Advantages and disadvantages of Stash investing. What are the good and bad features of the brokerage company? Stash review, cons, and pros.


Stash Rating:  Stash Rating

Overview of Stash

At Stash, investing is just the tip of the iceberg. This company offers trading and so much more, which means it’s well worth checking out.


Investment Products and Services

Stash Investing Rating

For investors, Stash offers both robo and self-directed accounts. The former setup trades ETFs with low expense ratios. The latter program delivers a larger assortment of ETFs plus cryptocurrencies and stocks. Because this second system is entirely self-managed, it’s possible to select your own investments. The software application in the robo program, called Smart Advisor by Stash, takes on this responsibility. There are some crypto ETFs that the robot can invest in.

While self-directed securities accounts can pick and choose what to invest in, they can’t decide when to trade. Stash makes this decision. It uses four trading windows during the day—two in the morning and two in the afternoon. Cryptos, however, are available for trading nearly 24/7.

There are a few tax structures at Stash that investment customers can use. These include individual taxable, IRA, and custodial. There are no joint accounts, trusts, 529 plans, or other esoteric accounts at this time.

To help its customers understand what they’re investing in, Stash disseminates both personalized and impersonal investment advice and education. And to round out a complete financial picture, a Stash account comes with life insurance through Avibra. Other insurance products are available at additional cost through Stash’s insurance partners.


Stash Review


Securities (but not insurance or cryptocurrencies) in Stash accounts are protected by SIPC up to $500,000. Apex Clearing, which is Stash’s clearing firm, has an auxiliary policy through London Underwriters.

To open any type of account at Stash, lawful residency in the United States is required. Moreover, some visa types held by lawful foreigners are not accepted (a Green Card is accepted). The only tax ID number Stash will accept is a Social Security Number.


Banking Tools

Stash Invest Rating

The investing services described above are only the beginning of the financial picture at Stash. The brokerage house has partnered with some FDIC-insured banks to deliver some really useful cash-management accounts and features. Examples of perks include:

- Mastercard debit card
- Stock-back program that earns fractional shares using the debit card
- Instant transfers between deposit and investment accounts
- Early payday
- Goal-setting tools on the website and mobile app
- Round-up program to earn even more shares of securities
- 1% cash back on debit-card transactions
- Ability to lock and unlock the debit card on the app

Funds deposited into a Stash bank account are FDIC insured up to $250,000. (Stash also has an FDIC-sweep program for its investment accounts that moves idle cash into program banks that deliver FDIC insurance.)


Stash Pricing

Stash Rating

Investing and banking are only part of the equation here. In return for its many services, Stash charges a monthly fee of either $3 or $9. There is no method to avoid this fee, which makes it particularly disappointing, especially for small accounts.


Stash invest pricing plans


The $3 monthly plan is called Stash Growth. It comes with robo, self-directed, and retirement accounts. It does not offer custodial accounts, which are only available on the $9 monthly plan, which is named Stash+. The Stash+ subscription comes with more life insurance ($10,000 versus $1,000), additional investment education, and 1% cash back with the debit card. Stash Growth customers don’t get the 1% cash back.

Stash does not have any account minimums. We have been able to maintain an investing account with a $0 balance without incurring the monthly fee. To start investing, an external bank account must be linked, and this account will pay the monthly fee.

For everyday cash services, Stash has partnered with Allpoint to create an ATM network of thousands of machines. Using an ATM outside of this network will come with fees—from Stash and from the ATM operator. Stash charges $2.50 for a withdrawal and $0.50 for a balance inquiry. It also has a 3% forex fee.


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Margin Trading

Stash Invest Rating

Stash does not offer margin accounts. All trades are placed on a cash basis.


Customer Support

Stash Investing Rating

Stash offers a lengthy list of self-help tools on its website and mobile app. Examples include dividend settings, a plan selector, and the ability to update account details, like phone number and email address.

The financial firm also has a robo-chat tool on its website and mobile app. The widget does not have the ability to switch to human mode, which means when it inevitably fails, it provides two alternatives: email and phone support. There are no branch locations.

