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.
Through digital investing platforms like Stash Invest.
Account Minimum: $5
Promotion: Up to $650 (cash credit to invest with qualifying deposit)
What Is Stash Invest?
Stash Invest is a digital investing platform that boasts zero trading fees, a $5 minimum opening deposit, and an extensive suite of educational tools built with new investors in mind.
You do need a subscription to use this service, but plans start at just $1 a month.
Stash Invest 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 2020, it has over 4 million users and $1.8B in assets under management. 84% of people who use Stash are first-time investors.
How Does It Work?
Investing can seem intimidating and complicated. But not with Stash Invest.
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? (conservative, moderate, or aggressive).
- How soon do you need your money? (less than a year, 2 to five years, or 5+ years).
Stash will then suggest potential securities and portfolios based on your answers.
From there, you can add stocks and ETFs to your portfolio until it’s 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 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 add up to a lot over time. So even if you can only afford to save $10 a week, do it. It’ll pay off in the long-run.
- Stay diversified. Stash offers 200+ 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’ll enjoy the extra perks that come with Stash Invest.
What Securities Can You Buy Through Stash Invest?
Stash Invest offers two types of securities: stocks and ETFs.
Its 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 80 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?
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?
Try out the Real Estate Tycoon ETF and get the benefits of being a landlord without all the headaches.
Are you eco-friendly?
Invest in the Combat Carbon ETF and support big and small companies that actively work to reduce their carbon footprints.
Stash Invest Pricing & Fees
Stash charges zero trading or commission fees—and $5 is all it takes to get started.
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
Those saving for retirement
So, if you need a regular investment account only, you’ll 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’ll need the $9 plan.
Stash Account Types
Stash Invest offers a slew of financial accounts, including individual, retirement, and even checking 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 start investing in all the companies you know and love.
Retirement accounts. Open a traditional or Roth IRA with a Growth or Stash+ subscription and take advantage of special tax benefits.
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.
Stash partners with Green Dot Bank to bring every Stash member (Beginner, Growth, and Stash+) a free checking account with absolutely no monthly maintenance, overdraft, or minimum balance fees.
Plus, there’s no minimum balance requirements, so you can open this account with as little or as much money as you’d like.
There are three features that set this bank account apart from the pack:
Early direct deposits. Get paid up to two days earlier when you set up direct deposit to your Stash account.
Debit card with stock-back rewards. Use your debit card and earn free stock 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 free ATM network of over 19,000+ ATMs, but you may pay a standard $2.50 fee for using ATMs outside this network.To date, this checking account has helped investors avoid over $23.6M in overdraft fees.
Who Is Stash Invest 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 Invest's website
$1 - $9
Up to $560
cash credit to invest with qualifying deposit
What Do Customers Say About Stash Invest?
Stash Invest has high customer ratings on multiple review sites. For example, it has a 4 out of 5-star rating on Trustpilot based on nearly 400 reviews.
In the Apple App Store, it has nearly 143k reviews with a solid 4.7 out of 5-star rating.
If you hop over to the Google Play Store, the praise continues with a 4.1 out of 5-star rating based on over 30k reviews.Here’s an overview of the good and the not-so-good.
What Do Customers Like About Stash?
Customers love that Stash offers fractional shares and teaches you everything you need to know about stocks, bonds, and investing in general.
For those who don’t want to learn, Stash’s intelligent automation does it all for you.
Most reviews are from new investors who claim Stash is “easy to navigate” and “very helpful in helping you understand how to invest, how it works, etc.”
As for the banking side of Stash, customers love it because they get paid at least one day earlier and they “earn rewards that are truly worthwhile”—AKA stock-back rewards are awesome.
What Do Customers Dislike About Stash?
Right out the gate, investors are less than impressed with Stash’s customer support team.
They claim it can be hard to get ahold of someone, and it often takes a few business days to get an email response back.
Another common complaint is that the 0.125% stock-back rate isn’t all it’s cracked up to be—although you can earn up to 5% in stock-back bonuses if you’re a Stash+ member.
Lastly, even though trades are free, investors don’t like that you have to pay a monthly subscription fee when there are other fee-free options out there.
Although some investors defend Stash’s subscription fee by saying the more you invest, the less this fee matters over time.
Stash Invest Unique Features
Let’s do a deep dive into what makes Stash Invest so unique. It has several noteworthy features, but here are the top 6.
Not keen on buying a single share of Amazon stock for $1,895?
Yeah, me neither. But thanks to fractional shares, you can buy a piece of Amazon 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 seamlessly moves into your Stash account without you ever having to lift a finger.
In 2019 Stash Invest 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 will 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.
This feature helps you save extra pockets of money by analyzing your spending patterns.
When it detects you have too much money in your checking account, it will automatically move $5, $10, or $25 depending on the limits you set.
Note: Not all external banks support Smart-Stash, so you may not be able to use this feature.
As we’ve said before, 84% of Stash users are first-time investors—and for good reason. The app has an extensive suite of educational tools aimed to help you invest with confidence.
Play around with different retirement calculators. Get personalized guidance on how to invest. Read through the blog and 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 Learn Weekly 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 free stock when you use your Stash debit card for purchases—just as you would earn cash back with most major credit cards.
Pros & Cons
How Do I Get Started With Stash Invest?
It only takes two minutes to open your Stash account.
Simply follow these steps:
Enter your email, create your password, and click Start your Stash.
Click Introduce yourself and follow the steps to enter your personal info, create your financial profile, verify your identity and choose your Stash plan.
Once you create your account, you can start building a diversified portfolio full of stocks and ETFs.
Should You Open a Stash Account?
Is Stash Invest legit? Absolutely.
Can you make real money investing through this platform? You betcha!
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 teaches you how to invest, helps you automate the whole process, and even comes with a free checking account that gets direct deposits up to 2 days early, then give Stash a try.
You won’t pay any trading fees or commissions. 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 Invest we didn’t answer in this review? Drop them in the comments below.