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Investing is all the rage these days and for good reason: Having a solid investing strategy now can help you set yourself up for future financial success.
However, it can be difficult to know which investing platform is right for you, especially if you’re trying to decide between popular options like SoFi Invest and Stash.
If you’re struggling to decide which investing platform is best for your unique financial situation, worry not, we’re here to help.
In this Sofi Invest vs. Stash head-to-head match-up, we’ll compare these two industry-leading brokerages. That way, you can decide which company is the best fit for your investing goals.
Overview SoFi Invest vs. Stash
Before we get carried away with our SoFi Invest and Stash comparison, let’s talk a bit about what makes each company unique.
|In A Nutshell||SoFi Invest provides a user-friendly trading environment for active and passive investors. Their Active Investing service offers $0 commission trading and $0 account minimums ($1 to start investing).||Stash is a subscription-based investment platform that offers fractional shares and ETFs for investors in the United States, with no hidden fees. Stash offers two plans with monthly fees starting at just $3.|
|Our Review||Full SoFi Invest Review||Full Stash Review|
About SoFi Invest
SoFi Invest is a relatively new brokerage that’s part of a company called Social Finance, Inc. (SoFi). The company’s investment platform started in 2019 as a way to create a user-friendly platform for trading.
SoFi Invest offers both a self-directed trading feature called active investing and a robo-advisory service that they call SoFi Automated Investing.
The company’s major selling points are its low fee and simplified trading platform. This makes it a popular choice among newer and younger investors that want an easy way to kickstart their investments.
See Also: 12 Best Online Brokers
Like SoFi Invest, Stash is fairly new in the investment industry. The platform was launched in 2015 to create a brokerage that caters to smaller investors.
Stash is a subscription-based investment platform. So, account holders pay a monthly fee for access to the company’s features, which include the ability to trade stocks and ETFs.
However, Stash also offers other money management features, including simplified banking2 solutions, budgeting tools, and financial education resources. Thus, it’s a nice choice for folks who want a long-term investing platform that provides a holistic approach to personal finance.
Check out our full Stash Invest review to learn more.
SoFi Invest vs. Stash: Main Features
Both Stash and SoFi Invest are investing platforms that are chock-full of features to help you manage your money. Below, we cover some of the most important features of each platform.
|Account Minimum||No minimum Investment 1 (*Subscription fees apply, see below for more details)||$0 ($1 to start investing)|
|Fees||$3 per month (Stash Growth) and $9 per month (Stash+)||$0|
|Investment Types||Stocks and ETFs||Stocks, ETFs and Cryptocurrencies|
|Account Types||Individual Taxable, Traditional IRA, Roth IRA, and Custodial Account||Individual Taxable, Joint Taxable, Traditional IRA, Roth IRA, SEP IRA and Rollover IRA|
|Platforms||Mobile (iOS / Android)||Web-based and Mobile (iOS / Android)|
|Promotions||Get a $5 welcome bonus||None|
|Best For||Beginner investors||Low fees and new investors|
With SoFi Invest, you have a few different investment options to choose from. Here’s how they compare and what they mean for your financial goals.
SoFi Active Investing
If you want a self-directed trading platform, SoFi Active Investing might be a solid choice. With Active Investing, you’re the boss when it comes to picking securities for your portfolio, but you do get free access to qualified financial advisors.
With Active Investing, you can purchase stocks, ETFs, and crypto at low fees. Additionally, SoFi lets you buy fractional shares of stocks and ETFs (called stock bits). This allows you to buy parts of certain blue-chip stocks for as little as $1.
SoFi Automated Investing
For folks that like to take more of a passive approach, SoFi Automated Investing is a nifty robo-advisor. This service allows you to open an account, set up recurring investments, and sit back while SoFi’s robo-advisor decides on an investment strategy for your goals.
SoFi Automated Investing is an affordable robo-advisor as it only charges a 0.25% advisory fee on accounts with balances greater than $10,000. However, it lacks capabilities like tax-loss harvesting, which you can find at some other firms.
SoFi Banking Services
While this review is primarily about SoFi investing features, SoFi does also offer banking services. With your SoFi Invest account, you also have access to the company’s checking, credit card, loan, and insurance services. So, it’s a nice company to work with if you want to do all your money management in one place.
