Best Investment Apps for 2021 [In-Depth Reviews]

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This is a list of the 7 best investment apps for 2021. 

In fact, these best investment apps can help you earn $1,000s per month. 

So, if you are sick of reading the same old (and boring) investment app reviews, you’ll really enjoy and take value out of this list.

Here are just a few examples of the best investment apps:

  • Real estate
  • REIT investing
  • Micro investing
  • Day trade investing
  • Long term investing
  • Real estate investing
  • Cryptocurrency investing
  • Peer to Peer Lending investing

If you want to get down to business, I’ve compiled a sneak peek of the 5 best investment apps, below.

Best Investment Apps for 2021

Best Investment App for Long Term Investors: M1 Finance

MMW Rating
4.9/5

Best Investment App for Micro Investing: Acorns

MMW Rating
4.5/5

Best Investment App for Beginners: Public

MMW Rating
4/5

Best Investment App for Cryptocurrency: Coinbase

MMW Rating
4.8/5

Best Investment App for Real Estate: GROUNDFLOOR

MMW Rating
3.5/5

My goal with this post is to show you my favorite investing apps based on the:

  • Usability
  • Visual appearance
  • Investing category
  • Low investment fees
  • Ability to earn a profit

I’ve analyzed each investment app to determine which one is the best in its category. 

Read my in-depth reviews below to find out how you can maximize investment potential.

Best Investment App for Long Term Investors


M1 Finance is by far the best investment app for the long term investor – for $0.

Not only do I LOVE M1 Finance because it’s super easy to use, but it’s also a fantastic app for the consumer – you: It doesn’t charge any fees

Here’s when you should use M1 Finance:

  • You want dividend re-investing
  • You want to buy fractional shares
  • You want to be a long term investor
  • You want to invest like Warren Buffet
  • You want an automatic, hands-off investment strategy

Here’s when you shouldn’t use M1 Finance:

  • You want to buy and sell stocks daily (M1 Finance won’t allow you to buy and sell stocks the same day)

Check out what M1 Finance can offer you below:

M1 Finance Features Explanation
Minimum needed to open an account

$0

Account fees

$0

Accounts you can open

- SEP IRA
- Roth IRA
- Rollover IRA
- Joint account
- Traditional IRA
- Revocable Trust
- Individual Account (Taxable)

How often can you deposit money?

- Daily
- Weekly
- Monthly
- Annually

Will I have to be hands-on with my investments or will M1 Finance take care of it for me?
M1 Finance will provide automatic portfolio rebalancing
Customer service availability
By email or by Phone: Monday through Friday, 9am to 5pm CT
Free consultation
Offered if you schedule an appointment in advance regarding the investment products and how they can benefit your personal financial situation
Socially responsible investments?

Yes

Here’s how long it took me to open my M1 Finance account: 

I just pulled up to the line outside of Chick-Fil-A to order my food (yes, you caught me red-handed… spending money on fast food!). 

By the time it took me to:

  • Download the app
  • Input my personal information
  • Select my investment account preferences

I had just finished:

  • Ordering my food
  • Paying for my food
  • Picking up my food

…and my M1 Finance account was downloaded and ready to place trades. 

Below are some of the cons that I found with M1 Finance:

  • Not the ideal platform for day traders
  • No mutual fund investment options (only stocks and ETFs)
  • Does not maximize your tax situation (such as tax loss harvesting)
  • Will not aggregate your outside assets when creating your portfolio allocation

Although I do suggest for you to consider these cons before investing with M1 Finance, for the investor with a long term mindset, the pros by far outweigh the cons. 

And that’s why M1 Finance is my Number 1 pick for the long term, Warren-Buffet-like investor.

Best Investment App for Micro Investors


Acorns is by far the best investment app for the micro-investor – for as little as $1 per month.

Not only do I like Acorns because it’s easy-to-use, but it’s also a great investing app for anyone who doesn’t have $100s or $1,000s to start investing (Hint: all you need is $5 to begin!). 

