Stash app aims to make the process of selecting investments quick and easy for beginners. Invest with as little as $5. Get the only debit card that earns Stock-Back®(1) rewards.
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Top Investment App
AT A GLANCE
- Start with just $5
- Fractional shares
- Affordable investing plans
- Outstanding customer reviews
Best Investment App for Beginners
Pros & Cons
Investing used to look a lot different than it does today. Back in the not-too-distant past, barriers to entry were high. You had to be an investing-pro to be successful. And you couldn’t get in the game unless you had deep pockets.
Most people didn’t meet these qualifications, so they sat on the sidelines while the rich got richer. Thankfully, that’s no longer the case.
Now, anyone (yes, we mean anyone) can invest regardless of income, status, or investing prowess. How?
Through digital investing platforms like Stash.
Account Minimum: $5
Promotion: Up to $5 (cash credit to invest with qualifying deposit)
What Is Stash?
You do need a subscription to use this service, but plans start at just $1 a month. Stash launched in 2015 with a mission to provide financial opportunity for all. It’s been making waves in the investing industry ever since.
As of 2021, it has over 6 million users and $3B in assets under management(4). 84% of people who use Stash are first-time investors.
How Does It Work?
Investing can seem intimidating and complicated. But not with Stash.
When you open your account, you’re asked a series of questions like:
- How much investing experience do you have? (none at all, a little, a moderate amount, and so on).
- What type of investor are you when it comes to risk? (conservative, moderate, or aggressive).
- How soon do you need your money? (less than a year, 2 to five years, or 5+ years).(7)
Stash will then suggest potential securities based on your answers. From there, you can add stocks and ETFs to your portfolio working towards diversified just the way you like it.
And don’t worry... If you’re not sure what you should invest in, Stash will offer personalized guidance to help you decide.
The Stash Way: Stash’s Investing Philosophy
Stash has a simple three-part investing philosophy that helps even the most novice beginners invest with confidence.
Here it is in a nutshell:
- Think long-term. Smart investors don’t typically try to time the market. Instead, they choose quality investments and hang on to them for a while.
- Invest regularly. Stash believes in the power of investing regularly. Even small amounts can add up to a lot over time. So even if you can only afford to save $10 a week, consider it. It could pay off in the long-run.
- Stay diversified. Stash offers 3,800+ stocks and ETFs to keep your portfolio diversified. Plus, you can invest in fractional shares.
If you’re an investor who shares this same philosophy, you can enjoy the extra perks that come with Stash.
What Securities Can You Buy Through Stash?
Stash offers two types of securities: stocks and ETFs. It's stocks cover a range of sectors including energy, finance, health care, real estate, utilities, and more.
It also offers fractional shares, so you don’t have to spend all your hard-earned dollars on one share of expensive stock (unless you really want to). Stash has over 260 ETFs covering everything from bonds, commodities, missions and causes, global companies, and more.
Its ETFs are broken up by values, so you can easily spot which ones you want to invest in. Love to shop?
You could go for the Retail Therapy ETF and invest in several companies that sell clothes, food, and travel. Think of yourself as a real estate mogul?
You could try out the Real Estate Tycoon ETF and you can get the benefits of being a landlord without all the headaches. Are you eco-friendly?
You can invest in the Combat Carbon ETF and you can support big and small companies that actively work to reduce their carbon footprints. And this is just a small sample of all the ETFs available on Stash’s platform.
Pricing & Fees
You need a monthly subscription to use the platform, but plans range from $1 to $9 a month depending on your needs.
This chart breaks down the cost and features of each plan:
Plans & Packages
Debit card with Stock-Back® rewards(1)
Those saving for retirement
Personal Investment Account
Debit card with Stock-Back® rewards(1)
Personal Investment Account
Investing accounts for up to 2 kids
Debit card with 2x Stock-Back® rewards(5)
Monthly market insights report
So, if you want a basic investment account only, can pay $1 a month for the Beginner plan.
