Stash Review: Getting Started With Investing on Autopilot (2019)
Did you know that stocks rose 1,100 fold in the past 70 years? It’s no secret that you could be making money by investing, but many are scared to do it. They don’t know how to invest, what to put their money into, or where to begin.
Investments give you wealth and add to your net worth. You slowly add to your portfolio, and one day it surmounts to an impressive level. You can use it to pay for your children's education, vacations, or treating yourself to something luxurious.
That’s why we’ve written this Stash review -- to show you how to invest with as little effort as possible.
How apps like Stash help you save
Investing can be hard. There are so many steps you have to take, things to learn, and it’s easy to lose money. Many times you don’t have a lot to invest, either. With stocks from companies like Apple reaching hundreds of dollars, it seems so out of reach.
Investing apps like Stash make investing easy and friendly. You don’t have to invest a ton of money. In fact, you can start investing with $5. They help you every step of the way and control a lot of the process, so you can kick back and relax.
What is Stash?
Stash is a financial app that helps users like you become financially intelligent, invest their money, and become wealth -- all from your phone.
Their auto-stasher feature saves $1,432 per year on average for their customers. 2 million people trust Stash, and they’ve found that users become 25% more financially literate than the average US population.
With 84% of Stash users being first-time investors, you’re not alone in your journey, either.
The company began back in 2015, and two years later they hit their one million user mark after also launching their Stash Retire product.
Stash Custodial was released in 2018, and this was also the year they doubled their user base to two million. Their next goal is to create online banking, so stay tuned for that.
CEO Brandon Krieg has spent over 20 years in the financial tech industry, working on companies like TradeEdge. He was also the Head of Electronic Execution at Macquarie Securities Group and has a goal of simplifying the financial world for people like you.
Co-founder Ed Robinson met Brandon Krieg while also working at Macquarie Securities Group, and comes from an extensive finance background.
Stash has received many awards, as well. These include:
- 2017 W3 Awards for Best User Experience
- 2017 & 2018 Webby Awards in Financial Services/Banking
- 2018 Bezinga Awards for Investing in Millennials
With their background out of the way, let’s look into how their app works exactly.
How does Stash work?
Stash offers many different features to improve your financial situation. The first of which is their investing platform, which can be started with as little as $5.
They will help you create a portfolio that’s suitable for your goals and financial situation. Stash also takes the liberty to produce content around finances and investing to improve your knowledge as you use their app. It’s a nice touch!
If you deposited $100 per week with a 5% annual growth rate, that could turn into $345,000!
A small amount like that, along with the help of Stash, can turn into some serious money one day. You could retire on that, and do incredible things with it.
Next, Stash also offers their retirement service. It helps individuals invest for their retirement, while also lowering their tax bill. Don’t you want that?
We’d also like to mention that 46% of workers end up retiring before they planned. That’s why opening a retirement account sooner might be one of the smartest choices you make when you’re young.
You can choose between Roth and traditional accounts, and they will help you determine which one is better based on your goals.
As you can see, both have a $2 monthly fee. This isn’t so bad for the money that you could be saving up. The minimum is also $5 -- completely reasonable.
If you decide to withdraw from either account before the specified age, you will be subject to extra taxes. This acts as an incentive not to take money out and spend out. Both have different tax benefits but have the same contribution rules.
Lastly, there is also the Custodial feature, which is the option to open an investment account for anyone under 18. This is a great option for parents or guardians that wish to jumpstart a child’s future.
You can contribute at any rate and amount you’re comfortable with, and it’s the perfect way to teach children how to be financially responsible, save, and invest for the future.
Signing up for Stash
You can sign up for Stash via their homepage. Just click on the "Sign Up" button in the top right.
Stash will then start guiding you through their process of creating an investment profile.
You'll then be prompted to provide some information about yourself, which Stash will use to create an investment profile custom suited for you.
To help make signing up even easier, they have a mascot that guides you through the process called the "Stash Coach". Think of him like "Clippy" but less annoying.
After providing information about your current finances and goals, you'll be taken to a selection of plans from you to choose from. I'd recommend going with the Starter account initially and upgrading later if you like the service.
Who is Stash for?
There are three demographics that are a good fit for Stash. The first of which is those that wish to invest, but want to start slow and with a small amount of money.
Investing thousands of dollars or more when you are beginning can be really intimidating. That’s the why $5 deposit on any account is one of the best parts of Stash.
Secondly, individuals that wish to plan and save for retirement will love Stash. Their IRA accounts ensure that you will have money when you retire, and you also gain tax bonuses.
Parents will enjoy Stash because of the custodial service. You can teach your children financial skills, while also creating a small investment portfolio for them. By the time they are an adult, this could be enough to cover tuition or other important life bills.
Is Stash legit?
If you’re going to give a company your hard earned money, they better be legitimate, right? That’s why we dug deep into Stash’s background to find out more about them. Here’s what we discovered.
As you can see, Stash scored an “A-” rating. This is very impressive, as the BBB has tight criteria for how they rank companies. However, they did not receive accreditation.
Furthermore, Stash only has 2 and a half stars out of five for their customer service. We have seen money apps with one out of five stars, so it isn’t the worst by any means.
Let’s look at what some customers had to say.
This first user explains that they never had time to invest and get deep into the stock market because of school and work. Sound familiar?
However, Stash helped them get into investing without spending a ton of money or time.
Not every review was this positive, though.
Another user had a poor experience with customer service, which took weeks to get resolved. They did not receive a response from the Stash email form and then had to wait longer than told to while on the phone. The end result was this user closing their account and not returning to the app.
Seeing as 33% of Americans will stop buying from a company after one bad customer service incident, this is something Stash needs to work on.
Overall though, they have a good history and credible founders. Customer interactions appear to be their weak point, not the app itself. Now, here are what we believe to be some of the main advantages and disadvantages of Stash.
Advantages of Stash
During our Stash review, there were certain features that stood out to us the most, which were:
- Low minimum deposit: Unlike many investment brokers that require thousands to open an account, Stash only requires $5. This lowers the barrier to entry, and lets you dip your feet into the water.
- Variety of features: Stash isn’t just for investing. It will help you save money, retire, and help your children create a better future.
- Hands off: If you’re busy with work, school, and life in general, you’ll appreciate that Stash takes a lot of the energy out of finances. They help you make the best investments, choose the most appropriate account, and do most of the work on your behalf.
Disadvantages of Stash
Stash isn’t perfect. These are some disadvantages we found while using their service:
- Monthly fee: Unfortunately all of the above benefits do come at a cost. You will be paying $1 per month to keep your account active. While this doesn’t seem like much, if your investments don’t make more than that with a small portfolio, you’re losing money.
- High fees for bigger accounts: Do you plan on growing a large portfolio through Stash? If so, you will be paying more fees. Accounts that have more than $50,000 are subjected to a $0.25% annual fee.
- Poor customer service: The most common complaint against Stash on the Better Business Bureau and other review sites is that the app has poor customer service. Don’t be surprised if there are long wait times for responses.
Is Stash worth your time?
Stash is a well-rounded money app that will help you save, invest, and retire. The low minimum deposit makes it easy to start growing a portfolio, and they do most of the work on your behalf.
Those that are interested in saving for retirement or teaching their children financial skills will also benefit from using Stash. While customer service appears to be their weak point, our Stash review found this app is really good in all other aspects.
We can confidently recommend that you try Stash and start reaping the financial rewards.
Have you used Stash before? Would you suggest others try it?