Many people want to invest but think they don’t have enough money or don’t know where to start. Let’s face it; investing is overwhelming for beginners!
Fortunately, the Stash invest app helps both issues with its no minimum balance requirement and simple platform that walks a personal finance novice through the investment process in a carefree and understanding fashion.
There’s no confusing jargon, overwhelming decisions, or large minimum balance requirements. Stash makes it easy for anyone to get started, and the sooner, the better. If you don’t understand investing, Stash may be the app for you.
Check out our Stash app review to learn more.
What is Stash Invest?
Stash Invest is a beginning investor’s dream and works as a personal investment account. You don’t need a minimum balance to start, and you can invest in ETFs or buy fractional shares, which means you can invest in expensive stocks with only a little money.
Stash removes all the typical barriers that keep beginners from investing. It helps new investors learn the ropes, create portfolios, and assess risk tolerance to help them achieve their financial goals.
How Does Stash Invest Work?
Like most robo-advisors, you’ll create a sign in after providing your personal information when you join Stash. Once you use your Stash login and establish your account, you’ll answer a series of questions.
Stash uses these questions to recommend an asset allocation and provides budgeting tips. Based on your answers, Stash recommends a conservative, moderate, or aggressive investment option.
Stash determines your level based on your goals, time horizon, and risk tolerance. This is similar to most other robo-advisors. However, Stash has a much more extensive selection for each category, providing you with more options.
Stash operates on a subscription-based model, but all plans include a taxable brokerage account, access to online banking, a debit card, and various personal financial tools. If you upgrade your subscription (more on that below), you may also open a retirement account.
Once you sign up and choose your subscription, you fund your account. Stash offers two methods:
- Direct deposit
- Link an external checking or savings account for one-time or recurring deposits
After you fund your account, you may choose your investments. This is where the Stash app shines. They put everything in layman’s terms. Their ETFs are in ‘themes.’ While they have 1,800 investment options, they make it easy for you to choose, and they also offer the option to invest in individual stocks, including fractional shares.
For example, if Apple’s stock was trading for $1,000 per share, but you only had $50 to invest, you could buy a fractional share of Apple stock. This was our favorite part of this Stash review – few robo-advisors offer fractional share investments.
Remember, once you answer the risk tolerance questions, you can’t change your risk tolerance. While you may be able to back and adjust your goals, Stash may or may not change your risk tolerance categories.
Stash Invest Features
All Stash subscribers get a free online bank account that includes:
- Robust reporting options
- Direct deposit with an early payday option to get your funds two days early
- Split your cash into categories for budgeting (similar to cash envelope budgeting)
- Free bill pay
- Mobile deposit
- Contactless payment integration
- Issued by Green Dot Corporation
Stash Banking has no overdraft fees, monthly maintenance fees, or minimum balance fees. It also comes with a free stash debit account with access to thousands of fee-free ATMs.
Your Stash account comes with a free debit card that offers free stock-back rewards. Each time you shop at the partner stores (such as Target, Amazon, and Home Depot), you earn 0.125% of your purchase back in stock at the stores you shop at.
There are also Stock-Back bonuses worth up to 5% back.
Start saving for retirement with just $1. Now there’s no excuse why you can’t invest in your future. Open either a Roth or traditional IRA and set up auto-Stash to regularly contribute to your retirement account.
Get easy-to-understand investment education in Stash Learn. Read articles, learn new techniques, and even sign up for their newsletter ‘The Wallet’ to get insider information delivered right to your inbox.
If you prefer to have a little fun while you learn, check out Stash Coach, the investment game that helps you create a portfolio, face challenges, and learn about investing in a relatable manner.
Stash automatically reinvests your dividends in your retirement and custodial accounts. If you have a Beginner account, you must ‘opt-in’ to DRIP.
Smart-Stash evaluates your spending, determining when you have ‘spare cash’ to invest. They watch your recurring bills, such as your mortgage and car payment, and determine any spare money they can transfer to your investment account. You set the maximum amount they transfer as low as $5.
Stash Fees and Pricing
In our Stash Invest review, we found that Stash offers three subscription options:
Stash Beginner $1/month
This is great for first-time investors and includes only a taxable account (no retirement account). With your investment account, you also get a bank account, the Stock-Back (stash debit card), personal finance tools, and early access to direct deposit funds (2 days early). All for $1 month.
