Acorns vs. Stash – Which Micro-Investing Platform Is Better?

Micro-investing is a contemporary phenomenon that makes investing within the stock market accessible to anybody with an web connection and a checking account. New monetary technology corporations proceed to floor on this space, every placing ahead a singular spin on on a regular basis investing.

Acorns launched a micro-investing app in 2014 that places your digital “spare change” to work. It turned recognized for its flagship Round Ups function, which helps customers make investments a number of cents anytime they spend money.

Stash emerged in 2015 as an auto-investing app, with options targeted on setting a schedule of small, automated investments into portfolios that help causes and industries you care about.

Both funding apps have grown since and developed extra options to maintain up with the frequently creeping competitors in fintech. These monetary corporations provide merchandise that will help you make investments, save, financial institution, handle money, and put together for retirement.

The product choices in every app look related, however the options range, and it’s a must to look into the small print to find out which is one of the best place on your money.

Key Features

Acorns and Stash each began as easy micro-investing apps, so the core product of every is a personal funding account. Both have expanded, nevertheless, to incorporate choices for retirement and banking, as nicely.

The apps’ choices are related, however every has subtly completely different options, pricing, and capabilities that would make one or the opposite a greater match on your monetary targets and way of life.

Account Options

Acorns and Stash every provide three kinds of accounts in a single app: funding, retirement, and banking. The capabilities of every account range barely between the manufacturers.

Acorns Account Options

  • Acorns Invest. Acorns’ core product is an funding account that makes use of your “spare change” to spend money on exchange-traded funds (ETFs) made up of shares and bonds. You can select how conservative or aggressive a portfolio you need amongst six choices, however you possibly can’t select which ETFs make up your portfolio.
  • Acorns Later. This particular person retirement account (IRA) helps you to handle retirement financial savings in the identical place as your different Acorns investing and checking accounts. It routinely units you up with a Roth IRA, conventional IRA, or SEP IRA (for self-employed business house owners) whenever you join, relying in your way of life and targets. It additionally routinely rebalances the account as you age or your way of life adjustments that will help you meet retirement targets.
  • Acorns Checking. Anyone with an Acorns account can open this FDIC-protected checking account backed by Lincoln Savings Bank and obtain an Acorns debit card.
  • Acorns Early. Open a custodial funding account (UGMA/UTMA) for as many children as you’d like, with none added price per child.

Stash Account Options

  • Stash Invest. Stash’s flagship product, a personal funding account, helps you to buy fractional shares of shares, bonds, and ETFs1 for as little as $0.012. Choose particular person shares or bonds to buy or spend money on ETFs primarily based on the problems or kinds of corporations you need to again.
  • Stash Retire. Open a standard or Roth IRA to avoid wasting for retirement by the identical micro-investing strategies as Stash Invest makes use of3.
  • Banking. A Stash banking (aka debit) account is a web-based checking account by Green Dot Bank4. The checking account consists of Direct Deposit, Bill Pay, ATM Access, and a debit card. Plus, it helps your Invest account with the choice to earn stock-back Rewards by your debit card and recurring transfers5.
  • Custodial Accounts. Open custodial accounts for as much as two kids — you don’t need to be the mum or dad. Investments work the identical as a personal funding account. When the kid turns 18, they will take over the account and proceed to speculate or withdraw and use the funds.

Contribution Methods

Both Acorns and Stash allow you to make handbook contributions to your funding accounts anytime, plus every presents a number of methods to automate contributions primarily based in your way of life, targets, and spending habits.

