TradeStation has educational materials for all types of traders, going from beginner guides about how the trading platform works to masterclasses that teach you how to perform technical analysis on securities by using all the available charting tools.
  • Highly competitive fees: TradeStation offers zero-commission stock and ETF trading services and one of the cheapest trading fees for trading options and futures at $0.60 and $1.50 per contract, respectively.
  • Advanced trading tools: this provider has made available a sophisticated trading tool called Desktop 10 that unlocks the full power of its proprietary technologies, such as fully customizable charting tools and market-scanning resources. Moreover, there is a web version for less active traders/investors and a mobile app available for both Android and iOS devices in case you need to make some trades on the go.
  • Paper trading: customers who would like to give TradeStation’s platform and services a try can use the firm’s simulator to either test some strategies before committing real money to them or to learn more about how the stock market works. The solution uses real-time data, comes with a back-testing tool, and allows customers to use an unlimited amount of simulated dollars to operate in this risk-free environment.

Commissions & Fees

No fees are charged for trading US-listed stocks or ETFs with this provider. Options trading is available in exchange for a $0.60 fee per contract, while trading futures and micro futures cost $1.50 and $0.50 per contract. Bonds can be traded for $14.95 per trade plus an additional $5 per bond. Meanwhile, you can invest in mutual funds with this provider by paying $14.95 per transaction.

The firm offers access to its trading tools for free. The cost of trading cryptos with TradeStation starts at $2 per trade plus a 0.35% to 0.60% commission, depending on which side of the trade you are on. Customers can freely exchange their USDC tokens for real US dollars for free.

At the moment this is written, margin rates start at 12.50% per year.

Pros

  • Commission-free stock, ETF, and options trades
  • Supports trading of mutual funds, bonds, futures, and crypto
  • Easy-to-use mobile app is packed with market data
  • Great selection of research tools available online and in the app

Cons

  • Charges a hefty $50 inactivity fee
  • Complex pricing structure
  • No fractional shares trading available

Where TradeStation Excels

There are few trading apps that match TradeStation’s breadth of offerings when it comes to tradable assets and research tools, making it a great choice for experienced investors.

In A Nutshell

  • Account Minimum: $0
  • Trading Fees: $0 per trade for ETFs, stock, and options (*other fees may apply)
  • Promotion: Get up $5,000 when you open and fund a new account.
  • Best For: Experienced Investors
TradeStation

on TradeStation’s website

5. Robinhood: Best for First-Time Traders

Robinhood stock trading apps
Source: Robinhood

Robinhood is a self-directed trading app that’s become particularly popular among younger investors in recent years. The company’s claim to fame is that it was one of the first brokers to offer commission-free trades of stocks, ETFs, and options, a practice that it maintains to this day.

When compared to other top trading apps, Robinhood is one of the best choices for first-time traders. That’s because it offers free investing in stocks, ETFs, options, and even crypto, and the firm supports fractional shares trading. Robinhood also has a great collection of educational resources and offers some of the cheapest margin rates on the market today. Read our full Robinhood review to learn more.

Main Features

  • Zero-commission trading for all supported investment products: Robinhood is the pioneer of the zero-commission trading movement. The firm offers zero-commission trading services for all its supported financial assets, including stocks, ETFs, cryptocurrencies, and options. In addition, the firm’s robo-advisor can also be used for free.
  • Premium subscription package to access privileged offerings: this provider offers a premium tier for its service called Robinhood Gold, to which users can subscribe by paying $5 per month. This subscription gives customers access to the very best that the firm has to offer, including professional research materials, real-time level 2 market data from the Nasdaq stock exchange, and lower margin rates.
  • Instant deposits: customers can get up to $50,000 in deposits cleared instantly to take full advantage of every opportunity that comes their way.
  • Access to the cryptocurrency market: with Robinhood, trades can operate with cryptocurrencies for free. This provider currently supports multiple coins and pairs, including Ethereum (ETH), Bitcoin (BTC), USD Coin (USDC), Dogecoin (DOGE), Solana (SOL), Cardano (ADA), and many other altcoins.
  • Stock and crypto rewards: Customers who use the Robinhood Cash Card are entitled to receive rewards ranging from 10% to 100% of their weekly round-ups that are all automatically invested into stocks or cryptocurrencies. These round-ups are capped at $100 per week and bonuses have a maximum limit of $10.
  • 1% match for IRA contributions: those who open an IRA with this provider are eligible to receive a 1% match for every dollar they invest into it. No employer is needed.
  • Beginner-level educational materials: if you are new to the stock market, you can learn a lot about how it works by browsing through and reading the materials that Robinhood has made available for customers, covering topics such as options, stock trading, and other fundamental subjects related to the investment field.
  • Earn interest on your cash: Robinhood offers access to a savings account that pays up to 4% in interest for those who subscribe to the firm’s premium service.

