Does investing sound complicated and intimidating?
Perhaps it does.
Perhaps you know this first-hand.
Whatever the case may be…
…we are here to change your outlook.
Here are a few tips to get you started:
Investing is not about “getting in” at the right time.
The best investors don’t even try to predict the market.
Because it’s not possible!
Well, not without a crystal ball, anyway.
Instead, you need to focus on what you can control.
This means buying and holding quality investments.
In general, the stock market trends upward over time.
So, don’t sweat the ups and downs of the market…
…simply enjoy the ride!
Life is all about consistency.
You don’t need thousands of dollars to start investing.
Simply commit to investing an amount you can afford – regularly.
These small investments add up to large investments over time.
So, when it comes to reaching your financial goals, consistency is key.
Investing doesn’t need to be risky.
But investing comes with inherent risk.
Diversification is one way you can reduce this risk.
You should strive for a diversified portfolio mix of stocks and funds.
Ever heard, “Don’t put all your eggs in one basket!”
That saying is especially true when it comes to investing.
So, what are your barriers to investing?
Barriers can differ from one investor to the next.
However, every new investor faces these two challenges:
- The barrier of entry is too high (e.g., expensive!).
- The idea of investing is, well, HARD!
For instance, you turn on CNBC, and see millionaires speaking in what seems like a foreign language.
And you say, “Nope, nope, and hell nope” – then you switch to something more interesting (Game of Thrones, anyone?).
Fortunately, technology has eliminated these two problems.
Today, numerous options are accessible and easily understood by all investors.
Unfortunately, with every solution, there is a new problem (can anyone relate?).
What is that problem?
There are TOO MANY options to choose from.
This is what we call “paralysis by analysis.”
Well, we are here to REMOVE your final EXCUSE for not investing.
That is right – we are bringing you two reliable investment options…
…and doing the analysis for you!
No need to thank us – we are happy to help.
The two brokers that we are here to discuss are Robinhood and Stash Invest.
Which is better? Which should you use?
You will have to read on and find out!
Robinhood vs. Stash: Overview
Robinhood is one of the top new brokers in the industry.
So, what is all the hype about?
Most trading apps charge trade fees that add up significantly over time.
But with Robinhood, users can trade stocks, options, cryptocurrency, and exchange-traded funds (ETFs) for FREE.
Robinhood is shaking up the industry with its fee-free trading (and we love it).
Currently, Robinhood boasts over 5 million users and counting.
To get started, follow these steps (in less than 5 minutes!):
- Download the app
- Enter your information
- Fund your account
- Start investing!
As Robinhood says…
…it’s time to “Do Money!”
Have you been searching for an investment app?
If so, you may want to know about Stash.
Stash is a registered investment advisor that makes investing easy for all.
What is so important about being registered?
It means that Stash must act in YOUR best interest when advising you on your investments.
When you sign up, you will answer questions to determine two things:
- Investment Goals
- Risk Tolerance
From there, the app makes suggestions from 60 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,” and “Pacific Powerhouses.”
Each recommendation is personalized based on your risk profile, historical performance, and expense ratio.
These recommendations are great, but you make the final decision.
Stash also allows you to invest in fractional shares of stock.
What does this mean?
You can invest in companies like Amazon ($1,700+), Apple ($230+), and Google ($1,200+) without buying an entire share.
That’s right – all you need is $5 to start investing.
To get started, follow these steps (in less than 5 minutes!):
- Download the app (takes less than a minute)
- Enter your information
- Link your bank account
- Start Stash-ing!
It is time to invest…
…the “Stash Way!”
Robinhood vs. Stash: Investment Options
Robinhood Investment Options
Robinhood supports stock, option, and cryptocurrency trading.
If you didn’t already know…
…you can trade stocks on Robinhood.
In fact, you can invest in over 5,000 stocks on Robinhood, including most U.S. equities and ETFs.
The company also trades over 250 global stocks not listed on American exchanges.
Even better, the Robinhood platform supports the following:
- Market orders
- Limit orders
- Stop-limit orders
- Stop orders
You can set these options to “good-for-the-day” or “good-till canceled” parameters.
With all these options, you are bound to find something worthwhile.
And keep in mind…
…all stock trades are 100% free on Robinhood.
You can trade options with Robinhood.
The Options Contracts are for U.S. exchange-listed stocks and ETFs.
With Robinhood, you can access no-fee contacts, including:
- No commissions
- No per-contract fees
- Zero exercise fees
- Zero fee assignments
In addition to the above, you can use filters and access advanced trading strategies.
You can trade in single order or monitor complex contracts all at once.
Trading options is free with Robinhood (which can really boost your margins).
If you are not into stocks and options…
…you can invest in cryptocurrency, including Bitcoin and Ethereum.
Other crypto options include:
- Bitcoin Cash
- Ethereum Classic
You can trade all cryptocurrencies 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.
Whether you can access this feature depends on your location.
Currently, about half of the United States can access cryptocurrency trading.
However, you can still access price and market data on 16 cryptocurrencies.
Are you the next Bitcoin millionaire?
You will never know unless you try.
And, as always, your cryptocurrency trades are free.
Stash Investment Options
Stash supports stock and ETF trading.
One cool feature of Stash is that it offers thematic investing options.
You can invest in fractional shares of stock and ETFs.
You can invest in fractional shares of companies you know.
These companies include names like Snapchat (SNAP), AMC Theaters (AMC), and Best Buy (BBY).
Each stock includes a brief summary, which makes investing very intuitive.