Stash Growth $3/month
Investors looking to save for retirement get everything in the Beginner account along with a traditional or Roth IRA account and retirement advice.
Investors get everything in the Beginner and Growth account plus two custodial accounts for kids and a metal Stock-Back debit card with 2 x the stock back rewards.
Stash Investing: Pros and Cons
It’s important to remember that all investing involves risk. There is no guarantee that your money will grow (i.e., your investments may lose value). With that in mind, let's take a look at the potential benefits and drawbacks of using stash.
- Low minimum investment requirements
- Guidance every step of the way in layman’s terms
- The choice of thousands of ETFs
- You can invest in fractional shares.
- Every account comes with a free bank account and debit card.
- Stash Investments LLC utilizes APEX clearing corporation and Green Dot Bank (securities investor protection corporation SIPC insured for investments as well as being a bank member FDIC insured)
- The monthly fees are a large percentage of your assets under management if you only invest a small amount.
- Stash only trades four times a day, which means you may miss the pricing you intended when you gave the order to buy or sell
- Like most companies, you may incur ancillary fees charged for paper statements and some transfer types.
Who Should and Shouldn’t Use Stash Invest?
If you’re a beginner and want hand-holding throughout the process, you should use the Stash app. They put everything in easy-to-understand terms and let you invest with very little money. It’s a great way to start investing – dipping your toe in and testing the waters.
If you’re an experienced investor and/or have $500 or more to invest, you’ll find better plans at other robo-advisors. If you don’t need basic education, you’re better off elsewhere.
Stash Reviews from Around the Web
While most of the Stash reviews around the web are negative in nature, and you won’t make 200 dollars in one day, it can be an investing app that you use to further your financial goals. There are pros and cons to consider with every potential place to hold your money.
Keep in mind that, in general, most people who have a good experience don’t take the time to leave reviews!
Stash App Alternatives
Acorns charge $1 per month, like Stash Invest, and is excellent for beginners. You can invest in one of two ways – link your most-used credit or debit card to Acorns and let them round up your purchases, investing the spare change, or you can set up automatic deposits.
Once you accumulate $5, Acorns invests your funds in your designated portfolio based on your risk tolerance. Join 5+ million people using acorns.
Robinhood also has no account minimum balance required, and they offer commission-free stock trades. Investors don’t get the same hand holding Stash or Acorns offers, but you can invest in stocks, ETFs, and cryptocurrencies. Robinhood doesn’t offer retirement accounts either.
Stash Invest FAQs
Can you make money with Stash?
Like any investing app, there’s a chance to make and lose money. If you follow Stash’s guidance and situate your portfolios according to their suggested allocation, you may reach your financial goals and make money.
Can you withdraw money from Stash?
You may withdraw funds from Stash at any time, but it may take a few days. If you have the cash available, Stash transfers the funds immediately, but it may take a few days to settle in your account. If you have to liquidate assets in your portfolio, it takes longer as it takes two business days to settle the sale and then transfer the funds.
Can I buy any stock on Stash?
Yes, you can buy stocks Stash offers, which they have a wide selection from the largest companies you’re likely familiar with. You may only invest in the companies Stash offers, though it doesn’t include every stock on the exchange.
Can you cancel Stash at any time?
In our Stash investment app review, we found that you can cancel Stash at any time. If you have money in investments, Stash will settle the investments and transfer the funds to your linked checking account.
Is Stash legit?
Stash Invest is legit and great for beginners.
With no minimum balance requirement, you cross off the largest hurdle most people have: finding money to invest. With the ability to invest in stocks and ETFs and a whole lot of them, the Stash app offers more options than your typical robo-advisor.
While it’s not super cost-effective if you only have a little bit invested, the hand holding and great educational opportunities outweigh the costs.
Samantha Hawrylack is the co-owner of How To FIRE, a blog that discusses financial independence and early retirement. She uses her BS in Finance and MBA to help others get control of their finances through budgeting, saving, investing, side hustles, and travel hacking. Due to following the FIRE Movement’s principles, she was able to quit her high-stress job in the financial services industry in July 2019 to pursue her side hustles full-time. When not working, she enjoys spending time with her dog “Simba” and traveling with her husband, John.