Best Investment Apps

This article has all the required information, so let's dive in.

Updated: August 23, 2023

Has the current state of the UK economy made you concerned about your finances? The threat of a UK recession looks unlikely for 2023, and many experts expect the economy to maintain positive growth.

Yet, the thought of investment portfolio diversification has crossed the minds of many Brits looking to enhance their financial prospects.

You might be interested in finding businesses that can weather the turbulent storm of a potential recession in the years to come, and one optimum method to achieve this goal is to use an investment app to access financial markets or participate in online trading as an ordinary investor.

You will have likely heard of investment apps and understand their basic features. However, if you have never used investment platforms or apps in the UK, it's worth looking at what they can do.

We've put together a researched and in-depth list of the best investment apps.

ServiceScoreRegister
1. Interactive Investor★★★★★Click Here
2. Moneybox★★★★★Click Here
3. Freetrade★★★★★Click Here
4. AJ Bell★★★★Click Here
5. Moneyfarm★★★★Click Here
6. Plum★★★★Click Here
7. Wealthify★★★★★Click Here
8. InvestEngine★★★★★Click Here

What Are the Best Investment Apps?

Investment apps are tools that designers create specifically for a mobile device to allow beginner and seasoned investors to manage their money across multiple financial markets. A few examples of financial markets you may have access to via an investment app include:

By monitoring an investment account via an investment app, users experience a simple and convenient method to manage the investment aspect of financial planning, monitor risk in accordance with risk tolerance and manage their financial portfolios with minimal stress.

With 36% of the UK population already investing, these advantages are ideal for more than one-third of Brits, including novice and experienced investors alike.

The features of investment trading apps UK investors use are also excellent news for monitoring stocks.

Some of the crucial features we recommend at Compare Banks, if you are keen to achieve successful investment portfolio diversification, include news and updates for financial markets, robo-advisor services for portfolio management algorithms, automated investing features and investment research tools.

Best Investment Apps Pros and Cons

Still, with a basic understanding of trading apps or investment apps in the UK, you may be left wondering which specific pros and cons these tools offer as you begin your journey to become an investment expert. From streamlined monitoring to uninformed, hurried and unwise investment decisions, these are some pros and cons you should consider.

Pros

✔️ Ideal for beginner investors — As a beginner investor, you'll find that trading apps are a great tool if you haven't got much investment experience. Some of the top investment platforms and apps in the UK share educational materials that will provide the key facts required to make informed investments. 

Some real examples of educational tools experts will tell you to look for include webinars, which share practical investment advice about strategies. Still, you should consider whether your app features videos and calculators to help you achieve a diversified portfolio.

✔️ Robust tools for investment analysis — Investment analysis tools are especially important for beginner investors. 

The best trading apps will have two crucial tools to make analysis and monitoring effortless, including the net present value and internal rate of return. We advise you to use the net present value to determine a proposed portfolio's profitability and the internal rate of return to calculate the average return rate expected of an investment.

Net Present Value
Source: The Motley Fool

✔️ Excellent web-based experience and UI — The optimum investment apps you can uncover on the Google Play Store or Apple App Store will have a smooth, intuitive user interface experience that makes investment easy.

From setting up a general investment account to using the trading app to buy and sell exchange-traded funds, your investment actions will be easy to complete with portfolio monitoring using a top investing app. Their set of robo-advisor algorithms is behind the excellent web-based experience.

✔️ Commission-free trading — Avoiding commissions that brokers demand for stock trading support and assistance is easy with investment apps because you will not have to pay any commissions when you use them. 

In a real case example, an investor might buy 1,000 shares from a company at £100 each and pay £10,000 for the shares. But if they complete the process with a broker who asks for a 2.5% commission, they'll pay £250 to the broker, which they wouldn't need to pay if they use some investment apps.

Cons

❌️ Insufficient options for investment — Exchange-traded funds and stocks may be available with trading apps in the UK. But if you're hoping to invest in other portfolio options, such as cryptocurrency or mutual funds, you might have to reconsider using them.