Commissions & Fees

Robinhood does not charge any commissions or fees for any of its services aside from the small regulatory fees imposed by the SEC and FINRA on all market transactions. Meanwhile, custodial fees for American Depositary Receipt (ADR) range from 1 to 3 cents.

Meanwhile, the cost of Robinhood Gold is $5 per month.

Pros

  • Low-cost broker with no fees for stocks, ETFs, options, and crypto trades
  • Beginner-friendly app is packed with educational resources
  • No minimum balance requirements for cash accounts
  • Offers affordable margins rates and fractional shares investing

Cons

  • No support for mutual funds, bonds, or commodities
  • Uses payment for order flow practices that can lead to lower order execution quality

Where Robinhood Excels

Due to its user-friendly design, lack of minimum balance requirements, and commission-free trading services, Robinhood is a worthwhile option for first-time traders.

In A Nutshell

  • Account Minimum: $0
  • Trading Fees: $0 per trade for ETFs, stock, and options (*other fees may apply)
  • Promotion: Get 1 free stock after linking your bank account (stock valued between $5 to $200)
  • Best For: First-Time Traders
Robinhood

on Robinhood’s website

6. SoFi Invest: Best for Fractional Shares Trading

SoFi Invest screenshot
Source: SoFi Invest

SoFi is perhaps best known for its suite of banking and lending services, but the company recently made a foray into the world of retail investing. With SoFi Invest, individual traders can create taxable and tax-advantaged accounts to trade stocks, ETFs, and limited cryptocurrencies, all without ever paying a commission fee.

The SoFi Invest app is particularly beginner-friendly, and the company has no minimum balance requirement, so you can start trading with just a few dollars. SoFi Invest’s best feature is its fractional shares trading tool, which is called SoFi Bits. With this feature, you can buy partial shares of more than 4,000 stocks for as little as $5 so you can diversify your portfolio with ease. Read our full SoFi Invest review to learn more.

Main Features

  • Taxable and tax-advantaged accounts: customers can opt to open any of these two types of accounts depending on their goals and financial needs. At the moment, this provider supports traditional, Roth, and SEP IRAs aside from individual and joint taxable accounts.
  • Two-pronged approach to investing: investors can choose to participate in the markets by using either the self-directed trading solution of SoFi’s robo-advisor, which can build a portfolio on their behalf in a matter of minutes.
  • Get access to more than 30 crypto assets: cryptocurrencies can be traded by using SoFi’s investment platform. The assets supported include Bitcoin (BTC), Ethereum (ETH), Dogecoin (DOGE), Filecoin (FIL), Litecoin (LTC), and many more.
  • Access to traditional and sophisticated trading products: SoFi offers access to traditional investment products, including stocks and ETFs and more sophisticated asset classes like cryptocurrencies and IPOs.
  • Ample portfolio of financial products for non-trading purposes: SoFi is a financial services firm that also offers loans for multiple purposes and banking products. Customers of SoFi Invest can get access to all of these products by opening an account with this provider.
  • Highly user-friendly trading platform: SoFi Invest was primarily designed with beginners in mind. As a result, the firm’s trading interface is highly intuitive and easy to use for those who are just starting to get familiar with how the financial markets work.

Commissions & Fees

Traders can operate in the markets via the SoFi Active Investing solution. No commissions apply for trading any of the US-listed stocks or ETFs supported by the platform. This includes fractional shares as well. The firm’s automated investing solution is also free.

Meanwhile, SoFi adds a 1.25% markup on all crypto transactions, rounded to the nearest penny.

Pros

  • Investment service from a long-running financial institution
  • No minimum balance requirement
  • Commission-free trades of stocks, ETFs, and crypto
  • Easy access to fractional shares trading of 4,000+ stocks

Cons

  • No mutual funds or options trading
  • Trading platform is likely too basic for experienced investors

Where SoFi Invest Excels

SoFi’s edge over the competition can be found in its beginner-friendly interface and its support of fractional shares trading. This makes it an excellent service if you’re just starting your trading career.

In A Nutshell

  • Account Minimum: $0
  • Trading Fees: $0 per trade for ETFs, stock, and options (*other fees may apply)
  • Promotion: Get free stock valued between $5 to $1,000 when you sign up via mobile app
  • Best For: Fractional Shares Trading
SoFi

on SoFi’s website

7. Webull: Best for Active Traders

Webull stock trading
Source: Webull

Webull is an online broker that’s particularly popular among younger and more active traders. The company offers a fantastic mobile app that boasts fully customizable charts and plenty of market data as well as fully featured online and desktop platforms.

