Robinhood vs. Acorns vs. Stash Invest

Daniel Penzing
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Which Stock Broker is Better?

Robinhood Vs. Acorns Vs. Stash Invest

Investing apps have taken the finance world by storm. Peer to peer investing is a really great option for those who want to invest small amounts of money each month. However, this is where the similarities end. Each of these competitors offers something unique, although the core function is the same.

In this article, we’re going to compare 3 investing apps that are used to help you invest in stocks. The three apps are Robinhood, Acorns, and Stash Invest. We’re going to look at what sets them apart to help you determine which broker is right for you.

Because everyone has different needs and preferences, there really isn’t a single broker that is better than the other. It might seem like a stretch, but each of these apps has something to offer.

Let’s take a look at why these 3 investing apps have become extremely popular in such a short span of time.

About Robinhood

Robinhood is a fairly new kid on the block when it comes to the world of investing and trading. Their value proposition is simple: zero commission trades.

Throughout this review, we will be looking at Robinhood and their offerings as a trading and investment platform. Although not the most popular app to trade stocks and commodities on, it can still offer valuable insight to the crypto community.

From a design and usability standpoint, Robinhood is nothing short of beautiful. Using the platform is downright pleasurable, regardless of whether you’re just perusing cryptocurrency prices or utilizing the advanced trading functions.

Let’s dive into the specifics.

Robinhood distinguished itself from the beginning with a very slick design, which it has kept intact since its launch. With its vibrant colors and clean, minimalist design, Robinhood is an investment platform that just looks cool.

But the design isn’t just for aesthetics … it’s one of the main selling points for the platform, as well. Robinhood has turned its very simple, easy-to-use interface into a virtue. The straightforward design keeps the platform clean and clutter-free, eliminating any down-time that would otherwise be spent fussing with menus and configuration.

About Stash

Invest, Acorns, and Robin Hood.

When it comes to investing, there are quite a few platforms out there, each of them distinct in how they operate and what they offer. Unfortunately, sometimes it can be tough to know the difference between these platforms, what they actually do, and what they’re good for.

This is especially true at a time when so many people are open to trying different investing models and projects.

If you’re reading this, you’re likely one of those people who’s eager to learn more about different investing options. But you probably don’t have a lot of time to spend digging through different company websites and learning all about their features.

And if you don’t know the differences between them, you might start with a platform that’s not quite optimal for your needs and miss out on a better opportunity. Let’s take a look at four of the most popular investing platforms. We’ll explain what they offer and what kinds of investors they might be best for.

Robinhood is a trading app that doesn’t charge commission on trades or fees for accounts or withdrawals.

About Acorns

Acorns is an investment app designed to make finance less a chore for beginners through intelligent investment. Acorns rounds up your purchases to the nearest dollar amount and invests the difference into a portfolio of exchange-traded funds (ETFs). Acorns is fee-free and doesn’t have minimum deposit requirements.

How Are They the Same?

All three of these companies offer an automated investment account.

All three of these companies offer a hassle-free way to invest. And all three companies charge a flat fee for the financial management service they provide – between 0.25% and 0.50% of your account balance each year, depending on which one you choose.

All three companies can be used by anyone, regardless of which bank you use.

And all three companies are relatively new and popular.

How Are They Different?

Where to start?

If you are interested in investing, you will want to find a great way to jump in: maybe by setting up regular automated contributions or by finding a deal that beats the market. Or you might want to dive in and pick a stock to work with, maybe one you’ve been interested in for some time now. How should you get your hands on your prospective holdings?

Robinhood Vs. Acorns Vs. Stash Invest review: Where they are different

Robinhood offers no-fee trading. This is a pretty sweet deal, and it keeps getting sweeter as they gain users. They started as a broker for individual shares but are now adding automatic fractional shares to their lists of supported stocks. They also have some support for ETFs these days.

Acorns and Stash are both non-free, but they have a lot of other things going for them. Acorns is really a savings system, not an investment platform. The recommended strategy is to let it do what it wants with your savings and pay you based on the market rates. Stash Invest is similar; it is a robo-advisor for IRA or 401k accounts. Both Acorns and Stash are good for investors who want to manage their own portfolios.

Unique Features

Acorns is a platform that allows you to automatically invest your spare change from your credit cards, bank transfers, and other purchases into ETFs. This is a great feature for people that are just starting out. If you are like me, you like to be in control of your investments from day one. I personally like to start small and build my portfolio gradually. However, if you are just starting out and are looking to invest but not quite sure where to start, Acorns is a great choice.

If you like to spend money to buy coffee from Starbucks, the Robinhood app allows you to buy a McDonald’s coffee for half the price. You would then be able to sell the Starbucks stock you own at the current market price.

If you have a huge goal like buying a house, Stash wants to help you reach it. The app allows you to invest and build a portfolio and not touch it: it will even lend you the money to buy your first home.

Also, with either Acorns or Stash app, you can pay your monthly bills on the app. So instead of writing the check and tossing the check away, you can pay your bills on the app and invest in the same time. However, I would not recommend using it for your car payment. Instead, I would recommend pulling the money out of a checking account.

Features Unique to Stash

If you’re wondering whether or not you should give Stash Invest a try, here’s a quick rundown of all the features that make it stand out from the competition.

