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The Best Investment Apps for Beginners in the UK & US

The Best Investment Apps for Beginners in the UK & US

This article is all about the best investment apps for beginners in the US & UK. I will be comparing investing app options, examining the fees, and giving a general overview of which apps I consider to be the best investing apps for beginners.

Looking for a more detailed guide specific to investment apps in the UK? Check out this post.

Investing Apps

As a Millennial, 90% of my personal online activities are via my phone or tablet. I basically only use a computer against my will for work-related activities. 

I enjoy the ease of using my iPhone X to summon food, objects, and even people to my place of living or occupation. This is undoubtedly the best time to be alive lol. 

So naturally, I would want my money to be managed on an app as well. This brings me peace of mind that I can make changes and rebalance when I want to!

For the last 2 years, I’ve been reading books, and investing aggressively, and so far, I’m made a cool profit off the COVID-19 crisis.

Let’s see if I can keep it up, but I want to give you more information about what sort of investing apps are available for absolute beginners. 

As a reminder: I am not a certified financial advisor. I cannot legally give you financial advice, all of the content on this page is for informational purposes only. Capital is at risk!

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Investing Vocabulary

If you’re new to investing, here are some important key terms that you should understand moving forward. As defined by Investopedia so you know I’m not talking nonsense lol. 


  • A fund is a pool of money set aside for a specific purpose.
  • Those pools can are often invested and professionally managed. 
  • E.g: Pension, 401k, Index Funds, ETFs, etc


  • A thing (or ‘security) that represents the ownership of a fraction of a company. Also known as equity. 
  • A stock entitles you to a proportion of the company’s assets and profits (money). 
  • A unit of stock are called ‘shares.’


  • An ‘Exchange-Traded Fund’ is a basket of securities — stocks, bonds, commodities, etc — that you can buy and sell through a broker.
  • ETFs offer the best attributes of two popular assets: They have the diversification benefits of funds while mimicking the ease with which stocks are traded.

Just Starting Out?

If you’re just starting out on your journey, check out my Beginner’s Budget Dashboard.

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It’s a Google Sheets template that tracks your expenses, income, investments, savings, and more! There’s even a free video tutorial to help you get started.

money budget sheet

Investing Apps Basics

Before you pour any of our hard-earned money into a specific investing app, you need to consider the following: 

  • How much is the account maintenance fee?
  • How much is it to trade? 
  • How quickly can I trade? 
  • What types of funds or stocks can I buy on this platform?

Costs & Fees

In order to keep the lights on, apps will charge monthly percentage fees for their services. This is a very natural occurrence, BUT these fees can eat into your profits very quickly.

For example, I use Hargreaves Lansdown for trading. On HL, those who buy funds specifically are charged an annual fee of 0.45% for the first £250,000 invested.

For me, this was the lowest fee for the most flexible trading options with the best app experience. 

Common Fees in Investment Apps:

  • App Fees (% of portfolio)
  • Trading Fees ($0-$15 USD)
  • Fund/ETF Management (% of cash in that fund)
  • Regulatory fees (%)

Nothing is ever truly free. Even ‘free trading platforms’ like Robinhood make their money back eventually. The Street reports:

Robinhood make(s) money through a variety of other means – including through interest, rebates and making customers pay for premium accounts to gain access to exclusive investment options.” 

What can I buy?

Some platforms are more flexible than others. Platforms that are ‘user-friendly’ for beginners will often limit your choice to a few funds or specifically US stocks, etc.

If this aligns with your strategy, go for it! Just bear in mind what you’re trying to accomplish. 

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How I Pick My Stocks

I have a full-time job and a 9 to 5 so I don’t have time to be chasing the dragon and doing loads of research all the time.

Instead, I invested in a Motley Fool subscription where they make recommendations based on research and analysis.

Each week, I get recommendations and news sent straight into my inbox so I can make better decisions about when to buy or sell company-specific stocks. It paid $99 for an annual subscription and this is where I start my research 100% of the time. 

Learn more about Motley Fool

stock advisor on Motley Fool

US & UK Investing Apps

I’ve prioritized these specific companies because of their history of profits, amazing customer service, and transparent fee structure.

