Robinhood is one of the most popular investing app. However, in they have been under fire since they were not allowing people to buy particular securities. So if you are looking for another place to invest, there are other great alternatives to Robinhood.
More and more investors are turning to investment websites and apps for the purposes of buying fractional shares and paying less in fees. It’s important to note that there is always a risk of financial loss when investing.
And when you’re investing without the help of an advisor, the risk of financial loss may increase. However, with a lot of investing education and a lot of patience, self-directed investment accounts can result in attractive profits.
Within each choice, we’ll also share the firm’s clearing house. Clearing houses are used to protect parties during a trade and ensure the trade goes through as directed.
Think of clearing houses as sort of an intermediary party to investment trades. Note that some investment firms use third-party clearing houses, while others use their own clearing house.
Charles Schwab has been in the investment business for fifty years and has won customer satisfaction awards from JD Power and Investor’s Business Daily.
Schwab charges $0 for online ETF and Equity trades, and $0.65 per options contract when you open a basic Schwab brokerage account. They offer over 2,000 commission free ETFs and over 4,000 no-load, no-transaction fee mutual funds.
Schwab Stock Slices allow you to buy fractional shares of stocks for as little as $5. There’s no minimum balance to open or invest with Schwab, and there are no monthly or other maintenance fees.
However, with some specialized trades or options you may be charged a fee for each transaction.
Note that some other Schwab account options such as the Schwab Intelligent Portfolios account and the Schwab Intelligent Portfolios Premium account do have minimum balance requirements.
You may pay fees with some of these accounts as well. Your choice of retirement and non-retirement accounts.
Clearing House: Charles Schwab Clearing Services
TradeStation was started with the goal of empowering investors like you to take your financial future into your own hands. You can trade stocks, ETFs, cryptocurrencies, futures, and more with TradeStation.
While TradeStation is a go-to firm for experienced investors, it does offer some great benefits for new or casual investors as well.
With TradeStation’s TS GO plan, there’s a $0 minimum balance and you’ll get commission-free trades on stocks, options, and ETFs.
With the TS Select Plan, you’ll have a $2,000 minimum balance requirement but you’ll still get free trades, and you’ll get full access to TradeStation’s comprehensive suite of investment tools.
You’ll pay small fees ($0.50-$0.60) for contracts, and mutual fund commissions are $14.95.
Note that TradeStation will charge an annual inactivity fee for account holders who don’t meet one of the two following criteria:
- At least five trades within the twelve month period starting at your account opening date
- A $2,000 average end-of-the-month equity balance
If you do meet one of these two criteria, there is no annual inactivity fee. TradeStation has both retirement and non-retirement accounts available.
Clearing House: TradeStation
3. Fidelity Investments
Fidelity Investments was founded in 1946 and has long been established as a trusted name in investing. Investor’s Daily News has named Fidelity as the Best Online Broker for the last five years in a row.
Fidelity offers commission-free online trading for U.S. stocks, ETFs, and options. There are no commissions to purchase mutual funds from their Fidelity Funds list either.
There’s no account minimum requirement when you open an online trading account. And Fidelity’s Stocks By The Slice program allows you to purchase fractional shares.
You may pay a transaction fee of $49.95 on some non-Fidelity funds mutual fund purchases. However, there are over 3,700 no-transaction-fee mutual funds available through Fidelity.
Fidelity has a host of online trading tools to help guide you through the investment decision making process, and they’ve got a team of trading specialists available as well.
Fidelity has non-retirement and retirement accounts available. This well-rounded, experienced investment firm does a great job of appealing to beginner and experienced investors alike.
Clearing House: National Financial Services LLC (Self-Clearing)
Webull is a newer investment firm but already caters to over 750,000 daily users and 2 million investors. You can open individual brokerage accounts or retirement accounts with Webull.
There are no minimum deposit requirements and you’ll get commission-free trades on stocks, options and ETFs. You can trade cryptocurrencies as well, but Webull doesn’t deal in mutual fund trades.
They’ve got a customizable desktop platform with in-depth analysis tools to help you manage your investments and research additional investments. And you can reach customer service reps by phone, email, or chat 24/7.
Webull does have a thorough offering in its Help section for those who have questions and/or want to learn more about trading. However, the customer service option is nice for those who need to speak to a live person.
Webull can work for new investors, but is probably best suited for intermediate and beyond investors.
Clearing House: Options Clearing Corporation
5. Ally Invest
Ally Invest is a subsidiary of Ally Financial, which includes Ally Bank. Formerly known as GMAC (auto loan funding corporation), Ally Financial has a 100+ year history in the finance arena.
Ally Invest’s self-directed investment accounts charge no fees on U.S. listed stocks and ETFs. Options are free as well, and contract fees are just $0.50. If you want to purchase mutual funds with Ally Invest you’ll pay $9.95 per trade.
There’s no account minimum and no maintenance fees for Ally’s self-directed trading accounts. You can open a managed portfolio account with a minimum of $100.
Managed portfolios have no advisory or annual fees. Ally Invest has a Forex trading account available as well. You can open non-retirement or retirement investment accounts with Ally.
