Technology has been huge for lowering investment barriers. There are now so many options that are both accessible and easy to understand by everyone.
One of these options is Stash. Stash is great because the app allows users - who perhaps don’t have a ton of money - to invest in fractional shares of a stock. With Stash, you can buy tiny percentages of stocks or ETFs with as little as $0.01¹ to $0.05.
Stash isn’t the only one offering fractional share investing. Other major brokers now have this functionality for free. So keep that in mind as you make your decision of where to invest.
- Automatic investing app with no investing minimum¹ to get started
- Can make investing easy by really simplifying the process
- Fees as low as $3 per month
No investing minimum¹
$3/mo or $9/mo
Traditional IRA, Roth IRA, Taxable, Custodial
Get A $5 Bonus After You Deposit $5
What Is Stash?
Stash is an app that launched in 2015 after the founders set out to answer the question: why don’t half of Americans invest? They kept coming back to one answer. Most people found investing to be unrelatable and intimidating.
From that premise, Stash was born. It can make it easy to automatically save money and invest it in small chunks. Plus, it includes tons of educational resources and a managed portfolio feature called Smart Portfolio for those who are looking for completely hands-off investing.
What Does It Offer?
With a beginner account, Stash members can invest in thousands of individual stocks and ETFs. Or for a higher monthly fee, you can invest with a hands-off approach called Smart Portfolio. Here's a closer look at what Stash has to offer.
Fractional Shares are available on Stash - which can be great if you're getting started with just a little bit of money. Fractional shares of most investments are available starting at $0.01. And customers can buy a piece of any stock or fund trading at more than $1,000 per share starting with just $0.05.
If you invest at least $5 and are subscribed to the Growth or Stash+ plan, you can also invest in a Smart Portfolio. It will rebalance automatically if any of the allocations get out of alignment by more than 5%.
As customers add or remove cash, Stash will automatically move them closer to their ideal smart mix. When a customer adds cash, Stash will buy underweight investments -- and when they remove cash, Stash will sell overweight investments
The goal of Stash (and any investment account) is to build your portfolio over time. Stash makes it fun and easy by creating milestones and ways to encourage you to invest more.
Stash also tries to show you your potential – by both adding new investments and teaching you the value of investing often. Over time, you can check in your home screen and see how your portfolio is doing overall.Purchasing an investment is simple. You just click on the “Add To Portfolio” button and enter how much you want to invest.
Stash has a feature called Stash Retire, which is a retirement account option for investors. Stash Retire offers both Traditional and Roth IRAs – and offers the same investment choices you’d find in a Personal Portfolio. You can contribute up to the IRA Contribution Limit in a Stash Retire account.
Stash Retire is part of the Growth Plan and Stash+ Plan, and it costs either $3 or $9 per month.
However, this is where fees can become prohibitive. If you don’t invest more each month and see investment gains, it can start losing a percentage of your balance to your monthly subscription cost.
Stash also offers an online banking feature². The account comes with no overdraft or monthly maintenance fees³ and includes access to a large network of fee-free ATMs⁴ nationwide.
Plus, you can take advantage of the following features:
- ASAP Direct Deposit⁵ — customers can get their pay up to 2 days early
- Stock-Back® — a rewards program where customers earn stock every time they spend⁶
- Round-Ups — puts savings on auto-pilot. Every time customers spend, STASH will round-up the purchases to the nearest dollar. Each time the round-ups total hits $5, STASH will transfer the spare change to the customer’s personal investment account.
Every Stash customer also receives personal guidance across every aspect of their finances. And, of course, the banking aspect connects seamlessly to Stash Invest.
What Are The Fees?
Stash currently has two pricing options - all flat-fee offerings.
- Growth — $3/mo: This plan offers a basic personal brokerage account, Stash Banking², retirement investing and unlocks Smart Portfolios. It also offers financial guidance and provides access to up to $1k of life insurance through Avibra⁷.
- Stash+ — $9/mo: This is their most robust option and is for families who want to save and invest. You'll get up to two custodial investment accounts for your children (note: these are not 529 plans). You'll also earn 2x stock with the Stock-Back® Card⁸ and the life insurance access increases to $10k.
