Is Stash legitimate?

I’ve got­ten a few ver­sions of the ques­tion “Is Stash legit­i­mate?” via email from read­ers. I thought I’d share my answer more gen­er­al­ly.

Since I wrote the ini­tial post below, Stockpile has pub­lished a rel­e­vant post: What Happens to my invest­ments if some­thing hap­pens to Stockpile? 

Stash investment options

What you buy from Stash are either ETFs (Exchange Traded Funds) or Stocks. When you buy them, Apex Clearing acts as the bro­ker­age.

This is a pret­ty typ­i­cal arrange­ment, though often behind the scenes. Smaller com­pa­nies that want to offer ser­vices can’t afford (for rea­sons that often don’t involve only mon­ey) to build their own. They look to a ser­vice provider that either con­nects “on the back end” or for which they can white label (take and brand as their own).

Apex Clearing is an estab­lished com­pa­ny and “back end” for a num­ber of firms that offer bro­ker­age ser­vices like trad­ing and clear­ing. Think of them as a bro­ker­age plat­form for oth­er bro­ker­ages (or inno­v­a­tive invest­ing apps like Stash Invest).

In short, were any­thing to hap­pen to Stash you’d still own your invest­ments. The invest­ments you hold are not in any way depen­dent upon Stash Invest’s sur­vival as a going con­cern.

Stash Invest as a going concern

That said, it’s nice to know you’re invest­ing with a com­pa­ny that will sur­vive.

I’ve spo­ken recent­ly to the Stash Invest CEO myself. We had a brief, but ener­getic con­ver­sa­tion. We both believe in the impor­tance of get­ting peo­ple to save more, to build long-term wealth. He’s com­mit­ted to Stash and brings a lot of rel­e­vant expe­ri­ence to cre­at­ing a suc­cess.

The idea that most American fam­i­lies couldn’t sur­vive even a minor finan­cial dis­rup­tion cre­ates an urgency for what we’re each doing (Stash Invest with their app, and me with my book & finan­cial edu­ca­tion activ­i­ties).

Stash is well fund­ed, gen­er­ates rev­enues from their cus­tomers, and, if my web ana­lyt­ics are any mea­sure, grow­ing in pop­u­lar­i­ty.

Stash’s approach

I have about $250 invest­ed with Stash. Mostly because as a “feel­er” I need to use some­thing in order to absorb what it’s about. I have a sim­i­lar amount invest­ed in the Robinhood App for a sim­i­lar rea­son.

The most unique thing about Stash is the way it com­mu­ni­cates the invest­ment oppor­tu­ni­ties.

I often joke that tra­di­tion­al finan­cial com­pa­nies are like Americans trav­el­ing over­seas. When Americans con­front non-English speak­ers, they sim­ply talk slow­er and loud­er as if slow­er-and-loud­er mag­i­cal­ly makes English (or invest­ing) under­stand­able.

Stash com­mu­ni­cates the val­ue of an invest­ment dif­fer­ent­ly, there­by help­ing peo­ple relate more to the thing they’re invest­ing in. Since Stashers are focused on long-term invest­ing (wealth build­ing), not trad­ing, it’s ok to build a rela­tion­ship with an invest­ment. That rela­tion­ship will ensure that peo­ple stick to their finan­cial goals over a longer peri­od of time.

For exam­ple, I’ve invest­ed in “Delicious Dividends” and “Roll with Buffett”. If you were to invest in Delicious Dividends at a reg­u­lar bro­ker­age you’d have to buy a Schwab fund called “US Dividend Equity ETF”.

Which is eas­i­er to relate to ‘deli­cious div­i­dends’ or ‘US Dividend Equity ETF’? 

This is exact­ly why Stash is going to be suc­cess­ful. There’s a huge gap in cur­rent finan­cial offer­ings and people’s com­fort invest­ing. Today’s finan­cial prod­uct sell­ers expect cus­tomers to bridge that gap, where­as Stash bridges the gap for cus­tomers by mak­ing the invest­ments them­selves more acces­si­ble with sim­pler, more relat­able lan­guage.

This is great for Stashers, because they’re not buy­ing some pro­pri­etary (and risky) invest­ment prod­uct. Stashers are buy­ing the same prod­ucts that any­one else buys, they’re just expe­ri­enc­ing those prod­ucts through dif­fer­ent lan­guage.

Getting started with Stash

Stash will give you $5 to get start­ed so you can explore the app your­self. I rec­om­mend set­ting auto-stash too — auto-stash allows you to auto­mat­i­cal­ly set aside a lit­tle mon­ey on a reg­u­lar sched­ule.

I have auto-stash set to invest $20 a month in Delicious Dividends. In keep­ing with my Elephant’s Paycheck met­rics, invest­ing $20 a month in Delicious Dividends increas­es the pay­check I receive from my port­fo­lio.

Not only am I build­ing wealth for my family’s future by putting away a lit­tle bit each month, I get a raise each and every month I stick with my plan.

What are you wait­ing for? Let’s get start­ed.