Acorns Contribution Methods

  • Round Ups. When you make a purchase order with a linked card, Acorns rounds as much as the following greenback and invests the change. It invests Real-Time Round Ups out of your Acorns debit card instantly out of your Checking account. It additionally invests Round Ups from linked playing cards as soon as they whole $5, and the money comes from the only account you arrange as a funding supply. Set Acorns to speculate Round Ups routinely, or overview them manually everytime you need. Use Round Ups Multiplier to speculate double, triple, or 10 instances every Round Up quantity.
  • Found Money. Similar to a cash-back program, Acorns Found Money helps you to earn as much as 10% again for procuring at accomplice manufacturers together with your related credit score or debit card. Acorns routinely invests Found Money funds into your Invest account.
  • One-Time Contribution. You could make a one-time contribution to your Acorns Invest or Later account anytime by the app.
  • Recurring Contribution. Set up a each day, weekly, or month-to-month contribution of any quantity out of your funding supply to your Acorns Invest or Later account.

You can fund an Acorns Checking account by paycheck direct deposit, or handbook switch from an exterior checking account or PayPal.

Stash Contribution Methods

Stash presents two automated methods, collectively dubbed Auto-Stash, to contribute to your funding accounts, together with:

  • Set Schedule (Auto-Stash). Select an quantity to contribute each day, weekly, or month-to-month to 1) your personal, retirement, or custodial funding account or 2) your money stability, a reserve of money prepared so that you can allocate to investments.
  • Round-Ups. Every time you spend out of your linked exterior checking account, Stash will spherical to the closest greenback and stick the digital turn into your money stability.

Stash banking prospects may also earn stock rewards by Stock-Back7: Enroll your Stash debit card to obtain items of stock that correspond to your buy. For instance, in the event you store at Starbucks, you earn Starbucks stock. Stash+ members earn double Stock-Back rewards.

You can fund a Stash banking account by direct deposit or handbook financial institution switch inside the app.

Fees and Costs

Acorns and Stash, in addition to different micro-investing apps, intention to make investing accessible with low-cost merchandise for individuals who can’t pay a monetary adviser or spare hundreds of {dollars} to speculate.

To that finish, they each restrict charges — however do your math. Even $1 per 30 days could possibly be a considerable proportion of your property below administration in the event you solely make investments spare change, so make sure you make investments and earn sufficient to make the charges value it.

Acorns Fees

Acorns presents two subscription ranges. You’ll pay a single month-to-month charge primarily based on the merchandise you need to use:

  • Personal, Including Invest, Later, and Checking. $3 per 30 days till you’ve got $1 million invested
  • Family, Including Invest, Later, and Checking, and Early. $5 per 30 days

You can’t combine and match merchandise every other approach. In different phrases, if you need a Checking account, it’s a must to pay $3 per 30 days and have entry to a Checking , Later, and Invest account, whether or not you contribute to the funding accounts or not.

There isn’t any minimal deposit to open an account. The minimal funding quantity for any account is $5.

Acorns Checking costs few charges aside from the month-to-month subscription. There are not any charges for financial institution transfers, overdrafts, minimal stability necessities, or overseas transactions, and it reimburses ATM charges every month.

You may pay charges related to investments.

Stash Fees

Stash presents three subscription ranges with various entry to its monetary merchandise. Every Stash person begins with Invest and banking accounts. You can improve for extra choices.

  • Beginner. For $1 per 30 days, get Stash Invest and banking accounts, earn Stock-Back rewards8, and get a $1,000 life insurance coverage coverage by Avibra.
  • Growth. For $3 per 30 days, get Stash Invest, banking, and retirement accounts earn Stock-Back rewards8, and get a $1,000 life insurance coverage coverage by Avibra.
  • Stash+. For $9 per 30 days, get personal funding, banking, and retirement accounts, and Stock-Back rewards, plus custodial funding accounts for 2 children and a metallic debit card on your banking account8, and get a $1,000 life insurance coverage coverage by Avibra.

Stash doesn’t set a minimal deposit to open a banking or Invest account. You should deposit no less than $1 to open a custodial or Retire account.

A Stash banking account doesn’t cost charges for overdrafts or have minimal stability necessities9. Purchases outdoors the U.S. are topic to overseas transaction charges.