Stash's subscription tiers start higher than Acorns which has plans at $1/mo and $3/mo. But only Stash includes banking. It should also be noted that Acorns' highest-priced plan is less expensive at $5 per month.
Important Note: Stash discontinued the Beginner ($1/mo plan) effective August 1, 2022.
How Does Stash Compare?
The biggest drawback of Stash is the cost. While $3 per month ($36 per year) may not seem like a lot, but with a small portfolio, the percentage is very high. On a $100 investment that is 36% in investing fees.
It's important to remember that self-directed accounts are available at no cost at virtually all full-service stock brokers. For this reason, I find it hard to recommend the Stash Beginner plan.
Even when you add robo-advisor service ($3/mo to $9/mo), Stash's pricing can still be high for smaller accounts when compared to robo-advisor platforms that use an AUM (assets under management) pricing model. Betterment, for example, charges 0.25% for its Digital Plan. So for a $1,000 account, you'd pay $2.50 per year with Betterment while you'd pay $36 per year for Stash Growth.
Still, some new investors may be willing to pay more to learn how to invest and form the investing habit.
However, Stash's flat-fee pricing model becomes more favorable as your account size grows. For example, at a $25,000 account balance, you'd pay Betterment $50 per year, but you'd still be paying $36 per year with Stash Growth. Here's a closer look at how Stash compares:
Starting at $3/mo
Starting at $0
Starting at 0.25%
How Do I Open An Account?
If you want to get started with Stash, the sign-up process is extremely simple. (After you sign up check the bottom of the post for ways to quickly grow that balance.)
# 1 – Click Here To Get Started
Click here to check out Stash online and get started on your desktop.
Click here to get Stash on the App Store, you’ll be directed to the app store and you can download the app to your phone.
# 2 – Fill Out Your Profile
Next, you’ll fill out your basic information and answer a couple of questions.
These questions will help Stash guide you on making investment decisions. It’s important that you’re honest with these survey questions because they help determine your risk tolerance.
This should only take a couple of minutes.
# 3 – Choose An Investment
Based on the answers you provided, Stash will show you investment options that line up with your risk tolerance (conservative, moderate, or aggressive.) You can click on the different investments to learn more about them. (Don’t worry they’re explained in layman’s terms!)
The great thing about Stash is that they make investing relatable. Instead of crazy names of ETFs and ticker symbols, you invest in “themes” that are based on your wants, beliefs, or likes. We’ll talk more about that below.
Right now, there are thousands of investment options (stocks and funds) available on the platform.
You can invest in these for as little as $0.01¹.
4 – Link Your Bank Account
Link up the bank account you want to have money withdrawn from to make your investments.
It takes about 2-3 days for the money to transfer into Stash.
# 5 – Confirm Your Identity
Verify your identity, create a four digit pin number and you’re all done.
Is It Safe And Secure?
Yes, Stash brokerage accounts are held by Apex Clearing which is a FINRA-registered brokers. Your investments are protected up to $500,000 total by the SIPC. For details please see www.sipc.org.
For uninvested funds, your Stash account is enrolled in something called the Apex FDIC-insured Sweep Program. Deposits to the Sweep Program are covered by FDIC insurance up to $250,000 limit per customer at each FDIC-insured bank that participates in the Sweep Program. Once your cash is deposited with the participating banks under the Sweep Program, such cash will no longer be covered by SIPC. Learn about the FDIC Sweep Program.
When it comes to data security, Stash uses bank-level 256-bit encryption on its website and supports two-factor authentication (2FA) of accounts. As of writing, the company has not been connected to any hacks or data breaches.
How Do I Contact Stash?
Like other fintech platforms, Stash prefers to push its customers towards automated support options. When you visit its support page, you'll see a big button to start a conversation with its AI chatbot. But what you won't easily find is a phone number or email address.
If you look closely though you can find the company's contact information typed in small print at the bottom of the website's footer. Its customer service number is 800-205-5164 and its email address is firstname.lastname@example.org.
Is It Worth It?
If you've been putting off investing for your future due to lack of knowledge or motivation, consider Stash. Its automatic investment tools and educational resources could really help to jump-start your investing journey.
But you'll probably want to consider other options if you're an experienced and cost-conscious investor. For every investing style, there's likely a cheaper solution.
