Mobile investing: What it is and how it works

What is mobile investing?

Mobile investing refers to investing that is performed using wireless technology from smartphones or tablets. This type of technology lets people actively manage their investments when they are away from their computers.

Mobile investing apps are software applications for your smartphone that can provide you with access to an investment platform so that you can deposit funds, initiate buy or sell orders, or perform other actions. These apps are tied to their own platforms and can be used by investors who are on the go at any time.

mobile investing statistics

Statistics on mobile investing

Online investing and investing apps have grown in popularity. According to Statista, 12 percent of people ages 18 to 29 report that they have used an online investing app in the previous 12 months. Among people who are ages 30 to 49, 14 percent report that they have used online investment platforms in the previous year. Among those who are ages 50 to 64, 10 percent report that they have used online investment platforms during the prior 12 months.

The availability of mobile investing apps is helping to spur the growth in online investments. The apps for investing help to make investing more accessible and allow inexperienced investors to get access into the market.

How do I take steps to start online investing?

If you are interested in learning how to invest in stocks online, there are a few steps that you can take to get started, including the following:

  • Research different mobile investing apps
  • Look for an app that charges no or very low fees
  • Read reviews of the apps that you are considering
  • Decide which app has the features that meet your needs
  • Complete the application
  • Determine your risk tolerance level
  • Fund your account
  • Choose your investments or a portfolio that has been created for you

Mobile investing

Mobile investing can be a great way for beginning investors to get started in the market. Before you become an online investor, it is important for you to understand how mobile investing works, its advantages, and the types of investments that are offered online. You should also figure out how much money you have to invest and make certain that you understand any fees that you might be charged.

mobile investing: how it works

How does it work? Who uses mobile investing apps?

Mobile investing apps can be downloaded to your smartphone. In order to use them, you have to fill out an application and provide some information. You will need to link your bank account to facilitate fund transfers to your online investment account.

After you have installed the app, you can transfer funds and choose your stocks. You will need to determine what type of account you want to open and to understand the benefits of each one.

Apps for investing are used by investors of all ages. They are particularly popular with younger investors who want to get started investing but who might not have large deposits saved up to begin investing.

What types of investments are offered online?

There are several types of accounts and different types of securities that are offered online. You can open tax-advantaged retirement accounts or taxable brokerage accounts. Tax-advantaged retirement accounts that are available to online investors include the following:

  • IRAs
  • Roth IRAs
  • SEP IRAs
  • Individual 401(k) plans

IRAs and Roth IRAs are both designed for individuals who want to save for retirement. Both types of accounts have annual maximum contribution limits of $6,000 if you are younger than age 50 and $7,000 if you are older than age 50. Contributions to a traditional IRA are made on a pre-tax basis so that your money can grow tax-deferred inside of the account until you retire. Roth contributions are made on an after-tax basis. This means that you will not be taxed when you start taking distributions in retirement.

SEP IRAs and individual 401(k) accounts are designed for self-employed people who are either sole proprietors or who have a few employees. These accounts have higher annual contribution limits, and the contributions are made on a pre-tax basis.

In addition to retirement accounts, you can also open a taxable brokerage account. This type of account allows you to invest in stocks, commodities, derivatives, ETFs, bonds, CDs, mutual fund families, and other securities online. Your capital gains will be subject to taxes at the capital gains tax rate. You will also be able to deduct any capital losses that you have.

Advantages of mobile investing

Mobile investing and investing apps offer multiple advantages to online investors. Internet investing sites that offer apps for investing have greater accessibility and convenience for online investors.

Using mobile investing apps gives you heightened control. You are able to monitor your portfolio at any time, conduct research, and to determine the value of different securities so that you understand what a good price target might be from your smartphone.

How to determine which mobile investing app is right for you

To determine which mobile investing apps might work the best for you, you need to first figure out your financial goals and how much you have to invest. You should compare the capabilities that are offered by different stock trading platforms and the features that they offer.

