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August 4, 2023

How to Create an Investing App: A Step-by-Step Guide

In this comprehensive guide, you'll discover everything you need to know to create a successful investing app, from market research and design to development, testing, and deployment.

Alex Drozdov

Software Implementation Consultant

Even if someone is not an expert in financial tech, they have probably heard something about investments, shares, and stock markets. This information circulates on news feeds from time to time, and people start picking up on it. In addition, people want to know how investing works because stock market events have a significant impact on local and global economies.

This is where investment apps come in handy. They help both novices and experienced investors manage their investments and portfolios. The investing software market is growing every minute, so if you want to enter it, this is the right time to do so. Today, we will discuss how to build an investment app in detail.

Types of investment apps

Before any development process starts, you will need to decide what niche you want to explore. To guide you through the possible options, here are some types of apps you can choose from:

Types of investment apps

Trading apps

These solutions are designed for individuals who want to actively buy and sell securities such as stocks, bonds, options, and commodities. Trading services provide real-time market data, order execution capabilities, and advanced trading tools. Trading services allow users to monitor their portfolios, place trades, set alerts, and access research and analysis.

Robo-advisory apps

Robo-advisors utilize algorithms and automation to provide investment advice and portfolio management services. These apps typically ask users a series of questions to assess their risk tolerance, investment goals, and time horizon. Based on the responses, the application creates a diversified portfolio and automatically rebalances it periodically. Robo-advisory providers are popular among individuals who prefer a hands-off approach to investing and appreciate the convenience and cost-effectiveness of automated portfolio management.

Cryptocurrency apps

The name speaks for itself: These apps enable users to buy, sell, and store cryptocurrencies in real time. Cryptocurrency apps often include features like price charts, news updates, and wallet functionality for secure storage. They are most helpful to people interested in investing in cryptocurrencies and participating in the rapidly evolving digital asset market.

Micro-investing apps

Micro-investing services typically allow users to invest spare change from everyday transactions by rounding up purchases to the nearest dollar and investing the difference. Some of them also offer recurring investment options and educational resources to help users learn about investing. This type of software is made to remove barriers to entry and encourage regular savings and investment habits.

Social investing apps

Social investing apps combine investing with social networking features, allowing users to connect, share investment ideas, and follow the investment strategies of other users. These types of apps offer a community-driven platform where users can discuss investment opportunities, share insights, and learn from each other. Social investing apps seek to create a collaborative and engaging environment for investors to exchange knowledge, gain inspiration, and make informed investment decisions.

Education apps

Education solutions focus on providing users with comprehensive financial education and investment knowledge. These apps offer a wide range of resources, including articles, videos, tutorials, quizzes, and courses, covering various investment topics and strategies. Education apps aim to empower individuals with the necessary financial literacy to make informed investment decisions and improve their overall understanding of personal finance and wealth management.

How to build an investment app in 4 steps

Now, to the main part: development strategy. The details of the process may vary from app to app depending on its scale and requirements, but in general, it can be divided into four main steps.

How to build an investment app in 4 steps

Step 1: Research and analysis

Any software development process should start with the research and analysis phase. This is how you and your team learn more about the market, your target audience, and your closest competitors. Here are some key aspects to consider when conducting research for investing apps:

  • Conducting market research and identifying the target audience: It's essential to understand market dynamics, trends, and potential customer segments for investing apps, which involves analyzing the demographics, preferences, and behaviors of the target audience. Market research helps identify the needs, pain points, and expectations of potential users, enabling application engineers to tailor their offerings accordingly.

  • Identifying competitors and analyzing their strengths and weaknesses: Examining existing investing apps in the market provides valuable insights into the competition. Identify direct and indirect competitors and assess their strengths and weaknesses. Analyze factors such as user experience, features, pricing models, customer support, and marketing strategies employed by competitors. Understanding the competitive landscape helps identify opportunities for differentiation and improvement in your app.

