Stash Review: Is It the Best Investment App for You?

GOBankingRates Score

4.7
Our take: Stash is a cost-effective investment app for new and small-amount investors. For those novice investors, Stash provides professional advice and recommendations on investing in stocks and exchange-traded funds. Investors can manage their own investment portfolio while becoming more financially literate. Opening an account on Stash is easy, and the fees are minimal compared to some other investment apps.
  • Customer Service
    4.6
  • Ease of Use
    4.8
  • Fees
    4.5
  • Mobile App
    4.8
How did we calculate this?

Pros

  • Fractional share investing
  • No additional hidden fees
  • Stock-earning debit card when you spend at your favorite merchants
  • High-end security features
  • No minimum investment

Cons

  • Monthly fee plans: Stash Beginner ($1); Stash Growth ($3); Stash+ ($9)
  • Does not support rollover IRAs, regular savings accounts or money market accounts
  • Next-day or delayed trading, depending on the time the investment was made

About Stash

Stash is a personal finance app that aims to empower average Americans to build wealth through investing. The creators of Stash established a mission to help its users (called Stashers) develop wise financial habits, achieve their money goals and have a fair shake at building wealth.

Stash believes that Americans face two major obstacles from building wealth: a lack of financial literacy and inaccessibility to investing resources. By using the app, Stashers can affordably access simple investing tools, coupled with an abundance of financial literacy education.

Stash Features

Here are some key features of Stash:

  • Up to two-day early payday access with ASAP Direct Deposit
  • Unlimited trading with no add-on account commission fees
  • Deposits and withdrawals up to $10,000 per day
  • Automatically save and invest using Auto-Stash with Round-Ups

How Does Stash Work?

Stash offers you the tools you need to start building long-term wealth. Here’s what you have to do to get started:

  1. Create a Stash account. On the web app’s homepage, select “Get Started,” then enter an email address and password. Select “Create account.” To join Stash from a mobile device, once you’ve downloaded and installed the app, tap “Get Started.” Enter an email address and password. Tap “Create account.”
  2. Answer some questions. Answer a few questions indicating your financial goals to let Stash know how to best advise you on budgeting and investing.
  3. Subscribe to a payment plan. Stash offers three monthly plans to fit your financial goals. You can change plans or cancel at any time. Your options are:
    • Stash Beginner; $1 per month
    • Stash Growth; $3 per month
    • Stash+; $9 per month
  4. Add money to your Stash account. Add funds manually or put your investments on autopilot using direct deposit from your paycheck.
  5. Organize your money. Use Stash’s automatic budgeting and saving tools to create financial goals, track your spending and store your money in different locations.
  6. Begin investing your money. Your cash is now stashed, waiting for you to invest in fractions of stock shares and ETFs. It will only cost you $5 or less to begin investing in your future.

    Investing Options

    Stashers can invest in over 1,800 stocks and ETFs. And, since Stash offers fractional shares, you can buy portions of company stocks and ETFs with as little as $5 instead of buying whole stocks. Stocks are available from many different fields, including:

    • Industries, such as energy, finance, healthcare, real estate and media
    • ETF categories, such as commodities, bonds, diversified mixes, goods and services
    • Technology companies that solve real-world problems
    • Government bonds consisting of investments of loans made to companies and governments grouped into a single fund
    • Energy companies, like large gas and oil companies
    • Healthcare companies leading in pharmaceuticals and medical industries

    Available Services

    The Stash Beginner plan costs only $1 per month and offers six basic services:

    • Banking
    • Investing
    • Personalized investment advice
    • Saving tools
    • Stock-Back Card
    • $1,000 Avibra life insurance policy

    These beneficial services are always included with any Stash plan you choose.

    Banking

    When you bank with Stash, your money is protected from overdraft and other fees.

    Investing

    You don’t have to buy whole shares of stocks. With Stash, you can invest in fractional shares of thousands of ETFs and stocks.

    Personalized Investment Advice

    Stash has investment advisors to guide you long-term along your wealth-building journey.

    Saving Tools

    Save automatically with Stash tools like goals and Round-Ups.

    Stock-Back Card

    When you shop in stores and online, Stash gives you stock in the brands that you know and use.

    $1,000 Avibra Life Insurance Policy

    As a Stasher, you automatically get a complimentary group life insurance policy offered by Stash partner Avibra.

    Additional Features for Stash Growth and Stash+

    The basic services listed above are also included with both the Stash Growth and Stash+ plans, with a few additional features.

