Ordering lunch. Paying a bill. Tracking your daily steps. Smartphone tasks like these have become everyday habits for millions of people, and now, so has stock trading and investing.
In the highly competitive realm of U.S. online stockbrokers, having a viable mobile app is simply table stakes — for traditional, full-service brokerages like Fidelity and Charles Schwab as well as upstart trendsetters like Robinhood and Webull. The best trading apps are the ones in this crowded field that best suit your particular needs and preferences.
The best stock market apps will stand out across all categories: They’ll be easy to use, have excellent design, deliver a fully featured online trading experience and, not least, offer $0 stock and ETF trades.
For our 2022 Annual Review, we meticulously tested 15 top stock trading apps and reviewed each one across more than 25 different features. To score high marks, a broker had to provide an excellent stock trading experience across many usability categories. Testing was conducted using an iPhone XS (Apple iOS) and Samsung Galaxy S9+ (Android).
Best Stock Trading Apps 2022
Here are the online brokers with the best stock market apps in 2022.
In our 2022 Review, E*TRADE once again ranked among the best because its apps are easy to use and feature-rich. Our recommendation: use E*TRADE mobile for stock trading and Power E*TRADE Mobile for options trading. Read full review
Power E*TRADE offers great selection of trading tools
Our top pick for mobile trading and ease of use
$1,000 minimum for streaming data
Range of educational materials is limited compared to peers
TD Ameritrade delivers $0 trades, fantastic trading platforms, excellent market research and industry-leading education for beginners, and two different feature-rich apps – both excellent. Read full review
Excellent education for beginners
thinkorswim platform suite is our top desktop platform for 2022
Fidelity’s mobile experience is cleanly designed, bug-free and delivers a phenomenal experience for investors. While active traders may be left wanting more, for the majority, Fidelity delivers, winning our award for No. 1 Investor App for the fifth year in a row. Read full review
Excellent mobile app for investors
Our top pick for order execution, no payment for order flow (PFOF)
Mobile trading with Interactive Brokers is well-supported across all devices. From lightning-quick streaming data to full-featured order entry and portfolio management, Interactive Brokers includes everything professionals require to trade on the go. Read full review
Web-based client portal great for casual investors
Offers access to global markets
Robust mobile app
Trader Workstation (TWS) desktop platform best suited for professionals, not beginners
TradeStation's mobile app is meticulously designed and provides the functionality that active and professional traders need to succeed; and traders can now access their TradeStation crypto account directly through the app. Read full review
As smartphones become just as capable as the average laptop computer, it’s no surprise that traders demand the same features found in desktop trading platforms to be available in their stock trading app counterparts. But the manner in which those tools are integrated matters significantly.
Features such as real-time streaming quotes, charting with multiple indicators, and synced watch lists are commonly found; other basic offerings might be missing in action. For example, fewer than 50% of stock apps support basic stock alerts.
The best mobile apps manage to pack more tools under the hood in a way that doesn’t make finding what you need overly complex, whether by swiping, tapping a menu or choosing from a drop-down list. See below how our top five finishers measure up.
E*TRADE ranks at the top for its mobile app suite for both iPhone and Android devices. The E*TRADE package consists of the E*TRADE Mobile app, optimized for everyday investing, and the feature-rich Power E*TRADE app, which is geared more toward trading.
E*TRADE Mobile has lots of features tucked away and is great not just for beginners, but more demanding investors as well, with a surprising amount of depth and variety of tools. There are advanced research reports, and charts come with 10 indicators. It’s easy to navigate the app and discover new features.
Power E*TRADE, in comparison, is the best trading app for very active traders. It offers complex orders for trading, including advanced options orders, and more than 100 charting indicators. It’s a high-powered platform with sophisticated tools for active traders, but its modern design and interface make the app easy to use. Read our full review of E*TRADE.
A demo of E*TRADE Mobile, the broker’s more beginner-friendly mobile app.
