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stash reviewIn this Stash Review, we’ll cover the pros and cons of the Stash Invest app and help you decide if this tool deserves a spot in your investment plan.

Almost everyone knows that they should be investing in their future. The problem is that many people have trouble finding extra money to sock away. Even the people that do have the cash to spare aren’t sure how to invest their money or are scared that their investments could lose value.

While it’s true that all investing is subject to risk, you’re taking a risk by not investing, too. Money in your savings account loses value thanks to inflation, so doing your best to invest and earn a return on your money is essential to making sure you have enough money in the future.

Stash is an app that aims to make investing easier, less scary, and more fun. You can get started with just a little bit of money and add to your balance over time. You can also choose to invest in just the industries that you’re interested in, giving you more incentive to keep up on your investments.

Stash Review at a Glance

Pros

  • Start investing with as little as $5
  • Choose from 150+ investment themes and single stocks
  • Support for taxable and tax-advantaged accounts
  • Full access to educational content
  • Personalized investment coaching

Cons

  • Monthly fees to keep your money invested
  • Can only purchase securities from a set list of ETFs and stocks.
  • Missing features, like tax-loss harvesting, offered by robo-advisors

Best for: Stash is a good choice for young people who just want to get their feet wet with investing. More serious investors who want a hands-on experience or someone who has more money to commit to a full-fledged robo-advisor can get a better deal elsewhere.

See Also: The 5 Best Investment Apps for Beginner Investors

What is Stash?

Stash Review - Invest with $5

Stash is one of many investment apps available for modern smartphones. It gives you quick and easy access to your investment portfolio from your phone.

Stash Banking: Coming Soon

The app originally launched in October of 2015 and it has grown quickly in the past few years. Since its launch, Stash has amassed more than 2 million users and added support for retirement and custodial accounts. In the near future, Stash banking will be offered to provide online banking services such as checking and savings accounts.

Stash keeps things as simple as it possibly can for its users. You can link your bank account or debit card to the Stash app and transfer money to your investment accounts on demand. You can also set up automatic investment plans to save more without having to manually make transfers.

Stash Review: How It Works

Stash is an easy-to-use investment app perfect for beginners. Here’s what you need to know before setting up your account.

Stash Login: Getting Started

To get started with Stash, the first thing that you have to do is download the Stash app. Stash also offers its services through its website, but the app is the primary way that you’ll interact with your account.

Stash Login

When you open the app for the first time, you’ll be prompted to make an account. Provide an e-mail address and password as well as a few personal details in order for Stash to confirm your identity. You’ll also be prompted to enter information for the account you’ll use to fund your investments. Save your Stash login information in a safe place.

Once you’ve handled the administrative bits, answer some questions to set up your investment account. The Stash questionnaire displays a variety of the investment options available through Stash as well as information about them, their potential benefits, and their risks. It also asks questions to help assess your goals and risk tolerance.

Best Investment On Stash

Based on your answers, Stash will show you a list of investment options. These options are broken down into three broad categories: conservative, moderate, and aggressive. Choose the best investment on Stash that matches your future goals.

The categories correspond to the expected risk-reward ratio of each investment and are designated as your risk profile. Once you select the style of investment you want, you can choose from a number of themes that focus on specific sectors, such as technology, clean energy, or other business divisions that you’re passionate about.

Investing with Stash

After you’ve set up your account and chosen your investments, the only thing left to do is to actually add money to your account.

Deposit at least $5 to get started. After that, you can add money at any time.

Stash makes saving fun with a variety of goals and milestones to work toward. If you start by putting $5 in your account, Stash might challenge you to get your balance to $50 or $100. When you meet that goal, Stash will come up with a new one.

Stash also places a major emphasis on education. When you view your current balance and your goals, Stash will show how your money might grow over the next 5 or 10 years and how changing your savings patterns will influence your earnings.

Stash also allows automatic investment. Set up a weekly or monthly transfer to add more money to your investment account and grow your balance even faster.

Related: Drop App Review: How to Get Cash Back On Top of Credit Card Rewards

Retirement Accounts

Stash Invest: Stash Retire

Investing is a waiting game. The old adage that time in the market trumps timing the market still holds true. If you’re thinking about the long-term, you might want to take advantage of Stash Retirement. This feature offers the same investment services that the standard Stash Invest service does, but with retirement accounts.

