Verified Investment Tool Options in 2022

When looking for the best investment tool, navigating all the options available can be overwhelming for novices and seasoned investors alike. Our experts reviewed a selection of the best investment tools to grow your capital and to realize your investment goals. We also provided a buyer’s guide and individual reviews of each service.

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1. Acorns

Ultimately, Acorns is one of the best robo advisors that build and manage your investment portfolio, so you don’t have to put in any extra effort. Acorns partners with more than 10,000 companies worldwide that give cashback and rewards including Walmart, Airbnb, and Nike. Full Review

  • $10 Sign-up Bonus
  • No account minimum entry
  • Invests automatically
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Ultimately, Acorns is one of the best robo advisors that build and manage your investment portfolio, so you don’t have to put in any extra effort. Acorns partners with more than 10,000 companies worldwide that give cashback and rewards including Walmart, Airbnb, and Nike. Full Review

Fees

3.5/5

Portfolio mix

4/5

Minimum deposit

5/5

Promotions

4/5

2. Robinhood

With its streamlined interface, Robinhood is perfect for beginner cryptocurrency investors who would like to start cryptocurrency trading, but also for creating margin accounts. The low account and trading fees allow users to buy stocks without spending hundreds on management fees. Full Review

  • No commission on ETFs
  • 1 Free stock ($2.50 - $225) after linking your bank account
  • Fractional shares options
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With its streamlined interface, Robinhood is perfect for beginner cryptocurrency investors who would like to start cryptocurrency trading, but also for creating margin accounts. The low account and trading fees allow users to buy stocks without spending hundreds on management fees. Full Review

Fees

5/5

Portfolio mix

3/5

Minimum deposit

5/5

Promotions

4/5

3. Stash

Stash makes investing accessible to everyone, specifically beginning investors. From as little as $5 per month, users can improve their financial future by using Stash’s fractional shares tool. It’s easy to stay on track with an investment plan specifically based on what you can afford. Full Review

  • Stock-Back debit card offers rewards in stock
  • Registered investment advisor with the US securities and SEC
  • FDIC-insured
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Stash makes investing accessible to everyone, specifically beginning investors. From as little as $5 per month, users can improve their financial future by using Stash’s fractional shares tool. It’s easy to stay on track with an investment plan specifically based on what you can afford. Full Review

Fees

4/5

Portfolio mix

4/5

Minimum deposit

5/5

Promotions

5/5

4. SoFi Investing

SoFi has no commission rates, no account management fee, and very low trading fees. Although the tool is only available in the US, it’s a great all-in-one investment solution for a hands-off experience. Full Review

  • Very low fees
  • Numerous account options and solutions
  • Gives reports on portfolio performance
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SoFi has no commission rates, no account management fee, and very low trading fees. Although the tool is only available in the US, it’s a great all-in-one investment solution for a hands-off experience. Full Review

Fees

5/5

Portfolio mix

4/5

Minimum deposit

5/5

Promotions

4/5

5. Firstrade

Firstrade is a great option for international investors and brokers. With more than 3,400 commission-free mutual funds, the investment tool can be navigated via desktop and mobile apps. Users get access to hundreds of updated investment news and information. Full Review

  • Long track record overseen by top-tier regulators
  • High-quality education and analytic tools
  • Free stock, funds, ETF, and options trading
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Firstrade is a great option for international investors and brokers. With more than 3,400 commission-free mutual funds, the investment tool can be navigated via desktop and mobile apps. Users get access to hundreds of updated investment news and information. Full Review

Fees

4/5

Portfolio mix

5/5

Minimum deposit

5/5

Promotions

4/5

6. IQ Option

IQ Option can be accessed by anyone via a mobile device, tablet, or PC. This easy accessibility makes IQ Option a great tool for on-the-go trading and investing. Offering 24/7 customer service, a free unlimited demo account, and a great VIP plan, it’s one of our best choices for smart trading in forex, cryptocurrency, and stocks. Full Review

  • VIP account available to traders who deposit more than $1,900
  • Free unlimited demo account
  • Doesn’t charge an inactivity or withdrawal fee
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IQ Option can be accessed by anyone via a mobile device, tablet, or PC. This easy accessibility makes IQ Option a great tool for on-the-go trading and investing. Offering 24/7 customer service, a free unlimited demo account, and a great VIP plan, it’s one of our best choices for smart trading in forex, cryptocurrency, and stocks. Full Review

