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Stash Invest Review 2020 – Is It Even Worth It?

Every new investor faces two challenges:

  1. The barrier to entry is too high
  2. Not having the slightest idea of what to actually invest in

It’s no secret that investing jargon can sound like a foreign language. This can deter many people from ever taking the time to learn what they actually need to know. On top of that, many brokerages require investors to have minimum balances and automatic deposits that are just too much.

Fortunately, those days are long gone.

Technology has been huge for lowering investment barriers. There are now so many options that are both accessible and easy to understand by everyone.

One of these options is Stash Invest. You can get $5 for free when you sign up and make your first investment!

Stash is great because the app allows users – who perhaps don’t have a ton of money – to buy fractional shares of a stock. Want to buy Amazon but a single share costs $1,000?? With fractional shares, you can buy a percentage of a single share.

Stash isn’t the only one offering fractional shares – the functionality has become popular and companies like M1 Finance also offer it on their platforms. M1 Finance allows you to build a portfolio of stocks and ETFs for free – yes free. No fees.

Plus, many of the major brokers now offer commission-free investing, so keep that in mind as you make your decision of where to invest.

If that sounds appealing, then I recommend you check out these 5 apps that allow you to actually invest for free.

Bonus: Stash Banking is offering a $50 bonus if you deposit $300 within 30 days. Check it out here >>

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Quick Summary

  • Automatic investing app with $0 minimum to get started
  • Makes investing “easy” by really simplifying the process
  • Fees as low as $1 per month

Stash Invest

Product Name

Min Investment

Annual Fees

Account Type

Traditional IRA, Roth IRA, Taxable

Promotions

Why Stash Invest?

Stash Invest is an app that launched in 2020 after the founders set out to answer the question: why don’t half of Americans invest?

They kept coming back to one answer. Most people found investing to be un-relatable, expensive and intimidating. (Can you relate?!) From those answers, Stash Invest was born.

The Stash Invest app allows investors to start investing for free. Not only that, but Stash makes choosing investments extremely simple.

They also have low fees at only $1 per month, for basic banking and personal investing.

Stash Invest Fees and Pricing

Stash Invest recently updated the pricing and tried to simplify their offerings.

They currently have 3 pricing options – all flat fee offerings (versus the previous structure of AUM).

Beginner: This plan is $1 per month, and offers a basic brokerage account and Stash Banking account. It also offers free financial guidance.

Growth: This plan is $3 per month, and allows retirement investing, along with a taxable brokerage account and banking options.

Stash+: This is their most robust option, and is for families who want to save and invest. At $9 per month, you get not only taxable and retirement investments, but you also get up to two custodial investment accounts for your children (note: these are not 529 plans).

These options compare to Acorns, but are slightly more expensive in some regards, although you do get banking at every price point.

How To Get Started In Five Simple Steps

If you want to get started with Stash Invest, the sign-up process is extremely simple. (After you sign up check the bottom of the post for ways to quickly grow that balance.)

# 1 – Click Here To Get Started

Click here to check out Stash Invest online and get started on your desktop.

Click here to get Stash for free on the App Store, you’ll be directed to the app store and you can download the app to your phone.

# 2 – Fill Out Your Profile

Next, you’ll fill out your basic information and answer a couple of questions.

These questions will help Stash guide you on making investment decisions. It’s important that you’re honest with these survey questions because they help determine your risk tolerance.

This should only take a couple of minutes.

# 3 – Choose An Investment

Based on the answers you provided, Stash Invest will show you investment options that line up with your risk tolerance (conservative, moderate, or aggressive.) You can click on the different investments to learn more about them. (Don’t worry they’re explained in layman’s terms!)

The great thing about Stash is that they make investing relatable. Instead of crazy names of ETFs and ticker symbols, you invest in “themes” that are based on your wants, beliefs, or likes. We’ll talk more about that below.

Right now, there are over 1,800 investment options (stocks and funds) available on the platform.

You can invest in these for as little as $0.01.

Link up the bank account you want to have money withdrawn from to make your investments.

It takes about 2-3 days for the money to transfer into Stash.

# 5 – Confirm Your Identity

Verify your identity, create a four digit pin number and you’re all done.

How To Actually Invest With Stash Invest

Stash does things differently than your traditional investing app or brokerage.

Instead of choosing a stock or ticker symbol to invest in, you choose from themed investments.

This is a really great way to make investing relatable, while at the same making investing affordable and easy.