❌️ Expert advice is unavailable — A brokers' advice can be beneficial if you're a first-time or experienced investor looking to reassess your risk tolerance or portfolio diversification. 

You won't receive this from every investment app, so if you need support, you might consider asking a broker for advice — and to give you a real example, most brokers in the UK will expect you to pay a flat fee of 0.50% per year, depending on the service they offer.

❌️ Hurried investment decisions — There's always the chance that beginner investors may make hurried investment decisions due to the gamified style of investment apps. 

Although experts suggest that an investment platform or app might use investment gamification to help investors stay motivated, the danger of impulsively using gamified apps that promise unrealistically large returns is real. Research by the FCA supports this, suggesting that 50% of investors invested in products beyond their risk tolerance.

❌️ Lack of tools for professional investors — Investment apps may also lack the tools professional investors require to make the best decisions.

From premium reports for market research to in-depth charts to visualise market fluctuations, plenty of advanced tools can make a difference in your investment choices by: Ensuring you track fluctuations accurately and providing investment advice from human professionals. However, not every investment app will have these expert tools.

Best Investment Apps — Reviews

With the advantages and disadvantages of investment apps in mind, we explore and take a deeper look at the best investment apps worth using if you have decided to invest in earnest.

1. Interactive Investor

Interactive Investor review
Source: Google Play Store

More than 40,000 ETFs, bonds and shares are available with the Interactive Investor app, giving you access to market information and the ability to place a trade.

And more than 50,000 investors via the Google Play Store alone have chosen the Interactive Investor app to evaluate their accounts' performance, view their pending orders and create watchlists to monitor shares and funds.

Wealth experts Abrdn acquired Interactive Investor in recent years, and the platform is still popular with UK investors who can select from 17 global exchanges to make their investments. Examples of those exchanges include the FTSE 100, FTSE 200, NSDAQ, Dow Jones and S&P 500.

A quarter of all UK share trades take place on the Interactive Investor platform, which has more than 400,000 investors — half of whom have been trading via the platform for over 10 years.

What Are Interactive Investor's Features?

Up-to-date newsfeeds, holdings displays and quick quotes are all available with the Interactive Investor app. With these features, novice UK investors can instantly know which asset classes and sectors to spread their investments over, monitor their investment portfolio contents at a glance and receive quotes and trading fees without logging in.

In terms of real-world use cases, many UK beginner investors have used Interactive Investor to sort their shares in each portfolio, with many users explaining that they could select specific fields to display for their portfolios. 

The app also enables users to add regular investments and accurately view whether international markets are rising or falling. This insight translates to favourable investments that tally with your financial goals, risk tolerance and investment comfort level.

You can also receive one free trade each month with Interactive Investor, and it is one of the few apps that offers a month-to-month subscription fee instead of a percentage-based annual platform fee each year.

Interactive Investor does emphasise that investors should seek advice and choose the support of qualified investment advisors, which we also recommend at Compare Banks if you want to use their app. Research suggests that investors who are least likely to get financial support from professional advisors are subject to the highest risk of making investment mistakes.

2. Moneybox

Moneybox review
Source: Google Play Store

Managing your funds aside, plenty of other opportunities for the saving side of financial planning are available with Moneybox. It is one of the best investment apps in the UK for investing in tracker funds, exchange-traded commodities or exchange-traded funds.

The minimum investment amount you must deposit is just £1, which, in the case of many Moneybox users, can help them launch their investment journey.

More than 1 million users invest using this micro-investing app — and some use cases show that British investors could buy a home or increase their savings account balance using Moneybox.

What Are Moneybox's Features?

If cash flow management and financial planning are proving difficult, Moneybox provides a stocks and shares ISA, a stocks and shares LISA, the option to build an investment portfolio, purchase shares from significant US companies and build retirement funds.

The real implications of the stocks and shares ISA include the chance to invest in US stocks, while the investment portfolio options enable you to build a diversified portfolio.

According to government statistics, 58% of the market value of ISA funds relates to stocks and shares ISAs. It’s also the case that stocks and shares ISA market values have increased by 31%. This correlation and increase indicate that many investors can benefit from stocks and shares ISAs available with investing apps in the UK, such as Moneybox.

