A few weeks ago I was scrolling through pins on the Pinterest app and there was an article about ways to get free money and one of the ideas that was offered was to join a site called Stash. It went on to explain that Stash is an app you can download onto your phone or tablet and through it you can invest your money in the stock market in any amount you would like, I believe as low as $5 at a time. I filed this information away as something that I might want to look into at some point when I had a little extra money.
Well today I am on Twitter, which I am just discovering, I have never Tweeted before until this week. I was never a big fan of the whole idea and honestly it confused me why it was such a popular app. Well I have been using it for like four or five days now and I am really enjoying it, but I digress…I am on Twitter reading Tweets and I see one about Stash, @Stash, and I read it and in the Tweet there is a nice orange-colored button to push in order to install the app and get the free $5 I read about a few weeks ago. So I did it, I installed Stash and joined.
Installation was simple. I use a Samsung phone and downloaded Stash from the Google Play Store. I read some reviews while I waited for it to install and saw some reviewers complaining that the app kept crashing on them once they started to enter in their information during sign up. I saw other reviews that had noting but high praise for the app and the ease of use. I generally don’t let reviews keep me from trying something out at least once as I have always liked to form my own opinions on things so I moved on and opened the app as it had finished downloading.
The app is an investment app so they require you to furnish some personal information as required by law and they explain this all to you right from the start. It is very easy to follow along and the instructions are simple and well done. I entered in all the relevant information and after that is done you need to link a checking account to the app as this is how you make the money transfers in order to get the money from you to them. Simple enough to do. You need to have a bank account and a routing number and your name. Then they explain to you the next step is to confirm your bank account and this can take up to 3 days as it requires Stash to make a few deposits to your account which you then check and share the information with Stash after it is done. I have not yet done this part as I only just joined last night so I am currently waiting for that step to happen.
While you wait for your account to get confirmed you are able to make some decisions in the app on what type of investing you would like to do. This is again set up in a very easy to understand way and by the looks of it you can keep it simple by choosing from three options which are low risk investments, moderate risk investments, or high risk investments.
- Low risk investments are the safest choice and have the lowest risk of failure, meaning lowest risk of losing your investment. However this choice will also have the lowest return from the investment as well if I understood it correctly. I think of this as the mason jar of cash buried in the back yard option, safe but years down the road when you dig that jar up your investment is not going to have grown much. I think if I was investing hundreds of thousands of dollars this would be the option I would pick.
- Moderate risk investments are the middle of the road investments. They have moderate risk and moderate gains. There is risk here that you could lose money but you may also gain a good return as well. I think of this option as the putting my money in a bank that’s not insured but offers a nice interest rate. I know that when it is time to take my money out my investment will have grown nicely, but there is that chance the bank could get robbed or burn down and you in turn lost your cash.
- High risk investments was the third choice. High risk obviously of losing your investment but if things work out you have a chance of really making a lot of money. I think of this option as my Las Vegas option. I walk into a casino with all my savings, find a roulette table and bet it all on black. I am either walking out of there with bags of cash or I am walking out with nothing.
Once you choose your level of investing you can then set your investment. I set mine at $5 to start and put it in the moderate risk investments. You then get to set it up to automatically invest $5 just this once, once a week, once every two weeks, or once a month. There is an explanation with this that states that even if you set up an automatic investment you can still make additional investments whenever you would like and you can change the automatic investment anytime you like as well or stop it all together. I opted to just make the investment once and I will come back each week on my own and make my choice that way.
There is then another series of questions that allow you to tweak your investing style even more. You can choose what types of companies you would like your money to go to, what your interests are, and what you believe in. This way you have some control over where your money is being invested.
You can also choose to have your money invested in a certain type of company all together rather than picking from the original three levels I explained earlier. I have not explored this yet so I will have to write more on that in an update after I have tried it out. One last thing to be aware of is that there is a $1 a month fee for using Stash and if your account gets to be over $5000.00 then there is a .025% fee they charge. This to be seems like a fair fee and did not dissuade me from using the app.
Overall I feel like Stash is a great way to try out investing in the stock market if you don’t have a large amount of residual income to invest with. I figure I can come up with $5 a month for sure to invest and I am going to try to go for at least $5 a week to start. That is basically a couple of cups of coffee from the coffee shop I can cut out of my diet in hopes of someday having enough extra money invested that I can drink all the coffee I want without worrying about how much it costs.
I am not investment expert. I do have retirement accounts and things like that but those are all mostly hands off, I just pick how much out of each paycheck I want invested and my employer does the rest. Even so I have done some research and when investing in mutual funds which is what I believe Stash is basically doing the best thing a person can do is leave their investments alone once they set them up, meaning don’t make withdraws or transfers, adding more money is always okay. Long term investing is the key to success, even if things start to go sour you should fight the urge to take your money out. Does this method work? It has for me. I have seen some losses over the years but overall my investments have grown.
Hope this post was informative to anyone who has been interested in Stash or just interested investing at all, I would love to have some comments from anyone who has had more experience then I using Stash and what you think of it. If anyone else has any questions for me please post them and I will answer them as best I can. I will also be updating this post as time goes on to let everyone know how things are going with my investments in Stash and if I do in fact get that free $5.
Update: My first transaction with the Stash app has successfully gone through with no problems at all and I did get the $5 free. If you would like to try Stash and get $5 free as well click here and visit this link. You will get $5 and for trying it out from my link I will also get $5. Thanks for your support and for reading about my experience with stashinvest.com.
The Broke Dad