There are now hundreds of regulated stock apps active in the mobile investment space. To save you countless hours of mundane research, below we discuss the best stock trading apps of 2020. Whether you’re looking for the best Android stock apps, the top iPhone stock apps or the cheapest penny stock apps, we’ve got you covered.
Top 5 Free Stock Trading Apps 2020
Here’s a snapshot overview of the top 5 stock trading apps of 2020.
- eToro – Overall best stock app. Access 1,700+ stocks with 0% commission and no dealing fees.
- Robinhood – US-based free stock trading app that offers stocks, ETFs, and options.
- IG – Invest in more than 10,000 stocks from dozens of international markets
- Stash – Best US stock app for those with little to no experience.
- Trading212 – Leading UK stock trading app that also offers CFD trading services.
How Much Can You Save with Free Stock Apps?
(Calculation: Trades x $3 per Trade + $92/Year = $ )
We discuss each of these top stock apps in more detail further down on this page.
1. eToro – Overall Best Stock App with 0% Commission (Non-USA)
Overall Rating: ★★★★★
If you’re looking for the best all-round stock trading app in the market, look no further than eToro. The brokerage firm is super-popular with newbie traders, not least because its mobile application is simple to use. All you need to do is download the app, provide some personal details, and then instantly make a deposit. Then, you will have access to over 1,700+ stocks from 17 international markets.
This includes leading markets in the US and UK, as well as Canada, Saudi Arabia, France, Germany, and more. The stand-out offering at eToro is that irrespective of which stock market you wish to access, the broker does not charge any trading fees. In fact, you won’t be hit with any monthly or annual maintenance fees, either. This arguably makes eToro the most cost-effective stock app in the space. The application itself is available on both Android and iOS devices – and can be downloaded for free.
In terms of key tools found on the app, the eToro Copy Trading feature stands out for us. This allows you to find an expert stock investor that you like the look of by browsing through their historical trading results. Then, you can copy their portfolio like-for-like at the click of a button. You can also elect to copy their ongoing buy and sell orders. This is ideal if you are looking to invest in the stock markets with your phone, but you don’t quite have the knowledge to pick stocks on a DIY basis.
Additionally, eToro also offers leverage facilities and the ability to short-sell stocks. You will also have access to other asset classes like ETFs, cryptocurrencies, indices, and commodities. When it comes to depositing funds through your phone, eToro offers a plethora of options. For example, you can instantly fund your account with a debit/credit or e-wallet. Regarding the latter, this includes Paypal, Skrill, and Neteller.
You can also initiate a bank transfer, although the funds will take a few working days to arrive. Either way, eToro requires a minimum deposit of $200. If you are depositing in a currency other than USD, your deposit will incur a small conversation fee of 0.5%. We should also note that eToro takes its regulatory responsibilities very seriously. It holds three tier-one licensees – which includes the FCA (UK), CySEC (Cyprus), and ASIC (Australia). This ensures that your funds are ringfenced, meaning that eToro must keep client money separate from its own.
If you want to learn more about eToro, you can check out our eToro app review for a more detailed look at what this broker has to offer.
- Regulated by the FCA, CySEC, and ASIC
- Trusted brand with over 12 million client accounts worldwide
- Buy stocks without paying any commission or share dealing charges
- Social and copy trading
- Buy stocks or trade CFDs with leverage (UK)
- 1,700+ stocks listed on multiple international markets
- Personalised eToro account where you can set up trading price alerts
- Not suitable for advanced traders that like to perform technical analysis
75% of retail investors lose money trading CFDs at this site.
2. Robinhood – Best 0% Fee Stock App for US Residents
Overall Rating: ★★★★
Make no mistake about it – if you’re based in the US and looking to invest in stocks via a dedicate stock app – Robinhood is now the out-and-out market leader. As of mid-2020 – the application is home to over 10 million Americans. This is especially impressive when you consider that Robinhood was launched as recently as 2013. So that begs the question – why is Robinhood the most popular stock trading app for US investors?
