Stock trading apps are downloadable programs used by stock traders to trade the stock market. With the right share trading apps, traders can do more than just buy and sell. They can access educational resources, news, and charts, and do trading analysis. This is why it is important to select a functional stock app from a reliable broker.
Almost all brokers have trading apps for all kinds of devices, but not all of them are functional for use. In fact, some brokers’ apps are barely as functional as their mobile websites. This is a problem for people who rely on the effectiveness of these apps to place trades on the go. A trader with a good understanding of characteristics to look out for when choosing trading apps can easily compare these stock apps and weed out the terrible ones.
In this guide, we will compare share trading apps and look at factors to consider before selecting one for yourself. These factors include the brokers that own the share trading app, their fees, commissions, leverage, spreads, and if they offer CFD trading. This will help you in your selection of top stock apps for trading.
We will also look at opinions from people on Reddit and Quora. Comments from people who have used trading apps in the past can give us more insights on how to select share trading apps and the ones to avoid.
How to Download and Trade Stocks on a Stock Trading App
Here are the necessary steps to follow on how to download and trade stocks on stock Trading App.
- Select a Stockbroker
- Download the stock trading app of your selected stockbroker
- Create a trading account
- Verify your Trading account
- Deposit Funds
- Select your favorite stocks and start trading
Best Stock Trading Apps Pros and Cons
- Low trading cost
- Better control
- Availability of educational resources
- Availability of real-time notifications
- Customer support
- Learning curve is needed for every specific app
- No guidance from experts
- Ambiguous user interface in some apps
Factors to Consider when Choosing a Stock Trading App
Before you start trading on a mobile and desktop app, there are a few factors you must consider. Some of the factors to look out for when you compare share trading apps are:
This is one of the most important factors to consider when choosing a trading app. This is because an app with a good user interface usually means convenience for traders. On the other hand, an app with a poor user interface means the trader would have a terrible experience when trading.
The User interface is the point of connection between the user and the software. This includes things like the display, navigation components, menus, input control, and so on. When you use the trading app, is it slow? Does it hang? Is the menu or search bar difficult to access? Ask these questions about the user interface before you choose to use a share trading app.
Account Opening Process
Before you can trade with any stock trading app, you need to open an account with them. It is important that the account opening process is seamless and easy. When you try to open an account, how is their response time? Does it take a long time for them to send you a verification email? Does it take long to verify the account? These are important questions you need to ask and find answers to before you open an account with any share trading app. You may have to check review articles and read comments on sites like ForexPeaceArmy, TrustPilot, Reddit and Quora to get answers to these questions.
When trading stocks, your execution speed is an extremely important factor. With slow execution, you could lose out on important trades. Your order execution is the speed at which the trading app carries out your buy or sell trading order. A good order execution time should be around 0.1 seconds or less. This means your trading app should carry out any order you place within 100 milliseconds or less. This allows traders to get in on trades before the price changes in the stock market.
Before choosing a trading app, ask the broker what their execution time is. Also, try to find out what percentage of trades often take more than 1 second to carry out. If most of their trades take 1 second or more, then you might be better off looking for another broker to trade with.
Traders always need to keep tabs on the market while trading stocks, so that they can make better decisions and trade wisely. To do this, trading insights from share trading apps are important. With the right trading insights, you can learn about trends, news and market insights to give you an idea of strategies to use when trading. You can also learn from expert traders and study strategies they used to handle certain trading situations.
A good share trading app should have trading insights for newbies and professional traders. Before using a trading app, check its insights, see if they are updated and useful.
Traders often worry about the security of their funds and personal information before they start stock trading. This is a valid fear due to the increase in unethical hacking and loss of funds by companies due to bankruptcy. It is therefore important that stock trading apps have security features in place that protect traders’ funds and personal information.
At the very least, a trading app should require password verification before a trader is allowed to log into the platform. Apps should also have two-factor authentication (2FA) to verify a trader’s identity and add an extra layer of security in case the trader gets hacked. Security questions should also be available for extra security.
Check the layers of security available on a trading app before you fund your trading account or place trades with them.
Fees and Charges
Trading stocks is not free. You will need to pay some fees and charges to the broker to carry out your trades. The most common fee is the spread, which is the difference between the bid and ask price of an asset. Dealing Desk brokers often charge spreads because they don’t charge commissions to traders who use their services.
There are other fees like deposit and withdrawal fees, overnight fees (for holding a position overnight), and inactivity fees (for leaving your account inactive for a long period). Check all the fees available on a broker that offers a share trading app before you start using the app. You should see a breakdown of these fees on the broker’s website.
The minimum deposit offered by a broker through a trading app is the lowest amount of money you can fund your trading account with before you can start trading. Low minimum deposits are important because they allow beginners to test the waters with very little risk. Most brokers have minimum deposits of $100 or lower. Some have minimum deposits as low as $5.
