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When it comes to saving and investing, many of us are lagging behind. In fact, a recent study found about 1 in 6 Americans have absolutely no retirement savings at all, an alarming trend.
Investing can be intimidating, especially for people with no experience or background in it; additionally, the barriers to entry, such as the requirement to establish an account, fees, and minimum investment account balances can seem complicated.
Fortunately, thanks to the internet, there are more and more online platforms that promote micro-investing, and allow users to begin building investment portfolios with only a small amount of money; many of these websites and apps are also a great, low-stakes place to learn the ins and outs of investing.
Let’s take a close look at one popular platform called Stash, so you can determine if it would be a good fit for where you’re at financially.
Onto our Stash review!
What is Stash?
The micro-investing platform Stash was founded in 2015 and is headquartered in New York City.
Stash allows people with little to no investment experience and small amounts of cash reserves to begin investing the dollars and cents that they are able to accumulate each week; it even offers account users the option to round up the change on purchases they make with linked credit and debit cards and allocate them towards targeted investments.
In addition to investing options, Stash also contains a treasure trove of tips and information about investing as well and aims to educate users about how to invest as much as it offers them a platform to do so.
In order to use Stash, you must be a resident of the United States, and you must be at least 18 years of age or older. You also must have a checking account that you can link your Stash account to as well.
In order to use some of the additional Stash features, such as the round-up investing, you will also need at least one debit or credit card.
How it Works
Like many other financial apps, it is really easy to set up a Stash account. You either go to the Stash website or download and use the mobile app available for iOS and Android devices; once there, you simply follow the prompts to sign up for an account.
Beyond the standard fare of providing personal information, you’ll also be asked to fill out a short questionnaire that Stash will use to determine your investment risk tolerance.
Once you complete that questionnaire, you’ll be able to transfer funds into your Stash account and begin investing.
The platform offers investors the opportunity to invest in Exchange Traded Funds (ETFs) or fractional shares of stocks, meaning that users can begin investing on Stash with as little as $1.
It is important to note that Stash is not a robo-advisor platform; it does not provide any automated management services for any of the investments you make as a user there.
However, the platform has a tremendous amount of information about different types of investments and investment strategies on it. If you are new to investing, it can provide you a solid educational background on the subject and give you the means to put your knowledge to good use as well.
Stash Pricing & Fees
The Stash platform has three pricing tiers. The Beginner’s account costs $1 per month and gives users the ability to do all of the fractional investing, plus no-hidden fee banking, access to investment information, $1,000 of life insurance coverage, and many other benefits.
The Growth account costs $3 per month and includes everything from the beginner’s account plus the ability to invest in a retirement account as well as personalized tax and retirement advice.
The Stash + account includes everything in the two previous pricing tiers and costs $9 each month. With Stash +, you also get two free kids’ accounts as well as a monthly market insights report, an opportunity to earn 2X on a stock rewards program, and an additional $9000 of life insurance coverage.
Stash only has a total of 436 reviews on Trustpilot with an overall rating of 3.6 stars; this is considered an average rating on Trustpilot. Stash is not accredited with the Better Business Bureau and carries an “F” rating with the BBB. The platform’s low BB rating is due to 350 consumer complaints being filed against it, the company’s failure to respond to 33 complaints filed against it.
Pros & Cons
Here are some of the key pros and cons for Stash you should consider:
- Ease of Use. It is really simple to set up an account on Stash and get started, thanks to the platform’s intuitive, easy-to-use interface.
- Low Balance Requirements. You can literally start your Stash account with the change that you find in your couch cushions, since the site doesn’t require a high starting balance for an account.
- Education Opportunities. The information that Stash provides users can help get you smart on topics related to personal investing.
- Poor Ratings. The high number of complaints filed against Stash with the Better Business Bureau, including many that the company has been unable or unwilling to resolve, is concerning.
- Relatively High Costs. If you only plan to maintain a low balance in Stash, then the monthly fees, especially for the mid and high-level plans, can be relatively expensive compared to other investment platform options.
There are other innovative financial platforms offering services comparable to Stash; these sites include:
All of these platforms offer some sort of micro-investment opportunities, or the ability for users to make personal investments with low costs or barriers to entry. You should definitely check them all out as you search for a good investment platform to meet your needs.
Parting Thoughts: Stash Review
The Stash platform, with its ease of use, low account balance requirements and the massive amount of information it gives users access to, can be a great choice for beginning investors. So, check out this innovative app when you get a chance, and see if it is a good fit for you.
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