Well, first and foremost, Robinhood allows you to buy stocks without paying a dime in commission. Much like eToro, the Robinhood stock app does not charge any monthly or annual account fees, either. Instead, the only fee that you need to consider is that of the spread. In terms of what markets you can access, Robinhood offers over 5,000 equities. The vast bulk of this is made up of US companies listed on the NASDAQ and NYSE. You will, however, also have access to 250 foreign stocks
Outside of its share dealing services, Robinhood also gives you access to US-listed ETFs and options contracts. Regarding the latter, this is a great way to speculate on the future value of stocks without needing to purchase the asset in full. If you have a slightly higher appetite for risk, the Robinhood stock app also allows you to trade cryptocurrencies. On top of an extensive asset library and 0% commissions, the application is attractive to those with little to no experience of trading.
This is because Robinhood is super-easy to use, and it takes just minutes to get an account set up. Moreover, Robinhood is one of the few stock trading apps in the market that does not ask for a minimum deposit. Instead, you can start investing straight away no matter how small your budget is. Although Robinhood does not accept debit/credit cards or e-wallets, you can easily fund your account via a US bank transfer.
In fact, depending on your financial institution, you can deposit up to $1,000 instantly. Anything above this can take up to 5 working days, albeit, it is typically much sooner. In terms of reviews, the Robinhood stock app has a 4.3/5 rating on Google Play – which is across 156k individual reviews. Things are even better on the Apple Store, with a 4.8/5 rating across almost 2 million reviews. Finally, Robinhood is heavily regulated in the US – so safety should not be an issue.
Want to find out more about this stock app? Check out our Robinhood app review.
- Heavily regulated in the US
- More than 10 million traders using the app
- Buy and sell stocks without paying any commission
- No minimum deposit in place
- No monthly or annual maintenance fees
- More than 5,000 US stocks supported
- Also invest and trade ETFs, options, and cryptocurrencies
- Perfect for newbie traders
- Only 250+ foreign stocks listed
- Unable to deposit with a debit/credit card or e-wallet
3. IG – Reputed Stock App for UK Residents
Overall Rating: ★★★★
IG is a great option to consider if you’re looking for a UK-centric stock trading app. First and foremost, the broker traces its roots back to 1974 – so it’s built a formidable reputation that now spans over four decades. The broker is also heavily regulated – with a fully-fledged license with the FCA. Its parent company is listed on the London Stock Exchange with a market capitalization of almost £3 billion. As a result, IG is as strong as it gets in the trust department.
In terms of its stock trading app, this is available on both iOS and Android devices. By opening an account and meeting a £250 minimum deposit, you will then have access to a substantially large library of stocks. In fact, this includes over 10,000 equities across heaps of stock exchanges. This covers thousands of FTSE and AIM stocs, as well as companies listed in the US, Japan, Canada, South Africa, Australia, New Zealand, and more.
The stock application allows you to buy and sell any supported share of your choice at the click of a button. When it comes to pricing, you will initially pay £8 per trade – which is charged when you buy stock and again when you sell then. But, if you placed three or more trades in the prior 30 days, your commission will be dropped to just £3. Fees for non-UK markets will differ, and are entirely dependent on which marketplace you wish to access. For example, US stocks cost $0.02 per share, with a $15 minimum.
What we also like about the IG stock trading app is that you will have access to an abundance of other asset classes. For example, you can invest in ETFs – and also trade CFDs. This includes indices, bonds, cryptocurrencies, hard metals, oil, and more. As such, leverage and short-selling facilities are offered to all clients. If you want to deposit funds through the app, you can only do this if you are using Android. iOS users will need to make a deposit via the main IG website, which is a slight shortfall.
Either way, the platform supports debit cards, credit cards, and a traditional bank transfer. If using a credit card, a fee of 0.5% and 1% will be charged when opting for MasterCard and Visa, respectively. Finally, we should note that both the iOS and Android stock application allow you to buy and sell stock with ease. It’s simple to navigate through the app and find the company you wish to invest in. The process of placing a buy and sell order is also straightforward and requires no prior experience.
Want to learn more about the IG trading app? Check out our expert IG review.
- Trusted broker with a long-standing reputation
- More than 10,000 stocks listed
- Good value share dealing services – fees as low as £3 per trade
- Leverage and short-selling also available
- Spread betting and CFD products
- Access to dozens of international markets
- Great research department
- Minimum deposit of £250
- US stocks have a $15 minimum commission
4. Stash – User-Friendly Stock App for US Residents
Overall Rating: ★★★
Looking to invest in stocks via a dedicated stock app, but have little to no knowledge of how the financial markets work? If this sounds like you are you’re based in the US, then you might want to consider Stash. First and foremost, the mobile-only broker allows you to get started by simply installing the app and entering a few personal details. Then, you will benefit from a no-minimum deposit policy.