With Webull, individual investors can open taxable and tax-advantaged accounts to trade stocks, ETFs, options, and 35+ cryptocurrencies without paying commission fees. The completely fee-free nature of Webull and its support for extended hours of trading makes it a useful option for active investors who place multiple trades each day. Read our full Webull review to learn more.

Main Features

  • Zero commissions and low margin rates: Webull offers zero-commission trading services for US-listed stocks, ETFs, and options, along with one of the lowest margin rates in the market, starting at 9.49% for debit balances lower than $25,000.
  • Access to both traditional and sophisticated trading instruments: With this provider, traders get access to a large number of financial assets, including traditional ones like stocks and ETFs and more sophisticated and exotic instruments such as cryptocurrencies, OTC securities, and options.
  • Recurring investments: with Webull, customers can easily implement the time-tested strategy of dollar-cost averaging (DCA) by using the recurring investments feature, which is designed to invest money periodically into the user’s selected securities.
  • Paper trading: customers can set up a demo account with Webull to test its proprietary trading system, try out some new strategies without risking real money, or learn how investing works in practice.
  • Advanced trading solution: aside from its web version and mobile apps, Webull has made available a sophisticated trading system for desktops known as Webull V6.0 that can be fully customized. The solution features advanced charting tools, stock and options screeners, and other similar tools.

Commissions & Fees

Webull does not charge any fees or commissions for trading US-listed stocks, options, or ETFs. However, some small regulatory fees apply for each of these trades. Trading index options costs approximately $0.55 per contract, along with an extra “exchange proprietary fee.”

Meanwhile, the fees for trading over-the-counter (OTC) securities start at $0.0002 per share, while foreign stocks can be traded for a $5 commission for buys and $0.05 for sales per trade.

Non-trading fees include an $8 charge for deposits made via wire transfers and $12.5 per deposit for international wires. Withdrawals are free via ACH but generate a $25 and $45 charge in case they are made via wire to a domestic or international account, respectively.

Pros

  • No minimum account balance requirement
  • Commission-free trades on stocks, ETFs, and options
  • Supports fee-free trades on 35+ cryptocurrencies
  • Excellent mobile app with customizable charts and market data

Cons

  • Limited customer support
  • Doesn’t offer mutual funds investing
  • No option to withdraw crypto from the platform

Where Webull Excels

Webull’s commission-free approach to investing, support for extended hours of trading, and fantastic smartphone app mean that it’s a no-brainer for active mobile traders.

In A Nutshell

  • Account Minimum: $0
  • Trading Fees: $0 per trade for ETFs, stock, and options (*other fees may apply)
  • Promotion: Get up to 12 free fractional shares (valued up to $30,600)
  • Best For: Active Traders
Webull

on Webull’s website

8. Public.com: Best for Social Trading

Public.com investing app
Source: Public.com

Public.com is an online broker that markets itself as a “social investing platform” where investors can place trades and discuss the latest trends all in one place. Investors with Public.com can open an individual taxable brokerage account and place commission-free trades on stocks and ETFs. Public.com also supports reasonably priced trades of dozens of cryptocurrencies.

What makes Public.com special, however, is its social trading feature, which lets you communicate with other traders through a built-in social media-esque platform. Public.com also boasts a handful of useful tools like fractional shares investing, themed investing, and an automatic dividend reinvestment program to help you make the most of your money. Read our full Public.com review to learn more.

Main Features

  • Fractional shares: Public.com is best known for being a promoter of long-term investing rather than active trading. To encourage this, the platform primarily supports fractional shares, which can be used by investors to build highly diversified portfolios without paying any trading fees.
  • Alternative assets: this provider offers access to exotic asset classes, including cryptocurrencies, art, and luxury goods. Soon, customers will also be able to invest in music royalties and US treasury bonds. In addition, a new high-yield savings product will soon be launched.
  • Social trading: Public.com’s trading platform has a social interface that allows traders to follow each other, share trading and investment ideas, and make comments about their latest market transactions. 
  • Recurring investments: users can set up automatic investments for a selected number of securities. The system will periodically, as instructed, deploy the funds to be allocated to these assets.
  • Investment themes: customers can easily build stock and ETF portfolios that track a particular industry or trend, such as fine art, home buying, the metaverse, non-fungible tokens (NFTs), or space exploration.
  • Public Premium: Public.com will soon launch a premium subscription package that costs $10 per month and give traders access to top-notch analysts’ reports, a vast amount of data from Morningstar, and VIP customer support.

Commissions & Fees

Public.com offers zero-commission trading services for US-listed stocks and ETFs. However, non-premium members can enjoy trading during the after-hours sessions by paying a $2.99 fee per trade for these same instruments.