If you pre­fer to buy indi­vid­ual stocks (like Tesla, Apple, Snap and more), here’s $5 to get start­ed with Stockpile. You can start with just $10. Read my Stockpile review first if you like.

If you’re still on the fence, sign up for my free course to learn more about div­i­dend invest­ing, spe­cif­ic steps to get start­ed and own your first shares, and a free tem­plate with instruc­tions to track your invest­ments. Just enter your email below:

Money Making Money

I wrote a free email course specif­i­cal­ly for peo­ple who want to get start­ed invest­ing. In it, I will teach you how to get start­ed with as lit­tle as $10 using Stockpile, and then walk you through my unique met­rics designed for you to have fun and stay moti­vat­ed to build a healthy invest­ing habit. 

Course atten­dees can down­load a spread­sheet tem­plate that I’ve cre­at­ed to high­light these met­rics. I even share a tuto­r­i­al that you can use to set­up your own track­er.

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Disclosure: The links in this post are affil­i­ate links. That means if you decide to invest with Stash I get paid. My integri­ty is worth more than any affil­i­ate pay­ment — I rec­om­mend Stash because it’s com­mend­able not because it’s com­mis­sion­able.

Please note: I reserve the right to delete comments that are offensive or off-topic.

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12 thoughts on “Is Stash legitimate?

    • Hi Roi,

      Robinhood is amaz­ing, but has a dif­fer­ent tar­get mar­ket. If we think about three sim­ple types… there are traders, investors, and peo­ple who don’t yet invest but want to. Robinhood is best for traders. Stash best for peo­ple who don’t yet invest, but want to (because they focus on edu­ca­tion, plain lan­guage, and oth­er tools like auto-stash that help the begin­ner devel­op a good habit).

      For that mid­dle type, investors, it depends. Robinhood is some­thing I would use over Stash because I like buy­ing indi­vid­ual stocks. However, I love love love how Stash allows me to invest by dol­lar amount instead of a num­ber of shares… it allows me, for exam­ple, to buy $20 of a fund/ETF instead of 2 shares of some­thing. I also like how Stash allows me to set­up Auto-Stash, invest­ing auto­mat­i­cal­ly, because it helps devel­op good habits. Again, not every investor needs that (I don’t)… but it’s real­ly valu­able if you don’t have the interest/discipline to invest reg­u­lar­ly.

      db

  1. Thanks for the review and info. I just heard about Stash today and was curi­ous about it so, did a Google search and boom here you was. I am going to wait a lit­tle before sign­ing up as I have some stuff going on right now that requires a bit more of my time and atten­tion but, will being get­ting there very soon. Thanks again for your arti­cle.

    • Hi — You would have to trans­fer the mon­ey out of Stash and then into your Roth IRA account. I don’t believe that Stash has accounts that are ROTH qual­i­fied. If you trans­fer mon­ey out of Stash there won’t be a fee. If you try to trans­fer funds/ETFs there would be. Of course, as soon as you sell some­thing, if there’s a prof­it there might be tax owed, so you’d have to con­sult a tax advi­sor on the impli­ca­tions.

      Good luck!

      db

  2. This app is a rip off and is no bet­ter than going through a bro­ker­age firm. The fees are not explained and treats the user is if they are an expe­ri­enced investor when the tar­get audi­ence of the app is the new investors that need tips and warn­ings as they stum­ble through the invest­ing process. This app doesn’t pro­vide that, instead it takes fees from the unin­formed investor with no remorse.

    -ex series 63 & 7 hold­er that’s glad I only gave away 25 dol­lars to these devel­op­ers

    • Hi Ivy,

      I’m curi­ous if you have some spe­cif­ic exam­ples…

      I found the fees to be quite clear ($1/month up to a cer­tain lim­it, a per­cent­age of total invest­ed after­wards — I don’t have the details in front of me). It’s one month free.

      Also, to give away $25 “to these devel­op­ers” you’d have to be using them for over two years. Otherwise, you can just sell what­ev­er you’ve bought and trans­fer the mon­ey out. So, not sure what you mean.

      You can go through a bro­ker­age to buy many of the same things, but I feel the oppo­site of you — Stash explains things more clear­ly, with “human names” for the ETFs. This helps begin­ner investors — they make very clear what the under­ly­ing secu­ri­ty is. For exam­ple, “roll with Buffett” is clear that you’re some­how invest­ing like Warren Buffett. And, while you could buy Berkshire stock direct­ly you’d have to do so in round lots. And, you could buy the ETF/Fund to avoid round lots (it tells you what it is in the Overview) you’d still be pay­ing a trans­ac­tion­al com­mis­sion of more than one dol­lar. You would pay more to pur­chase these through a bro­ker­age, and prob­a­bly wouldn’t have easy fea­tures like reg­u­lar month­ly invest­ments, to help build wealth over time.

      David

  3. I will like to start but it only gives me one option on my bank account and like to use sav­ings instead of check­ing thank u

  4. Hi! First time read­er here. Thanks for the syn­op­sis and for help­ing the read­er dis­tin­guish between buy­ing shares whole and invest­ing set dol­lar amts for ETFs. Gets me excit­ed to start!