Runner-Up: TD Ameritrade — Best App for Options
A top contender among mobile apps in 2022 for both iPhone and Android devices, TD Ameritrade offers two powerful apps and $0 commissions when you trade. The suite consists of TD Ameritrade Mobile, which closely resembles the client web portal; and the powerful thinkorswim app, whose tools and advanced charting mirror what’s found in its web and desktop counterparts.
TD Ameritrade Mobile is great for everyday investors, with features such as news, price alerts, syncing watch lists and basic charts, along with ratings and research reports from third-party providers.
The thinkorswim mobile app comes with some of the most advanced charting packages available via mobile, with over 400 indicators — that’s significant for technical analysis pros. The ability to prepare complex order types is also made easy thanks to an intelligent layout and design. Traders can access news headlines and TV streams from CNBC alongside the TD Ameritrade Network, with nonstop broadcasting throughout the trading week. Read our full review of TD Ameritrade.
Podium Finisher: Fidelity — Best Stock App for Investors
Fidelity offers multiple mobile apps for Android and iPhone devices, with its investing app the primary offering for trading and everyday investing. Whether you’re doing your banking, transferring money between accounts, managing orders or placing trades, Fidelity’s investing app is excellent for everyday investors and in 2022 won our No. 1 Investor App award for the fifth consecutive year.
The app features streaming TV from Bloomberg, consistent with Fidelity’s Active Trader Pro desktop platform, in addition to a personalized feed, news headlines and research. Drawbacks: Charting is basic, and the app is not optimized for day trading or more demanding traders. The layout, however, is excellent; and with innovative features continually being added, users can also toggle to a Beta Experience for a more simplified version. Read our full review of Fidelity.
Interactive Brokers — Best for Professionals
Interactive Brokers is a perennial standout for its powerful flagship platform, desktop-based Trader Workstation. Its mobile app, though perhaps not best suited for beginners, is equally impressive and puts just about any tool or feature an investor may want at their fingertips.
Highlights of the app include lightning-quick streaming data, full-featured order entry, portfolio management, and robust charting, with 70 optional indicators and easy customizations. One puzzling drawback is that stock alerts cannot be delivered via push notification and come via email instead.
Interactive Brokers also offers one of the best stock apps for investors who screen for social and environmental issues. Its new Impact app is aimed at the growing interest in ESG (environmental, social and governance) investing. Users choose personal values, such as clean water, and identify corporate practices they consider objectionable, such as animal testing or carbon emissions. The app identifies companies that support those values and investors can even “swap” portfolio positions with a single trade. Read our full review of Interactive Brokers.
TradeStation — Great for Tools and Technology
TradeStation is a longtime leader in technological innovation in the brokerage industry, offering great tools across its desktop, web and mobile platforms, all of which are excellent.
The mobile app is meticulously designed and provides a high degree of functionality. Thanks to Matrix (ladder trading) and complex options trading support, full day trading functionality is incorporated (note that Matrix requires Level II market data, which carries an extra monthly cost). Traders can also now access their TradeStation Crypto account directly through the app.
Mobile watch lists automatically sync with the Web Trading platform — though not desktop — and there are dozens of predefined, customizable screeners available to scan the market. Charting on mobile is robust, clean, and extremely thorough, and drawing tools are available.
TradeStation offers an additional, stand-alone app, FuturesPlus, for trading options on futures, with highlights including price visualization, predefined and custom strategy builders, advanced contract analysis, real-time time and sales, and risk management via Greeks. Read our full review of TradeStation.
Other trading apps tested
In addition to our top five stock trading apps in 2022, we reviewed 10 others. Here are the highlights of our mobile app testing.
Ally Invest — Ally Invest scored well in our review for ease of use, and offers a number of essential trading features on its mobile app. However, as a stand-alone broker, we find it trails industry leaders overall. Read full review.
Charles Schwab — Schwab, a leading full-service broker, provides a consistent and generally enjoyable experience for mobile trading, but it lacks core functionality in two key areas for active traders: alerts and quotes. Read full review.
