Stash Invest Review 2022

A More Flexible Micro-Investing App

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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 investing 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

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.

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
FeesGrowth 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.
  • Educational Resources — 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 — Users can invest on autopilot with 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 an individual under 18. This custodial account is offered in the Stash+ Plan. This could be a good opportunity to give a child or grandchild interested in investing a head start on generating compound interest..
  • Invest in Legal Cannabis— Stash also offers access to investment options where users can invest in the legal cannabis industry to round out their portfolios.
  • 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 automatically reinvest their dividends back into their long-term investments.
  • Partitions/Goals — Stash isn’t just an investment platform. It also offers a budgeting tool that can help investors organize their savings to meet different expenses and goals. Based on the tried-and-true method of envelope budgeting, this tool allows you to move money in and out of partitions as needed.

What Is Stash Invest?

Launched in 2015, Stash Invest was created to teach beginners how to start investing. Co-founders Brandon Krieg and Ed Robinson left their jobs on Wall Street to make investing easy, affordable and values-aligned 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?

Stash helps beginner investors ease into the investment journey with a combination of automated investing tools, financial education and access to advisors, and good old fashioned budgeting fundamentals. While other investment apps require higher minimum deposits, Stash makes it easy to invest in smaller increments while still getting a piece of large recognizable companies through fractional shares. 

When you open an account, you’ll be given a questionnaire to fill out which can help Stash determine your risk level and offer investment options. From there, you link a bank account, set your auto-deposit frequency and start rolling.  

In addition to the basic investment tools, Stash also offers a bank account with its own suite of features which can help you keep tucking money away. 

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, so there's no shortage of choice.

Stash Smart Portfolio

If you need guidance with investing or want to invest completely passively, Stash's Smart Portfolio is for you.

This investing feature essentially turns Stash into a robo-advisor that invests in a mix of stocks, bonds, and cryptocurrencies to match your goals and risk tolerance. There's a $5 minimum investment requirement to start, so anyone can try it out.

You also get quarterly automatic rebalancing, which means that Stash can adjust your portfolio's composition to stay in-line with your goals.

Cryptocurrency Investing

With Stash, you can start investing in cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin, Chainlink, and Ethereum to further diversify your portfolio. And if you need a helping hand, you can use Smart Portfolios to automatically invest some of your portfolio into crypto to match your goals and risk tolerance.

All Stash customers can invest in crypto. However, Stash Growth customers pay a 1% crypto transaction fee, while Stash+ customers pay a 0.8% fee.

Serious crypto investors are still better off using a standalone cryptocurrency exchange like Crypto.com since it has more research tools and better fees. But for easy, straightforward crypto trading, Stash has you covered.

Stash Banking Account

Stash has a bank account with their version of a cashback card called the Stash Stock-Back® Card. This card is issued by Green Dot Bank. There's no minimum balance required to open and maintain a Stash banking account (however, you must deposit at least $1.00 to the bank account balance to receive your account). This account also has no hidden banking fees—no overdraft fees, either.

Your Stash debit card can be used to withdraw cash from Green Dot Bank-associated ATMs. You can also 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.
  • Round-Ups: With Round-Ups, your savings are put on auto-pilot. Stash will round up the purchase price to the nearest dollar every time you spend money. Once the round-up total hits $5, Stash transfers the spare change to your personal investment account.

Stash Pricing & Fees

Stash has two different plans to choose from that cost $3 or $9 per month:

  • Stash Growth: This plan costs $3 per month and lets you invest in a personal account, retirement account, or with Stash Smart Portfolio. You also get bank access for the Stock-Back® Card and can even get paid up to two days early.
  • Stash+: This plan costs $9 per month and includes everything in Stash Growth but also lets you open two custodial accounts to get your kids started with investing. You also get more in-depth monthly market research reports, and Stash's partner Avibra can provide up to $10,000 in life insurance. Your Stock-Back® Card also pays twice the rewards.

Other potential fees include Stash's crypto trading fee of 1% or 0.8% depending on your plan. But other than that, there's no trading or investing fees.

Just note that Stash makes money with its monthly plans but also by using payment for order flow (PFOF). If you want an investment app that doesn't use PFOF, we suggest checking out Public.

Stash Pros and 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 starts at $3 per month, this can be a significant fee for very small portfolios.

Is Stash Legit?

Yes. Stash is a legitimate app that can help individuals who are interested in investing. Not only is Stash a registered investment advisor with the US Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), the Stash Invest app comes with a bank account backed by Green Dot Bank.