  • Understanding key features and functionalities of successful investing apps: Study successful investing services and identify the key features and functionalities that attract and retain users. This may include features like real-time market data, intuitive user interfaces, portfolio tracking, news and research tools, customizable alerts, and seamless integration with trading platforms. Analyze how these features contribute to user engagement, satisfaction, and overall application performance.

This knowledge can guide the development process, help create a competitive advantage, and deliver a valuable and engaging user experience.

Step 2: Design and development

When the research is done, you can start the development process itself. Prototyping and wireframing are the first steps in development, followed by finalizing the design, and then moving on to coding. The key considerations for each stage include:

  • Designing a user-friendly interface: A user-friendly interface is crucial for engaging and retaining app users. Consider your target audience and their preferences when designing the interface. Focus on creating a clean, intuitive, and visually appealing design that makes it easy for users to navigate and access key functionalities. Use consistent branding elements, clear typography, and intuitive icons to enhance usability. Conduct user testing and iterate on the design to ensure a seamless user experience.

  • Choosing the right technology stack: Consider factors like platform (iOS, Android, or both), development time, scalability, and developer expertise. Common technologies used for app development include programming languages like Swift (iOS), Kotlin (Android), and frameworks like React Native (cross-platform). Additionally, consider backend technologies and databases for storing and retrieving user data securely. Consult your development team for a better understanding of a suitable tech stack.

  • Building core features and functionalities: Identify the core features that will provide value to users. This may include account creation and authentication, portfolio management, real-time market data, trade execution, notifications, and analytics. Prioritize features based on user needs and develop them iteratively. Ensure seamless integration between different features and maintain data integrity throughout the app.

  • Integrating third-party services for data and analysis: To provide accurate and up-to-date financial information, integrate reliable third-party services. This may include market data providers, financial news feeds, investment research platforms, and brokerage APIs. Ensure proper integration and authentication protocols are in place to securely access and display the necessary data within the app.

Investment app development Illustration

It's important to follow best practices for security, data privacy, and compliance with financial regulations throughout the design and development processes to make an investment app. Regularly gather user feedback and iterate on the application to improve the user experience and address any emerging needs or challenges.

Step 3: Testing and deployment

The testing phase is a must-have step for a software project. Especially if we are talking about a fintech service. Here is a short list of everything you need to take into account:

  • Conduct thorough testing to ensure application functionality and user experience:

a. Functionality testing: Test each feature and functionality of the app to ensure they work as intended. Verify that user inputs are processed correctly, transactions are executed accurately, and data is stored and retrieved accurately.

b. Compatibility testing: Test the app across different devices, screen sizes, and operating systems to ensure compatibility and responsiveness. Pay attention to performance, layout, and usability on various devices.

c. Security testing: Identify potential vulnerabilities and implement robust security measures. Conduct penetration testing to identify and address any weaknesses in the app's security infrastructure.

d. Usability testing: Conduct user testing sessions to gather feedback on the app's usability and user experience. Identify any pain points, confusing elements, or areas for improvement. Incorporate user feedback to enhance the app's usability.

Types of software testing
  • Preparing the app for deployment on app stores:

a. App store guidelines: Familiarize yourself with the guidelines and requirements of the target app stores (such as Apple App Store and Google Play Store). Ensure compliance with their policies, design requirements, and content guidelines.

b. Metadata and assets: Prepare the necessary metadata, including title, description, screenshots, icons, and promotional graphics. Optimize these assets to highlight the app's key features and attract potential users.

c. App store optimization (ASO): Conduct keyword research to optimize the app's listing for better discoverability in the app stores. Incorporate relevant keywords in the app's title, description, and tags.

d. Beta testing and feedback: Consider conducting a beta testing phase to gather feedback from a select group of users. Use their insights to further refine the app before the official release.

  • Launching the app and monitoring its performance:

a. Release management: Coordinate the release process across different app stores and platforms. Schedule the app's launch and ensure all necessary steps, such as application submissions and review processes, are completed.

b. Analytics and monitoring: Implement analytics tools to track application performance, user behavior, and key metrics. Monitor user engagement, retention rates, crash reports, and feedback to identify areas for improvement and address any issues promptly.

c. Updates and bug fixes: Continuously iterate on the application based on user feedback and emerging needs. Release regular updates to address bugs, introduce new features, and enhance the overall user experience.