Firstrade — Firstrade’s mobile app is appealing and easy to use and provides good charting, but overall, its tools are lacking and trail the offerings of industry leaders. Read full review.
J.P. Morgan Self-Directed Investing — The bank-brokerage’s mobile app provides clean access to investing as well as education and market news, but it’s very basic and navigation could be cleaner. Read full review.
Merrill Edge — Merrill Edge, a top bank-brokerage, offers a mobile app that’s easy to use and particularly good for research. Universal account access helps it tick the boxes for existing Bank of America customers. Read full review.
Robinhood — Robinhood’s mobile-forward ease of use make it very beginner-friendly, but its tools are extremely limited and leave it well behind industry leaders. Read full review.
SoFi Invest — SoFi’s app is easy to use and navigate, but overall its tools and features are limited. Read full review.
Tradier — Tradier’s app is straitforward and easy to use, but lacks advanced functionality and is not beginner-friendly. Read full review.
Vanguard — As a broker focused on long-term, buy-and-hold investing, Vanguard’s mobile app, like its desktop platform, is limited in its functionality. Read full review.
Webull — A disruptor in the field, Webull just missed making our winners list for 2022. Its mobile-first focus and ease of use make it one to watch. Read full review.
A demo of Webull's app functionality.
Mobile apps have become an increasingly competitive area for online brokers. The table below shows how our top picks for mobile apps in 2022 have ranked over time in the Mobile Trading Apps category of the StockBrokers.com Annual Review, now in its 13th year. Ratings are out of a total of 5 stars.
What is the best app to buy and trade stocks?
Every investor is different, so there’s no one-size-fits-all stock trading app. Beginning long-term investors will love Merrill Edge’s Stock Story feature, which presents important stock information in a friendly but very informative format. New traders will appreciate Webull’s ease of use. Fidelity offers long-term investors a wealth of information. If you want a torrent of educational tutorials and webinars, TD Ameritrade has you covered. If you’re focused on foreign stock investing, Interactive Brokers is able to buy and sell stocks in many foreign markets.
Best overall: E*TRADE
Best stock app for investors: Fidelity
Beginning stock traders: Webull
Beginning long term investors: Merrill Edge
Foreign stock investors: Interactive Brokers
Best investor education: TD Ameritrade
What is the best free trading app?
The best free stock trading app is from E*TRADE. Unlike most brokers, E*TRADE offers two apps: E*TRADE Mobile and the Power E*TRADE app. E*TRADE Mobile is designed for casual investors, while the Power E*TRADE app is designed for the feature-hungry active trader. Both apps are top-notch.
For beginners in 2022, the best stock trading apps are E*TRADE and TD Ameritrade. Between the two brokers, TD Ameritrade has the edge for educational resources and trading tools. Meanwhile, E*TRADE stands out for ease of use.
What are the pros and cons of using a trading app?
Can invest and check your portfolio on the go.
No need for elaborate trading setups.
Setting up trade alerts can allow you to react quickly when the market moves.
Charts and research are often hard to read on a smaller screen.
Many apps have far fewer features than what’s available on the brokers’ websites or desktop platforms.
Connectivity can be an issue.
How do I choose the best stock trading app?
Now that all stock apps offer $0 stock trades, we recommend comparing other features to choose the best stock trading app. The most widely used stock app features are watch lists, stock charts, and order tickets, so make sure those are great. To help readers, we include full screenshots of each stock trading app in our broker reviews.
Fun fact: Not all stock trading apps offer real-time streaming quotes. Instead, some apps only refresh stock quotes every few seconds or longer. Watch lists aside, apps like TD Ameritrade and TradeStation provide excellent stock chart tools and stock alerts functionality. Both brokers offer traders access to several hundred technical indicators in addition to endless customization options.
Is there an app to practice stock trading?
