Invest EX Review Is Investex.site Safe Read Details!

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Contents

Invest EX Review: Is Investex.site Safe? Read Details!

Investex.site Review: this is the website of an investment firm that offers a trading platform for investors. Is Invest EX a scam? Making investments can come with many risks and since this one involves some sort of trading, losing capital is possible. Before choosing to trust this firm with funds, read this important review.

The most vital part of our reviews is the uncovering of if a company or Forex broker is properly licensed or not. To do this, we first establish the location or region where it claims to be based. Then we check with the commission or authority regulating trade there whether it is listed among regulated companies or not.

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Invest EX does not offer us a location but when we accessed its “Start Now” link, it mentions that the parent company, Global Investex, is based in the USA. Trading in the United States is controlled by the Commodity Futures Trading Commission and its subsidiary, the National Futures Association. Searching through the online register, we didn’t find any mention of Invest EX.

Since it turns out that this is an unlicensed firm, its mention of being registered is clearly false. These kinds of companies using deception to entice clients cannot be trusted with funds. Trading with a Forex broker that is unlicensed poses many dangers to traders’ funds. Misappropriated funds may not be recoverable by the government as well.

Advantages of Invest EX

We try as much as possible to point out the enticing offers made by many companies we review. Invest EX mentions that they have a safe and secure platform that is also user-friendly. The management team has many years of experience and profits are said to be stable.

It is common for Forex brokers to start out with claims of making clients richer. This is because everyone seeking out easier ways to trade effectively does so to make more profit.

However, traders need to be careful about believing everything they encounter in the business sphere. Some are geared to just deceive and steal their funds. Considering what is offered and proofs are effective means of discovering fraud as well as reading our reviews and comparing the offers to those of other legit brokers at the bottom of this article.

Invest EX Trading Platform

We could not find the type of trading platform that is offered to clients of Invest EX. We advise readers and traders to always look out for the MT4 or MT5 platforms. The MetaTrader platforms are commonly used because they allow the use of trading robots.

Legit brokers are known to offer at least the popular MetaTrader 4 or 5 trading platform.

These platforms are very good signs as they have become some of the most widely used by experienced traders. They are found to be compatible with various devices’ operating systems. All can be used on desktops, Linus, Windows, iOS, and Android.

Tools that come with these trading platforms are also found to be useful for traders. It has proven to be user-friendly as well and helps traders in analyzing the market easily.

The only trading instrument mentioned on the website is Bitcoin. It looks like the company only allows cryptocurrency trading which may not be satisfactory for other traders. We know that legit brokers offer currency pairs, indices, CFDs on many commodities and cryptocurrencies. It is important to let traders know the options open to them.

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There is no information on what the maximum leverage offered to clients is but while some may seem generous, they are not advisable. High leverages can lead to huge loss of funds as well. Spreads are not stated in the EURUSD pairs.

Spreads of 1.5 pips or below are what is obtainable in the forex industry and traders are asked to look out for this. Leverages of between 1:30, 1:50 and 1:25 are also common among regulated brokers.

Deposit and Withdrawal methods on Invest EX

The means that traders are to use to make deposits and withdrawals are not disclosed. This is a discouraging find.

This is because standard and legit brokers make deposits and withdrawals available via Visa, MasterCard, and Wire Transfer. Many offer e-wallets like Skrill, Neteller, UnionPay, FasaPay, and so on.

We also try to find out if the minimum deposit is within the obtainable average of $100 to $250 that is common among legit brokers. This information is not provided on the website. Withdrawal fees are not mentioned and this may be because they do not apply. However, we will appreciate it if this is stated.

This information is important so that clients can invest any little amount they can spare. In order to be able to first watch the working of the brokerage. If then they are satisfied with what they see, they can determine when to withdraw their money.

Is Invest EX Licensed?

No. Invest EX is not a licensed company and neither is its parent company, Global Investex. Though the website false claims to be registered in the US. The Commodity Futures Trading Commission and its subsidiary, the National Futures Association do not authorize it to trade.

Regulated Forex brokers in Europe, America, Africa, Australia, and Asia are under many strict rules. The regulatory bodies like the FCA, FSCA, CySEC, AISC, NFA and many others have regulations protecting Forex traders from unfair brokers. This is why they come top as recommended Forex brokers.

Support

If you want to get in touch with a member of the team of management or the customer care service, use the online message form on the website.

Conclusion

As an unlicensed company, Invest EX gets a low rating. We also do not like the fact that it falsely claims to be registered. Many of the important details we usually look out for are not disclosed, making it seem further shady. If you have anything to say about this company, do so in the comment section.

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The Best Online Stock Trading Sites

Best Platform for Cheap Trading

Best for Active Traders

Best Platform Design

Best Trading Platform for Beginners

Best Research & Tools

Best for Expert Traders

Best for Retirement Investors

Best for Low Commission Rates

How We Found the Best Online Stock Trading Sites

25 trading sites analyzed

3 financial experts consulted

The Best Online Stock Trading Sites

The best online stock trading sites should feature cutting-edge research tools and mobile apps to help first-time investors and expert traders handle their own “self-directed trading.” In a nutshell, they should be user-friendly, trustworthy, and packed with data visualizations. To find the best online stock trading sites of 2020, we analyzed 25 of the most popular platforms and tapped into the expertise of a former day trader, a stock analyst, and a financial commentator with more than two decades of trading experience. In short, there is no single best online stock broker, but each of our top picks has its own strengths for different types of investors. We’ll help you determine the best fit for your investment goals and experience.

Why trust us? Since 2020, Reviews.com has helped more than 1.4 million people find the best online stock trading site for their needs. After investigating 25 major brokers and consulting three third-party financial experts, we’ve continued updating this review every month over the last five years to ensure it stays fresh. The author of this review does not own stock in any of the brokerage firms mentioned here, or in any other financial service companies.

