How it works

Unlike a robo-advisor, Stash is a micro-investing software that tries to help you through the process of selecting ETFs and specific companies to invest in. Thousands of single stocks and ETFs are available on the site.

Stash offers a number of built-in features to assist new investors in beginning to make little contributions in their daily life. These little contributions build up over time and can earn consumers a significant amount of money. Stash collects these tiny sums through automated regular deposits, spare change roundups, and other means.

The idea is that you may begin investing without significantly disrupting your present lifestyle. If only a few pennies are taken out of your account every now and again, you probably won’t notice. At least, that’s how Stash micro-investing works.


Tradable markets

When Stash investors talk about the stock market, they usually mean the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) and the Nasdaq stock market, which trade 9:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. Eastern time on weekdays (except stock market holidays).

As Stash is geared towards long-term investment and not day trading, it offers 4 trading windows during the trading day — 2 in the morning and 2 in the afternoon — during which trades will be executed. Stash trading windows operate in normal market hours between 9:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. Eastern time on weekdays (except stock market holidays).

Portfolio Construction

Stash provides both the option to select your own investments or to use their fully managed service, Smart Portfolio. If you’re looking to create your own allocation you’ll find that the investment catalog is larger than most robo-advisors by allowing you to choose from over 4,000 stocks, ETFs, and real estate investment trusts (REITs). You can also take advantage of fractional share investing to give yourself more investment options. Environmental, social, and governance (ESG) options are available for self directed investors but are not included as part of the fully managed Smart Portfolio.

The Smart Portfolio is built by Stash’s investment research team and generally follows a passive, risk optimized approach to building wealth. The portfolio features a sliding scale to adjust the risk level to your preferences, goals, and financial situation. The asset allocation is invested in ETFs and is broadly invested across domestic, international, and bond holdings. In January 2022, Stash added crypto as part of their Smart Portfolio diversification strategy.

Distinguishing Features

Another perk of using Stash is the Stash Stock-Back program, which rewards users as they spend money. All qualifying purchases made with your Stash debit card earn a percentage back in stock. If you make purchases at retailers within Stash’s investing platform, you’ll automatically earn a percentage back of that company’s stock. For other purchases, you’ll get a percentage back in a Stash-approved ETF.

How Stash Invest Works

Prospective Stash Invest customers can get started without having to worry about a minimum opening deposit to their account. You can also create an account online, though the actual investing is only done on the app. If you want to give it a try before committing, the first month is free.

You start by creating your profile. You provide information like your age and investment goals. This helps the company determine factors, like risk level, which affects your suggested investments. Risk levels act as an accurate gauge of your financial standing. They’re there to help you choose investments that are appropriate for your situation. There are three different risk levels: conservative, moderate and aggressive. You cannot manually change your risk level – you’ll have to alter your personal details and investment plan to do so.

Once your account is created, you can choose your first investment. Because the company uses fractional shares, you can begin investing with any amount of money. Investments are suggested based on your risk level. They’re divided into three categories: “I believe,” “I want” and “I like.” These categories are comprised of different, renamed ETFs to help you understand what’s in that investment.

The “I believe” category has investments that are driven by a specific cause, whereas the “I want” category has investments that align with your investing goals. The “I like” category has investments that are dedicated to things you enjoy.

For each investment, the company details its

For each investment, the company details its risk level, performance history and the holdings that make up that mix. You can only add the suggested ETFs into your portfolio. This helps create an investment portfolio that works with your situation. The company also indicates if the portfolio isn’t diversified enough, which helps minimize your risk and maximize your returns. 

The last step is to fund your account and verify your identify. You can only use your checking account as the funding account. When money is transferred from your bank to Stash, there are no transfer fees. However, you’ll be subject to overdraft fees if the account does not have enough funds to cover the transfers. Once everything is verified, you’ll be able to start investing.

Overall, the company gives you hands-on control of investing. To help you make the best decisions, it has investing tips and guides on its app and website. With this guidance, it educates and prepares you for long-term investing.

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Stash’s Investing Strategy

When it comes to investing with Stash, you’re in control. The company’s mantra is “invest in what you believe in.” With more than 3,000 stocks and ETFs to choose from, you have a range of options to find an investment fund that you care about. There is no minimum to begin investing with Stash.

The company primarily works through fractional shares, which allows for its low initial costs. This involves the app’s buying a full share and splitting it up into smaller shares. So if it splits up the ownership of a $100 share, you can own a portion of it for any amount of money. Fractional shares allow you to invest in more and different funds, increasing your financial flexibility and portfolio diversification. It also smoothly transitions you into the investment world, rather than immediately jumping in and buying one high-priced share.

Stash Invest offers a retirement account option, S

Stash Invest offers a retirement account option, Stash Retire, which follows the same investment model as Stash Invest. In Stash Retire, you’ll be able to invest money in a tax-advantaged account, meaning you won’t need to pay taxes until you withdraw the money if it’s a traditional IRA. (With a Roth IRA, you pay taxes up front, but no taxes on the earnings ever.) To avoid a penalty, though, you have to wait until you’re 59 ½ to touch the money.