Check the broker’s minimum deposit before you open a trading account on their app and start trading with them.
Variety of Exchanges
Most people are familiar with stocks on major stock exchanges like the New York Stock Exchange and NASDAQ. However, there are many other stock exchanges that offer high-quality stocks from the biggest companies in the world. These exchanges include Euronext, the London Stock Exchange, the Shanghai Stock Exchange, and many others.
The trading app you choose should offer a wide variety of exchanges for trading the stocks of different companies all over the world.
Best Stock Trading Apps: Desktop Vs Mobile Trading Platforms
A trading platform is a software used by brokers to help traders access a market. Most brokers have their own proprietary trading software, but the most widely used trading platforms are MetaTrader (MT4 and MT5) and cTrader.
Trading platforms can be web-based or application-based. A web-based platform requires you to trade through a browser online, while a trading app requires you to download and install the software on your device for trading. You can install this software on your mobile device or desktop. For example, you can access a web-based version of MT4 from your broker’s website or download and install the MT4 application on your smartphone and use it there.
Desktop platforms are often web or downloadable applications available on desktop devices, while trading apps are mostly applications available on mobile devices, like your cell phone or tablet.
Desktop platforms are sometimes preferred as they are projected on a wider screen, allowing for comfort while trading. However, that advantage could be a disadvantage when you need to move around without carrying your laptop or a beefy computer.
In terms of real-time notifications and trading insights, share trading apps are often better, especially the mobile versions. You can receive news and insights on your smartphone and make adjustments to your trades. Trading on the go is another important benefit trading apps give you, although mobile web-based versions of trading platforms can also give you this benefit if your broker has a functional website design. However, the downside of using trading apps is that you have to download the application software onto your mobile device.
Apart from these slight differences, desktop platforms and trading apps often have similar features and interfaces.
Best Stock Trading Apps: Real Stock Trading vs CFD Stock Trading
Before you start trading stocks, it is important to know the difference between real share trading and CFD share trading. When trading real stocks, you choose your preferred stocks and buy them directly from the company through the broker. By doing this, you own a piece of the company, and your investment in the company can appreciate or depreciate depending on the condition of the market and other factors. In other words, you invested in a company’s stocks and you need the stocks to rise for you to make profits.
CFD share trading is a completely different ballgame. CFDs (Contracts-for-difference) are derivatives that allow you to trade only on the price movement of shares without actually buying those shares. CFDs require you to use leverage when trading, so you only deposit a small percentage of the total amount required to buy the asset. With CFD trading, you can speculate the direction of the stock price, whether it will go up or down. If the price moves in your direction, you will make a profit. On the other hand, if the price moves in the opposite direction, you will make a loss.
Some trading apps offer both real stocks and stock CFDs to clients. Brokers like eToro offer both real and CFD stocks to their global clients, while brokers like Capital.com only offer stock CFDs to their clients. This means only stock CFDs can be traded on its trading app.
Check the broker you are trading with and confirm that they offer the kind of stocks you wish to buy before trading with them.
What are the Best Stock Trading Apps for iPhone and Android Users?
There are many stock trading apps you can use on your iPhone and Android devices, but most of them are not worth your time. However, there are others that meet most of the criteria we’ve mentioned above. Some good trading apps for your iPhone and Android devices are: eToro, Capital.com, Interactive Brokers, TD Ameritrade, Trade Station, Fidelity, and E*Trade.
Zero Commission Stock Trading Apps
Many brokers charge their customers a small percentage of trades in the form of a commission for helping them carry out such trades. However, there are many others who do not charge any commissions for trades carried out on their platforms. These brokers are known as commission-free stockbrokers.
Commission-free stockbrokers make their money by offering some premium services, for example, there are some packages that allow you access to better resources, news feeds, and other important services. Some also make money from interests gotten from banks after deposits and withdrawals.
If you are interested in commission-free stock trading, there are many stock trading apps you could sign up with to buy real and CFD shares, e.g eToro, Capital.com (only stock CFDs), Robinhood, Fidelity, TD Ameritrade, M1 Finance, Interactive Brokers, E*Trade, and TradeStation.
Are Stock Trading Apps Safe?
Many people often wonder if they can trust trading apps. This is a valid fear, as many people keep their money and personal information on these apps. Thankfully, most stockbrokers make special efforts to ensure that the trading apps are relatively safe for traders to send their money and personal information. It is important that these stockbrokers are regulated, as regulated brokers tend to follow stricter measures to protect investors’ funds and private information.
