Robinhood, Acorns, and Stash are leading players in the micro-investing space. Being some of the first few players to penetrate the smartphone/mobile investing market, all three of them offer some unique benefits to investors. However, before we draw comparisons among Robinhood Vs Acorns Vs Stash, we will try to understand the concept of micro-investing in brief.
Micro-investing, also known as spare change investing, has gained traction in the last few years. Micro-investing refers to setting aside small amounts of money at regular intervals towards your short-term and long-term financial objectives. With micro-investing, you no longer need a “big” income to start saving or adopt any lifestyle changes. The proliferation of investing apps has further popularized spare change investing, especially among millennials or Gen X investors.
In this article, we will limit our discussion to the key differences between the three investing apps – Robinhood Vs Acorns Vs Stash.
Robinhood Vs Acorns Vs Stash
Founded in 2013 by Baiju and Vlad, Robinhood is a financial services firm based out of Menlo Park, California. Its prime objective is to democratize finance across all social classes. Big investment firms in the US executed trades at near-zero costs, an average American was paying commission for each trade. Robinhood was incorporated with a vision to make financial markets accessible to all and enable small investors to trade commission-free.
In short, with Robinhood, you can start investing with zero account balances and no commission charges. Moreover, you will get a wide range of financial products and tools to set your money in motion.
At present, you can trade in stocks, ETFs, options, and cryptocurrencies on the Robinhood platform. It is one of the very few investing platforms to enable trades in a wide range of cryptocurrencies.
Things To Know
One of the standout features of Robinhood is fractional share trading. You can now invest in thousands of stocks with just $1 in your pocket. You can invest any amount and the app will convert the amount from dollars to parts of a full share. For example, if you invest $20 in a stock whose price is $100 per share, your account will be credited with 1/5th of the share. You can easily build a customized investment portfolio comprising stocks and funds of various companies thereby significantly diversifying your risks.
Another striking feature of Robinhood is that by swiping your idle cash in your brokerage account to partner banks through the Deposit sweep program, you will earn up to 0.3% APY (Annual Percentage Yield) on your uninvested cash.
In addition, the Robinhood debit card can be used to withdraw money from more than 75000+ ATMs compatible with Mastercards. It is also a one-stop solution to manage your cash flows, as you can easily record receipts of paychecks or other income and payments of utility bills, grocery bills, other daily expenses, etc. in the app.
Acorns is a micro-investing platform that allows you to save and grow your money in a fun manner. With monthly pricing plans starting at $1, the Acorns automated investment account allows you to invest spare change, set up recurring investments, round up your debit and credit card purchases to the nearest dollar, and earn bonus investments if you make purchases with partner brands.
You can upgrade yourself to the personal plan priced at $3 per month. It allows you to save open a retirement account and save for your golden years. You can also enjoy tax rebates on your retirement savings. This plan also allows you to open a checking account to manage your expenditures. You can use the Acorns debit card at 55,000+ ATMs across the globe and withdraw money with zero transaction fees. Your investment bonus limit also increases with this plan.
Acorns most comprehensive pricing plan is the family plan priced at $5 per month. Under this plan, you can, not only open investment, retirement, and checking accounts, but also multiple accounts for your kids. The family plan offers all the features of the basic and personal plans. In addition, it offers exclusive bonus investments for your kids and access to financial advisors to manage your family investments.
Offering both desktop and mobile versions of its app, Acorns sets up your investment portfolio based on your investment style – conservative, moderate, or aggressive.
Moreover, if your account balance is zero, you aren’t charged any fee. If the balance falls below $5000, you are charged $1 per month and if the balance exceeds $5000, you are charged 0.25% of your annual balance.
Stash is a personal finance app with advanced security features that aids you in micro-investing. It enables auto investing with fractional shares option. Thus, you can multiply your wealth and minimize your risks by building a well-diversified portfolio.
Easy banking, no hidden fees, direct deposit facility, retirement planning, and stock back cards are outstanding features of Stash. The stock-back card enables you to earn stocks with every swipe whenever you make purchases.
If you are a newbie to the world of investing or wish to explore more investment options, then Stash has a team of financial experts to assist you and provide you sound investment advice. Apart from the above benefits, you are also entitled to receive a life insurance policy from Avibra for $1,000. The beginner plan offers all of these benefits at just $1 per month.
The Stash growth plan priced at $3 per month enables you to build a smart portfolio to maximize your wealth and save for your retirement. You can open a traditional or Roth IRA with this plan. You can also reap tax benefits on your retirement savings.