You’ll need to use both Stash Invest and Stash Retire if you want to invest with a brokerage and retirement account.

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How Do I Open An Account?

If you want to get started with Stash, the sign-up process is extremely simple. (After you sign up check the bottom of the post for ways to quickly grow that balance.)

# 1 – Click Here To Get Started

Click here to check out Stash online and get started on your desktop.

Click here to get Stash on the App Store, you’ll be directed to the app store and you can download the app to your phone.

# 2 – Fill Out Your Profile

Next, you’ll fill out your basic information and answer a couple of questions.

These questions will help Stash guide you on making investment decisions. It’s important that you’re honest with these survey questions because they help determine your risk tolerance.

This should only take a couple of minutes.

# 3 – Choose An Investment

Based on the answers you provided, Stash will show you investment options that line up with your risk tolerance (conservative, moderate, or aggressive.) You can click on the different investments to learn more about them. (Don’t worry they’re explained in layman’s terms!)

The great thing about Stash is that they make investing relatable. Instead of crazy names of ETFs and ticker symbols, you invest in “themes” that are based on your wants, beliefs, or likes. We’ll talk more about that below.

Right now, there are thousands of investment options (stocks and funds) available on the platform.

You can invest in these for as little as $0.01¹.

 4 – Link Your Bank Account

Link up the bank account you want to have money withdrawn from to make your investments.

It takes about 2-3 days for the money to transfer into Stash.

# 5 – Confirm Your Identity

Verify your identity, create a four digit pin number and you’re all done.

What Are The Fees?

Stash currently has two pricing options – all flat-fee offerings.

  • Growth — $3/mo: This plan offers a basic personal brokerage account, Stash Banking², retirement investing and unlocks Smart Portfolios. It also offers financial guidance and provides access to up to $1k of life insurance through Avibra⁷.
  • Stash+ — $9/mo: This is their most robust option and is for families who want to save and invest. You’ll get up to two custodial investment accounts for your children (note: these are not 529 plans). You’ll also earn 2x stock with the Stock-Back® Card⁸ and the life insurance access increases to $10k.

Stash’s subscription tiers start higher than Acorns which has plans at $1/mo and $3/mo. But only Stash includes banking. It should also be noted that Acorns’ highest-priced plan is less expensive at $5 per month.

Important Note: Stash discontinued the Beginner ($1/mo plan) effective August 1, 2022.

How much can you earn with Stash?

The amount you earn with Stash is going to depend completely on you. The more you invest and the better your investments do, the more you can earn. As a reminder, investing involves risk. There are no guarantees and while your investments have an opportunity to gain value over time, they also may lose value.

Stash indicates that its users save an average of $1,4329 per year by using the company’s tools. If you invested that money every in a tax-deferred account and your investments earned a 7% annual return over 30 years, you could end up with over $135,000 saved. Of course, you could also end up with similar savings from any online brokerage account or robo-advisor, assuming you made the same investment and earned a similar return.


  • Two-factor authentication
  • 256 bit encryption
  • Biometric entry (fingerprint scanner or face recognition)
  • Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC) and Securities Investor Protection Corporation (SIPC) coverage
  • Debit Card Locking/Unlocking

Stash has robust security features in place to ensure your data and information remain safe. Encryption, two-factor authentication, and biometric entry are just a few of the security options in place on your account. Standard FDIC and SIPC coverage is also applied to all account holders.

How to stay safe

Stash aims to make investing easy for beginners, but there’s always a risk whenever you invest — whether you pick stocks, bonds, or ETFs. While you can’t always prevent investment losses, you can reduce your risk by building a diversified portfolio, understanding asset allocation, and ensuring you never invest in anything you don’t understand. 

If you have more complicated goals or situations, you may want to seek professional investment advice from a financial advisor.In addition, the Stash bank accounts are offered through Green Dot Bank, which is FDIC-insured.

Frequently Asked Questions

Yes, Stash is an app that provides a lower barrier to entry for individuals who want to start investing. The app also comes with a bank account backed by Green Dot Bank. Stash is a registered investment advisor with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC).

Yes, Stash lets you invest in stocks and ETFs, similar to any brokerage firm, but without the minimum requirements. As with any investment account, you can make or lose money based on the risk level of your investments.

Stash partners with Green Dot Bank for all of its banking services, including the Stash Visa Debit card and Stash bank account. Deposits into your Stash bank account are FDIC insured up to the legal limits through Green Dot Bank.

Effective budgeting is a process that underlies all the other spending, saving and investing decisions you make. To determine how much you can risk in the market, it’s important to understand your monthly cash flow, so that you can achieve the financial goals you’ve set.

Creating a household budget is a decent start, but what really matters is living your budget, not only planning it. Both your mindset and your habits are important when it comes to how well your budgeting efforts serve your goals. The right app can reinforce good money habits and help you correct any bad ones.