For one, stockbrokers are required to keep an amount of money ($1 million or more) in a tier 1 bank in the country to act as insurance for customer funds in case of bankruptcy or hacking. Another security measure taken by trading apps is two-factor authentication. Stock trading apps are password-protected, so only registered customers can gain access to the app. Two-factor authentication (2FA) acts as another layer of protection that protects a customer’s account if it gets hacked.
Finally, it is important that stockbrokers have negative balance protection to protect customers’ funds when trading with leverage. CFD stock trading can be rewarding, but it can also cause huge losses that leave customers in debt. Negative balance protection ensures protection for the trader’s funds so that they never go into debt with the broker.
What Reddit & Quora Say About the Best Stock Trading Apps
Before you start stock trading with an app, it is important to check reviews about the app’s reputation from traders who have used it in the past. We went through reviews on two of the biggest social networks, Reddit and Quora, to find out which trading apps were worth trading with, all things considered.
We went through various subreddits to read about people’s opinions on different trading apps and their thoughts on trading apps in general.
On a subreddit called r/wallstreetbets, we found a thread asking about the best trading apps for beginners. One Redditor on the thread mentioned how they thought Fidelity was one of the best share trading apps around, although the app has a lot of bad publicity and hate from different people. According to this Redditor, Fidelity was good for Dollar-Cost Averaging (DCA), something they often did with VTI index funds. Another Redditor agreed with this point.
On another subreddit, another Redditor talked about TD Ameritrade and all the wonderful benefits that come with trading on their app. He explained that using the Thinkorswim desktop software with the Ameritrade app offers a trader many benefits, like stock scanners that help you find stocks that suit your taste. According to this Redditor, there are also many features that allow beginners to practice before trading with their funds on the platform.
Another Redditor on another subreddit talked about how he thought eToro was the best stock trading app, having traded with it for a few years. He specifically mentioned the eToro Copytrader feature that allows newbie stock traders to copy trades from experts and learn the ropes of stock trading before going all in.
On Quora, we found lots of opinions about trading apps and what some of the users thought were the best ones for traders. One user talked about some factors to look out for when choosing a trading app. According to her, the app should have a good reputation, be easy to use, and have a wide variety of trading instruments and other important features.
Another Quora user made a list of trading apps he thought were the best. According to him, Interactive Brokers, Saxo Bank, Degiro, TradeStation, and TastyWorks were the best international brokers for trading stocks, in that order. He also gave good reasons for choosing each app on his list, including low fees, great mobile and desktop platforms, and a wide range of products as good reasons for choosing a good trading app.
Stock trading apps are downloadable software that allows traders to access the stock market on the go. This software can be created by a stockbroker for the purpose of providing trading services to traders. To use these apps, you must download them from an app store, create a trading account, verify the trading account, fund the account, and start trading.
There are many trading apps available today in different app stores, so it is important to weed out terrible ones and use credible apps to trade. To do this, traders need to consider different important factors, like the fees and commissions on the app, the security features of the app, the user interface, news, and other resources, and the speed of execution on the app.
Some trading apps are available for desktop devices, while others are available on mobile devices. They both come with their advantages and disadvantages, depending on the trader’s needs. Also, some trading apps offer real stocks, while others offer Contracts for Difference (CFDs). Find the stock app that offers the stock option you want before opening an account with them.
Users of stock trading apps on Quora and Reddit have different favorite apps for different reasons. Names like Ameritrade, eToro, Fidelity, Interactive Brokers, Degiro, and Saxo Bank came up as great apps for stock trading. Users mentioned low fees, great desktop, and mobile trading platforms, and ease of use as different reasons for choosing these apps.
Q & A
Some of the best share trading apps are eToro, Capital.com, Interactive Brokers, TD Ameritrade, and Saxo Bank.
The best stock trading apps for beginners are Fidelity, eToro, TD Ameritrade, Robinhood and Capital.com. Brokers like eToro and Capital.com offer demo accounts for beginners to test their trading skills before risking their capital in stock trading with a standard account. Because stock trading with real money can be risky for beginners, it is important to practice trading and understand the market with demo accounts before trading with live standard accounts.
Yes, you can start trading stocks with $100, but it will take longer for you to grow your trading account compared to starting with a higher amount.
Yes, there are many commission-free share trading apps, like eToro, Fidelity and TD Ameritrade.
The safest share trading apps are apps regulated by renowned regulatory bodies and follow strict security procedures. Examples are eToro and Capital.com
Yes, you can invest in shares using a stock trading app.
Yes, you can find penny stocks on trading apps like TD Ameritrade and Robinhood
The minimum amount needed to start trading stocks depends on the broker you wish to use. Some stock trading apps allow you to start trading with deposits as low as $10 or $20.
Some stockbrokers with good trading apps are eToro, Capital.com, Fidelity and TD Ameritrade.