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The 7 Best Investment Apps in California

The 7 Best Investment Apps in California

You’re only a few taps away from learning about the best stock app for beginners and having a trading portfolio of your own.


5 min read

June 25, 2021

Until very recently, investing money in anything was a pain. You’d spend hours with a financial advisor and still end up confused before giving up the idea of investing altogether. Thankfully, that isn’t the case anymore. Apps have changed the way we go about investing in a major way. Today, anyone can learn how to start investing in stocks without much prior experience whatsoever.

You’re only a few taps away from learning about the best stock app for beginners and having a trading portfolio of your own. All you have to do to get started is find out which of the best investment apps match your interests and you’re good to go. 

The Best Investment Apps from California Companies

Stockpile simplifies investing with tools such as gift cards redeemable for stock, fractional share transactions, and custodial accounts for minors.

1. Stockpile

iOS: Available

Android: Available

Company based in: Palo Alto

Stockpile is an investing app established in Palo Alto with an interesting history. This stock investing app was founded by a CEO who wanted to gift his nieces and nephews something substantial for the holidays—Stockpile lets investors buy blue-chip stocks and ETFs via gift cards. A cool thing about this app is that it lets you buy fractional shares from companies. So if you don’t have a few hundred or thousand dollars to drop for a full share, you can buy a half or third of it instead.

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While Stockpile is an awesome app to get people interested in learning about how to start investing, you should be wary of its fee structure. For a standard trade, Stockpile charges only $0.99. But if you’re buying a gift card for someone else, that’ll cost you $2.99 for the first stock and $0.99 later. If you buy the gift card with a credit or debit card, the app will charge you an additional three percent fee.

Get this app if: You like the idea of gifting stocks and don’t really care about seeing company balance sheets and performance projections.

Wealthfront automatically reinvests dividends, rebalances your portfolio, and finds ways to maximize your after-tax returns.

2. Wealthfront

iOS: Available

Android: Available

Company based in: Palo Alto

When it comes to investing, Wealthfront does all the hard work for you. One of the biggest independent robo-advisors in the game, this California investment app manages your money for you, whether that’s in a taxable account or an IRA. Wealthfront takes into account factors such as how much risk you’re willing to take and manages your account for a 0.25 percent fee (the industry standard).

As one of the best stock trading apps for beginners, Wealthfront only requires a $500 account minimum and doesn’t offer fractional shares. But, if you’re looking for human management and bonuses for large shareholders, you might need to look elsewhere.

Get this app if: You are just getting into investing and need robo-advisors to invest in passive portfolios.

Robinhood creates products that let you start investing at your own pace, on your own terms.

The Best Stock Trading Apps

3. Robinhood

iOS: Available

Android: Available

Company based in: Menlo Park

One of the most popular investment apps on the list is Robinhood. This is the best stock app for investors who want to do everything themselves and pay as little fees as possible. Not only will you find some of the cheapest stocks on Robinhood, but you also won’t need to have a minimum amount in your account or pay commission fees to use the app.

The main drawback of using Robinhood is the fact that you won’t be able to have a managed portfolio or retirement account. This means that all investments made in the app are taxable and completely self-managed.

Get this app if: You want to trade stocks, ETFs, and cryptocurrency on a simple and smooth mobile interface while doing it on your own without paying fees.

Invest and save with no commissions and no account minimum with the SoFi app. It has has fractional share investing for popular stocks.

4. SoFi

iOS: Available

Android: Available

Company based in:  San Francisco

Social Finance, Inc., more commonly known as SoFi, is an all-in-one investing app that allows you to trade stocks, crypto, and ETFs. On top of that, this app also provides services such as student loan refinancing, mortgages, personal loans, credit cards, and banking. In other words, SoFi is not only one of the best investment apps, but it also helps you do many other mundane tasks easily through its user-friendly interface.

You don’t need a minimum amount of money to start investing on SoFi—the app doesn’t offer tax-loss harvesting or stop-loss orders either.

Get this app if: You don’t have much experience in investing, appreciate having access to financial advisers (not available on Robinhood and Wealthfront), and are interested in crypto.

Round is a premium investment platform, where you get a managed portfolio comprised of Wall Street’s top fund managers.

The Best Stock Tracking Apps

5. Round

iOS: Available

Android: Unavailable

Company based in: Los Angeles

While the mentioned finance apps were suitable for beginners, Round is an investment app geared more towards high-end investment management. The service uses an automated questionnaire to generate its users’ portfolios and works with fund managers like Gabelli, Doubleline, Aberdeen, and Guggenheim Partners providing investors access to institution-grade investments.

Round relies heavily on alternative strategies and assets and charges a 0.5 percent management fee. However, if you end up having a negative monthly return, the fee is waived.

Get this app if: You want an active portfolio but don’t have the time and expertise to manage it completely by yourself.

Get a real-time view and easily track and manage your entire financial life with Personal Capital's award-winning Dashboard.

6. Personal Capital

iOS: Available

Android: Available

Company based in: Redwood Shores

Personal Capital is an app geared towards larger investments. The stock trading app offers the robust methodology, security, and service that you would expect as a high-net-worth client, but for a minimum balance of a whopping $100,000.

With Personal Capital, you get a combination of human and robo-advisors, financial planning tools to track spending, net worth, and portfolio performance, plus a savings-like account and retirement paycheck planner. All this is offered in turn for a management fee of 0.89 percent that may go down to as little as 0.40 percent depending on how large your balance is.

Get this app if: You are a serious investor with a high net worth looking for comprehensive personal financial management.

Acorns uses bank-level security, 256-bit encryption, and allows two-factor authentication for added security.

The Best Investment Apps for Beginners

7. Acorns

iOS: Available

Android: Available

Company based in: Irvine

Are you a student looking to make wise investment decisions? Acorns is the best investment app to start. Not only does Acorns provide free management for college students, but it also has a variety of other tools that make investing money for beginners easier. 

The main draw? Its “spare change” savings tool, a service that rounds up the total on purchases from select retailers to the next dollar and invests that difference into one of a few ETF portfolios. Acorns’ flat fees run for one, two, or three dollars per month, depending on the plan you choose.

Get this app if: You’re a beginner who knows the benefits of investing early but don’t want to spend too much time thinking about your stocks or portfolio.

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