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These companies also don’t ‘influence’ their customers to be ‘Wolf of Wall Street’-like day traders because that’s how new investors get conned when they first start.

You don’t need to be trading Bitcoin or Amazon stocks by the hour to be an effective and profitable investor. NO.

If you have a full-time career, you should be creating a long-term strategy with limited touchpoints so you can set it and forget it while avoiding trading fees. 

Also! The most popular platforms are not always the best!! Just because it has fun colors and graphs doesn’t mean it fits your needs. 

After evaluating the platforms and what they offer, here are my top recommendations. My top 2 app options are available in both the US and the UK! The 3rd one is only available in the UK. 


75% of my investments are Vanguard Index Funds on my UK investing app – Hargreaves Landsdown.

I am 100% on #TeamVanguard because they have a stable history of profit-making and most of my financial wellness heroes recommend Vanguard specifically. Vanguard is available in both the US and UK. 

Download the Vanguard App


  • Ease of Use: View balances, performance, prices, returns, transactions history, and cost basis.
  • Transact: Buy, sell, or exchange on the app
  • Analyze:  Review returns and analyze performance
  • Research: Learn about funds, ETFs, stocks, and get the latest financial news and market details.
stock portfolio analysis on Vanguard app


Fidelity has an incredible reputation both in America and the United Kingdom. Don’t believe me? Just ask Nerd Wallet. They’ve been an industry leader for years and will continue to be that way as they prioritize the experience of customers, no matter the size of their portfolio. 

Download the Fidelity App


  • East of Use: Visual and intuitive UX/UI design. Clean look. 
  • Variety: Commission-free stock, ETF and options trades.
  • Research: Timely and relevant portfolio, market, and research information, plus customized news and tailored content.
  • Help: Strong customer service. Call and email. 
  • Transact: 0 trading commissions, a selection of more than 3,500 no-transaction-fee mutual funds and top-notch research tools and trading platform
investing app fidelity for beginners

Hargreaves Lansdown

I’ve been using Hargreaves Lansdown for the last 2 years and I’ve had a wonderful experience with them! I typically only buy funds with HL, but I have the opportunity to buy individual stocks and commodities if I wanted to.

Their data and research are so informative that I do 100% of my trading via the app with confidence. HL is only available in the UK. 


  • ISA: You can take advantage of your tax-free £20,000 ISA allowance on this platform
  • Support: First-class and attentive support on the phone or via email
  • Transact: Buy, sell, or exchange via the app with real-time pricing
  • Range: Buy funds, ETFs, Shares, Bonds, or GILTs. You can also choose a ready-made portfolio or in-house funds. 
hargreaves lansdown investing app trading

Did you expect these apps?

I’m sure I’ve disappointed some people by not including the ‘sexier,’ newer platforms on this list like:

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I’m not convinced by these platforms just yet. There’s a laundry list of reasons why, but here are my main ones:

  • Transparency: Loads of hidden fees, despite the ‘commission-free’ marketing. 
  • Management Fees: Many of these platforms offer ‘pre-made funds’ based on your risk tolerance, but these come at a premium.
  • Customer Service: All of this ‘cost cutting’ that new brokers advertise comes at a cost! Their support services suffer and you’re left frustrated. 
  • Flexibility: Let me buy what I what, when I want to!
  • Pressure: I REALLY dislike brokerages that pressure you to day trade and essentially gamble with your money. Stop trying to manipulate me! 
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I hope you found this article to be helpful for you in your financial wellness journey! Remember, it’s important that you do your own research about what works for you.

As you become more confident in your journey, be sure to rebalance and re-assess your strategy responsibly to respond to your personal goals and the market. 

Don’t forget to follow me on IG – @wanderonwards – for more Travel & Financial Wellness tips! 

Disclaimer: Reminder, this Content is for informational purposes only, you should not construe any such information or other material as legal, tax, investment, financial, or other advice. Nothing contained on or my Youtube channel – Wander Onwards – constitutes as a solicitation, recommendation, nor endorsement by Wander Onwards LLC or its owner. All Content on this channel is information of a general nature and does not address the circumstances of any particular individual or entity. Capital is at risk. Invest at your own risk.

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