There are some online stock trading platforms  that offer commission-free trading and have low minimum balance requirements. Others have a wealth of research available at your fingertips. You may find that some allow you to purchase fractional shares of securities. Others may allow you to choose your own securities for greater customization or to choose a portfolio that has been created to match different risk tolerance levels and time horizons.


Many mobile investing apps are micro-investing sites that allow you to invest with very low or no commissions or management fees. This can help your money to grow even more as fees can eat into your earnings over time. Some micro-investing sites also require either a low or no minimum account balance. Micro-investing can allow people to get started even if they have little money saved.

By comparison, some online investing sites require larger sums of money as a minimum account balance and may charge commissions and management fees. The large minimum account balances of these types of sites can serve as a barrier to entry for many would-be investors.

How can I do mobile investing today?

Investment choices

Different apps for investing vary in the types of securities that you can choose and in their customization. Some apps for investing allow you to individualize your portfolio by choosing from a variety of ETFs, stocks, mutual fund families, CDs, bonds, and other securities. Other apps may allow you to choose a pre-selected asset allocation that is based on your risk tolerance and your financial objectives.

Some apps limit you to certain categories of securities such as ETF-only funds. Others let you choose from a broad variety of different securities. Using apps can help you to learn how to invest in stocks online and may provide some general investment advice. Apps may give you the ability to open taxable brokerage accounts and retirement accounts.


Many micro-investing apps offer desktop platforms for online stock trading together with robust mobile trading tools. Some of the platforms are sleek in their design and allow you to make trades with a single click.

The platforms might also offer a library of investment and finance blogs that can help investors to learn how to invest online and to make money investing online. The platforms and the apps can help investors to learn how to invest online through mobile investing.


When you invest your money online with an app for mobile investing, you can enjoy a vast array of financial tools. Some investing apps offer a broad variety of tools that can assist you with personal budgeting. These tools can send alert notifications to your smartphone for market prices.

Apps for mobile investing open you up to the ability to trade anywhere and to stay connected in real time to your investment portfolio from any place that has an internet connection. Many of these micro-investing apps support wealth building with charts and research reports as well as automatic deposits from linked funding accounts. Others offer dynamic rebalancing to help you with portfolio management. A few have a desktop component, which allows a greater amount of services and information.

Available research

Mobile investing through an investment app may offer you some access to research and analysis capabilities. These capabilities tend to be fairly basic on an investing app, however. You might find general investment advice and information about investing money for beginners as well as more sophisticated investing strategies through articles and videos.

Some apps have educational materials that explain how to invest your money online. Others may have educational articles about different types of securities and investment accounts so that you can make better choices as you work to achieve financial independence.

Advisory services

The advisory services that might be available with different apps will vary. Many offer investors access to customer support chats so that investors can get general information about how to invest online with the apps. Most apps use robo-advisors to provide advice based on algorithms.

Other apps may offer limited customer phone consultations for qualified individuals. These apps might offer limited consultations with online investment brokers through higher-tiered plans.


Internet investing through mobile apps is safe when the appropriate measures are taken. Apps should have fraud protection capabilities such as two-layer identification. They may also utilize network defenses to prevent hackers from accessing your account or your information.

Some apps use military-grade encryption to offer added security. Online brokerages that are members of the SIPC offer insurance through the SIPC of the securities in the online investment accounts up to $500,000, and some apps might also have supplemental insurance in place to protect you if the SIPC limits are exhausted.

Mobile investing - Everything you need to know

What are the different types of mobile investing?

There are hundreds of different online investment sites, which can make getting started intimidating. However, you can break these sites down into a few main types and then determine which type might work best for you.

Online robo-advisors

Online robo-advisors are very popular because of how they work. These are computer financial advisors that provide investment advice through the use of mathematical formulas and algorithms. Robo-advisors make recommendations for asset allocations based on your age, time horizon, financial goals, and risk tolerance.