Some of the educational features Ally Invest offers include watchlists, probability calculators, ETF screeners and more. Ally Invest is great for beginning investors and seasoned investors alike.
Clearing House: Apex Clearing
6. TD Ameritrade
TD Ameritrade has a 50-year history in the investing business and has over 12 million clients as of this writing. That’s just one reason we feel it’s one of the best alternatives to Robinhood.
Online stock, option, and ETF trades are free for retirement and non-retirement account owners.
There is a $0.65 per contract fee, and while there is no minimum account balance required for most products, margin and select option privileges require a $2,000 minimum balance.
There are no maintenance fees with TD Ameritrade self-directed investment accounts. As with the other companies here, TD Ameritrade has a wealth of online learning resources, charts, and graphs to help you manage your investment account.
The company offers phone support for users, or you can stop into a branch store near you. TD Ameritrade has a wide range of products and education information for both beginner and experienced investors.
Clearing House: TD Ameritrade Clearing
Nvstr (pronounced “investor”) is an investing app with a twist: It uses community to help you get ideas for how to invest and bounce those ideas off of other members.
No worries; you can invest on your own and not use the community feature as you plan your investment strategy. Nvstr has a Nobel prize winning one-click portfolio optimization to help you as you do that.
But if you want to use the community feature to see what others are investing in you can do that too.
As with the other sites mentioned here, Nvstr offers no minimum balance accounts. You do have to pay a $4 per month maintenance fee with Nvstr, however, that fee covers up to 20 free trades each month.
Additional stock, ADR, and ETF share purchases during the month cost $4.50 each. Only stocks, ETFs and ADRs listed on the NYSE are available for purchase.
And there’s no fractional share purchasing with Nvstr. Nvstr offers taxable investment accounts only as of this writing. Nvstr is best for those who are only interested in purchasing whole stock shares.
Clearing House: Apex Clearing
Public calls itself the Investing Social Network. While Nvstr has a community feature, the Public investing app utilizes that feature much more heavily.
You can follow other investors and see how they’re investing, share your thoughts, and more. You can join group chats or start your own chat as well.
Public’s watchlist allows you to track the stock performance of companies you’re interested in and shares news articles about companies as well.
The app also has an expansive education section on its website where you can learn pretty much all you want to know about investing.
Public doesn’t have a minimum balance requirement. The app allows you to buy full or fractional stock shares or full or fractional ETF shares for as little as $5. You can’t buy options, or mutual fund shares with Public.
And the app only offers non-retirement investment accounts as of this writing. The Public app is a great app for beginner and seasoned investors alike.
Clearing House: Apex Clearing
9. Cash App
The Cash app is an investing app that takes the term “investing for everyone” to the nth degree. With the Cash app, you can buy fractional shares of stocks for as little as $1.
The original intent of the Cash app was to help you send and receive money from family and friends. The folks at Square invented the Cash app, and they added the investing feature at the end of 2019.
There are no minimum balance requirements or service charges with the Cash app. However, you can only buy whole or fractional stock shares. The app doesn’t offer ETF or mutual fund shares.
In addition, the Cash app offers taxable, non-retirement accounts only as of this writing. The app does have a limited resource of investment education tools on the site, but it is very limited.
This app is best for those who want to buy fractional shares while having the option to spend very little on those share slices.
Clearing House: Drivewealth
10. M1 Finance
M1 Finance was created to empower you to improve your financial well-being. They do this by offering both retirement and non-retirement investment accounts.
One thing that’s different about M1 Finance is that they offer loans as well. While we don’t recommend borrowing money to invest, M1 Finance does have attractive rates for borrowers.
M1 Finance has two account options: Basic M1 and M1 Plus. The Basic M1 account has no minimums and no service charges.
You can buy whole or fractional shares of stocks and ETFs. The M1 Plus account costs $125 per year but offers additional flexible trading options.
In addition, Basic M1 Finance account holders can borrow money at 3.5% interest, while M1 Plus account holders can borrow money at 2% interest.
M1 Finance uses a “pie” concept to help you create the right investment portfolio for your goals. You can have up to 100 slices of pie in each of your pie collections.
Once you’ve created your pie, M1 Finance will use that pie as a guide to purchase future investments as directed by you. M1 Finance is good for both beginner and experienced investors.
Note that while M1 Finance has no minimum balance requirement, you do need to have at least $100 in your account before you can start investing.
Clearing house: Apex Clearing
What is Wrong With Robinhood?
In early 2021, there were certain securities that were being traded where Robinhood decided to restrict the purchase of those securities.
Because of this, the ability of people to buy these stocks was limited and arguably the price of these securities was negatively impacted.
Needless to say, many people were outraged and vowed to leave the platform.
Robinhood did come out with a statement that basically said that because they did not clear their own trades, they had to limit the purchasing of these stocks.
Robinhood can be a great way to start investing for free with very little money. And the best alternatives to Robinhood offer that same deal.
Sites such as the ones mentioned here can be a great way for just about anyone to find a smart way to invest.
Note that anytime you invest your money in stocks and similar investments, you do run a risk of losing your initial investment and/or your profits.
Have you ever used any of the investment apps mentioned here? If so, what did you like about it?