For example, if you believe that Americans will spend more on healthcare simply because they are getting older, you could invest in “Doctor, Doctor”. This investment is based on an ETF that invests in U.S. healthcare companies.

Similarly, you could invest in “Companies”. For example, you could want to invest in a piece of Warren Buffett through his company, Berkshire Hathaway.

When you click on an investment you can see the underlying holdings – real companies that you invest in.

Purchasing an investment is really easy. You just click on the “Add To Portfolio” button and enter how much you want to invest.

Fractional Shares

Fractional Shares are now available on Stash – which is great if you’re getting started with just a little bit of money. Fractional shares of most investments are available on our platform starting at 1¢, and customers can buy a piece of any stock or fund trading at more than $1,000 per share starting with just 5¢.

DRIP (Dividend Reinvestment Program)

Dividends are a huge driver of long term growth and returns – and Stash now includes free dividend reinvestment. Customers can automatically reinvest dividends across STASH’s suite of investment products, including personal brokerage, Traditional & Roth IRA’s and custodial accounts.

What To Do Next

The goal of Stash (and any investment account) is to build your portfolio over time. Stash Invest makes it fun and easy by creating milestones and ways to encourage you to invest more.

Once you make your first investment, you’ll get the milestones based on thresholds:

Stash also tries to show you your potential – by both adding new investments and teaching you the value of investing often.

Over time, you can check in your home screen and see how your portfolio is doing overall.

You can also enable Diversify Me.

  • Diversify Me simplifies the portfolio building experience and guides customers towards a well-balanced, diversified foundation in their investment accounts. STASH’s diversification engine automatically constructs starter portfolios that are tailor-made for each customer. Then, customers can invest their desired amounts with just one tap.

Stash Retire

Stash has a feature called Stash Retire, which is a retirement account option for investors. Stash Retire offers both Traditional and Roth IRAs – and offers the same investment choices you’d find in Stash. You can contribute up to the IRA Contribution Limit in a Stash Retire account.

Stash Retire is part of the Growth Plan, and it is slightly more expensive at $3 per month.

You can still start investing for free, but that could be quickly eroded by fees if you don’t invest more and see investment gains.

Stash Banking

Stash also recently partnered with Green Dot Bank to launch a banking feature on its app¹. They offer a debit account with no overdraft or monthly maintenance fees², access to a large network of free ATMs nationwide³, ASAP Direct Deposit™ which enables customers to get their pay up to 2 days early⁴, as well as Stock Back™⁵ the only rewards program where customers earn stock every time⁶ they spend.

Every STASH customer also receives personal guidance across every aspect of their finances—from spending to saving and investing‚ with actionable advice to help them get the most out of their money.

Of course, the banking aspect connects seamlessly to Stash Invest, to allow you to manage all your money in one place.

Also, with banking, you can do the following:

  • Round-Ups to grow savings on auto-pilot. Every time customers spend, STASH will round-up the purchases to the nearest dollar. Each time the round-ups total hits $5, STASH will transfer the spare change to the customer’s personal investment account.
  • Cash Back gives customers the opportunity to earn up to 10% cash back on everyday purchases. Customers can opt-in and then connect up to three credit or debit cards and automatically earn cash back each time they spend at participating retailers nationwide. Based on customer location, the feature will surface cash back offerings nearby, allowing them to conveniently discover new retailers and great deals at places they already shop. Customers can invest the earnings in their favorite stocks or withdraw the money at no cost.

Bonus: Stash Banking is offering a $50 bonus if you deposit $300 within 30 days. Check it out here >>

The Cons of Stash Invest

The biggest drawback of Stash is the cost. $1 per month may not seem like a lot, but on a small portfolio, the percentage is very high. $1 per month is $12 per year. On a $100 investment that is 12% in investing fees. That’s incredibly hard to earn back, and those fees keep coming. That can really kill your portfolio’s earning potential.

When you look at $3 per month (or even $9 per month), you need to invest a large amount to make the fees competitive to other platforms.

Let’s look at an example to break it down. If you’re interested in Technology Stocks, you might consider investing in Stash’s Internet Titan’s ETF. This ETF is actually ticker symbol FDN, which is First Trust Dow Jones Internet Index Fund. This ETF has an expense ratio of 0.54% – which is pretty high for a domestic ETF.

If you want to invest in a similar ETF at Fidelity, you’d probably go with FTEC, which is Fidelity MSCI Information Technology Index ETF. It invests in the same companies, and it has an expense ratio of just 0.08%. It’s also commission-free to invest in. The Stash ETF alone is 6.75x more expensive to own than the fund at Fidelity. Plus, you have that $1/mo fee on top of it!