    The Stash Growth plan adds:

    • Personalized retirement advice
    • Roth or traditional IRAs
    • Smart Portfolio Discretionary Managed Account
    • Tax benefits for retirement investing

    On top of all of the services in the Stash Beginner and Stash Growth plans, the Stash+ plan also offers:

    • Investing options for children
    • Stock-Back Card bonuses including two stocks
    • Premium investing research and advice
    • $10,000 Avibra life insurance policy

    Stash Fees

    Other than the monthly fee for Stash Beginner, Stash Growth and Stash+ accounts, Stash does not charge any additional fees for trading commissions or electronic statement fees.

    What Stash Is Best For

    Here are the details on some of the best features Stash has to offer.

    Options for Selling Investments

    Selling investments on Stash is easy and can be done either in the mobile app or on the website. You can optionally sell a specific dollar amount of your shares or your entire investment. Be aware that, when you sell, you will have to wait two business days after the sale until your money is available.

    Custodial Accounts for Children

    Parents can teach children at a young age about investing with Stash. By opening a custodial account, parents, guardians and other family members or friends can open a Stash account for a minor child. The adult manages the account until the minor reaches majority age, which is 18 or 21, depending on where they live.

    Stash Stock-Back Card

    When you use your Stash Stock-Back debit card, you can earn stocks in over 11 million merchants in the United States. Stash rewards Stashers with stock in the companies where you spend your money.

    Where Stash Falls Short

    When deciding whether Stash is right for you, consider these drawbacks:

    • If you prefer flexibility in how much you spend on investments each month, then Stash may not be the best personal investment app for you. Consider automatic drafts if this is your issue.
    • Stash may charge you ancillary fees that are not included in the monthly Wrap Fee.
    • Although Stash offers an online bank account with a debit card, your investment account will not earn any interest.
    • Stash investment advice does not offer any tax strategizing help.
    • Experienced investors may find that, beyond the basics, Stash is limited in terms of portfolio recommendations and advice.

    Stash vs. Competitors

    Stash offers similar services as other personal investment apps out there, so you’ll want to compare it with other options to find the best match for your needs. Here’s a look at some of the key features of Stash’s competitors:

    Investment App KEY DETAILS
    Betterment
    • Charges an annual fee of 0.25% per year on your balance for every $10,000 invested
    Robinhood
    • Free stock when you open an account, link your bank account or refer someone else
    • No money needed in your account to get the free stock
    Acorns
    • Plans cost $1, $3 and $5 per month
    • $5 per month plan is a family plan that offers investment accounts for multiple children at no extra cost
    Ellevest
    • Personal investment platform for women
    • Offers career advice, workshops, courses and coaching
    Schwab Intelligent Portfolios
    • $300 initial one-time fee, plus $30 per month to invest
    • Has a robo-advisor that builds, monitors, rebalances and diversifies your portfolio according to your investing goals

    Who Should Use Stash?

    If you’re looking for a simple way to invest in your future and gain financial freedom, then you should consider giving Stash a try. Stash offers three different plans for people interested in long-term investing.

    See which one of Stash’s investment plans works best for you:

    • Stash Beginner costs $1 per month and is a good choice if you are not used to budgeting or are a first-time investor.
    • Stash Growth costs $3 per month and can work for you if you want to beef up your long-term wealth-building efforts.
    • Stash+ costs $9 per month and might be right for you if you are a seasoned investor and like to use your debit card frequently.

    Stash FAQ

    Here are the answers to some commonly asked questions about Stash.
    • How often can you trade on Stash?
      • Stash has unlimited trading with no additional commission fees.
    • Do I have to purchase whole stocks on Stash?
      • No. Stashers choose their investments and how much they want to invest in fractions of stocks and ETFs.
    • I don't know how to read stock charts. Can someone at Stash help me?
      • Yes. You can request help analyzing your stock portfolio and get recommendations from experienced investment advisors.
    • Do I have to be on the app every time I want to invest?
      • No. You can put your investments on autopilot using direct deposit from your paycheck or automatic transfer from your external bank account.
    • Does Stash offer any investment training?

    About the Author

    Kathy Evans is a personal finance freelance writer and entrepreneur with a technical writing and instructional systems design background. She holds an MS in technical writing and informational design and is currently a doctoral student in instructional technology at Towson University. Through work experience in the federal government as well as commercial and nonprofit industries, she has focused her freelance writing on finance, investing and economic content with a specialization in budget coaching.  

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