Stash Invest Review 2021

A More Flexible Micro-Investing App

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Stash Invest Getting started with investing can be tough when you don't have a lot of capital to devote to it. For many folks, one of the biggest psychological barriers keeping them from starting to invest is that they don't believe they have enough money. But that doesn't have to be the case. Stash, is here to show how you can get started with just a few dollars. Here's our Stash review.

Commissions & Fees - 8.5
Customer Service - 7.5
Ease of Use - 8.5
Education - 8
Savings Options - 9
Compounding - 9

8.5

Stash is a personal finance app for newbie investors, with great educational tools and a low minimum required deposit. Unfortunately, its fees run a bit high, making it costly for smaller accounts.

Get $5 When Joining Stash

With Stash’s Smart Portfolio feature Stash can manage its customers' accounts to diversity their portfolio based on the customers' risk level. This feature is available for the Stash Growth and Stash Plus subscription plans.

Stash requires no minimum balance in your personal portfolio, and there's also no minimum investment required to begin. So it can be a great place to start if you want to learn how to invest but don't have a lot of cash to do so.

We took Stash for a test drive, and this is what we found.

Stash Invest Features

Minimum Investment
$0
FeesBeginner Plan: $1/month; Growth Plan: $3/month; Stash+ Plan: $9/month
Mobile AccessiOS, Android
Website Access
Accounts
  • Traditional IRA
  • Roth IRA
  • Checking Account
  • ETFs and Stocks Used Stash users can choose among thousands of stock and ETF investments and its Diversification Analysis tool will keep track of how your investments compare and provide investment recommendations based on your risk level to help you diversify.
  • SIPC Protection — Your funds with Stash are held by the clearing agency Apex Clearing Corporation which is a member of the Securities Investor Protection Corporation (SIPC) (see below).
  • Third-Party Clearing Agency — Investments with Stash are held through the Apex Clearing Corporation, a third-party SEC-registered broker-dealer and member FINRA/SIPC. Apex is the firm that handles the custody of assets, reporting, trade confirmation, settlement, and securities delivery in Stash.
  • Fractional Shares— Stash allows you to invest in fractional shares, meaning you can hold less than one complete share in your portfolio. This can come in handy with expensive stocks that can cost more than $100 per share.
  • Education — Stash provides in-app, on the web, and email education that can help investors learn the basics.
  • Security— Stash is a Registered Investment Advisor and is regulated by the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC). The app uses 256-bit bank-grade encryption to secure your information. It also uses a secure sockets layer (SSL) to protect information sent between Stash and its servers.
  • Auto Stash — Set scheduled times to make deposits into your Stash account.
  • Retirement Accounts — Stash offers access to Roth IRA and traditional IRA accounts with the Stash Growth and Stash+ plans. You can open an account with as little as $1.00 and start investing in stocks or ETFs with as little as $0.012.
  • Custodial Accounts — You can open and maintain an investment account for kids on behalf of a loved one under 18. This account is offered in the Stash+ Plan. This could be a good opportunity to get a child or grandchild interested in investing and in letting compound interest work its magic.
  • Invest in Legal Cannabis— Stash also offers access to investment options where users can invest in the legal cannabis industry. Stash recommends following the Stash Way, which includes regular investing, diversification, and investing for the long term.
  • Stock-Back® Card — Stash offers a bank account with a debit card issued by Green Dot Bank called the Stock-Back® Card. There are no fees for this account — including overdraft fees. Plus, with a Stock-Back® Card, you can earn fractional shares of investments when you use your card.
  • Stash DRIP — DRIP stands for “dividend reinvestment plan.” It allows investors to do just what it sounds like. You can automatically reinvest any dividends you may receive, which can help you maximize the compounding power of long-term investments.
  • Partitions/Goals — Stash's budgeting tool can help investors organize their savings to meet different expenses and goals. This is reminiscent of the envelope budgeting method. You can move money in and out of partitions as needed.

What Is Stash Invest?

Launched in 2015, Stash Invest was created to help you get started with investing. Co-founders Brandon Krieg and Ed Robinson left their jobs on Wall Street to make investing easy and affordable for everyday Americans.  With Stash you can invest in what is most important to you, but it also provides you with personalized guidance and recommendations that can help you along the way.

How Does Stash Invest Work?

