If you are looking at getting into investing, there are three investment apps that are fighting off being the best in the industry, particularly in micro-investing – it’s a battle between Stash vs Robinhood vs Acorns. With the advent of apps like these three, investing is now made easier and accessible in just a click.
Stash, Robinhood, and Acorns are just three of the many platforms you can use if you intend to invest your money. These three have so much to offer that in fact, some people do not just use it for investing along but also in the realization of their savings strategies.
While each of these tools has their respective pros and cons, one thing’s for sure, these platforms are a great learning experience for its users — teaching them not just about investing and saving money, but also getting into a better mindset when we talk about money and saving.
Before we continue talking about these and battle off Stash vs Robinhood vs Acorns, may we just share a very interesting fact about Americans and investing.
In a data shared by Statista, it revealed that in 2018, 55 percent of adults in the United States invested in the stock market, which is a slight increase compared to the last two years. However, it still is considered “below the levels before the Financial Crisis, having peaked at 65 percent in 2007”.
You see, investing is like part of the way of life of many American adults. It is not surprising, however, if young generations become more aggressive with regards to investing and saving money given the fact that the young people of today are more informed and are more financially literate.
Anyway, just like most of the things around, since it’s digital age already, even the manner of investing had to cope up. In the same article by Statista, it says that there is an increasing number of Americans who are using online investing services, which is actually the trend now as it made stock trading more accessible particularly to internet-savvy investors.
Stash, Robinhood, and Acorns are three frontrunners in the mobile-first investment landscape. It’s probably safe to say that these three apps are just three of the most popularly used platforms when it comes to online investing.
While all these three have a common goal – that is to make investing more accessible and easier, each of them has its own pros and cons, which we are surely going to look into as we go along.
Having said that, let’s start dissecting what these three have to offer, and hopefully, come up with the choice among these three investing tools.
STASH VS ROBINHOOD VS ACORNS: QUICK COMPARISON
Before we get into details of each app, let us take a look at this table below first for a quick comparison:
|Best For||Long-term investments, asset class oriented portfolios||Novice investors, frequent stock trading, traditional investing||Novice investors, frequent & hands-off contributions|
|Monthly Fees||Fees beginning $1 a month||$0 or $5||$0.02 – $1|
|Promotion||$5 to start investing||None||Free for college students|
For some of you, the table may be enough to judge which is the best deal among the three, but wait, there’s more! Hang in there as we look down deeper about what these three have to offer.
Before moving on, to know more about Stash, Robinhood, and Acorns, you may want to check the below video by Doctor Dividend. We thought this video is very insightful especially if you are seriously deciding which to use among these three investment apps. To watch the whole thing, just click the play button.
STASH VS ROBINHOOD VS ACORNS: BRIEF BACKGROUND
Later on, we are going to talk about the number and features, pros and cons of Stash, Robinhood, and Acorns. But first, let’s get to know each of these companies.
If you are looking for a simple investment platform that allows you to invest even with very little money, then Stash is perfect for you. Stash is an app that is primarily geared towards people who want to start investing but do not have much money to offer.
With Stash, taxable brokerage accounts, retirement accounts, and custodial accounts are supported. That means you can open one for any major financial goal you have.
For taxable accounts of up to $5,000, Stash charges $1 monthly, while for larger accounts, they charge 0.25% of the total amount.
Meanwhile, for retirement accounts, the app charges $2 per month for those whose accounts have less than $5,000. In the same way, they charge 0.25% for accounts with $5,000 or more. Stash lets you choose between a traditional and a Roth IRA.
Furthermore, Stash also allows you to invest in exchange-traded funds (ETFs) or fractional shares of stocks. What’s nice is that they do not charge any trading or brokerage fee or commissions — which is a big saving for any investors.
Stash offers suggestions around building your ideal portfolio (similar to a Robo advisor), at the same time, giving you the freedom to select any supported investment, which makes it ideal for people who are just learning how to invest.
Robinhood empowers people from any background to get into the stock market. That is the very main goal of this app. In fact, it is so serious about making people involved in the stock market that it offers zero-fee accounts with no trading fees. Such a great deal, right?
