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Stash vs Acorns vs Robinhood, How I Use All Three

Updated on March 28, 2020

Saving and investing money is very important, it’s the only way that most people can ever dream of retiring or becoming a millionaire. Everyone should be saving and investing for their future!
I, myself, used to think,

“I don’t have enough money to invest,”

but these “new” investing apps have finally made it possible for anyone to be able to get started. If you have $1.00 you can get started! And you should!

There are many ways to invest money, and no two people have the exact same view, but every investor agrees you should diversify your portfolio.

That’s why I use all three of these apps to split my money up and maximize the strengths of each of these platforms.

Fractional Shares

The ability to purchase a fraction of a share is crucial for investors with a smaller portfolio. This means even though Apple stock is trading for over $200.00 a share, you can own a piece for any amount you want, even $1.00, technically Stash allows you to purchase a stock for $0.01.

Stash allows you to purchase shares in any amount you want. Stash is the only app I currently use to purchase fractional shares.

Acorns platform is not setup for purchasing individual or fractional shares.

Robinhood does technically support purchasing fractional shares, but you have to get on a waiting list, which I’ve been on for quite some time. So I do not have any opinion yet on their abilities.

Portfolio Management

A managed portfolio allows you to just simply invest cash and watch it grow. Your money is invested in stocks, bonds, ETFs, and more for you. You don’t choose any individual investments.

Stash does not offer portfolio management.

Acorns is the platform I use for my managed portfolio. The app will walk you through and ask you questions to determine how conservatively or aggressively your money is invested.

Robinhood does not offer portfolio management.

S&P 500 Index during 2020 Coronavirus Pandemic
S&P 500 Index during 2020 Coronavirus Pandemic

Charts and Information

It’s important to study charts and information such as current news articles, earnings, etc. to determine if a stock is currently valued high or low and if the price is likely to go up or down. Let’s see what these apps have to offer.

Stash gives you a basic overview of the company with a description of their business, a risk level assessment, and the dividend yield. The app also has a basic chart with 1, 5, 10, and 15 year options. Nothing fancy, but I do use the charts and dividend yield to help me determine if a stock is a good long term investment.

Acorns doesn’t really offer a lot, but when you’re choosing a level of investment they do have a chart and breakdown to show what categories your funds will be invested in.

Robinhood is the most advanced of these three apps. They offer a slightly more sophisticated stock chart with the option to show candlesticks, which is nice. There are much more insightful stats listed on each stock like the 52 week hi/lo, average volume, and more. The app also shows recent news articles for any relative companies at least. They also has analyst ratings, and some stocks have Morningstar bull say/bear says articles. Scroll further down and you will find earnings information, and a description of the company including their headquarters location, founded year, and number of employees.

Day/Swing Trading

I’m going to put day trading and swing trading together here because realistically there’s only one of these apps that’s capable of either task. Buying and selling the same stock within the same year takes a bit of skill and know how but can pay off significantly.

Stash can technically be used for swing trading, but they don’t have the best platform for it. They don’t “believe” in day trading, and with only two trading windows per day it would be difficult at the least.

Acorns platform is not setup for purchasing individual or fractional shares.

Robinhood is the platform I use for swing trading, and an occasional day trade. With live trading and features like limit trades, Robinhood is a great app for amateur day/swing traders.

Options Trading On Robinhood App
Options Trading On Robinhood App

Options Trading

Trading options can be lucrative and help you protect your investment in a stock. Unfortunately only one of these apps allows you to trade options.

Stash does not support options trading.

Acorns does not support options trading.

Robinhood does support options trading.

Automatic Investing

Setting up an automatic investment is a great way to build up your portfolio little by little. I typically use auto investing on all three platforms depending on my income stream, since I’m self employed and my income fluctuates, but overall I try to maintain a minimum stream to my investments even if it’s $5/month.

Stash allows you to setup recurring deposits. You can also setup recurring investments in individual stocks and ETFs.

Acorns allows you to setup recurring deposits that are automatically added to your investment portfolio.