Here’s when you should use Acorns:

  • You aren’t a day trader
  • You want to buy fractional shares
  • You want to save and invest automatically
  • You don’t have a lot of spare cash to invest
  • You want an automatic, recurring, hands-off investment strategy

I think Acorns is an awesome app for those who want to invest their spare cash in the stock market. You can make this happen by using the Acorns Round-Up Feature.

The neat thing about the Round-Up feature is that you can use up to a 10x round-up multiplier to fast-track your investments.

For example:

  • You spent $9.37 on ice cream
  • The Round-Up feature would round your expense up to $10
  • The Round-up feature would “store” the $0.63 in its memory
  • If you use the 10x multiplier, you can “store” up to $6.30 with that 1 ice cream purchase
  • Once your total “stored” money reaches the minimum threshold of $5, Acorns will automatically pull your money from your checking account into you Acorns investment account and invest your cash

Here’s when you shouldn’t use Acorns:

  • You are a day trader
  • You are a DIY investor
  • If you’re looking to save larger chunks of money
  • You don’t want to pay for the fees associated with opening your account

Check out what Acorns can offer you below:

Acorns Features Explanation
Minimum needed to open an account

$0

Account fees

Accounts under $5,000:
Minimum monthly fee of $1

Accounts over $5,000:
0.25% per year on the account value

Lite Plan:
$1 per month

Personal Plan:

$3 per month

Family Plan:

$5 per month

Accounts you can open

- Individual Account (Taxable)
- Traditional IRA

How often can you deposit money?

- Daily
- Weekly
- Monthly
- Annually

Will I have to be hands-on with my investments or will Acorns take care of it for me?

Acorns will automatically withdraw your money from your checking account after rounding-up each of your expenses to the nearest dollar and reaching $5 total.

The only thing you’ll have to do is select your investments as well as the Round-Up feature (to round-up expenses to the nearest dollar to be invested in your Acorns account).

Customer service availability

- By email
- By Phone (855) 739-2859
- By Acorns message submission

Round-up feature

The Round-Up feature is linked with your checking account and monitors your expenses.

After every expense, Acorns rounds up your expense to the nearest, next dollar.

When the Round-Up balance totals $5, Acorns withdraws the money from your bank account and automatically invests it to your existing investments.

Typical investment assets

Broad index funds

Socially Responsible investments?

No

Here’s how long it took me to open my Acorns account: 

I had just sat down at our kitchen table, as my husband started making scrambled eggs and cheese for us for breakfast one Sunday morning.

By the time it took me to:

  • Download the app
  • Upload my information
  • Establish my Round-Up setting
  • Determine my top investment picks

My husband had just finished:

  • Cooking the scrambled eggs with cheese
  • Made whole wheat toast
  • Sliced up avocados

…and my Acorns account was downloaded and on my phone. 

Below are some of the cons that I found with Acorns:

  • Monthly flat fee (starting at $1 per month)
  • Limited number of investment accounts available to open
  • May not help you efficiently save 10% to 30% of your income

Although I do suggest for you to consider these cons before investing with Acorns, for the investor who is just starting and wants to invest their spare cash, the pros outweigh the cons. 

As you become more serious with your investments, I’d suggest to consider moving from Acorns to investment platforms such as:

These two platforms are ideal for when you begin building up significant amounts of cash to invest (we’re talking $100s if not $1,000s).

Best Investment App for Beginners


Public is a great investment app for the beginner investor who wants to connect with other beginner investors – for $0 per month.

Think of Public as the investing social media platform. Instead of posting new profile pics, you post your latest investment choices. 

Public, as the name already suggests, combines the aspects of:

  • Social media
  • Investment platforms

Public is very social in that:

  • You can follow your friends
  • Your friends can follow you
  • You can chat with other investors
  • Your investment activity is made public

Not only do I really like Public because of how easy it is to navigate its interface, but it’s also a good app for the beginner investor, who is looking to connect with other investors. 

Here’s when you should use Public:

  • You are not a day trader
  • You’re learning how to invest
  • You want to invest automatically
  • You want to buy fractional shares
  • You want to re-invest your dividends
  • You want to find a simple and easy way to invest
  • You don’t want to spend money on commissions fees

I think Public is an awesome app for those who are learning how to invest and are on the look-out for the best user-friendly investment app.