Step 4: User acquisition and retention

Technically, marketing activities, as well as testing, should be present from the very beginning of the development process. However, when your investing app is available for users, marketing efforts should grow exponentially. Consider the following parts: 

  • Develop a marketing strategy to attract users to the app

To attract users to the investing app, it is crucial to develop a comprehensive marketing strategy. An important first step is to identify your target audience through thorough market research. Understanding their demographics, investment preferences, and pain points will allow for tailored messaging and targeting. Leveraging various marketing channels such as social media, content marketing, search engine optimization, and paid advertising can help reach the target audience effectively. Regularly analyzing marketing performance through data tracking and making necessary adjustments based on user acquisition metrics will help optimize the strategy and ensure its effectiveness over time.

  • Offer unique and valuable features to retain users

Retaining users in an investing platform requires providing unique and valuable features that differentiate it from competitors and meet users' needs. Ensuring a seamless and user-friendly interface is essential for a positive user experience. The app should be intuitive, easy to navigate, and visually appealing. Offering a wide range of investment options, including stocks, bonds, mutual funds, and ETFs, can cater to users with diverse investment preferences.

  • Create a feedback system to improve the app based on user reviews

To continuously improve the investing application based on user reviews, it is essential to establish a feedback system that encourages users to provide their opinions and suggestions. Implementing in-app feedback forms or surveys can collect valuable insights from users about their experience, feature preferences, and areas for improvement. It is important to actively listen and respond to user feedback promptly, showing users that their opinions are valued and considered.

Cost of investment app development

The cost of investment app development can vary significantly depending on various factors such as the app's complexity, features, platform(s), development team rates, and geographic location. While it's challenging to provide precise numbers without specific project requirements, here are some rough estimates:

Basicportfolio tracking, market data, and basic trading capabilities$25,000 to $50,000
Mediumadditional features like advanced analytics, news integration, real-time alerts, and social investing capabilities$50,000 to $100,000
Advancedcomplex functionalities, integration with third-party services, sophisticated algorithms, advanced trading capabilities, and robust security measures$100,000 to $300,000 or more

It's important to note that the cost estimates provided are rough approximations and can vary significantly based on individual project requirements and the development team selected. Additionally, ongoing maintenance, updates, and server hosting costs should be considered beyond the initial development expenses.

Why you should choose Yellow to build your investment app

Yellow specializes in building custom software solutions and has a team of skilled professionals with diverse technical expertise. This means you'll have access to a pool of experienced software engineers, designers, and project managers who can bring your solution to life.

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We have in-depth knowledge of the latest technologies and industry best practices. We stay up-to-date with the rapidly evolving software landscape and can recommend the most suitable tech stack for your investment app. Our team will ensure that your service is built using the latest tools, frameworks, and programming languages, resulting in a scalable, secure, and high-performance solution.


By following the steps outlined in this article, including conducting thorough market research, designing a user-friendly interface, incorporating robust security measures, and applying an efficient monetization strategy, you can create an investment app that will rock the stage. A well-designed and feature-rich investing service has the potential to revolutionize the way people approach and engage with investing, making it accessible and empowering for users of all levels of experience.

📈 Why are investing apps becoming popular?

First, they offer convenience and accessibility, allowing users to easily invest in financial markets from their smartphones or tablets. Secondly, investing solutions often provide user-friendly interfaces, educational resources, and personalized recommendations, making investing more approachable for individuals with varying levels of financial knowledge and experience.

📈 What programming languages are used to build investing apps?

Investing apps can be built using a variety of programming languages, depending on the specific requirements and technologies chosen for development. Common programming languages for building investing applications include languages like Swift or Objective-C for iOS, Java or Kotlin for Android, and languages like JavaScript, Python, or Ruby for web-based or cross-platform services.

📈 How long does it take to build an investing app?

On average, it can take several months to a year or more to develop an investing app, considering the various stages of development, including planning, design, development, testing, and deployment.

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