Robinhood allows you to setup recurring deposits that are stored in your cash account, which may gain interest depending on your account.

Round Ups

Round Ups are a great way to invest slowly over time, as you make everyday purchases the amount is rounded up to the nearest dollar and the change is invested in your account.

Stash allows Round Ups and deposits the funds into your cash balance.

Acorns allows Round Ups and the funds go directly into your portfolio.

Robinhood does not support Round Ups.

Availability

I like that with all of these apps my money is easily available. Yes, I may have to liquidate somethings and there may be a waiting period but realistically I can expect to have my funds in my bank account within 4-7 business days. That’s not bad!

Selection

In my experience all three of these apps offer a good selection of investments. Of course, they’re not going to have a lot of penny stocks or many of the companies no one has heard of. These apps stick to more mainstream options.

Stash has over 1,800 stocks and ETFs to invest in.

Acorns has 5 levels of risk that you can choose from. Ranging from Conservative to Aggressive.

Robinhood has over 5,000 stocks and ETFs to invest in.

Alerts

Stock alerts are very helpful for investors, and with today’s technology you’re able to get instant alerts if a stocks price moves much and make a decision wether to buy or sell.

Stash does not offer any stock notifications that I find helpful.

Acorns does not offer any stock notifications that I find helpful.

Robinhood offers multiple options for stock notifications. The app notifies me if my watched(or owned) stocks move by 5% or more, you can set it for 10% if you like. I also get notified for breaking news, shareholder updates, and when a stock reaches a new 52 week high/low.

Fees

You should always make sure you understand all the charges and fees before using any app especially an investing app. Luckily all three of these apps use simple terms with no hidden fees or charges.

Stash starts at just $1 a month and they have two other plans for $3 and $9. The lowest priced plan is all you need to invest, and it’s the one I have.

Acorns has three subscription plans for $1, $2, and $3 a month. Again, the lowest priced plan is all you need to invest, and it’s the one I have.

Robinhood is free, but has paid subscriptions as well. The free version is all you need to invest, and it’s what I currently use.

Overview

Hopefully you have learned some of the differences between these apps and the strengths you can use to help grow your portfolio. Here’s an overview of how I use each of these apps.

Stash I use for long term investing. I like that I can buy fractional shares, and I invest in stocks and ETFs that I think will gain money over time. I also invest in companies that I like and that I want to own a piece of. I don’t plan to sell any of these shares any time soon.

Acorns is nice because I don’t have to do anything, I just transfer some cash and let them invest it for me. It’s kind of like a savings account with a higher interest rate. I consider this a long term investment.

Robinhood has a much better and more sophisticated platform for short term investments. They offer live stock information and trades. I use Robinhood for stocks that I expect to hold for anywhere from a day to a few months. This is a portfolio that I am constantly tweaking, buying, selling.

 
Fees
Selection
Fractional Shares
Day/Swing Trades
Options Trading
Portfolio Management
Stash
$1/month +
1,800+ Stocks, ETFs
Yes
No/Yes*
No
No
Acorns
$1/month +
5 Risk Levels
Yes*
No
No
Yes
Robinhood
$0/month +
5,000+ Stocks, ETFs
No
Yes
Yes
No

Getting Started

I would love to help you get started investing on any/all of these platforms! Each of them offers some type of incentive for new members, be sure to follow my links below or you won’t receive the incentive!

Stash gives you $20 to sign up, all you have to do is make a deposit of at least $5. Furthermore you can earn an additional $50 by setting up a direct deposit to Stash of at least $300. Click here to signup and receive bonus.

Acorns gives you $5 to get started. All you have to do is sign up and make a deposit of at least $5. Click here to signup and receive bonus.

Robinhood gives you a random free stock, valued up to $500. Click here to signup and receive bonus.

What’s your experience with Stash Acorns or Robinhood? Leave a comment below...

This article is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge. Content is for informational or entertainment purposes only and does not substitute for personal counsel or professional advice in business, financial, legal, or technical matters.

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