You can get entry to hundreds of fee-free ATMs10. You’ll pay a $2.50 withdrawal charge for out-of-network ATMs, plus any charge the ATM’s financial institution costs. You could also be topic to pay as much as $4.95 to deposit money at Green Dot retail areas (varies by retail location).

You may pay a administration charge related to investments.

Checking Account Features

Acorns and Stash every provide a checking account by accomplice banks. The accounts appear related, however a glance below the hood reveals vital variations in performance.

Acorns Checking Account Features

The Acorns Checking account is made to help your funding exercise, so that you don’t profit a lot in the event you don’t additionally need to make investments with Acorns.

Like any checking account, you possibly can fund Acorns Checking by paycheck direct deposit or switch from one other account, equivalent to a financial institution or PayPal account.

  • Acorns Visa Debit Card. Acorns Checking prospects get a high-design debit card fabricated from tungsten metallic, which you need to use for on a regular basis purchases and ATM transactions.
  • Real-Time Round Ups. Round Ups out of your Acorns debit card come from Checking and occur in actual time.
  • Compatible With PayPal, Apple Pay, and Google Pay. The Acorns debit card routinely works with Apple Pay or Google Pay (previously often known as Android Pay), and you may switch money between a PayPal account and your Checking account. Checking isn’t appropriate with different cellular fee apps, equivalent to Zelle.
  • Bill Pay. The account doesn’t embody a invoice fee function, however you need to use your account and routing numbers to arrange invoice pay with servicers.
  • Withdrawing Funds. Withdraw money by an ATM (most $500 per day) or by transferring to an exterior account (most $7,000 per day).
  • Check and Cash Deposit. You can’t deposit checks or money right into a Checking account through ATM, however you’ve got entry to cellular verify deposit by the Acorns app (most $5,000 or three transactions per day).
  • Checks. Acorns doesn’t present checkbooks or checks, and third-party verify providers gained’t work, however you need to use the Send Check function to mail a bodily verify.

The Acorns Checking account is designed primarily to help Acorns investing, so you want to have an extra account to cover all of your monetary wants. It doesn’t help joint checking accounts.

Stash Banking Features

Stash’s banking account works by Green Dot, a prolific on-line banking service and FDIC-member financial institution.

Through the Green Dot technology and monetary providers community, it presents larger performance than Acorns Checking and will develop into your main checking account.

  • Visa Debit Card. A Stash banking account comes with a Visa debit card, and you may earn Stock-Back rewards on purchases from collaborating retailers. Stash+ members get a metallic debit card and double rewards7. You’ll obtain the card within the mail after depositing no less than $1 right into a Stash banking account.
  • Cash Management Tools. You can bucket your money into financial savings targets and bills by partitions12 so you possibly can spend what you realize you possibly can spare.
  • ASAP Direct Deposit. Set up direct deposit to Stash, and you may get your paycheck in your checking account as much as two days early13.
  • Digital Wallet Integration. Stash debit card works with Samsung Pay™, Google Pay, and Apple Pay®.
  • Compatible With Mobile Payment Apps. Make and obtain funds by connecting your Stash account to Venmo, Apple Pay, Google Pay, Samsung Pay, and Square Cash.
  • Bill Pay. Set up digital funds or have a paper verify mailed to cover lease and different payments.
  • Withdrawing Funds. Withdraw money at an ATM or right into a linked exterior checking account.
  • Check and Cash Deposit. Deposit money (as much as $2,500 per day) at Green Dot collaborating retailers, together with CVS, Walmart, Walgreens, and Rite Aid, for a charge as much as $4.95. Deposit checks by the Stash cellular app for no extra charge.
  • Checks. You can’t order checks from Stash, however you possibly can schedule checks to ship through invoice pay within the app (limitations apply and paper checks often take 5 to seven business days to reach).

Stash doesn’t help joint checking accounts.