Stash is a great option if you want access to a managed portfolio and individual brokerage account when you can experiment with choosing your own investments. Stash also provides you access to fractional shares, allowing you to diversify your portfolio with little money.

However, you should also keep in mind that while Stash is totally safe to use and backed by reputable institutions, they do not offer any kind of tax strategy. There are robo-advisors from competitors that offer tax-loss harvesting, strategies to reduce the amount of tax you owe or other forms of tax mitigation. If you're looking for an app that can help you with your taxes, you might want to look elsewhere.

Stash Invest Alternatives

If you're new to investing, Stash is an easy way to begin investing in stocks, ETFs, and crypto while learning the ropes. And we also like that the Stash+ plan offers custodial accounts to support families.

That said, there are some notable Stash alternatives that might be superior depending on your goals and what you need the most help with.

HighlightsWealthfrontAcornsDigit
Rating9/108.5/107/10
Minimum to Open Account$500$0$0
401(k) Assistance
Two-Factor Auth.
Advice OptionsAutomatedAutomated
Socially Responsible Investing

Wealthfront is one of the best alternatives if you're just looking for a robo-advisor. There's a $500 minimum to invest, but Wealthfront only charges 0.25% in annual fees, which is often lower than Stash's pricing if you're new to investing.

As for apps like Acornsand Digit, they're useful if you want help consistently investing and really like round-ups. Digit also has a host of budgeting tools that are useful if you're trying to tackle overspending.

How Do I Open a Stash Account?

The sign-up process for Stash is relatively easy and straightforward.

You can sign up on your desktop or through the mobile app. Once you sign up, you will be prompted to enter your basic information and answer a few questions to help them guide you through your investment decisions. So, make sure you are honest about your answers, as they will also help determine your risk tolerance.

Once your profile has been set up, it is time to choose an investment. You will be shown several investment options based on your answers to their previous questions, and you can click on each to learn more about them. There are thousands of investment options currently available on the platform.

Next, they’ll prompt you to link your bank account. Stash links to your bank account either directly through your bank login and password or through your account and routing numbers. If you choose to link with your account and routing numbers, your bank account will need to be verified using a micro deposit—basically a very small deposit into your bank account, which you’ll verify. This may take up to six business days to process. You can link only one external bank account to your Stash account.

Finally, you need to confirm your identity by creating a four-digit PIN.

Final Thoughts on Stash

Stash could be the right investment app for a beginning investor. Its lack of minimum deposits makes it easy for investors who want to start small.

The fact you can diversify your holdings with such a small amount of money is an incredible advantage to newbie investors. And with Stash's professional investment advice, including specific investment recommendations, you can be involved in the investment process in a hands-on way while learning as you go and leaning on their knowledge, expertise and advice.

That being said, Stash could be a better investment app if it offered more competitive fees with smaller deposits. However, the service can be cost-effective for larger accounts.

Disclaimer - Paid non-client endorsement. See Apple App Store and Google Play reviews. View important disclosures.

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. Investing involves risk.

¹For securities priced over $1,000, purchase of fractional shares start at $0.05.

²Debit Account Services provided by Green Dot Bank, Member FDIC and Stash Visa Debit Card issued by Green Dot Bank, Member FDIC. pursuant to a license from VISA U.S.A. Inc. Investment products and services provided by Stash Investments LLC, not Green Dot Bank, and are Not FDIC Insured, Not Bank Guaranteed, and May Lose Value.” because the article mentions the debit card.

³You’ll also bear the standard fees and expenses reflected in the pricing of the ETFs in your account, plus fees for various ancillary services charged by Stash and the custodian.

⁴Other fees apply to the debit account. Please see Deposit Account Agreement for details.

⁵Stock-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.

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. Once I reach my investment goal, do I get the money or must it be transferred to a firm?

  4. 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.

  5. 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.

  6. 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.

  7. 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?

  8. 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.

  9. 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

  10. 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.

  11. 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.

  12. 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.

  13. 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?

  14. 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?

  15. 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.

  16. 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.

  17. 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

  18. what if i join stash, can I quit at anytime I want or do I have to be sign up for a certain amount of time?

  19. 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?

  20. 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?

  21. Hi, Newby here…

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

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

  23. After you get your feet wet and save/earn 5k is it easy to transfer the money to another account?

    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.

  24. 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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