Here’s when you shouldn’t use Public:

  • You are a day trader
  • You are a DIY investor
  • You live outside of the U.S.
  • You don’t want to talk with other investors
  • If you’re looking to save larger chunks of money

Check out what Public can offer you below:

Public Features Explanation
Minimum needed to open an account

$0

Account fees

$0

Accounts you can open

- Individual Account (Taxable)

- Savings Account (Taxable)

How often can you deposit money?

- Daily
- Weekly
- Monthly
- Annually

Will I have to be hands-on with my investments or will Public take care of it for me?

Public gives you 2 options:

- Automatically deposit dividends into your account as cash

- Automatically reinvest your dividends

Customer service availability

- By email at: hello@public.com

- By live chat

Social media component

One of the coolest value adds to Public is that you can message others and get their take on investing in the stock market.

Everyone’s investment portfolio is made public to other investors (that’s why the app is named “Public”) and you can start a conversation with other investors about their investment journey.

Typical investment assets

- Stocks
- ETFs
- Mutual funds, bonds, etc. are not an option

Two other features I really enjoy about Public:

  • The high interest cash account
  • The Ticker Time Machine

Let’s take a look below:

Public Feature What it Does

High Interest Cash Account

For up to $10,000 of cash that’s not yet invested, you can earn currently up to 2.5% of APR – which is significantly higher than the typical market.

Ticker Time Machine

This tool will have you input any investment at any date and it will show you how much money that investment would be worth today if you did not touch the money since it was invested.

Now let’s take a look at how easy it is to open an account with Public.

Here’s how long it took me to open my Public account: 

My husband and I had just pulled up to the parking lot outside of our veterinarian’s office to bring in our French Bulldog for his regular check-up, which typically takes between 15 to 30 minutes. 

By the time it took me to:

  • Download the app
  • Upload my information
  • Determine my top investment picks

My husband had:

  • Dropped me and our Frenchie off at the vet’s
  • Had run 1 errand at the pharmacy
  • Pulled back into the parking lot

…and my Public account was downloaded and on my phone. 

Below are some of the cons that I found when investing with Public:

  • Only available in the United States
  • Only offers an individual investment account
  • Very new investment platform (founded in 2017)

Although I do suggest for you to consider these cons before investing with Public, for the investor who is starting out and wants to connect with like-minded investors on a social media-esque investing platform, Public could be a very strong contender.

As you become more serious with your investments, I’d suggest to consider moving from Public to investment platforms such as:

These two platforms are ideal for when you begin building up significant amounts of cash to invest (we’re talking $100s if not $1,000s).

Best Investment App for $100,000+ Investors


Personal Capital is a great investment app for the investor who is looking to put their $100,000 or more to work in the stock market.

If you decide to invest with Personal Capital, you’ll have access to:

Personal Capital, in my opinion, is the best application if you are very serious not only about investing but also about polishing all areas of your financial picture.

Here’s when you should use Personal Capital:

  • You are looking to invest long-term
  • You are serious about growing your wealth
  • You want to find an interface that’s user friendly
  • You want to access your portfolio via phone or via desktop
  • You want to analyze reports of your investment performance
  • You want to maintain a complete overview of your financial picture
  • You want personalized financial advice from a dedicated financial planner

Personal Capital offers customized wealth management strategies to the individual users, which is why this application is an attractive choice for many who have the money to afford it.

Here’s when you shouldn’t use Personal Capital:

  • You are a day trader
  • You don’t have $100,000 for a minimum investment
  • You want to customize your asset allocation (if you have less than $100,000)

Check out what Personal Capital can offer you below:

Personal Capital Features Explanation

Minimum needed to open an account

$100,000

Account fees

For Investment Services & Wealth Management Clients:

- First $1 million = 0.89%

For Private Clients:

- First $3 million = 0.79%
- Next $2 million = 0.69%
- Next $5 million = 0.59%
- Over $10 million = 0.49%

Accounts you can open

- SEP IRA
- Roth IRA
- Rollover IRA
- Traditional IRA
- Revocable Trust
- Taxable accounts
- Cash account (won’t be charged)

How often can you deposit money?