Overview of Main Features:
- Automated & active investing: SoFi Invest allows you to choose between self-directed and automated investing to suit.
- Low cost, commission-free investing: With SoFi Invest, you get commission-free trades and low account fees to maximize your money.
- Fractional shares trading: You can buy and sell fractional shares of some blue-chip stocks.
- Banking products: The broker also offers access to banking products with all of their accounts.
- Stock, ETF, and crypto trades: You can trade stocks, crypto, and ETFs on US markets.
Stash is a full-service money management and investing platform. These are some of its key features:
Stash Invest is the company’s flagship service. With this broker, you can pick a subscription service (more on that in a bit) and start trading stocks or ETFs with just $3.
All Stash Invest accounts come with fractional shares trading so you can invest in large companies without the need for huge amounts of capital. You can also set goals and access educational tools right from your account.
Depending on your subscription level, your Stash Invest account also comes with access to financial advisors and a life insurance policy. Plus, all accounts get a Stock-Back® debit card3, which lets you earn stocks back at well-known stores as you pay for day-to-day purchases4.
In addition to investing tools, Stash also provides account holders with FDIC-insured checking accounts through Green Dot Bank5. You can use these accounts for all your banking needs.
The benefit to using Stash Banking is that any purchases you make on your Stock-Back® debit card allow you to earn stocks back as a reward. So, this can be a nice way to use your regular spending habits to grow your investments.
Overview of Main Features:
- Subscription-based investing: Stash account holders have access to different account features and tools based on their chosen subscription level.
- Easy banking services: All Stash accounts come with a checking account1 to help you manage your money.
- Educational resources: Regardless of your subscription level, you get access to Stash’s educational tools and recommended portfolios. Growth and Stash+ members also get access to financial advisors.
- Rewards on daily purchases: The Stock-Back® card is a superb way to earn stock rewards on all qualifying purchases.
- Smart Portfolio: A new feature offered by Stash to help users build long-term wealth and diversify their investment portfolios. Stash will create and managed a fully diversified portfolio based on the user’s financial risk profile, time horizon, and goals. Stash will automatically rebalance your portfolio if the asset allocation deviates by more than 5% from the original asset mix.
See Also: 7 Best Micro-Investing Apps
SoFi Invest vs. Stash: Investment Options
With any trading platform, you’ll have access to a selection of different investment products, such as stocks, mutual funds, and crypto. While there’s no single investment product that’s ideal for all investors, you must know your options before you commit to a platform.
Here’s what investment options you can expect from Stash and SoFi Invest.
With SoFi Invest, you can buy and sell stocks, ETFs, and crypto. As far as stocks and ETFs go, SoFi Invest provides access to US-based exchanges during market open hours.
Cryptocurrency trading on SoFi Invest is a bit different as you can buy and sell crypto 24/7 on the platform. There’s a $10 minimum to trade crypto and the platform only supports trades for Bitcoin, Litecoin, and Ethereum.
It’s also worth noting that SoFi manages 5 of its own ETFs (TGIF, SFY, SFYX, GIGE, and SFYF). While there’s no requirement that you invest in these ETFs, they do have relatively low expense ratios, which could make them a nice choice for some investors.
Stash account holders have access to stock and ETF trades on US-based exchanges, just like SoFi Invest.
The key difference between the two platforms, however, is that Stash doesn’t allow for cryptocurrency investing.
If you’re not interested in crypto, this might not be a big deal. But, if you think crypto is something you’d like to add to your portfolio, then Stash’s limitation in this regard could be a concern.
SoFi Invest vs. Stash: Account Types
When you decide to trade with either Stash or SoFi Invest, you’ll first need to open an account. Each platform offers different account types, so finding one that meets your financial needs is important.
This is what you can expect from each company:
SoFi Invest currently supports the following account types:
- Individual and joint brokerage (taxable)
- Traditional IRA
- Roth IRA
- SEP IRA
- Rollover IRA
For a low-cost brokerage, this is a pretty decent selection of account types. As you can see, SoFi Invest offers both retirement and taxable brokerage accounts, so most investors will find something that works for them.
That being said, SoFi Invest doesn’t currently support custodial accounts, so it’s not great if you’re trying to invest for your children.
