Stash Invest Review (2023): The Best Affordable Investing App for Beginners
Do you want to start investing in the stock market? Are you hesitant to start because you cannot afford to buy shares of companies at their current price? If it were possible to invest in your favorite company with only what you could afford, would you do it? Lucky for you, I have found an app that allows you to do just that. The app is called ‘Stash: Invest & Build Wealth.’
Stash Invest is one of the best places to invest for beginners. In fact, I recognize them as the first app I use to invest my money. They are the main reason why I know how to invest money today. Not only do they make investing affordable, but I’m also learning while I’m investing. In this Stash Invest review, I will explain in detail why I recommend Stash to anyone looking for an affordable way to invest their money, while also improving their financial literacy.
About Stash Invest
According to their website, Stash is all about “opportunity for all.” They believe that everyone should have access to the tools, guidance, and confidence to grow their wealth and live their best life. Launched in 2015 in New York, NY, Stash makes it easy and affordable for everyday Americans to invest their money.
Is Stash Legit?
Stash Invest is indeed legit. In fact, it is one of the first investing apps to allow investors to buy fractional shares. According to Charles Schwab, a fractional share allows you to own less than one whole share of a company. Also known as a ‘stock slice,’ with the Stash app, you can invest in stocks based on any dollar amount you can afford. As a result, you can own a fraction of a McDonald’s share, for example, and keep buying a fraction of a McDonald’s share until you have a full share at its current price. Also, you can keep buying fractional shares to own more whole shares over time.
Stash’s founders Brandon Krieg and Ed Robinson both come from Wall Street. After spending years there, they learned that many financial systems and tools are not available to everyone. They unfairly leave out small and beginner investors because they do not know how to get started and/or cannot afford to get started. This socioeconomic disparity prevents many from owning assets.
To address this disparity, both Brandon and Ed left Wall Street to start Stash Invest. They want to help provide unlimited money growth options for all Americans, regardless of their socioeconomic background. With the fractional shares investing model, Brandon and Ed made it possible for anyone with a smartphone to invest in any company they want at any price they can afford.
When I first began using this app in 2018, a Stash subscription cost $1 per month. With this price, there were not as many features as today. As Stash released new features, they also rolled out new subscription plans. The features in each subscription plan are based on users’ goals.
The Beginner Plan
This plan is great for both true beginners and anyone who just wants to invest their money. Keeping Stash’s $1 monthly fee, the Beginner Plan comes with:
- Online banking
- A debit card with stock-back, and free financial education.
The Growth Plan
This plan is great for those who want to save for retirement. For $3 a month, it includes everything in the Beginners Plan plus access to Stash’s retirement accounts.
The Stash+ Plan
Finally, the biggest plan Stash Invest offers is the Stash+ Plan. For $9 per month, it includes all features in the Beginner and Growth plans plus more:
- The ability to set up custodial accounts for up to two kids.
- Earn twice the stock-back when making purchases with the Stock-Back®
- Receive exclusive monthly market insight reports.
Stash Invest platform provides plenty of features to make spending, saving, and investing easy for everyone. No matter your level of experience, Stash can help you succeed in your investing journey.
With this feature, investing your money has never been easier. With Stash’s signature feature, users can buy a company’s stock or an ETF for a fraction of the current share price. For example, companies like Amazon and Google’s stock prices are both well over $1,000 per share. However, with the Stash Invest app, you can still invest in them with any dollar amount.
When I first signed on to Stash, the minimum for this feature was $5. However, now users can buy fractional shares in any company for as little as one cent. If a company or ETFs share price is over $1,000, the minimum is five cents.
Like many of Stash Invest competitors, Stash offers users online banking. This feature includes:
What sets Stash Invests online banking apart from its competition is its Stock-Back feature. With this feature, users earn a piece of stock in the company they shop at using their Stock-Back® Debit Card. They can also choose a default investment reward when shopping at small businesses.
Most purchases can earn 0.125% in stock-back rewards. This means a dollar amount equal to 0.125% of the purchase value, or $0.125 per $100 spent. With the Stash+ plan, users earn two times the stock back. This means 0.25% of the purchase value or $0.25 per $100 spent. Finally, purchases with certain merchants can earn users up to 5% in bonus rewards. This means $5 for every $100 spent.
Budgeting & Saving
Stash does a great job at helping its users budget their money. First, Stash allows users to create their own goals by setting target dates and allocating money for specific purposes. This can be used as a budget planner for rent, bills, groceries, or vacation.
Second, Stash helps users track progress on their goals and spending. This helps identify where users can cut back on spending so they can save and invest more money.
Finally, Stash helps automate saving and includes spare change roundups. Both are meant to help assist in wealth building. With spare change roundups, Stash will set aside the spare change from purchases rounded up to the nearest whole dollar. Users can use the roundup amounts to reinvest into their investing accounts.
Financial education is another great Stash benefit. Their blog Stash Learn provides tons of written content to educate beginners on investing and money management. Topics include how to invest, retirement, credit, interest rates, and more.
To encourage active reading, the Stash invest app has a points system. Users can earn about ten points for reading Stash’s written content. I enjoy reading Stash’s articles because they help me better understand how to manage my money. They also help me better understand how to invest my money.
Retirement & Custodial Accounts
Another Stash feature includes setting up both retirement and custodial accounts. With the Growth Plan, users can set up either a Traditional or Roth Individual Retirement Account (IRA). A Traditional IRA is funded with pre-tax dollars. This lowers the tax burden on investors now. However, any money taken out after turning 59.5 years old is subject to income tax, but no penalty fees.
On the other hand, a Roth IRA account is funded with post-tax dollars. Any money taken out after the age of 59.5 is both tax and penalty-free. However, any money taken out before turning 59.5 is subject to income taxes and a 10% penalty fee. Stash helps users choose which account is right for them. Also, they provide tons of advice and education to ensure success.
