Yes, you can use a debit card to fund virtually all popular stock trading apps. Some will require an ACH deposit directly from a bank account, but most will allow the use of debit cards. Credit cards, however, are normally not an option.
Choose a Trading App Based on Your Investment Personality 📲
How do you like to invest? If you want to bank and invest all in one, then you can look at apps like Charles Schwab to offer more advantages. However, active traders may be more interested in TradeStation or Interactive Brokers.
E*Trade and TD Ameritrade offer the most educational tools and have access to the most investment asset options. Both of these companies also have robust mobile trading apps and research tools. If you plan to make solid investments and like to follow trends, these mobile apps have a lot of extras for the value.
Others will offer long term investment portfolios as well. Many full service stock brokers will offer various investment accounts — the totality of which can be managed directly through the mobile app.
🇬🇧 Are you located in the United Kingdom? Stock trading varies by jurisdiction. See our report on the best stock trading apps in the UK to get started.
Use an App with Virtual Money First 💡
If you aren’t sure how stock trading or the stock market works, you may want to check out TradeHero or Stash to get started. These apps help you learn with a fake portfolio so you aren’t spending money to test out strategies.
While stock trading itself is low cost in today’s technology-driven world, your funds are still at risk. It’s best to use simulators that incorporate real-time data to show you whether your investments will earn a profit and give you confidence in your investing without spending any money.
Don’t Buy Too Many Shares Your First Time — No Matter What They “Recommend” 🙅♂️
It’s best to start slowly and build your risk. If you get too gung-ho when buying stocks, you will likely experience unnecessary losses. Instead, you can trade with a small position and work your way up to buying more shares as your position gets better.
Warren Buffett also said that it was better for individual investors to passively invest through the “buy and hold” strategy instead of trying to conduct stock trades on their own. It also cuts down on your trading costs.
Security Problems with Stock Trading Apps 🚨
A report came out in 2017 that many stock trading apps have security holes. Many vulnerabilities were found in smartphones that exposed accounts to hackers who could steal money, sell off stocks, and get into personal details of the user’s accounts.
So, even when it comes to the best apps to trade stocks, you can still run into vulnerabilities. New investors need to keep this in mind when shopping for the best app.
About 19 percent of the stock trading apps also exposed user passwords in clear text. Other apps did not even verify the SSL certificate (the little 🔒lock icon in your browser that tells you a website is safe and secure).. It’s best to check the app’s security beforehand by checking customer reviews, looking at any “data breach” news, and checking if they have two-factor authentication.
Call Customer Service Before Investing in the Stock Market 📞
Most mobile applications today have terrible customer service. Yes, things have gotten a lot better since the days of waiting on hold for several hours, but the truth is that we have a long way to go.
And that couldn’t be more true when it comes to customer support people running the show at investing and trading apps.
While reviewing each of the above apps, I asked myself the following questions:
- How easy was it to talk to someone when I had a problem? Some apps do not have phone support, while others have chat support but it’s only available on the desktop application instead.
- When I called the customer service phone support number, were they quick to help me?
- How long does it take to speak to a representative?
Mobile trading apps should make it easy for you to get help with their app, check on your account, and security services even if they do not provide you with a live stock broker.
Do the Best Investment Apps Offer Watch Lists? 📃👀
Yes, normally the top stock apps will feature watch lists. This will show the current trading price and the recent change in activity (be it up or down).
Most mobile apps will allow you to customize your own watch lists. In this way, you’ll be able to keep track of your favorite stocks — such as amazon or apple — even if you don’t own them.
Wrapping Up: Which is the Best Stock Trading App For You?
Once you decide what investment style you want to go with, there are a number of best investing apps available. Breaking into the stock market, regardless of your age, is great for your personal finance, if done right.
Whether you want all of the options available or you want a totally hands-off stock investment experience, new investors need to consider costs, fees, security, mobile experience, and customer service before opening a brokerage account via your mobile phone. 📱
For those who want a wide range of options, we like Acorns, Robinhood, and Stash for their ease of use, simplicity, and low or lack of fees. TD Ameritrade and E*Trade are also great options, with a wide range of investment types offered.
A closer runner up who didn’t make our list is Fidelity. If none of the above options suite you, it’s recommended to give Fidelity Investments a look as well.
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