The majority of population in the United States has some sort of an income. With everything around them becoming expensive, savings and investment become a difficult task – which is why 54% of middle class American families have financial insecurity.
By cultivating the investment habit among them and the youngsters, they can be financially empowered and have secured future. The mission of Stash is to do just that. They want to “empower regular Americans to build wealth”.
The founders of Stash are from Wall Street; they knew the saving difficulties that were stacked against ordinary American citizens. So, they invented Stash to make investment much easier for everybody. Through Stash, they aim to inculcate the healthy financial saving habits which could be an asset for them in the future.
Stash allows you invest your money in the stocks and assets that you strongly want to support. It acts as an excellent investment tool to build the investment portfolio of an individual. How can they achieve their mission if people who want to invest are not aware of the basics of the investments?
Well, through financial literacy they want them to achieve their long-term financial goals – as it is the need of the hour. Every aspect of Stash platform is built to make investment easier for the beginners as well for the professional investors. This article focuses on reviewing the details of Stash, so that you can know everything about beginning your investment journey.
Stash – How does it work?
It is considerably easy to begin your investment journey with Stash. You can either do it on their website or download their app on Google Play Store or Apple Play Store. The basic part of the process is to create an account. For that, you have to create password and share your email.
Once done, fill in all the necessary information about you. Ensure to provide your legal name and the correct date of birth. After they verify your details, you will be asked to choose a plan. The plan that you choose is free for the first month and will be charged from the next month onwards.
In the next step, you have to answer the questionnaire. The questionnaire helps in ascertaining your risk tolerances of the investments you make.
There are three risk levels: conservative, moderate, and aggressive. You are placed in a best category based on the questionnaire and your personal preferences. Then you will receive a list of recommended investment. The list covers nearly 1800 individual stocks, Exchange Traded Funds (ETFs), and bonds of many American household companies and small manufacturers.
You can select the one you want to invest in and add funds from your bank account to start the investment. Apart from the investment options, they also issue debit card through Green Dot Bank.
Remember, if you want to start your investment journey, you have to be 18 and above, an American citizen, and must hold Social Security Number.
Is it Safe to Use?
A strong cyber security is important to safely invest your money. Stash uses cutting-edge technology to make transactions safe and easier. They are a registered investment advisor with the U.S Security and Exchange Commission (SEC).
What’s the cost?
They have three plans such as Beginner, Stash Growth, and Stash Plus. The cost for each of these vary.
This is the basic option available if you are new to investing. You have to pay $1 per month and you will be given access to personal investment account and debit account. It will also let you earn Stash Stock-Back rewards, which we will see in detail in the features section.
Stash Growth Plan
Similar to the beginner’s plan you will have access to personal investment and Stash Stock-back rewards. The cost for this plan is $3 per month. In addition to personal investment, you get access to robo-advisor portfolio (automate investment management) and tax-advantaged benefits on retirements accounts like Roth IRA and Traditional IRA.
For Stash+ option you have to pay $9 per month. The features you get access to are: personal investment, robo-advisor portfolio, open investment account for kids, retirement accounts, monthly insight reports, and 2x Stash Stock-back rewards. This option is ideal if you are well-acquainted with the investment strategy and have high risk tolerance of your future investments.
Design of Stash
The user-friendly and intuitive design is probably the strongest feature of Stash. Unlike other robo-advisors which provide only ETFs, Stash gives you a wide variety of options of choose from. They also have separate offerings by the sectors and separate categories for ETFs. Once you click a particular investment option, you will be shown the risk level, the underlying security, companies that hold the majority of the shares, recent share price, dividend yield, and expense ratio.
Stash Stock-back Rewards
Stock-back offers stock rewards for the purchases you make at certain merchants such as Walmart or Amazon. You get fractional shares (a small part of a share) of a company. In case you are not purchasing at publicly traded company, you get percentage of your purchase in the form of ETF.
This feature helps you to easily build your investment portfolio based on your financial situation. The investment options, robo-advisors, and financial blogs make your investment hassle-free and safe.
Smart Portfolio is specially designed to customize the investment portfolio of an individual by analyzing their risk tolerance and personal preferences. Through their diversified investment options, you can develop a strong savings habit. Additionally, you can add or remove cash easily. It also makes selling and buying of underweight and overweight investment less complicated.
Diversification Analysis Tool
This tool helps you in maintaining balanced portfolio (stocks, bonds, securities, and gold etc.) based on your risk tolerance. Diversification analysis tool enriches your investment journey with the Stash.
Who can Benefit from using Stash?
Stash is ideal for those who are new to investing as the user-friendly intuitive features can teach them everything about investment. If you are an experienced investor, there are many other platforms like Stash that offer better options with lowest subscription fee.
- Personal investment option (DIY)
- Smart portfolios
- Diversified analysis tool
- Useful financial blogs
- Monthly fee is a bit higher compared to other investment platforms
- Expensive ratio for ETFs
Acorns is a similar investing platform that can help you with easy investment. You can start investing just with $5 and build your investment portfolio. The spare changes from your purchases are round up and credited to your account. There are also other options such as SoFi, Wealthfront, and Betterment. They take less than $1 as management fee. The minimum account balance is zero for SoFi and Betterment, but you need to maintain $500 for Wealthfront.
To sum up, Stash is certainly a better option for people who are new to investment. Their automated investment option, robo-advisors, smart portfolio, and diversification tool can be of a great advantage. But most of it is available only if you choose Stash+ plan. So, before you get into investment journey, do a thorough research about the investment platforms and your financial ability on the whole.