This means that you can invest just a few dollars – which is perfect if you want to figure out how the stock app works before making a larger commitment. Crucially, the Stash mobile app is popular with newbies because it supports fractional stock. This means that you are not required to purchase a full stock. Instead, you can invest as little as you like.
This might be particularly useful when investing in companies like Amazon, Apple, or Facebook – which each have a current stock price of over $3,340, $500, and $280 – respectively. The Stash stock app also offers a useful investment feature that is based on ‘values’. That is to say, if you don’t want to invest in specific industries or sectors based on personal values, Stash allows you to take full control over where your money goes. On top of stocks, Stash also supports ETFs. This is great for diversifying.
When it comes to fees, the mobile application does come with a monthly maintenance charge. The specific amount will depend on your account type. This starts at $1 per month on the standard account, and $9 when opting for a custodian account. The stock app also supports Roth IRAs, which is ideal if you want to save for your retirement. What we also like about Stash is that you can elect to have your dividends reinvested automatically.
In terms of funding your Stash account with your phone, the only supported method is a US bank transfer. On the flip side, Stash also offers its own bank account and debit card. If you decide to take Stash up on this, you can then instantly transfer funds into your brokerage account. Finally, you should have no concerns regarding safety when using the Stash trading app. It is regulated by all relevant authorities in the US, and offers several in-app security features.
To find out more about the Stash investing app, read our detailed Stash review.
- No minimum deposit
- Offers fractional stock
- More than 1,200+ stocks and ETFs
- Best-suited for newbie traders
- Heavily regulated
- Avialable on both iOS and Android
- Lots of educational resources
- Monthly fee of between $1 and $9 depending account type
- Does not support instant deposits with a debit/credit card or e-wallet
5. Trading 212 – Leading UK Stock Trading app
Overall Rating: ★★★
Trading 212 is a UK-centric brokerage firm that allows you to trade online or through its native mobile app. Although you might not have heard of the platform, Trading 212 has taken the UK investment space by storm in recent years. It now boasts over 500,000 account users, and it has excellent reviews in the public domain. For example, it is rated 4.5/5 on Google Play – which is based on almost 61,000 unique reviews.
Over in the Apple Store, it carries a rating of 4.7/5 across 74,000 reviews. The stock app’s rise to fame can be attributed to several factors. First and foremost, you will be able to invest in stocks and ETFs without paying a single penny in commission. Not only this, but Trading 212 offers fractional stocks. As we covered earlier, this means that you are not required to purchase a full stock. Instead, you can invest from just £1. This is highly conducive for investing with small amounts.
In terms of what markets the stock app gives you access to, this covers over 4,000 equities across both UK and international markets. This includes exchanges in the US, the Netherlands, Spain, Switzerland, and more. Best of all, the 0% commission also applies to non-UK stocks and you will even avoid paying a foreign exchange fee. We also like the ‘auto-invest’ feature that comes with the Trading 212 mobile app. This allows you to set financial goals, and view how your investments are performing in relation to these objectives.
Everything is laid out in a clear and concise manner, so viewing the valuer of your investments can be facilitated at the click of a button. We should also note that Trading 212 offers CFD trading services. This means that you can trade stocks, forex, indices, and more – all on a commission-free basis. Spreads are tight, and leverage facilitates are offered to all traders. An additional stand-out selling point is that Trading 212 offers Stocks and Shares ISAs.
This means that you can shield some of your stock market gains from HMRC. The stock app also comes jam-packed with educational material. This is with the view of teaching you how to become a better stock market investor. When it comes to safety, Trading 212 is regulated by the FCA. Moreover, your funds are protected by the FSCS scheme – which covers you up to the first £85,000.
You can learn more about this stock app by reading our in-depth Trading 212 review.
