Micro-investment apps like Stash, Acorns and Robinhood are making it easier for people to develop the habit of saving. They are designed to make investing fun and encourage individuals to make regular contributions that would secure their future. Let’s take an in-depth look at two of the most sorted after investment apps, Stash vs Acorns.
Introduction to Stash
What Is Stash?
Stash is a micro-investment app founded in 2015. The company is based in New York, the United States of America and it offers several micro-investing opportunities.
One exciting thing about this app is that any individual who is above 18 years of age don’t need to save thousands of dollars to start investing. You can start small. You will also receive recommendations on investment opportunities from Stash. Unlike other micro investment services, Stash will allow you to take the final investment decision yourself.
You can download and operate Stash on your Android and iOS devices. Once you are registered, you get access to a brokerage account plus over 30 different ETFs (exchange-traded funds).
How Does Stash Work?
The Stash app gives you the privilege to select your preferred exchange-traded funds from a list of about 30 ETFs. After opening a Stash account, the risk assessment questionnaire you will be asked to fill out will help in the decision-making process.
The Security Investor Protection Corporation controls all investments on Stash. They ensure the smooth running of brokerage firms and protect millions of investors from the bankruptcy of dealers or brokers. After signing up on Stash, the app will label you as a Conservative Investor, Moderate Investor or Aggressive Investor.
After funding your account, you can continue to add more through fractional share ownership. And based on the level of risk you can tolerate and your investment goals, you will receive suggestions on the best funds that suit your targeted investment goals.
However, Stash’s ability to provide value-based as well as different investment opportunities helps simplify investing. And based on your environmental, political and financial interests, you can choose a customized portfolio. Investments on this platform are also designed to run on the buy and hold strategy. Another thing about Stash is that investment portfolios usually have lovely names like “Park My Cash” and others you may find pleasing to the ears.
Currently, Stash is registered only in the USA and available to residents of the United States of America. Investors should also understand that the company does not in any way provide planning services to investors on the platform. However, before taking final decisions on how to invest your funds, please ensure you are comfortable with the Stash fees and other custodial fees. You should also consider your investment objects before doing so.
After registering for an account, you can fund the new account with as little as $5. And as a new investor, you will not be asked to pay any fee for the first month. But for subsequent months, fees are $1 every month for accounts with balances less than $5,000. If your balance is over $5,000, the charge is 0.25% per year. Commission fees usually paid for stock trades are nonexistent on Stash. You will not pay any dime for bank withdrawals or deposits made to your account.
If you are looking to withdraw already invested funds, then you need to sell your shares first. Note that this process occurs when funds are already invested. And you don’t have to pay fees for fund withdrawal or when selling your investments. Withdrawals last for one to three working days for funds to reflect in your bank account.
Best Suited for:
If you cannot invest a large sum of money at once but prefers doing so in piecemeal, then Stash is a great app to try out. It is also an excellent option for a beginning investor interested in taking advantage of the market but has long been put off by the numerous boring terms You will not be encountering those terms with Slash.
Pros of Stash:
- Lower fees
- Help people cut spending and develop saving habits
- Buy, hold and add mechanism
- Low minimum balance
- Well-designed and user-friendly interface
Cons of Stash:
- Cannot access the account via the website
- The app isn’t developed to work offline
- Higher fees for accounts with massive amounts
- Available in the USA only
Introduction to Acorns
What Is Acorns?
Acorns is a modern-day piggy bank. As an app established in 2012, Acorns let you invest your spare change. The app is available in the United States of America and Australia as of the time of writing this post.
Acorn is built to help you develop the habit of saving. You can save your spare change anytime to grow your wealth. The app is also completely automated.
How Does Acorns Work?
The first step is to download and sign up on Acorns. After that, you can link your credit or debit cards to your checking account. So, for each purchase you make on those cards, the app will automatically round them up to the nearest dollar and invest the little difference in low-priced ETFs.
Let’s say you spend $4.80 on launch, and the app will help you invest the difference which is 20 cents. You will also be in charge of choosing the portfolio to invest the funds.
Acorns makes it easy for aspiring investors to choose their investments. That’s the app’s selling point. But before you get started, you will have to provide information such as the duration you are planning to invest, your age, time horizon, income, risk tolerance level, and financial goals.
After supplying the required information, the app will then recommend one out of the six portfolios available. You can decide to make use of the recommended portfolio or make your own choice.
Acorns charges $1 per account with a balance of $5000 or less, per month. For Acorns accounts that have over $5000, the company will charge 0.25 percent yearly. You can download and install the app with ease, and users are not charged any penalties or trade fees for withdrawing their funds.
You can withdraw money from your Acorns account without paying a dime. But the withdrawal process can take longer. If your funds have been invested, Acorns will sell them on your behalf so that you can withdraw your cash. It could take close to three working days for the company to sell your bonds and stocks, and between one to three working days to transfer the money into your bank account after selling them. But have in mind that you are not paying any deposit or withdrawal fee.
Best Suited for:
If you are interested in saving to accomplish your short-term goals but lack the habit of saving, Acorns might be the ideal micro investment services for you. The good thing is you can save little amount on a daily basis which will amount to something at the end of every month.
Pros of Acorns:
- Free for everyone to use
- Minimum balance not required
- No fees for funds withdrawal
- Simple for beginners to understand and use
- Automated to help you save money every single day
Cons of Acorns:
- Available in the USA and Australia only
- Monthly fees can eat up a large chunk of money for individuals that save daily
Comparison Table: Stash Vs Acorns
Verdict: Stash VS Acorns, Which Is Better?
It is a close competition between both apps. They request the same fees. But while many investors might prefer Stash due to its neat features, the ease of use and simplicity makes Acorns a better option for beginning investors. On the other hand, if you need more flexibility for your investment, Stash might be a better option for you.
Another thing that may worry users is technical glitches. Both apps are prone to have this challenge but you will encounter them always.