Yes, several mobile apps allow you to practice stock trading without risking real money. E*TRADE (our favorite app for beginners), eToro, Interactive Brokers, TD Ameritrade, TradeStation, Tradier and Webull all give you virtual portfolios to practice on. Keep in mind that investing “fake money” feels very different than the real thing. You’ll learn the most once you’re investing your own money.
What apps let you trade stocks for free?
Many brokers today offer commission-free trading, also known as zero-dollar commissions. Our picks for the best apps for trading stocks for free come from the following brokers in 2022:
Fidelity - Fidelity mobile app for Android and iOS devices
Interactive Brokers - IBKR mobile and IMPACT app for Android and iOS devices
Charles Schwab - Schwab mobile app for Android and iOS devices
TradeStation - TradeStation mobile app for Android and iOS devices
TD Ameritrade - TD Ameritrade app and thinkorswim mobile for Android and iOS
E*TRADE - E*TRADE app and Power E*TRADE mobile app for Android and iOS
Are trading apps safe?
Trading apps from established U.S. based brokerage firms are safe against theft and broker insolvency. Brokers in the United States are among the highest-regulated financial service providers in the world. They go to enormous lengths to protect your privacy and you are protected against the loss of cash and securities by the Security Investors Protection Corporation if, for some reason your broker is financially distressed (up to $500,000 in securities and $250,000 in cash per customer). Many brokers buy additional coverage to insure even larger amounts.
Remember, SIPC insurance does not cover against losing money from your investments going down. Your investing decisions will play a far bigger part than the risk of fraud or theft in determining whether your portfolio is safe.
What is the safest stock app?
The safest stock apps come from the overall best and most trustworthy brokers. The following brokers offer the safest stock apps in 2022:
E*TRADE: Best stock app for traders
TD Ameritrade: Best app for options
Fidelity: Best stock app for investors
Interactive Brokers: Best for professionals
TradeStation: Great for tools and technology
The best apps allow login with biometrics (fingerprint or retina, for example) and other features such as two-factor authentication to reduce the chance of accounts being hacked.
Most importantly, a broker that has proper security measures across its websites, platforms and applications will have you covered in the event of a compromise.
What app gives you free stock?
Apps from brokers like Webull and Robinhood may give you a small amount of a stock of their choice — usually one or two shares — as a way to incentivize you to trade and invest, subject to certain terms and eligibility conditions.
Often the free shares will be given after you first open and fund a new brokerage account, or when you complete certain actions for the first time, such as linking your bank account.
What is the best stock trading app for iPhone?
Our thorough product testing of stock trading apps includes evaluation of iPhone functionality. Here are StockBrokers.com’s top choices 2022, alongside their user ratings from Apple’s app store:
E*TRADE: E*TRADE Mobile — user rating 4.6 stars | Power E*TRADE — user rating 4.5 stars
TD Ameritrade: TD Ameritrade Mobile — user rating 4.5 stars | thinkorswim app — user rating 4.7 stars
Fidelity: Fidelity mobile app for iPhone — user rating 4.8 stars
Interactive Brokers: IBKR mobile app — user rating 2.6 stars | IMPACT app — user rating 4.6 stars
TradeStation: TradeStation app — user rating 4.6 stars
What is the best stock trading app for Android?
StockBrokers.com thoroughly tests stock trading apps on both iPhone and Android devices. For 2022, these are our top picks for mobile functionality and ease of use, along with the apps’ user ratings on Google Play.
E*TRADE: E*TRADE Mobile — user rating 4.2 stars | Power E*TRADE — user rating 3.7 stars
TD Ameritrade: TD Ameritrade Mobile — user rating 3.5 stars | thinkorswim app — user rating 3.9 stars
Fidelity: Fidelity mobile app for Android — user rating 4.3 stars
Interactive Brokers: IBKR mobile app — user rating 3.2 stars | IMPACT app — user rating 4.4 stars
TradeStation: TradeStation app — user rating 3.7 stars
Can I start trading with $100?