So, if you have a $1,000 investment in this fund, it would cost you (per year):

  • At Stash: $12 (the $1/mo fee) + $5.40 (the fund’s expense ratio) = $17.40
  • At Fidelity: $0.80 (the fund’s expense ratio) = $0.80

In percentage terms, your investment would end up costing about 1.74% per year in fees.

At Fidelity, it’s just the 0.08%. So, when you add in the monthly fees, it ends up being 21.75x more expensive to invest at Stash than Fidelity!! All those extra fees are doing is hurting your return over time.

I spoke to Stash about this to see if they had any comment. The person I spoke to justifies the high percentage in fees by looking at what the customer gets in return of spending only $1 a month.

For example, unlike Fidelity, Stash has a beautiful and easy-to-navigate app built specifically with the user in mind (millennials). When a customer signs up to Stash, they are not just there to invest. they are there to learn.

Fidelity doesn’t exactly talk the user through their investment decisions the way Stash does, using layman’s terms the user can understand. Moreover, many people never end up investing solely because there are too many options on platforms like Fidelity!

It turns out millennials may be willing to pay $1 a month, even if by percentage terms that’s a lot, to learn how to invest, get recommendations on what to invest in, and most importantly, form the investing habit.

Alternatives To Stash

But if you’re like me, and don’t like high fees no matter how convenient and pretty the app may be, then I recommend opening an IRA or brokerage account at a mainstream brokerage like TD Ameritrade or Fidelity. What most people don’t realize is that you can open an IRA with no minimum, you can get access to hundreds of commission free ETFs, and you have a great app to use. You essentially can build your entire diversified portfolio for free, on an app.

So, instead of paying high fees and investing in their custom ETFs, you simply get a regular “mainstream” account, can invest in the same ETFs, and experience no fees.

If you’re looking for something that allows you to buy small amounts, check out ​M1 Finance.

Final Thoughts

With Stash, it’s free to get started. This is perfect for anyone getting started. Plus, it’s so easy to understand!

A bunch of $5 investments can add up to something big.

If you want to get started investing but haven’t made the plunge, consider Stash, but also consider other options. For every investing style, there is likely a better and cheaper solution.

Investment advisory services offered by Stash Investments LLC, an SEC registered investment adviser. This material has been distributed for informational and educational purposes only, and is not intended as investment, legal, accounting, or tax advice. Nothing in this article should be construed as Legal or Tax Advice. For additional questions regarding Taxes, please consult a Tax Professional. Investing involves risk.

*Clients may incur ancillary fees charged by Stash and/or it’s custodian that are not included in the monthly Wrap-Fee.

1 Debit Account Services provided by Green Dot Bank, Member FDIC. Investment products and services are not offered by Green Dot Bank, are NOT FDIC Insured, Not Bank Guaranteed and May Lose Value. Account opening for the debit account is subject to Green Dot Bank’s approval.

2 Other fees apply to the debit account. Please see Deposit Account Agreement for details

3 Other fees may apply. Fee-free ATM access applies to in-network ATMs only. For our-of-network ATMs and bank tellers a $2.50 fee will apply, plus any additional fee that the Atm owner or bank may charge.

4 Early access to your direct deposit depends on deposit verification and when Green Dot Bank gets notice from your employer, and may vary from pay period to pay period.

5 Opt-in is required. In order to earn stock in the program, the Stash debit card must be used to make a qualifying purchase. Stock-Back Rewards that are issued to a participating customer’s personal brokerage account via the Stash Stock-Back Program, are not FDIC Insured, Not Bank Guaranteed and May Lose Value. Stash Stock-Back™ is not sponsored or endorsed by Green Dot Bank, Green Dot Corporation, Visa U.S.A., or any of their respective affiliates, and none of the foregoing has any responsibility to fulfill any stock rewards earned through this program.

6. What doesn’t count: Cash withdrawals, money orders, prepaid cards, and P2P payment. See full terms and conditions.

SCAM WATCH

Investment schemes involve getting you or your business to part with money on the promise of a questionable financial opportunity.

Common types of investment scams

Investment cold calls

A scammer claiming to be a stock broker or portfolio manager calls you and offers financial or investments advice. They will claim what they are offering is low-risk and will provide you with quick and high returns, or encourage you to invest in overseas companies. The scammer’s offer will sound legitimate and they may have resources to back up their claims. They will be persistent, and may keep calling you back.