Fees

3/5

Portfolio mix

4/5

Minimum deposit

4/5

Promotions

4/5

7. M1 Finance

When you sign up, you get one year of free access to M1 Finance’s perks and tools. Even though other fees are quite steep, M1 Finance is worth the investment. It gives you numerous customization options, insight, and access to high-quality stocks and trading advice. Full Review

  • Predetermined templates with customization
  • 1-year free account membership
  • Passive and active investing features
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When you sign up, you get one year of free access to M1 Finance’s perks and tools. Even though other fees are quite steep, M1 Finance is worth the investment. It gives you numerous customization options, insight, and access to high-quality stocks and trading advice. Full Review

Fees

3/5

Portfolio mix

4/5

Minimum deposit

3.5/5

Promotions

5/5

8. Sharesight

Anyone who wishes to grow their investments and holdings will benefit greatly from using the Sharesight tool. At affordable monthly prices, and even a free plan option, Sharesight supports over 40 stock exchanges, mutual funds, managed funds, and ETFs. Using the tool will help you plan ahead to grow your investments. Full Review

  • Accurate portfolio insight
  • Value for money
  • High-quality customer support
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Anyone who wishes to grow their investments and holdings will benefit greatly from using the Sharesight tool. At affordable monthly prices, and even a free plan option, Sharesight supports over 40 stock exchanges, mutual funds, managed funds, and ETFs. Using the tool will help you plan ahead to grow your investments. Full Review

Fees

4/5

Portfolio mix

5/5

Minimum deposit

5/5

Promotions

5/5

9. Invstr

Invstr is essentially a trading app with a wide range of educational materials and virtual and real-life investment opportunities. Novices and pros can invest in commission-free ETFs, ADRs, and stocks while honing their trading skills. Full Review

  • Commission-free trade
  • Minimum $5 opening deposit
  • Automated Profile Builder and Invstr Stats on Pro user plan
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Invstr is essentially a trading app with a wide range of educational materials and virtual and real-life investment opportunities. Novices and pros can invest in commission-free ETFs, ADRs, and stocks while honing their trading skills. Full Review

Fees

4/5

Portfolio mix

3/5

Minimum deposit

4/5

Promotions

3.5/5

10. Morningstar

Morningstar is a renowned market and investment research tool. It offers insights into the best investment opportunities at any given time. For a minimum deposit of $1,000 over 92 days, traders have access to all the tools needed to boost their portfolio performance. Full Review

  • Extensive investment data
  • At-a-glance portfolio manager
  • Well-respected and reputable
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Morningstar is a renowned market and investment research tool. It offers insights into the best investment opportunities at any given time. For a minimum deposit of $1,000 over 92 days, traders have access to all the tools needed to boost their portfolio performance. Full Review

Fees

3.5/5

Portfolio mix

4/5

Minimum deposit

3.5/5

Promotions

3.5/5

Our Methodology

We compared the top contenders by taking a closer look at their relevant features, how easy it is to use and understand each tool, as well as the portfolio options they offer. We also consulted reliable customer reviews to determine the way fees and expense ratios stack up.

Features

A good investment opportunity should generate stable earnings, be legally above board, and offer safety of principal, which indicates protection against loss in a volatile market.

Ease of Use

Investing your hard-earned money must be fairly simple and stress-free. We assessed top candidates and rated their Robo-advisor assistance, user support, and investor education opportunities to make taking the plunge easier.

Portfolio Options

There are many viable options to include in a diversified portfolio. We compared stock trading, mutual funds, and a variety of retirement account options, to decide which investments are best for adding to your portfolio.

Trading Cost

Brokers and financial counseling companies charge a commission for the services rendered. We analyzed obvious and hidden costs inherent to each of these investment platforms.

Account Fees

Most speculation accounts impose transaction fees for the use of their financial products. These include broker fees, trading fees, and expense ratios.

Promotions

To attract investment, brokerages may offer cash sign-up bonuses or other forms of rewards to potential contributors.

Investment Expense Ratios

Companies calculate an annual fee as a percentage of their investment to cover fund expenses. Our review compared the ratios to select the investment with the lowest fees applicable.

Customer Reviews

Satisfied customers are a service’s best recommendation. So, we consulted customer reviews to determine which product users prefer.

