As you would already know, Acorn and Stash are investment apps. These two apps are both robot investment apps that help you invest as well as save money simultaneously. Acorn and Stash are meant for beginners who lack expertise in the field of financial investing. Those that want to grow their portfolio as well as saving cash to secure a better future with no knowledge or time to manage it.
The two apps rely on Artificial Intelligence, which is the next big thing in almost all fields. But Acorn and Stash have now utilized AI in the financial investment field. So how do these apps work?
Acorns is a roundup app that “rounds up” your spending to the nearest dollar and invests that difference. To be able to do this, Acorns has to be linked to your credit card and checking account. Take, for example, if you buy a cup of coffee for $5.25; Acorn will round it to $6, thus investing the 75¢ difference automatically in your investment account.
So, it’s that simple. You will be saving pennies, thus making the investment process easy as pie.
For Stash, you still have to link your bank account, which will act as a bridge to your investment account. Unlike Acorns, Stash does not manage your money directly. It only teaches you how to kick off your investment journey in your quest to build an investment portfolio. The portfolio consists of over 30 ETFs or single stocks, which are over 70.
Summary: Acorn vs Stash
In this article, we compare Acorn and Stash side by side to see which of the two robot investment apps is better than the other. In this review, Acorn proves to be a better contender than Stash. It has no minimum deposit, and it packs more features that are most suitable to a beginner who is just starting. What is good about Acorns is that the app tries to break the barrier that is always holding beginners from saving any money – they don’t have enough money to invest. Acorn is also free to use for students and anyone under the age of 24 years.
Features: Acorn vs Stash
Minimum deposit: Acorn vs Stash
Starting with Acorn, it has no minimum deposit, so you can get started with whatever little is in your pockets, and you’re ready to invest. But to start investing, you will have to accumulate at least $5.
For Stash, the platform requires a minimum deposit of $5. So, you can start investing with as little as $5 on the go.
Even though Acorn has no minimum deposit, you cannot invest less than $5 – which makes it flush with Stash that needs a $5 minimum deposit, but you will start investing immediately.
Account management fee: Acorn vs Stash
The account management fee is also one crucial aspect you should look out for. Acorn has five pre-built investment portfolios. Acorns Core taxable investment account will cost you $1 per month as account management fees, $2 a month for Acorns invest + Later, and $3 per month for Acorns Spend, which includes both invest and later.
For Stash, management fees range from as low as $1 to $9. Stash has three different plans on its sleeves. The lowest plan dubbed “Beginner,” which is pegged with a $1 management fee, followed by Growth and finally Stash+ with a management fee of $3 and $9 per month, respectively.
Portfolios: Acorn vs Stash
For Acorns, you will be asked a few questions that the answers given will be used to curate an investment portfolio that works best for you. The information required is strictly financial. You will be able to choose different investment goals, either long term, short term, or targeted at a given activity or product. Acorn has five different investment strategies tied to your risk tolerance levels. These portfolios include; Conservative, Moderate Conservative, Moderate, Moderately Aggressive, and Aggressive; arranged in order of low-risk tolerance to high-risk tolerance.
Acorns invest money in Exchange Traded Funds composed of the following;
- Corporate Bonds
- Emerging markets
- Large companies
- Small companies
- Government Bonds
- Real Estate
Stash has a similar setup process like Acorns – answering questions on financial status – which helps them determine your risk tolerance. After that, your risk tolerance level is determined based on variable factors like period and even age, among other factors. Tolerance levels here are only three; conservative, moderate, or aggressive. Stash then offers a bunch of different investment schemes you can choose from. Stash has over 30 ETFs, unlike Acorns. Apart from this, you can also invest on your own from the available 70+ different individual stocks.
Round-ups: Acorn vs Stash
Round-ups are only available on Acorns. Acorn will “round up” your credit card spending to the nearest dollar and invests that difference.
Scheduled deposits: Acorn vs Stash
With Acorns, you can also schedule when your money will automatically be added to your investment account. You can schedule deposits on a daily, weekly, or monthly basis. The same case applies to Stash in its feature called “Auto Stash.”
SIPC protection: Acorn vs Stash
Both Acorns and Stash offer account protection via the Securities Investor Protection Corporation (SIPC). Acorn and Stash are both SEC registered broker-dealer and member FINRA/SIPC. Acorns says its security protects accounts up to $500,000.
Education: Acorn vs Stash
Both apps provide financial education resources to help beginners kick off their investment journey and learn the ins and out of short-term and long-term investment strategy.
Security: Acorn vs Stash
Both apps are SEC Registered Investment Advisors. For data and account security, Stash uses 256-bit bank-grade encryption technology for static data. For data in transit, Stash relies on a secure socket layer (SSL). Furthermore, Stash does not store your bank login details. Acorn has account protection for up to 500,000.
The mobile app and website rely on 256-bit SSL encryption technology. Besides, Acorn also has bank-level encryption technology for account protection. Other security measures include Multi-factor authentication, automatic logouts, and ID verification plus account alerts on suspected unusual activity.
