The Best Stock Trading Apps for Beginners

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Best Stock Trading Apps for Beginners

If you’re looking to get started with trading stocks or investing, the options may feel overwhelming. With the number of online brokerages and investing apps out there, you may not know which one to choose.

In this article, we’ll look at the best stock trading apps for beginners. These apps offer excellent ease of use, so you won’t be confused if you’ve never invested in the stock market before. You’ll also be able to start with a small amount of money, so there are no barriers preventing you from taking action.

The Best Stocks App for Beginners

There are a number of trading apps that are excellent for new traders, but one stands out as our favorite.

1. Public.com

Public

Join Public to get up to $300 of free stock when you make a deposit.*

Public.com is the best stock trading app for beginners because of its ease of use, helpful community features, and because even traders with limited resources will have plenty of options.

While many financial apps are designed to be simple even for beginners, Public.com features what we believe to be the most simple and user-friendly interface of them all. The design is beautiful, free of clutter, and intuitive. Even if you’re a complete beginner, you’ll find that Public.com is simple to use with no learning curve.

One of the ways Public.com separates itself from competitors is by offering social and community features so you can connect with friends and other users. These social features are useful and fun for any investor, but they’re especially helpful and valuable for beginners. You can learn from others in the community by reading the discussions, asking questions, and even participating in virtual town halls with executives of publicly traded companies.

Top Pick
Get Free Stock from Public.com Get Free Stock from Public.com

Public.com offers fractional shares so anyone can start investing. You'll love the social aspect that makes it possible to connect with other investors. Get a free stock slice worth up to $300 when you open an account through our link.

Features:
  • Commission-free trades of stocks and ETFs
  • Buy and sell 27 different cryptocurrencies
  • Fractional shares
  • Easy to use and beginner-friendly
  • Connect with a supportive community of investors
  • "Themes" help you to find investments that interest you
Offer valid for U.S. residents 18+ and subject to account approval. This is not a recommendation. You can lose money with any investment. Open To The Public Investing is a member of FINRA & SIPC. Regulatory and firm fees apply. New customers receive free stock with value $3-300; 0.3% receive the max value. Cryptocurrency trading provided by Apex Crypto LLC (NMLS ID 1828849). Apex Crypto is licensed to engage in virtual currency business activity by the New York State Department of Financial Services. See Public.com/disclosures/

Public.com allows you to see what others are buying and selling (not dollar amounts), so you can learn by following and connecting with successful traders.

Because Public.com makes investing accessible to all, there are virtually no barriers that prevent the average person from getting started. You can begin with fractional shares and trade stocks and funds commission-free. If you don’t have hundreds or thousands of dollars to buy a share in companies like Amazon, Tesla, and Apple, you can simply buy a fractional share. Many traditional brokers do not support fractional shares, so this is an important feature for anyone just getting started.

If you’re not sure what you want to invest in, you can turn to Public.com’s Themes, which are essentially lists of stocks and funds that fall into certain categories. For example, they have themes for things like travel & leisure, green power, dividend stocks, artificial intelligence, and the plant-based movement. With more than 40 different themes currently available, this is an excellent way to find investments that interest you.

In addition to stocks and exchange-traded funds (ETFs), Public.com also allows you to trade cryptocurrency. Instead of needing to use separate platforms for trading stocks and crypto, you can keep everything in one place. You don’t need your own digital wallet, as all crypto purchased through Public.com will be securely managed by Apex Crypto, an industry leader.

One of the most unique ways that Public.com supports new traders is by proving notifications when you’re about to do something considered risky. Of course, investing always involves risk, but Public.com wants to ensure that new traders are controlling and managing risk, so you may receive a notification if you’re doing something that it deems to be high risk.

Why it’s the best trading app for beginners:

  • Clutter-free interface that’s very easy to use
  • Supportive community that provides an ideal way to learn
  • See what other users are buying and selling
  • No account minimums
  • Buy fractional shares of stocks and funds
  • Commission-free trades of stocks and funds
  • Themes help you to find investments that interest you
  • Notifies you when you’re about to make a risky trade
  • Trade cryptocurrency without needing your own digital wallet

Other Excellent Stock Trading Apps for Beginners

Although Public.com is our highest-recommended trading app for beginners, there are several others that are excellent for new traders. Here are the details of each.

2. Webull

Webull

Webull is currently offering new users up to 12 free stocks for trying the platform. You’ll get two free stocks (each worth $3 – $300) for signing up. Deposit any amount to get 4-10 more free stocks worth $7-$3,000 each. Sign up for Webull through this link to be eligible for the bonus.