Investment Tools Compared

Acorns
Acorns
Acorns

Best for hands-off investors

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  • $10 Sign-up Bonus
  • No account minimum entry
  • Invests automatically
  • Selected retailers give cashback
  • Socially responsible portfolios
  • Investment portfolios are small
  • High fees for a small account
  • No exposure to international bonds

Overview

From only $3 a month, users can take advantage of Acorns – an easy way to save and invest. The tool doesn’t have any hidden fees and works with Real-Time Round-ups® to help you save the spare change for your retirement or for your children. It’s perfect for people who want assistance with saving because they struggle to save on their own.

Features

Acorns offer numerous helpful tools to help grow your wealth. 

Educational Resources

Acorns come with educational tools and resources to teach users about finances. This includes ‘Money Basics’ that is perfect for understanding finances and access to the Grow Magazine, which features a series of articles on wealth in partnership with CNBC.

Type of Investments

The tool has four different investment types that are mostly automatic, making it completely hands-off. They include:

  • Regular investment account
  • IRA – Individual Retirement Account
  • Investment for kids
  • Sustainable ESG portfolios
Security

To protect your finances, Acorns uses bank-level security, 256-bit encryption, and two-factor authentication. 

Ease of Use

The tool is perfect for individuals who struggle with saving since they have a ‘Real-Time Round-Ups’ feature. Acorns give its users a metal debit card that invests on your behalf every time you have spare change when spending. Without doing anything, you will start saving and investing. The Acorns app is easy to navigate and is available on iOS and Android.

Pricing

There are two pricing options:

Plan Monthly Management Fee Includes
Personal  $3 Investment Account

IRA

Checking Account

Family  $5 Investment Account

IRA

Checking Account

Investment for Kids

There are no account minimum charges, but other associated fees include:

  • Transferring your Acorns account – $50 per ETF to transfer investments
  • Investment expense ratios – 0.03%-0.18%

Competition Overview

Where Acorns dominates: automated investments and partnership with more than 10,000 companies for cashback

Where Acorns falls short: no tax strategy and small portfolios

Robinhood
Robinhood
Robinhood

Best for cryptocurrency

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  • Free ATM withdrawals with cash management account
  • Cash management account pays 0.30%
  • Cryptocurrency trading available
  • No commission on ETFs
  • Fractional shares options
  • 1 free stock ($2.50 - $225) after linking your bank account
  • Numerous negative reviews
  • Doesn’t have retirement accounts
  • No mutual bonds or funds

Overview

Robinhood is a commission-free stock investing tool with free stock options and cryptocurrency trading. Considering that the tool hasn’t got any account management fees and comes with a great mobile app, it’s the perfect tool for cryptocurrency trading and investing.

Features

The investment tool offers excellent features that include:

Educational Resources

Users get free access to investing basics through Robinhood’s all-encompassing library. Information and insight are given on topics like taxable investment accounts and whether you should invest in Bitcoin.

Type of Investments

Different types of cash management, stocks, and funds trading, and gold or Crypto trading are available.

Trade-in Real-Time

You’ll always know your share price since trades are placed during market hours and trading costs are executed at that time.

Ease of Use

The sign-up process is extremely easy. Within a few minutes, you can set up your investment portfolio. All you need to provide is your personal information such as your name, contact details, SSN (Social Security Number), and means of funding. The tool will then use its intuitive Robo advisors to set up your profile accordingly.

Brokers might not like the streamlined interface since it doesn’t offer advanced menu options, but investors will appreciate the simplistically minimalist layout.

Pricing

The following prices apply:

  • Brokerage Account – $0
  • Gold Robinhood Account – $0 (With $5 outgoing transfer fee)
  • Stock Trading Costs – $0
  • Option Trades – $0
  • Outgoing Transfer Fees – $75 ACAT

Competition Overview

Where Robinhood dominates: extremely low fees and no commission stock, ETF trades, cryptocurrency trading, and other options

Where Robinhood falls short: security and trustworthiness, a high percentage of complaints from current and previous users

Stash
Stash
Stash

Best for beginners

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  • Registered investment advisor with the US securities and SEC
  • More than 3,000 ETFs and stocks available
  • Offers fractional shares
  • Stock-Back debit card offers rewards in stock
  • FDIC-insured
  • High expense ratios
  • No tax-loss harvesting for smart portfolios

Overview

Stash offers no-limit investments for beginning investors. Users can choose how much to invest in pieces of ETFs and stocks. This fractional shares investment approach makes investing easy and accessible for any budget.

Features

The investment tool offers numerous features that include:

Educational Resources

Money-related articles are freely available on Stash’s website. Users can also subscribe to The Walleta financial guidance tool that provides information on market news and money management techniques. The platform also provides financial guidance to families who want to grow their wealth.