The 8 Best Online Stock Trading Sites of 2020

  • Ally Invest – Best for Cheap Trades
  • E*TRADE – Best for Active Traders
  • TD Ameritrade – Best Platform Design
  • Robinhood – Best for Beginners
  • Fidelity – Best Research and Tools
  • Charles Schwab – Best for Expert Traders
  • Vanguard – Best for Retirement Investors
  • Interactive Brokers – Best for Low Commission Rates

The Best Online Stock Trading Sites: Summed Up

Ally Invest E*TRADE TD Ameritrade Robinhood Fidelity Charles Schwab Vanguard Interactive Brokers
Our review Our review Our review Our review
Best for Cheap trades Active traders Platform design Beginners Research and tools Expert traders Retirement investors Low commission rates
Stocks and ETFs (per trade) $0 $0 $0 $0 $0 $0 $0, $7, or $20 $0.005
Bonds $1 $1 On a net yield basis N/A $1 Varies $0 to $50 $0.005
Mutual funds (per trade) $9.95 $19.99 $49.99 N/A $0 Varies $0 (mostly) $0
Account minimum None None None None None None Varies None
Inactivity fees None None None None None None None None
Outgoing transfer fee $50 $75 $75 $75 None $25 None Varies
Barron’s rating 3/5 4/5 4/5 N/A 4.5/5 3.5/5 N/A 4.5/5

Data current as of 1/22/2020

Ally Invest – Best for Cheap Trades

Rock-bottom rates
Easy entry point
Stellar ratings

No futures trading

Why we chose it

Rock-bottom rates

With no inactivity charge and a $50 full outgoing transfer fee, Ally Invest’s fee structure is about as low as you’ll find. Ally keeps its edge with a zero account minimum and enticing discounts for active investors — equity trades drop to $3.95 for users with 30-plus trades each quarter or a balance of $100,000. In October 2020, Ally also followed in the footsteps of mobile platforms like Robinhood and announced totally commission-free stocks and ETFs. Lastly, Ally Invest’s platform and resources stand out with quality research and tools, including access to its online trader network.

Easy entry point

In addition to attractive pricing, Ally offers a quality platform that gives you access to the entire universe of stocks and ETFs. Where some discount brokers focus on only one kind of trader (for example, options traders or high-net-worth investors), Ally Invest provides an excellent experience for investors of all kinds. A focus on discounted costs can sometimes be a red flag for quality, but Ally truly delivers with sophisticated calculators, profit-loss estimators, and more. Ally also offers a robust research library that incorporates visual slides and interactive media into its market data.

Stellar ratings

We’re not the only ones who think Ally Invest is a remarkable service. Barron’s has given Ally Invest’s past self, TradeKing, at least four out of five stars for the past 10 years, and Ally continues to rack up kudos for its offerings and low commissions from both Barron’s and other rating sites like StockBrokers.com.

Points to consider

No futures trading

If you want to trade “futures” (agreements to buy or sell assets in the future), Ally Invest isn’t an option. That’s not unusual for an online stock broker — neither Robinhood, Vanguard, nor Fidelity offer futures trading — but you can do it with some of our other top picks, including E*TRADE, Charles Schwab, Interactive Brokers, and TD Ameritrade.

E*TRADE – Best for Active Traders

Helpful platform for beginners
Commission-free trades

Powerful platform for pros

Divided user experience

Why we chose it

No commission fees

Following the lead of financial disruptors like Robinhood, E*TRADE has eliminated retail commissions for online U.S.-listed stock, ETF, and options trades, effective October 7, 2020. This is a huge boon to active traders and beginner investors within the U.S. Previously, its commission fees started at $6.95 (discounted to $4.95 if investors made more than 30 trades per quarter), which was on the higher end of the spectrum compared to Ally Invest, Charles Schwab, and Fidelity.

Education-heavy platform

New investors need two things from their online stock trading platform: an easy learning curve and lots of room to grow. E*TRADE has both. Its platform boasts a library of educational videos, articles, and webinars for each type of investor. Once you’ve mastered the fundamentals, read up on market news, reports, and commentary from E*TRADE analysts. You can also take advantage of one-on-one assistance: Branch appointments are free to book, and online chat tools and 24-hour hotline are there to guide you from anywhere in the world.

No minimum account balance

As of December 2020, E*TRADE does not require an investment minimum for brokerage accounts. Previously, its required account balance was $500 – which was lower than traditional brokerages but still more than a novice would like to throw in.

TD Ameritrade – Best Platform Design

Helpful platform for beginners
Commission-free trades

Powerful platform for pros

Divided user experience

Why we chose it

Helpful platform for beginners

TD Ameritrade offers two platforms and mobile trading apps for various types of investors. Both platforms are free to use for any investor with a TD Ameritrade account. However, the web platform, though often in the shadow of thinkorswim, is streamlined and easy to use. It will appeal to beginning investors or anyone who prefers a simplified educational interface. Its tab-based navigation lets users flip between trading tools and account overview, plus charts, stock screeners, heat maps, and more.

Commission-free trades

TD Ameritrade has been historically one of the more expensive trading platforms, but over the years, they have gradually lowered their costs to compete with other online brokers. On October 2, 2020, TD Ameritrade eliminated commissions from all stock, options, and ETF trades – a move that was followed by other online stock trading sites like E*TRADE. Previously, TD Ameritrade charged a $6.95 commission on stock, options, and ETF trades.

Powerful platform for pros

Thinkorswim, on the other hand, is a powerhouse designed for the advanced. This desktop application regularly racks up awards for its superior tools and features, things any other broker would charge a premium for — research reports, real-time data, charts, technical studies. Also included: customizable workspaces, extensive third-party research, a thriving trader chat room, and a fully functional mobile app.

