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Actively managing your investments might sound easier than it actually is. Sure, you may have some defined objectives and a rough grasp of what you would like to invest in, but the process can prove challenging either way. Most people have a limited amount of time to spend researching securities and picking the best ones for their financial goals. This is where Stash can be very helpful. Stash offers its clients the ability to trade and invest in a broad range of stocks and ETFs. It is a convenient option for beginners who would like to invest as they learn and have plenty of helpful tools to make the experience as smooth as possible.
Clients can choose between DIY and automated investing, however, Stash may be less convenient for those who expect a superior automated investing service, as the platform does not offer an automated IRA.
The features and perks of Stash put it among some of the better options for active investors, while passive investors might find superior alternatives elsewhere.
If you are curious about how Stash works and what it has to offer - this investfox review is for you.
Stash is a financial service that offers clients the ability to invest in equities, with over 4,000 stocks and ETFs available on the platform. Stash also offers automated investing through Smart Portfolios, however, the service is only available for individual accounts and IRAs can only be managed individually by the clients.
Stash is a solid alternative for clients who want a simple investing experience, where they have most of the autonomy to make their own investment decisions. The Stash platform gives plenty of insightful advice to clients helping them navigate the stock markets with ease.
Clients can choose between a web platform and an iOS/Android app. Stash is geared towards investors who are new to the world of finance and require some assistance, as well as a choice between automated and individual investing strategies. Stash offers its automated Smart Portfolios and Stock-Back services to all individual users who invest at least $5 on the platform.
Stash greets new users with a sleek website that is easy on the eye and very easy to navigate. The user-friendly design allows users to quickly find what they are looking for. The website is informative and transparent with its services and fees. The Stash website is divided into multiple sections:
Stash offers DIY and automated investing to clients, who also have access to banking services provided by Stash. Clients can use Stash via the web platforms, or mobile app. The core services offered by them can be broken down into three categories.
Smart Portfolio is a robo-advisor service offered by Stash which allows clients to automate their portfolios. Smart Portfolio gives clients access to a diversified portfolio based on their risk profile.
Clients can choose between three investment styles, which are:
Once the user picks their investor profile, they can deposit cash into their account and Stash starts to invest in a diversified portfolio of stocks, ETFs, bonds, and cryptocurrencies. Client portfolios are actively managed by Stash - making rebalances and adjustments whenever necessary. Clients can also choose to reinvest dividends and make recurring contributions to their accounts.
"..customers that use Stash Smart Portfolio can now get exposure to bitcoin and ethereum in a very diversified way alongside a diversified portfolio" - Brandon Krieg
Stock-Back is a banking service provided by Stash, which allows clients to use the Stash debit card to earn additional stocks as they shop in partner locations. Thousands of free ATMs can service Stash clients for free. The Stock-Back service also allows users to round up their expenses and make recurring payments, which accumulate on their Stash accounts so they can be invested.
Clients can access the feature after signing up with Stash and depositing at least $1 into their accounts. The lowest account plan starts at $3/month and once activated, clients can use the Stash debit card instantly with their digital wallets. The bank account offered by Stash does not pay interest.
Stash offers two account tiers to its customers - Stash Growth and Stash+, which come with different price tags and features.
Stash+ is the full suite of services offered by Stash and includes all of the base features available via Stash Growth.
Stash is a well-rounded service that is extremely beginner-friendly. Users can open an account with relative ease and the platform is intuitive and simple to use. Stash also offers a comprehensive learning page, where users can read about key investment concepts and ideas.
Another positive aspect of using Stash is the ability to buy fractional shares, which means Stash users are not priced out of some of the more expensive stocks on the market. The hands-off robo-advisors are also a convenient addition to Stash's services and make for a stress-free passive investment strategy.
Clients can also make recurring savings and roundups to invest spare change, while also earning more stocks as they use the Stash debit card while shopping.
Clients signing up for Stash and expecting managed IRA services for their retirement savings will be left disappointed, as Stash does not offer such a service. Managed accounts are only available to individual accounts, which do not include IRAs.
Another downside to Stash is the lack of human advice. While Stash may have plenty of articles and videos for beginners, they do not offer investment advice from seasoned professionals.
The Smart Portfolio service also does not offer tax-loss harvesting, which may be a downside for some users.
In terms of safety, users need not worry about the security of their funds. Stash is a licensed fintech company that holds client funds in segregated accounts. It also gives clients plenty of freedom in managing their own investments. The Smart Portfolios are reliable and provide solid annual returns to customers, based on their risk profile. They also use 256-bit encryption to secure client accounts and protect client accounts in a few ways:
All in all, Stash is a safe and secure way of gaining exposure to the U.S. financial markets. Stash is regulated and client accounts are insured.
Stash charges flat monthly fees to its two core accounts: Stash Growth at $3/month and Stash+ at $9/month. Additionally, there are no account minimums for DIY accounts on Stash and clients can use automated investing once their accounts reach $5 in value.
The average expense ratio for Smart Portfolios is 0.06%, which is competitive. Stash charges $0 for standard transfers and 1% for instant transfers. Full account transfer-outs are charged a fee of $75. Overall, The company’s fee structure is competitive for a relatively diverse and well-balanced investing experience.
Opening a Stash account is a simple process. Stash is only available for users in the United States. Opening an account is relatively fast. Opening a brokerage account requires the user’s email address and password. After the email verification is done, users will be asked to provide basic information about themselves, such as their residential address, primary phone number, security question, social security number, etc. Once all of the required information has been provided, users can finish setting up their accounts by linking their bank accounts and depositing funds. They can choose which Stash package to subscribe to and deposit the amount appropriate for their DIY or managed accounts. Clients can also access Stash banking services and request a Stash debit card.
Stash is a relatively new addition to the stockbroker market, which offers a beginner-friendly investing service. The platform sets itself apart by offering competitive fees, a solid robo-advisor service for managed accounts, as well as novel banking services, which allows Stash users to earn additional stocks when they shop using the Stash debit card.
However, Stash does not offer managed IRA accounts and has no human advisor or tax strategies available, which can be a significant downside for some users.
Overall, Stash is a solid option for first-time investors, thanks to the robust learning section and easy-to-access managed accounts.
Yes. Stash accounts are insured by the SIPC (up to $500,000) and FDIC (up to $250,000). Apex Clearing is the custodian of Stash and has a reliable track record of asset security. Additionally, Stash uses 256-bit encryption to secure accounts.
No. Stash charges a monthly fee between $3-9 based on account type and charges no fees for stock and ETF trades on individual accounts.
Stash is available for United States residents over the age of 18, with a valid ID and bank account held under their name. Parents can also open custodian accounts for their children.