Type of Investments

Stash offers the following:

  • Retirement accounts (Traditional or Roth IRA)
  • Custodial investment accounts
  • Personal brokerage accounts
Stock-Back® Card

Users can earn rewards whenever they shop at selected stores. Rewards are given in the form of stocks to the same value.

Insurance

Insurance coverage is provided by paid partners to protect members’ lives, pets, and homes from the unexpected.

Smart Portfolio Creation

The platform creates a customized balanced portfolio for its users based on trusted financial research.

Ease of Use

Stash is designed to be beginner-friendly. The mobile app has a clean interface with numerous automated features. Automations include the round-up to the nearest dollar that will send extra cash to your investing accounts.

Pricing

There are three payment plans available:

Plan Monthly Fee Includes
Stash+ $9 Advice

2 Kids Portfolios

Insurance

Banking Access

Stash Growth $3 Smart Portfolio

Retirement Portfolio

Stash Beginner $1 Advice

Personal Portfolio

Banking Access

Insurance

There is an account minimum of $5 for smart portfolios. Investment expense ratios are 0.16% for non-thematic funds and 0.25% for all funds overall. Outgoing transfer fees are $75.

Competition Overview

Where Stash dominates: excellent learning center and educational content with support

Where Stash falls short: online banking account doesn’t pay interest and high ETF expense

SoFi Investing
SoFi Investing
SoFi Investing

Best for hands-off investors

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  • Gives reports on portfolio performance
  • Very low fees
  • Automatic investments
  • Numerous account options and solutions
  • Only available in the US

Overview

SoFi offers an all-in-one investing solution that makes trading stocks, ETFs, and cryptocurrencies a breeze. Users can take advantage of the automated investing opportunities to help them get the most out of their investments. The investment tool is a perfect hands-off investing solution for anyone who wants to make passive income through investing.

Features

The all-in-one investment solution offers numerous advanced and basic features like:

Educational Resources

SoFi offers countless resources and educational tools that teach users about smart investing, budgeting, and finance management. It also gives free advice on how to smartly invest in cryptocurrency and helps you calculate personal and student loans.

Type of Investments

There are two different investment options available:

  • Automated (Robo accounts)
  • Active (self-directed accounts) including retirement accounts (traditional IRA, Roth IRA, SEP IRA, and Rollover IRA) and non-retirement accounts (investment, joint accounts, community property, and tenants by entirety (TBE))
Active Investing

Users can trade stocks and ETFs with no trading commission. Participation in upcoming IPOs, before they appear on the public market, can also be done through the platform.

Automated Investments

By providing information on your specific goals and risk tolerance, SoFi can create a diversified portfolio. Automatically managed portfolios are a great plus that makes it a hands-free investment opportunity.

Cryptocurrency Trading

SoFi acts as a great Ethereum wallet option as well, giving users the opportunity to trade in Ethereum, Bitcoin, Cardano, and 17 other coins. With your first $10 trade, you’ll get $10 back in Bitcoin.

Ease of Use

It’s as easy as creating a membership account to be able to start using the tool. Users can download the mobile app. The SoFi app has a clean interface and is given 4.2/5 stars in the Google Play Store and 4.8/5 stars in the Apple App Store, confirming that it’s a reliable and user-friendly mobile app.

Pricing

SoFi doesn’t have any monthly plans available, but account fees are very low with no minimum investment fee. ETF and invest stock of a $2,000 trade charges no commission. Cryptocurrencies, on the other hand, have up to a 1.25% mark-up.

Competition Overview

Where SoFi dominates: low fees, free stocks, and ETFs

Where SoFi falls short: doesn’t allow international exchanges, only available in the US

Firstrade
Firstrade
Firstrade

Best for brokers, native Chinese speakers

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  • High-quality education and analytic tools
  • No commission
  • Long track record overseen by top-tier regulators
  • Up to $200 in promotional transfer fee rebates
  • Mandarin language options
  • Free stock, funds, ETF, and options trading
  • Broker fees differ

Overview

You can open a brokerage or retirement account with Firstrade investment solutions. The tool offers a full suite of products with a fully functioning mobile app and charges $0 per trade. It’s perfect for brokers and investors looking for a comprehensive investment solution.

Features

Firstrade offers many features that include:

Educational Resources

An education center filled with information on stocks, debt-to-equity ratio, mutual funding, ETFs, investment tips, and other services.

Account Protection

The tool offers an account protection guarantee of up to $150 million. 

