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cheapest investing app

1. M1 Finance

Best For: Building A Free Portfolio For The Long Term

M1 has become our favorite investing app and platform over the last year. With commission free investing, the ability to invest in fractional shares, automatic deposits, and more, M1 Finance is top notch.

If you’re looking for a way to create and maintain a free, diversified portfolio of stocks and ETFs, look no further than M1 Finance. They provide a pretty revolutionary tool/investing app that allows you to setup a portfolio and invest into it (correctly allocated) for free.

What do I mean? Well, imagine a portfolio of ETFs – maybe you have 5 ETFs at 20% each. Well, instead of having to do 5 transactions (and commission for each) when you buy, you can now simply invest and M1 Finance takes care of the rest – for free!

If you don’t know exactly how to set it up, you’re more than welcome to use one of their already setup portfolios as well. 

Plus, M1 Finance has a great investing bonus offer right now! You can get up to $500 if you deposit new money by December 31, 2023.

M1 Finance
Minimum Investment$100
Monthly Fees$0
Account TypeTaxable, IRA
PromotionsUp To $500

2. Fidelity

Best For: Full Service Investing At $0 Trade Prices

Fidelity is one of our favorite apps that allows you to invest for free. This surprises most people, because most people don’t associate Fidelity with “free”. However, Fidelity offers a range of commission-free ETFs that would allow the majority of investors to build a balanced portfolio. Plus, they now offer $0 commission stock, option, and ETF trades!

The also offer fractional share investing, meaning that you can invest dollar-based, not just share-based. This is a big win for people starting with low dollar amounts.

Fidelity IRAs also have no minimum to open, and no account maintenance fees. That means you could deposit just $5, and invest it for free. That makes this a much better deal compared to companies like Stash Invest.

Furthermore, Fidelity just announced that it now has two 0.00% expense ratio funds – yes free. So, you can not only invest commission free, but these funds don’t charge any management fees. Truly free investing.

But to make it a top app, it has to have a great app, and Fidelity does. Their app is the cleanest and easiest to use out of all of the investing apps we’ve tested. They have a ton of features, but it all works well together.

Fidelity Investing App Screenshot
Minimum Investment$0
Commission$0 for stocks, ETFs, options
Monthly Fees$0
Account TypeTaxable, IRA, HSA, 401k, Trust
PromotionsVaries by account type

3. Robinhood

Best For: 100% Free Stock Trades & Limited Crypto

Robinhood is an app lets you buy and sell stocks for free. Users can buy or sell stocks at market price. The app allows you to make limit orders and stop loss orders too. Unless you’re an active trader, this is plenty of functionality. Plus, the app comes with a clean user interface and basic research tools.

Most serious investors should pair Robinhood with one or more free research tools. This will help them develop a more systematic approach to investing. That said, you can’t beat Robinhood’s free trades, but its shortcomings here make it third.

They also allow options, fractional shares, and cryptocurrency investing, but these are limited as well.

The drawbacks are really limited, but one of the biggest is that the platform has become unreliable in recent months with large outages impacting investors.

If you’re curious how Robinhood makes money, it’s through Robinhood Gold. Robinhood Gold is a margin account that allows you to buy and sell after hours. Buying on margin means you double your expected returns. It also means you double your expected losses. The result (based on the magic of compounding) means that trading on margin tends to eat into your principal.

Minimum Investment$0
Commission$0 for stocks, ETFs, options, crypto
Monthly Fees$0
Account TypeTaxable
PromotionsFree share of stock

4. Webull

Webull has been gaining a lot of traction in the last several years as a competitor to Robinhood. It’s an investment platform that is app-first, and it focuses on trading. In fact, this year it made our Honorable Mentions list of Best Stock Brokers.

Webull offers powerful in-app investment research tools, with great technical charting. This is a step above what you can find on most other investment apps.

You can find stock, options, and limited crypto trading on the Webull platform. They also offer competitive margin rates. The drawback here is they currently don’t support mutual funds, bonds, OTC Bulletin Board or Pink Sheets stocks. Stocks that are under $1 and/or have a market cap of $10 million or less are restricted as well.  

Bonus: WeBull is offering a great bonus of 2 free shares of stock!

Minimum Investment$0
Commission$0 for stocks, ETFs, options, crypto
Monthly Fees$0
Account TypeTaxable, IRA
PromotionsTwo free shares of stock

5. Public

Public is another free investing platform that has put a huge focus on the social aspect of investing and education. As a result of using influencers and education, Public has been significantly growing their awareness.

Public has a solid investing app – you can invest in any asset: from stocks, ETFs, crypto, fine art, collectibles, and more – all in one place, including fractional shares. They also offer desktop support, which is incredibly useful for things like looking at brokerage statements or tax forms.

They also advertise themselves as being one of the few investment brokerage firms that doesn’t do Payment for Order Flow.

Minimum Investment$0
Commission$0 for stocks, ETFs, options
Monthly Fees$0
Account TypeTaxable


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