To open up an account with Stash, you need to provide your Social Security number and information to link your bank account. You must be at least 18 years old to open an account. The service is available only in the U.S.

You will then complete a questionnaire that can help determine your investment risk level. After establishing your risk level, you can later go into the app and revise your suitability questions, which may or may not change your risk level.

Your risk level, either conservative, moderate, or aggressive, is determined based on your age, investment time horizon, and investment goals. Stash may offer suggested investments that are based on your risk level. While other robo advisors may offer similar Stash can offer a lot more investment options than the competition. You can choose amongst various investment themes with some guidance from Stash along the way.

Once you've provided the required information and completed account opening requirements, which can be completed in a few minutes, you can start investing.

You can link your bank account directly with your bank login and password or connect with your account and routing numbers. If you choose to link with your account and routing numbers, your linked bank account will need to be verified using a micro deposit. Stash will make a very small deposit into your bank account, which you will need to verify. Using an account and routing number could take up to six business days to process.

Once your account is established, you'll be able to add or subtract money to and from your linked bank account using the Transfer screen.  Current one-time Deposits and withdrawals are limited to $10,000 per day from an external bank account to Stash Personal Portfolio/Custodial/ Smart Portfolio. It’s $6,000 from an external bank account to a Stash Retirement account.   You can link only one external bank account to your Stash account.

Single Stock Investing

With Stash you can invest in select single stocks and ETFs. To read about a company's fundamentals and select an individual stock, select the “Companies” tab in the app.

Currently, there are over 1,800 stocks and ETFs that you can invest in.

Stash Banking Account

Stash also offers a banking account with a debit card issued by Green Dot Bank. There's no minimum balance required to open and maintain a Stash banking account. However, to receive your Stash Debit card, you must deposit at least $1.00 to the bank account balance. There are here are also no hidden banking fees. In fact, there are no overdraft fees with this account.

You can use your Stash debit card to withdraw cash from Green Dot Bank-associated ATMs. Plus, you can deposit cash into the bank account by opting into direct deposit, transfer cash from an external bank account, or deposit cash at any participating retailers including CVS Pharmacy®, Walgreens, Rite Aid, and Walmart for a fee up to $4.95 using your Stash debit card.

Here are some of the features of a Stash banking account:

  • Stash Stock-Back® Card: When you use your Stash Stock-Back® Card at a retailer on Stash's investing platform (such as Walmart, Starbucks, Netflix and Amazon), you can earn a percentage of your purchase back as a fractional share of that company. If you use your Stock-Back® Card anywhere else, you can earn a percentage of a stock or ETF of your choosing.
  • Recurring Transfers: This lets you automatically transfer money from your external linked bank account to your Stash banking account.
  • ASAP Direct Deposit: When you set up your paychecks to directly deposit into your bank account on Stash, it can hit your account up to two days earlier than it may hit with another bank account.

Stash Pricing

Stash offers three subscription plans. Here's a rundown of the pricing and features for each plan.

Plan Beginner Growth Stash+
Pricing $1/month $3/month $9/month
Features
  • Personal investment account
  • Stash banking account access
  • Access to Stock-Back® Card program
  • Educational tools
  • Personal investment account
  • Stash banking account access
  • Access to Stock-Back® Card program
  • Educational tools
  • Retirement investing
  • Smart Portfolio
  • Personal investment account
  • Debit account access
  • Access to Stock-Back® Rewards program
  • Educational tools
  • Retirement investing
  • Smart Portfolio
  • Custodial accounts for up to two kids
  • Earn 2x stock with Stock-Back® Card
  • Monthly market insights report

Stash Invest Screenshots

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    Stash Invest Pros & Cons

    Pros



    More Investment Options
    —Stash gives you the option to invest in many investment themes from among thousands of ETFs and individual stocks.

    Education
    —Stash makes sure that you learn to invest with confidence by providing information on all the basics.

    No Minimum Deposit
    —You can open a personal portfolio account and start investing with as little as $1; there's no account minimum required.

    Stock-Back® Card
    —With a Stock-Back® Card you can earn fractional shares in retailers and ETFs when you use your issued card.








    Cons



    Four Daily Trading Windows
    —As a long-term investor, this may not be a problem, but it could be an issue if you plan to actively trade your account. It's possible that an order placed today won't be executed until the next day.