Customer Service

Members get customer service through a variety of platforms including phone, email, live chat, Facebook, and Twitter. They have extended trading hours between 8 a.m. – 8 p.m. ET.

Type of Investments

Firstrade offers the following account types:

  • Regular or joint brokerage accounts
  • IRA retirement account
  • International accounts
  • ESA education planning
  • Custodial accounts
  • Firstrade cash management account
Research and Reports

Users get access to weekly insights by Morningstar’s analysts on stocks and investment products from around the world.

Ease of Use

It’s extremely easy to use and navigate the Firstrade mobile app. When you receive dividends from stock within your portfolio, Firstrade will purchase additional shares of the stock using the dividend amount.

Pricing

There is no initial fee attached to opening a Firstrade account. Other fees are as follows:

Broker Assisted ETFs, Stocks, Options – $19.99+$0.50 per contract

Commission on ETFs, Stocks, Options – $0

Mutual Funds – Free

Primary Market CDs – $30

Competition Overview

Where Firstrade dominates: high-quality education and research information from Benzinga, Zacks, Morningstar, and Briefing.com

Where Firstrade falls short: doesn’t offer Forex

IQ Option
IQ Option
IQ Option

Best for on-the-go trading, first-time explorers

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  • Free unlimited demo account
  • Doesn’t charge an inactivity or withdrawal fee
  • VIP account available to traders who deposit more than $1,900
  • Protection against negative balance during certain trades
  • No IRA plans

Overview

IQ Option is a simple platform that gives users access to investing, anytime and anywhere. Available on Chrome, iOS, Windows, and Android, IQ Option has over 81 million registered users with a $380 million monthly investment volume and $10 million withdrawn each month. Best for trading stocks, forex, options, and cryptocurrencies, this investment tool is a great choice.

Features

The tool has many advanced features that include:

Educational Resources

IQ Option gives you access to a smart newsfeed to help you make informed decisions. Even though the education resources aren’t as compact as on other platforms, the tool does use a variety of intuitive indicators that help you make wise choices.

Customization

The platform has a customizable interface that users can personalize to make it fit their needs better. You can customize anything from color theme to chart type.

24/7 Support

Unlike many other investment tools, IQ Option has 24/7 customer service that gives you access to a team of professionals. Customer service is available in numerous languages. It even gives you the option to chat to other community members through a chat room, where you can discuss capital gains and whole shares, for example.

Type of Investments

For trading, there are four account types:

  • Practice account
  • Real account
  • VIP account (non-EU citizens only)
  • Professional account (EU traders only)

Ease of Use

All you need to do is create your account by using your email address, explore the platform, then start trading. Especially for beginner traders, the site might look a bit daunting, but once you’ve located all the tools and features, it becomes easier. Since the interface is customizable, you can set it up according to your own needs.

Pricing

The following pricing applies:

  • A minimum deposit of $10 is required to open an IQ Option real account
  • The minimum trade amount is $1
  • 2.9% commission fees

Competition Overview

Where IQ Option dominates: advanced supported VIP account that includes numerous perks and advantages

Where IQ Option falls short: charges commission fees for long cryptocurrency positions

M1 Finance
M1 Finance
M1 Finance

Best for self-directed investors

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  • Passive and active investing features
  • Predetermined templates with customization
  • 1-year free account membership
  • Stocks must be selected from NYSE, BATS, and NASDAQ

Overview

Founded in 2015, M1 Finance offers brokerage accounts, digital checking accounts, lines of credit, and Robo advisors. New members get a one-year free trial worth $125 and access to numerous educational tools. The investment tool is perfect for long-term investors who want to make wiser financial choices.

Features

M1 Finance offers numerous smart tools that include:

Educational Resources

M1 Finance gives you access to hundreds of financial education articles. These information channels teach you everything you need to know on growing small account balances, IRA-related topics, investing, apps, and current trading news.

Fractional Shares

Regardless of their share prices, users can own fractional shares of stocks and ETFs.

Customization

Users can build a custom portfolio of the stocks and funds they want to choose from. There are more than 80 expert portfolios available that give you the option to shuffle around colors, charts, and other tools to best suit your needs.

Automation

Contributions can be automated with the investing schedule tool. This helps keep track of your portfolio with dynamic rebalancing and automatic trade placements.