Fees for trading cryptocurrencies start at $0.49 for orders starting at 1 cent. For orders larger than $500, the applicable percentage fee is 1.25%. Meanwhile, customers have to pay a 2.5% fee per trade for operating with alternative assets. 

The cost of Public.com’s upcoming premium subscription package is $10. Finally, there is an inactivity fee of $5 every 6 months for accounts with less than $20 in value and that have shown no activity in the past 90 days. 

Pros

  • Includes a built-in investing-centered social network
  • Commission-free stock and ETF trades
  • Reasonably priced crypto trades (1% to 2% trading fee)
  • Offers useful tools like themed investing and dividend reinvestment
  • Supports fractional shares investing

Cons

  • Only offers individual taxable accounts
  • No support for options, mutual funds, futures, or bonds

Where Public.com Excels

The social media-like features that you get with Public.com make it a worthwhile app for investors who like to chat with others about trading ideas and the latest market happenings.

In A Nutshell

  • Account Minimum: $0
  • Trading Fees: $0 per trade for ETFs, stock, and options (*other fees may apply)
  • Promotion: Get 1 free stock (valued up to $300)
  • Best For: Social Trading
Public.com

on Public.com’s website

9. Firstrade: Best for Options Traders

Firstrade stock trading apps
Source: Firstrade

Firstrade is one of the lesser-known brokerage firms on our list, but it’s made a name for itself in recent years through its low-cost trading services and support for active investors. Account holders with Firstrade can buy and sell stocks, ETFs, mutual funds, and even options all without paying commission fees.

Of all the mobile trading apps out there, Firstrade is one of the best for options traders because it doesn’t charge contract fees. The app is also both streamlined and fine-tuned for options trading, as it allows you to create complex options strategies with the push of a button. Plus, you can use the Firstrade app to do real-time data risk/reward analyses and to check up on the latest market news. Read our full Firstrade review to learn more.

Main Features

  • Ample portfolio of financial assets: Firstrade supports trading of a decent number of asset classes, including stocks, exchange-traded funds (ETFs), fixed-income securities, mutual funds, 38 cryptocurrencies, and options on thousands of stocks. In addition, customers can operate during extended hours by using its platform as well.
  • Top-notch research tools: Firstrade has partnered with Morningstar to provide access to high-quality research materials, including video discussions from market analysts, information on companies’ latest earnings, heatmap of different indexes and market sectors, advanced stock screening tools, and up-to-date news, among many other things.
  • Goal-oriented account types: this provider offers tax-advantaged accounts, including Traditional IRAs and Roth IRAs along with others designed specifically for parents who want to invest money to create a college fund for their children (Coverdell ESA and Custodial Accounts).
  • Educational resources: Firstrade has created an education center for customers who would like to enrich their knowledge about the financial markets. The materials available include videos that discuss multiple subjects, such as stocks, ETFs, mutual funds, and margin loans.
  • International accounts: residents of more than 30 countries have the chance to operate in the United States financial markets by opening an international brokerage account with Firstrade. The trading costs are relatively low, and they will have access to the majority of the products, features, and tools that US-based traders enjoy.

Commissions & Fees

Firstrade does not charge any commissions for trading US-listed stocks, ETFs, options, or mutual funds. Meanwhile, the firm charges a markup on any fixed-income instrument that the customer would like to buy and a flat $30 fee for trading primary market certificates of deposit (CD).

Broker-assisted trades generate a $19.95 charge per transaction. Finally, Firstrade’s margin rates start at 12.75% for loans of $25,000 or less.

Pros

  • Commission-free stock, ETF, options, and mutual funds trades
  • No contract fees for options
  • Mobile app is streamlined and user-friendly
  • Great support for options traders on the Firstrade mobile app

Cons

  • Web platform is a bit buggy and outdated
  • Lacks some asset classes like forex and futures

Where Firstrade Excels

Firstade’s commission-free stock and ETF trades make it a nice choice for many active investors, but its mobile app’s support for options traders is truly second to none.

In A Nutshell

  • Account Minimum: $0
  • Trading Fees: $0 per trade for ETFs, stock, and options (*other fees may apply)
  • Promotion: Get up to $200 in transfer fee rebates
  • Best For: Options Traders
Firstrade

on Firstrade’s website

10. Charles Schwab: Best for Educational Resources

Charles Schwab stock trading app
Source: Charles Schwab

There are few bigger names in the world of online brokers and asset managers than Charles Schwab. Investors with Schwab can open any of more than a dozen taxable and tax-advantaged accounts to trade stocks, ETFs, and options without paying commission fees. Schwab also offers some managed portfolio accounts and accounts that support international investing.

Schwab’s assortment of investable asset classes, research tools, trading platforms, and customer support team are all top-notch. But what really impresses us about Schwab is the company’s educational resources, which include everything from articles and videos to on-demand live training. These resources help investors of all experience levels become more knowledgeable about their trades. Read our full Charles Schwab review to learn more.

