• Alex Mizerski

Stash App Review: What it is and how to get started

Updated: Dec 10, 2020

This is a fun tool that will allow you to start investing with as little as $5. Let's dive in and tell you how to make money with the Stash App.


I was reading about investing apps to see if there were better tools out there than what I've been using (Robinhood is what I currently use) and I came across the Stash App.


Quick Notes:

  • The Stash App is safe to use - like any investment there is a risk, but the tool itself isn't hiding anything nefarious

  • The Stash App is an investing tool

  • The Stash App has a ton of useful features for investors of all abilities

  • The Stash App is really easy to setup and use (more on that below)

  • They offer a cool tool, Custodial Accounts, where you can set up an account for your kid and teach them about investing

  • They offer bank accounts and a rewards program

  • There is a minimal $1 monthly fee, but if the app is used frequently is worth the cost


What Is Stash App?


Simply put, Stash is an investing app, not a way to make consistent income unless you are investing in stocks that pay dividends and 100% of the time hold those stocks. In other words, it's going to take money to make money with Stash. It will also take considerable amounts of knowledge, or luck, to make money.


Investing apps are crazy popular right now! Robinhood was released in 2013 and since then the cost to trade stocks has found its way down to zero for many brokerages. You no longer need a broker, $7.95 per trade, nor the patience to pay for trades.


How To Use Stash

When I first opened the app, I was greeted with a screenshot of the inside.




Opening Up Stash

There are a few other screens that gave a description of the features. After that, you land on the "$5 to get started" screen.


Stash Pricing

There is an initial investment, fees, and ongoing investment requirements for this particular investment app, all things I don't prefer in an investing app.


The cost is minimal, but it is still a cost and something that can be avoided with other apps. You pay $1 a month to use the App if you have less than $5,000 in holdings. After that, you get dinged with a 0.25% yearly fee. For readers of The Saving Dude, paying .25% annually, if it can be avoided, should be avoided.


I can tell you right now that this is a much better deal than you will find with any local stockbroker though. Not only can you start investing on Stash App with a fraction of the amount of capital, but the fees are reasonable.


I feel like people who are interested in investing will probably not be discouraged by these fees, as they really aren’t that bad. While there are alternatives without fees, there are features within Stash that set it apart and bring value to the fees they charge.


A few years ago this was a pretty decent deal vs many other options out there, but it doesn't compare with the value that other apps and brokerages are bringing today. You get three months free—which gives you time to make an informed decision whether to stick with Stash or switch, so that is a nice bonus!


Making An Account On Stash

Next, I was prompted to ‘start investing,’ which is where the account setup actually happens.


Getting Started With Stash

Making an account on Stash App is a bit more in-depth than you would expect from a typical app and there are legitimate reasons for this. They say on the basic information screen that all of your information needs to match your government-issued ID because you actually need to verify your identity to use Stash.


In reality, the makes complete sense. You are registering to buy and sell investments. So plan on using your full, real name. No nicknames or anything like that.


Next, fill in your information, link your bank account, and select what investments you want to make. The startup is really straight forward and easy.


The Stash Investment Portfolios

The investment portfolios they have automatically set up for you is a really nice feature for an amateur investor.


They break investment opportunities into portfolios, you select the category you want to invest in and they do the heavy lifting of organizing that data and making it easier for you to choose.


Here are just two examples of portfolios that you can choose from on Stash.


The Techie

The Activist


But Can You Really Earn Money On Stash?

The real question here, obviously, is whether or not you can actually make money on Stash.


In theory, yes you can earn money on Stash. There are a variety of great tools that empower you to predict which trends will help you make money.


Investing is a scientific process, or at least it should be. You’ll find that sometimes, your numbers may dip (I'm looking at you 2009 and early 2020), but for the most part, the stock market is going up over time.


If you’re not interested in volatile investments, then you can just go the low-risk route and bypass that problem. Stash makes this really easy.


So while investing money isn't “making” money, the growth you see from investments is definitely making money. Heck, the government taxes it, which means money made in my eyes.


Of course, it is important to understand that Stash is not a get-rich-quick idea. It’s an investment app that gives you access to affordable investing options from the comfort and ease of your smartphone or tablet. This access affords most of us the opportunity to invest at an extremely low cost.


One caveat to note, you have to be setting money aside in order to make money with Stash.


Also, this app isn’t designed to make you a ton of money right away. It was designed to help you build your account slowly and surely—which is what investing is really all about.


What are the downsides to Stash?

While I see the Stash fees as very reasonable, especially for what you get—I will say that getting 0.25% taken out in the long term on much larger accounts could add up to a lot. Let’s say that you do really well and end up with $10,000 dollars at some point. The fees on this would add up to about $25 a year. There are alternatives that exist in the market which are free, but they have their own drawbacks.


One other downside is the simplicity of the app. While this app is great for a novice investor, if you learn and grow your capabilities the app just isn't set up to grow with you.


The other downside is that you need money to invest. Many of the other articles you will find on The Saving Dude are about creating income from efforts with no investment. The Stash app is not in line with those articles. You will need your own money available for investment if you are going to make money with Stash.


Beginner Investors VS Pro Investors Using Stash


Stash is a great app. It works well, the interface is intuitive, it makes investing easy (I cannot stress this enough—it really is a no-brainer). It brings the ability to invest directly to your fingers.


Getting set up and verifying your identity takes a bit of time and effort—but once you get it all set up, you’re really good to go and don’t have much to worry about.


If you have been investing for a while then I would suggest you find another tool out there. Or if you are a pro and just want something super easy, then this might be for you.


If you’re a regular person, like me, looking for an easy way to get set up to invest on your own quickly and with straightforward guidance then you should definitely check out the Stash App.


There really isn’t much more to say about it. You can get 3 months for free if you sign up for it—but you’ll still have to risk at least a little bit of money to get started with investments. You can do it for as little as $5 though—which is pretty amazing!


Best Investment Apps

The world of fintech is rapidly growing, and there are a ton of investment apps out there. Here are the most popular and trusted investment apps I could find as of 2020.


Mediavine

Acorns

Ally Invest

WealthFront

Charles Schwab

Robinhood - my personal fave

SoFi

Robinhood

E-Trade

TD Ameritrade

Merrill Edge

Fidelity

Betterment

M1 Finance

E*TRADE

Fundrise

Public

Clink

Wealthsimple


What each of these apps does is varies. Some are Robo-advisors like WealthFront and will help you invest automatically (very similar to Stash), even doing something called “tax-loss harvesting”, which can help you keep more of your gains long term. Others are simple apps released by traditional finance companies like Fidelity. There are also millennial and gen-z focused fintech apps like Robinhood, which have lots of new features.


Final Thoughts on Stash


The Stash app can be a really great tool for investing money. It provides a ton of guidance to help you make sense of the investments you want to make without the assistance of a financial advisor.


Click here to sign up for the Stash app and get your investment portfolio started!



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