The scammer may claim that they do not need an Australian Financial Services licence, or that that they are approved by a real government regulator or affiliated with a genuine company.

The investments offered in these type of cold calls are usually share, mortgage, or real estate high-return schemes, options trading or foreign currency trading. The scammer is operating from overseas, and will not have an Australian Financial Services licence.

Share promotions and hot tips

The scammer encourages you to buy shares in a company that they predict is about to increase in value. You may be contacted by email or the message will be posted in a forum. The message will seem like an inside tip and stress that you need to act quickly. The scammer is trying to boost the price of stock so they can sell shares they have already bought, and make a huge profit. The share value will then go down dramatically.

If you invest you will be left with large losses or shares that are virtually worthless.

Investment seminars

Investment seminars are promoted by promising motivational speakers, investment experts, or self-made millionaires who will give you expert advice on investing. They are designed to convince you into following high risk investment strategies such as borrowing large sums of money to buy property, or investments that involve lending money on a no security basis or other risky terms.

Promoters make money by charging you an attendance fee, selling overpriced reports or books, and by selling investments and property without letting you get independent advice. The investments on offer are generally overvalued and you may end up having to pay fees and commissions that the promoters did not tell you about. High pressure sales tactics or false and misleading claims are often used to pressure you into investing, such as guaranteed rent or discounts for buying off the plan.

If you invest there is a high chance you will lose money.

Visit ASIC’s MoneySmart for more information about investment seminar scams.

Superannuation

Superannuation scams offer to give you early access to your super fund, often through a self-managed super fund or for a fee. The offer may come from a financial adviser, or a scammer posing as one. The scammer may ask you to agree to a story to ensure the early release of your money and then, acting as your financial adviser, they will deceive your superannuation company into paying out your super benefits directly to them. Once they have your money, the scammer may take large ‘fees’ out of the released fund or leave you with nothing at all.

You cannot legally access the preserved part of your super until you are between 55 and 60, depending what year you were born. There are certain exceptions such as severe financial hardship or compassionate grounds – but anyone who otherwise offers early access to your super is acting illegally.

Visit ASIC’s MoneySmart for more information about how super works.

Warning signs

  • You receive a call, or repeated calls, from someone offering unsolicited advice on investments. They may try to keep you on the phone for a long time, or try and transfer you to a more senior person. You are told that you need to act quickly and invest or you will miss out.
  • You receive an email from a stranger offering advice on the share price of a particular company. It may not be addressed to you personally, and may even give the impression it was sent to you by mistake.
  • An advertisement or seminar makes claims such as ‘risk-free investment’, ‘be a millionaire in three years’, or ‘get-rich quick’.
  • You are invited to attend a free seminar, but there are high fees to attend any further sessions. The scammer, posing as the promoter, may offer you a loan to cover both the cost of your attendance at the additional seminars and investments.
  • You see an advertisement promising a quick and easy way to ‘unlock’ your superannuation early.

Protect yourself

  • Do not give your details to an unsolicited caller or reply to emails offering financial advice or investment opportunities – just hang up or delete the email.
  • Be suspicious of investment opportunities that promise a high return with little or no risk.
  • Check if a financial advisor is registered via the ASIC website. Any business or person that offers or advises you about financial products must be an Australian Financial Services (AFS) licence holder.
  • Check ASIC’s list of companies you should not deal with. If the company that called you is on the list – do not deal with them.
  • Do not let anyone pressure you into making decisions about your money or investments and never commit to any investment at a seminar – always get independent legal or financial advice.
  • Do not respond to emails from strangers offering predictions on shares, investment tips, or investment advice.
  • If you feel an offer to buy shares might be legitimate, always check the company’s listing on the stock exchange for its current value and recent shares performance. Some offers to buy your shares may be well below market value.
  • Never commit to any investment at a seminar – always take time to consider the opportunity and seek independent financial advice.
  • If you are under 55, watch out for offers promoting easy access to your preserved superannuation benefits. If you illegally access your super early, you may face penalties under taxation law.

Have you been scammed?

If you think you have provided your account details to a scammer, contact your bank or financial institution immediately.

We encourage you to report scams to the ACCC via the report a scam page. This helps us to warn people about current scams, monitor trends and disrupt scams where possible. Please include details of the scam contact you received, for example, email or screenshot.

Scams that relate to financial services can also be reported to ASIC.

Spread the word to your friends and family to protect them.

Stash Review: This Simple App Helps You Start Investing In Minutes

Stash allows you to invest as little as 1 cent in portfolios that align with your goals and values. Here’s how to get started!

