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News Every Day |

Robinhood vs. Stash: How the investing apps compare

Insider's experts choose the best products and services to help make smart decisions with your money (here’s how). In some cases, we receive a commission from our our partners, however, our opinions are our own. Terms apply to offers listed on this page.

Robinhood vs. Stash: The biggest differences

Robinhood and Stash Invest both cater to retail investors who want multiple investment choices, with access to banking perks. And since both offer cryptocurrencies, either platform could be a great option if you're looking to step into the digital currency wealth-building space.

But Robinhood bests Stash Invest when it comes to fees, investment selection, market research, and cryptocurrency trading. You won't pay any fees to trade stocks, ETFs, options, and you'll get access to both American Depositary Receipts (ADRs), IPOs, and 17 different cryptocurrencies.

Stash Invest suits both DIY traders and hands-off investors, and it offers IRAs and custodial accounts. Therefore, it caters to more types of investors. And thanks to its automated crypto portfolios, it's the better move for those who want to get into crypto trading but don't yet feel comfortable doing it on their own.

Robinhood and Stash Invest features and account options also vary.

Robinhood logo on Personal Finance Insider background.
STASH logo on Personal Finance Insider post.

Account types

  • Individual brokerage accounts
  • Cash management accounts
  • Margin accounts
  •  

Account types

  • Personal portfolio and Smart Portfolio automated
  • Traditional IRAs
  • Roth IRAs
  • Custodial
  • Online banking

Investment choices

Stocks, ETFs, options, cryptocurrencies, IPOs, and ADRs

Investment choices

Stocks, ETFs, and cryptocurrencies

Account perks

  • Commission-free trading
  • Fractional shares
  • No-contract-fee options
  • Crypto trading and gifting; stock lending
  • Cash management accounts
  • Margin trading
  • Morningstar research and Nasdaq data
  •  

Account perks

  • DIY investing through Personal Portfolios
  • Automatic investing (you can tell Stash how much — and when — to invest more money); IRA and crypto portfolios
  • Stock-Back card that lets you earn stock while you spend
  • Online banking, Round-Ups, Set Schedule automatic investing tools
  • Avibra-sponsored life insurance for Stash Beginner and Stash+ accounts
  • Personalized advice and fractional shares

Human advisors available?

No

Human advisors available?

No

Robo-advice?

No

Robo-advice?

Yes — Users can take advantage of Smart Portfolios and other automatic saving tools

Is Robinhood right for you?

Robinhood best serves self-directed traders, crypto traders, and options traders in search of flexible investment options, low fees, and simple user interfaces. The discount brokerage offers commission-free stocks (including IPOs), ETFs, options, and cryptocurrencies, and you can trade options without contract fees.

Plus, it offers exposure to international stocks through ADRs, but fees may apply for those assets. And Robinhood's account types include individual accounts, cash management accounts, and margin accounts. Therefore, you'll want to look elsewhere if you're in search of joint accounts, custodial accounts, or automated investing accounts.

Robinhood also offers the option to earn income by lending your stocks to other users, and, with at least $1, you can send crypto to other users through the Robinhood mobile app. 

In addition, if you don't want to purchase complete shares of a company every time you're ready to invest, you can buy fractional shares with a minimum of $1 (you'll need less to trade fractional shares at Stash Invest). Plus, all Robinhood users get access to advanced charting tools, but the Robinhood Gold subscription takes this a step further. 

Robinhood is also launching IRAs (i.e., it will offer traditional and Roth IRAs), but the accounts aren't yet available to the public. These accounts will give users access to $0 trading commissions, a 1% match on every dollar you contribute, recommended portfolios, and more. You can sign up for the waitlist here

Read more: Robinhood review

It costs $5 per month and gives you access to 3% interest on any uninvested cash in your account, instant deposits of up to $50,000, market data from Nasdaq, Morningstar market research, and margin trading at a 5.75% rate. 

