Business_news The best stock trading apps of 2020

Business_news

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Business_newsBest stock trading apps (2020)

The best stock trading apps offer the ability to buy and sell shares of stocks and ETFs with no commissions. They also allow you to research investments, track your portfolio, and easily enter orders to buy or sell.

To make our selections, we considered pricing and fees, investment options, account types, investment platforms, investment research, and education resources.

Business_newsBest overall: Charles Schwab



Charles Schwab


Editor’s rating4.9 out of 5
Trade Comission FeesNone
Account minimumNone
Consider it if…You want a wide range of account types; easy-to-use apps and web interface

Why Charles Schwab made our list:

Charles Schwab’s Schwab Mobile is a strong all-around choice for stock traders. It comes with no account minimums and no recurring fees. You can choose between just about any type of investment account you would want and most types of investments. And for stock trades, the app is well-rounded for both beginners and experts. Schwab also offers a no-fee robo-adviser, Schwab Intelligent Portfolios.

The mobile app makes it easy to view your accounts, positions, and balances. You can view market indices and news, research stocks, and enter an array of trade types from the app. A new feature, the Schwab Assistant, gives you voice control to make trades, get quotes, set alerts, and get answers to questions about investments.

Users also have access to the more advanced StreetSmart Mobile. It works well but doesn’t rate among the very best for the most active traders. But soon, Schwab will own TD Ameritrade and thinkorswim, which is an industry leader for active traders. More on that in the next section.

Business_news Best for active traders: thinkorswim



TD Ameritrade


Editor’s rating4.8 out of 5
Trade Comission FeesNone
Account minimumNone
Consider it if…You’re an expert-level trader looking for an interactive trading experience

Why thinkorswim made our list:

TD Ameritrade’s thinkorswim is a top stock trading app for active traders. TD Ameritrade features accounts with no recurring fees and no minimum balance. It offers a diverse range of accounts and investments, including some investments that are less commonly supported such as futures, forex, and cryptocurrencies. But it stands out for its active trader offering for both experts and those looking to become experts in active trading.

The flagship active trading platform at TD Ameritrade is thinkorswim. Thinkorswim gives you a nearly identical experience wherever you log in, including desktop or mobile. It features advanced charting, advanced trade tools, profit and loss calculations, a live CNBC news stream, and chat support where you can get live help from a TD Ameritrade trading specialist from inside the app.

Important note: TD Ameritrade has agreed to an acquisition by Charles Schwab. That means TD Ameritrade accounts are likely to become Schwab accounts after the sale closes. However, Schwab has announced it plans to keep thinkorswim alongside StreetSmart Edge.

Business_news Best for beginners: SoFi



SoFi Money


Editor’s rating4.8 out of 5
Trade Comission FeesNone
Account minimumNone
Consider it if…You want a beginner-friendly investment app

Why SoFi made our list:

SoFi Invest is one of the best stock market brokerages for new traders. SoFi’s app is less robust than some larger competitors, but that also makes it easy to navigate and understand if you don’t have as much experience in the markets.

SoFi offers taxable and retirement accounts and a more limited set of investmentment choices. But stocks and ETFs are well represented. SoFi also offers a no-fee robo-advising platform. SoFi offers fractional shares through a product it calls Stock Bits.

The stock trading section of the SoFi app offers basic fundamental information and recent price charts for supported investments. Beginners will enjoy browsing through groups of stocks by category to get ideas for how to invest. The app also includes education articles accessible from stock account pages.

If you are brand new to the markets, SoFi offers a way to get started with a small investment and no fees. That’s a good combination for learning how to trade stocks.

Business_news Best for no commissions: Webull



Webull


Editor’s rating4.6 out of 5
Fees

None for trades

Expect fees for data subscriptions and margin borrowing depending on your balance

Account minimumNone
Consider it if…You’re after something that’s free to use (for most people) and friendly to active traders

Why Webull made our list:

Webull is a newer investment platform that has made a splash in the active trading marketplace. It offers completely commission-free investing for stocks, ETFs, and options. You can pay for advanced data subscriptions or margin borrowing, but most users won’t pay any fees when using Webull.

The Webull mobile app is designed for active traders, though passive investors can certainly take advantage as well. There’s a community section of the app to interact with other traders and learn more about different active investing strategies. The interface takes a few minutes to get acquainted with but is manageable.

Business_news Best for long-term investing: Fidelity



Fidelity


Editor’s rating4.8 out of 5
Trade Comission FeesNone
Account minimumNone
Consider it if…You’re focused on long-term investing and retirement

Why Fidelity made our list:

Fidelity offers a wide range of accounts and investments that could meet the needs of virtually any investor, but it stands out as a great choice for stock market inventors looking to buy and hold for long-term goals like retirement. It offers a wide range of investing products, including fractional shares.