Market Value
Source: Gov.UK

To use the stocks and shares LISA from Moneybox, you will complete a process like this. You can invest £4,000 yearly and receive a 25% bonus from the government, a maximum of £1,000 each year. Investors do not receive interest on their savings, but they can use the account to invest money in funds. 

In practical terms, outcomes of this feature include the potential to save £12,302 over nine years after making an initial deposit of £1,000 and monthly contributions of £50.

You can also use their spare change feature to round up any change to the nearest pound and invest the difference. Let's look at a real example: If you spend £3.60 on a beverage, you can configure Moneybox to use the 40p as an investment sum. This spare change feature can work at weekly intervals, or you can choose this feature as a one-time option and disable it afterwards.

Moneybox focuses on savings account benefits, as opposed to accessing exchange-traded funds. However, accumulating funds in your savings account can work in tandem with the app's stocks and shares ISA feature.

3. Freetrade

Freetrade review
Source: Google Play Store

Over 1 million investors use Freetrade to make up to £20,000 in tax-efficient investments. The mobile trading app enables beginner and experienced investors to trade without paying any commissions.

The interface of this award-winning investing app is smooth and easy to use, and the platform fee is £0 if you select their basic option.

For even more tax-efficient options, however, you can choose their Standard pricing plan to receive their full selection of stocks or their Plus plan to invest using an ISA or a SIPP.

In terms of real use cases, many investors can access exchange-traded funds with the Freetrade app and most report that the analysis of these funds is comprehensive. This access translates to informed investment choices when selecting from a wide choice of shares that Freetrade also provides access to.

From modest portfolios to larger ones, the investment types app users can make with Freetrade are, therefore, wide-ranging.

What Are Freetrade's Features?

Making the most of your tax-efficient investments is possible with Freetrade's features, which will provide 6,000 stocks with their standard plan — including UK, EU and US ETFs and stocks. 3% interest is available with Freetrade's Plus plan, which you can receive on up to £4,000 of uninvested funds, and this is considerably more than the 1% on a maximum of £2,000 they offer in their Standard plan.

In practical terms, Freetrade users can invest in fractional shares and start investing in US stocks with a minimum investment fund of just £2. This feature means you'll invest in partial shares of a company and receive a portion of a business at a more affordable rate.

You can do this without paying commissions and even sell fractional shares by using the Freetrade app and letting them know the amount you want to sell.

Fractional Shares
Source: Freetrade

Fractional shares and dividends from Freetrade work by allowing investors to avoid purchasing an entire share. But let's look closely at a real example of how the app works with fractional shares and dividends. 

If the business pays dividends, an investor using Freetrade will still receive it. The amount they receive, however, depends on the percentage of the share they own. If the business pays a $10 dividend, and you own 0.25 of a share, you will receive $2.50.

So Freetrade is one of the best investment apps in the UK because it gives you rare access to fractional shares that are generally more available in US markets. They also offer investment trusts, REITs and a substantial stock list. But you cannot access cryptocurrencies or contracts for differences via this investment app.

With Freetrade's Plus plan, self-invested personal pensions are available, enabling you to collect together your pensions and select the investments you want to make. 

Pension consolidation with Freetrade works by consulting with financial advisors, accessing your profile via the app to request the transfer, selecting ‘Transfer a pension' and waiting until the funds appear in your account. How does this relate to investment with Freetrade? They will not charge trading fees if you want to buy or sell shares with your pension funds.

4. AJ Bell

AJ Bell review
Source: Google Play Store

One of the most renowned online investment platforms, AJ Bell, provides a mobile application for investment that makes it easier to establish a diversified portfolio and trade stocks.

It is one of the best investment apps for accessing exchange-traded funds, investment trusts, shares and bonds, making it easier for investors to consider investment options to enhance their finance.

For this app for beginners who lack investment experience, there is an annual platform fee of between 0% and 0.25%, which your portfolio size will determine. This investing app is regulated and authorised by the UK's Financial Conduct Authority, and more than 50,000 investors have downloaded it via the Google Play Store.

