It’s safe to say that the world of investment is always evolving. Not only can you easily build and diversify portfolios online, you can now do so on the go, too. If you’ve not already noticed, there has been a real boom in stock investment apps lately. From simple money investment apps to all-singing, all-dancing portfolio builders, plenty of people are getting into the investing game without having as much as a laptop to go by.
It’s the way things seem to be progressing! You can do more on apps nowadays than ever. But is investing really suited to app interfaces? Plenty of people would say yes, and in many cases, I’d be inclined to agree.
That’s why, for this guide, I’ve laid out the best investing apps 2020 has to offer. While there are reams and reams of investment programs and apps out there for you to download, only a few of them are actually worth your time.
Before you go ahead and take a look at free investing apps for yourself, make sure to read my full lowdown of your best options here.
What is the Best Investing App for Beginners?
The very nature of an app means that you should get a fairly easy route into investing. Apps aren’t designed to be confusing or to require much tweaking. With that in mind, plenty of the big names in investment apps take it easy on you if you’re just getting started.
The fact is, investing is very confusing at times. This is even the case for seasoned portfolio owners! Therefore, one of the criteria I’ve looked at with the apps listed here is how easy it is to get started. Not only that, but how easy it is for you to manage an investment portfolio, and how to push for fantastic results.
The best UK investment apps shouldn’t just give you access to a simple interface. They should help you understand the best choices you can make, and why it’s important to diversify. In any case, with all of that in mind, let’s start looking.
Best Investment Apps in the UK
Wombat is a popular investment app for beginners as well as for start-ups. Therefore, as you can imagine, it’s pretty simple to hit the ground running. Immediately, too, you get the assurance that your money is safe under FSCS (as it should be), and that the app is attached to P1 Investment Management Ltd.
What will likely appeal to complete novices is the fact that you can sign up and start with Wombat for free. That means you can flexibly save up to £1,000 before you need to worry about paying any subs. There are fund provider fees that exist in places, however. The subscription model, when you do want to upgrade, is actually pretty competitive.
Pay £1 per month to invest more than £1,000, and adhere to 0.45% on anything you do choose to invest in. Wombat appears to be very good at providing a variety of different sectors for you to invest your money in, meaning it’s likely to be a good option for those who want to spread their money around while they narrow down their choices. Do expect to pay up to 0.7% on fund provider fees, though these can arise at as little as 0.07% depending on what you go for.
Above all, with investment available from as little as £10, and with a user interface that’s likely to appeal to anyone just starting out, it’s safe to say that Wombat is a very attractive option. It’s worth a look if you’re interested in finding an easy, quick investment app for either Android or iOS.
Moneybox goes even lower than Wombat on the opening investment threshold. Here, providing you have £1 to your name, you can open an account. Tracker funds are the name of the game here, meaning that you are given a pretty simple platform to start from.
You have access to various ISAs, such as junior accounts, stocks and shares, lifetimes and more. You can also invest in your pension as well as more general investments, too.
All Moneybox appears to ask for is a flat rate of £1 per month. However, that’s if you don’t go ahead and invest anything. Competing well with Wombat, you can expect to pay 0.45% a year on anything you invest.
As with Wombat, it’s available for iOS and Android phones, and you can expect to pay up to 0.3% in fund provider rates. That, at the very least, compares very well with Wombat. The interface, too, is likely to appeal to anyone new to investing who doesn’t want to have to fiddle around too much with awkward menus, drop-downs and charts. It’s an app that lets you invest your change and doesn’t mind if you don’t have stacks of capital available.
I’ve looked at Wealthify in more detail elsewhere, and it’s safe to say that it does impress quite a bit. It’s probably one of the best money investment apps in the UK right now purely based on its freedom of choice.
Wealthify lets you take the bull by the horns to a wide degree, meaning that if you’re unsure how much you’d like to invest, or if you want to plunge straight in and invest a stack of money in a given fund or sector, the app will support you. You can easily set goals and parameters through this app, and it’s pretty easy to manage everything from a small screen. On top of this, Wealthify will never charge you extra if you want to take your money away. That’s a definite plus point.
Fund charges appear to level out around 0.22% for the year, and you can expect a maximum of 0.7% applied to your yearly investments. There are, however, transaction fees you need to look out for, with a rate of 0.7% applying on the flat.
The bright and breezy appeal of the interface, as well as the lack of a minimum investment requirement, is going to appeal to plenty of people. It’s one of many Android investing apps that’s worth looking at if you really don’t know where to start.
