Acorns vs. Stash: 2021 Comparison

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Acorns and Stash are investment apps aimed at beginners who want their money to grow but may not have the time or the expertise to manage it. Each one mixes education and automation to help users understand how to invest and reach their goals, but which one is the better pick? That depends on which features are most important to you.

In general, Stash is most likely to appeal to DIY, hands-on investors, while Acorns tends to be a better fit for investors who want to outsource management of their investments. Below, a full comparison of the two apps.

Acorns
NerdWallet rating 

on Acorns's website

Acorns is best for:

  • Hands-off investors.

  • People who struggle to save.

  • Custodial accounts for kids.

Acorns at a glance

Account minimum

$0 to open account; $5 required to start investing.

Account management fee

  • Lite: $1 a month for taxable investment account.

  • Personal: $3 a month for an investment account plus an IRA and a checking account.

  • Family: $5 a month for all of the above plus investment accounts for kids.

Investment expense ratios

0.03% to 0.18%

Account fees (annual, transfer, closing)

$50 per ETF to have them transferred to another broker when you close your taxable Acorns account; no charge to sell your investments and have the resulting cash transferred.

Portfolio mix

Portfolio mix is generally well-diversified but lacks significant exposure to international bonds.

Sustainable portfolio available for free.

Socially responsible portfolio options

Sustainable portfolio built with ESG ETFs available for no extra cost.

Accounts supported

  • Individual non-retirement accounts.

  • Roth, traditional and SEP IRAs.

  • UTMA/UGMA accounts for kids.

Tax strategy

Not available.

Automatic rebalancing

Free on all accounts.

Human advisor option

Not available.

Bank account/cash management account

Personal and Family members get access to Acorns Spend, a checking account with a debit card, mobile check deposit and reimbursed ATM fees.

Customer support options (includes website transparency)

Customer service is available every day from 6:00 a.m. to 7:00 pm PST through phone and email support.

Stash
NerdWallet rating 

on Stash's website

Stash is best for:

  • Investors who want guidance selecting investments.

  • New investors.

  • Thematic or impact investors.

Stash at a glance

Account minimum

$0

Account management fee

$1/month ($3/month for access to a retirement account; $9/month to add custodial accounts and other services).

Investment expense ratios

0.16% for non-thematic funds, 0.25% for all funds overall.

Account fees (annual, transfer, closing)

Stash has a subscription fee. No annual or inactivity fee; $75 outgoing transfer fee.

Portfolio mix

More than 3,000 ETFs and individual stocks available.

Socially responsible portfolio option

SRI portfolio option available to Stash users.

Accounts supported

  • Individual brokerage accounts.

  • Traditional and Roth IRAs.

  • Online debit accounts.

  • Custodial accounts.

Tax strategy

Not available.

Automatic rebalancing

Smart Portfolios option features automatic rebalancing upon withdrawals or contributions, plus quarterly rebalancing.

Human advisor option

Not available.

Tools

  • Automatic reinvestment of dividends (DRIP).

  • Retirement calculator.

  • Diversification analysis

  • Stock-back rewards

  • Stash Coach helps expand your investing prowess with guidance, challenges and trivia.

Bank account/cash management account

Stash offers access to an online banking account with a debit card, but the account doesn't pay interest.

Customer support options (includes website transparency)

Phone and email support Monday-Friday, 9:00 a.m. to 5 p.m. Eastern, chat feature

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SoFi Automated Investing
Ellevest
NerdWallet rating 
NerdWallet rating 
NerdWallet rating 
Fees

0.25%

management fee

Fees

0%

management fee

Fees

$1 - $9

per month

Account Minimum

$0

Account Minimum

$0

Account Minimum

$0

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