In addition to common tools that allow you to research and trade stocks, Fidelity offers apps and tools to help you reach retirement goals and other long-term plans. For example, the new Fidelity Spire app is a goal-oriented app that encourages good saving and investing habits to reach the goals you’ve specified.

Fidelity is best for beginners as well as experienced, long-term, passive investors.

Business_news Best for expert traders: Interactive Brokers



Interactive Brokers


Editor’s rating4.7 out of 5
Trade Comission FeesNone
Account minimumNone
Consider it if…You are looking to become a more active trader

Why Interactive Brokers made our list:

For expert traders looking for a slick, Wall Street-style trading platform, Interactive Brokers is a great choice. Sometimes called IBKR for short, Interactive Brokers offers multiple types of accounts, including ones that work well for retail investors all the way up to professional and institutional investors. It gives investors access to a very wide range of assets including, of course, stocks.

Interactive Brokers’ mobile app, IBKR Mobile, is a fully-fuctioning investment platform with advanced trading tools in your pocket. Advanced quotes and research contain 50 columns of data in a very similar format to the desktop platform. It’s cutting edge and works best for those with at least some investment experience.

Business_news Best for banking and stock trading: Ally Invest

Editor’s rating4.7 out of 5
FeesNone
Account minimumNone
Consider it if…You want an easy-to-use app paired with excellent checking and savings accounts

Why Ally made our list:

If you’re interested in a simple and straightforward investment platform that goes hand-in-hand with some of the best checking and savings accounts on the market today, Ally could be the right fit. Ally Invest has no minimum and no recurring fees and shares the same login for accounts with Ally Bank.

With Ally Mobile, you can view your investments and enter stock trades with just a few taps. The app includes basic research and charting, recent news, and the ability to quickly enter a trade. It doesn’t have as many bells and whistles as some stock trading apps, but it covers the basics and makes it easy to trade for a very low cost.

Business_news Other brokerages we considered

  • E-Trade:E-Trade offers a great stock trading platform for a wide range of investors. It is currently undergoing an acquisition by Morgan Stanley.
  • Tastyworks:Tastyworks is best for traders who are more interested in active options trading.
  • Firstrade:Firstrade offers commission-free trades for most assets, but its trading apps are not quite as strong as some others.
  • Public:Public is best for traders looking to learn how to trade from others. It includes “public” trading where you can view what others are doing to learn more and improve your trading skills.

Business_news Frequently asked questions

How did we choose the best stock trading apps?

The best stock trading apps come from brokerages that offer low-fee accounts and feature-filled mobile trading platforms. We also considered pricing, available investments, account types, and investment research resources in the apps.

What are brokerage accounts?

A brokerage account is a financial account that gives you access to buy, sell, and hold stocks and other supported investment assets. Like a bank account, you can deposit and withdraw cash. But unlike a bank account, you can use your cash balance to buy stocks, ETFs, mutual funds, options, futures, forex, bonds, and other assets.

How do brokerage accounts work?

Brokerage accounts are connected to the US financial system. You can generally add funds using your brokerage’s mobile app by check. You can also add or withdraw using electronic funds transfers, wire transfers, and other supported methods from your brokerage.

In the US, brokerage accounts are regulated by the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) and the Financial Industry Regulation Authority (FINRA). While investment assets can lose value, accounts are insured by the US government through the Securities Investor Protection Corporation (SIPC).

Who should use a brokerage account?

You can’t buy and own stocks and other assets without a brokerage account, so anyone who wants to invest should get one. If you’re heavily in debt, you may want to pay off high-interest debts before funnelling too much of your budget into the stock market.

Remember that while most people buy stocks with the intention of making money, stocks and other investments can go down in value. Make sure you learn about what you’re investing in so you understand the risks and potential return.

How much should a brokerage account cost?

In the 2020s, brokerage accounts should be free for the most part. You should be able to open and maintain an account with no minimum balance requirement, no recurring fees, and no activity requirements, with a few exceptions for active traders and managed portfolios.

In 2019, most brokerages got rid of commissions for trading stocks and ETFs, as well as base fees for options. This makes investing accessible to just about anyone.

How do I choose an online brokerage?

Every investor has different goals and preferences. You should pick a brokerage that offers platforms and tools that are comfortable to you and products that align with your investment style. Fees can take a huge portion out of your investment gains, so always look at commissions, fees, and pricing for any activity you may need so you don’t get surprised with an unexpected charge.

Eric Rosenberg has over a decade of experience writing about personal finance topics, including investing. He has an undergraduate degree and MBA in finance and spent time during his MBA program managing a portion of the University of Denver endowment fund. He is an expert in investments, banking, payments, credit cards, insurance, and business finance.

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