Thinkorswim is a particular standout in options trading, with options-trading tabs (just click “spread” if you want a spread and “single order” if you want one leg), plus links that explain the strategies on the order page. Its Strategy Roller feature lets investors create custom covered calls and then roll those positions from expiration to expiration.

Points to consider

Divided user experience

TD Ameritrade has been a mainstay in the market for its various trading tool options. Thinkorswim has brought both casual and serious traders to TD’s business and, with it, you have access to stocks, bonds, options, ETFs, and even forex. However, you may want to look elsewhere if you are trying to find an all-in-one solution for all (or at least most) of your trading needs, TD Ameritrade may not deliver in that regard.F

Robinhood – Best for Beginners

User-friendly trading platform
No commission fees

No bonds, mutual funds, futures, or short-selling

Why we chose it

User-friendly trading platform

The Silicon Valley startup Robinhood has been the most disruptive force in online stock trading since it was founded in 2020 by two Stanford alums. Their mission, reportedly inspired by the Occupy Wall Street protests and alluded to in the company’s name, is to make investing more affordable and more accessible to millennials.

We found Robinhood’s trading interface — both via its mobile app and its website — the most user-friendly of all candidates, making it a perfect option for the first-time trader. The design is minimalist, interactive, and easy to navigate. “Robinhood is a good fit for new investors because it offers a slick, modern app that allows you to trade efficiently,” says James Royal, a stock analyst and investing and wealth management reporter at Bankrate. “And of course, it’s free, allowing you to invest money that would have otherwise gone into a broker’s pocket.”

No commission fees

Unlike most online stock trading platforms, Robinhood doesn’t charge a commission fee every time you buy or sell stocks, ETFs, or options. If you’re a high-volume trader, or a beginner without much cash to spare, that makes Robinhood an attractive alternative to the $5 to $7 fees per trade offered by competitors. However, Robinhood does rake in “payment for order flow” by rounding regulatory fees up to the nearest penny and pocketing the difference. “That means if you buy a stock for $100.00, Robinhood earns 2.6 cents from the market maker,” says co-founder and co-CEO Vlad Tenev, whereas “other brokerages earn rebates and charge you a per-trade commission fee.”

Points to consider

No bonds, mutual funds, futures, or short-selling

One drawback of Robinhood’s simplicity is that as of 2020, you can only trade stocks, ETFs, and options on the platform — not bonds, mutual funds, or futures, and you can’t short-sell. But Robinhood is our “Best for Beginners” pick, and most first-time investors will probably want to stick to the basics. If you’re interested in bonds and mutual funds, Ally Invest has the best rates of our top picks. If you want to try futures trading, E*TRADE and Charles Schwab are your best bets.

Fidelity – Best Research and Tools

Sleek and high-functioning platform
Best-in-class research

Not all tools are accessible to all users

Why we chose it

Sleek and high-functioning platform

Fidelity’s platform wins for user-friendly design, with tools to help take the guesswork out of finding funds and nosing out strategies. Fidelity’s platform lets you explore your options with a slick and intuitive design, complete with color-coded rankings and charts that call out what’s important. You can sort stocks by size, performance, and even criteria like sales growth or profit growth. Want to sort ETFs by the sectors they focus on or their expenses? Done. There’s even a box to check if you want to explore only Fidelity’s commission-free offerings. A few other discount brokers do offer screeners, but none match Fidelity’s depth and usability.

Best-in-class research

When it comes to research, Fidelity is in a league of its own. The intellectually curious can dive into research from more than 20 providers, including Recognia, Ned Davis, and McLean Capital Management. Fidelity’s Learning Center featured videos are organized by topic, but they don’t stop after explaining the concept; they also cover how to apply principles to your own Fidelity investments.

Points to consider

Not all tools are accessible to all users

Unfortunately, some of Fidelity’s advanced tools are only available to high-volume traders: Charting with Recognia requires a significant 120 trades per year to use, and its Active Trader Pro requires 36 trades per year.

Other Online Stock Trading Sites to Consider

Charles Schwab – Best for Expert Traders

Like Fidelity and Vanguard, Charles Schwab is one of the older brick-and-mortar investment brokers that successfully modernized its trading platform for the Internet Age. Of all our picks, Charles Schwab is the best option for advanced traders who want a full buffet of options (stocks, ETFs, options, bonds, mutual funds, futures) and an impressive suite of research tools. Best of all, even with all the perks Charles Schwab offers, it dropped commission on U.S. stocks, ETFs, and options.

Vanguard – Best for Retirement Investors

Target retirement fund
Low account fees

No workaround for initial deposit
High trading fees

Since Vanguard is the largest mutual fund provider in the world, it doesn’t charge a fee for most mutual fund trades. However, other kinds of trading are more expensive, with $7 per option and up to $20 per stock/ETF. For that reason, we don’t recommend Vanguard for beginning or low-volume traders. However, Vanguard is an excellent choice for retirement investors interested in long-term, high-volume earnings, or those looking for a place to take their IRA. In fact, Vanguard is one of our picks for the best IRA accounts.

Interactive Brokers – Best for Low Commission Rates

Rewards active trading
Exceptional platform
Protegés get perks

Trading tech learning curve
Futures trading violations

In terms of volume, Interactive Brokers is technically the largest online stock trading platform in the U.S. It also advertises itself as the “lowest cost broker,” and for good reason: It dropped commissions on stocks and ETFs, and only charges $0.70 per contract fee for options.

