Trading and investing have undergone a revolution, from the early days of pits filled with shouting, hand-waving brokers to the advent of electronic systems in the 1980s.
Now, anyone can invest or trade almost any asset class imaginable. All it takes is a few taps on your smartphone. You can do the research, track the prices of stocks and commodities, and buy and sell in seconds — without consulting anyone.
What Can You Trade?
One of the major benefits of investing in an app is its flexibility. But this can also be a drawback if you don’t understand the basics. So, what can you buy or trade through an app?
Here are a few basic options including assets and contract types.
- Shares: Units of ownership interest in companies or other securities.
- Commodities: Physical assets like gold, silver, live cattle, wheat, crude oil, and orange juice.
- Currencies: Government (fiat) currencies as well as cryptocurrencies like bitcoin or ethereum.
- ETF: Exchange-traded funds; each share represents a basket of securities or assets.
- Mutual funds: Asset collections of shares, stocks, or bonds.
- Index funds: Groups of stocks, bonds, and commodities designed to track the overall rise and fall of the stock market.
- CFDs: Contract-for-difference; essentially a bet on the price of underlying shares, currencies, or commodities.
- Options and futures: These are for advanced traders and can be used to hedge and speculate.
Each of the options listed above has different costs and risks associated with them. Take the time to research before investing!
Best Trading Apps
Once you understand the basics of trading and investing, it is time to find the right app. To make a good choice, consider your overall risk tolerance, what type of investments you are interested in, and whether your goal is long or short-term.
These trading apps are a few of the most popular options:
- Titan: works like an investment manager in your pocket. Titan helps you choose the right stocks rather than relying on mutual or index funds. Ideal for those who want to understand the investment process and outperform the market.
- Robinhood: a great option for beginning traders. It offers commission-free trading, access to fractional shares as well as stocks and funds, gold, and crypto.
- Webull: no-fee brokerage and investment app that allows you to trade stocks, ETFs, and options. It provides abundant resources about the market so you can research before investing. Can also be used to manage your IRA. Webull is best for investors with some experience.
- Fidelity: allows users to make trades in seconds via their app. It offers planning and advice, no account fees, $0 commission trades, and easy to use trading tools. Fidelity has a strong reputation in the investment market.
- Plus500: one of the most reliable CFD brokers. Their app provides access to CFD trading in seven categories including Index CFDs, commodities, forex, and crypto. (CFD trading is not legal yet in the United States.)
- eToro: great for those who are looking to get into the crypto market. It is a social trading platform, which means you can follow other traders, mimic their strategies, and even talk to them on the platform. In addition to cryptocurrencies, eToro allows you to trade CFDs on a wide variety of assets.
- Tastyworks: A newer app for trading US options, ETFs, futures, and stocks. It offers tons of educational material and low trading fees.
- Betterment: A great choice for socially responsible investing — especially with ETFs. It offers low commissions and uses a real human to inform their robo-advisements.
If you are interested in investing but aren’t sure what the next step is, investing and trading apps are a good place to start.
More experienced investors will appreciate the low costs and conveniences of an app that lets them buy, sell, and trade right from their mobile devices. Keep in mind that some investment apps only allow you to trade specific types of investments — such as crypto or options. If you want a diversified portfolio, select an app that offers access to several investment options.