Main Features

  • Zero-commission trading: Charles Schwab offers zero-commission trading services for US-listed stocks and ETFs.
  • Wide array of financial assets to be traded: this broker offers access to a long list of investment products including stocks, ETFs, mutual funds (both CS-managed and third-party), OTC securities, cryptocurrencies, fractional shares, fixed-income instruments, and options, among others.
  • Multiple account types: Charles Schwab supports multiple account types, including taxable investment accounts, IRAs, educational savings accounts, and small business investment accounts.
  • Automated investing solutions: with Schwab Intelligent Portfolios®, investors can let the firm’s robo-advisor recommend a portfolio allocation based on the customer’s unique financial goals and risk tolerance — entirely free of charge. Meanwhile, investors with an account balance higher than $25,000 can opt to enroll for the premium version of this service, which includes 1-on-1 human advice from a Certified Financial Planner™ (CFP).
  • Thematic investing: Schwab’s team has assembled more than 40 different thematic stock lists for customers who would like to build industry or trend-focused portfolios. Some examples are renewable energy, artificial intelligence, pet passion, and junk food.
  • Fractional shares: Schwab lets customers buy a portion of a stock or ETF ($5 minimum) to build highly diversified portfolios without investing that much money through its solution called Stock Slices™. The program supports all stocks within the S&P 500 stock index

Commissions & Fees

Customers of Schwab can trade US-listed stocks and ETFs for free. Meanwhile, option trades generate a $0.65 fee per contract while mutual funds created and managed by Schwab and some other selected third-party products can be bought without paying a commission.

Trading over-the-counter securities (OTC) costs $6.95 per trade. Futures and options on futures can be traded for $2.25 per contract. Meanwhile, foreign stock transactions generate a $50 foreign transaction fee and trading Canadian securities can be done by paying a $6.95 fee per trade.

Customers can also trade bonds with Schwab. This broker charges $1 per bond for most fixed-income securities with a $10 minimum and a $250 maximum. 

Schwab’s robo-advisor can be used for free but a minimum investment of $5,000 is required. Meanwhile, the premium version of the solution costs $30 per month and customers also have to pay a $300 one-time planning fee.

For high-net-worth customers, the Wealth Advisory service generates an annual 0.8% management fee.

Pros

  • Huge brokerage firm with a well-established reputation
  • Commission-free trades of stocks, ETFs, and options
  • High-quality, 24/7 customer support team
  • Educational resources are some of the best in the business

Cons

  • Margins trading and mutual fund investing can be expensive
  • Doesn’t support forex or crypto trading

Where Charles Schwab Excels

There’s a lot to love about Charles Schwab, but the company’s collection of educational resources is unparalleled in the industry.

In A Nutshell

  • Account Minimum: $0
  • Trading Fees: $0 per trade for ETFs, stock, and options (*other fees may apply)
  • Promotion: None
  • Best For: Educational Resources
Charles Schwab

on Charles Schwab’s website

11. Ally Invest: Best for Robo-Advisory Services

Ally Invest stock trading app
Source: Ally Invest

Ally Invest is the investing subsidiary of Ally Financial, a publicly-traded financial institution that’s been in business for over 100 years. In addition to banking and financing tools, account holders with Ally can access the company’s self-directed investing accounts, which let you trade stocks, ETFs, and options without paying anything in fees.

There’s a lot to appreciate about Ally Invest’s self-directed accounts, but the company’s robo-advisory service (called Managed Portfolios) is really what steals the spotlight. You can use Ally Invest with as little as $100 without paying anything in advisory fees and get a fully diversified portfolio with little effort. Plus, Ally’s Managed Portfolios offers a socially responsible investing (SRI) option so you can align your portfolio with your values. Read our full Ally Invest review to learn more.

Main Features

  • Zero-commission self-directed trading service: Ally Invest is part of the growing group of brokers who have decided to slash their commissions to zero for stock and ETF trading (US-listed securities only)
  • Robo portfolios: Ally offers access to an automated investing feature (a.k.a. robo-advisor) that allows customers to easily and quickly build highly-diversified portfolios that fit their unique risk tolerance and financial goals. There are two options, one is the cash-enhanced portfolio, which is the most conservative alternative, and the market-focused portfolio for risk-takers.
  • Wealth management: this solution is for high-net-worth individuals and households who would like to let a professional manage their money for them. Advisory fees for this service are quite competitive, and there is a team of dedicated professionals standing by to assist customers by providing guidance regarding investment strategies, estate planning, and other similar subjects.
  • Forex trading: with a minimum deposit of $250, Ally’s customers can get access to the forex trading solution offered by this financial institution. The firm supports trading of more than 50 currency pairs along with gold and silver.
  • Powerful trading platform: Ally’s trading platform is a powerful proprietary solution that allows sophisticated operators to analyze charts, create watchlists, keep track of their performance through an outstanding reporting module, and perform complex assessments of options and stock trading strategies.