Nutmeg is one of many stock investment apps in the UK that appears to have been getting a fair amount of press. Levelling itself to customers as a simple, friendly way to invest your cash in ISAs, pensions and general markets, Nutmeg should appeal to anyone who’s keen to escape those pesky fees. In fact, for your first year of trading through the app, you won’t have to pay any fees at all.
Nutmeg will appeal to people based on its flexibility, too. It’s one of very few money investment apps out there which lets you set things up based on a set ‘profile’. For example, you can choose for your portfolio to receive full management, to be fixed, or to look for those investments which are thought to be socially responsible. With socially responsible investment being a very big thing at the moment, it’s likely Nutmeg is going to make a lot of waves.
However, before you go ahead and download the app for iOS or Android, do be aware that you need at least £500 to invest before you can start. This is where other apps and programs are likely to take the lead – it’s a fairly high opening gambit. Choose a lifetime ISA for stocks and shares and this threshold falls to £100, but it’s still a bit of a peak from the competition.
Freetrade, as the name suggests, focuses on free trading. It’s always good to find a service that does what it says on the tin! Offering simple trading for absolutely nothing, you can also set up the app with a basic investment account without having to pay a penny. Stocks and shares ISAs will incur slight fees at £3 a month, which does put it away from the competition slightly, but it’s still a very reasonable rate for what you get.
Freetrade appears to be aiming itself squarely at millennials, which means the app is pretty nippy and offers a lot of different features hidden away behind basic menus. Freetrade is very popular with people who are just getting into trading and investments, likely making it one of the best investment apps for beginners in the UK. However, there’s nothing to say experienced traders can’t come and take a look, either.
Trading at instant level charges at £1 per time, and there’s a rate of 0.45% in play. What’s worth bearing in mind with Freetrade is the fact that all its help and customer care is based online. Therefore, if you need help, there’s no phone number for you to call.
Wealthsimple is another investment app I’ve looked at in detail, alongside Wealthify in recent months. Wealthsimple’s appeal lies mainly in its basic portfolio levels. It should be pretty easy for most people to set up and get going, with an appealing app interface and appealing account choices. You can choose to invest based on your experience and your eventual stock needs. You can also run personal accounts, junior ISAs, pensions and stocks ISAs.
Wealthsimple’s name suggest that it is one of the easiest apps to use for investing in the UK. It certainly strives to reach this goal, and it deserves a firm place on this list. You can expect annual fees to spike as high as 0.7%, and fund fees peter out, on average, around 0.18%. That’s pretty competitive.
Wealthsimple presents an interface and a series of account choices that should appeal to beginners who want to have a good feel around for what appeals to them. That’s always going to be a positive in my eyes.
Robinhood is a landmark investment app that’s done serious business overseas, and it’s set to come to the UK very shortly (you can sign up to the UK wait list here). I’ve already taken a good look at the app elsewhere, but its merits and appeals bear repeating. Especially so, given that its launch is just on the horizon.
The main appeal of Robinhood lies in the fact that the main app is extremely intuitive. What’s more, it centres around an ideal of investing without commission. You can pay in and start from at least £1, which means it might appeal to people who want to contribute pocket change. What’s going to appeal to app users even more is the fact that you can buy into international stocks in the US without having to face exchange fees.
However, that’s where things get a bit murky. Right now, Robinhood only offers US investments. Will this change when it arrives on British shores? I certainly hope so.
Finally, let’s take a quick look at Moneyfarm. Moneyfarm may not have received the same amount of press as some as the other apps on this list, but it still bears looking into. For example, the app is intuitive and friendly enough to appeal to most beginners and casual investors, and what’s more, you can ask the app to provide you with a starter portfolio based on how much you know. Moneyfarm appears to take risk knowledge and attitude pretty seriously – which is a good thing.
You can start with a pension, a general account or a stocks ISA as you see fit. As the service is managed, there’s a maximum of a 0.7% fee available here, though funding fees are pretty low at around 0.2%. There’s nothing to pay on trading, either, which puts it in direct competition with Freetrade.
Moneyfarm is nice and easy on the face of things, however, not everyone enjoys a managed experience, meaning that it’s worth looking around at wider choices if you know what works best for you.
It’s easy to see that there’s tons of choice around for money investment apps in the UK. It certainly seems to be more than a craze, meaning you’re likely going to need to look carefully at these apps if you want to move with the crowd.
The best UK investment apps around are likely to give you an easy leg-up into the complicated world of stocks and ISAs – however, it’s always a good idea to drill down and look at how they each perform for you in the long run. Why not give some of my picks above a try?