Type of Investments

M1 Finance supports four types of accounts that include:

  • Brokerage account (individual or joint)
  • Trust accounts
  • Retirement accounts (traditional, SEP IRAs, Roth)
  • Custodial accounts

Ease of Use

The process of opening an M1 Finance account is quite lengthy; the sign-up and activation process can take more than 24 hours. Once your account is created, it’s easily manageable through the mobile app for iOS and Android with a user-friendly and customizable interface.

Pricing

The annual subscription fee is $125, but the first year is free.

Other fees are:

Inactivity fee – $20 for 90 days of no activity

TOD account transfer fee – $200

Outgoing transfers on direct accounts – $100

Termination fee – $100

Minimum deposit – $100

Competition Overview

Where M1 Finance dominates: flexible platform with numerous customization tools and automation

Where M1 Finance falls short: higher account fees than its competitors

Sharesight
Sharesight
Sharesight

Best for oroviding insight and data on portfolio holdings

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  • High-quality customer support
  • Accurate portfolio insight
  • Value for money
  • First 10 holdings are free
  • Offers Xero integration
  • Offers a contribution analysis
  • Tricky to manually import trades or large CSV sheets
  • Supports limited cryptocurrencies
  • Not a broker

Overview

Sharesight users can become better investors by benefiting from the tool’s tracker features. It allows you to track dividends, analyze performance, and save yourself time and money. The first 10 holdings are free, which is perfect for anyone looking to scale their investments and get a better insight into portfolio performance.

Features

The investment tool offers the following high-quality features:

Educational Resources

Members get access to webinars and events as well as a community forum where hot topics can be discussed. Other educational tools include articles on tax, managing, and trading investments, accounts, and brokers.

Type of Investments

The investment tracker tool can be used to track numerous investments including:

  • Stocks
  • ETFs
  • Bonds
  • Unlisted investments like P2P lending, property, private equity, and fixed interest
  • Options
  • Cash accounts
Reports

This service offers great insights into your investment portfolio giving you accurate feedback on different aspects like:

  • Multi-currency valuation
  • All trades analysis
  • Performance
  • Taxable income
  • All trades
  • Future income
Integration

Users can integrate their portfolio with Xero, exclusively available with the Investor and Expert Plan.

Ease of Use

It’s a bit tricky trying to figure out how to add investments and holdings onto your Sharesight account. Luckily, the platform provides instructional videos that help and guide you through the process. The first 10 holdings can be added for free. Once they are added it is easy to track performance and navigate the interface.

Pricing

Sharesight offers four pricing plans:

Plan Monthly Fee Includes
Free $0 1 portfolio

10 holdings

1 custom group

Basic features and customer support

Starter $15 1 portfolio

20 holdings

1 custom group

Basic features and customer support

Investor $24 3 portfolios

Unlimited holdings

2 custom groups

Standard features and customer support

Expert $31 5 portfolios

Unlimited holdings

5 custom groups

Priority features and customer support

Competition Overview

Where Sharesight dominates: high-quality, in-depth reporting and analysis on a variety of holdings and investments

Where Sharesight falls short: the tool is only used to provide insight on portfolio performance, not investing in stocks or trades

Invstr
Invstr
Invstr

Best for beginners and active traders

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  • Minimum $5 opening deposit
  • Commission-free trade
  • Automated Profile Builder and Invstr Stats on Pro user plan
  • Limited investment opportunities
  • No retirement accounts/trusts/education savings accounts
  • Pro features not available on Android

Overview

Invstr provides knowledge and financial know-how to anyone willing to learn. The platform is suitable for everyone, from financially savvy to budding investors. Active traders can access the app to find no-commission investment opportunities, including buying fractional shares.

Features

Invstr showcases unique Play and Learn educational tools in addition to other investment options

Educational Resources
  • Play Features
    • Fantasy finance: invest in a virtual portfolio (win real prizes)
    • Stockstars: virtual investment in the stock market via Snapchat (learn the jargon)
    • 100k Challenge: enter for a chance to win $100,000
    • Learn Features
      • Academy: 10 modules teach investing, business basics, economics, tips, and more 
      • Market blogs
      • Crunch: investment stories of the day
  • Podcasts
    • Results from investor polls on relevant topics
    • Stats: Daily analyses on the performance of the virtual stock
    • Teachers: Financial literacy education from investors’ clubs and teachers across India and America
Type of Investments
  • Stocks
  • ETFs
  • American Depository Receipts 
  • Cryptocurrency trading

Ease of Use

Many use Invstr’s app to trade in real or virtual stocks and cryptocurrency. Available for Android and iOs users, the app is intuitive and fun.

