On the hunt for a new brokerage platform? Stash and Robinhood are among the best stock brokers available to new investors. Both services allow you to build a custom portfolio of stocks and ETFs, completely commission-free.
However, there are important differences between Stash and Robinhood in terms of the account types you can open and what assets you can trade. We’ll compare Stash vs. Robinhood in detail to help you decide which of these brokers is better for you.
About Stash And Robinhood
Stash was founded in 2015 by a pair of Wall Street veterans who wanted to make investing more accessible. Since then, the company has landed over 5 million users and expanded into banking alongside investing. Stash currently has an estimated $2 billion in assets under management.
Robinhood was one of the first fully commission-free stockbrokers in the US and one of the first mobile-only stockbrokers when it launched in 2013. The broker has been extremely successful at attracting first-time investors and now has more than 13 million users. The company has an estimated $20 billion in assets under management.
Stash vs. Robinhood: Account Types
Both Stash and Robinhood offer standard investing accounts, which you can use for short-term trading or long-term investing. However, if you are planning to invest for retirement, only Stash offers IRA accounts (both traditional and Roth). Stash also offers trust accounts for your children, which you can use to invest on their behalf.
Although Stash and Robinhood both focus mainly on investing, the two brokers also offer cash accounts. The Stash checking account comes with a reward debit card that gives you 0.125% back on most purchases. What’s unique about this card is that you don’t just get cashback. Instead, your reward is a fractional share in the very company you made a purchase from (or an ETF of your choice if the company isn’t publicly traded).
Robinhood’s cash account gives you 0.30% APR interest on your money. You also get a debit card and access to over 75,000 ATMs.
Stash vs. Robinhood: Assets And Investing Options
Stash and Robinhood enable you to pick and choose your investments, as opposed to giving you a pre-made portfolio and managing it on your behalf. Both brokers are completely commission-free.
In addition, both brokers allow you to invest in fractional shares. With Robinhood, you can invest as little as $1. With Stash, you must invest at least $5 per trade.
The biggest difference between these brokers is in the exact assets you can invest in.
Stocks And ETFs
Stocks and ETFs are at the heart of both Stash and Robinhood. Stash has around 3,300 US stocks and around 90 ETFs. Robinhood has more than 5,000 shares and funds available, covering nearly all companies on the New York Stock Exchange and NASDAQ. Robinhood also has around 650 American Depositary Receipts, which enable you to trade shares of foreign companies.
Both brokers do a good job of breaking the available stocks and funds down into categories, making it easier to invest in specific market sectors or based on your interests. For example, you can easily find socially responsible investments on Stash under the ‘Missions and Causes’ category. On Robinhood, you’ll find lists of the 100 most popular stocks on the platform, stocks experiencing the largest daily moves, and stocks with upcoming earnings reports.
For more experienced investors, Robinhood offers single-leg and multi-leg options trades. The selection of stocks for which options trading is available is impressively broad, although Robinhood is very light on analysis and risk management tools.
Stash does not offer any options trading.
Robinhood also offers cryptocurrency trading with a built-in wallet. You can invest in seven digital coins, including Bitcoin, Ethereum, and Litecoin.
Stash does not offer any cryptocurrency trading.
Stash vs. Robinhood: Education And Analysis
Stash and Robinhood are specifically built to cater to beginner investors. They lack many of the advanced tools and research that traditional brokers provide. While this might make investing appear less daunting, it also means that there is relatively little information available on which to base investments.
Stash offers a short company profile for every stock, while Robinhood includes limited information about companies’ financials. Both platforms default to line price charts, although Robinhood offers very basic candlestick charts.
The two brokers offer some educational resources targeted at new investors. Robinhood focuses on how to pick stocks and build a portfolio, while Stash’s learning center covers both investing basics and personal finance topics. Both platforms only offer educational articles online, not through their mobile apps.
Stash vs. Robinhood: Pricing
One of the biggest advantages to Robinhood is that it’s completely free to use. There are no account fees, and trading is commission-free, even for options and cryptocurrency trading.
Robinhood does offer a premium Gold tier, which costs $5 per month. This gives you the option to trade on margin at a 2.5% interest rate, instant access to deposits for trading, and professional research from Morningstar.
Stash offers commission-free trading, but opening an account requires a subscription. The Beginner plan costs $1 per month and includes a standard investing account, checking account, and a $1,000 life insurance policy from Avibra. The Grow plan costs $3 per month and enables you to open a traditional or Roth IRA. The Stash+ plan costs $9 per month and adds trust accounts for your children, additional rewards for the Stash debit card, and a $10,000 life insurance policy from Avibra.
Which Service Is Better?
Unless you need an IRA account, Robinhood is a better choice than Stash for most new investors. Robinhood is completely free to use, whereas Stash charges a monthly account fee. Robinhood also offers a wider range of stocks and ETFs, as well as options and cryptocurrency trading. While neither platform provides strong technical analysis or stock research tools, Robinhood’s charts and company data are more robust than what Stash provides.
The main reason to opt for Stash over Robinhood is that Stash offers IRA accounts for retirement investing. However, opening an IRA account requires a $3 per month Grow plan. Many traditional brokers offer free retirement accounts with commission-free trading.
Alternatives To Stash And Robinhood
Neither Stash nor Robinhood offer many tools for investors who want to dive into analysis and portfolio management. If you want to know more about what you’re investing in, consider a traditional broker like Charles Schwab or E*TRADE. These brokers now offer commission-free trading with no account fees, along with powerful research platforms and professional financial advice.
If you want to invest in a premade portfolio, you may want to consider a robo-advisor like Wealthfront or Betterment. These platforms give you a handful of carefully crafted portfolios to choose from instead of leaving you to build your own from thousands of stocks and funds. They also manage your portfolio over time to ensure that it stays balanced.
Conclusion: Stash vs. Robinhood
Stash and Robinhood are both strong brokers for new investors who want to invest in individual stocks and funds. Most investors will find Robinhood more suitable since it offers free accounts and a wider range of assets to invest in. However, Robinhood doesn’t offer retirement investing accounts, so you may want to consider Stash if you’re interested in opening an IRA. Still on the fence? Check out our full reviews of Stash and Robinhood to learn more.