If you’re an active, high-volume trader who dabbles in all kinds of assets, Interactive Brokers is a great option, since you can trade just about anything without losing $5 to $7 on every transaction. The platform interface isn’t nearly as user-friendly as Robinhood’s, nor as intuitive as TD Ameritrade’s; however, if you’re the kind of investor who’d benefit the most from Interactive Brokers (i.e., an experienced one), you’ll know your way around a candlestick chart already.

How We Found the Best Online Stock Trading Sites

The 2020s have been a boom era for online stock brokers. According to Statista, between 10% and 15% of all U.S. adults used an online broker at least once in 2020. While some major brokerages have remained the same (Charles Schwab), others have gone through mergers and acquisitions (E*TRADE acquired OptionsHouse; TD Ameritrade and Scottrade merged; TradeKing is now Ally Invest), and a new generation of millennial-focused brokers (like Robinhood and Acorns) has kept the old guard on its toes by lowering commission rates and minimum deposits. After digging into 25 trading platforms, here are the factors that set our top picks apart from the crowd.

  • Ally Invest
  • Charles Schwab
  • E*TRADE
  • Fidelity
  • Interactive Brokers
  • Lightspeed
  • Merrill Edge
  • OptionsHouse
  • OptionsXpress
  • Robinhood
  • Scottrade
  • TD Ameritrade
  • TradeStation
  • AutoShares
  • Chase
  • eOption
  • Just2Trade
  • SoFi
  • SogoTrade
  • T. Rowe Price
  • tastyworks
  • TradingBlock
  • USAA
  • Vanguard
  • WellsTrade

Low overhead

Different investors are going to prioritize different things. A day trader, for example, requires speed and flexibility. A first-time trader may value educational resources and reliable customer support. But one thing every trader should care about is cost. Not paying attention to investment expenses is like revving your car engine while filling it with gas. That’s why we spent a lot of time balancing price with what each site offered.

Affordable pricing structures

Commissions are typically an investor’s largest expense. In 2020, an unassisted transaction fee averaged about $8. But now, since Robinhood came onto the scene with commission-free trades, many of the most competitive brokers including TD Ameritrade and E*TRADE have dropped commission on U.S. stocks, ETFs, and options.. Previously, many of these picks charged up to $7 per trade.

Low fees, as few as possible

We looked for brokers that go light on extra account fees, don’t charge extra to access data, research, and tools, and provide advice for a reasonable rate. Lots of brokers boast amenities like 24/7 financial experts, but most of those services come at a price.

Depending on your strategy, increased fees might just be the cost of doing business, but we aimed to mitigate these costs in our top picks. Seeing your nest egg shrink due to a tough market or bad strategy isn’t fun. It’s worse if you’re also getting dinged by unexpected fees, such as a minimum account balance fee.

Powerful platforms

We tested each brokerage’s platform and weighed in on its standout features, ease of navigation, intuitive controls, and learning resources. Whether you’re looking to make a series of complex trades or to carefully execute your first, intuitive organization and just-in-time pointers are key to a satisfying platform experience.

Strong ratings from investment publications

Like any financial institution, an investment brokerage worth its weight has a strong reputation. We took ratings from noted publications like Barron’s and Kiplinger into account when separating the best from the rest. Our five favorites consistently rank top in both sites’ yearly report, which marks brokerages on technology, usability, and cost.

Guide to Online Stock Trading Sites

Minimize costs

Warren Buffett is the best example to hit this point home. In 2008, he bet some hedge fund managers $1 million that they wouldn’t be able to make more money in a decade than a cheap, boring index fund. An index fund uses simple investing algorithms to track an index and doesn’t require active human management. Conversely, hedge funds stack management fees on top of trading fees to pay for the time and knowledge actual strategists are putting into your investments.

So what happened to the bet? Buffett won and donated the winnings to charity. He managed to beat his high-priced peers not because he scored bigger gains, but because he minimized costs.

Be aware of broker fees, but your strategy can also cost you

The capital gains tax rate favors long-term investments. An investor who buys and sells their stocks within a few months will face a higher capital gains tax rate (25%) on their profits than an investor who buys and holds their stocks for a full year (15%). The larger your investment, the bigger the difference. Granted, there’s a risk to holding an investment for longer, but if you’re close to that one-year cutoff, it might be worth it to sit tight for a few more weeks.

Avoid funds with a high expense ratio

Mutual funds and ETFs come with their own set of fees, too. As with broker fees, pay attention to the expense ratio — usually a percentage of any mutual funds or ETFs you purchase in your account — even if you’re buying them commission-free.

These extra fees are another big cost to investors, but they aren’t deducted from your account balance. Instead, these fees show up in the price on the ticker tape. That’s why the value per share of many high-priced mutual funds and ETFs doesn’t seem to change over time — any growth is offset by fees.

In addition, watch out for mutual funds that charge a front- or back-end load for each purchase or sale. These usually range from 0.5% to 1% and can add up quickly.

Play with your own fake money

Give yourself a few thousand in fake money and play investor for a bit while you get the hang of it. “Just start. Even with just a virtual portfolio. Start and then commit to building over time,” says Jane Barratt, CEO of investment education and advisory company GoldBean. “Don’t expect anything major to happen in a short time — build your money muscles by taking risks in a virtual portfolio.” To experiment with trading before getting your feet wet with real money, try TD Ameritrade’s paperMoney, a virtual trading platform.

Buy what you know

Our experts suggest you begin by looking at your own life. “Buy what you know, where you are. If you can, identify good companies locally,” says Randy Cameron, a portfolio manager and investment advisor with 35 years of experience. “Look for companies you and your friends are talking about, ones with plans to go national.” As for how much time and money you need, “start with what you have,” he says. There is literally no minimum to get started, and starting with just one share is better than putting things off.

