Frequently Asked QuestionsHow Do I Use a Stock Trading App?

You can use a stock trading app to buy and sell shares of stock, as well as other investment products. A stock trading app is easy for most people who are comfortable with stock market basics and smartphones.

Start by signing up for a brokerage account at your preferred brokerage from the list above. With the exception of SoFi’s $1 minimum, all brokerage accounts on this list have no minimum deposit required to get started, and charge no recurring fees. It’s often easiest to open an account online with your computer, though you usually have the option to open an account directly through the mobile app, as well.

After you open your account, download the mobile app and log in to get started buying and selling.

Remember that stocks can go up and down in value. Never make an investment or trade that you don’t fully understand to avoid unneeded risk.

How Much Money Do I Need?

You can open an account with most major brokerages with no opening deposit. But that doesn’t mean you can buy and sell stocks for free. Most brokers require you to have enough cash to buy full shares of stock, which can range from less than $5 to more than $1,000 per share.

Fidelity and SoFi both allow you to buy fractional shares, which means you can buy less than a full share at once. This lets you start buying stocks with very little money.

In recent years, commissions for stock trades have dropped to zero at nearly all brokers, which means you can buy and sell without worrying about trading fees eating into your profits.

Pros

Manage your investments on the go

Trade stocks anywhere with an internet or cellular data connection

Never lose track of your portfolio or investment values

No major drawbacks to stock trading apps

Cons

May be hard to disconnect from investments

Features may differ from desktop browser experience to mobile app experience

Small mobile screen may make trading difficult for some users

How Should I Choose an App?

Everyone has different trading goals and experience levels, so it’s important to look at your stock trading background and how you plan to invest when picking a brokerage and stock trading app.

The most important places to look are fees, tradable assets, available account types, and ease-of-use for the platform. Ease-of-use is subjective, so take a few minutes to explore screenshots and even demo accounts before locking yourself in.

If you’re not sure, you can always try two or three different apps to choose your favorite. With no minimum balance requirements, you can open an account and check things out before funding your account with real money.

How We Chose the Best Stock Trading Apps

To choose the best stock apps, we reviewed over 20 different brokerages and their mobile apps for costs, ease-of-use, and what users are able to do within each app. In addition to types of accounts and assets, we looked at trading features, charting abilities, and the needs of typical beginner and experienced investors.

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