Commissions & Fees

Ally offers zero-commission trading for US-listed stocks and ETFs. Meanwhile, options can be traded with this provider at a fixed fee of 50 cents per contract. Fixed-income securities such as bonds can be traded for $1 per security with a minimum order size of $10.

Ally also offers access to OTC securities such as penny stocks. These can be traded for a flat fee of $4.95 per trade, while no-load mutual funds generate a $9.95 fee for both buys and sales.

As for the automated investing solutions, the Robo Portfolios feature can be used for free, while the Market-Focused portfolio generates a 0.30% annual management fee. The wealth management service charges a percentage fee ranging from 0.75% to 0.85%.

Pros

  • Very user-friendly platform with both self-directed and managed accounts
  • Commission-free trades on stocks, ETFs, and options
  • Offers a free robo-advisor service if you opt for a 30% cash allocation
  • Opportunity to get a socially responsible portfolio in a managed account

Cons

  • Managed Portfolios require a high cash allocation for fee-free investing
  • Doesn’t offer any transaction fee-free mutual funds

Where Ally Invest Excels

Ally Invest’s self-directed accounts offer a user-friendly way to trade stocks, options, ETFs, and mutual funds. But the firm’s Managed Portfolios are an equally awesome feature for people interested in working with a robo-advisor.

In A Nutshell

  • Account Minimum: $0
  • Trading Fees: $0 per trade for ETFs, stock, and options (*other fees may apply)
  • Promotion: None
  • Best For: Robo Advisor Services
Ally Invest

on Ally Invest’s website

12. M1 Finance: Best for All-in-One Investing & Finance

M1 Finance trading app
Source: M1 Finance

If you’re looking for one stock trading app where you can invest and bank, M1 Finance is definitely worth checking out. M1 Finance’s primary feature is its investment accounts, but you can also open a checking account (called M1 Spend), take out a loan from the firm through the M1 Borrow program, or get the M1 Credit Card.

As far as investing goes, M1 Finance lets you open taxable or tax-advantaged accounts for commission-free stock and ETF trading. You can choose your own investments in your account, or you can opt for a professionally curated portfolio that can be rebalanced as needed. M1 Finance also supports fractional shares and socially responsible investing for its account holders. Read our full M1 Finance review to learn more.

Main Features

  • Multiple types of accounts available: M1 Finance offers a wide array of investment accounts, including taxable (individual, joint, crypto, and custodial) and tax-advantaged (IRA, SEP IRA, and Roth IRA) alternatives.
  • Portfolio recommendations for all tastes: M1 Finance allows customers to create their own portfolios through a solution called M1 Pies. They can either select the instruments that make up these pies by themselves, or they can choose one of the firm’s recommended pies.
  • Automatic rebalancing: the portfolios built with M1 Finance can be automatically rebalanced by the system to make sure that the allocation targets stay the same over time. Trades are executed once a day or twice for premium members.
  • Automated investing free of charge: customers can freely build their investment pies and execute the required trades for free. Only M1 Plus users have to pay a $125 annual fee to access the program’s benefits.
  • M1 Plus premium subscription package: M1 plus is the premium subscription package offered by this provider. It entitles the customer to access a wide array of benefits for all the products that M1 Finance offers, including lower margin rates, two daily trading windows, higher savings rates, and higher rewards for the transactions they make by using the firm’s Owner’s Rewards debit card. 
  • Banking and lending products: M1 Finance offers some cash management and savings products. In addition, they allow customers to take loans by using their investment account balance as collateral.
  • Low margin rates: M1 Finance’s margin rates are among the lowest in the market, starting at 6.25%.

Commissions & Fees

M1 Finance is a zero-commission trading service. In addition, the firm does not charge any fees for using its automated investing solution. Only customers who sign up for the M1 Plus membership have to pay a $125 annual fee to access the extra benefits offered by this program.

M1 Finance’s margin rates start at 6.25% for loans of $5,000 or higher.

Pros

  • Offers a range of financial products, including brokerage accounts
  • Lets you choose your own stocks and ETFs or follow a pre-set portfolio
  • Commission-free trades on all stocks and ETFs
  • Very user-friendly platform that’s targeted toward first-time traders

Cons

  • Doesn’t let you invest in mutual funds
  • No tax-loss harvesting feature

Where M1 Finance Excels

M1 Finance’s key advantage over the competition is its comprehensive service offerings, which include everything from brokerage accounts to credit cards. This makes it a nice app for people who want to bank and invest on a single platform.

