Stash Vs. Acorns 2022: Which Is Better To Invest Change

Acorns vs. Stash is the debate between two popular micro-investing apps that allow users to start investing with just a few clicks.

Both investment apps allow users to grow their investment accounts and start making passive income over time with a taxable brokerage account. 

When it comes to choosing between an app like Acorns vs. Stash, it depends on personal preferences and financial goals.

Whatever investment app you choose, getting started with a personal investment account is easy and can be done with little money.

Stash Vs. Acorns Overview

Both Acorns and Stash are low-cost investment platforms that can invest spare change and more, but let’s see how would do best in each platform:

Stash Is Best For

stash

  • Investors who want to make their own investments
  • Those who want to invest in fractional shares
  • Parents who need more multiple custodial accounts

Acorns Is Best For

acorns

  • Investors who want a more automated approach to investing
  • People who want to buy fractional ETFs
  • Those who try a simple approach to investing
  • Parents who need only 2 custodial accounts

Stash

Stash is an investment app by Stash Investments LLC that allows you to save money and invest it in various options.

You can choose from stocks, bonds, and even cryptocurrencies offered by Stash, an SEC-registered investment adviser.

The app makes it easy to start investing and offers various tools to help you make the most of your money.

We reviewed the Stash app and found it to be a great way to start saving and investing money.

Account Plans

stash plans

Stash offers two different account plans to help you save for your future: Stash Growth and Stash+.

Stash Growth

Stash Growth is a premium plan for those ready to take their savings to the next level.

You’ll get multiple features, including the Stock-Back® Card*, plus more advanced tools and resources to help you reach your financial goals with your Stash personal investment account.

With the Stash Growth account, you’ll have access to more advanced tools and resources to help you reach your personal finance goals with your Stash investments.

This includes a Smart Portfolio, which uses algorithms to manage your investments automatically, and a Retirement Portfolio, which helps you plan for retirement.

You’ll also get a Stash Stock-Back® Card*, which gives you access to your account at any fee-free ATMs**, and Stock-Back® Card* rewards at select retailers.

Stash+

The Stash+ account is geared more toward experienced investors who want access to more advanced tools and resources.

With this account, you’ll receive all the benefits of the previous two tiers, two custodial investment accounts for children, and a monthly market insights report.

You’ll also receive a Stock-Back® Card*, where you can get 2x Stock-Back® rewards***  rewards on purchases.

Fees

The monthly fees for the Stash accounts are:

Stash Growth: $3 monthly for automated investing. This taxable brokerage account has a higher monthly fee because it offers Smart Portfolios and Retirement Portfolio.

Stash+: $9 per month. This account included everything in the Growth account, plus accounts for the children and monthly reports.

There are some additional fees that Stash charges:

  • Money transfer: $0; 1% for an instant transfer
  • Transferring ACAT to another institution: Industry Standard – $75 

Stash customers can withdraw funds from their account(s) at no cost, and there are no fees for selling investments.

The $75 fee is simply an industry-standard external ACAT transfer fee; an ACAT fee is only relevant if you choose to move your assets to another brokerage firm. 

Account Types

There are several investment accounts available with Stash, including retirement accounts, custodial accounts, and Smart Portfolios.

Retirement Accounts

With Stash Retire, you can choose from a traditional IRA or Roth IRA. These account types have different tax benefits, so consult a financial advisor to determine which is right for you.

Custodial Accounts

kid saving money

Custodial accounts are investment accounts that are set up for minors. A parent or guardian manages the account, but the child owns the assets in the account.

They allow you to save for your child’s future while teaching them about money and investing.

You can open a custodial account for children as young as newborns, and Stash will invest their money automatically in age-appropriate ETFs (exchange-traded funds).

The benefits of a custodial account with Stash include:

  • Automatically invest your child’s money in age-appropriate ETFs
  • Teach your child about money and investing from a young age
  • Get a head start on saving for your child’s future

Smart Portfolios

Smart Portfolios is Stash’s Robo-advisor service. With the Smart Portfolio service, you can invest in a portfolio of ETFs tailored to your investment goals.

They’re investment portfolios that are managed by algorithms, designed to help you reach your financial goals.

You can choose from a variety of different portfolio types, depending on your risk tolerance and investment goals.

Investment Options

Stash offers a variety of investment options, including stocks, ETFs, and even options to invest in specific sectors or themes.

You can also choose a socially responsible portfolio option that screens companies based on their environmental and social impact.

The investment advisory services offered by Stash include automatic rebalancing and tax-loss harvesting:

  • Automatic rebalancing is when your account is automatically rebalanced to maintain your desired asset allocation.
  • Tax-loss harvesting is when losses in your portfolio are used to offset gains and reduce your tax bill.

Stash Round-Ups

dollar bill spare change money

Stash Round-Ups are a great way to invest your money automatically.

With Round-Ups, your bank account is linked to your Stash account, and Stash will round up your purchases to the nearest dollar.

The spare change from your bank accounts is automatically invested in a diversified portfolio that matches your risk tolerance and goals.

This feature can be turned on and off, so not all purchases have round-ups to invest.