  • New investors
  • Value aligned investing
  • Non-savers

Review of: Stash Invest | Reviewed by: Sarah Sharkey | Last modified: March 22, 2020

It seemed like Millennial-baiting of the lowest order.

Having spent some time with Stash, I can say that it is a well-made, well-designed app that fills a particular niche – it’s good for people who don’t just want to invest, but want to invest in something they believe in – people who believe their portfolio should be an extension of who they are and what they value, and are willing to pay a slight premium for that.

Stash has certainly carved out a niche for itself in the crowded world of fintech. Whether that niche is right for you, however, depends on what you’re looking for.

What is Stash?

The goal of Stash is to help new investors get started with limited resources. Although the idea of building an investment portfolio can seem overwhelming at first, Stash makes the process smoother.

After signing up for Stash, you’ll be able to build your portfolio based on your personal goals and risk tolerance. Overall, the app offers a user-friendly way to kickstart your investment portfolio.

In addition to the investment options, Stash recently introduced a debit card which is issued by Green Dot Bank.

How does Stash work?

If you are interested in working with Stash, click the yellow ‘get started’ button in the top right-hand corner of the Stash website.

Next, you’ll be asked to set up an account by creating a password and sharing your email. Then you’ll be asked to share some information about yourself.

Although it might seem like several steps, it only took a few minutes to go through this informational process.

You’ll be asked to provide your legal name and date of birth. In order to work with Stash, you need to be 18 years old. Plus, you must prove that you are a U.S. citizen through your Social Security Number.

After you verify your identity, you’ll be asked to complete a questionnaire. The goal of the questionnaire is to determine your risk tolerance for your future investments.

The risk levels are conservative, moderate, and aggressive. After you are placed into the best category for your financial situation and personal preferences, you will receive a selection of recommended investments.

Stash provides a wide range of investment options in order for you to build the best portfolio for your situation. You’ll find roughly 1800 individual stocks and ETFs, as well as many bonds as options through your Stash account. Many stocks span a broad range of companies covering all parts of the U.S. economy, from big household names to smaller manufacturers.

Once you’ve established a risk level, then you’ll be able to start investing. It may take a few minutes to enter your banking information in order to fund your investments. Then you’ll be asked to verify your account through the confirmation of a micro deposit.

How much does Stash cost?

In order to work with Stash, you’ll need to pay a monthly subscription fee. There are three levels of this subscription that I’ll walk you through below.

Beginner

The Beginner option is only $1 per month. With this, you’ll have access to a personal investment account, debit account access, and earn Stock-Back.

If you are just getting started with investing, this option is probably all that you need.

Growth

The Growth option is $3 per month. The only major difference between this option and the Beginner subscription is that you’ll have access to tax benefits for retirement investing.

Unless you have a focused investment plan, then you may not even need that benefit. Do more research on tax-advantaged investments before choosing this option.

Stash+

The final option, Stash+, is $9 per month. In addition to all of the standard features, you’ll have the option to open investment accounts for two kids and a metal debit card with 2x Stock-Back. Plus, monthly market insight reports.

If you are getting more interested in investing, then Stash+ might be worth it. However, $9 is fairly steep for the features you’ll receive.

Stash features

Stash’s design is its strongest feature

Stash sets itself apart with an easy and intuitive design that displays necessary information in a way that makes sense.

(I will say that, while I enjoy their app, I am frustrated by the lack of a web option. I’m an old millennial who has a desk job, and there’s something I just find constraining about a mobile app.) But, I will give Stash this – the sign-up process is seamless.

Stash gives you more choices than any other investing app

Most of the other robo-advisors pick your investments for you – they take your age, risk profile, and investment goals into account and spit out a mix of low-cost securities, mostly ETFs. Stash takes these things into account, but also leaves a lot up to you.

Stash organizes its 30 offerings under headers like:

  • I Believe: Includes things like clean energy, socially responsible companies, and companies that support LGBT rights.
  • I Want: Where you can choose from various goals, like an aggressive, moderate, or conservative mix, or stocks that pay regular dividends.
  • I Like: Where the retail, tech, and social media stocks live.

By clicking on one of them, you’ll be taken to a screen that shows you the risk level of this particular fund, the companies whose stock make it up, the underlying security (usually an ETF), and its ticker symbol.

Below that, it displays the fund’s most recent share price, its dividend yield, and, oh so importantly, its expense ratio. There’s also a link to the fund’s website.