Financial Education

Neither Acorns nor Stash offers prospects entry to dwell human advisers for customized funding recommendation.

Instead, each have technology and finance professionals working within the background to maintain your investments on observe. They every additionally present resources that will help you study investing and money administration typically.

Acorns Financial Education

Through Grow Magazine, Acorns, in partnership with CNBC, shares articles on personal finance matters starting from borrowing and repaying debt to methods for making and saving money.

Stash Financial Education

Through Stash Learn articles on its weblog and within the app, Stash offers personal finance data and steering, money information, and way of life content material.

Mobile and Web Apps

Both Acorns and Stash are designed primarily with cellular customers in thoughts, so their apps for smartphones and tablets provide the merchandise’ full vary of options.

Acorns Mobile and Web Access

You can entry your account by the Acorns web site, however the cellular app is one of the best expertise.

Access all Acorns options by the cellular app, together with:

  • Open, handle, and see the stability on Invest, Later, Checking, and Early accounts
  • Connect your checking account to fund Acorns accounts
  • View and handle Round Ups
  • Set up recurring and one-time contributions
  • Transfer, deposit, and withdraw money from Checking
  • Deposit paper checks into your Checking account
  • See Found Money alternatives

Stash Mobile and Web Access

You can entry your Stash accounts by its web site or cellular apps, accessible for iOS and Android.

All Stash options can be found by the cellular app, together with:

  • Open, handle, and see balances on your funding and banking accounts
  • Connect an exterior checking account for Rounds Ups and funding
  • Manage Auto-Stash settings
  • Transfer, deposit, and withdraw money out of your banking account
  • Deposit paper checks into your banking account
  • Schedule invoice funds out of your banking account

Stash is free to obtain within the App Store for iOS and on Google Play for Android.

Account Security Features

Acorns and Stash use practically similar safety measures to guard your money and digital information. They’re much like these you’d discover with any monetary establishment.

Acorns Security Features

Acorns funding accounts are SIPC-protected as much as $500,000, and the checking account is FDIC-insured as much as $250,000 (each typical protection quantities for monetary establishments).

Acorns protects your information with bank-level safety, utilizing 256k-bit encryption and by no means storing data in your gadget. Your accounts additionally get steady fraud monitoring and safety.

You can instantly lock and unlock your debit card within the Acorns app by Checking settings in case it’s lost or stolen.

Stash Security Features

Stash investments are SIPC-protected as much as $500,000 whole (together with $250,000 for claims for money).

Investments are held by Apex Clearing Corporation, a third-party SEC-registered broker-dealer and member FINRA/SIPC, through the clearing company Apex Clearing Corp., member SIPC. See for particulars.

Stash banking accounts are FDIC-insured as much as $250,000. For uninvested funds, a Stash account is enrolled within the Apex FDIC-insured Sweep Program.

Deposits to the Sweep Program are coated by FDIC insurance coverage as much as $250,000 per buyer at every FDIC-insured financial institution that participates within the Sweep Program. Cash deposited below the Sweep Program is not coated by SIPC.

These registrations don’t indicate a sure degree of talent, however they do require Stash to observe federal rules that shield the investor.

The Verdict: Is Acorns or Stash Right for You?

Acorns and Stash every lead with distinctive options, however they’ve developed related choices since inception to remain aggressive.

A novice investor might get a superb begin investing utilizing both app, however one or the opposite might provide you with a slight edge, relying in your monetary targets.

Use Acorns If…

  • You Want to Make the Most of Your Spending Habits. Acorns presents rewards for purchases with any linked debit and bank cards and your Acorns debit card, whereas Stash solely presents Stock-Back for purchases with a Stash debit card.
  • You’re a Hands-Off Investor. You can solely choose from amongst six portfolios, primarily based in your threat tolerance. Acorns professionals select your asset allocation and which ETFs make up your funding portfolio, so that you don’t need to know which corporations make one of the best investments. Unlike Stash, Acorns additionally helps you to set Round Ups for computerized funding, so that you don’t have to maneuver money round manually.
  • You’re Self-Employed. Acorns presents a SEP IRA for small-business house owners, which Stash doesn’t.