For example, the Shake Shack (SHAK) summary states (via stashinvest.com):
This popular restaurant chain operates “roadside” burger stands serving classic American food and drink.
All stock trades on Stash are commission-free (but monthly account charges apply).
Exchange-Traded Funds (ETFs)
You can invest in fractional shares of “themed funds.”
These funds bundle securities like stocks, bonds, and/or commodities.
Again, these investments are very intuitive and easy to understand.
For example, the Blue Chips fund provides:
Rely on the superstars that already made it big. Buy some of America’s most well-known companies.
These themed investments make investing more simple, relatable, and possibly even fun.
The ETF categories include the following:
- Consumer Discretionary
- Global Exposure
- Goods and Services
- Missions and Causes
- Strategies and Experts
- Technology and Innovation
The possibilities are endless!
Robinhood vs. Stash: Accounts
Robinhood offers one account option.
The company offers one account option, which is the individual taxable investment account.
Within this one “type” of account, there are three account options:
Instant is the default one that gets you started.
This account provides access to instant deposits and extended-hours trading.
Gold is the same as Robinhood Instant, but with more buying power and larger instant deposits.
Robinhood Cash account allows you to place commission-free trades during the standard and extended-hours trading sessions.
Note that Robinhood does not offer custodial accounts or retirement accounts (but we hope so in the future!).
Stash offers three account options:
Individual taxable investment account
The individual taxable account is the same between Robinhood and Stash.
But with Stash, this account type, there are three account options:
Try out Stash and learn the basics.
This account provides a personal investment account, debit account access, and the earn-stock back feature.
Build the foundation of a healthy financial life.
This account provides everything above, with access to the individual retirement accounts.
Maximize the power of every dollar.
This account provides everything above, with access to the custodial accounts and 2x earn-stock back.
Custodial taxable investment account
The custodial accounts are the same as the individual taxable accounts.
But these accounts are for the kids!
You can invest on behalf of a child in your life, and they can take over when they are old enough.
Hey, we said its never too early to start.
Tax-advantaged retirement account
These retirement accounts function like the taxable investment accounts.
However, these accounts come with valuable tax benefits.
Stash offers both Roth IRAs and Traditional IRAs.
Robinhood vs. Stash: Similar Features
Stock and ETF trading.
You can trade stocks and ETFs on both platforms.
Both Robinhood and Stash offer generous options in both categories.
You can purchase stocks via fractional shares on both platforms.
This feature allows users to invest in what they want, and in amounts they can afford.
Fractional shares are excellent for new investors looking to get their feet wet.
Low minimum balance requirements.
There is no minimum balance requirement on Robinhood and just $5 on Stash.
The difference between these requirements is non-existent, considering you need money to invest on either platform.
You can’t say you don’t have enough money to invest anymore!
Both Robinhood and Stash have plenty of opportunities to learn.
Conveniently, the educational materials are called Robinhood Learn and Stash Learn.
These resources are both very helpful, and you should definitely check them out.
Robinhood vs. Stash: Unique Features
Robinhood Unique Features
Robinhood trades are completely free.
Stash does not technically charge commission-fees, but the accounts cost money.
Robinhood does not charge you for your individual taxable account.
This benefit can be huge for investors low on funds.
Robinhood provides useful features, including watch lists, stock charts, and price alerts.
The experience is minimalistic (less-than other brokers), but these features come in handy.
Stash does not offer tools to analyze your investments.
Stash Unique Features
Intuitive investment options.
Stash does an excellent job cutting through the Wall Street jargon.
This feature enables users to understand where their money is going.
Robinhood is closer to a “traditional” broker without the simplicity of Stash.
Stash offers retirement accounts that give you valuable tax benefits.
These tax benefits help you save for retirement.
This feature is big-time because you need to be saving for retirement!
Robinhood does not offer this type of account.
Robinhood vs. Stash: Minimum Deposit, Commissions, and Fees
Robinhood requires no minimum deposit.
As we mentioned, there are no fees associated with the app.
There are minor trading fees imposed by the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) and the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA).
Here are how these fees breakdown:
- SEC: $13.00 per $1,000,000 of principal.
- FINRA Trading Activity Fee (TAF): $.000119 per share.
Additionally, Robinhood offers a premium account:
- Robinhood Gold: $5 per month
But note that you are not obligated to purchase the premium account.
Stash requires a minimum deposit of $5.
The first month of your Stash account is free.
After the first month, there are three account options with different fees:
- Beginner: $1 per month
- Growth: $3 per month
- Stash+: $9 per month
It is unclear whether the FINRA and SEC fees apply, or if they are included in the monthly fee.
Robinhood vs. Stash: Accessibility
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.
Robinhood vs. Stash: Which is better?
And the winner is…
Robinhood gets the nod here primarily because of the money-saving opportunity.
The account fees that Stash imposes can be significant for new investors.
If you are a new investor with $100 to invest, even $1 per month is huge.
For example, if you earn an annual 7% return on your investment, you will LOSE $5 the first year.
The monthly charges sound small, but they will eat at your return on investment.
On the other hand, you can take advantage of fee-free trading with Robinhood.
At the end of the day, you must decide which option is better for you.
If you want access to retirement accounts, enjoy intuitiveness, or want to invest in bonds…
…Stash may be the best option for you.
The above reasons are just a few examples of why you may choose Stash over Robinhood.
However, both apps are worth checking out.
Have you tried either of these apps?
Which app do you like better, and why?
Let us know with a comment below!