What Are AJ Bell's Features?

AJ Bell investment app users can access a free investing magazine launched in 1999 via the app. With this magazine, you can receive the most up-to-date news on funds, stocks, exchange-traded funds, investment trusts and savings each Thursday. The main advantages of this magazine are the case studies, commentaries and analysis of investment markets which can ensure you make informed decisions when investing.

Investors will not receive advice about their investment strategy or information about their capital at risk when they use AJ Bell. 

They will therefore need to learn about the financial risks and establish their risk tolerance without any support from the app itself, but this doesn't mean that you can't seek advice from a financial advisor before making investment choices. In fact, studies show that investors with above-average risk tolerance are most likely to use financial planners, so you should consider seeking financial advice if your risk tolerance is high.

When you need to view your portfolio, the AJ Bell app will give you key information about your investment prices, including the live UK prices of your shares, the selling price and the buying price, all on a smooth user interface. You can also check the fluctuations in share prices on a chart, and it offers a transparent view of your account holdings.

Although AJ Bell users may want even more information about stocks from the app, it's more than possible to use the AJ Bell website to find these facts if required.

5. Moneyfarm

Moneyfarm review
Source: Apps Apple

The Moneyfarm robo-advisor app offers users personalised investment plans that reflect their risk tolerance.

It makes this list of best investing apps because it's possible to select from seven portfolios based on your preferences, and it's one of the few apps for beginners who want advice from financial advisors via the app to start investing.

The UK Financial Conduct Authority regulates and authorises Moneyfarm, and with the support of the Moneyfarm experts, you have an extra layer of visibility over the financial markets. Upward of 100,000, investors use Moneyfarm to select investment options and receive algorithm-based advice about investments tailored to their financial goals.

What Are Moneyfarm's Features?

Stocks and shares ISAs, private pension SIPPs, general investment account options and junior ISAs are all available from Moneyfarm. 

Their stocks and shares ISAs enable you to initiate your investment process with the possibility to invest a maximum of £20,000 every year with a tax- and penalty-free return bonus. What this means in practice is that you have control to withdraw or reinvest £20,000 over the year, you won't receive any penalties, and your investment earnings are not subject to tax deductions.

Your general investment account with Moneyfarm will enable you to invest the amount you want and open various portfolios that match your investment goals. 

Use the general investment account in three steps: First, provide information about your financial goals, then receive globally diversified portfolio suggestions, and finally, let the investment consultants manage your money. If you need to speak with the consultants, contact them via the Moneyfarm investment app.

While some investment platforms and apps have low minimum investment amounts for their Junior ISA features, you can expect to make a £500 minimum one-off investment with Moneyfarm. After this, you must make a £10 minimum monthly contribution to the account. Moneyfarm's Junior ISA annual allowance is £9,000.

6. Plum

Plum review
Source: Apps Apple

As an investment and money management app, Plum is the optimum option to build an investment portfolio. With 3,000 UK business stocks to invest in, such as HSBC Holdings and Ryan Air, and ethical investment options, Plum provides opportunities for first-time and experienced investors.

With the Plum app, you can choose your own risk tolerance level and start investing in businesses with just £1.

The app has won a Best Personal Finance award, and more than 1.6 million people have chosen it to invest and manage their finances. Overseas stocks are also available with this investing app, and it is one example of an investing app that facilitates commission-free trading.

What Are Plum's Features?

Spare change investment features, portfolio diversification, automated saving and cryptocurrency investment options are the key features Plum offers its users. 

Using the spare change feature can help you round up your transactions to the closest pound and invest the excess pennies wisely. For example, if you buy a drink worth £1.55, the app will invest 45p for you. The smart calculations work alongside this investment process, so you can rest assured that the Plum app will invest spare change according to how much you can afford.

Customising the Plum app and setting specific rules to deposit money for investment purposes is possible. One of the specific rules you can apply includes the ‘Rainy days' rule, which instantly deposits the amount of money you specify when it rains in the location you select via your user settings. 

