Stash is a personal finance app that can make investing easy for beginners. It allows users to select investments, from thousands of individual stocks and exchange-traded funds, and build a portfolio based on their risk tolerance and personal goals.
Here are key features of Stash:
When you register on the app, you complete a simple questionnaire that evaluates your risk level.
The app then can suggest investment options that make sense to the user’s financial goals, each with different returns and investment time horizon. With a list of more than 3000 stocks and ETFS on the app, investors have a wide pool of investments with which they can build a well-diversified portfolio.
- No Investing Minimum
Stash users are not required to have a lot of money to build their investment portfolio. You can start with $5 or less, and add funds to the account as often as you would like.
As you add to your account, Stash can help you continue to learn and build your portfolio.
- Diversification Analysis
The app has a feature called Diversification Analysis, which calculates an investor’s portfolio diversification to show how well they are diversified.
This feature is available to all Stash customers with an invest account, and it can guide them through the process of creating a more diversified portfolio. It analyzes the investor’s portfolio, current profile, and the appropriate asset allocation based on their level of risk tolerance.
On Stash Secure Website
Commissions and fee models
Stash tiered pricing structure with three pricing structures for its subscriptions with three options starting at just $1¹. All structures have a flat fee, and they include:
The beginner option is the most basic Stash option, and it charges a flat $1 monthly fee, and you can make unlimited trades with no add-on commission fee ².
This option gives you access to an investment account, an online banking account, investment guidance, and a chance to earn Stock-Back® ³.
The growth plan has a $3 monthly fee, and it gives investors access to an investment account, banking account services, and retirement investing accounts ⁴.
This plan can give investors access to tax benefits for their retirement investing. Investors also earn Stock-Back rewards® ³.
The Stash+ plan has the most features, and it has a $9 monthly fee. This plan has access to two custodial accounts, so you can start investing for your children.
Some of the products in this plan include a personal investment account, two custodial accounts, and the Stock-Back® Card5 with 2x Stock-Back®6 . This plan also gives you monthly market insight reports and educational tools.
While a flat fee may seem small, it can be a considerable chunk of your money when converted into a percentage. For example, for an account with a $1000 balance, a $3 monthly fee amounts to 3.6% annually.
This can be a more expensive option compared to some Robo-advisors that may charge 0.25% of the account balance.5
Pros and cons
Stash has dozens of useful tools that can help beginner investors get started with investing. However, there are areas that Stash can improve on to make the tool friendly for beginner investors.
You can get started with Stash with as little as $1 and build a diversified portfolio with a monthly deposit.
You also get a chance to own fractional shares of stocks and ETFs that may typically be out of reach for investors getting started with less money.
When you set up your Stash account, the app automatically matches the investments that fit your personal goals, risk tolerance, and preferences.
The app also grows your investment portfolio automatically, while reinvesting dividend payouts to grow your savings.
The flat monthly fee can be costly for accounts with low balances, and it is more expensive than some Robo advisors that may charge less than a 0.25% annual commission of the asset value
If your account balance is below $50, you must accumulate the required minimum to start trading. Also, to copy trades of top traders, you must have a minimum balance of $200.
Stash is built for long-term investing, not day-trading, so it has four trading windows each day. Stash may not be the right choice for a short-term investor who is trying to profit from short-term price movements.
When you subscribe to the Stash Beginner or Growth plans, you get access to the Stock-Back® Card5, a debit card which offers fractions of shares of investments as rewards, and up to 2X the rewards6 when you subscribe to the Stash+ plan.8
Stash can help beginner investors learn how to invest while saving and budgeting at the same time.
The Stash Learn serves educational content that can help teach the investor, while the app provides a tool called Diversification Analysis, which can help the investor create their own diversified portfolio.
Stash offers a diverse list of ETFs, but their high expense ratio may reduce the overall return of the investments. ETFs on Stash’s app have an average expense ratio of about 0.30% due to the greater number of thematic ETF options available.
Stash investors are limited to stocks and ETFs, hence may have less of a variety of products to choose from than with some other advisors. For instance, it does not offer cryptocurrencies or options trading.
Stash offers two main types of investments. These include:
There is a pool of over 3500 stocks that investors can add to their portfolio. Stash allows investors to buy fractional shares of stocks of companies they use with $5 or less. You can pick stocks from different industries such as retail, tech, energy, healthcare, finance and more.
Before buying a stock, you should read more about its operations, revenue history, stock price trends and other characteristics.
- Exchange Traded Funds
Currently, Stash has more than 140 ETFs in its portfolio. For each of these products, investors can dig deeper into the offering to know the investment’s holdings, the underlying security, performance, price trend, etc. The ETFs are renamed to reflect their holdings, making them friendlier to new investors.
The ETFs listed on Stash are labelled with thematic titles that make it easy to understand what the fund is about.
Stash offers access to different types of accounts to its customers. Some of the main accounts include:
- Investment Accounts
This account allows investors to create a personal portfolio using stocks and ETFs. The investment account has three plans i.e. Beginner, Growth, and Stash+.8 You can deposit any amount from $1 and start investing.1
Stash offers both Roth IRA and traditional IRA accounts. You can get access to the pool of stocks and ETFs available in the investment account.