Exclusively on the Stash+ plan is the ability for users to set up custodial accounts. These are accounts for children under 18 years old to get ahead on their investing journey. Adult Stash users can set up a custodial account for any child that is under the age of 18.
Why is Stash Great for Beginner Investors?
Stash is one of the best investing apps for beginners because they make it easy to get started building wealth. Stash benefits beginners by helping them understand what to do, set goals, and remain consistent. Finally, Stash helps its users develop long-term investing habits.
Stash allowing users to buy fractional shares with no fees is perfect for beginner investors. As explained earlier, users can buy a stock with whatever amount of money they can afford. For example, rather than pay well over $1,000 for a Google stock, you can contribute $1, $5, $10, $100, etc. at a time. You can keep doing this even after you finally have one full share in Google. In the meantime, the small contributions will rise or fall according to the change in the entire share price.
This feature is great for beginners because too many of our favorite company’s stocks cost hundreds to over $1,000 per share. Unfortunately, not many people, including young and beginner investors like myself, can afford to invest this way.
However, thanks to this feature, we can grow our wealth at our own pace with what we can afford. Also, we can diversify our portfolios with different companies. For example, by investing $100 a month into Stash, I can spread out that $100 into ten different companies for $10 each.
Built for Long-term Investing
Investing is a form of long-term saving money because you are setting money aside to grow over time. However, it is risky because the stock market is unpredictable. Although your money can grow at a faster rate, it can also fall at that same rate, if not more. While it is important to know where you are investing your money, it is especially important to understand that investing is a long-term commitment. Just because the value of your portfolio may be falling now, does not mean it is not growing over time. Patience is key.
Thankfully, Stash is built to help users invest for the long term. In addition to buying fractional shares, Stash updates its user’s portfolio value only a few times a day instead of in real-time. This removes users’ desire to make quick and irrational decisions because of always want to check the value of their portfolio. This certainly helps me focus more on growing my money.
Finally, Stash encourages users to keep adding small amounts of money at a time. Every $5 added is a new milestone reached.
Information Easy to Understand
To make investing on Stash easy, they make important financial information easy for beginners to understand. For example, Stash breaks down a company or ETFs current stock price, dividend yield, expense ratio, and performance history.
With ETFs in particular, Stash renames them so users can understand what they are about. Also, Stash lists all the stocks in the ETA and the percent in which they make up the ETF.
With this information, Stash determines the risk level for each company’s stock and ETF. Stash determines if they are either Conservative, Moderate, or Aggressive. Since investing is risky no matter what, knowing a stock’s risk level can help users stick to the level of risk they are willing to take.
Advice by Stash via Stash Learn
Not that there is anything unique about the financial advice Stash provides via their blog Stash Learn. In fact, the information they provide is standard and can be found in other sources. However, Stash does a great job at getting people to want to read their articles.
Unfortunately, Stash no longer has a point system for their articles. By reading their articles, you would earn points for each article you read to further help you level up in the app.
The articles published in Stash Learn cover a variety of financial topics that are helpful for everyone, not just Stash users. Topics include:
- How to use the Stash app
- How to invest
- Where to invest
- Money management
- Managing debt
- Retirement planning
- Managing money as a parent
- Education, and more.
No Commission or Fees
As mentioned earlier, Stash is committed to helping users build wealth with no fees. You can make unlimited trade transactions with no commissions or fees. Also, Stash’s online banking feature does not have an overdraft, minimum balance, maintenance, or setup fee. The only thing you pay for is your monthly plan of only $1, $3, or $9.
My Experience Using Stash Invest
What originally attracted me to Stash Invest was the ability to invest in any company for just $5. Now, Stash has lowered the minimum deposit into stock, from $5 to as little as one cent. Thanks to Stash, I can start building wealth at my own pace with what I could afford.
Fractional shares make it easy to diversify my portfolio with multiple companies instead of one. For example, I would invest $100 from every paycheck into Stash. Then, I would disburse that $100 into at least ten different company stocks and ETFs. I slowly build my portfolio with companies like Apple, Google, and Amazon. Also, my portfolio consists of real estate stocks and ETFs, bond ETFs, and more.
Stash almost has as many company stocks, bond stocks, and ETFs as Robinhood. When compared to Robinhood, the company stocks, bond stocks, and ETFs on Stash are displayed in a more user-friendly way. Particularly with their ETFs options, Stash categorizes them based on users’ interests and goals. As a result, users can confidently make decisions on where they should invest their money.
I hope you consider signing up because Stash is a great platform to start investing in the stock market safely. I believe a Stash Invest account savings account is on steroids because if utilized correctly, you could potentially see much higher returns. If you enjoyed what you read, sign up for Stash Invest now and receive $5 to get started.
Subscribe for $20 in Bonus Stock
When you subscribe to my website, in addition to updates, you will receive $20 in bonus stock after you sign up for Stash and make your first deposit of ANY AMOUNT!
I have never heard of Stash! I’m always looking for new ways to streamline my finances. I can’t wait to check it out.
Super helpful review of Stash! I love that they help you budget as well, and how cool is it that they have different monthly plans? Something for everyone!
I started to invest my money last year, and as a beginner, I tried to learn as much as I could (surprisingly it’s not that complicated). I haven’t heard about this app, so thank you for the review. I’ll check it out ☺️
I’ve been looking to get into investing especially sign them current state of the economy and this was a great read and refresher!
This is awesome, it’s a cheap and interesting idea. I never tried to invest in something like this. Thank you for sharing!
I have a friend who’s into stock investment but I never got to sit down with him and be enlightened. This article did just that, thanks for posting. Guess I’ll have to check out the app