Another rule you may select is the ‘Weekly depositor', which you can use to select the specific amount you want to deposit each week. The lowest amount you can deposit with the Weekly depositor rule is £1.

Different Type of Crypto Assets
Source: Eqvista Medium

Cryptocurrency features with Plum enable you to start with just £1 after you configure your account and buy and sell cryptocurrency in an instant. 

At Compare Banks, we advise that there are risks with any investment, and 46% of Brits with cryptocurrency investments note that their crypto assets are worth less than the value they purchased them for. So it's essential to seek advice from financial advisors before proceeding with Plum's cryptocurrency investment feature.

7. Wealthify

Wealthify review
Source: Apps Apple

Wealthify enables you to use the investment app to monitor your accounts and make exchange-traded fund investments as an investor looking to diversify your portfolio.

More than 100,000 investors have downloaded the Wealthify app to fund their investment plans, transfer their ISAs to Wealthify or select an investment plan in line with their risk tolerance.

Whether you want to ensure your money is protected or check the performance of your investment plan, it's possible with Wealthify. It is an award-winning investment app that offers the best experience for beginner investors and provides robo-advisor benefits.

What Are Wealthify's Features?

From general investment account options and stocks and shares ISAs to junior stocks and shares ISAs, plenty of features are available from Wealthify. 

It is possible to use the stocks and shares ISA as a UK resident to invest a maximum of £20,000 per year or select one ISA account from the four options Wealthify provides to split your funds between them. To use their cash, investment, innovative finance or lifetime ISAs, you cannot open an alternative stocks and shares ISA in the same tax year.

The five Original investment plans you can choose depending on your risk tolerance include adventurous, ambitious, confident, tentative and cautious options, with the adventurous plan matching high-risk tolerance and the cautious plan aligning with low-risk tolerance levels.

British investors can use the general investment account via the Wealthify app to begin investing with just £1. Investing requires you to take just three steps: You select the risk level of investment choices you want to make, Wealthify will build a personal investment plan for you and then optimise and monitor your plan over the year.

One final feature to consider is that Wealthify usually uses low-cost passive investments, including exchange-traded or mutual funds. Like many financial experts at Compare Banks, we advise that passive investments are more cost-effective since they incur lower transaction fees. So it's a worthwhile idea to use Wealthify's passive investment feature with their general investment accounts.

Wealthify is another of the best investment apps because the Financial Conduct Authority regulates it. It's also ideal for saving money as well.

8. InvestEngine

InvestEngine review
Source: Google Play Store

The InvestEngine app is a low-cost tool that offers commission-free trading and investing. It provides easy portfolio diversification and managed portfolios for a single management fee of 0.25% each year. Over 10,000 investors have downloaded the InvestEngine app, which has received endorsements from Which.

Its clean user interface makes the app easy to use, and users can monitor their holdings and sectors with minimal effort using InvestEngine, which is why it is one of the best investment apps on this list.

What Are InvestEngine's Features?

The essential features you can use with the InvestEngine app include investment portfolios ready-made for beginner investors or more than 500 exchange-traded funds that are commission-free. The latter option is ideal for more experienced investors.

With just £100, you can start your investing journey with a stocks and shares ISA or start saving with an individual savings account, with which you can invest £20,000. With their general account, you can also use specific tools such as their smart top-up or companies at-a-glance features to deposit money or monitor your shares.

Commodities, bonds, and trade markets are available with the general account. Your general account will not be tax-free with InvestEngine, but you can potentially reduce tax liabilities with the dividend and capital gains tax allowance.

Leading Best Investment Apps For Investors: The Verdict

The best investment apps listed here can provide an easy way to monitor investments in stocks and shares, bonds and exchange-traded funds.

Still, we always recommend that you seek advice from a financial advisor if you are about to start investing. Since some investment apps do not provide expert financial advice, it's worth consulting with experts first.

Certified or chartered financial planners will give you the best advice. But even those with qualifications may not be complete experts, so it's worth considering SmartVestor professionals to support you.

Risks are always slightly unsettling if you are investing for the first time, but researching how the stock market shifts can help you invest your money in firms that help you stick to your risk tolerance level.

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