Micro investing apps can help anyone invest no matter how much you can save each month, but there are three options to choose from. With Acorns vs Robinhood vs Stash, what option is best for you? We evaluate in detail.
What if we tell you that you don’t have to be a broker, an expert in finance, or a millionaire to begin your investment journey?
Doesn’t it sound like a distant reality? Not anymore.
Now you can become an investor and earn profits with a small investment using an app on your phone.
The world has ventured beyond the traditional methods of investment planning and goals, and into micro-investing. The new investment options are not only easy but also profitable.
However, only if you’re using the right tool. This is where this article comes in, helping you to decide between the three popular options, in this detailed Acorns vs Robinhood vs Stash comparison.
Table of Contents
What is Micro-Investing?
Before moving onto the micro-investment apps mentioned in the title, it’s important to understand the basics of micro-investment. So, what exactly is micro-investment, and why is it trending nowadays?
Whether it’s for a retirement plan, a vacation, a car, a house, or to merely have money to fall back on if things go awry, it’s always a smart idea to have an investment plan in place.
But for those of you who are new to investing, it may seem like a daunting task.
- What is brokerage fees?
- What is the stock market?
- Should you be monitoring it at all times?
- How do you know how much to invest?
Micro-investment is a modern answer to all your investment-related worries and limitations. With micro-investing, you can save up and invest within your budget. You don’t even have to know the traditional investment lingo to start the process.
Micro-investing allows you to invest small amounts of money, whether it’s pocket change or your paycheck. This makes it very easy to start an investment plan with your current financial situation.
Unlike the traditional method, you don’t necessarily need to have tons of cash on you. That’s what makes micro-investing so easy and accessible.
See Related: Why is it So Hard to Save Money?
Micro-investing is another latest product of our technologically driven era. Many platforms have been introduced that encourage and allow you to not only regularly save small sums of money, but also invest your savings.
Acorns, Robinhood, and Stash, all are examples of these modern platforms. These apps have made the investment plain and simple. You can now even venture into commission-free investment by downloading the right apps.
As all three are strong contenders, it may be confusing for you to choose the most suitable one. This is where our Acorns vs Robinhood vs Stash comparison comes in.
These apps link to your debit cards and make recurring deposits by taking tiny amounts of money, rounding up your daily transactions, and investing them into exchange-traded funds.
You don’t have to worry about transaction or brokerage fees; sign up for a minimum of $1 a month, register your debit or credit card and the app will use your purchase history to do the math and make an investment deposit.
You don’t have to save up for years before you can invest in a single stock, bond, or mutual fund. Use your everyday purchases to accumulate savings for investment, starting as soon as today.
Competition is tough between the three most sought-after apps: Acorn, Robinhood, and Stash.
Though they all function differently, it is first important to understand what a micro-investing app is offering you.
What is Acorns?
It’s not easy to set aside money for investments when you’re living paycheck to paycheck.
Acorns invests your money based on the portfolio you choose when you set up the app, whether you are looking to invest “conservatively” or “aggressively”.
Acorn rounds up your purchases to the nearest dollar and invests the difference.
If you spent $10.50 on a t-shirt, the app will take the remaining $0.50 and save it.
The investment limit is $5, and once you hit the mark, Acorn will start its investment process. You can either let the app invest for you automatically or set up any preferences you may have.
If your balance is under $5,000, Acorns charges you $1 per month, and if your balance is more, you pay 0.25% of your yearly balance.
There is no fee if your balance is zero. You can also choose from different subscription offers.
How Good is Acorns as a Micro-Investing App?
The on-the-go mobile app is also available on the web and comes with many benefits, making it accessible and easy for everyone to use everywhere.
You can choose from five different investment portfolios to maximize your returns given your financial standing.
These options include:
- Moderately Conservative
- Moderately Aggressive
You can view your chosen portfolio for advice and tips on how to yield the best results. You can select an asset class by exploring the ETFs. Don’t worry – you aren’t committed to one portfolio for life.
You can change it according to your needs.
You can get updates on your investments over time to see the overall performance.
Acorns Pros and Cons
Acorns is trying to keep up with the rising demand for micro-investing by regularly updating features. With its many features, there is also room for improvement;
- Recurring investments allow you to invest $5 per day, week, or month. So, the minimum limit is feasible enough for anyone.
- Automatic rebalancing.
- Different functions on the app for specific purposes as well; Acorns Later to save for retirement and Acorns Spend that saves, invests, and earns for you.
- No commission fees.
- Only suitable if you are an avid debit/credit card user.
- You run the risk of losing money on fees – the $1 can weigh heavy on your savings plans if you are not spending a lot.
- Not feasible for larger goals such as retirement plans or buying a house.
What is Robinhood?
Robinhood lets you venture into micro-investing hassle-free without making major financial changes. It offers commission-free stock trades and doesn’t have a fee.
One of the most popular and trustworthy investment platforms out there, Robinhood is expected to become a $10 billion company in value in the coming months.
This app, though exclusive, is best for smartphone users, millennials, new investors, small trade, and any rookie who is looking to start investing in a more stable future.
Though you won’t get all investment-related information through this app, you can always do your research and find all the details you need on sites such as Morningstar and Financial Wolves.
The app is currently hosting five million users worldwide. It offers many perks for free, including a checking and savings accounts with a 3% interest on savings and no associated fees.
What does Robinhood Offer?
Robinhood offers many unique and useful features such as Options Trading, Stock Trading, Day-Trade Tracking, but what people praise the app for is Crypto.
