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Stash vs Betterment: Which broker is better for you?

stash vs betterment

Investment obstacles have been reduced by the use of technology. So many alternatives are now available and understandable to everyone. If you’re looking to start investing your money, Stash and Betterment are the two most popular and reputable robo-advisors on the market today. Thanks to these two cutting-edge digital brokers, clients may make long-term investments without much time and effort.

There are a variety of portfolio alternatives available through Stash and Betterment. If you’d want to discover which one is best for you, we can have a look at some of its features, advantages, and disadvantages.

One of the options is Stash. As a result of Stash, small investors may buy fractional shares in publicly listed corporations. Stash allows investors to buy stocks and ETFs for as little as $0.011 to $0.05.

Fractional share investment isn’t the only option available. This feature is currently available for free on other big brokers. Keep this in mind while deciding where to put your money.

In terms of goal-setting, both of these robo-advisors received much positive feedback from their subscribers. Stash, on the other hand, was somewhat better than Betterment. Read the full broker compare review about Betterment VS Axos.

Stash Overview

Because they wanted to know, the creators of Stash built their investing app in 2015 in an attempt to provide an answer to the following question: They kept reverting to the same response. Investing was viewed as a foreign concept by the majority of people.

Stash was conceptualized in this context. It’s a simple way to save and invest money on autopilot. Smart Portfolio, a tool that manages a portfolio on your behalf, is available for individuals who prefer a hands-off approach.

Hundreds of equities and exchange-traded funds (ETFs) are available to Stash users. To save time, you may use Smart Portfolio, which takes care of all the work for you. Check out what Stash has to offer in more detail.

Buying fractional shares on Stash is possible if you have a small amount of money available. Starting at only $0.01, you can buy a fraction of most assets. Customers may buy a share of any stock or fund trading for more than $1,000 per share, starting at only $0.05, on the stock exchange platform.


A Smart Portfolio may be created for as little as $5 if you’re a member of the Growth or Stash+ plans. If any allocations are out of alignment by more than 5%, it will automatically rebalance.

When it comes to setting goals, Stash takes a somewhat different approach. The Stash Coach feature allows customers to access various instructional resources, including how-to articles, without leaving the app. The provider’s Learn section has all of these.

To make it even more engaging and enjoyable, this category has been built as a game in which users get points and progress through the stages as soon as they fulfill their learning and investing challenges. Learning and investment activities, as well as your risk profile, are tailored by the game.

Trade with Stash

Betterment Overview

Using Betterment, you’ll be guided through a simple goal-setting process. Using the platform, you can keep tabs on each individual goal. As a result, you’ll be able to monitor your progress and create new goals whenever you see fit.

Betterment allows you to link your other accounts for a more comprehensive goal-setting experience. The broker suggests increasing your automatic deposits if you fall behind on one of your pre-established targets.

You can invest in the background using this platform’s automated transactions. This means that you can automate your strategies 24/7 and get a chance to boost your investments. Betterment’s developers have made several modifications and additions throughout the years.

Human advisors can aid you when you need it and help you take your financial game to the next level. Betterment is a registered investment advisor. Automated investing is possible since Betterment is a Robo-advisor. You’ll be required to answer a series of questions to join the platform. Your input determines how the algorithm responds.


Using the program, you may tailor your portfolio to meet your specific goals. To get started, all you have to do is select your objectives during the registration process. The remainder will be handled by Betterment. The platform will ask for information such as the desired dollar amount and duration during the registration process.

With Betterment, you have the option of a free or a paid account. Your portfolio is automatically managed by the digital account. Still, you also have access to human and financial advisors and the full suite of digital capabilities with the premium account. Betterment is a Robo-advisor that manages your investments on your behalf. Stash, on the other hand, isn’t a robot adviser. This is where the similarities end and the differences begin.

