Robinhood vs. Stash: Who’s Relevant?

Investing is not as simple as popular culture makes it seem. You usually need a lot of money to start investing. You must know what you are doing. And you need patience.

It usually takes years to realize a return on investment. Investors must research, be informed, and stay engaged.

Almost 50% of Americans have never invested in the stock market.

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Is there an easier way to get engaged in investing?

You could start investing via your smart device with two companies, Robinhood and Stash.

Which company is relevant in 2022?

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Robinhood

Robinhood launched in 2015 as a revolutionary stock trading app for exchange-traded funds, commission-free stock trades, and cryptocurrency trading via mobile smart devices. 

It is a financial trading service that is optimum for newcomers eager to learn about zero-commission stock trading, investing, cryptocurrencies, fractional shares investment, low-cost margin loans, and more. 

And it is a convenient service for people who would rather perform their trading from their smart devices. Robinhood offers a user-friendly interface.

Robinhood has grown in popularity due to initial good press and word of mouth. The service appeals to novice investors who want to feel in control of their investment decisions from the comfort of their mobile. 

Robinhood charges $0 per trade. 

There is no account minimum charge to open a Robinhood account. 

All Robinhood options trades carry a $0 contract fee.

Robinhood charges zero fees for account inactivity or ACH transfer fees. And there are no annual fees.

And depending on the advertising promotion period, Robinhood will give you one free stock with a value of up to $225 if you link your bank account to your Robinhood account.

When Robinhood first launched, it allowed its users to participate in its initial public offering or IPO. 

In a world where governments and businesses are still struggling to understand and adapt to cryptocurrencies, Robinhood was one of the few and among the few stock brokerages to offer free cryptocurrency trading.

Users can buy fractional shares of a stock through Robinhood. You can buy a $1 stock or one-millionth of one stock share.

Robinhood also offers a monthly premium investment subscription service called Robinhood Gold. For $5, the Robinhood Gold program allows you access to automated consultation, research, and enhanced investment opportunities.

Robinhood Drawbacks

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The company has weathered controversies. In June 2021, Robinhood agreed to pay $70 million in S.E.C. regulatory investigation fines. Robinhood has also been investigated for its role in enabling the GameStop meme investment debacle. Robinhood had to freeze trading to help mitigate the scandal.

And even though Robinhood offers free cryptocurrency trading, the company still does not reveal its markup. It has a built-in spread markup on cryptocurrency trading and pricing that it does not publicly reveal. 

In other words, Robinhood does not disclose its ask prices or the actual bid in a narrow spread.

Robinhood is fully automated and does not offer access to human financial advisors. And their customer support service systems featuring human access are minimal.

Stash

Stash is an automated micro-investment and financial investment platform that launched in 2015. Stash is an ideal investment vehicle for novice investors, people interested in fractional investing, and parents who want to open custodial accounts for children. 

Users can use Stash as a hybrid-like Robo-advisor. Most Robo-advisors are fully automated and usually choose your investments based on previously inputted preferences. But Stash performs as you direct it.

Stash has a Stock-Back® credit card that allows you to earn stocks as a reward as you shop. 

With the “Round-Up” option, Stash rounds up any purchase you make with a connected bank or credit card to the nearest dollar. And all of that spare change is then used to finance micro-investments. 

Stash’s fractional investment program lets you invest in fractional stocks for as low as $1 or even millionths of a fractional increment of a share.

The Smart-Stash option automatically analyzes and assesses your spending habits. It teaches you to budget better and save money. And you can program it to transfer extra money automatically if desired,

Stash’s “Set Schedule” lets you automatically invest or save on a preset recurring schedule that you can program to your liking at any time.

Stash has three tiers of subscription service. Each progressive tier offers more benefits and access to more Stash features. 

Stash Beginners is the entry-level subscription program and costs $1 per month. 

Users can only buy stocks and ETFs and a cash management account. 

Users can also get the Stock-Back debit card and over $1,000 in life insurance.

Stash Growth is the middle-tier subscription program and costs $3 per month. It comes with the Smart Portfolio and the choice of having a Traditional IRA or Roth IRA retirement account.

Stash+ costs $9 monthly. It comes with $10,000 in life insurance, and custodial investment accounts for children, extra Stock-Back card features, and enhanced financial research tools.

Stash Drawbacks

There is no account minimum with Stash, but its fees can be costly in the long run. 

If you have $1,000 in a Stash Beginners account, then you will pay $12 for the privilege due to the $1 fee. It does not sound like a lot of money, but the industry standard is to try to pay $2.50 for every $1,000 invested.

Stash’s cryptocurrency funds for investment may be too expensive for some.

And while these fees are not exorbitantly high relative to the fees one would spend in the traditional stock trading and investment market, they may be high for some using a micro-investment service. 

Robinhood Vs. Stash: Who’s Relevant in 2022?

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Which one is relevant in 2022: Robinhood or Stash?

Stash’s fees will start adding up in the long run, even for micro-investments. Robinhood is notorious for not charging for commission, trading, account inactivity, transferring funds, and other options. 

Robinhood makes money by pocketing the difference between its stock transactions’ asking and selling price. 

Both Stash and Robinhood offer cryptocurrency trading options, but more as a courtesy or a way to benefit from crypto hype.

Stash is optimal for use by beginners. Robinhood is more optimal for use by informed beginners and intermediate-level traders.

As to which service is more relevant in 2022 it’s a moot question. After explosive starts in the investment-via-app industry, both companies have just become like any other traditional investment brokerage. 

Invest in cryptocurrencies in an informed manner and under your own terms. Learn more at Unbanked today.

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