Use Stash If…

  • You Want All Financial Services in One Place. Stash’s banking account is extra sturdy than Acorns’ and will act as your main checking account. The app’s options allow you to handle bills, financial savings, personal investing, retirement, and children’ investing in a single place.
  • You Want to Control Your Investments. Stash helps you to select particular person shares, bonds, and ETFs to buy if you wish to, which Acorns doesn’t. That makes it a greater match if you wish to handle your investments extra actively.

Both Apps Are Great If…

  • You’re a New Investor. Micro-investing apps, on the entire, are nice for novice traders as a result of they allow you to dip your toe within the stock market with out risking a lot money. Acorns and Stash every provide tons of steering and help to assist customers perceive their investments and the fundamentals of investing typically.
  • You Want Automated Investing. Each app presents distinctive choices for automating contributions to your funding accounts, together with by scheduled contributions, transaction spherical ups, auto-saving, and debit card rewards. They allow you to spend money on the background with out excited about it.
  • You Want to Invest With Small Amounts of Money. Both apps allow you to make investments lower than $1 at a time, so anybody can spend money on the stock market. That’s helpful if you wish to attempt investing with out risking a lot, and if you wish to repeatedly develop your account however have a low money circulate.
  • You Want More Retirement Savings Options. A 401(okay) is a brilliant place to begin your retirement planning if it’s accessible, however an IRA is a brilliant solution to diversify your investments and maximize your doable tax advantages. Both apps allow you to contribute to an IRA with tiny contributions, which might develop considerably over the long run earlier than you retire.
  • You Like Mobile Banking. Each app offers you entry to a digital banking platform, so you possibly can handle your checking account out of your smartphone, together with depositing checks anytime. Housing your checking account inside the similar app as your funding and retirement accounts helps you to get a big-picture take a look at your funds in a single place and will simplify your money administration.
  • You Want to Invest for Kids. Stash helps you to open custodial funding accounts for as much as two children, and Acorns presents Acorns Early custodial accounts for any variety of children. That makes both app a superb match to show your children about investing and contribute to their future monetary success with the identical small contributions and computerized choices you get on your personal funding accounts.

Final Word

Either Acorns or Stash could possibly be an important match for any novice investor who needs to dip their toes within the market with just a little bit of money at a time. They provide the comfort of a robo-advisor like Betterment or Wealthfront, however with decrease obstacles to entry.

Both open funding choices to extra folks by letting you spend money on ETFs and fractional shares of shares, so you possibly can help profitable shares with just some spare cents.

Both additionally present ongoing monetary schooling to get you up to the mark on investing finest practices, study extra about the place your money goes, and enhance your monetary habits.

Each presents related strategies for automating your investments by handbook, recurring, and round-up contributions. Stash uniquely presents Smart-Stash to find out how a lot you possibly can afford to put aside, which is helpful in case your earnings varies.

The biggest variance between the apps is within the checking account options.

Acorns’ stripped-down Checking account can help your funding exercise, however invoice pay is inconvenient, you possibly can’t ship money with digital fee apps, and you don’t have any solution to order checks or deposit money.

Stash’s full-service banking account by Green Dot helps verify or digital invoice pay, cellular funds, and money deposits, so it’s a wiser choice for a main checking account.

Both apps allow you to get began investing now, relatively than ready till you possibly can afford conventional investing routes, so your money has extra time to develop. Just keep watch over your return to be sure you don’t lose all of your curiosity earnings to charges.

This materials isn’t supposed as funding recommendation and isn’t meant to counsel that any securities are appropriate investments for any specific investor. Investment recommendation is barely offered to Stash prospects. All investments are topic to threat and will lose worth.

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