Webull is another commission-free trading app that has no minimum deposit requirement and supports the trading of fractional shares. With Webull, you can trade stocks, ETFs, options, and cryptocurrency.

Public.com is a little more beginner-friendly than Webull because it features a user interface that’s easy to use. Webull’s interface isn’t bad, but it’s definitely not as clean and simple as Public.com’s. Also, Webull does not offer anything similar to the Themes provided by Public.com, which can be extremely helpful for finding the right opportunities.

Commission-Free Trades
Get Up to 12 Free Stocks from Webull! Get Up to 12 Free Stocks from Webull!

Webull is a free investing app that provides advanced reporting tools and allows you to make free trades of stocks, ETFs, and options. Right now Webull is offering up to 12 free stocks when you signup through our link (use the button below) and deposit any amount.

Features:
  • Commission-free trades of stocks, ETFs, options, and cryptocurrency
  • Buy fractional shares for any amount
  • Extended trading hours
  • Advanced reporting tools
  • IRAs now available
  • 24/7 customer service

Webull stands out from other free trading apps by offering more in terms of research and data. You’ll get access to tools that can help to analyze stocks and funds to find the ones that meet your criteria. If you like to evaluate a lot of data before making decisions, Webull could be a great online trading platform for you.

There are also some other Webull features that many traders will appreciate, like extended trading hours, margin accounts, paper trading, and instant buying power. Webull also supports day trading, so it can be used by long-term or short-term investors.

To see more about how this stock trading app compares with our top choice, please read our Webull vs. Public.com comparison.

3. M1 Finance

M1 Finance

M1 Finance describes itself as “the finance super app”, and that’s a pretty good description based on everything it can do. Aside from basic trading, you can also use M1 to manage retirement accounts, do your banking, earn stock rewards through credit card purchases, and even borrow money. However, since this article is specifically about trading apps, we’re only going to discuss the investing features and capabilities here.

First off, it’s critical to understand what M1 Finance is, and what it is not. It is a platform that’s designed for long-term investors who want to minimize fees and automate the majority of their investing and portfolio management. It is not an app for short-term investors or traders who move in and out of positions quickly.

Free Portfolio Management
M1 Finance - $10 Signup Bonus M1 Finance - $10 Signup Bonus

M1 Finance makes it easy to manage your investments. Choose from a wide variety of professionally-created "pies" (portfolio allocations) or create your own. Contribute to your account and M1 Finance automatically invests based on your selections.

Features:
  • Free alternative to robo advisors
  • Automated investing
  • Easily view and manage your portfolio
  • Ideal for long-term investors
  • Commission-free trades

The primary function of M1 Finance is automating your investing, and it does this by making use of “pies”. Pies are specific allocations of your portfolio with set percentages dedicated to certain investments. M1 offers a large selection of pies that have been created by experts for specific purposes (like long-term growth or producing dividends). You can also create your own custom pies or use pies created by other users.

When you deposit money into your M1 Finance account, it will be invested automatically based on the details of your pie. You can rebalance at any time to get your portfolio allocations back to the percentages dictated by the pie.

Thanks to the automation features, M1 Finance is ideal for long-term investors who don’t want to spend a lot of time managing their portfolios. It also provides a viable alternative to robo advisors. And since M1 Finance charges no commissions for trades and no fees for a basic account, it’s totally free to manage your portfolio this way.

Part of the reason why M1 Finance is not ideal for short-term investors is that all trades are placed during one window each day (M1 Plus customers, $125/year, get access to a second trading window). That means you can’t buy or sell stocks at exact times, which is necessary for short-term trading.

4. Moomoo

Moomoo

Join Moomoo and get up to 15 free stocks worth up to $30,000 total (up to $2,000 each).

Moomoo is a commission-free trading app that’s appropriate for beginners and advanced investors alike. Beginners will appreciate the user-friendly interface design, the social community of users, and the fact that there are no account minimums.

The social features aren’t quite as significant as what is offered by Public.com. But Moomoo offers a nice blend between these features and more advanced tools and data than you’ll find from competitors. 

Many users love the free level 2 data, premium news, real-time quotes, short-selling data, and advanced charting tools that are available in the Moomoo app. You’ll also get access to AI monitoring, which is a unique tool that helps Moomoo to stand out.

The biggest drawback for new users is that Moomoo does not currently support fractional shares, so you’ll need to have enough money to purchase full shares of the stocks and ETFs you want to invest in.

Due to all the tools and data offered, the user interface isn’t quite as simple or streamlined as more basic apps like Public.com and Robinhood. But if you like doing any type of analysis when evaluating stocks or ETFs, you’ll appreciate what Moomoo offers.

