If you’re new to investing, you might be tempted by Stash, an investment app that helps you build a portfolio.
Stash allows you to open an investment or a retirement account and offers some great features for beginners who want to get their money into the stock market but don’t know where to start.
This Stash review will explain the key pros and cons of the app, so you can decide if Stash will work for you.
If you’re thinking about investing with the app, you’ll be glad to learn that Stash is a registered investment adviser.
When you sign up, you’ll answer a series of simple questions to determine your investing goals and risk tolerance. The app will then offer suggestions from among 40 exchange-traded funds (ETFs), which have been handpicked based on risk profile, historical performance, and expense ratio.
Stash also allows you to invest in fractional shares of stocks, so you can own a part of a share in high-price companies such as Amazon.
You can start investing with as little as $5. You can also set up automatic transfers to regularly add funds to your Stash account. The app can even track your spending patterns to find extra money to invest.
Unfortunately, Stash charges a $1 monthly fee for regular investment accounts and a $2 monthly fee for IRA and Roth IRA accounts (if your balance is under $5,000).
While Stash offers lots of learning tools and its unique search method helps you find ETFs that match your goals or values, the app doesn’t actually manage money for you as robo-advisers do. Read this Stash review carefully before you decide if the app’s services and fees are worthwhile.
When you sign up for Stash, you can open a taxable investment account or choose between two tax-advantaged retirement accounts: a traditional or Roth IRA.
You’ll use Stash to invest the money you deposit into these accounts. Stash is not a robo-adviser, so it doesn’t invest your money for you or make changes to your portfolio to keep it balanced. Instead, the app helps you build your portfolio by encouraging you to save money and making it easier to choose what to invest in.
Here’s exactly what the Stash app does:
- Asks you questions to learn about your investing goals and risk tolerance
- Makes suggestions for ETFs to put into a portfolio based on answers you provide
- Allows you to browse ETFs that help you accomplish your goals or invest according to your values
- Offers a learning library so you can enhance your knowledge as an investor
- Maintains an updated list of recommended investments and will prod you to make changes if your portfolio is unbalanced
- Monitors your checking account and automatically invests money when you have extra cash (optional)
Although you ultimately have to decide what to invest in, Stash makes it easier for you to decide. You can:
- Choose from more than 40 handpicked ETFs. ETFs are investment funds traded on a stock exchange. They give you exposure to different assets, which can help diversify your portfolio.
- Invest fractional stock shares in companies including Apple, Amazon, and Facebook. You can only buy stock in a limited number of companies right now, but Stash indicates more might be added.
Of course, other online brokerage firms, such as Ally Invest, allow you to invest in ETFs with no or lower monthly fees. And companies such as Betterment make the purchase of fractional shares possible. But Stash’s app, which helps you select investments with a comprehensive search tool, sets itself apart.
Stash online platform
No Stash app review would be complete without a look at its online and mobile platform.
The Stash platform is unique because you receive suggestions organized by theme. For example, you can decide to invest based on your values, selecting companies that focus on alternative energy or make a positive impact on the world.
You can also invest based on the type of assets you want, such as precious metals, blue-chip stocks, or conservative investments. You can even invest based on your interests.
The Stash home screen gives you a summary of what you’re invested in and how your portfolio is performing, so you can see at a glance how your account is doing. It also encourages you to invest more by showing you how far away you are from different portfolio milestones.
Stash also has a “Learn” screen where you can browse different articles based on the investment knowledge you want to acquire. Articles are organized so you can find information for beginners as well as more detailed in-depth info once you’ve gotten the basics down.
The app even has a coaching feature, which encourages you to learn more about investing and helps you balance your portfolio. The tool works by giving you a score based on your mix of assets and whether you’ve gone through different challenges, such as reading educational content about investing.
Finally, Stash offers its Smart-Save feature, which will analyze your spending and transfer money automatically to your investment account if you have spare cash. Smart-Save is optional, and you can prevent money from being transferred if your bank account balance falls to a certain level. You can also specify whether you want Smart-Save to be more or less aggressive in how much it withdraws from your account.
Stash account minimums and fees
The monthly fees Stash charges are relatively high, especially when compared with similar services. Stash charges $1 per month for regular accounts under $5,000 and $2 per month if you want to invest in a traditional or Roth IRA.
Comparatively, Betterment charges 0.35% annually for balances with $10,000 or less. Wealthfront, another robo-adviser, charges 0.25% annually and has a $500 account minimum.
Once your account balance with Stash reaches $5,000, you no longer need to pay the $1 or $2 fee. Instead, you’ll pay 0.25% per year.
It’s also important to realize the $1 or $2 fee is just the fee charged by Stash; you’ll also have to pay fees for the management of the ETFs you buy.
Stash account requirements
Stash makes it easy to start investing. You need just $5 to open a taxable investment account and $15 to open a Roth or traditional IRA. To open your account, click “Get Started” on the Stash website. You’ll be taken to a sign-up screen where you’ll input your email address and create a password.
Next, you’ll input information about yourself, your employment, income, and assets. Stash will determine what kind of investor you are (say, conservative or aggressive) before you verify your identity, citizenship status, phone number, address, and Social Security number.
Finally, you’ll provide your checking account information to fund your Stash investments. Once you’ve funded the account, you can move on to picking investments, setting up Smart-Save, and managing your portfolio.
Stash customer service
If you’re interested in signing up after reading this Stash review, you can visit the company’s website or follow its Facebook and Twitter. Stash can also be contacted via a web form accessible through the “Contact Us” link on the bottom of its home page.
Stash doesn’t provide a contact telephone number or offer an online chat feature. However, it indicates that it answers questions Monday through Friday from 8:30 a.m. to 6:30 p.m. ET, or on Saturday and Sunday from 11:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. ET.
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