Stash’s email address is support@stash.com. Its phone number is 800-205-5164. Associates are at work 7 days a week. There are no late-night hours, though.

Common questions that a lot of customers will have are covered in Stash’s FAQ section located at ask.stash.com.


Website

Stash Investing Rating

The Stash method of investing is more of a buy-and-hold strategy. As such, it doesn’t emphasize active trading or advanced software. Its website is very simple, although this does mean it is easy to use.


Stash Pros And Cons


An Investing tab at the top is where the trading tools will be found. On this page, an Explore Investments tab sits at the top, and this is where the collections of stocks and ETFs are. These collections do not constitute an actual security screener. Instead, Stash groups securities into certain themes, including:

- Global Exposure
- Technology Innovation
- Commodities
- Retail
- Energy

An asset’s profile can be pulled up by clicking on an entry in one of these categories. Stash does not deliver a great amount of information on these profiles, and in fact, there is no real-time data. Stash doesn’t want its customers trying to engage in short-term trading, so information is intentionally delayed.

Charts are likewise incapable of delivering an advanced experience. There are no tools of any kind, although there is a maximum timeframe of 10 years. There are news articles for many stocks. Potential sources include CNBC, Business Insider, and 24/7 Wall Street.

The order ticket on the website is very simple. There are no advanced trade types of any kind. And remember, Stash is the one who actually submits orders to the exchanges. So the trade ticket is more of a trade request that is sent to Stash, who will later send the order to the exchanges.


Mobile App

Stash App Rating

Much of the layout from the website is replicated on a mobile app that functions on both Android and Apple phones. The emphasis on simplicity remains, which means the app can’t be used for any type of advanced trading or security analysis.


Stash Invest Pros And Cons


Asset profiles on the app have mostly the same data points that appear on the website, although news articles are missing. Trade details that show up include:

- Dividend yield
- Day’s price change
- Market cap
- P/E ratio

The Stash app recommends a diversified portfolio with specific suggestions using ETFs to balance out an account. The tool that performs this analysis will be found at the bottom of every security profile.


Additional Services

Stash Brokerage Rating

IRA Lineup: Traditional and Roth accounts are available at Stash on the Growth plan.

Extended-hours Trading: As mentioned earlier, Stash does not offer the full day session for securities traders, so just forget about pre-market and after-hours trading. Cryptocurrencies on the platform do trade 24/7/365.

Initial Public Offerings: Missing in action.

Fully-paid Securities Lending Program: Although margin isn’t available at Stash, the brokerage house does have a securities-lending program. Customers cannot earn income from this arrangement, however. Taxable brokerage accounts with more than $50 are automatically enrolled.

DRIP Service: Stash has a free Dividend Reinvestment Plan. It’s really easy to turn on and off with a toggle switch (look for it in the settings menu, which is located in the upper-right corner of the website).

Periodic Mutual Fund Investing: Not available.

Fractional Shares: At Stash, trades of cryptocurrencies and securities are placed in whole dollars.


Our Recommendations

Beginners: An automated account with Stash would be a decent way to start an investing journey.

Mutual Fund Trading: Although Stash doesn’t offer any mutual funds, Firstrade has more than 17,000 without any loads or transaction fees.

Long-Term Investors & Retirement Savers: IRAs really aren’t enough to build a roadmap to retirement. Charles Schwabhas many more resources, including financial planners, annuities, target-date mutual funds, branch locations, and retirement calculators on its website.

Stock and ETF Trading: Due to insufficient software, we can’t recommend Stash. Webull, by comparison, has a very good desktop platform.

Small Accounts: Because of Stash’s flat monthly fee, it’s not an ideal company for small investors. Robinhood, by comparison, has no monthly fee and no minimum balance requirement for its clients.


Stash Pros and Cons Judgment

Although Stash has tried to come up with a novel method of investing, it hasn’t done a spectacular job of it. The irony is that the company performs best in the banking arena.


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