Investing is a great way to make extra cash and can be really rewarding, both financially and educationally – helping you to understand more about the financial and business worlds. The Stash Invest app offers a simple, less risky way for investors to start out, teaching them the basics and allowing them to start investing with as little as $5, and this Stash reviews will explain how.
Stash is an investment app, designed for people who want to invest but don’t yet know the first thing about it. Stash doesn’t only help you to invest your money, it also offers education about investing and how stocks and shares work. You’ll learn as you invest, so it provides an element of risk and intrigue that can keep you interested as you learn.
The app offers 30 different themed investments to choose from, allowing potential investors to build an ETF (exchange-traded fund) portfolio. These are fractional shares, meaning that investors can start investing with a small budget and then build as they go. Repackaging these funds into themes makes them easier to understand, and investors can choose or be offered the chance to invest based on risk tolerance, interest and values. Stash also offers both Roth and Traditional IRA options, for those looking to save up for their retirement.
Stash is also an online banking service, which boasts no hidden fees and allows the account to stay open without a minimum account balance. Accounts have a debit card with which account holders can take out money from thousands of ATMs nationwide. Besides investing, Stash offers savings schemes, automatic savings plans and smart transfers to make saving that much easier. There is no fee to withdraw so you can take your savings out at any time.
Finally, Stash offers a cashback scheme wherein when you use your nominated card at over 7000 retailers across the country, you will get up to 10% straight back into your investment account
One of the main negative issues you’ll find in any Stash review is the fees. If you decide to keep quite a low balance in your investment account you are looking at quite a high fee, percentage-wise. Stash charges $1 a month on accounts with balances under $5000, and you need to have $5 in your account to start investing. For accounts with over $5000, Stash will charge a 0.25% fee every month. It is $2 for standard retirement accounts, but free for people under 25 who want to pay into an IRA.
Anyone is welcome to use Stash as a way to invest, and Stash reviews have noted that it can be a good option for any investor, but there are people who might find that they get more enjoyment and use out of it than others including:
- People who have not tried their hand at investing in the past. New investors need some help and guidance to choose investments and understand how it all works. Stash is great for making investments but also learning about them, with a hands-on approach that helps the information to stick.
- Investors who need help selecting the right investments. Stash takes information about you and your situation and uses this to help you to choose investments which suit you and your interests.
- Thematic and impact investors. Thematic investors are looking for investments which conform to similar themes. These may include environmental or technological businesses for example. Impact investors tend to invest from the heart, and look to create a difference in environmental and social issues as well as making money from their investment. Stash can help place investors with the right investments in this way.
You will need to fill out a variety of personal details including your social security number and bank account details, age, address and so on. You need to be over 18 in order to sign up, as well as being a US citizen, although there are plans in the future to expand to other countries.
Fill out the questionnaire
A detailed questionnaire will help to assess your needs and risk level, which will then decide which investment opportunities are offered to you. Once your risk level has been assessed you will not be able to change this, although you are allowed to go back and reanswer questions later and this may change your risk decision down the line. There are three risk levels – conservative, moderate and aggressive, and these are based on things like your age and investment goals.
Build your portfolio
You can build your own portfolio from the suggestions which are offered once your questionnaire has been assessed. Stash offers plenty of advice on which investments should be the basis of your investing (which will take up the most of your asset allocation) and which should work as complimentary investments. The Stash Coach feature will help to nudge your portfolio in the right direction so you are not entirely on your own.
Look at individual shares
You can also choose individual stocks to invest in, alongside your portfolio. There are about 110 available, overall, and include huge companies such as Apple, Amazon, Facebook and General Electric. This means that for just $5 you can own a share in a major company with a much, much higher share price.
Adjust your investments as you go
Once you have chosen a portfolio and any individual shares, the app will use your investment account to make investments on your behalf. You will be able to find out why and how this is happening as it goes along, meaning that you should start to learn a little bit about the process yourself. Even better, you are able to go in and make changes and overrule the app if you want to, and as you become more confident.
- Low account minimum. One of the things that puts people off of investing to begin with is the fact that it can cost quite a lot to get started. With Stash, you are able to put as little as $5 into your investment portfolio and start making investments and seeing returns. As your accounts grow you’ll be able to invest more and move into more serious investments.
- Themed and mission driven opportunities. Stash makes it easy for even the least knowledgeable investor to choose the right ETFs to suit their interests and passions. Porfolios are named carefully to reflect their holdings, making them easy to identify and choose. For investors looking to make charitable and worthy investments, mission based ETFs make it really simple to make money as well as feeling good about your investments.
- Gives you an investment education as you go. With an almost step-by-step approach to investing, allowing you to learn as you go, this is the perfect tool for people with a keen interest in stocks and shares, but very basic or non-existent knowledge!
- Lots of investment options. There are plenty of different companies and causes available to invest in, so there should be something for everyone whatever their interests.
- Expensive for small accounts. A lot of people are uncomfortable with how high the monthly fee is for people only keeping a small amount of money in their investment account. For a $5 balance, a $1 a month fee means that an investor will pay 20% per month on their account, which is a very high percentage compared to other investments apps and opportunities.
- Lack of transparency. Customers are asked to submit quite a lot of sensitive personal information, as well as being asked to name an investment amount they want to stick to each month before their account is even set up. Investors have not yet had any education on the subject and don’t even know what portfolios are available and yet are being asked to provide all of this information and a financial commitment, which is off-putting for many.
Investment education could save you money in the long run, if you do decide to continue investing after your Stash experience. Stash provides a gentle, hand-holding approach that helps to make the risks feel less risky, and ensure that decisions are based on some prior knowledge and experience of the stock market. Free for under 25’s and with no fee to cash out, younger people might find it useful to learn more about investing using their Stash app, and then take their knowledge and cash to a different site or branch out on their own after their 25th birthday.
For everyone else it really is a matter of what you are looking to get out of it. Finding out more about investing as well as the types of investments that are out there is very useful, and the fact that you don’t need to save up a huge chunk of cash for an investment can make this process far more accessible to those who it may not have been before. In the opinion of this Stash Invest review, if you aren’t expecting to make your fortune, you might well find that Stash is an excellent saving tool for you.