Auto-Stash

Auto-Stash helps you automatically invest via roundups and recurring transfers.

You may choose how much money you want to save from your bank account toward your investment choices and set up an automatic deposit.

The money is immediately transferred from your checking account to Stash, so setting a strategy to start investing is simple.

Stash Pros & Cons

stash investing

Now that we’ve given you all this information on Stash, here’s a rundown of the good and bad of using Stash:

Pros

  • Variety of investment options
  • No investing minimum
  • Can have your Smart Portfolio automatically rebalanced
  • Low-cost monthly fees
  • Stock-Back® Card1
  • App is available on Android and Apple Store

Cons

  • Does not offer a tax-loss harvesting strategy
  • No access to human advisors or personalized financial advice

Acorns

If you’re looking for an excellent way to start saving and investing, Acorns is a great option. Acorns is an app that allows users to save and invest their spare change. The app’s user-friendly interface and various features make it an excellent choice for those who want to start investing.

We did a review of Acorns and found it to be an excellent way for new investors to get started.

Account Plans

Acorns pricing

Acorns has 3 plans for investing: Acorns Lite, Personal, and Family.

Acorns Lite

Acorns Lite gives you access to the basics of investing, especially the round-up feature that we’ll talk about down below.

You can invest with tons of options, get bonuses from Acorns partners, plus learn about investing with their education articles.

Acorns Personal

Acorns Personal is a low-cost option for beginner investors.

With this investment account, you can invest, save for retirement, and manage your personal finance with a cash management account that includes banking products and a debit account.

You also get bank account services provided by Lincoln Savings Bank or NBKC bank, FDIC members for Acorns Checking account holders, and are issued a metal debit card.

Acorns Family

The Acorns Family plan includes the features listed in the Acorns Personal plan, including individual investment accounts. It also includes the UTMA/UGMA investment accounts for kids.

You also get an online banking account with a debit account, direct deposit, personalized retirement advice, investment advice, and other financial planning tools with the Acorns Family plan.

Fees

Acorns charges monthly fees for their two investment account plans to use the Acorns app. The fees for the Acorns accounts are:

Acorns Personal: Acorns charges $3 a month for their Personal account. This account type is suitable for people who are starting to invest and want to learn more about investing.

Acorns Family: The monthly fee for this account is $5. This account type is suitable for people who have children. It allows parents to have an account for their children and teach them about investing.

Account Types

Acorns offers a variety of investment types. They offer a retirement account, an investment account for kids, and smart portfolios.

Retirement Accounts

retire old man money

Acorns offers a variety of retirement accounts to their users. They offer IRA accounts, Roth IRA Accounts, and SEP IRA Accounts.

IRA Accounts

IRA accounts are a great way to save for retirement. With an IRA account, you can contribute money each year and save for retirement. You also get tax breaks on your contributions.

There are two types of IRA accounts: Roth IRA and Traditional IRA.

With a Roth IRA, you can contribute after-tax dollars to your account. This means that you will not get a tax break on your contributions.

However, the money in your account will grow tax-free. When you reach retirement age, you can withdraw the money from your account tax-free.

With a Traditional IRA, you can contribute pre-tax dollars to your account. This means that you will get a tax break on your contributions.

The money in your account will grow tax-deferred. When you reach retirement age, you will have to pay taxes on the money you withdraw from your account.

SEP IRA Accounts

A SEP IRA account is an individual retirement account. This account type is suitable for self-employed people and small business owners. With a SEP-IRA account, you can save for retirement and get tax benefits.

Custodial Accounts

Like Stash, Acorns also offers 2 custodial accounts, which are investment accounts for children under the age of 18.

The account allows parents to manage their children’s finances and teaches them the importance of saving and investing. The account also teaches children about the stock market and how it works.

Smart Portfolios

The smart portfolios offered by Acorns are a great way to start investing. They’re low-cost and diversified, making them an excellent choice for new investors.

Acorns offers a variety of investment types for your Acorns account, including smart portfolios. These portfolios are designed to give you exposure to both domestic and international stocks, bonds, REITs, and EFTs.

Banking Options

You may have your personal checking, investment, and retirement account in one app using Acorns.

With over 55,000 fee-free ATMs within the AllPoint Network nationwide and worldwide, you’ll instantly invest spare change and save from any hidden fees.

You also may withdraw funds to your linked checking account from the app. In addition, it’s FDIC-insured for up to $250,000, plus fraud protection and an all-digital card lock.

Investment Options

What’s great about Acorns is that it is a hands-off service for investors.

This means that you don’t have to actively manage your own investment choices for your investment account or worry about making trades. Instead, the app will do all of the work for you.

The different low-cost investment choices available on Acorns are:

  • ETFs: ETFs are a type of investment made up of a basket of stocks. Acorns offers over 7,000 different ETFs to choose from.
  • Smart Portfolio: The Acorns app will create an investment portfolio for you with investment choices made up of ETFs based on your risk tolerance.
  • Sustainable ESG Investing: The Acorn Sustainable Portfolios are made up of Exchange Traded Funds (ETFs) that aim to give exposure to more environmentally friendly firms while replicating a conventional portfolio’s performance.

