Investing can be intimidating, but most financially savvy people realize that investing is a great way to save for the future. Fortunately, micro-investing apps make investing accessible for everyone, even if you don’t have thousands or even hundreds of dollars to invest.
Micro-investing is a strategy that involves putting small amounts of money into the market. Many people choose to invest their money to save for retirement and do so through an employer-provided 401(k) or an IRA. This is a good start to investing, but if you want to invest and save more, consider downloading and using a micro-investment app.
Some micro-investing apps are suited for hands-off investors, while others allow you to have full control of your investments. Below, I’ve listed the best apps for micro-investing worth checking out.
10 Best Micro-Investing Apps for 2023
Here are the top 10 best micro-investment apps right now:
🏆 Best Overall
If you’re looking for a micro-investing app that allows you to be very hands-on, consider Robinhood. This app has been around since 2013 and aims to make investing accessible and affordable for everyone.
Robinhood doesn’t charge commission and it’s free to open an account. Transfers of funds to your bank are also free.
The benefit of using Robinhood is that it’s a simple app designed for new investors. That means there are no bells and whistles or confusing language used — the app is designed to be as easy to use as possible. If you’re more experienced at investing, Investopedia says, you might find Robinhood to be lacking due to its no-frills platform.
Robinhood lets you trade full stocks. You can also buy and sell with Bitcoin. With Robinhood, you’re able to stay on top of your investments with real-time market data.
While Robinhood’s platform is based around an app, you can also access your account from your laptop or computer. This feature allows you to discover new stocks via the “Collections” section, which sorts investments into categories like gas and oil, social networks, and entertainment.
You can also see the average share price investors bought stocks at and their current prices. Other features include a list of related stocks that other investors bought, stock ratings by analysts, earnings information, and general stock market news.
Robinhood is a great choice if you want to take a deeper dive into the stock market but aren’t quite sure where to start. The app is available on iTunes and Google Play in the U.S.
Robinhood makes investing simple with their mobile app. You'll also trade commission-free, and can start building your portfolio with just $1. Use our link to earn up to $200 in free stock.
If you’re more of a hands-off type, consider downloading the Acorns app. Once you connect your bank account to Acorns, it will round up your purchases and deposit the money into your Acorns account.
For example, if you buy something for $15.49, Acorns will take the extra 51 cents and save it.
Once your account reaches $5, Acorns will begin investing for you. If you choose, you can set your preferences to help the app decide where to invest. But if you prefer, you can let the app invest for you in a set-it-and-forget-it way.
With Acorns, you’re unlikely to make a killing with your investments, but it’s a good supplement if you want to start saving more each month. Since the roundup amounts are so small, you likely won’t even notice the money missing from your account each month.
To learn more check out our Acorns review or download Acorns from the App Store or Google Play if you live in the U.S. or Australia at the link below.
Price: $3 per month
Easily save & invest in the background of life. Invest your spare change, save for retirement, spend smarter, earn more, and grow your knowledge.
If you mixed investing with social media, the end result might resemble Public.com.
Public’s iOS and Android apps let you connect with other investors much as you connect with friends on social media. When you’re not sure where to start as an investor, interacting with more experienced traders can help.
Public makes mindful investing easier through its use of themes. The platform has about 50 investing themes which bundle similar companies together.
Maybe you want to invest in women-led businesses or environmentally conscious companies. Public has a theme for that, helping you invest with your heart along with your head.
But make no mistake: They also appeal to your financial common sense.
Public.com Investing Features:
- Commission-Free Trading: This has become commonplace now. Public’s predecessor, Matador, was a pioneer.
- Fractional Shares: Don’t want to wait ‘til you have the funds to buy a full share? You can invest in a fractional share. (Public calls fractions “Slices.”)
- A Referral Bonus: Get a free Slice when you refer a friend who signs up. (Your friend gets a free Slice, too.)
- Real-time Trading: During trading hours there’s no delay even when you trade only a Slice.
- In-App Support: When something in the app gets you confused, you can chat with a customer service rep through the app itself.
- No Minimums: You can open an account and invest with any amount.
- SPIC-Insured Balance: Up to $500,000 of your account’s uninsured money will be insured by the SIPC; however, Public.com no longer pays interest on invested cash.
Public isn’t for high-volume day traders, and it doesn’t work for international trading or cryptocurrency. If you prefer a completely passive approach, Public isn’t for you either.
Though it does have some advanced features, Public works best for new investors who want to learn the ropes, earn some extra cash, but not control every nuance of their portfolio.
One last thing: Use common sense when taking investment advice from friends on Public’s optional social media platform. There’s a reason financial advising is a paid profession.