There are multiple benefits to robo-advisors. They are able to perform calculations much faster than humans and are free from the innate biases that human advisors might have. They are also available at a lower cost than human advisors and might offer better advice in the long-run.

Robo-advisors are increasing in popularity because of how the technology used. The assets under management by robo-advisors are expected to grow at a CAGR of 23.3 percent through 2022 to reach $1,404,713,000.

Discount brokers

Discount brokers are another option for online stock trading. Discount brokers charge lower fees to investors who have investment accounts with them rather the fees charged with full-service brokers. Nonetheless, they do not offer any financial advice.

Discount brokers allow investors to make online investments and to buy and sell securities. However, they may offer fewer services and less support.

Full-service brokers

Full-service brokers offer a robust menu of services, including the following:

  • Advice from online investment brokers assigned to your account
  • Estate planning
  • Tax planning
  • Financial planning

These services are provided in addition to investment guidance. However, the fees that are charged are very high and may range up to $150 per transaction. Full-service brokers also may have high minimum opening balance requirements.

How to start mobile investing

Steps to take to start mobile investing

There are several steps that you can take to begin mobile investing. The steps are straightforward and allow you to get started quickly.

Know your goals

To begin, you need to define your goals. Your goals should include both your short- and long-term goals such as saving for a down payment on a house, saving for your children’s education, saving for retirement, and others.

Modern app tools assist users to hone and define their goals and to set guidelines for how they can reach them. The apps may recommend asset allocations according to an individual investor’s goals, age, and risk tolerance.

Do your research

Research is one of the components when you plan to invest. It is important that you understand the basics of investing if you are new to investing. If you are more advanced, it is still essential for you to be able to have access to real-time information.

Many apps provide comprehensive advice about the basics for novice investors. Investors that are more experienced can benefit from having the ability to access information about their investments.

Figure out how much you want to invest

You will next need to determine how much you want to invest. Instead of picking a specific dollar amount, it might be better to choose a certain percentage of your income.

You can access tools on the app of your choice to determine a plan for investing that will work the best for you and your budget. Knowing how much to invest can help you to reach your financial goals within your desired time frame.

Fund the account

Once you have chosen your app and the investment accounts types that you want to open, you can then fund your accounts. You can fund your account in a few different ways, including the following:

  • Electronic funds transfer
  • Automatic transfer from your bank
  • Sending a check
  • Completing an asset transfer from another brokerage


After you have opened and funded your account, you need to make certain that you diversify your portfolio. Depending on the app that you have chosen, you might be able to create a custom portfolio and to choose your own investments. Others might have you choose from a pre-selected list of portfolios according to different risk tolerances and time frames.

Review and revise with a long-term view

After you have chosen your investments and funded your account, you need to review your portfolio on a regular basis. You should avoid making decisions based on emotional reactions to market fluctuations. Instead, revise your portfolio with a long-term view.

Benefits of M1 Finance

M1 Finance is a free mobile investing platform that does not charge any commissions. You are able to sign up and get started using the site today. The platform offers multiple benefits. You are able to choose your own investments to create a customized portfolio. Alternatively, you can choose a portfolio that has been expertly created to meet your financial goals, time horizon, and risk tolerance level.

The platform helps to make investing understandable to all investors. It offers powerful automation that you can access at any time and from anywhere. The platform offers dynamic rebalancing to help to keep your portfolio optimized.

Coverage of M1 Finance

In addition to offering a platform with no commissions or fees and a blend of smart digital technology, M1 Finance offers multiple types of accounts and securities. The company also offers M1 Borrow, which offers the opportunity to borrow up to 35 percent of your account balance for a low-interest loan. With M1 Spend, you can open an FDIC-insured checking account that comes with a debit card.

You are able to set up automatic investing so that your funds are allocated according to the percentages that you have chosen.

With free investing, $0 management fees, intelligent automation, and fractional shares, hundreds of thousands of investors use M1 to build their future. Sign up today so you can set your strategy and put every available dollar to work.