Stash vs Acorns: Which is the Best Investment Platform for You in 2021?

As things stand today, most new investors would most likely use an online investment platform to begin their foray into the world of investment. However, just like for every Uber, there’s a Lyft, the competition in the online investment platform/mobile app field is also quite strong. All investors have a lot of options to choose from. Two of the most popular platforms of that kind are Stash and Acorns. Stash vs Acorns is a battle that is being waged in the mind of just about every potential investor looking to invest through an online investment app. If you are an investor who is thinking about choosing between Stash and Acorns, you’ve come to the right place. In this post, we will take a quick look at the differences and similarities between Stash and Acorns and guide you towards the decision that works the best for you. Let’s get started.

Stash vs Acorns 2021: Important Things To Know

What is Acorns?

Acorns began with only automated investing for $1 per month. It went on to expand through acquisitions to support retirement accounts and recently launched a bank account. Acorns Core is available for $1 per month. Acorns Core + Acorns Later (retirement account) costs $2, and the whole suite of Acorns Core, Acorns Later, and Acorns Spend (checking account with a debit card) is $3 per month. If you are an investor who wants to keep all of your finances inside an app, Acorns is one of the best available options for you. While it’s not free, it does continue to be a low-cost and easily attainable alternative for investors.

Acorns provides a lot of fun and interesting ways to contribute and add to your account. You have the option to create automated recurring investments, round-up change from debit or credit purchases, and acquire bonus cash invested whenever you use partner brands to shop.

What is Stash

Stash Invest is a simple and good investment app where you can get started with just a few dollars. Stash also provides support for taxable brokerage accounts, retirement accounts, and custodial accounts so that you can open one for any major financial goal.

Stash charges $1 per month for taxable accounts up to $5,000 and 0.25% for larger accounts. For retirement accounts, Stash charges $2 per month for accounts with less than $5,000 and 0.25% for accounts with $5,000 or more. You can choose between a traditional and a Roth IRA.

You can invest in exchange-traded funds (ETFs) or fractional shares of stocks, and Stash never charges any trading or brokerage commissions or fees.

Stash is one of the best platforms for people who are learning how to invest. It provides great suggestions around building your ideal portfolio (similar to a Robo advisor). At the same time, you also get the option to choose any kind of supported investment. Acorns also supports recurring contributions and one-time deposits.

Stash vs. Acorns: Services & Features

Both Acorns and Stash share a fantastic feature, automated investing. This helps investors overcome the hurdle of their own selves.

Each app has the ability to invest automatically based on investment preferences that you set (your goals, your time frame, your tolerance for risk, etc.). Both the apps come armed with a set of basic tools for starting investors. You don’t really need a lot of money to get started with either of these apps. They also both work for individual taxable accounts and Roth and traditional IRA accounts. Both Stash and Acorns come with nudges and automation to make saving and investing easier.

Stash

Stash sets itself apart with its SRI (socially responsible investing) portfolios. Users can focus their investments on different themes based on their values. Stash also comes with more than 100 investment options that are paired with a banking capability that holds the money of the investors when it’s not invested. 

The company primarily works through fractional shares, which allows for its low initial costs. This involves the app’s buying a full share and splitting it up into smaller shares. In case the ownership of a $100 share is split, you will be able to claim ownership of it for any price.

Acorns

Acorns allows users to sweep the change from everyday purchases to their investing accounts. A similar feature called Found Money rebates you up to 10%. However, a lot of rebates are significantly lower, on purchases at select merchants — including Airbnb, Blue Apron and Lyft. You can then have that cash in your account within two-four months.

Stash vs. Acorns: Online & Mobile Experience

Acorns and Stash offer both a mobile application and a desktop version. This allows you to monitor your account via your phone or your desktop at home. Both apps are available for iPhones and Android devices. They also allow you to check your balance, schedule deposits and withdrawals and view the performance of your investments. Users can also adjust the mix of their investments. Now that we have covered the similarities, let’s look at the differences.

Stash

Stash’s app comes with a lot of educational materials and investment information. It also has a nice banking option. Users can also buy fractional shares of stocks on the app. It also has a very strong budgeting platform on top of the buying and selling platform.

Acorns

Acorns’ mobile app invests your money by linking your mobile application to your bank account. There is no limit to the number of credit cards and bank accounts you can link. Acorns automatically rounds up or rounds the transaction to the next increment. After that, it’s deposited into your investment account. You can also set daily, weekly, or monthly schedules for all of your deposits.

Stash vs. Acorns: Fees

Stash

Stash comes with three tiers. The Stash Beginner program costs $1 a month. Stash Beginner comes with features such as banking with the Stock-Back card, investing, budgeting and personalized advice. The Stash Growth plan costs $3 per month and includes everything that Stash Beginner does, plus a Roth or traditional IRA capability. Stash+ is the third tier plan and investors need to pay $9 per month to avail its services. Stash+ has all of Stash Growth’s features while also providing custodial investment accounts for kids and an exclusive monthly report on market insights.

Acorns

Acorns also comes with three types of accounts. The Acorns Lite account costs $1 per month. For that fee, Acorns will open an investment account for your spare change that you’ll invest whenever your qualifying purchases can be rounded up to the nearest dollar. You also have the option to earn some bonus investments through more than 350 Found Money partners. 

The Acorns Personal account costs $3 per month. With that, you get an investment account, a retirement account, a debit card with access to more than 55,000 fee-free ATMs. You also get bonus investments (up to 10%).

The Acorns Family account costs $5 per month. In this program, you can get additional accounts for your children. You also get personal investment, retirement and checking accounts. This type of account also allows you to add multiple children at no extra cost and offers family financial advice, exclusive bonus investments, automatic recurring investments and added flexibility with the funds in your accounts. When you take the Acorns Family account, you also get the added benefit of potential tax savings as your children grow older.

Stash vs Acorns: Who should use it?

Stash

Stash is quite good for first-time investors, providing a lot of help and guidance. For beginner investors struggling to find a place to start, Stash provides information on how to select suitable investments, manage your portfolio and offers insight on good trading tactics.

Stash is also great for people looking for a more hands on investing experience. Unlike most robo advisors which tend to have a hands off experience, Stash allows users to make direct trading and investing decisions.

Stash is also great for people interested in Socially Responsible Investing (SRI) as it gives investing options that make it appealing to people who want to invest based on their values like environmental concerns.

Acorns

Acorns is one of the best services available in the microsavings category. It’s a great place to start for people who have a small amount of savings or are in need of any kind of nudge to invest without having an impact on their existing lifestyle. Acorns also provides a checking account, retirement accounts, and custodial accounts. This has improved its appeal by a lot over the years.

Stash vs Acorns: Conclusion

In the majority of ways, Acorns ends up triumphant in the Stash vs Acorns battle. While it shares its base features as Stash, it does come with better portfolio management. While both Stash and Acorns offer low cost funds, Acorns’ offerings are a little cheaper. However, if you are a Stash user, you do get to select your thematic interests from a wider pool of ETFs. You also get access to individual stocks. Overall, investors can expect to pay less with Acorns than Stash, and while that difference might not seem very stark on the surface, it really builds up over the long term. 

Acorns provides some incredible value for the price that it charges. Its features and pricing can give some of the larger robo-advisors a run for novice investors looking to get in the game. Acorns’ ace of spades is its simplistic approach which comes with basic but real investment advice and planning. Hence, it is definitely wonderful for investors who are just starting up. 

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