Pricing

Invstr users should consider the following:

  • Pro users: Free for 90 days, then $3.99/month
  • Additional fees:
    • Fantasy finance trades (10-50): $0.99-$3.99
    • 10 Undos: $7.99
    • Powerups: $7.99-$15.99
    • 1M Safety Net: $0.99
  • Brokerage services incur additional costs: NBBO transactions, transfers, regulatory fees, and account maintenance 
  • Crypto trading:
    • Transaction spread charge: 1.00%
    • Coinbase’s wholesale exchange fees: 0.5%
  • No commission is charged and there is no account minimum applicable on investments

Competition Overview

Where Invstr dominates: providing education for prospective investors

Where Invstr falls short: facilitating trade in a variety of investment options

 

Morningstar
Morningstar
Morningstar

Best for intermediate/hands-on investors

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  • Well-respected and reputable
  • Extensive investment data
  • At-a-glance portfolio manager
  • Screener tools non-responsive
  • High fees for the premium subscription
  • Ratings based on past stock performance

Overview

Morningstar is in the business of compiling and analyzing investment and market data. Intermediate and hands-on investors can benefit from their extensive software and print-based products.

Features

Morningstar offers analyst reports, investment recommendations, portfolio Instant X-ray, and more.

Specific features include:

Educational Resources

The Morningstar Investing Classroom gives access to self-study courses on stock trading, mutual funds, and portfolio building. Users can study securities coverage, learn to screen investments, or continue training via tutorials and live webinars.

Type of Investments

This platform supports equity, allocation, convertibles, alternative trade, commodities, fixed income, money market, property, and miscellaneous investment.

Star Rating

Morningstar rates mutual funds and, to a limited extent, ETFs based on performance. This is particularly useful when comparing options for your portfolio.

Ease of Use

The Morningstar UI is simple and can be customized to reflect personal preferences. iPhone and iPad apps improve remote access.

Pricing

Access to basic Morningstar benefits is free.

Premium Plan

  • $29.95 monthly
  • $199 annually
  • $349 for two years
  • $449 for three years

The Premium Plan gives access to 150+ analysts and more extensive research data to help make investment selection easier.

Customer Support

Users can get support by logging in to the help center or consulting the User Guide, list of Premium Benefits, and reading the FAQs.

Competition Overview

Where Morningstar dominates: reliable, well-researched investment tips

Where Morningstar falls short: ETFs, individual stocks, and bonds comparisons

What Are Brokerage Accounts and How Do They Work?

A brokerage account is used to buy and sell a variety of stocks, bonds, mutual funds, and exchange-traded funds (ETFs). Investments can be tailored to benefit from short-term or long-term growth by making use of different investment strategies and tools.

Users simply deposit funds into the account and trade to generate profits. The brokerage acts as the intermediary to facilitate safe transacting. Some brokers enable trade in cryptocurrency or foreign currencies. Various services can be accessed online as a self-service option, or full-service with personal financial advisors and in-house expertise. Commissions and appropriate management fees are applicable.

Buyer’s Guide to the Best Investment Tool

If you are still unsure about which investment tool to choose to boost your investments, consider the timeline you want to commit to and your tolerance to risk, in addition to the type of investment you have an interest in.

How to Choose the Best Tool for Investing

So, you’ve decided on your basic investment requirements. How do you choose the one best suited to your individual needs?

Know All Costs

Investment incurs a lot of different charges. This includes broker commission, licenses, and taxes, in addition to transaction fees. Match fees to your available budget.

Types of Retirement Accounts

Different types of retirement accounts offer diverse benefits and gains. Select a suitable IRA account option on the market, a Roth IRA, a simple 401(k) plan, or opt for a SEP, SARSEP, ESOP, or money purchase plan.

Educational Resources

In order to help users, platforms often include educational resources at no additional cost. Check what resources will be at your disposal when choosing your investments.

Advisors

An investment advisor gives recommendations on investment ventures. Speculators can get advice from personal bankers, financial planners, Robo-advisors, or registered investment advisors. Decide how much advice you need and choose accordingly.

Minimum Deposit

Investors are bound to invest or deposit a minimum initial amount. Check out the deposit limitations before settling on an investment selection.

Tax Minimization Option

Tax minimization entails the legal tweaking of your investments to limit the taxes you will need to pay. Make sure the platform you use to facilitate your business can assist you in the process.

How Much Money Should I Invest Initially?