Don’t check your account too often

The best investors are in it for the long haul. Checking your account too often might make you react to the fluctuations in the market too quickly. Personal finance expert Ramit Sethi has written that you should check your investments “probably every few months, with a major review every year.” On many sites, you can also set an alert if a stock dives. Other than that, just set up a quarterly recurring appointment to check in.

Stock Trading Glossary

Ally Invest E*TRADE TD Ameritrade Robinhood Fidelity
Best for Cheap trades Active traders Platform design Beginners Research and tools
Stocks ✔* ✔* ✔* ✔* ✔*
Bonds
ETFs ✔* ✔* ✔* ✔* ✔*
Options ✔* ✔* ✔* ✔* ✔*
Mutual funds ✔*
Futures
International
Forex

*Offers commission-free or transaction-free trading

  • Stocks: A portion of a company ownership. The more valuable the company, the more valuable its stock. Level: beginner
  • Bonds: A loan you make to a company or government in exchange for interest and the return of principle at some future date. If your city wants a new stadium, for example, it might issue a bond to pay for it. These investments are rated for safety by third-party companies, with AAA being the least risky. Level: beginner
  • ETFs: Short for exchange-traded fund. These are investment funds that trade like a stock on a stock exchange, but their performance tracks an underlying basket of stocks. They provide diversification within one investment product, so they present lower risk than individual stocks. Level: beginner
  • Options: A contract between a buyer and a seller to buy or sell something at a specified price at a specified time, often as a way to bet on the future price of an investment. Level: advanced
  • Futures: Short for futures contract. This is an agreement to buy or sell assets, such as commodities or shares, at a fixed price to be delivered and paid for at a later date. If you think you can predict next year’s gold price, this is for you. Level: advanced
  • Forex: Short for foreign exchange. This market is for trading currencies and speculating on what today’s yen, euro, etc. will cost tomorrow. Level: advanced

Online Stock Trading FAQ

While it can feel a little nerve-wracking to transfer your money over the internet, you can rest easy knowing that it’s just as secure as when it’s in the bank. Each of our top trading sites puts up a digital vault around your money with 128-bit, two-way data encryption, multi-factor authentication, and up-to-date firewalls.

We found the best stock trading website for beginners to be Robinhood because of its simple, user-friendly design, and lack of commission fees. Robinhood presented an environment that our reviewers, many of them newcomers, found much less intimidating than the more established platforms like Fidelity or TD Ameritrade. Robinhood does, however, lack some options for trading when it comes to bonds, mutual funds, etc. Ultimately, though, we found these omissions better simplified the world of online stock trading for any newcomer and made it easier for us to ease into it.

Most experts recommend starting with around $1,000. Any less, and it’ll be tough to see how your strategies are performing. That said, the sooner you can invest, the better, as you give your money more time to grow. And with no minimum investment requirements on most brokerage accounts, there’s no reason not to get started right away.

Robo-advisors like Wealthsimple, Wealthfront, and Betterment use algorithms to determine your investment strategy. You just plug in your time frame and risk tolerance and their computers do the rest. And because they’re targeted for a younger crowd, fees are rock bottom. Wealthsimple and Betterment both have no account minimum, while Wealthfront requires $500. Wealthsimple charges an annual 0.5% advising fee; Wealthfront and Betterment charge just 0.25%.

Our Other Finance Reviews

Online stock trading is just one piece of a healthy portfolio. We’ve been reviewing financial products and services for years, interviewing the experts and testing the platforms that will help you grow your wealth. Check out some of our favorite reviews below:

The Best Investing Apps That Let You Invest For Free In 2020

Investing is risky. It comes with few guarantees. The only investing guarantee I can offer is this: everything held equal, the less you pay in fees, the better your returns. And investing apps are making it easier than ever to invest commission-free.

Fees don’t have to stop you from making wise and lucrative investments. Thankfully, we live in the 21st century, and there’s never been a better time to be a small investor.

And now, in today’s mobile world, investing is becoming easier and cheaper than ever. Plus, with the investing price war that’s been going on, it’s cheaper than ever to invest!

Here are the best investing apps that let you invest for free (yes, free). You might also check out our list on the best brokers to invest.

Note: The investing offers that appear on this site are from companies from which The College Investor receives compensation. This compensation may impact how and where products appear on this site (including, for example, the order in which they appear). The College Investor does not include all investing companies or all investing offers available in the marketplace.

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.

It doesn’t get much better than M1 Finance when it comes to investing for free. ​Try M1 Finance >>

M1 Finance

Minimum Investment

Commission

Monthly Fees

Account Type

Promotions

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.

Plus, you get the benefit of having a full service investing broker should you need more than just free. Check out Fidelity’s app and open an account here.

Fidelity

Minimum Investment

Commission

$0 for stocks, ETFs, options

Monthly Fees

Account Type

Taxable, IRA, HSA, 401k, Trust

Promotions

3. TD Ameritrade

Best For: Free Options Trading

If you’re a trader, you may have heard of TD Ameritrade – or maybe one of their platforms, like thinkorswim. With TD Ameritrade’s commission free pricing structure (for stocks, options, and ETFs), they are more compelling than ever to use as an investing app.

TD Ameritrade offers over commission free ETFs from industry giants iShares, Vanguard and more. Because of the diversity of no load ETF funds, TD Ameritrade is my top broker for people who want to consider tax loss harvesting on their own.

Remember, TD Ameritrade also offers $0 commission stock, ETF, and options trades.

Furthermore, TD Ameritrade also have no minimum and no maintenance fee IRAs. That makes it a better pick to options such as Acorns, which charge maintenance fees.

TD Ameritrade’s mobile app also offers research, information and portfolio analysis that makes the free investing that much sweeter. Just remember, TD Ameritrade charges for some ETFs, mutual funds, and equity trades. Filter for no load ETFs before you buy.

