M1 Finance

Is Stash Invest Safe and Legitimate Firm and App? Is Stash Invest Scam? Stash Investing Complaints and BBB Rating.



Is Stash Invest Legitimate Firm?


StashInvest.com is a relatively new player in the financial service sector. It is a personal investment service designed to simplify investing. Aimed at millennials, it’s design and voice feel a little fluffy–like investing with training wheels on.

Investments at Stash start with as little as $0.01 (stocks priced over $1k have a $0.05 minimum). Users can choose from thousands of stocks and ETFs.

Educational services are also provided in the form of weekly emails and a “Education” tab on the app which provides articles such as “Health Care Fever: Quarterly Earnings and the House Passes the AHCA” as a way to teach users how world events and political decisions affect the market.


Is Stash Invest Scam?


Stash Invest is not a scam. They earn money by charging investors a small monthly fee. There are 3 pricing plans available: Beginner ($1/month), Growth ($3/month) and Stash+ ($9/month).


Stash invest pricing plans


The Stash Invest management fee compares very favorably to fees typically charged by financial advisors. Those average about 1% annually, but can be as high as 2% or more.


Stash Invest Promotion


Get $5 bonus when you open new account.

Open Stash Account



Is Stash Invest Insured and Regulated?


Since Stash Invest offers brokerage services to clients, it does not offer investments that are federally insured by the FDIC, so there is a risk of losing principal as with any other brokerage. Brokerage services are provided to Stash Clients by Apex Clearing Corporation, an SEC registered broker-dealer and member FINRA/SIPC.

Stash Invest is a registered broker-dealer with the Securities Exchange Commission (SEC). The company is also a member of the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA) and the Securities Investor Protection Corporation (SIPC).

Stash Invest's affiliation with the latter three agencies means they comply with all the rules and regulations governing the investing industry and pledge to do business with customers in a legal and ethical manner. The main risk for an investor is if Stash Invest fails and must liquidate its assets. However, SIPC insurance guarantees investors' accounts up to $500,000 (including up to $250,000 in cash).


Stash Invest Complaints, BBB Rating


A search of the Better Business Bureau website shows that the broker does have a record there. Stash Invest BBB rating is F - the lowest available at Better Business Bureau. There are 57 reviews for the broker. The website also has 196 complaints posted in the last 3 years. Considering that the company has at least 3.5 million users, these numbers are very low.


Conclusion


There are more options and slightly more transparency available with Stash than is available with Acorns. It is a compromise in that users do not have the purchasing freedom that comes with Ally Invest (review). Stash also does not offer the same number of active reminders to invest, which makes it easy for casual investors to leave it by the wayside inadvertently. Stash is an early robo-advisor planted firmly in the middle ground between Acorns and Firstrade.

Stash is ideal for young investors who want to throw a cinnamon latte’s worth of cash into an investment portfolio every once in a while, and are curious about where their money is going. However, the combination of the fees and the deposit strategy suggest that it is a place for saving money for a rainy day, not users’ golden years.