5. Robinhood

Robinhood

Robinhood has been a pioneer in the industry. Before Robinhood, new investors faced significant barriers. After Robinhood began offering commission-free trades and fractional shares, other brokerages began to follow suit.

Like Public.com, Robinhood caters to new investors by emphasizing simplicity and ease of use. You won’t find the research and analysis tools that Webull offers, but many new traders aren’t concerned about that.

Get a Free Stock from Robinhood! Get a Free Stock from Robinhood!

Robinhood offers commission-free trades of stocks, ETFs, options, and cryptocurrency. There are no account minimums and you can buy fractional shares for as little as $1. Right now you can get a free stock just for creating an account through the button below.

Features:
  • Commission-free trades
  • No account minimums
  • Buy fractional shares for as little as $1
  • User-friendly platform
  • Invest in cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin and Ethereum

Although Robinhood is a very user-friendly platform, we have a slight preference for Public.com due to its user interface, investing themes, and social features. But Robinhood is still an excellent option. You can see more about how these two compare in our Public.com vs. Robinhood comparison.

You can trade stocks, ETFs, options, and crypto (although the crypto options are far more limited than Public.com or Webull).

Robinhood also offers a debit card that earns stock and crypto rewards, instead of cashback, based on your purchases.

Tornado

Tornado

Currently, Tornado is offering a bonus of up to $1,000 cash to invest when you create and fund a new account (terms and conditions listed at Tornado.com). Additionally, all Tornado users with an active account can get up to $50 to invest by completing simple Learn and Earn lessons that teach basic fundamentals of investing.

Tornado is unique to the other apps and platforms mentioned here, and it may be an ideal fit for some new investors and traders. The primary difference is that Tornado does not offer free trades like the other platforms. Instead, you’ll get up to 50 free trades per month by paying a monthly subscription of $9.99. Users who trade infrequently can opt-out of the subscription and pay a flat $4.50 per trade.

Every subscription includes personalized financial education and the opportunity to earn investable cash through their Learn & Earn program. You’ll also have direct access to Community Thought Leaders, experts who are available to answer questions you may have about a particular stock. 

Like Public.com, Tornado also offers excellent social functionality. You can connect with friends and other users, see what others are buying and selling, learn from the discussions related to specific stocks, and even get answers to your questions. 

Community Thought Leaders are experienced investors who are compensated by Tornado for sharing their perspective on stocks with the community. You can reach out to them with your questions about a stock. This type of one-on-one access is extremely valuable for beginners and is not offered by any other platform that we’re aware of.

Tornado is also committed to providing financial educational resources for its users. Through the Learn and Earn program, every active Tornado user can earn up to $50 to invest by completing lessons on the fundamentals of investing. This is an ideal way for beginners to learn and boost their account balance at the same time.

One of the most unique features of Tornado, and what is likely to justify the monthly fee for some users, is the Optimizer. Tornado’s Optimizer is based on Noble Prize-winning research, and it allows you to optimize your portfolio at any time with a single click. Trading platforms like Public.com, Webull, and Robinhood do not offer any tools that can help you to optimize your portfolio.

Frequently Asked Questions

Is Robinhood good for beginners?

Yes, Robinhood is good for beginners. It features a clean interface that’s very easy to use, even if you don’t have experience. Robinhood also has no minimum deposit requirements, charges no fees or commissions for trades, and supports fractional shares.

Does Robinhood charge a fee?

Robinhood does not charge a fee or commissions for stock, ETF, and options trades. There are also no fees for a basic Robinhood account. Robinhood Gold is an optional upgrade that offers some additional features.

How can I invest with little money?

Public.com, Webull, M1 Finance, and Robinhood all allow you to start investing in stocks and ETFs, even if you only have a few dollars to get started. You can buy a fractional share of most US stocks, which means you can invest even if you can’t afford the price of a full share.

Final Thoughts on the Best Stock Trading Apps for Beginners

New traders and investors have more options today than ever before. Public.com is our favorite platform for beginners, but the others we’ve covered in this article are excellent options as well. Check the details of each to see which one is the best app for your own needs and get started. And it doesn’t hurt to try a few of them and see which one you like the best.

Join Public to get up to $300 of free stock when you make a deposit.*

*Public.com offer valid for U.S. residents 18+ and subject to account approval. This is not a recommendation. You can lose money with any investment. Open To The Public Investing is a member of FINRA & SIPC. Regulatory and firm fees apply. New customers receive free stock with value $3-300; 0.3% receive the max value. Cryptocurrency trading offered by Apex Crypto LLC. See Public.com/disclosures/

Disclosure: Information presented on Vital Dollar and through related email marketing is intended for informational purposes only and is not meant to be taken as financial advice. Please see our Disclosure for further information.