    Costly for Small Accounts
    —While Stash charges $1/month for accounts under $5,000, that is higher than the annual fee other platforms may charge.










    Final Thoughts on Stash

    Stash could be the right investment app for a beginning investor. Its lack of minimum deposits2 removes an obstacle to investing, which is the initial capital base. You can open an account with just a few dollars, then can build your portfolio with dollar cost averaging.

    The fact you can diversify your holdings with such a small amount of money is an incredible advantage to the very small investor. And Stash provides professional investment advice, including specific investment recommendations. This enables you to be involved in the investment process in a hands-on way; you can learn as you go, always assisted by the advisory service.

    Stash could be a better investment app if it offered more competitive fees with smaller deposits. The service can be cost-effective for larger accounts.

    Kevin Mercadante

    Kevin Mercadante is professional personal finance blogger, and the owner of his own personal finance blog, OutOfYourRut.com. He has backgrounds in both accounting and the mortgage industry. He lives in Atlanta with his wife and two teenage kids.

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    49 Comments

    1. Stash is absolutely garbage, DO NOT USE. I experienced nothing but a horror show with them with one issue after another. First when I opened my account, they would not accept my external bank account. So I switched banks and once I got that hooked up, I tried opening the Bank Account with Stash but for some reason I kept getting errors. I opened a support ticket and it was closed without any response at all. So I opened another ticket and then got a response that my Stash Bank Account had been closed and there was no way to open a new one (mind you, this was a brand new account and I never even had one to begin with). But I figured what the heck, I’m already using them I might as well see what they can do. I put in a couple of hundred dollars, which took nearly a week to close. Then I read and article where someone had lost money with them because Stash was not allowing them to withdraw. So I promptly began transferring my money out of Stash, which took about 2 weeks to complete, but they also kept $20 of my invested capital. I closed the account but before the account could close, they charged my bank account $9.99. This was an unexpected charge and ti caused my bank account to overdraft, costing me another $36 on top of that. Stash is a complete nightmare. Barely any features at all for tracking your portfolio and the worst customer support I have ever received from any online company. I will be using Robinhood from now on.

    2. Don’t invest with them!! You can’t ever get your money back! Several of us have requested to close account under 1000 and all have been sent on a wild goose chase on their site chasing links or documents that don’t exist or are accessible via their app. It’s all a crock. They reply as if you’re a child who doesn’t understand what is correct. I’ve liquidated small retirement accounts upon dissatisfaction from several places via a simple phone call. They give you tax crap blah blah blah, guess what?? Anyone who stashes this way is stashing from already taxed income!! I’ve never claimed this account as part of a tax break. To me it’s been nothing more than a glorified savings account!!! They refuse to close the account and return my hard earned money!!

    3. I have held a Stash Account for a few years now. I have been happy with my experience until now. I had closed my receiving bank account and when the $1.00 monthly fee hit, instead of contacting me right away with a courtesy call, they locked my entire account and have had it locked for days now. I had to supply them with my closing statement from the closing bank at which time they were to unlock my account so I could link another bank account. I did this the same day I discovered my account is still locked. It has been three days now and I still can’t access my money. They are holding my funds hostage over a $1.00 service fee. Once this is lifted I will transfer my $4,000 investment dollars into my Charles Schwab Trading account. What bank in the world wouldn’t fix this within one phone call!!! Buyer beware.

    4. I have done both stash and acorns retirement accounts and stash is much better. There are much more options. Because stash offers actual stocks we have the ability to make much more money and the monthly fees are cheaper.

    5. Does the money you invest every month automatically withdraw from ones personal act or do we have the option to transfer money to invest? Also can the amount we invest be different each month?

      1. Kim – Stash withdraws from your account once a week (on Wednesdays) whatever predetermined amount you set (along with the $1.00 fee for accounts under $5,000). You can always increase or decrease the amount, with $5.00 the minimum amount that can be drafted. And yes, if you’d like to add more to your account (like Stashing your birthday money! LOL) you can do that also through the app. If you’re wanting flexibility with how much you spend on investments month-to-month, Stash probably isn’t going to be be a good fit for you. But since I’ve never been very efficient at setting money aside, automatic drafts work for me.