- Custodial Accounts
Stash allows investors to open a custodial account for a child who is below 18 years. You can use this account to start investing, saving, and budgeting for your children.10
Stash allows investors to access its products through the Stash Mobile App or web-based platform. Here are the characteristics of each platform:
- Mobile Experience
Stash was originally launched as a mobile-only platform, and it now also offers account management services on its website. The app is available for Android and iOS devices.
The app allows customers to view their banking account balances, check their investments, and schedule trades. If you have a personal investment account, retirement account, and a custodial account, you can manage them within the app.
- Website Experience
The Stash Website highlights Stash's main features and how the various services work. The company uses the website to provide a simplified approach to its spending insights11 from debit card usage and the Diversification Analysis tool, with most features targeting millennial investors.
Customers can use the Stash Website for account management, but it does not offer all the features available on the mobile app. For example, spending insights11 from debit card usage and the Diversification Analysis tool are not available on the website.
Stash Application Process
Here are the main steps you should take when opening a new account:
1. Get Started
To get started with Stash, you can click the link at the end of this article or go to the Stash website and click “Get started” on the web platform. Alternatively, you can download the Stash app on the App Store or Play Store and sign up.
2. Fill out the Profile
On the signup page, you can set up a Stash account by providing your email and your preferred password. Next, you'll input your personal details such as legal names, income range, and address. After submitting your information, you'll verify your identity.
3. Fill out a Questionnaire
Once your identity is verified, you will be prompted to fill an online questionnaire to assess your risk profile. Stash will use your answers to determine the investment suggestions you get once you’ve signed up.
4. Pick a Subscription Plan
Stash will provide three different subscription tiers to pick from: Stash Beginner, Stash Growth, and Stash+.8 Pick a subscription plan that best fits your need and you can change at any time.
5. Fund Your Account
After you’ve established a risk level and created a portfolio of investments, you can link your external bank account to Stash and fund your account. You can also set Stash to add funds manually or automatically.
6. Start investing
With funds ready, you can start investing in fractional shares of stocks and ETFs with $5 or less. You can also use Stash to organize your cash, create personal goals12 and track your spending. When you sign up today and deposit at least $5 into your personal portfolio, Stash will bonus you an additional $513.
The Smart Investor is a paid marketing partner of Stash.
1. The Stash Monthly Wrap Fee starts at $1/ month. You’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. Please see the Advisory Agreement for details. Other fees apply to the bank account. Please see the Deposit Account Agreement.
2. Clients may incur ancillary fees charged by Stash and/or it’s custodian that are not included in the monthly Wrap-Fee.
3. Stash Stock-Back® Rewards 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.
4. For retirement, Stash offers access to traditional or Roth IRAs. Stash does not monitor whether a customer is eligible for a particular type of IRA, or a tax deduction, or if a reduced contribution limit applies to a customer. These are based on a customer’s individual circumstances. You should consult with a tax advisor.
5. All rewards earned through use of the Stash Visa Debit card (Stock-Back® Card) will be fulfilled by Stash Investments LLC. Rewards will go to your Stash personal investment account, which is not FDIC insured. You will bear the standard fees and expenses reflected in the pricing of the investments that you earn, plus fees for various ancillary services charged by Stash. Stash Stock-Back® Rewards is not sponsored or endorsed by Green Dot Bank, Green Dot Corporation, Visa U.S.A., or any of their respective affiliates.
6. Double Stock-Back® Rewards is subject to terms and conditions.
7. Fractional shares start at $0.05 for investments that cost $1,000+ per share.
8. Stash offers three plans, starting at just $1/month. For more information on each plan, visit our pricing page.
9. Availability of trading windows is dependent on market conditions and may be subject to limitations.
10. For children, Stash offers access to UGMA/UTMA accounts. The adult (or Custodian) who opens the account can manage the money and investments until the minor reaches the “age of majority.” That age is usually 18 or 21, depending on the Custodian’s state. The money in a kid’s portfolio is the property of the minor. Money in a kid’s portfolio can be used by the parent or legal guardian, but only to do things that benefit the child.
11. Spending Insights provided by Stash Investments LLC.
12. Money moved into a Goal must be moved back to the bank account available balance to be used and does not earn interest.
13. Promotion is subject to Terms and Conditions. To be eligible to participate in this Promotion and receive the bonus, you must complete the following steps: (i) click through the link above, (ii) successfully open a Stash Invest Account (otherwise known as your personal portfolio) in good standing, (iii) link a funding account (e.g. an external bank account) to your new Stash Invest Account, AND (iv) initiate and complete a deposit of at least five dollars ($5.00) into your Stash Invest Account.
Stash through the “Diversification Analysis” feature does not rebalance portfolios or otherwise manage the Personal Portfolio Account for Clients on a discretionary basis. Each Client is solely responsible for implementing any such advice. This investment recommendation relies entirely on the responses you’ve provided regarding your risk tolerance. Stash does not verify the completeness or accuracy of such information. Investing involves risk, including possible loss of principal. No asset allocation is a guarantee against loss of principal.
Bank Account Services provided by and Stash Visa Debit Card (Stock-Back® Card) issued by Green Dot Bank, Member FDIC, pursuant to a license from Visa U.S.A. Inc. Visa is a registered trademark of Visa International Service Association. 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.
Investment advisory services offered by Stash Investments LLC, an SEC registered investment adviser. Investing involves risk and investments may lose value.