Robinhood also offers 17 cryptocurrencies, including bitcoin, ethereum, litecoin, dogecoin, solana, and more. You can transfer its cryptocurrencies in and out of your account, and its upcoming Web3 wallet will remove trading fees when you trade or swap crypto. And like stocks, ETFs, and options, all crypto transaction have 0% fees. You can sign up for the Web3 wallet waitlist here

Finally, you can earn stock and crypto rewards (Robinhood offers 10-100% bonuses) from round-ups through the Robinhood Cash Card. In other words, this debit card lets you round up purchases to the next dollar; you'll earn rewards when you use that spare change to invest in stocks, ETFs, and cryptocurrencies. Robinhood bases this bonus on your weekly round-up amount. 

Is Stash Invest right for you?

Stash Invest is a micro-investing app with a hybrid offering of DIY trading and robo-advice. In addition, the investment platform provides access to a debit card that pays you in stock rewards, instant transfers between Stash investing and Stash Invest banking accounts, early paycheck deposits, custodial accounts, and more.

It separates its services into two different plans: Stash Growth and Stash+. Both plans have monthly fees, and you'll pay $3 per month for the former. Stash Growth includes impersonal financial advice (i.e., you'll get access to reports, guides, and educational content on all things investing), a personal investment account, a retirement portfolio (you can choose a traditional or Roth IRA), an automated smart portfolio, banking access, and Avibra-sponsored $1,000 life insurance.

The latter, Stash+, includes everything Stash Growth offers in addition to educational materials on family financial planning, market insights, custodial accounts, Avibra-sponsored $10,000 life insurance, and 1% stock-back banking rewards of up to $1,000. This plan has a $9 monthly fee. 

When it comes to Stash Invest's investment selection, it offers many of the same asset types Robinhood provides. These include stocks, ETFs, and cryptocurrencies. But unlike Robinhood, it doesn't offer options or ADRs. 

Read more: Stash review

You can trade crypto on your own through your personal portfolio account, or you can add it to Stash Invest's automated smart portfolios. In addition, Stash Growth users will pay 1% for crypto transactions, and Stash+ clients will incur a 0.8% fee. It currently offers bitcoin, ethereum, chainlink, solana, and more. 

Like Robinhood, it also offers spending and banking perks. For instance, its debit card, the Stock-Back card, allows you to earn stock whenever you make purchases. It gives you two options for receiving those rewards: You can earn stock from the company you've bought goods from, or you can choose a default investment Stash provides when you purchase from privately owned or local companies. 

You can additionally take advantage of round-ups and recurring transfers, zero minimum balance and overdraft fees, and more than 55,000 fee-free ATMs. However, the Robinhood Cash Card offers a 10-100% bonus in stock and crypto rewards for purchases you make with the debit card, so it's the better choice for traders who want rewards for a wider range of investment types.

Robinhood vs. Stash — Frequently asked questions (FAQ)

Is Stash better than Robinhood?

Stash Invest and Robinhood offer similar but different services. You can trade stocks, ETFs, and cryptocurrencies at both investment platforms. Plus, you'll get access to spending perks (e.g., round-ups and stock rewards) with the two companies.

However, Stash Invest is a better app for the investor who wants the best of both worlds. It gives you the option to trade on your own or invest in an automated portfolio Stash Invest manages. You'll also get access to IRAs and custodial accounts.

Robinhood is better when it comes to fees, investment selection, cryptocurrency trading, margin trading, and market research. You won't pay any fees to trade stocks, ETFs, options, or cryptocurrencies. Plus, it offers 17 cryptocurrencies, and you can trade on margin and utilize market analysis and research.

Do you pay taxes on Stash?

You'll have to account for taxes on the earnings you receive through Stash, but this is required for any investment platform. Taxes apply to money you earn through dividends, income interest, and capital gains. 

Is Robinhood good for beginners?

Yes. Although Robinhood doesn't offer automated investing or one-on-one financial advisor guidance, it still provides a smooth and straightforward web and mobile platform, and it offers a digital library that contains educational guides on topics ranging from options trading to ETFs and more.

Read the original article on Business Insider
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