    6. If you put total $3000 you might increase about $10 -15 per day . You can request withdrawn that kind money every week for your gas . Then you will save money whole year don’t need to touch credit card. How do you think?

    7. I have 2 questions, before I do this…
      1) Is there any way my bank account information could be hacked?
      2) Once you make 5K per year, you have to transfer it to another broker?

      1. 1. always a possibility, keep in mind this is needed with pretty much any broker to transfer funds (some allow by mail-in check)
        2. No there is no upper limit in your account size.

        1. what about American territories such as the Marianas Islands (GUAM), etc. Caribbean Islands,(PEURTO RICO,VIRGIN ISLANDS) etc. even though they do say us citizens I want to be clear the territories are included or not.

    8. What scares me is the money in my bank account safe can’t be completely wiped out when I give them my Account information while I am investing

    9. Also, Stash says to email for questions and they haven’t answered anything back and it’s has been 2 days. They have poor customer service.

    10. My stash account will not let me “confirm sale”. It keeps taking me to the notes page to tell me what things do and are…. Why is this?

        1. Stash is currently available to people who live in the U.S., and who are U.S. citizens, permanent residents, or who have certain types of valid U.S. Visas. For more information on why Stash needs information to verify your identity, please see the Stash website.

    11. I’m very much a newbie in terms of investing. I haven’t invested yet, but have mentioned starting to invest to my fiance and we both would like to start. Before using apps or other forms of investing, does anyone know any good books I can buy to learn more about investing as a whole? Processes, terminology, fees, structure etc. I’m the type of person who likes to have a general knowledge of something before throwing myself into it. I’m asking for input on here instead of going on Amazon and end up buying a get rich quick scheme and it not actually having information I’m looking for. Any feedback is greatly appreciated. Thank you!

      1. Brandon the Motley Fool’s Investment Guide for Beginners was the first and best book I purchased almost 20 years ago. You can find it on Amazon. Simple and easy to understand terms for the beginning investor. I recommend it to all my friends who want to learn.

    12. What gaurantee does the individuals that chooses to join STASH invest….follow the procedures, then somehow their info’s been used unauthorized? Like SSN number & etc. for example?

    13. I have used stash for nearly a year and have learned a lot from its content (expense ratios, small vs large cap, dollar cost averaging). I do worry about the 0.25% fees in the future–they would eventually exceed the monthly contributions. Any suggestions on how I would be able to keep the ETF stocks on my own and disenroll from the Stash Invest?

    14. Thank you for the review on this app i was really worried that it may be another scam i now plan to try stash out ive always wanted to get into investing and never knew how but now i can without all the hassle as well as without the large original capital needed amazing

      1. When you invest, you are buying a small portion of a business. For example, when you invest in a company such as Apple Inc by buying a share, you are buying a very small part of the business. The value of this investment grows when the business grows. Saving on the other hand is setting aside cash for later use. The value of cash decreases over time. In the long term, investments bring more returns compared to savings.

    15. I have had the app and started an account. Just haven’t made a deposit yet. Aside from a brokerage firm, where else can my money transfer to? I do not have or use a brokerage firm. If I could transfer to a paypal account. That would be helpful.

    16. Completely new here,
      Its seems that .25 is a good rate now but onve you hit higher numbers isnt that a big drop in the savings you earned here? Wpuld it be better to keep it under 5k

    17. I want to know what exactly I’m investing in? Which stock? Or is this sort of like a blind investment? How do we know which stocks our money is going into? And how well it’s doing?

    18. For accounts over $5000, you pay a fee of .25%, but I’d assume that you also pay the expense ratio for the underlying ETFs, no? I read that the expense ratio for the Defense Portfolio was .43%, (plus Stash’s .25 fee) for a total of .68% in fees?

    19. Hi, Newby here…

      What is the ‘interest earned’ on uninvested cash balances?….not mentioned, or did I miss that part ? 🙂

    20. Interested in trying this app, but im unsure on how exactly i would be making a profit.. is it worth the time and $5?

      1. While we haven’t tested out a transfer with Stash you do what’s called an ACAT transfer to another brokerage firm. I would contact Stash specifically with your question.

    21. I’m pretty new to investing and late to game as well. As I’m paying off some debt I’m thinking about places to start saving afterward. 0.25% seems pretty cheap on $5,000 per year. What is cheaper? What are average fees for robo investors?

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