Accessibility

This is the biggest, and maybe even the best, feature of Stash Invest. Most investment apps and brokers are only accessible to US citizens, but Stash Invest works globally. You can trade stocks, ETFs, bonds, and cryptocurrencies from any country in the world, including the US.

Instant Deposits

A lot of investment apps make you wait for days or even weeks to receive your money, but that isn’t the case with Stash Invest. You submit your deposit, and it’s processed immediately. Your money has already landed in your account by the time you finish typing in your password.

No Fees for Deposits

There are a lot of investment apps that make it hard to get your money out of the system, but Stash Invest does things differently. With instant deposits and no fees for withdraws or deposits, Stash Invest really does it all.

Features Unique to Robinhood

While Robinhood has numerous similarities, there are a few key differences that set them apart from the other two investment apps.

Features Unique to Acorns

Acorns is a unique investing app. Though it shares some of the same characteristics as other popular free investment apps like Betterment, Acorns has some very specific features that set it apart.

Automated Savings

The majority of investment apps are simply that: investment apps. The main purpose is to automate your investments and then turn off the app. Acorns uses their app in a slightly different way. It’s your savings account as well as your investment account. If you choose the investment feature, Acorns will work just like any other investment app, offering you different funds to invest in, as well as various options to customize your assets. But, if you set it up as a savings account, you will find that Acorns is smarter than that: it will simply round up to the nearest dollar.

Minimal Fees

Acorns boasts no management fees, no account minimums and you can earn interest of up to 2% on your money. Management fees and minimums can be a barrier to entry in the world of investing, making it more difficult (and unappealing) to enter when you can’t see where your hard-earned money is going. Acorns’ website even claims that their fees are “one of the lowest in the market.”

Minimum Investments

Robinhood is a straight-up brokerage. You can buy any stock, ETF, or option for free. You can also trade stocks on Robinhood without paying any commissions.

Acorns and Stash Invest are robo-advisors. For both Acorns and Stash, you’ll sign up, connect your checking account, and select a risk level. Then you tell the app how you want to invest (in the form of stock baskets). Each stock basket contains multiple stocks and ETFs.

Annual Fees

All three companies charge an annual management fee. Acorns and Robinhood have the highest fees, at 0.25% and 0.50% respectively, while Stash charges 0.25%.

Standout Features

Acorns – Acorns rounds up your everyday purchases to the nearest dollar, invests the difference, and takes one dollar of your investment. You tell Acorns your risk tolerance and how long you want to invest for, and it takes care of the rest. Acorns charges a fee for their service, but the long term gains and ease of use make it well worth it.

Robinhood – Robinhood is an ultra-basic investment app that allows you to invest in individual stocks and ETFs. You can trade commission-free from your smartphone and earn a free share of stock when you sign up. There are no account minimums, no inactivity fees, and no trading limits so you can buy as many individual stocks, ETFs, and mutual funds as you want.

Stash – Stash offers investment accounts that build automatically using spare change. All you have to do is link your bank account, let Stash know your risk tolerance, and sit back and watch your investment grow. You can withdraw the money you’ve invested at any time, and you can even transfer your account to a retirement account after setting up an honorable account.

Customer Service

Robinhood feels like the “younger brother” in the family. It’s the underdog, and it’s cool. The sleek design and user interface make it easy to trade and track investments. You can easily enter your banking information, and Robinhood will give you quick access to your checking and/or savings accounts. Robinhood will let you know when you have a dividend payment, when you have a gainful investment, when you have a loss, etc. Robinhood also has chat and support features to help you out when you need it.

Acorns (3.5/5)

Acorns feels like the underachiever of the family. It’s got the most to offer, but it’s just not great at any of those things. The Acorns website is a little hard to navigate, and it’s not particularly attractive. However, Acorns has the largest investment selection, and it’s great for a first-time investor. Acorns will help you pick a selection of funds and guide you through your first investment. It’s also great at staying on top of your investments – a text message can direct you to your losses or gains.

Security

Investing online is a much less secure way to invest than stock market investing in your local area with real people. You can’t have your hand held with app stock market investing. You have to purchase your own security, and you have to understand the risks, but with a good investment you could make a decent amount of money.

Who Are They Best For?

Acorns is best for anyone who has a high tolerance for risk, but doesn’t mind a little volatility in their portfolio. First time investors should probably stay away. It’s not quite as simple (or cheap) as Robinhood, but it’s not for the faint of heart either.

Stash is best for younger people just getting interested in investing. Because of the diversified options Stash offers, the account isn’t “locked in” to just stocks and ETFs. If you’re happily invested with Acorns now, you can just leave things as is … but if you’re yearning for more diversity, this is an excellent choice.

Robinhood is best for millennials that want the convenience of having a broker with no fees. It’s so cheap, some people choose to use it as their brokerage account, and then save and invest with only ETFs using a separate brokerage account.

Which Is the Best?

These present and future fintech apps are all similar in that they are designed to help the average consumer invest and save more money. And all three are technically creating investment accounts for you.

However, they have very different strategies and philosophies. Let’s take a quick look at them and see how they measure up against each other.

First, money for catching fish in Robinhood bank are really investor’s money. The money put in are pooled with others and invested over a period of some months.

Robinhood is an app that enables you to trade both stocks and options. It has approximately 26.2 million users. The app is totally free for both Android and iOS based Smartphone users.

The other two are robo-advisors, which means that they are robo-investment companies Utilizing software to help you invest.

So we can now compare each service to each other.