The Stash funds vary from very good and cheap to….less so

When I dropped my initial $5 into my Stash account, I put it into their Aggressive Mix because a) I’m a real go-getter and b) I was overwhelmed by my options.

Once I took a closer look, however, I noticed the difference in cost between the funds was significant.

Expense ratios are an easy measure of just how much it costs to own a given mutual fund or ETF. Some of Stash’s funds, like Delicious Dividends (which appeals to the alliteration-loving elderly pensioner in me), have very low ones.

Others, like the more niche-focused Retail Therapy or Social Media Mania, are considerably higher.

Earn Stock-Back from the stores you shop at most frequently

You can open a Stash debit account easily because there is no minimum deposit and there are no fees to drain your savings.

Plus, Stash offers a Stock-Back option when you make purchases at retailers that offer stock such as Walmart and Amazon. You’ll receive a fractional share of that company with that purchase. If you aren’t shopping at a retailer with stock, then you get a percentage of your purchase back in the form of a Stash ETF.

Stash’s Portfolio Builder

With the Portfolio Builder, you’ll be able to work toward an investment strategy that meets your goals and your values. The app offers a wide variety of investment options that will allow you to find the perfect match.

Stash lets you put your money where your mouth (or change.org petitions) is

You may have noticed that a lot of the companies mentioned in the Delicious Dividends fund are widely reviled and seen as profit-seeking monsters who care nothing for the common good. Those profit-seeking monsters will also be in just about any index fund you could find. Index funds track the broader stock market, and thus most public companies.

This is the conflict at the heart of passive investing. Index funds are unquestionably the best for people looking to build wealth. But what about those who want to build wealth without contributing to companies they view as threats to the environment, public health, and political discourse? There’s no easy answer to that.

Index funds work because they invest in everything, instead of attempting to pick just winners, and thus beat the market. Put a little money in everything, and some stocks will gain and some will lose. But “everything” means financial services companies, pharmaceuticals, and oil companies.

Basically, passive investing is the opposite of activism.

Who should use Stash?

If you are new to investing, Stash will walk you through everything you need to know. It can be a big relief to start small and build your investments slowly.

Stash is perfect for new investors that don’t have too much investment capital to start out with. It is a perfect stepping stone to building a solid portfolio.

Who shouldn’t use Stash?

If you are an experienced investor, then Stash is probably not a good fit for you. The app walks investors through building a portfolio which is great, unless you already know how to do that for yourself.

Also, if you have more than a few hundred dollars to invest, then you might find less expensive funds at other brokerage firms.

Pros & cons

Low minimum investment — It only takes 1 cent to start your investment portfolio. If you are struggling to start investing, that is a great feature.

Helpful guidance — The app has built-in guidance that will help you build a portfolio from scratch.

Automated options — Once you set up your account with your preferences, it will continue to build automatically.

Stock-Back program — As you build your investments, every little bit helps. The Stock-Back program allows you to build your investments with little effort.

High monthly cost — The monthly fees can be fairly steep, especially if you have a relatively low account balance.

Expensive funds — The ETFs offered through Stash are relatively diverse. However, they also have a high expense ratio that could cut into your long-term returns.

Stash’s competitors

Stash Acorns
Cost $1-$9/month $1-$3/month
Investment options ETFs ETFs
Minimum investment 1 cent $5
Other features Stock-Back, more options to pick your own investments Acorns Later (retirement saver)

Acorns

Acorns is another investing app that will allow you to get started with as little as $5.

Like Stash, it will take your personal investing goals and investment comfort levels into account. You can have Acorns round up any spare change from your purchases and add that to your investment portfolio. Or simply invest lump sum amounts when you have them.

In order to use Acorns, you’ll pay $1 per month. But it is free for college students.

My experience using Stash

Stash offered a user-friendly experience that made my investment process with them easy. It only took a few minutes to get everything set up. Although, it did take a few days for my bank account to link up. After that slight delay, everything went fairly smoothly.

The questionnaire about my risk tolerance was spot-on. When Stash started to offer their selection of ETFs, I was impressed with the number of funds available. However, I was not impressed with the expense ratios embedded in each ETF. In my opinion, the fees are too high for my taste. Especially coupled with the monthly subscription cost.

Stash is a great option for someone that is just getting started with investing. But if you have some experience, then you might be better off working with a discount brokerage firm such as Vanguard or Fidelity.

Summary

Overall, Stash has enough good features that make it a worthwhile option. If you need some help getting started investing, then Stash is a good place to start your journey.

However, the relatively high fees make it less attractive to experienced investors.

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