In A Nutshell

  • Account Minimum: $100 ($500 minimum for retirement accounts)
  • Trading Fees: $0 per trade for ETFs and stock
  • Promotion: None
  • Best For: All-in-One Investing & Finance
M1 Finance

on M1 Finance’s website


What to Look for in a Stock Trading App

Picking a stock trading app is no easy feat. Here are some of the key things to look for as you search for your next stock broker.

Trading Commissions & Fees

Most of the apps listed in this article offer commission-free stock trades, and many also offer commission-free trading of ETFs and options. But that doesn’t mean these brokers offer all of their services for free.

In fact, you should always double-check what fees you’ll be charged for using a brokerage firm. This includes contract fees on options and futures trades or transaction fees for mutual funds. 

Depending on what asset class you’re working with, it may not be possible to avoid all trading fees. But it’s vital that you know what you’re agreeing to pay in fees before you sign up for a brokerage account.

Account Minimums

Many stock trading apps have no minimum balance requirement to open or maintain an account. However, some brokers require that you maintain a certain balance in order to keep your account current or to access certain features like margin trading.

For people looking to invest larger sums of money, this may not be an issue. But if you’re just getting started in your trading career or you want to invest a smaller amount of money, be sure to verify whether a broker has an account minimum before you sign up.

Asset Availability

The vast majority of brokerage firms support stock and ETF trades, though some also offer additional asset classes. Depending on your investing style, you may want to look for a broker that offers other assets like mutual funds, bonds, options, futures, precious metals, and even crypto.

Creating a well-diversified portfolio often requires investing in a variety of asset classes. So it’s worth considering whether a given broker offers enough diversity in its investment opportunities to power your portfolio in the long term.

Fractional Shares Trading

Until very recently, you could only buy whole shares of stocks and ETFs. But with the advent of fractional shares trading, investors with lower account balances can buy partial shares of stocks, which makes it a particularly powerful tool if you want to diversify your portfolio on a tight budget.

However, despite the popularity of fractional shares trading, not all brokers offer it to their investors. If this is a feature you’d be interested in using to build your portfolio, you definitely want to check to see if a given stock trading app supports fractional shares before you create an account.

Margin Trading

Margin trading is a strategy that experienced investors use to increase the amount of money they can invest by taking out loans from their brokerage firm. 

This can be a very powerful tactic for leveraging your current assets to increase your long-term returns. Many free stock trading apps offer margin trading to qualified investors who maintain a certain account balance, but not all do. 

Keep in mind that margin trading is very risky, and it can cause you to lose more money than you originally invested. That said, if you’re an experienced trader that’s interested in investing on a margin, it’s worth looking for a broker that offers this feature to its account holders.

Research & Trading Tools

Stock trading apps run the gamut as far as research and trading tools go. Some apps are designed specifically with beginners in mind, and they don’t offer much by way of trading tools like stock screeners and customizable charts. Meanwhile, others are jam-packed with everything from profit/loss analyzers to company financial information and high-powered stock screeners.

If you’re very new to investing, you may not make much use of these tools, and they may be overwhelming at first. However, if you’re looking to take your portfolio to the next level, it’s worth investigating what research and trading tools a broker offers so you can see if they’ll work for your needs.

Educational Resources

No matter how much experience we have with investing, there’s always something that we can all learn to improve our trading strategies. To this end, many stock trading apps offer a slew of educational resources, such as articles, podcasts, videos, and even online training courses.

Of course, not all brokers provide these resources, and some offer more educational tools than others. These features may not be the sole reason why you choose to work with a specific brokerage, but they can serve as an added benefit that helps encourage you to select one firm over another.

Customer Support

While we all hope to never have an issue with our brokerage accounts, problems, and questions do pop up from time to time. When this happens, you need to be confident that your broker has a well-trained customer support team that can help you work through any issues.

Some brokerage firms have phone-based customer support teams that can help you at a moment’s notice. However, some companies only provide email or chat-based support. Neither is necessarily better than the other. It’s ultimately up to you to decide how you like to contact customer service teams and to find a broker that meets your expectations.

User Experience & Interface

Although most stock trading apps are designed with user-friendliness in mind, some are more intuitive than others. Nevertheless, the set-up and design of the user interface of your stock trading app can have a huge impact on your investing experience by determining how easy it is for you to place trades.

It’s also worth investigating whether your preferred stock broker offers a desktop or online trading terminal in addition to their mobile app. For more complex trades or in-depth market research, it can be easier to use a computer rather than a smartphone. In these situations, having an account with a brokerage that has mobile, desktop, and online apps can be a huge advantage.