Min. Investment $0 $0
Management Fees 0.25% (Digital); 0.40% (Premium) $1, $3, $9 per month
Expense Ratio 0.07%-0.15% 0.16%-0.25%
Account Types Brokerage, Saving, Checking, Trust, Roth IRA, Traditional IRA, and SEP IRA Traditional IRA, Roth IRA, Brokerage, Debit Account, and Custodial Accounts.
Financial Advisor Fee $199 None

Stash vs. Betterment Service & Feature Comparison


A portion of your Betterment account balance is charged by Betterment, which is either.25 percent for the Digital Plan or.40 percent for the Premium Plan, depending on your chosen plan. Unlimited phone conversations with a financial counselor are included in the Premium edition.

In other words, people with less investment money pay more because Stash has a fixed monthly cost. A personal investing account can only be opened using the $1/month Stash Beginner plan. Upgrade to the $3/month Stash Growth plan if you wish to save for your golden years. Last, Stash+ costs $9 per month and provides twice the Stock-Back® of the beginning account and access to retirement and custodial savings accounts.

Account Types

You may invest your spare change by rounding up your debit and credit card transactions with Stash’s roundups tool. However, Betterment does not have this function. I don’t mind this about Betterment because it’s not like investing my spare change would make me a billionaire. That’s absurd on its face. You’ll become a billionaire if you automate your weekly, bimonthly, or monthly contributions. So, even while the roundup function is terrific and every penny counts, I still don’t believe Stash is worth the fees, especially if you’re only spending a few dollars.

Trade with Betterment

More account kinds are available through Betterment than Stash, including joint accounts and SEP IRAs. Anyone who is self-employed and does not have a 401(k) plan should consider a SEP IRA.

Range of Investments

Stash isn’t a genuine robo-adviser, though. Individual equities and a few of your favorite ETFs may be invested through Stash (Exchange Traded Funds). “Diversified Mixes” are four iShares ETF portfolios similar to the pre-built portfolio options from Betterment. You may have to pay a higher ETF cost ratio for certain iShares ETFs because they come straight from the company. Mixes that fall within these categories are Aggressive, Conservative, Long-Term, or Moderate Mix. AOR, AOK, AOA, and AOM are the tickers for each of these companies. If interested, you may learn more about these funds on the iShares website. This way, you may be as hands-off as you choose with either platform.

Betterment offers internationally diversified, research-backed portfolios constructed by experts following current portfolio theory. They use low-cost exchange-traded funds (ETFs) and are tailored to your comfort level with risk. As a result, you have fewer possibilities for customizing your investment strategy and can thus invest passively.

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Options, futures, and FX trading aren’t available on any platform.

Trading Platforms & Mobile App

It’s no secret that both Stash and Betterment succeed in making investing accessible to consumers with little or no investment knowledge or cash to burn. Each approach accomplishes the same purpose quite effectively and makes it easy for the average person to begin investing without spending hours looking over business financial reports.

Simplifying investing for those with little or no financial expertise or capital is a strength shared by Stash and Betterment. Even though they both use a somewhat different approach, they both accomplish this purpose quite effectively and make it easy for the average person to begin investing without having to spend hours looking over business earnings reports.

The desktop version of Stash, which was added after the mobile version, is straightforward. Here, you’ll find answers to the most commonly asked questions. There on the front page. Plans, Invest, Bank, Learn, and Help are just a few options under the many menu headings.

It’s a treat to use Betterment on a computer. A calculator illustrates the growth of your investment dollars, and a new investor quiz on the main page demonstrates the platform’s full potential. Investments, cash, plans, and about tabs are all listed in a streamlined menu.

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Other Features

Financial suites rather than investing brokers, Stash, and Betterment both provide FDIC-insured bank accounts with debit cards. An APY of 0.40 percent is available in Betterment’s separate savings account. As part of their Stock-Back® program, Stash’s bank account allows you to earn additional shares of company stock.

Stash and Betterment’s investing and personal finance blogs are primary instructional resources. Stash+, the company’s most expensive service, costs $9 a month. In addition, you’ll receive a monthly market report.