Stash is an app designed for beginners who want to be hands-on with their investments. They have very transparent fees and don’t charge any trading fees or commissions.
After you download the app, you can connect it to your bank account. Stash will then ask you some questions to determine your risk level. This will be determined as conservative, moderate, or aggressive.
Once you’re ready to invest (Stash recommends reading its investors’ guide first to make sure you’re comfortable with the process), you can pick the types of companies and portfolios you’d like to invest in. You can choose to invest your money in causes that are important to you, specific interests, products, and services, or specific companies. This gives you a certain amount of freedom in determining where your money goes.
After choosing the types of companies you want to invest in, you’ll see a list of companies that match your preferences. You can read more about each company and assess its risk level before actually investing your money.
Once you’ve made your decision, you can add it to your Stash portfolio and even choose to “Auto-Stash,” where you can determine how much money to add to the investment on a weekly or monthly basis, it could be investing $100 or as little as $5. You can check your Stash portfolio in the app at any time and make changes as often as you like.
Stash is available on iPhone and Android devices. As of right now, you can only access Stash in the U.S.
To learn more check out our Stash review or download stash using the link below.
- STASH Beginner ($1/mo.) helps customers learn the basics of saving and investing with a personal brokerage account and access to banking services, including Stock-Back™ rewards.
- STASH Growth ($3/mo.) helps customers build the foundation of a healthy financial life with a personal brokerage account, retirement account, and access to banking services, including Stock-Back™ rewards.
- STASH+ ($9/mo.) helps customers maximize the value of every dollar they make with a personal brokerage account, retirement account, two custodial investment accounts for minors, a metal STASH Debit Card with 2x Stock-Back™ rewards, and a monthly market insight report.
If Robinhood sounds too hands-on for you, consider Betterment. While this app allows you to be hands-off about your investments, it also gives you access to real financial advisors who can help you decide where to invest your hard-earned dollars.
When you sign up, you’ll get two choices for service: Betterment Digital and Betterment Premium. The former is the simpler of the two, with no required account minimum and a small fee (0.25% of your assets for accounts $20,000+ or $4 per month for balances less than $20,000). The latter has a higher fee (0.4% of your assets) but gives you easier access to financial advisors.
With Betterment Digital, you can speak with financial advisors through the app’s messaging system. If you choose the Premium service, you’ll get unlimited phone access to those advisors in addition to the in-app messaging. It’s important to note that you’ll also need a $100,000 account minimum to sign up for the Premium service, so most of us will have to stick with the Digital package.
Nerdwallet recommends Betterment for investors who want to be hands-off, are retired, want automatic rebalancing, have low balances or like goal-based tools. The Betterment app is available on the App Store and Google Play, but you can also access the tool online.
No matter what type of investor you are, there’s a micro-investing app out there for you. For more hands-off investing, Acorns and Betterment are good choices. But if you want to dig deeper into the market and have more of a say in where you invest, go with Stash or Robinhood.
Each app helps you to save, so you can’t make a bad choice — just make sure you research the benefits of each app before signing up.
SoFi is a popular personal finance company that offers banking, loans, insurance, and investment services. It’s one of the easiest investment platforms to use, with a straightforward mobile app for managing all your investments.
With SoFi, you can actively invest in stocks and ETFs and get early access to IPOs. SoFi also offers crypto trading with over 30 available coins.
You can invest with as little as $10 and get up to a $100 bonus on your first trade. SoFi doesn’t have mutual funds or bonds, which could be a downside for more seasoned investors looking for that diversity.
While you can definitely use SoFi for major investments with lots of zeros, it’s particularly rewarding for investing small amounts.
You can invest in fractional shares of stocks from your favorite companies with $5 and no commissions.
If you want to play a less active role in investing, SoFi offers top-notch robo-advising. You can set up automated investing with $1 through a single investment or a recurring one.
If you have a SoFi bank account, you can enable round-ups on all your Mastercard purchases to make routine small investments.
SoFi’s automated investing doesn’t come with any account management fees. You set your investing goals, then SoFi invests on your behalf to meet those goals by diversifying your investments and rebalancing to keep you on track every quarter.
7. M1 Finance
If you’re looking for a platform that’s a hybrid of automated investing and customization, M1 Finance could be for you.
M1 Finance offers similar features to SoFi, but it’s built around the concept of pies. That’s what the platform calls its portfolios. You can choose from over 60 expertly-curated pies or create your own pie by choosing its slices, which are the stocks and funds you want to invest in.
This includes fractional shares. You can invest in high-priced stocks and diversify your portfolio with as little as $1.
From there, M1 will automate your investments with scheduled contributions, automatic investments, and portfolio rebalancing. It’s one of my top picks for self-directed investing.