- Daily
- Weekly
- Monthly
- Annually

Will I have to be hands-on with my investments or will Personal Capital take care of it for me?

Personal Capital offers you a few options:

- Your portfolio may be customizable if you have more than $200,000

- If you fall into the Private Client category you can rely on your financial planner to help you allocate your assets

- You can rely on an automatic investment strategy such as dollar cost averaging (DCA)

Customer service availability

By phone, M – F 8am to 6pm PST

The You Index

The You Index measures your aggregate portfolio performance over time.

Typical investment assets

- Individual stocks
- Fixed income
- ETFs

Socially responsible investing?

Yes

Now let’s take a look at how easy it is to open Personal Capital.

Here’s how long it took me to open my Personal Capital account: 

I was in the waiting room of my eye doctor’s office, 15 minutes early. 

So, because I absolutely hate sitting around and not doing anything productive, I decided to see how long and how easy it would be to open up my Personal Capital account. 

By the time it took me to:

  • Download the app
  • Upload my information
  • Determine my top investment picks

My eye doctor finally came into the waiting room and motioned for me to follow her into the exam room. By that time, my Personal Capital account was downloaded and on my phone.

Below are some of the cons that I found when investing with Personal Capital:

  • May receive multiple sales calls
  • Typically you can’t customize your asset allocation
  • Fees may be a little high considering other investment platforms 
  • To qualify for the investment management platform, you need $100,000 

Although I do suggest for you to consider these cons before investing with Personal Capital, for the investor who is serious about building wealth and wants access to a private advisor, the pros certainly can outweigh the cons.

Best Investment App for Cryptocurrency Investors


Coinbase is a great, and relatively secure, investment app for the cryptocurrency investor.

If you’re looking for a cryptocurrency trading platform that does not just specialize in Bitcoin, then Coinbase may be the right option for you. 

Here’s when you should use Coinbase:

  • You are looking to invest in cryptocurrency
  • You want to open your account with just $2
  • You want to have trading access to over 30 cryptocurrencies

Here’s why Coinbase is my top pick for cryptocurrency investment platforms:

Coinbase claims that your cryptocurrency investments are insured in the case Coinbase is ever hacked – and hacking can be a serious threat in the cryptocurrency world.

Here’s when you shouldn’t use Coinbase:

  • If you’re fee conscious. Coinbase fees (which may vary depending on the transaction type) are generally higher than on other cryptocurrency platforms

Check out what Coinbase can offer you below:

Coinbase Features Explanation

Minimum needed to open an account

$2

Account fees

0.50% to 4.5% based on the cryptocurrency transaction type

Accounts you can open

Individual Account (Taxable)

How often can you deposit money?

24/7

Will I have to be hands-on with my investments or will Coinbase take care of it for me?

You will have to monitor your investments and determine how you want to trade

Customer service availability

- Phone: 888-908-7930
- Twitter
- Website contact page

Number of Cryptocurrencies available for trading

32

Is your cryptocurrency insured?

According to Coinbase, less than 2% of cryptocurrencies are held online – instead, they are held offline to protect against possible hacking scandals.

Here’s how long it took me to open my Coinbase account: 

My husband and I were getting ready to go out on a picnic date, just the 2 of us, and I was waiting for him to finish showering. 

To kill some time, I decided to be productive and go through the motion of downloading Coinbase. 

By the time it took me to:

  • Download the app
  • Link my bank accounts
  • Input my personal information

My husband had finally finished taking his shower and my Coinbase account was ready to trade. 

And while I was browsing through Coinbase, check out what I found, below.

Below are some of the cons that I found when it comes to investing with Coinbase:

  • High cryptocurrency volatility 
  • Less anonymity, as user information is tracked
  • Generally higher fees than other crypto platforms
  • Limited phone customer support (you don’t speak to a live person)

I highly suggest you consider these cons before investing your money in Coinbase and in cryptocurrency, specifically. 

Remember, cryptocurrency is still in the beginning stages and thus very volatile. 

If you are looking to make fast money by investing in cryptocurrency, I would caution you to think otherwise. You may lose your money.