Found money: Acorn vs Stash
This is another unique feature that you will only find in Acorns. Acorn has partnered with brands which when you spend any money at their place, they will contribute a certain amount to your investment account. These brands include Nike, Airbnb, Lyft, and Walmart, among others.
Availability: Acorn vs Stash
Both Stash and Acorns have mobile apps. You can find their apps on Google Play and Apple store. Although both apps started explicitly as mobile apps over time, they have even included support for web access. Meaning you can also use their website and invest directly on your PC/desktop.
Comparison: Acorn vs Stash
Who is this for?
Acorn and Stash are not meant for financial gurus who know their ways in the financial market. They are intended for individuals who wish to grow their investment portfolio as well as save some cash for a greater future. With your business goals, Acorn and Stash analyze your risk tolerance and investment goals and advise you on how to move forward.
This is usually what financial advisors do, but they charge outrageously, so if you’re starting your financial investment journey – it will not be cost-effective. So those who cannot afford financial advisors robot advisors like Acorn and Stash are here for you. They will find the best-performing assets that you can bet on confidently and the best price points that work for you.
But of course, it is not all free, but the fees charged by robot advisors are way much below that what you will pay before a financial advisor even utters one word – hi – leave alone before dispensing advice. Also, robot advisors are for those people who want to switch to cost-effective financial information.
Acorns and Stash pros and cons
- No minimum deposit
- Easy method of saving and investing
- Low account maintenance fees
- Multiple investment options
- Low minimum deposit
- Delayed Trading Execution
- High fees charge on low account deposits
Pricing: Acorn vs Stash
Acorn and Stash have paid plans. Starting with Acorn, you will be charged a $1 per month as management fees, but that only applies to accounts that hold up to $1 million. For accounts exceeding $1 million, Acorn charges a 0.25% management fee a month. Few exceptions apply to these fees – students and all individuals under 24 years are not charged a penny.
Price: $1 per month
- Invest in your future
- Put your spare change to work with Round-Ups
- Earn bonus investments from our 350+ Found Money partners
- Grow your knowledge with hundreds of articles from financial experts
Acorn invest + later
Price: $2 per month
- Invest in your future
- Later starts today
- The easiest way to save for retirement
- Earn tax advantages
- Updated regularly to match your goals
Acorn invest + later + spend
Price: $3 per month
- Investing in your future
- Spend smarter
- Save money with no account fees and reimbursed ATM fees
- Earn more with up to 10% bonus investments
- Invest automatically with built-in investment and retirement accounts
For Stash, you will still churn out $1 per month for the lowest plan up to $9 for the top tier plan. The minimum $1 plan does not include a retirement plan, so you better upgrade to the $3 tier for this. The $9 level unlocks other advanced features like an Investing account for two kids, Metal debit card with 2x Stock-Back™ plus Monthly market insights report. However, a 0.25% flat fee for accounts over $5,000 applies. For the first month, Stash is free, but these fees apply from the second month.
Stash beginner plan
Price: $1 per month
- Personal investment account
- Debit account access
- Earn Stock-Back™ (opt-in required)
- Free financial education
Price: $3 per month
- All in Stash Beginner
- Tax benefits for retirement investing
Price: $9 per month
- Investing accounts for two kids
- Metal debit card with 2x Stock-Back™
- Monthly market insights report
Verdict: Winner – Acorn
Although both apps have a flat charge, Acorn is a better alternative than Stash. It offers a flat fee for large accounts for over $1 million. Plus, Acorns is cheaper than Stash. Acorn’s highest plan charges a $3 monthly management fee, which is way below, Stash’s most senior $9 plan.
User-friendliness: Acorn vs Stash
Both apps are easy to use and sign up. You will need to have a social security number and other credentials to get started. A process that should not take a maximum of even 15 minutes. The application UI is easy to maneuver around even for beginners. Financial education is also offered. These apps walk you through your goals and help you with a workable solution that applies to your situation. Acorns invest your money directly, which we find is very handy, unlike in Stash, where you are solely provided with advice. However, it does not manage your account instantly. For beginners, we found both apps are useful.
Support: Acorn vs Stash
Starting with Acorn, it has a knowledge base that is equipped with some necessary information about the platform. All of Acorn investment plans are explain blatantly. To reach the customer support team, you have to fill out a contact form that is embedded on their website.
For Stash, there is a knowledge base as well as live support.
The Verdict: Acorn vs Stash
Well, throughout the whole comparison its clear, Acorn turns out as a stronger contender than Stash. Acorn is built for the beginner who is starting his/her financial investment journey. Found money and round-ups plus no minimum deposit make Acorn a better alternative. Also, Acorn charges a low amount of fees, plus they have a free plan for students who wish to invest in their future. With these features, Acorn proves as a painless way to save and invest your cash with no pressure whatsoever. That is not to say Stash is a lousy alternative, but it is also great. It offers a ton of ETFs and includes individual stocks. You can invest the way you like… mix and match depending on your needs. But for this review, Acorn stands out. It does not hurt to go with Stash still.