You can open either a Traditional or Roth IRA through Stash and use them to save for the future. Just remember the restrictions for each account. Once you deposit money, you can’t take it out until you turn 59½ without incurring a penalty. Roth IRA contributions, but not earnings, can be withdrawn penalty-free at any time.

Paying Fees

Nothing in life is free, which means that you don’t get all of the benefits of Stash without a cost.

The Stash app fees vary depending on the service you’re using and the amount of money in your account.

Here’s a quick glance at Stash’s fee structure.

ServiceFee for accounts under $5,000Fee for accounts with at least $5,000
Stash Invest$1 / month.25% of account’s balance / year
Stash Custodial$1 / month.25% of account’s balance / year
Stash Retirement (No monthly Stash Retirement subscription fee* if you are under 25))$2 / month.25% of account’s balance / year

*Clients may incur ancillary fees charged by Stash and/or its custodian that are not included in the monthly Wrap-Fee.

Keep in mind that the fees charged directly by Stash aren’t the only fees you’ll pay. Stash invests your money in Exchange Traded Funds, which hold a variety of stocks and bonds. ETFs also charge management fees, which can range from .05% to 1% or more of your balance per year.

The ETFs Stash offers charge fees between .20% and .40%, so you could wind up paying .5% or more of your balance each year to use the service.

Related: Qapital Review: Is Automating Your Savings a Good Idea?

Stash App FAQ

Investing is complicated, so it’s no wonder that an app designed to help people invest would be a little complicated itself. Here are some common questions about Stash and its services.

How Does Investing with Just $5 Work?

Many companies and advisors require that you commit thousands of dollars or more before you’re allowed to invest. Stash lets you get started with $5 by giving you ownership of a fractional share of a stock or ETF.

Consider this example: ABC Company costs $100 per share. You and 19 other people sign up for Stash and you each invest $5 in ABC Company. Stash pools your money to buy one share, and then assigns ownership of 1/20th of the share to each person. In this way, you can own less than a full share.

How Does Stash Make Money?

Stash makes money by charging a monthly wrap fee for its services. You pay either $1 per month, $2 per month, or .25% of your account’s balance each year to use Stash.

Is Stash Safe?

Yes, Stash is safe to use. Even if Stash goes bankrupt, your investments will be safe and will still belong to you.

Stash works with a company called Apex Clearing Corporation to hold the investments it purchases for its customers. The investments are held in a federally regulated broker-dealer (Apex), and this company acts as a custodian for Stash.

Apex is a member of the Securities Investor Protection Corporation (SIPC). Under SIPC, cash is returned up to $250,000 and up to $500,000 for non-cash investments.

This protection only applies if the companies holding investments on your behalf close. That said, don’t expect to be reimbursed if your investments lose value. Remember, investing involves risk.

Who Should Use Stash?

Stash App Review: Why Use Stash?

Stash was designed with beginner investors in mind, and it shows. While it’s a great way for people to get started, and it offers valuable educational tools, its fee structure and inability to take full control of your investments make it a poor choice for people with more money to commit or a desire to be more hands on.

Stash vs Acorns

Stash and Acorns both provide a decent opportunity for brand new investors to build a portfolio. If you happen to be a student, then Acorns is free for you to get started.

Read our full Acorns review to choose which investment app is best for you.

Stash Review Summary

Overall, Stash is an adequate service that does a good job of helping new investors. It falls short of being a great app for everyone as more advanced investors will want to take a hands-on approach that simply isn’t possible with the services that Stash provides.

However, as we wrap up our Stash review, a major bonus is that you can start investing with Stash with just $5.

*DollarSprout is a paid Affiliate/partner of Stash. 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.

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Author

TJ Porter has in-depth experience in reviewing financial products such as savings accounts, credit cards, and brokerages, writing how-tos, and answering financial questions. He has also contributed to publications and companies such as My Bank Tracker, CardCruncher, and Echo Fox. He aims to provide actionable advice that can help readers better their financial lives. In his spare time, TJ enjoys thinking up new ways to optimize my own finances, in addition to cooking, reading, playing games (of the board and video variety), soccer, ultimate frisbee, and hockey.

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