But if you’re a more experienced investor looking to open up a custodial account for your kid, you may want the $9 plan.
Stash offers access to a slew of financial accounts, including individual, retirement, and even banking accounts.
Let’s take a look at each.
There are three major investment accounts you can open with Stash:
Personal investment accounts. Open a taxable investment account with the Beginner, Growth, or Stash+ subscription and you can start investing in all the companies you know and love.
If you’re unsure which account you need, Stash will ask you questions to help you decide.Custodial accounts. Those with a Stash+ subscription can help their kids get a jump start later in life with a custodial account. Once your child turns 18, they can use the money for school or any other expense.
Plus, there’s no investing minimums(8), so you can open this account with as little or as much money as you’d like. (But note that in order to get your Stock-Back® debit card, you’ll need to deposit at least $1.)
There are three features that set this banking account apart from the pack:
- Early direct deposits(8). Get paid up to two days earlier when you set up direct deposit to your Stash account.
- Debit card with Stock-Back® rewards.(1) Use your debit card and earn stock back as you go.
- Financial insights. Stash tracks your purchases, analyzes your spending, and offers helpful insights on how you can save more money.
Stash has a fee-free ATM network of over 19,000+ ATMs(9), but you may pay a standard $2.50 fee for using ATMs outside this network, plus any additional fee that the ATM owner or bank may charge.
Who Is Stash Best For?
If you fall into one of these three categories, you may find Stash’s features extra appealing:
First-time investors. Stash Invest has countless resources to help you learn the ropes and teach you how to invest with confidence.
Hands-off investors. Thanks to automated saving and investing tools, you can build wealth without ever having to lift a finger.
Long-term investors. Stash believes in a buy-and-hold investing philosophy. If you agree, this platform may be right for you.
on Stash's website
$1 - $9
Up to $5
cash credit to invest with qualifying deposit
Let’s do a deep dive into what makes Stash so unique. It has several noteworthy features, but here are the top 6.
Not keen on buying a single share of an expensive stock, like Amazon stock for instance, for thousands of dollars. Yeah, me neither. But thanks to fractional shares, you can buy pieces of stock for as little as $5.
This is a HUGE benefit for investors—especially ones just starting out.
Instead of having to save up a ton of money to buy a single share (and increase your risk because of lack of diversification), fractional shares means you can have your cake and eat it too.
Auto-Stash: Set Schedule
Studies show that the more you automate your finances, the more likely you are to accomplish your goals. That’s why Stash introduced a new-and-improved Auto-Stash feature that puts your investing on auto-pilot.
Using the Set Schedule tool, you can automatically transfer money into your Stash accounts on a recurring basis. You choose how much to transfer and how often.
Then, the money can seamlessly move into your Stash account without you ever having to lift a finger.
In 2019 Stash rolled out a new feature called Round-Ups, which lets you automatically save your spare change. (Another popular investing platform that uses this feature is Acorns.)
For example, let’s say you take an Uber ride that costs $9.55. Stash can automatically round your purchase up to $10, take the extra $0.45 and transfer it to your personal investment account.
From there, you can invest the money yourself or have Stash automatically invest it for you.
The app has an extensive suite of educational tools aimed to help you invest with confidence.
You can play around with different retirement calculators. You can get guidance on how to invest. Read through the blog to boost your knowledge on a range of financial topics.
The Stash Learn blog is broken up by several categories, one of which is simply called Teach Me How. This category is great for beginners as it walks you through every question you may have as a new investor.And if that wasn’t enough, you can sign up for The Wallet and get the latest Stash news sent straight to your inbox each week.
We’ve all heard of credit cards that earn cash back. But what about one that earns stock-back?
Yep, that’s right. You earn stock rewards(11) when you use your Stash debit card for purchases—just as you would earn cash back with most major credit cards.
Should You Open a Stash Account?