This new cryptocurrency trading service allows you to buy and sell multiple popular currencies such as Bitcoin, Litecoin, and Ethereum.
You will have access to all popular cryptocurrencies, even if you are not actively buying or selling them.
It’s also one of the very few micro-investing apps that have introduced fractional shares – you can invest as little as $1, making it easier to build a portfolio with whatever money you have.
The app is user-friendly and easy to use, with a search bar that leads you to different features on the software with ease.
Robinhood Pros and Cons
To keep up with the increasing demands of its users and the investment market, it is important to see whether Robinhood is providing a well-rounded experience;
- No minimum deposit or balance is required
- Crypto which allows you to trade and track cryptocurrencies
- Easy to use
- Trades and transfers are free of cost
- Robinhood will give you a share of free stock by signing up (want to find other free stock? These are the other apps that give out free stocks)
- No advanced options for those that want to venture further into trading
- Doesn’t support mutual funds or bonds
- Only individual, taxable accounts are available
- Some functionalities are only for exclusive users, and not open to all
- Not charging a fee may not be a viable option for the app, in the long run, resulting in consequences
For more information on how Robinhood has unlocked the micro-investing market, check this informational article.
What is Stash?
Stash is primarily geared towards those who want to start investing but don’t have much to offer. With a Stash account you;
- Have access to over 30 different investment options.
- Can choose from multiples portfolios.
- Can start investing with as little as $5.
You must start by connecting a checking account. Stash also allows you to buy fractional shares so you can invest according to your financial situation.
It also helps you learn the basics of investment and stocks, so you aren’t left to figure things out on your own.
You’ll also be given personalized guidance and recommendations based on your spending and goals.
What Does Stash Have to Offer?
You will have to fill in a questionnaire that will assess your risk level, which can either be conservative, moderate, or aggressive based on your investment goals and current financial standing.
Next, you can choose whichever portfolio best suits your long or short term goals. Stash provides different plans for different objectives, making it accessible for all kinds of investors.
Here is a quick summary of their pricing:
What makes Stash different from its competing apps is the array of features it offers and its dedication to innovating and finding new ways of making an investment an easy process.
Some of its features are:
- Auto Stash: Allows you to automate deposits into your investment account.
- Stash Retire: For your retirement needs.
- Smart-Save: It calculates all your spare change and saves a small percent of it.
- Custodial Accounts: This allows you to open and maintain an account for anyone under 18.
- Stash Coach: It helps you put your portfolio in order by throwing challenges your way and making the investment process more engaging and fun.
See Related: 10 Best Dividend Income Trackers
Stash Pros and Cons
The app offers some of the most diverse micro-investing experience. Its features range from a Stash Debit Accounts that use a debit card for your purchases and investments, to Auto Stash that lets you make automated deposits according to a customized schedule.
But let’s have a look at how well it’s doing as a new app:
- The minimum deposit amount is very low.
- It offers a Stash Debit Account for fractional shares and ETFs.
- You get to make informed decisions because Stash offers to educate its users.
- Multiple investment options with individual stock recommendations.
- Give you a $5 bonus for signing up.
- Trading execution can take a while sometimes.
- It might prove to be unfeasible and costly for people looking to make smaller investments since there is a $1 per month fee.
Acorns vs Robinhood vs Stash: Comparison
It’s no surprise that the micro-investing market is soaring nowadays, with apps as innovative and user-friendly as Acorns, Robinhood, and Stash making a breakthrough.
However, in comparison, the apps all vary in features and perks that they offer their users. Where Robinhood is free of any cost, Acorns has an automated investment plan in order and can make all those daunting decisions for you.
To summarize what each app has to offer, here is a basic comparative analysis of what they have to offer:
|Acorns||0.02% – $1||New to investment, frequent investors in small amounts, credit/debit card users, online shoppers|
|Robinhood||Free||Crypto Investment, stock investors, new to investment|
|Stash||0.02% – $9||Looking for long-term investment, asset building|
So, which is better between Robinhood, Acorns, and Stash? Well, the answer is based on what you’re looking for.
If you’re an avid online shopper who wants to invest small amounts of your change into savings and investments, Acorns is the easiest and simplest of them all.
On the other hand, Robinhood allows you to diversify your investments, make more informed decisions, and even invest in cryptocurrencies. It is also free to start with, so is a lucrative option.
Last, Stash is also a good option for long-term and more diversified investments. It’s probably the most advanced app among the three, with a featured filled interface, and plenty of investment options to choose from.
You can also see Stash as an upgraded version of Acorns, with advanced features like more customized and automated investments.
All in all, all three are similar when you look into the basic investment process they follow.
If you ask us, you can start small with Acorns, and then can move towards the other two, once you understand the basics of investments and how these apps work.
See Related: How to Do Dividend Growth Investing
Micro-Investing – What is the Best App?
The world is now embracing innovative and new ways to make investment opportunities more inclusive for people from all income brackets.
With apps that are competing to excel in the investment market the question remains; which of the three is the best? Acorns, Robinhood, or Stash?
In terms of the sustainability of the app and its processes, it seems that Stash has made an effort to introduce new features and facets to keep up with the investment market.
You can create a retirement plan, manage an account on behalf of an underage loved one, and learn all the basics of investment through the app.
For anyone who is always on-the-go and doesn’t have the time or resources to hire a broker, Stash is the all-encompassing software that is most suited to your minimal, but also large-scale, investment needs.
We hope this Acorns vs Robinhood vs Stash comparison is useful for you, and now you know which app or platform works best for you.
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