It’s app also isn’t as user friendly as Fidelity’s but we put them as a very, very close second. ​

TD Ameritrade

Minimum Investment

Commission

$0 for stocks, ETFs, options

Monthly Fees

Account Type

Taxable, IRA, HSA, 401k, Trust

Promotions

4. 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.

Robinhood

Minimum Investment

Commission

$0 for stocks, ETFs, options, crypto

Monthly Fees

Account Type

Promotions

5. Vanguard

Best For: Low Cost Index Fund Investing

Vanguard is consistently known as the low cost investment service provider. They were one of the original mutual fund and ETF companies to lower fees, and they continually advocate a low-fee index fund approach to investing.

At Vanguard, you don’t pay any commissions when you buy and sell Vanguard ETFs. You also pay no account service fees if you sign up to receive your account documents electronically, or if you’re a Voyager, Voyager Select, Flagship, or Flagship Select Services client.

Furthermore, Vanguard recently announced that they won’t charge a commission on a huge amount of competitor’s funds and ETFs as well!

Vanguard also doesn’t have an account minimum, and there is no minimum purchase requirement, except the cost of 1 share.​

What holds Vanguard back is that their app is a little more clunky that the other apps. It feels a little “old school”, and it seems to be built for the basics only.

However, it is free, so maybe only the basics are needed?​

Vanguard

Minimum Investment

Commission

$0 for stocks, ETFs, options, crypto

Monthly Fees

Account Type

Taxable, IRA, 401k, and More

Promotions

Runners Up

There are a lot of apps and tools that come close to being in the Top 5.​ When the competition is so good, it’s hard to make the cut.

Webull

Webull has been gaining a lot of traction in the last year as a competitor to Robinhood. It’s an investment platform that is app-first, and it focuses on trading.

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.

Chase You Invest

Chase You Invest has been around for a while, but earlier this year they made their platform truly commission-free. That’s what makes it a runner up on our list of free investing apps.

Chase You Invest is also one of the few apps here that offer a solid bonus for switching! You can get up to $625 for opening a new account!

Charles Schwab

Charles Schwab also offers commission free stock, options, and ETF trades, similar to Fidelity and TD Ameritrade. In fact, Charles Schwab advertises that they offer more commission-free ETFs that most other companies, and they even offer some commission free mutual funds.

However, what keeps Charles Schwab out of the top is that they have a $1,000 account minimum for some account types.

Public

Public is another free investing platform that emerged in the last year. It’s actually a rebrand of the Matador investing app. Public is one of the few investing apps that allows fractional share investing, and they also offer a compelling interest rate on cash deposits.

E*Trade

E*Trade also offers a large selection of commission free ETFs. We are actually big fans of E*Trade for our solo 401k account, but they don’t make the top 5 when it comes to investing apps and free investing.

They just recently announced $0 stock, ETF, and options trades, but we’ll see how they compete with others on this list.

While they do offer IRAs with no minimums, and charge no transaction fees, we didn’t find their app as user friendly as the rest. Similar to their website, it’s just a bit harder to use. However, we still really like E*Trade and they are definitely a runner up.

Axos Invest

Axos Invest offers absolutely free asset management.

If you opt into their automation program you’ll pay a 0.02% fee each month (prorates to a 0.24% fee). The fee maxes out at $20 per month. In a year or two, Axos Invest may leap to the top of the list, but the company doesn’t allow enough customization for users today.

Other Investing Apps

There are other investing apps that we’re including on this this, but they aren’t free. However, they are popular and may be useful to some investors.

Acorns

Acorns is an extremely popular investing app, but it’s not free. Acorns charges anywhere from $1 to $3 per month, but it does make automating your investments easy!

Acorns allows you to round up your spare change and invest it easily in a portfolio that makes sense for you. However, if you don’t have a lot of money invested, that monthly fee can eat up your returns.

Stash

Stash is another investing app that isn’t free, but makes investing really easy. They have turned the investing process into an easy to understand platform, and they don’t charge any commissions to invest. However, they do charge a monthly fee that ranges anywhere from $1 to $9 per month.

Stash used to be known for $5 investing, but they have since gone to $0 minimums, and they allow fractional share investing.

Investing App FAQ

Here are some common questions about investing apps.

What makes an investing app different than a brokerage?

Investing apps are mobile first investing platforms. They are brokerages (just like the names you may be used to), but they allow investors to trade and invest in an app.

Are investing apps safe?

Yes, they are just as safe as holding your money at any major brokerage. These apps all are insured by the SIPC and have a variety of investor protections.

Can I invest in anything on an app?

Depends on the app. Some apps significantly limit what you can invest in, while others offer the full ranges of investment options.

Are these apps really free?

Yes. The top apps we list don’t charge a monthly fee to use, and don’t charge a commission to invest in stocks, ETFs, and options. Of course, these apps may charge service fees for additional services, such as wire transfers, paper statements, and more.

Have you ever heard of any of these investing apps? Which one is your favorite?

Filed Under: Brokerages
Editorial Disclaimer: Opinions expressed here are author’s alone, not those of any bank, credit card issuer, airlines or hotel chain, or other advertiser and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any of these entities.

Comment Policy: We invite readers to respond with questions or comments. Comments may be held for moderation and are subject to approval. Comments are solely the opinions of their authors’. The responses in the comments below are not provided or commissioned by any advertiser. Responses have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any company. It is not anyone’s responsibility to ensure all posts and/or questions are answered.

About Robert Farrington

Robert Farrington is America’s Millennial Money Expert® and America’s Student Loan Debt Expert™, and the founder of The College Investor, a personal finance site dedicated to helping millennials escape student loan debt to start investing and building wealth for the future. You can learn more about him here.

