Investment apps and services have become more common and accessible in recent years, allowing motivated users to take greater control of their investing decisions. Apps of this kind, such as Robinhood, even played a starring role in one of the major financial news stories of the last year, the WallStreetBets subreddit/GameStop saga.
In fact, Robinhood’s involvement in that story helped the company add over 6 million users in the first two months of 2021, an enormous increase given that the company was averaging just 200,000 new monthly users prior.
Robinhood isn’t the only investment app to receive a boost from the increased cultural interest in investing either. Another popular app, Acorns, grew their user base to more than 9 million people after adding 600,000 new accounts in the first six weeks of 2021. According to their founder, that growth rate represents the company’s biggest growth quarter on record.
Based on the level of demand these numbers indicate, it is no surprise more companies than ever before have been introducing and improving their investment platforms in recent years. Between existing platforms and companies looking to launch digital and app-based services, there have never been more choices available for interested investors. Some of these options are more popular than others, for any number of reasons. From the ease of use to user-friendly fees to greater investment possibilities, there are plenty of reasons to choose one app over another.
To better understand the investment app landscape in America, our team turned to Google Trends to find which of these platforms are most popular in every state.
The most popular investment app in every state
|State||Most popular investment app|
|Arizona||JP Morgan Chase|
|District of Columbia||Charles Schwab|
|Indiana||JP Morgan Chase|
|Louisiana||JP Morgan Chase|
|New York||JP Morgan Chase|
|North Dakota||Ally Invest|
|Ohio||JP Morgan Chase|
|Rhode Island||Merrill Edge|
We wouldn’t have been surprised if Robinhood had been the most popular investment app after the company’s high-profile involvement in the Gamestop saga. But another app that seeks to simplify investing snuck by them to take the crown in our analysis. That app is Acorns, the top-searched investment app in eight states, while Robinhood took the top spot in just six states.
While Robinhood became a household name and a trending topic for several weeks in January of 2021, Acorns’ success came via consistency. Acorns earned a more steady proportion of search volume over the course of the last year as opposed to getting a major but temporary boost in searches. This helped Acorns to earn the top spot in so many states. But while some negative publicity has seen search interest in Robinhood drop, it is still trending well ahead of 2020 in terms of average search popularity and may dominate these rankings in a year’s time.
Two other apps were most popular in at least five states, with the offerings from TD Ameritrade and JP Morgan Chase meeting that benchmark. Several other apps fell just short of the five-state threshold, as Stash and E-Trade were most popular in four states each. All told, 22 different investment apps were most popular in at least one state.
The most popular investment app in different regions of the country
|Region||Most Popular App|
We also used our data to determine which investment app is most popular in different regions of the country. We used standard classifications from the U.S. Census to determine which states belong in each of the four regions, and then found which app was most popular in the highest number of states in each region.
When looking at the data this way, we found a true diversity of opinion when it comes to investment app preferences around the country. Each region of America crowned a different app as most popular, with TD Ameritrade taking the Midwest and Vanguard the Northeast. Acorns was tops in the South, while E-Trade proved most popular in the West.
Evaluating top investment apps
Knowing which investment apps are most popular in different states is one thing. Understanding why these apps are popular is something else. Luckily, our team at FinanceBuzz has reviewed a number of the country’s most popular and best investment apps and can share insights into the pros and cons of each.
Acorns Pros and Cons
- Great for new investors
- Does not require a large initial investment
- Automates investing
- Can automatically invest your spare change
- You can pick how aggressive you want your investments to be but cannot choose specific stocks to invest in or avoid
Read our full Acorns review
Robinhood Pros and Cons
- Offers commission-free trades
- Allows buying and selling of cryptocurrency
- No minimum investment level required to open an account
- Allows for options investing
- A good choice for new investors
- Only available to investors in the United States
- Large investments may take several days to process before you can use funds for trading
- Certain kinds of stocks are not available on the platform
Read our full Robinhood review
Stash Pros and Cons
- Offers helpful, educational material to users1
- Offers users a tremendous variety of accounts and options for earning money
- Allows for purchasing of fractional stock shares
- Allows for round-up style investments
- Does charge fees for certain features2
- Requires a more hands-on approach than some platforms
Read our full Stash review
Still undecided? Read our comparison of Robinhood vs. Acorns vs. Stash to take a deeper dive.
FinanceBuzz collected Google Trends search data on 48 different terms relating to various investing apps and platforms on May 11, 2021. The time frame for the collected data was set to “Past 12 months.” In the event of ties, terms were compared head-to-head within Google Trends to determine a winner.