The best investing apps for 2019

J.D.’s note: This article marks the GRS debut for my business partner, Tom Drake. Tom’s primary role is managing the technical and business sides of things, but as a long-time Canadian money blogger, he’ll contribute the occasional article here at GRS.
It has never been easier to invest.
In only a few years, the rapid advancement of mobile technology has placed the power to invest at our fingertips and ushered in a wave of fintech startups, armed with new and innovative solutions for investors. Names like Acorns and Stash are now competing head-to-head with traditional brands such as E-Trade, and TD Ameritrade. (Imagine E-Trade being considered a “traditional” brand!)
With so many great options to choose from, it can be downright difficult to decide which investment app is right for you. To take out the guesswork, I’ve compiled a list of the best investment apps for 2019. From beginner investors to advanced traders, there’s something here for everyone.
Before we dive in, I should point out that this list of best apps is not a ranking. Instead, I’ve chosen what I believe are the best apps for a variety of situations – trading stocks, exchange traded funds (ETFs), no-fee, and micro-investing, you name it.
This means that the investment app I chose as best overall for 2019 won’t necessarily be the top pick for every investor. Rather, it’s the one that I feel most clearly meets the needs of its target client. With that in mind, I present to you the Best Investment Apps for 2019.
Best Overall: Acorns
For 2019, my top choice for investment app is Acorns. Not because it does everything well, but because it does what it’s designed to do, as well or better than the competition. Acorns was made specifically with new investors in mind, and it delivers precisely what so many of them are looking for: simple, automated investing, with very low fees, and no minimum balance requirement.
To achieve this, Acorns uses an innovative feature known as roundup savings. Here’s how it works. Acorns syncs to your debit and/or credit card, and automatically rounds up your purchases to the nearest dollar. It then deposits the “spare change” into your investment account. For example, let’s say you buy a cup of coffee for $1.48. Acorns will round up to the nearest dollar, setting aside $.52 into your savings.
Open an Acorns Account Today
From there, the money is invested in one of five professionally managed ETF portfolios, that match your recommended asset allocation. What I love about Acorns is how easy it is to set up an account directly from the app, and get saving. For account balances less than $5000, the fee is $1/month (.25% annually for balances over $5000). For an additional $1/month, you can now open an Acorns checking account, complete with a Visa Debit card, making the process even more seamless.
Features:

Ideal for new investors
Easy to use app
Innovative, roundup savings
Syncs to your credit/debit card for automated savings
No minimum balance requirement
Monthly fee: $1 (for portfolios up to $5000, over $5000, .25% annual fee)
Available Acorns checking account with free ATM use nationwide
Acorns Found Money – earn credit from retail partner stores
IRA account available
No stock trading functionality

Best for Automated Investing: Acorns, M1 Finance
While the real magic of automated savings comes in the form of roundups, Acorns offers even more layers of automation. For example, with Acorns Found Money, you can earn cash when you spend money at Acorns retail partner stores, a list that includes Sephora, Barnes

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