He regularly writes about investing, student loan debt, and general personal finance topics geared towards anyone wanting to earn more, get out of debt, and start building wealth for the future.

He has been quoted in major publications including the New York Times, Washington Post, Fox, ABC, NBC, and more. He is also a regular contributor to Forbes.

Comments

Great article I think you forgot betterment. Also there is a new trading platform tastyworks. Great platform

Robert Farrington says

There’s a constant debate between Betterment and Wealthfront. We prefer Wealthfront, but Betterment is good too.

Remember, Tastyworks isn’t truly free. They advertise $0 closing trades, but they do charge a commission to open a position (which is currently $5 for stocks). That’s on par with what most other discount brokers charge currently.

I am a bit confused when you guys say free trade on these apps. I have Td Ameritrade for a long time but when I buy or sell stocks they charge me like $9. So is it only the ETFs that are free trades. Thanks

Robert Farrington says

Yes, it is the ETFs in the list we shared in the article – over 100 different ETFs in just about every sector. If you’re looking for free stock trades, look at Robinhood, which does offer 100% free stock trades (it’s just not as robust a platform).

Am I understanding this correctly? Fidelity is not free since they will charge $4.95 on U.S. equities trades. At face value this seems more expensive than Stash, which charges $1 flat fee. However, if only investing in Fidelity IRA or Fidelity ETFs it is free. Whereas Stash will charge $1 / month and you must stay within Stash ETFs?

Robert Farrington says

Fidelity does charge $4.95 for equity trades (i.e. stocks or non-commission free ETFs), but has 100s of commission-free ETFs and mutual funds. You can invest in these in any accounts at Fidelity, but their IRA has no minimum balance requirements, which is awesome – meaning you can start it with just $5 if you really wanted to.

Now, let’s talk about Stash and why it’s more expensive than Fidelity. Stash only allows you to invest in ETFs and some individual shares (like Berkshire Hathaway) – and these are almost identical to the ETFs that are on Fidelity’s commission free ETF list. They’re not unique to Stash – they’re publicly traded ETFs. But unlike Fidelity, you’re not only paying the ETF expense ration, but you’re also going to pay $1/mo on top of that. For low account balances, that can add up to a lot.

Let’s look at an example to break it down. If you’re interested in Technology Stocks, you might consider investing in Stash’s Internet Titan’s ETF. This ETF is actually ticker symbol FDN, which is First Trust Dow Jones Internet Index Fund. This ETF has an expense ratio of 0.54% – which is pretty high for a domestic ETF.

If you want to invest in a similar ETF at Fidelity, you’d probably go with FTEC, which is Fidelity MSCI Information Technology Index ETF. It invests in the same companies, and it has an expense ratio of 0.08%. It’s also commission-free to invest in. The Stash ETF is 6.75x more expensive to own than the fund at Fidelity. Plus, you have that $1/mo fee on top of it!

So, if you have a $1,000 investment in this fund, it would cost you:
At Stash: $12 (the $1/mo fee) + $5.40 (the fund’s expense ratio) = $17.40
At Fidelity: $0.80 (the fund’s expense ratio) = $0.80

In percentage terms, your investment would end up costing about 1.74% per year in fees. At Fidelity, it’s just the 0.08%. So, when you add in the monthly fees, it ends up being 21.75x more expensive to invest at Stash than Fidelity!! All those extra fees are doing is hurting your return over time.

I would add, if you’re looking to buy individual stocks (and not commission free ETFs, look at Robinhood, which is #3 on the list).

Thank you Robert for that detailed explanation! The breakdown with the Technology Stocks ETF really helped.

Stockpile offers trades for $1, and can buy fractional shares, u do t have to have the full amount to by a stock. Basically $.99 cent trades, not to shabby, id say no less than $100 though that way ur keeping at at 1% fee, which isnt that bad, to be able to buy into any stock

Robert Farrington says

A 1% free is really bad.

Yea but stash u can invest $1 into the etf everyday, u dont have to wait until u have the full amount to buy 1 full share. U can buy fractional shares which literally means u can invest $5 into any etf stash has, which they have good ones

Depends on how much u can invest, if ur gonna go with stash, i wouldnt invest any less than $25 a week, that way expense is at 1%. Stash has some good sector ETF’ that speculatively can outperform ur basic s&p 500 index, and after $5,000 the expense is only 0.25% whish isnt bad if u think a social media index can outperform an s&p index by 0.25%

Robert Farrington says

You do realize that you can invest in the same ETFs elsewhere without paying any management fee (0.25% or higher). And if you invest in the same social media index, on say Robinhood or M1, you automatically outperform anyone using Stash because there is no management fee on top of your regular expenses?

Robert Farrington says

There’s where we disagree. With multiple platforms listed above, you can buy fractional shares. As for good ETFs, Stash has some good ones, and some poor ones. I think you might find this article about whataboutism and excuses helpful as a frame of reference when comparing investment platforms and options: https://www.thecollegeinvestor.com/21437/financial-whataboutism/

Whats unique about stash is, u can buy fractional shares of a stock, granted there list of stocks are limited at the moment, they continue to add more, and its a flat $1 month fee, so depending on how much u r investing u can figure out the expense. And once u get balance to $5,000 its a flat 0.25% which is very reasonable to be able to buy fractional shares and invest weekly or daily.

Robert Farrington says

You realize that you can invest on Robinhood or M1 for free, and M1 allows fractional share investing and you can invest daily or weekly should your heart desire.

And while, for some people, a 0.25% free might make sense, for what you get on Stash, it really doesn’t.

Jose Ortiz says

Could you please advise me on what app is best for a beginner like me that wants to start investing/saving money and what might be best to invest in?
Thank you in advance.