It is advisable to invest no more than 10% to 15% of your annual income. Start with a small amount and increase as you earn. Some experts claim that one can start investing with as little as $10. This is possible if you find brokers who charge no fees and buy fractional shares of stocks.

Risks of Investing Apps

The investment comes with a set of various risks.

Invest in a robust anti-virus system to protect your investment accounts and never give personal information to unconfirmed sources. Similarly, don’t click on dodgy links or open websites without ‘https’ in the URL. Also, note the closed lock icon which indicates a secure site.

Malware

Malware is intrusive software introduced into computer systems by hackers. Malicious software can crack passwords, redirect to malicious sites, or simply lock important files in your investment portfolio. Notable malware includes viruses, worms, Trojans, spyware, adware, and ransomware.

Identity Theft

Identity theft happens when an entity uses another person’s personal details, credit card, name, etc. to commit fraud or receive benefits at your expense.

Phishing

Many people fall victim to phishing attacks. Criminals send fake messages, requests or advertisements to mine for sensitive information that can be used to introduce malware.

Examples of phishing include:

  • Emails requesting personal details or passwords
  • Link manipulation
  • Fake websites
  • Session hijacking
  • Notices of (fake) transferred funds
  • Compromised credit card notices
  • Account deactivation

Data Breaches

In recent years, data breaches have become quite common. Hackers infiltrate information systems of companies housing a large cache of personal data and release private, confidential information into cyberspace. This can seriously compromise the performance of various financial tasks and the growth of managed portfolios.

Top-Rated Investment Tools at a Glance

Here is an overview of our experts’ top investment tool choices:

Investment apps Account price range per month Fees Promotions Portfolio mix Best for
Acorns $3 – $5 $50 per ETF
0.03% – 0.18% investment expense ratio
$10 sign-up bonus IRA
PersonalUTMA for kids
Hands-off investors
Robinhood $0 $5 – $75 Outgoing transfer fees 1 Free stock after linking bank account Crypto trading

Stocks

Cryptocurrency
Stash $1- $9 $75 Outgoing transfer fees

0.16% – 0.25% investment expense ratio

Up to $510 in credit to invest IRA
PersonalCustodial
Beginners
SoFi investing $0 $0 $10 in Bitcoin when you spend $10 on crypto Automated

Active

Hands-off investors
Firstrade $0 Broker-assisted transactions – From $19.99 Up to $200 in transfer fee rebates IRA
PersonalCustodial
Brokers, native Chinese speakers
IQ Option $0 2.9% commission

From $1 per stock

Free unlimited demo account Cryptocurrency

Stocks

Forex

On-the-go trading, first-time explorers
M1 Finance $125 per year $100 minimum deposit Membership account First year for free Brokerage

Custodial

Personal

IRA

Self-directed investors
Sharesight $0 – $31 Only monthly fees apply First 10 holdings are free Provide insight on numerous types of accounts Providing insight and data on portfolio holdings
Invstr  $3.99 Fantasy finance trades (10-50): $0.99-$3.99

10 Undos: $7.99

Powerups: $7.99-$15.99

1M Safety Net: $0.99

Brokerage services incur additional costs

Crypto trading:

Transaction spread charge: 1.00%

Coinbase’s wholesale exchange fees: 0.5%

10% off investing/trading apps

Seasonal discounts with promo codes

Stocks

ETFs

ADRs

Beginners

Active traders

Morningstar $29.95 $0 $100 off on Premium Plan

Discount codes $30+ off on orders

$20 off annual membership

Multi-asset portfolios

SMAs

Asset allocation

Outcome-

based

Select equity

Select fixed-income

Intermediate/

Hands-on investors

Wrap Up

Investing in different stocks, holdings, and ETFs can contribute greatly to building up savings and retirement funds. To help you make wiser financial and investment decisions, you need to choose a good investment tool that is intuitive, has hands-off automation, and gives you portfolio insights while charging you very low or no commission and membership fees.

FAQ

What is the best investment app for beginners?

Stash and Invstr are great investment apps for beginners. Considering that IQ Option gives you a free unlimited demo account, beginners will benefit from exploring and demo trading with this tool too.

Which investment app is the best?

Any one of the ten tools on our experts’ list can be seen as the best investment tool app. Each has a set of pros and cons and can match the specific needs of traders, brokers, and investors.

Which investments have the best returns?

There are mixed reviews on which investments have the best returns. Popular investments include ETFs, stocks, cryptocurrency, and options. It’s important to have an automated and intuitive tool to help you make the right calls and ensure that your money grows while investing.