Stash’s robust premium plan priced at $9 per month gives you access to all of the above benefits and also aids you in financial planning for your kids. Premium financial advice and exclusive stock bonus offers are other unique features of this plan. This plan includes a life insurance plan from Avibra worth $10,000.
In short, Stash is a great app for long-term investments but does not facilitate intraday trades in ETFs or stocks.
Robinhood Vs Acorns
Robinhood allows you to invest in stocks, ETFs, options, and cryptocurrencies whereas with Acorns you can invest only in ETFs or pre-built portfolios. However, Acorns enables you to invest in ESG (Environment, Social, and Governance) portfolios – sustainable portfolios made up of ETFs comprising stocks of socially responsible and sustainable companies.
With Robinhood, you can open a taxable brokerage account whereas, with Acorns, you can open a taxable brokerage, checking, retirement, and custodial brokerage accounts.
Both the apps facilitate fractional shares investing. But, if you wish to engage in margin trades, day trades, or seek advanced financial research, then Robinhood is better for you. However, with Acorns, you can round up your transactions to the nearest dollar and reap the benefits of auto investing and automatic portfolio rebalancing.
Robinhood charges no management fee but this may prove to be detrimental to the app’s survival in the long run. On the other hand, Acorns management fee will be anywhere between $1-$5, depending on the pricing plan you opt for.
Thus, between Robinhood Vs Acorns, Robinhood is more suitable for crypto investors, real-time traders, and fee-free investing. It is ideal if you are not an ardent credit or debit card user. However, if your focus is long-term investing or retirement planning, then Acorns may be a better choice.
Robinhood Vs Stash
As mentioned earlier, Robinhood charges no management fee, but with Stash you have to incur a management fee in the range of $1 – $9, depending on the subscription plan you choose.
Stash allows you to open a taxable brokerage, online banking, retirement, and custodial brokerage accounts whereas Robinhood enables you to open only taxable brokerage accounts.
Unlike Robinhood, Stash to doesn’t facilitate real-time trades and cryptocurrency trades. But, it offers unique benefits like stock-back cards, round-ups, auto investments, and portfolio analysis instead.
So between Robinhood Vs Stash, Robinhood is ideal for individuals interested in long-term investing as well as real-time trading. Stash, on the other hand, is more appealing for individuals who wish to build an investment portfolio on their own with a sector-specific focus and plan for their golden years as well.
Summary Table: Robinhood Vs Acorns Vs Stash
|Sr.No||Point of distinction||Robinhood||Acorns||Stash|
|1||Subscription Plans||Robinhood gold at 5$ per month (for market research reports and margin trades)|
|2||Asset categories||Stocks, options, ETFs, crypto assets||ETFs in prebuilt sustainable portfolios also known as ESG funds||Stocks, ETFs|
|3||Account types||Taxable Brokerage||The taxable brokerage, custodial brokerage, online checking, traditional IRA (Individual Retirement Account), Roth IRA, SEP-IRA, and kids’ accounts.||Taxable brokerage, custodial brokerage, net banking, traditional IRA, Roth IRA, and kids’ accounts|
|4||Features||Fractional shares, intraday trades, live trades, margin trades, zero-commission trades||A fractional shares, automatic investments, automatic portfolio rebalancing, round-ups to the nearest dollar.||Fractional shares, automatic investments,round-ups to nearest dollar, stock-back card, expert investment advice, life insurance coverage|
All three investing apps have their own pros and cons. Hence, to identify one amongst Robinhood Vs Acorns Vs Stash as the best is totally subjective and varies as per individual needs.
Robinhood is a great app for active traders and digital asset investors. Low transaction costs are another unique feature of this app. However, if you need some professional assistance in trading or investing, then Robinhood may not work for you.
Acorn is an ideal choice for sustainable investments. It really works wonders if you are a passive long-term investor. You just need to invest in prebuilt portfolios and need not keep tracking or monitoring your portfolio frequently. This app is not meant for live trading and cryptocurrency investments.
Stash is an amazing app for long-term investors – both amateurs and experts. The auto investment and rebalancing options along with sound financial advice make it a one-stop solution for both active and passive investors. However, if you are a real-time trader or want to penetrate the cryptocurrency space, then this app may not work for you. Moreover, the family plan offered by Stash is the costliest among the three.
In short, among Robinhood Vs Acorns Vs Stash, if you are interested in investing, trading, and cryptocurrency transactions, then Robinhood is the best.