Ask anyone who’s tried to make an extra buck or two on Wall Street on their own, and they’ll all tell you the same thing: investing is hard. But, thanks to a new collection of apps, now it doesn’t have to be so confusing that only the financial elite can really understand when the market is up, when it’s down, and what a couple of grizzly bears have to do with the whole thing.


Acorns isn’t your traditional investing app. Yes, it lets you check your daily performance, track investment patterns and buy stocks yourself, but what makes it truly unique is its ability to take the spare change you might otherwise waste on expensive coffee and translate that into savings through smart investments.

The app works by linking your bank account to itself, and whenever it detects you’ve made a debit card purchase with any change left over, it rounds off to the highest dollar and deposits any spare cash into an investment portfolio which is automatically managed depending on your preferences.

This can be anything from “conservative” to “aggressive”, and you can change this at any point if you start to feel more bold about the market and its returns.

Acorns can be found on the iTunes App Store, and is currently free to use for any students or users under the age of 24 (other users can expect to pay $1 per month for accounts under $5,000, and 0.25% of the overall return for accounts above that).


If the Mint app looks somewhat familiar to you, that’s probably because we also recommended Mint in our article about managing your personal finances a few months back.

One of the reasons Mint has experienced such immense popularity in as short of a period of time as it has is because even though it might be lacking in some of the features that users want, it does everything you could really need from an app with so much polish and fluidity that any minor missteps in its overall design are easy to excuse.

RELATED: How to Manage Your Personal Finances With These Helpful Apps and Websites

Mint isn’t an all-in-one investment portal, but it does contain a lot of useful tips and tricks that work with your daily budgeting activities to give you the most optimal picture of how much money you can make off spare income in any given year.

Mint is free to use, and you can find it on the iTunes App Store at the link included here.


Ever wonder how guys like Warren Buffet or Bill Gates invest the spare billions they’ve got laying around collecting dust? Well, wonder no more, because iBillionaire gives you a firsthand peek into the investment strategies of some of the savviest (and richest) people on the planet.

The app gives a rundown of the portfolios of billionaires from all around the globe, showcasing the companies they’re investing in, the news of their latest hedge fund startups, and sending you a direct link to a featured stock that the world’s rich might be particularly jazzed about on any given day.

iBillionaire also has a search function that will allow you to type in a stock you might be interested in, and then read an overview of what billionaires think about it. With this kind of investing info putting the wind in your sails, it’s almost impossible to fail!


Known as pretty much the best version of “try before you buy” that you can get, TradeHero is a great way to learn the ropes of investing, without running the risk of losing any significant capital along the way.

RELATED: How to Prevent Your Kids From Spending Thousands of Dollars on In-App Purchases

TradeHero works a bit like a game that also happens to track real-world events. You as the investor start off with $100,000 to invest, and the app updates itself about 10 to 20 minutes behind what the actual stock market is doing that day. Every week you can reset this clock, but the goal is to see how much you can earn with what you have in the actual stock market, then take the strategies you learned there into real-world investments.

You can even “compete” with friends in your personal network, comparing who rode the boom, who went bust, and who played it safe with leaderboards that are updated on a daily basis. TradeHero is perfect for anyone who’s still a bit apprehensive about betting it all on black, but confident enough that they’ve learned what they need to take their friends to the cleaners in a virtual stock exchange with no real stakes attached.

The “Stock” App

Many forget a time when devices like the iPhone were marketed primarily as a luxury item for the corporate set, complete with an in-house stock ticker that would allow you to keep track of all your most important investment as they dipped and dived in realtime.

The Stock app that’s included with every iPhone is a fairly rudimentary kit that doesn’t really hold up under the features that other apps on this list include, but for anyone who wants to keep an eye on what the market is doing from the comfort of their notification center, it’s a must-use part of the iOS ecosystem.

Investing online can be a daunting, unfamiliar world filled with terms like “derivatives”, “futures”, and whatever the heck a “prospectus” is.

But like many other things in our society today, these apps have found a way to simplify things, and boil them down into an easy to understand, manageable piece of software which takes the hassle and the worry out of getting the most out of your daily spending and saving habits.

Image Credits: iTunes 1, 2, 3, 4

Profile Photo for Chris Stobing Chris Stobing
Chris Stobing is a writer and blogger from the heart of Silicon Valley. His work has appeared in PCMag and Digital Trends, and he's served as Managing Editor of Gadget Review.  
Read Full Bio »