Acorns Round-Ups

Acorns Round-ups is a unique service that is an awesome automated investing feature for hands-off investors. It helps users invest their money.

With Acorns, users can link their checking account to the Acorns app.

Once the account is linked, the Acorns app will round up each purchase made with the linked checking account to the nearest dollar.

If you purchase a coffee for $3.50, Acorns will round up the purchase to $4.00 and move the change from your bank account to invest the $0.50 difference into a portfolio of your choice.

Acorns Bitcoin ETF

crypto bitcoincrypto exchange

The Acorns Bitcoin ETF is an excellent way for new investors to start investing in cryptocurrency. It is also a good choice for investors who are looking for a hands-off investment option.

It is a new investment option recently added to the Acorns app. This ETF is a way to invest in Bitcoin without purchasing and storing the digital currency yourself.

The ETF is made up of a basket of Bitcoin stocks, which helps to reduce the risk associated with investing in Bitcoin.

The ETF also allows investors to get exposure to the cryptocurrency without worrying about the Bitcoin market’s volatility.

Acorns Earn

Acorns Earn is a feature that lets you earn money when you shop at one of their 10,000 partners.

There is a Chrome extension that you can install to use for your online shopping. The retailer partner will contribute a percentage of your purchase into your investment account.

To get the stock rewards earned, you just need to use a card linked to your account when you make the purchase. It will take 60 to 120 days for the rewards to show up in your investment account.

Make sure to check the list of partners often. It often changes as they add and remove retailers.

Acorns Education

If you want to learn more about investing, Acorns has an Education section on their website. This is an excellent resource for new investors who want to learn more about how to invest their money.

The Education section includes articles, videos, and podcasts. They cover topics such as saving money, budgeting, investing basics, and retirement planning.

Acorns Pros & Cons

Acorns homepage

Acorns is great for a lot of people, but here are the advantages and disadvantages of this investment app:

Pros

  • Roundups can be taken directly from a checking account
  • Get a debit card with both tiers
  • Offers curated portfolios
  • Custodial accounts can be set up for children
  • The app is available on Apple App Store and Android

Cons

  • Does not offer human advisors
  • Investments can’t be handpicked
  • Does not have a tax loss harvesting feature
  • Monthly fees can be high for an account with a low balance

Key Takeaways

investing graph

Both Acorns and Stash are two of the best investment platforms, but it’s essential to choose the one that is right for you. Consider your investment goals and preferences before making a decision.

Remember that investing involves risk. There’s always the potential that you will lose money when you invest in securities with Acorns vs. Stash.

There are some key differences between Acorns vs. Stash that you should be aware of before deciding which one is right for you.

If you’re looking for a hands-off investment platform that offers automatic portfolio rebalancing and tax-loss harvesting, Acorns is one of the best investment choices.

On the other hand, if you’re more interested in having more control over your investments and accessing a more comprehensive range of investment options, Stash is the better option.

 

Stash Disclaimer:
Paid non-client endorsement. See Apple App Store and Google Play reviews. View important disclosures.
Nothing in this material should be construed as an offer, recommendation, or solicitation to buy or sell any security. All investments are subject to risk and may lose value.
*Stash Banking services provided by Stride Bank, N.A., Member FDIC. The Stash Stock-Back® Debit Mastercard® is issued by Stride Bank pursuant to license from Mastercard International. Mastercard and the circles design are registered trademarks of Mastercard International Incorporated. Any earned stock rewards will be held in your Stash Invest account. Investment products and services provided by Stash Investments LLC and are Not FDIC Insured, Not Bank Guaranteed, and May Lose Value.
Cryptocurrency trading and execution services are provided by Apex Crypto LLC (NMLS ID 1828849) through a software license agreement between Apex Crypto LLC and Stash Financial, Inc.  Apex Crypto is not a registered broker-dealer or a member of SIPC or FINRA and is licensed to engage in virtual currency business activity by the New York State Department. Cryptocurrencies are not securities and are not FDIC or SIPC insured. Advisory products and services are offered through Stash Investments LLC, an SEC registered investment adviser. Cryptocurrency is a highly volatile investment; please ensure that you fully understand the risks involved before trading crypto. Visit apexcrypto.com/legal.
**Get fee-free transactions at any Allpoint ATM, see the app for location details, otherwise out-of-network ATM fees may apply. For a complete list of fees please see the Deposit Account Agreement for details.
 ***1% Stock-Back® rewards available only on Stash+ ($9/mo) and only for client’s first $1,000 of Qualifying Purchases in each calendar month program. See Terms and Conditions for details.
“Kids Portfolio” is a custodial UGMA / UTMA account. Money in a custodial account is the property of the minor. This type of account is a Non-Discretionary Managed account.
Stash has full authority to manage a “Smart Portfolio,” a discretionary managed account. Diversification and asset allocation do not guarantee a profit, nor do they eliminate the risk of loss of principal. Stash does not guarantee any level of performance or that any client will avoid losses in their account.