Robert Farrington says

If you want to do things more hands on – any of the apps 1-4 would work.

If you want a hands-off approach, look at Betterment to simply connect your account to save and automatically invest.

So let’s say I just wanted to go buy some stocks on the stock market like Pepsi or Ford. Spending in the one or $2000 range but not selling or buying very often. What would you recommend So I’m not getting hit with a lot of these in the long run

Robert Farrington says

If you want to buy stocks for free – Robinhood is the way to go.

If you want to buy and hold ETFs and Mutual Funds, Fidelity and TD is the way to go.

If you don’t want to ever think about it, and just want to invest and have it done for you, Betterment is the way to go.

Jared Connell says

I’d these brokerages offer commuting free trades, how do they make money? I understand that some of them offer free etf trades in hopes that you’ll trade in stocks or other funds km the list, but how do places like robinhood make any money?

Robert Farrington says

It’s also important to note that a company like Robinhood has much smaller expenses than a big firm. They are leveraging technology to keep costs low.

I think M1 an RH are best for me. M1 seems the superior for long term, due to auto investing setting which basically let’s you drip all divys from any stocks, just 10$ minimum order. Plus the fractional shares are a nice bonus. RH is a nice alternative to going to a casino, the biggest cons are limited available securities able to be traded and most their focus recently seems to be on crypto exchange, which is about a 3% fee for buys and sells. But RH biggest pro I think is once you have connected your bank account there is no wait time to use that cash to buy, same for selling. Incoming funds are always immediately available. Outgoing funds are pretty fast, they say up to 5 business days, but I’ve never waited longer than 3 days, one time it even transferred the next day. Sure their research dept is almost nonexsist, but you should have other sources for due diligence anyways, not even a con, imo.

Great resources! I’m interested in trying Fidelity or M1 after reading this. Does anybody have longer term experience with either of these companies? I’d love to hear about the experience from a year or longer.
I have had funds with Vanguard and I have been pretty pleased. Their customer service has always been awesome!

Robert Farrington says

I’ve been with Fidelity for over a decade and they’re great. I’ve been fiddling with M1 for a year or so, and I love it! One of the best investing platforms I’ve seen.

Thank you for the information and apologies if this is a trivial question.

Which platforms lets me manage multiple portfolios (say I want to manage a separate portfolio for each child and one for myself).

Robert Farrington says

All of the major brokerages (Fidelity, E*Trade, TD Ameritrade) allow this, but the law requires you have a power of attorney to do it.

So, what you would have to do is open each account, have each child sign a power of attorney for you, and then the account will show in your dashboard.

Thanks for the response.

I did not explain the question correctly. I do not mean official, named separate accounts but rather only a way to manage my money in separate “buckets” so it is easy to track.

Another item I ran across (at M1 for example) is that they can only support US permanent residents (vs residents on Visas), is that typical for these services?

Lorenzo Morales says

I would like to invest, but as a retired teacher I have very little left over at the end of the month.
Just to mention, around a dozen years ago I knew this retired teacher who spent between 10 minutes to 40 minutes a day managing his online portfolio. Doing this he was able to supplement his retired living style while clearing around $70,000 a year.
Today, he rides on luxury cruise ship traveling port-to-port visiting and ,eating new people around the world for about $1,000 a month. Great he has a roof over his head, gets three square meals and all his needs catered to hand to foot for around $1,000 a month, better than any senior citizen community has to offer, while still making $2,000 a week from his online investment portfolio.
As a retired teacher with little to invest is such a lifestyle stile reachable in this day and age and if so what are your professional suggestions?

Robert Farrington says

I first (to level-set expectations) wouldn’t expect to even get close to that level. That took years of compound returns and growth to achieve.

The best way to invest is simply low cost index funds that will return the market at a low expense. This list has the best ones to do it at.

If you’re not sure where to go, find a financial planner in your area to help you.

What are your thoughts on uStocktrade in comparison to Robinhood (besides UST charging $10 per trade and $1 per month and Robinhood being free)?

Robert Farrington says

What type of investing are you going to be doing? Or are you going to be trading?

Perhaps you weren’t aware of the Matador and Webull competitors to Robinhood at the time of the dissemination of your article on the subject. They allow commission free trades, as well.

Robert Farrington says

Hey Dave! Familiar with both. We just put out our Webull review here. Matador is coming soon.

They have some potential (especially for traders versus investors), but they don’t make the top 5.

Hi, does anyone know if any of these platforms support non-u.s.a citizens? Like international students?

Robert Farrington says

No, you must have an SSN to use any US-based investing platform.

Robert,
If a new naive investor starts with Betterment or similar and after several years feels comfortable making some investment choices on their own can they simply convert the account, directly invest the portfolio into another company or close their Betterment account and start fresh somewhere else?

Robert Farrington says

You can always transfer out any time. However, Betterment is a great tools. A better option if you want to invest a bit on your own would be to open a second account and try it out a bit. For the long term, it’s not necessary, but some people want to for fun.

Can someone tell me what platform is best to start and begin investing and or trading? I am a stay at home mother with my own business and want to start investing for my girls future. Where should I start?

Robert Farrington says

We recommend M1 Finance above, that’s why it’s #1 on the list!

I want to start options trading. I use Robinhood, and it lets me trade options, but doesn’t allow spreads for me. As per Robinhood, I need more experience with trading options to enable speads. So is there any other app which lets me trade option spreads for free?
Thanks.

Robert Farrington says

There are no other apps that let you do it for free.

Great information it clarified most of my questions. I am a beginner and want to invest. I want to an app to automatically transfer my money and the app do the work. Which one is the best? I am leaning to M1 app…will it automatically invest or i have to monitoring closely?

Robert Farrington says

M1 automatically invests into the setup that you create.

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