There are no account management or trading fees, but there is a $100 account minimum, and a $500 minimum for retirement accounts.
M1 also offers a checking account, rewards credit card, and an Owner’s Rewards Card. This card is linked to your portfolio and gives you up to 10% cash back on purchases from brands you’re invested in. And you can automate the process of reinvesting your rewards.
For more features, check out M1’s premium account, M1 Plus. The account is free for the first 3 months, then costs $125 per year. It comes with better credit card rewards and loan rates, plus access to a custodial account, smart transfers, and AM or PM trading.
If you have kids and want to teach them about investing, you should consider Greenlight.
Greenlight is completely unique from the other platforms in this review because it’s designed specifically for teaching kids and teens how to invest.
The platform comes with banking features and teaches kids about the basics of personal finance and investing.
Kids and teens can invest in the stocks and ETFs they choose with parental consent. When they decide to make a trade, you get notified in the app and can choose to approve or deny it.
Parents can also get in on investing by contributing towards their kids’ education and other saving goals.
Greenlight offers fractional shares, too, so you and your kids can invest with as little as $1. There are no trading fees, but Greenlight does have monthly fees, outlined below. You can try out Greenlight with a free one-month trial.
Here’s a breakdown of Greenlight’s plans:
- Greenlight: This plan comes with up to 5 kids’ debit cards, an educational app, personal finance tools, parental controls, and 1% interest on savings, for $4.99 per month.
- Greenlight + Invest: For $7.98 per month, this plan adds investing for kids and parents to the features above.
- Greenlight Max: Greenlight Max also gives your kids 2% interest on savings, 1% cashback, a Greenlight Black Card, priority customer support, phone protection, purchase protection, and identity theft protection, for $9.98 per month.
Webull could be the right fit if you’re looking for a sleek mobile app with advanced trading tools. The platform is user-friendly enough for beginners but powerful enough for experienced investors.
It’s also one of the most affordable options, with no minimum deposit requirements or commissions on stocks, options, or ETFs.
You can trade stocks, ETFs, options, and ADRs, but Webull loses some points for its lack of mutual funds.
Webull recently added crypto to its lineup, letting you trade, store, and transfer crypto securely in the app. There are more than 44 cryptocurrencies available, and you can start trading with $1.
Additionally, Webull lets you make micro-investments with fractional shares of ETFs and your favorite companies’ stocks. You can invest in fractional shares with a $5 investment.
When you sign up for a new Webull account and fund it, you could also win up to 12 free stocks.
Webull has fewer educational tools for new traders than some competitors, but it’s adding more courses and guides to its library.
It’s important to understand that Webull is an active trading platform rather than a robo-advisor. If you’re looking to actively invest with an affordable platform with a lot of analytical tools and dashboards, Webull is worth considering.
Wealthsimple offers the best of both worlds if you’re drawn to automated investing but want to work with a financial advisors. You can choose a robo-advisor account with access to a financial advisor or trade actively.
With the robo-advisor option, you share your goals and risk tolerance. Wealthsimple uses that info to build, manage, and rebalance your portfolio. You can contact your portfolio manager anytime with questions, which most platforms don’t offer without an additional fee.
If you’re passionate about social causes, you can opt for a strategy that invests in socially responsible companies. Wealthsimple also offers Halal investments that comply with Islamic law.
Wealthsimple does have some management fees. If you deposit less than $100,000, you’ll pay a .5% management fee. Six-figure accounts have a .4% management fee and come with additional features like tax-loss harvesting.
You can invest in an automated invested account with as little as $1. If you want to take the reins, Wealthsimple’s active trading is also a good fit for micro-investors.
There are no account minimums or commissions, and you can trade thousands of stocks and ETFs, including fractional shares with a basic free account. Wealthsimple also offers crypto trading, with more than 50 coins available to trade.
Frequently Asked Questions
How Does Micro Investing Work?
One popular micro-investing strategy is rounding up. Apps like Stash and Acorns link your debit card to your investment account and automatically round up your purchases to invest in stocks and ETFs.
You can also make micro-investments into your favorite companies by purchasing fractional shares. For a few dollars, you can invest in major brands like Amazon, Apple, and Target, owning a fraction of a share.
Can You Make Money Micro Investing?
Short answer — yes. Micro investing is a great way to learn about investing, save towards your goals, and start building a diversified portfolio regardless of how experienced you are or how much you have to invest.
Every penny counts and over time, micro-investments add up. Just keep in mind that you’ll need more than $.24 round-ups here and there to retire. To invest more than spare change, set up recurring weekly or monthly investments.
You also need to watch out for account fees. Weigh your contributions against plan fees to make sure the interest is worth it.