Best Investment App for DIY Investors


Vanguard is, in my opinion, the best investment app for the DIY investor.

If you’re experienced, you know what you’re looking for, don’t want to pay outrageous fees, and don’t need guidance on your investment apps, then you’re going to love Vanguard.

Here’s when you should use Vanguard:

  • You want a user-friendly app
  • You’re an experienced investor
  • You don’t want to pay high fees
  • You want to do your own stock research

That’s why Vanguard is ideal for the DIY investor:

Vanguard offers a user-friendly interface all while giving you the opportunity to do your own stock research and selection.

The key here is that how you invest is up to you – there is no investment advisor on the other end, and there certainly is no “pie” selection as with M1 Finance or an automated rebalancing strategy as with Acorns.

Here’s when you shouldn’t use Vanguard:

  • You’re a day trader
  • You’re new to investing
  • You don’t know what to look for
  • You need and want extra investment guidance and help

My suggestion is that you think long and hard about your current investment experience level.

My husband and I personally use Vanguard and we love it – but then again we also have almost 10 years of investing experience under our belts.

Check out what Vanguard can offer you below:

Vanguard Features Explanation

Minimum needed to open an account

$0 – standard platform

$2,000 – margin accounts

$3,000 – mutual funds only

$50,000 – access to a Personal Advisor

Account fees

ETFs – $0
Stocks – $0
Commissions - $0
Vanguard mutual funds - $0
Non-Vanguard mutual funds - $20 (or more, depending on the fund family)
Options - $0 commission + $1 per contract
Treasury, corporate or other government bonds – New issues are $0 and $1 for every $1,000 on the secondary market for a maximum of $250
Other bonds, including mortgage backed securities - $35
Margin Rates – from 4.75% (over $1 million) to 8.5% (up to $19,500)

Accounts you can open

- Joint
- UTMA
- SEP IRA
- Roth IRA
- 529 Plans
- Custodial
- SIMPLE IRA
- Traditional IRA
- Individual (taxable)
- 401(k) for business owners
- Pension plans for business owners

How often can you deposit money?

- Daily
- Weekly
- Monthly
- Annually

Will I have to be hands-on with my investments or will Vanguard take care of it for me?

With Vanguard, you’ll have to be more hands-on to:

- Research your holdings
- Trade your holdings
- Rebalance your accounts

Customer service availability

- By email (found on your Vanguard home page)

- By Phone: 800-749-7273 Mon to Fri, 8am to 8pm EST

- By Mail:
Vanguard
P.O. Vox 1110
Valley Forge, PA 19482

Typical investments

- ETFs
- Stocks
- Bonds
-Options
- Index Funds
- Mutual Funds

Socially responsible investing?

Yes – Vanguard offers some funds that offer socially responsible investments

Here’s how long it took me to open my Vanguard account: 

My husband and I were over at my friend Gina’s house (this was pre-COVID). Gina was just making a delicious dinner in the kitchen with her husband. 

While we were sitting in their living room, I decided to be productive and download the Vanguard app. 

By the time it took me to:

  • Download the app
  • Link my bank accounts
  • Input my personal information

…Gina and her husband had finished the best lasagna and a delicious southern iced tea and my Vanguard account was prepared to trade. 

Below are some of the cons that I found when it comes to investing with Vanguard:

  • Not ideal for the day trader
  • Limited research tools available
  • Only ideal for experienced investors

Keep in mind that if you want to receive in-depth investment advice and research guidance, The Motley Fool will likely be a fantastic resource for you. 

The Motley Fool sends you regular investment recommendations with excellent (and backed-up) information.

My husband and I are experienced investors, know what to look for and follow the “buy-and-hold” strategy, so Vanguard seemed to be an appropriate fit for us.

Best Investment App for Real Estate Investors


GROUNDFLOOR is a great investment app option for the real estate investor.

If you’re looking to invest in real estate and earn a passive income stream in your sleep, then GROUNDFLOOR might be right for you.

What differentiates GROUNDFLOOR from other real estate investing apps is that GROUNDFLOOR is a crowdfunding platform – also known as a peer to peer lending platform.