Yes. Nowadays, most online brokers offer no minimum deposit to open an account, commission-free stock and ETF trades, as well as the availability of fractional shares. As a result, new traders can start trading with a small investment such as $100. To compare features and pricing, use our online broker comparison tool.
Which investing app is right for me?
Your level of experience with investing and your areas of interest in stock trading will help you identify the best investing app for you. Based on extensive testing, here are StockBrokers.com's recommendations:
Best stock app for traders, best for beginners
Best app for options traders, best for beginners
Best app for investors
Best for professionals
Best for tools and tech
StockBrokers.com 2022 Overall Ranking
Here are the Overall rankings for the 15 online brokers who participated in our 2022 Review, sorted by Overall ranking.
For the StockBrokers.com 12th Annual Review published in January 2022, our in-house experts spent months testing 15 top online brokerages’ desktop platforms and mobile apps, amassing more than 3,000 data points across a wide array of features. This makes StockBrokers.com home to the largest independent database on the web covering the online broker industry.
We thoroughly tested key features including the availability and quality of watch lists, charting, real-time and streaming quotes, stock alerts, and educational resources, among other variables. We also look for a fluid user experience moving between mobile and desktop platforms, where offered.
Testing was done on devices for both Apple and Android operating systems. For Apple: iPhone XS with the most current iOS. For Android: Samsung Galaxy S9+, 6.2" 4K Super AMOLED (2960x1440) 64-bit Octa-Core Snapdragon 835 Processor 2.7GHz, 6GB RAM 6.2" with the most current operating system.
As part of our annual review process, all brokers had the opportunity to provide updates and key milestones and complete an in-depth data profile, which we hand-checked for accuracy. Brokers also were offered the opportunity to provide executive time for an annual update meeting.
Our rigorous data validation process yields an error rate of less than .001% each year, providing site visitors trustworthy, unbiased and high-quality data. Learn more about how we test.
Chris McKhann has been in the industry for more than 20 years. He has worked for many of the top names in the online trading space, including TD Ameritrade and optionMONSTER, which later became part of E*TRADE. His work has been cited in the Wall Street Journal, Reuters, the Financial Times, Forbes, CNBC, Nasdaq.com and Nikkei. He has also been an advisor and outside trader for several hedge funds. He was one of the first traders to delve into the VIX tradable products and to write about them (back in 2006). Chris is also an educator who teaches high school statistics, finance and computer science.
Blain Reinkensmeyer has 20 years of trading experience with over 2,500 trades placed during that time. He heads research for all U.S.-based brokerages on StockBrokers.com and is respected by executives as the leading expert covering the online broker industry. Blain’s insights have been featured in the New York Times, Wall Street Journal, Forbes, and the Chicago Tribune, among other media outlets.
Carolyn Kimball is managing editor for Reink Media and the lead editor for the StockBrokers.com Annual Review. Carolyn has more than 20 years of writing and editing experience at major media outlets including NerdWallet, the Los Angeles Times and the San Jose Mercury News. She specializes in coverage of personal financial products and services, wielding her editing skills to clarify complex (some might say befuddling) topics to help consumers make informed decisions about their money.
Steven Hatzakis is the Global Director of Research for ForexBrokers.com. Steven previously served as an Editor for Finance Magnates, where he authored over 1,000 published articles about the online finance industry. Steven is an active fintech and crypto industry researcher and advises blockchain companies at the board level. Over the past 20 years, Steven has held numerous positions within the international forex markets, from writing to consulting to serving as a registered commodity futures representative.
TD Ameritrade, Inc. and StockBrokers.com are separate, unaffiliated companies and are not responsible for each other’s services and products. 1Fidelity Sell orders are subject to an activity assessment fee from $0.01 to $0.03 per $1,000 of principal. Options trading entails significant risk and is not appropriate for all investors. Certain complex options strategies carry additional risk. Before trading options, please read Characteristics and Risks of Standardized Options. Supporting documentation for any claims, if applicable, will be furnished upon request.
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