Automated rebalancing ensures that your portfolio stays on pace with your investment goals.

The Stash app allows you to access your direct deposits up to two days early, suggesting that you may “be paid up to two days early.”

Investing in fractional shares is a tool offered by both Stash and Betterment, which allows your money to work harder for you. This means you can purchase a little portion of your investments for a lower price. Because a single share costs $100, you can buy a tenth of a share for $10 rather than waiting to buy the whole thing at $100, for example. That’s especially true for first-time investors with modest funds.

Trade with Stash

Dividend reinvestment is available on both platforms. There are many different types of dividends, but the most common is a periodic cash payout to shareholders from a corporation. Put another way: dividends can be automatically reinvested rather than resting in your bank account as a cash balance.

Retirement Accounts

For investors, Stash offers a retirement account option called Stash Retire. Traditional and Roth IRAs are available at Stash Retire, with the same investment options as a Personal Portfolio. In a Stash Retire account, you can make contributions up to the IRA Contribution Limit.

The Growth Plan and Stash+ Plan, which are significantly more expensive at $3 or $9 per month, include Stash Retire as part of their offerings. With the basic plan, you may begin investing for only $1.

Fees, however, can quickly spiral out of control here. Investing more each month and observing investment results is essential to avoid losing a portion of your account balance to your monthly membership fee.

Betterment’s retirement planning tool allows you to integrate your non-Betterment accounts, such as 401(k)s, providing a complete view of your savings and investment accounts. This information enables the tool to provide comprehensive retirement planning advice, such as comparing current savings levels with desired retirement spending levels and answering questions about whether you’re saving enough money, when you’ll be able to retire, and if you’re using the proper savings vehicles and investments to meet your needs. There is a daily check for changes and a sync with other accounts, such as your Social Security number, so you may enter your information with confidence.

Trade with Betterment

My Preference: Stash Wins Over Betterment

Suppose you’re in the market for a digitally managed portfolio with access to financial experts. In that case, this is a good option. As a result, Betterment would be the ideal option. One of the most well-known robo-advisors, Betterment has Core, three SRI, and Income portfolios in addition to over a decade of experience. A bank account, a cash-back debit card, and a high-yield cash reserve account round out Betterment’s praises for its two cash management alternatives. Beginners will enjoy that competent investment management requires no minimum amount of money.

There is a specific style of investor that Stash caters to. Investors only putting their toes in the water will benefit most from the self-directed investment app. Its informative guidelines and user-friendly interface make Stash an excellent alternative for investors who like to handle their finances. It’s one of the most incredible investing applications for newbies. Stash Smart Portfolio’s features are adequate, but investors looking for a digitally managed account would be better served by Betterment’s offerings. Stash


Stash vs. Betterment: What's the difference?

While Stash and Betterment offer a cheap entry fee, the best depends on your investment objectives. For those who like to buy and manage their own equities, Stash may be a better option. When investing your money, you may want a robo-advisor to help you balance your portfolio, keep your taxes to a minimum, and avoid unnecessary fees. Betterment may be a good option for you if such is the case.

Is Betterment a legitimate money-making opportunity?

Various exchange-traded funds (ETFs) make up Betterment's investment portfolio. Over time, ETFs can provide diversity and growth potential.
You should be aware that each investment has some risk, and you don't want to put all your eggs in one basket. It all boils down to the market's performance, of course. And the allocations in your portfolio when it comes to producing money.

Is it possible to make money using Stash in the long run?

If your investments do well, you'll be able to make money with Stash. Building a well-researched portfolio of ETFs or equities with a focus on long-term investing usually results in a profit. But if your investments fail, you might lose all of your money.

New investors may wonder if Stash and Betterment are viable options.

New investors may find Stash and Betterment appealing since they make getting your money into the stock market easier. As a result, Stash and Betterment don't require a large initial investment amount to begin investing; instead, they offer instructional tools and manage your money for you.

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