Here are a few of the most common questions people ask about Stash:
Does Stash make you money?
It can. Stash banking customers who use the Stock-Back® Card⁶ will earn 0.125% stock on all of their everyday purchases and up to 5% in bonuses at certain retailers. It gives away pieces of stocks to members who attend Stash Stock Parties.
Can you try Stash at no cost?
You can try out your first month of the Stash plan you choose on them – you can also receive a $5 bonus into your Personal Portfolio after you deposit at least $5 by clicking here.
Can you buy mutual funds with Stash?
No, but you can invest in diversified and low-cost ETFs (exchange-traded funds).
Does Stash offer margin trading?
No, Stash does not allow any of its members, regardless of their subscription tier, to trade on margin.
Can you buy crypto on Stash?
No, cryptocurrency is not currently a supported asset. Stash does say, however, that it's looking into adding crypto investing to its platform in the future.
No investing minimums¹
Access To Human Advisors
Customer Service Number
Customer Service Email
Web/Desktop Account Access
Mobile App Availability
iOS and Android
Get a $5 bonus after your first deposit of $5
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 Fractional shares start at $0.05 for investments that cost $1,000+ per share.
2 Bank Account Services provided by Green Dot Bank, Member FDIC.
3 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.
4 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.
5 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.
6 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. 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.
7 Group life insurance coverage provided through Avibra, Inc. Stash is a paid partner of Avibra. Only individuals who opened Stash accounts after 11/6/20, aged 18-54 and who are residents of one of the 50 U.S. states or DC are eligible for group life insurance coverage, subject to availability. Individuals with certain pre-existing medical conditions may not be eligible for the full coverage above, but may instead receive less coverage. All insurance products are subject to state availability, issue limitations and contractual terms and conditions, any of which may change at any time and without notice. Please see Terms and Conditions for full details. Stash may receive compensation from business partners in connection with certain promotions in which Stash refers clients to such partners for the purchase of non-investment consumer products or services. This type of marketing partnership gives Stash an incentive to refer clients to business partners instead of to businesses that are not partners of Stash. This conflict of interest affects the ability of Stash to provide clients with unbiased, objective promotions concerning the products and services of its business partners. This could mean that the products and/or services of other businesses, that do not compensate Stash, may be more appropriate for a client than the products and/or services of Stash’s business partners. Clients are, however, not required to purchase the products and services Stash promotes.
8 Double Stock-Back® Rewards is subject to terms and conditions.
*Offer is subject to T&Cs.** You must complete within the specific time period included in this offer: (i) successfully complete (or already have completed, or re-apply for and complete) the registration process of opening an individual taxable brokerage account (“Personal Portfolio”), (ii) link a funding source to your account; AND (iii) deposit at least $5 from your funding source into your Personal Portfolio. *T&Cs
Stash Subscription fee starts at $3/ 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.
Roth IRA: Withdrawals of the money (Contributions) you put in are penalty and tax free. Prior to age 59½, withdrawals of interest and earnings are subject to income tax and a 10% penalty. All earnings are tax free at age 59½ or older, assuming your first contribution was more than 5 years prior. Income Eligibility applies.
“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.
A “Smart Portfolio” is a Discretionary Managed account whereby Stash has full authority to manage.
To note, SPIC coverage does not insure against the potential loss of market value.
Commissions & Fees
Ease Of Use
Tools & Resources
Stash allows investors to automatically invest in fractional shares of stocks and ETFs as well as in Smart Portfolios.
- Makes investing easy to understand
- Supports fractional share investing
- Smart Portfolios include automatic rebalancing
- Earn stock with the Stock-Back® card⁶
- Fees can be high as a percentage of your assets
- Only supports stock and ETF investments
Robert Farrington is America’s Millennial Money Expert® and America’s Student Loan Debt Expert™, and the founder of The College Investor, a personal finance site dedicated to helping millennials escape student loan debt to start investing and building wealth for the future. You can learn more about him on the About Page, or on his personal site RobertFarrington.com.
He regularly writes about investing, student loan debt, and general personal finance topics geared towards anyone wanting to earn more, get out of debt, and start building wealth for the future.
He has been quoted in major publications including the New York Times, Washington Post, Fox, ABC, NBC, and more. He is also a regular contributor to Forbes.