- 0% commission on all stocks and ETFs
- Invest from just £1 via fractional ownership
- Your money is protected by the FSCS and FCA
- CFD trading is also supported – as is leverage and short-selling
- Excellent reviews on Google Play and Apple Stores
- More than 500,000 trusted clients
- Stocks and Shares ISAs offered for tax-efficient savings
- Still relatively unheard of in the UK trading space
- Limited fundamental analysis tools
What Key Features to Look for in a Good Stock Trading App?
As the name suggests, a stock trading app is a mobile application that allows you to buy and sell stocks via your mobile phone. Most people don’t know this – but free stock apps are backed by fully-fledged brokerage firms.
In this sense, stock market apps and online brokerage sites are virtually like-for-like. That is to say, you will be required to open an account, deposit some funds with a debit/credit card, e-wallet, or bank account – and then decide which stocks you wish to buy.
The only key difference here is that stock investing apps allow you to do this through your mobile phone – as opposed to being sat at your desktop device. Below we list some of the key benefits of having a stock trading app installed on your phone:
- Last Minute Trades: Imagine discovering a stock trading opportunity, only to miss out because you were away from your desktop device? This doesn’t need to be the case with a trading app, not least because you can buy stocks at the click of a button irrespective of where you are.
- Exit a Losing Position: Similarly, you might be away from your desktop device, only to find out that your investment in Facebook is tanking. If you were to wait until you get home to exit the position, your losses could be significant. However, by quickly logging into your chosen stock app, you can sell the stocks immediately.
- Instantly Deposit/Withdraw Funds: The best stock market apps make it super easy to fund your trading account. Once you have set up a payment method (like a debit/credit card or e-wallet), you can instantly deposit funds. Withdrawing funds is just as seamless when using a stock app.
- Access the Global Markets: Don’t make the mistake of thinking that you are missing out on potential investment opportunities by using a stock app. On the contrary, your chosen brokerage firm will offer you the very same assets as found on its desktop website. This means that you have access to the global stock markets 24/7.
- Regulation and Safety: Most of the best stock apps are backed by regulated brokerage firms. For example, this might be the SEC in the US or the FCA in the UK. Either way, by sticking with a regulated stock app, your funds are safe at all times. You also have the safeguards offered by the app itself – such as biometric login and two-factor authentication.
All in all, stock market apps are a must if you are planning to invest in the financial markets.
How do We Rate Stock Apps on our Website?
Although we have discussed the five best stock apps active in the space, it is important that you perform some research of your own. This is will ensure that the stock app is right for your personal investing goals – as no-two providers are the same. Similarly, there might come a time where you come across a stock app that we haven’t reviewed – and you want to explore whether or not it is suitable.
Either way, we would suggest making the following considerations before downloading a new stock trading app.
It goes without saying that the first and most important metric that you need to verify is with respect to the broker’s regulatory standing. The specific licensing body, however, will depend on where you are located. For example, UK and European traders will typically sit within the remit of the FCA or CySEC.
Asian-Pacific traders are usually covered by ASIC or MAS, and in the US it’s the SEC and FINRA. Crucially, if your chosen stock app is not regulated by a tier-one licensing body that covers your region, you should avoid it at all costs.
Before the days of dedicated free stock apps, buying stocks through a mobile phone was limited to browser-based platforms. This often resulted in a below-par user experience. The good news is that the best stock investment apps are built specifically for your mobile operating system.
In the vast majority of cases, this will only include Android and iOS devices – so Windows and Blackberry users are likely to be disappointed. Nevertheless, you still need to explore how user-friendly the mobile app is, as some are more suited to beginners than others.
Crucially, you should be able to navigate through the stock library and make an investment without being hindered by a smaller screen size.
The stock trading phenomenon has subsequently opened the doors to markets far and beyond just domestic assets. On the contrary, the best stock market apps of 2020 now allow you to access international stocks. This isn’t always the case though, so you need to check what markets the app supports before opening an account.
For example, the likes of eToro, IG, and Trading 212 give you access to thousands of stocks across lots of different stock exchanges. On the other hand, Stash is focused exclusively on US-listed companies. Furthermore, you also need to explore whether your chosen stock app supports traditional share ownership or CFDs.
If it’s the former, this means that you retain 100% ownership of the stock until you sell it. CFDs are more suitable for short-term trading and leverage, as you will not own the asset. Instead, you are simply speculating on which way you think the markets will go.