While other brokers charge for most buys and sell transactions, you can use Robinhood for free. More than that, it supports not just stocks, but also ETFs, options and even cryptocurrencies.
With such an offer, it makes more viable to make a smaller investment without having to about losing a large percentage or large amount off the top to fees.
Of all its offerings, what really made people adore Robinhood is their Crypto. This trading service offered by the app allows you to buy and sell multiple popular currencies such as Bitcoin, Litecoin, and Ethereum. Furthermore, Robinhood gives you access to all popular cryptocurrencies, even if you are not really active in buying or selling them.
Apart from the Crypto, another thing that made Robinhood standout is that it is just one of the very few micro-investing apps that have introduced fractional shares, which allows you to invest in as little as $1.
We just have to say that one of the things we like about Acorns is that it tries to keep up with the rising demand for micro-investing. Thus, they make sure to regularly update their features.
Anyway, just a little history about this app — Acorns started out with only automated investing for $1 per month. Eventually, they expanded through acquisition to support retirement accounts, and just recently, they launched a bank account.
Acorns Core is available for $1 monthly, while it is given for free if you are in college. Furthermore, you can get Acorns Core + Acorns Later (retirement account) at $2, and the whole suite of Acorns Core, Acorns Later and Acorns Spend (checking account with a debit card) at $3 a month.
Acorns are ideal for people who want to keep all their finances in just one app.
STASH VS ROBINHOOD VS ACORNS: SIMILARITIES
Now that we have already shared with you a quick overview of each app, it’s time to look into what Stash, Robinhood, and Acorns have in common. Take a look at this table below to have a glimpse of the similarities of these three.
|Minimum Investment||As stated in the table earlier, Stash, Robinhood, and Acorns do not require a minimum investment to start.|
|Investment Account Types||Stash, Robinhood, and Acorns offer a taxable account.|
|Investment Types||Stash, Robinhood, and Acorns allow you to invest in ETFs.|
|Mobile Apps||Stash, Robinhood, and Acorns highlight investing using an Android or Apple mobile device.|
Take note that Stash, Robinhood, and Acorns offer a lot of amazing features, and the above-mentioned are just the major similarities they have. As you can see, by just looking at it, it seems all three are equally the same.
But then again, this is just a fraction of the totality.
STASH VS ROBINHOOD VS ACORNS: DIFFERENCES
You already know what three apps have in common, this time around, let’s look into their differences, particularly in below major areas:
|Fees||Stash: Charges 1 per month for accounts under $5,000 and 0.25% per year for amounts above that. |
Robinhood: Completely free to use.
Acorns: Charges $1–$9 a month depending on your tier of service.
|Individual Stocks||Stash and Robinhood allow investing in individual stocks, while Acorns does not.|
|Socially Responsible Investing||Among the three, Stash is more focused when it comes to investing in designated SRI (socially responsible investing) portfolios.|
STASH VS ROBINHOOD VS ACORNS: NOTABLE FEATURES
Now that we already know the key similarities and differences of the Stash, Robinhood, and Acorns, it is time to look into what notable features each app has.
- It has the ability to focus on your investments into different themes according to your values.
- It offers options whether you want to avoid putting your dollars into specific industries, or if you want to focus on particular sectors.
- It offers over 100 investment options — made up of a limited list of both ETFs and well-known stocks.
- It is the best option for new investors who want to learn more about the industry, at the same time want guidance as they build their portfolio.
- It offers a banking solution, which makes it a viable option to hold all of your money if you want to.
- It is totally free for use.
- It allows you to buy a big range of stocks, as well as ETFs, and other investments without additional charges.
- It is ideal for people who are willing to do their learning in other places.
- It offers free cryptocurrency.
- It offers options trades.
- It offers one of a kind and fun options to fund your account.
- It takes care of your investments — on your behalf.
- It is ideal for people who do not want to go through the hassle of selecting individual stocks or ETFs like what other apps offer.
STASH VS ROBINHOOD VS ACORNS: FEES AND INVESTMENTS
First, Stash offers three levels of membership. Each of them has their respective price tag, rather, annual fee. Annual fees vary — there’s $1, $3, and there is also $9 per month. Again, that depends on your level of membership. Meanwhile, if you opt for a retirement account, you will need to at least get the $3 plan.