Is Stash legit? Absolutely.
Can you make real money investing through this platform? You definitely could!
But Stash takes the long-term, automatic approach to investing. It believes in the buy-and-hold way of investing—not the time-the-market strategy used by some investors.
If you’re an active trader who buys and sells often, Stash may not be for you.
But if you’re looking for a platform that can teach you how to invest, help you automate the whole process, and offer you access to a banking account that gets direct deposits up to 2 days early(9), then give Stash a try.
You can get started today with as little as $5 and with fractional shares, you can invest in all the large companies you know and love without breaking the bank.
Have questions about Stash we didn’t answer in this review? Drop them in the comments below.
Paid non-client endorsement. See Apple App Store and Google Play reviews. View important disclosures.
Nothing in this material should be construed as an offer, recommendation, or solicitation to buy or sell any security. All investments are subject to risk and may lose value.
1. 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.
2. Fractional shares start at $0.05 for investments that cost $1,000+ per share.
3. Stash Subscription 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. Stash offers three plans, starting at just $1/month. For more information on each plan, visit our pricing page. Clients may incur ancillary fees charged by Stash and/or it’s custodian that are not included in the monthly subscription fee.
4. This value is determined using the total number of Stash customers as of 2021.
5. Double Stock-Back® Rewards is subject to terms and conditions.
6. Bank Account Services provided by Green Dot Bank, Member FDIC
7. Other fees apply to the bank account. Please see the Deposit Account Agreement for details. If applicable, your Stash banking account is a funding account for purposes of the Advisory Agreement. Your Stash subscription fee may be deducted from your Stash banking account balance.
8. Early availability depends on timing of payor’s payment instructions and fraud prevention restrictions may apply. As such, the availability or timing of early direct deposit may vary from pay period to pay period.
9. Fee-free ATM access applied to in-network ATMs only. For out-of-network ATMs and bank tellers a $2.50 fee will apply, plus any additional fee that the ATM owner or bank may charge.
10. This Program is subject to terms and conditions. In order to participate, a user must comply with all eligibility requirements and make a qualifying purchase with their Stock-Back® Card. All funds used for this Program will be taken from your Stash Banking account. This Program is not sponsored or endorsed by Green Dot Bank.
11. What doesn’t count: Cash withdrawals, money orders, prepaid cards, and P2P payment. If stock of the merchant is not available for a qualifying purchase, the security will be in shares of a predetermined ETF or from a list of predetermined publicly-traded companies available on the Stash Platform. See full terms and conditions.
“Retirement Portfolio” is an IRA (Traditional or Roth) and is a non-discretionary managed account. 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.
“Kids Portfolio” is a custodial UGMA / UTMA account. Money in a custodial account is the property of the minor. This type of account is a Non-Discretionary Managed account.
Nothing in this material should be construed as an offer, recommendation, or solicitation to buy or sell any security. All investments are subject to risk and may lose value. All product and company names are trademarks (tm) or registered ® trademarks of their respective holders. Use of them does not imply any affiliation with or endorsement by them.
12. 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.
13. Bank Account Services provided by Green Dot Bank, Member FDIC.
14. Early availability depends on timing of payor’s payment instructions and fraud prevention restrictions may apply. As such, the availability or timing of early direct deposit may vary from pay period to pay period.
15. Neither Green Dot Bank nor Stash offer overdraft services.
16. 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.
This material is not intended as investment advice and is not meant to suggest that any securities are suitable investments for any particular investor. Investment advice is only provided to Stash customers. All investments are subject to risk and may lose value. All product and company names are trademarks (tm) or registered ® trademarks of their respective holders. Use of them does not imply any affiliation with or endorsement by them.
- Editor Rating
- Rated 4 stars
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I’m Cassidy Horton, a personal finance freelance copywriter. I craft action-worthy content for financial services companies. My #1 goal is helping people break the paycheck-to-paycheck cycle and experience financial freedom.