Access to Other Financial Products

Even though stock trading and investing is the main goal for most people on a stock trading app, it can be helpful to have an account with a firm that offers other financial products. 

For example, some companies provide robo-advisory services in addition to self-managed investment accounts. Others offer checking and savings accounts, credit cards, personal loans, and even mortgages. 

You certainly don’t need to do all of your investing and banking in one place. But if you want one account that can give you access to a slew of financial products, you might want to look for a company that operates as both a bank and a broker-dealer.


Free Stock Trading App Pros

There are many advantages to investing with a free stock trading app, including:

  • No commission fees on stock trades to help keep your investment costs low.
  • Easy trade execution and user-friendly interfaces.
  • Access to commission-free ETF and options trades is common with free stock trading apps.
  • Apps often include educational resources to help develop your trading skills.
  • Most free stock trading apps have low or no minimum account balance requirements.
  • You can often access other financial products through free stock trading apps, such as other asset classes (e.g., mutual funds and futures) or robo-advisory services.

Free Stock Trading App Cons

Free stock trading apps are pretty awesome, but they do have their downsides. These include the following:

  • Many free stock trading apps use payment-for-order flow tactics to earn a profit, which can lead to lower-quality trade execution and higher share prices for investors.
  • Free stock trading apps tend to have fewer advanced trading tools like customizable charts.
  • Some apps only support standard individual taxable brokerage accounts with no option to open a joint account or a tax-advantaged account like an IRA.
  • A stock trading app may offer commission-free stock and ETF trades, but it could have higher-than-normal fees for other asset classes or services.

FAQs On The Best Stock Trading Apps

Here are our answers to some of your most commonly asked questions about the best stock trading apps.

Can I Trade Stocks for Free?

You can trade stocks for free if you have an account with a commission-free brokerage. Most major online brokerages offer commission-free trades of stocks, ETFs, and options, so you won’t have to pay to place a trade.

What Is the Best Free Trading App?

There are dozens of awesome free trading apps out there, and none is necessarily better than the rest. For new investors, great apps that offer commission-free trading include M1 Finance, Robinhood, and Public.com. If you want to trade additional asset classes, consider Fidelity or Charles Schwab. Or if you crave advanced trading tools, TD Ameritrade and TradeStation are solid options.

Which Trading App Is Best for Beginners?

There are many beginner-friendly trading apps out there. Some of our favorite investing apps for beginners include Robinhood, M1 Finance, Public.com, and SoFi Invest because each of these brokerages has a simple and easy-to-use trading platform.

How Much Does It Cost to Trade Stocks?

Stock trading is generally free with major online brokerage firms. This means that you typically won’t have to pay any commission fees when you trade stocks with most major brokers. However, always double-check what fees you’ll be charged before you place a trade.

What Investments Can You Trade Commission Free With Stock Trading Apps?

Most (but not all) commission-free trading apps let you trade stocks, ETFs, and options without paying a fee. Some brokers, like Fidelity, Charles Schwab, and TD Ameritrade, also offer fee-free trading of a select number of mutual funds. 

Are Stock Trading Apps Safe?

A stock trading app from a reputable, SEC-registered brokerage firm that’s a member of the SIPC is generally a safe platform for investing in the stock market. However, there’s always a risk of financial loss when you trade stocks, so never invest more than you’re willing to lose.

What Is the Catch With Free Stock Trading Apps?

There usually isn’t a “catch” with free stock trading apps, as they do provide commission-free stock trading. But most of these apps make their money off of trading fees for other kinds of assets, margin lending, interest, and something called “payment for order flow.” These tactics normally don’t affect your trading experience, but payment for order flow can result in lower-quality trade execution and higher trade prices for stocks in some situations.

What Apps Let You Trade Stocks for Free?

There are many apps that let you trade stocks for free, such as Robinhood, Fidelity, E*TRADE, Webull, and M1 Finance. These apps all let you buy and sell stocks without commission fees, but they may charge fees for other services.

What App Gives You Free Stock?

Some of the most popular apps that give you free stocks for signing up include Webull and Robinhood. Keep in mind that these free stock programs are promotional, and these promotions can be discontinued at any time.

Can I Trade Stocks With $100?

You can trade stocks with $100, but you’ll be limited in what stocks you can buy. In these situations, fractional shares trading can be a good option as it allows you to diversify your portfolio, even if you’re working on a tight budget.


Final Thoughts

There are dozens of top stock trading apps out there, though not all are created equal as far as cost-effectiveness and user-friendliness go. Every brokerage firm offers different features for its investors, and each company targets its offerings to a specific kind of trader.

In this article, we discussed the top stock trading apps available, and we’ve given you some top tips for what to look for as you find the broker that’s right for you. At this point, you have the knowledge you need to select a trading app that works for your investing style. Happy trading.

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