Ease of Use
Stockpile is a discount online brokerage that many in the trading world have been talking bout. With an easy to use interface and many features, Stockpile may be what your trading is looking for. Read our review to find out if you should give Stockpile a try.
Stockpile.com an online discount brokerage with several niche features that enable easy gifting of stocks and fractional share purchases. The company caters to less experienced investors with simple and intuitive order screens and easy to use tabs to get customers on the right track. Stockpile is the brainchild of CEO Avi Lele who designed the platform to simplify the process of gifting stock shares. He developed a large distribution base for physical Stockpile gift cards that can be purchased at grocery stores and retailers. Stockpile Investments, Inc. is a registered broker-dealer and member of FINRA and SIPC, which insures customer accounts up to $500,000 including $250,000 of cash. There are no monthly fees or minimums. Sign up is free and investors can get started with just $5.
Stockpile Commissions and Fees
There are no monthly fees or minimums to open a Stockpile account. The commissions on trading stock is straightforward. However, the gift cards and process of gift shares has several direct fees associated with it.
Stockpile has a flat $0.99-per trade commission on stocks, ADRs and ETFs. Users can buy stocks with credit cards but incur a 3-percent processing fee in addition to the $0.99 commission. This commission is competitive when compared to other discount brokers.
Gift Card Fees
Stockpile E-gift cards can be purchased online and cost $2.99 plus 3% card processing fee and $0.99 commission to buy shares. Gift cards and share purchases have a minimum investment of $5 with default increments of $25, $50, $100 and $200.
Physical Stockpile gift cards to gift stock shares can be purchased at grocery stores and retailers for $4.95 up to $7.95 depending on the price and quantity of the underlying stock shares you wish to gift. For a $25 gift card, the total cost is $29.95, and a $100 gift card is $107.95. This includes the fees of the gift card, card processing and the transaction fee.
Recipients of either e-gift card or physical gift cards must open a Stockpile brokerage account to redeem the shares. The $0.99 commission per trade applies thereafter if the customer wishes to sell the shares.
There are a number of transactional fees that customers should be aware of. Since users are buying fractional shares, the fees can be expensive relative to the investments.
- Outgoing domestic wire: $25
- Paper checks: $5
- ACH note of correction: $5
- Returned check, ACH, wire or stop payment: $30
- Stock transfers from another brokerage: $75
Stockpile Platform Features and Tools
The platform is basically for executions. The platform is simple and intuitive for buying and selling equities, ADRs and ETFs. Imagine if you were shopping online rather than using a brokerage. To cater to beginners, Stockpile limits the selection of stocks to well-known brands that consumers can identify with. This is all designed to familiarize customers to the link between stock performance and brand names. While the selection exceeds 1,000 stocks, it is still limited compared to the over 6,000 publicly traded companies. Customers can only trade stocks that are available. Don’t expect to trade penny stocks or low float stocks. This is all tailored to the casual inexperienced consumer. There is no short-selling or options trading available.
One of the key advantages of Stockpile is the ability to buy and sell fractional shares, less than one share of stock. Typically, if an investor wants to purchase a $100-per share stock, they would need to have at least $100 to buy a single share of stock and usually $10,000 to purchase the typical 100-share lot of stock. This makes investing in expensive stocks (over $100) very prohibitive for small investors to partake in. With fractional shares, you can set a dollar amount to invest and Stockpile will purchase the fractions of shares for you. For example, by allocating $25 to invest in a $100 stock, it will purchase 0.25 shares (1/4 of one share) for you. This opens a broad range of growth and momentum stocks for small investors.
The mobile app is identical to the desktop version with the added benefits of portability. The app can be download through the app store for iOS and Google Play for Android. For a new investor, the mobile app is extremely easy to use as it walks you through the onboarding process and purchasing your first shares very smoothly. Simplicity overrides diverse functionality that experience traders are more accustomed to.
Like Robinhood, Stockpile provides basic fundamental data for stocks including 52-week high/lows, P/E ratios, dividend and earnings data, volume and company information. It also provides relevant news stories associated with the stock.
The research tools are relatively basic but will provide most beginner investors with the information they need.
Stockpile Additional Features
As an additional measure of catering to beginners, Stockpile makes it easy to find companies associated to brands. The search function can be used to enter brand names and the platform will find the stock associated with it. Users can even type in a brand name like “ESPN” or “Marvel Comics” and the algorithms will find the stock that it’s associated with. The gift card processing is the biggest differentiator for Stockpile as that was the original purpose that sparked the development of the platform. Kids and teens can also track their stocks, create watch lists and actually place parent-permissioned trades. This is something not found and often restricted on mainstream online brokerage platforms.
Execution and Routes
Stockpile doesn’t execute real-time trades. Orders placed before 3pm EST will be executed at the stock’s closing market price that day. Trades after 3pm EST will execute on the next day’s closing price. It literally treats stock orders like mutual fund orders. However, there is not trading in stocks not included on the list of 1,000 or so symbols. The orders are end of day market orders, there is no limit orders or direct access trading.
What Type of Trader Stockpile Is Best For?
Stockpile is specifically designed for new investors looking to get their feet wet in the stock market with small accounts that can benefit from fractional share purchases. Notably, customers that want a convenient way to gift stock shares are the ideal target audience. It’s the most tailored platform to use for gifting fractional shares of stocks to other beginners to the markets. Since there is no real-time trading, this brokerage is not suitable for intra-day traders. Long-term investors and swing trades with small accounts that are new to the markets are the best suited for this gateway platform.
- Easy-to-use trading interface operates like a shopping cart for beginners
- Fractional share purchases enable positions in expensive stocks
- Low commissions of $0.99-per trade
- Electronic and physical Stockpile gift cards make gifting stocks simple
- Mobile app makes transactions portable and convenient
- Great way for kids and teens to learn about the stock market
- No real-time executions
- Limited research tools