Acorns and Stash are micro-investment apps that make investing easy for everyone.
It is 2019, and the power of technology has made investing easy, intuitive, and flexible.
These apps create personalized investment portfolios by regularly saving and investing small amounts of money.
These amounts are small enough to go undetected by the average user but can add up in a major way over time.
The only problem is deciding which app to choose.
There is Acorns, Stash, and many more apps being created every single day.
With this in mind, paralysis by analysis is a very real thing for investors.
But if this is your excuse for not investing…
…you no longer have that excuse!
Because we are here today to tell you which investment app to choose. Sound good?
Acorns vs. Stash: Overview
If you are looking for financial opportunity…
…look no further!
Because Stash Invest provides financial opportunity to all.
The company offers an investment app (and website) where you can invest as little as $5 to start.
Stash offers investment recommendations but leaves the investing part entirely up to you.
Your investment account portfolio can be designed based on investment themes, which are created with various exchange-traded funds (ETFs).
These ETFs are set in asset allocations that agree with your chosen theme.
The themes include options like Clean and Green, Data Defenders, Pacific Powerhouses, and many more.
To get started, follow these steps:
- Download the app (takes less than a minute)
- Link your bank account
- Start Stash-ing!
Acorns seeks to look after the financial best interest of the up-and-coming.
This app provides a unique opportunity to invest your “spare change” in an investment account.
That’s right, simply connect your mobile phone to your financial accounts, and Acorns will invest your spare change.
You can link as many bank accounts, debit cards, and credits as you need.
The process is relatively straightforward, but let’s check out an example:
Let’s say you purchase a coffee for $2.50.
Your total purchase will round up to $3.
From there, the additional $0.50 will go straight to your investment accounts.
Therefore, you can invest money with little effort and without even noticing.
To get started, follow these steps:
- Download the app (again, takes less than a minute)
- Link your bank account
- Start spending!
Minimum Deposit, Commissions, and Fees
The company requires a minimum deposit of $5.
The first month of your Stash account is free. If you are under 25, your account is totally free.
After the first month (or your 25th birthday), there are two fee structures for Stash Invest and Custodial accounts:
- $1 per month for accounts under $5,000
- 25% flat fee for accounts over $5,000
Additionally, Stash Retire follows similar pricing but costs $2 per month for accounts under $5,000.
Acorns does not require a minimum deposit, but you need $5 to start investing.
The fees for Acorns Core, Acorns Later, and Acorns Spend breakout in the following way:
- $3 per month for Personal
- $5 per month for Family
Acorns uses your financial information and investment goals to recommend the best portfolio for you.
These goals can be long-term, short-term, major purchases, family-related, or general.
With this information, your portfolio is recommended based on risk tolerance:
- Moderate Conservative
- Moderately Aggressive
Acorns offers 7 ETF classes, including real estate, government bonds, large companies, small companies, emerging markets, international large companies, and corporate bonds.
Here are the 7 ETFs available through Acorns:
- Large Company Stocks — Vanguard S&P 500 ETF (VOO)
- Small Company Stocks — Vanguard Small-Cap ETF (VB)
- Developed Markets – Vanguard FTSE Developed Markets ETF (VEA)
- Emerging Markets — Vanguard FTSE Emerging Markets ETF (VWO)
- Real Estate — Vanguard REIT ETF (VNQ)
- Corporate Bonds — iShares iBoxx$ Investment Grade Corporate Bond ETF (LQD)
- Government Bonds — iShares 1-3 Year Treasury Bond ETF (SHY)
Similar to Acorns, you begin the process by filling out a risk tolerance questionnaire.
Risk tolerance is based on age, investment goals, and time horizon.
Investment options depend on the above factors, and your investment recommendations will be consistent with those factors.
The investment recommendations range from conservative to moderate, to aggressive.
It is important to understand the methodology because Stash will give you a list of investment options to choose.
Stash offers over 100 investment assets, including more than 70 individual stocks and over 30 ETFs.
- The Acorns app will round-up and invest your spare change on everyday debit card purchases.
- Acorns Later. You can use this feature to save for retirement, and Acorns will even pick the best IRA for you.
- Found Money. This features automatically invests money in your account when you shop with one of the Found Money partners. For example, if you make a purchase at Apple, Acorns will invest 5% of your total purchase price.
- Acorns Spend. Acorns offers a checking account with a debit card that saves, invests, and earns money for you.
- Stash Retire. This feature offers retirement accounts and helps you choose the best account for your situation. Oh, and they will help you maximize your tax savings now and later.
- Custodial Account. Stash allows any person over the age of 18 to open a custodial account for a minor.
- Stash banking. You can keep more money, make smarter spending choices, and get up to 10% cash back at over 10,000 merchants across the United States.
You can download both apps on iOS and Android smartphones.
If you have connectivity, you have access to your investments.
Both apps began as mobile-only offerings, but have gone on to include web-based platforms.
If for some reason, you do not have a phone, you can hop on your desktop to access your investments.
Neither Stash or Acorns offer human advisors.
Both apps are focused on low-cost investing, so do not expect much handholding.
Fortunately, these apps are designed to be user-friendly, and this helps keep the costs down.
You may realize that these two apps are strikingly similar in many ways.
And you are correct.
For example, both apps give you the freedom to invest as little as you want.
Investing small amounts frequently will enable you to accumulate an investment portfolio with minimal effort.
You will not even realize that you are saving money!
Additionally, both platforms have mobile apps that enable you to invest on the go.
Lastly, both companies offer investment management and have the same fee structures.
Acorns Unique Features
- Web Access – You can visit Acorns on the mobile app and desktop version.
- Found Money – You can save and invest money on everyday purchases you make.
Stash Unique Features
- Auto-Stash – You can set it and forget it by automatically investing each week or month.
- Stash Learn – You can learn the ropes of investing directly through the Stash platform.
Which is better?
And the winner is…
Yes, Acorns wins by a slight margin. Here is why…
Acorns and Stash both offer low-cost investment accounts.
Acorns is overall cheaper, but Stash offers a broader range of ETFs and includes individual stocks.
But the money you save in fees can be invested for the future, which can be a significant factor in total returns over time.
Acorns is simple and offers more useful investment tools, such as Roundups.
Roundups make investing much easier because you do not even realize the money is gone.
Now, we do believe Stash Invest offers value to investors, as well.
The company makes investing intuitive by creating portfolios for specific purposes.
We love this feature because you can understand what you are supporting without analyzing the underlying stocks.
So, if you HAD to choose one app, sign-up for Acorns.
But why would this ever be the case? You can undoubtedly download and try both Acorns AND Stash!
S0, go ahead and sign-up for Stash here.
Which app do you like better between Acorns vs Stash, and why?
Let us know with a comment below!