In other words, you are the bank and lend money to others in the real estate sector. 

Here’s when you should use GROUNDFLOOR:

  • You are not an accredited investor
  • You’re looking for a user-friendly app
  • You don’t want to pay any account fees
  • It doesn’t take a lot of money to start investing (just $10)
  • You want the borrower to be pre-screened by Groundfloor
  • You only want to be tied-up in the investment for a short period of time

That’s why GROUNDFLOOR is ideal for P2P real estate investors:

GROUNDFLOOR sets a low minimum ($10) to begin investing and the amount of time your money is invested is fairly short term – 6 to 12 months.

Here’s when you shouldn’t use GROUNDFLOOR:

  • You have no emergency savings fund
  • You haven’t started investing for your retirement
  • Your only investment(s) so far have been in real estate

My suggestion before you start investing in something as “risky” as GROUNDFLOOR is to have your emergency savings fund prepared, ensure you are contributing (or better yet, maxing out) your employer-sponsored retirement plans (like a 401k), and have paid off high interest credit card debt — all before you start investing in potentially higher risk investments.

Check out what GROUNDFLOOR can offer you below:

GROUNDFLOOR Features Explanation

Minimum needed to open an account

$10

Account fees

$0

Loan term

6 - 12 months

Real estate property types

- Residential

- Single Family

Customer service availability

- By email support@groundfloor.us

- By Phone: 404-850-9223 Mon to Fri, 9am to 5pm EST

Investor loan update frequency

Every 30 days investors (you) receive updates on their loans

Loan default rate

Greater than 4.5% - higher than the typical industry itself

Typical return on investment (ROI)

Around 10% (depending on how risky your investment is)

Here’s how long it took me to open my GROUNDFLOOR account: 

My husband and I were just getting out of bed, very early in the morning, and he was heading into the kitchen to brew some tea for breakfast (yes, we’re tea drinkers!). 

By the time it took me to:

  • Download the app
  • Link my bank accounts
  • Input my personal information

My husband had brewed the tea, steeped the tea, and served the tea in our bedroom and my GROUNDFLOOR account was set-up. 

Below are some of the cons that I found when it comes to investing with GROUNDFLOOR:

  • This type of real estate P2P model is not yet proven, so it may not work
  • Borrowers may default on their loan (ie you won’t get your money back)
  • Higher risk being a lender, especially if your money is tied-up for longer

I highly suggest you consider these cons before investing your money in GROUNDFLOOR.

Remember, GROUNDFLOOR is still in the beginning stages and your money may be at risk of not being paid back by the borrowers. 

If you are looking to make fast money by investing in real estate, I would caution you to think otherwise. Make sure your overall financial picture is secured before you start making higher risk investments.

Closing Thoughts


There are so many different investing apps out there. 

And I don’t blame you if you feel overwhelmed by the process, but hopefully this post was able to drill down to the best investment apps for each category:

Best Investment App for Long Term Investors: M1 Finance

Best Investment App for Micro Investors: Acorns

Best Investment App for Beginners: Public

Best Investment App for $100,000+ Investors: Personal Capital

Best Investment App for Cryptocurrency Investors: Coinbase

Investment App for Real Estate Investors: GROUNDFLOOR

Best Investment App for DIY Investors: Vanguard

Of course, these are merely my opinions and as I find out more, I’ll update you with more information as well. 

The point is this:

Make sure to do your own research, find out as much as you can before financially committing to an app.

Once you have installed your investment app, there’s 1 lesson you have to understand:

  • Don’t just invest once and then forget about it 

If your goal is to build your net worth over time, then there are 2 steps that you should be following when it comes to investing:

  • Invest consistently
  • Don’t withdraw money from your investment account

Over the next few decades, you’ll see your investment account value sky rocket. Just remember that growth will take time. 

Your bank accounts will thank me later.

Which best investment app do you think will match your current financial position?

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Fiona Smith
Fiona Smith
The Millennial Money Woman was founded by Fiona Smith. She holds her Master of Science Degree in Personal Financial Planning and has co-founded a local non-profit community teaching financial literacy to young professionals.

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