The term micro-invest refers to investing small amounts in ETF’s (Exchange-Traded Funds) or a mix of stocks, bonds and commodities. If you are new to investing or saving money, don’t have a lot to invest or just want to set aside a little extra for the future without using a traditional low interest savings account, you should consider a micro-investing app like Acorns or Stash.
Acorns or Stash?
If you have a smart phone or internet connection, you have access to both Acorns and Stash. Both platforms allow you to invest as little as $5 to for a small monthly fee and both offer recurring investments. While both offer a very similar service that is great for new investors, there are subtle differences in how the platforms operate and charge fees.
|Min. Investment / Bonus||$5 / Bonus $5 sign-up||$5 / Bonus $5 sign-up|
|Service Fees||$1/mo. up to $1M|
0.25%/yr. over $1M
|$1/mo. up to $5k|
0.25%/yr. over $5k
|Accessibility||Android, iOS, Web||Android, iOS, Web|
|Recurring Investments||Weekly; Monthly||Weekly; Monthly|
|Invest Spare Change||Yes, Round-Ups||Yes with Stash Debit Card|
The quickest way to get started is to do a one-time investment of as little as $5 and set it to recurring weekly or monthly. Just set and forget. With Stash, you choose which ETF’s to invest in based on your portfolio recommendations, giving you more control of your investment than with Acorns managed portfolios. I like having a bit more control over where my investments go, but have received gains and dividends from both platforms.
Acorns offers a unique option called Round-Ups, that allows you to link your bank accounts, credit and debit cards to automatically round up your purchases and transfer them once you reach the $5 threshold. So if you buy water for $1.09, $0.91 will be rounded up and held for transfer. This is a nice way to accelerate your savings passively, but you can still turn it off at anytime or add a multiplier to increase the amount.
Which Is Better?
Honestly, I like them both because each offers something a little different. The round-ups from Acorns are nice to track and allow me to adjust for a lower recurring investment while buying shares consistently regardless of market gains and losses. While I can manage my one-time and recurring Stash investments down to which themed ETF or stock/bond I want to invest in regularly or just to the cash to invest account and decide later. It comes down to personal preference and comfort level really. If you just want to set and forget, then Acorns. If you want a little more control and diversity, then Stash.
Disclaimer: I am not a financial advisor, I am merely sharing my opinion. This article contains affiliate links which I may receive compensation for if you decide to sign up through the link.