Second, for Robinhood, as we have earlier mentioned, everything is handed for free, which is also what we and most users like about this app. We honestly do not know how they make money from the app, but yeah, really, they do not charge a fee.
Lastly, Acorns do charge $1 a month. This is applicable for accounts with less than $1 million in them. As with those with over $1 million, they will be charged 0.25% of the total amount annually.
When it comes to the minimum investment required, all three — Stash, Robinhood, and Acorns — do not require a minimum deposit or investment.
STASH VS ROBINHOOD VS ACORNS: PROS AND CONS
For us to be able to fully decide which one among Stash vs Robinhood vs Acorns is the best, we got to look into both their advantages or disadvantages, which are as follows:
|STASH|| It requires a very low minimum deposit, which is ideal for those with little money but wanted to start investing. |
Offers Stash Debit Account, which particularly caters to fractional shares and ETFs.
Gives you a $5 bonus upon signing up. Offers multiple investment options plus individual stock recommendations.
Educates its users, thus, allows its investors to make informed decisions.
| There is a risk that it may prove to be invisible and costly for investors who are looking to make smaller investments because there is a $1 fee every month. |
At some points, trading execution takes a while.
|ROBINHOOD|| Does not require a minimum deposit or balance. |
Offers Crypto, which lets you trade as well as track cryptocurrencies.
Gives you a share of free stock if you sign up.
The app is very easy to use.
Trades and transfers are free of charge.
| Does not support mutual funds as well as bonds. |
Only offers individual, taxable accounts.
Does not offer advanced options for investors who want to venture further into trading.
Some of its functionalities are excusive to users only.
There is a risk that the free scheme may result into consequences in the long run.
|ACORNS|| It offers automatic rebalancing. |
Recurring investments allow anyone to invest at least $5 a day, a week or a month, which makes the minimum limit feasible.
It does not charge any commission fees. Offers a variety of functions on the app with specific purposes (e.g. Acorns Later allows you to save for retirement, while Acorns Spend saves invests, as well as earns for the investor.)
| Ideal for avid debit/credit card users only. |
Not ideal for investors with larger goals like retirement plans or purchasing of a house and lot.
There is a risk of losing money on fees.
STASH VS ROBINHOOD VS ACORNS: THE BEST APP
To be honest, Stash, Robinhood, and Acorns do have their respective highs and lows, which makes it hard to choose. All three embraced innovation, and have offered new ways to make investment opportunities more inclusive for people regardless of income bracket.
If we talk about or focus on the sustainability of the app as well as its processes, we have to give it to Stash. Stash has made an effort to introduce new features, as well as facets to keep up with innovations in the investment market.
Stash allows you to create a retirement plan. They allow managing an account on behalf of an underage family member (like if you are a mom, you can manage your child’s account). Stash also teaches you the basics of investment through the app, which is very ideal for those who are new in this industry.
Overall, we have to say that Stash is an all-encompassing software that is suitable to anyone’s minimal, at the same time, large-scale investment needs.
Now, when it comes to cost, we have to give it to Robinhood. As we kept mentioning all-throughout, Robinhood can be used free of charge. Well, who doesn’t love free stuff, in this case, free services, right? Stash and Acorns, on the other hand, do charge you although we got to say the fees are very minimal and acceptable.
Going back to Robinhood, while it is a winner when it comes to cost, the downside is that it does not offer to advisory services for your portfolio, which makes it, in our opinion, not that ideal for newbies in investing — unless you are okay with learning about it elsewhere.
Meanwhile, Acorns has its own pros and cons, too. The main downside for us is the charges.
So, what is the best of the three?
Our answer would be, it really depends on you, and your goals. Also, consider your fee tolerance. If you are someone on a budget for instance, definitely, Robinhood is perfect for you. However, if you are okay with fees and charges, then it would be a battle between Stash and Acorns. It really goes down to what your needs are and how much are you willing to spend on.
FINAL THOUGHTS ON STASH VS ROBINHOOD VS ACORNS
Having read all that, and given our thoughts about each product, have you decided what app suits you?
As mentioned, all three do have their respective wins and losses, at the end of the day, it all goes down to you – your needs and your goals.