2 of the most popular and helpful apps for investing are Stash and Robinhood. They have become very popular with beginner investors because they are non threatening and make investing seem simple. I am going to break down the pros and cons and each and let you know which app is my favorite.
Robinhood is a great, simple investing platform. Robinhood is the perfect solution for younger investors who are comfortable using their smartphone for almost everything. In fact, Robinhood is my favorite way to buy individual stocks and index funds. The best thing about Robinhood is that it’s a completely free platform to use. It allows first time investors to dip their toe into investing without paying fees for buying stocks and funds. Robinhood will offer you a free stock just for signing up. This helps you get your feet wet. It’s also important to note that Robinhood has become the biggest Bitcoin market. You can buy crypto on the same platform as you can purchase blue chip stocks. Robinhood has used slick marketing and no cost investing to grow to have more accounts Etrade in a relatively short amount of time.
No retirement accounts. No custodial accounts. No website. It’s frustrating that Robinhood doesn’t offer either retirement accounts or custodial accounts. For most first time investors the first step should be either a Roth IRA or a custodial account if they are a minor. Robinhood needs to add these options asap and it’ll open up more asset pouring into their platform. Also, there is no website. While the app is great and very user friendly some people will be turned off by the fact that this brokerage company doesn’t offer a web platform as well. Again, a simple fix that would help grow their service even more.
Another investing app is called Stash. Stash has an easy to use interface and groups investments in ways that beginners can understand. You don’t have to look for some obscure fund initial and then try to figure out what it’s invested in with Stash. Instead you can search for investments in categories you want to put you money in: Cannabis, Social Media, Tech, etc. I can see how this would be much less intimidating to a beginner investor. The second thing that I love about Stash is that they have some interesting ways to save money. I personally use Autostash, SmartStash and Roundups. Autostash is exactly what it sounds like. Money will automatically transfer from your checking account to your Stash investment account at whatever intervals you set. SmartStash is an AI powered tool that tracks your spending habit and your balances and will transfer amounts from your checking to your investing account. You tell Stash what the maximum amount you are comfortable transferring at once and then it does its job in the background. Even a $5 limit will add up quickly without you having to think about it. Roundups are like an electronic version of that big change jar my grandma used to keep next to her bookshelf. Whenever she had extra change she would throw it in the jar and over time it would really add up. Since no one uses actual cash anymore Stash does the same thing with roundups. When you make a purchase with your debit card stash will round up to the next dollar. When your roundups equal say, $5 it will be transferred into you Stash investing account. Sometimes when I’m pumping gas I will intentionally stop a few cents over so that I know I’m automatically saving money. These 3 funding methods make it easy to keep saving and investing and do so without you having to think about it.
Robinhood wins the overall award in my opinion. Though Stash is great, Robinhood seems to have more investing options and a much richer interface. I also believe that Robinhood has great market share and has cornered the Crypto market. Many of the advantages Stash has over Robinhood in the funding department can at some point be duplicated by Robinhood but I’m not sure Stash can catch up to the market share and user experience that Robinhood enjoys. While I prefer Robinhood I believe that anyone looking to begin investing in a non-threatening way should download both of these apps.