The days of paying stock trading fees are slowly but surely coming to an end. This is why new-age platforms like eToro, Robinhood, Stash, and Trading 212 are becoming more and more popular with the next generation of stock investors. Ordinarilly, brokers charge either a flat or variable fee when you buy stocks.
If they do, this will always be charged at both ends of the trade – meaning that you pay a fee when you buy stocks and again when you sell them. But, the best stock market apps, like those we’ve reviewed, charge no trading fees at all. In fact, eToro, Robinhood, and Trading 212 do not charge any monthly or annual fees, either.
Spread and Overnight Financing
Although there are several commission-free stock apps to choose from, you do need to look out for the spread. This is simply the difference between the buy and sell price of a stock. The gap in pricing is known as the spread – and it’s an indirect fee that you pay to access the market.
Additionally, if you decide to trade stocks in the form of CFDs, then you need to keep an eye out for overnight financing. This is a fee charged for each day that you keep the stock trading position open. It operates like interest, as CFD instruments are leveraged financial products.
Trading Tools & Features
The best stock investment apps active in the space will offer a range of tools and features to stand out from the crowd. One feature, in particular, that is worth a mention is the eToro Copy Trading tool. As we briefly noted earlier, this allows you to copy the stock trades of an experienced investor.
Not only is this ideal if you have no experience of choosing stocks, but also if you don’t have time to actively trade. Best of all, you can invest in an eToro Copy Trading feature from just $200. Additional stand-out features include the Stocks and Shares ISA available at Trading 212. This will, of course, only be available for those of you based in the UK.
Research & Analysis
Investing in stocks without performing research is just as high-risk as spinning a roulette wheel in a casino. After all, the ups and downs of a stock price are largely based on fundamental data. For example, if Apple releases its quarterly earnings report and sales are 10% higher than market expectations, then you can be all-but-certain that the stock will increase in value.
This is why you need to choose a stock app that gives you access to fundamental research tools. At the forefront of this is real-time news developments and the ability to set pricing alerts. When it comes to analyzing charts, you’ll want to choose the best stock app that gives you access to drawing tools and technical indicators. This is especially the case if you plan to trade stock CFDs.
If you are a complete novice in the world of stocks and shares, then it is important that you begin to brush up on your investment knowledge. In this respect, we prefer stock investing apps that offer educational materials within the application. For example, eToro offers a wealth of guides, videos, and even webinars that can take your trading skills to the next level.
As we covered just a moment ago, you need to check whether or not your chosen stock app is compatible with your phone’s operating system. Most brokers will offer Android stock apps (also referred to as Google stock apps) and iPhone stock apps, so most of you will be covered. If you have an alternative operating system, then you might be forced to use the broker’s browser-based platform.
You will, of course, be buying and selling stocks with real-world money. As such, you need to think about how you intend on depositing and withdrawing funds.
In terms of simplicity, we prefer stock market apps that support debit/credit cards and e-wallets. This is because payments are typically instant. For even more convenience, some of the best stock apps support Google Pay or Apple Pay, making mobile payments particularly easy.
Unfortunately, some free stock apps still only support bank transfers. Although this might suffice for some of you, it won’t if you are looking to deposit and invest instantly. This is because bank transfers can take a few days to arrive.
Don’t forget about customer service, as there might come a time where you need assistance on your stock trading account. The best stock apps of 2020 will offer in-house live chat via the application. This avoids the need to send an email or make a telephone call.
We also prefer free stock apps that offer customer service on a 24/7 basis. This ensures that you always have access to support no matter where you are located.
How do I redownload stock apps on iOS 10?
You simply need to visit the Apple store, search for the app, and then elect to re-install it.
Do stock apps allow you to make real money?
Yes - stock market apps function in exactly the same way as an online brokerage site. That is to say, you will be required to open an account, deposit some funds, and then choose which companies you wish to invest in.
What are penny stock apps?
Penny stock apps allow you to buy and sell penny stock through your mobile phone.
Are there any stock apps for Windows?
It can take a significant amount of time, effort, and money to build a stock app. Baring in mind that vast majority of people have either an Android or iOS device, brokers rarely build stock trading apps for Windows. This means that you need to trade via your mobile web browser.
The is the cheapest stock app?
The best stock trading app for low fees is eToro. This broker charges no commissions when you buy shares and no monthly/annual fees.