Currently, Stash supports the following account types:
- Individual and joint brokerage (taxable)
- Traditional IRA
- Roth IRA
This is a fairly good selection of different account types as Stash allows folks to open both taxable accounts and individual retirement accounts. The inclusion of custodial accounts is also awesome for people who want to invest for their children.
However, it’s important to note that not all account types are available to all Stash members. Stash Growth subscribers can only open taxable and retirement accounts.
SoFi Invest vs. Stash: Sign Up Bonuses and Promotions
Although a sign-up bonus or promotion might not be the sole reason you open an account with a trading platform, it’s always nice to get some freebies. Here are some promotions you can expect when opening an account:
SoFi Invest does not currently offer any promotions for new accounts. But, this can change at any time, so check back regularly if you’re interested in SoFi Invest.
Stash currently offers a $5 welcome bonus to all new investors just for signing up. That means you can immediately start putting your money to good use by growing your nest egg.
SoFi Invest vs. Stash: Fees & Pricing
Investing platforms are in the business of making money, too, which is why many charge account fees. These are some of the fees you can expect to pay if you open an account:
SoFi Invest brands itself as a low-cost brokerage. Thus, it should come as no surprise that they charge relatively few fees to account holders.
SoFi Invest offers commission-free trades on stocks and ETFs. If you want to trade crypto, however, SoFi charges a 1.25% markup on all transactions.
Other than that, the only time you’ll pay a fee to use SoFi Invest is if you take advantage of their robo-advisor, which charges a 0.25% management fee on balances over $10,000. You’ll also have to pay a fee for things like wire transfers and paper statements, but that’s a common practice across the industry.
As a subscription-based platform, Stash’s pricing and fees are a bit more complicated.
Like SoFi Invest, Stash offers commission-free trades on stocks and ETFs. But, when you open an account, you’ll have to decide which subscription level you’d like to use.
Stash subscriptions vary from $3 for Stash Growth to $9 for Stash+. So, depending on the features you’d like to have, you can expect to pay anywhere from $36 to $108 per year to use Stash.
While they might be more expensive than SoFi Invest, Stash’s subscriptions are targeted toward folks who want a holistic money management service. Plus, in the grand scheme of things, $36 to $108 per year in account fees is quite low for the industry.
See Also: 12 Best IRA Accounts
SoFi Invest vs. Stash: What We Like (Pros)
Both SoFi Invest and Stash offer a superb list of benefits for account holders. These are some of the primary advantages of investing with each company:
- Good selection of account types available
- No commission stock and ETF trades
- Access to SoFi’s banking services
- Free financial advice from qualified advisors
- Supports fractional share trading
- Ability to open an automated portfolio
- Offers a selection of no-expense ratio ETFs
- Access to a limited crypto market
- Comprehensive money management platform
- Direct access to banking services
- Ability to earn stocks using the Stock-Back® Card
- Access to human financial advisors for some subscribers
- Superb educational tools
- Fractional shares investing for stocks and ETFs
- User-friendly interface
- No commission fees on stocks and ETFs
SoFi Invest vs. Stash: What We Don’t Like (Cons)
As with any trading platform, there are some aspects of Stash and SoFi Invest that aren’t particularly fantastic.
Since we believe you should understand the pros and cons of using any brokerage, here are some key drawbacks to keep in mind:
- No custodial accounts
- Crypto availability is limited to three currencies
- The trading platform is somewhat simple for experienced traders
- 0.25% markup fee on all crypto trades
- Complex pricing structure
- Account type availability depends on your subscription level
- No access to crypto
- Trades only executed four times a day
- No robo-advisory service
SoFi Invest vs. Stash: Security
If you’re going to invest your money, you need to trust that it’ll be kept safe and sound. Although it is possible to lose money while investing, both SoFi Invest and Stash have robust security features.
SoFi Invest is a member of SIPC and it is regulated by the SEC. This means that your investment assets are protected up to $500,000 ($250,000 cash) should the brokerage fail. However, SoFi is not currently publicly traded, so we know relatively little about the company’s financial health.
Nevertheless, the broker has a high-tech fraud detection system as well as other security features like two-factor authentication to protect your account.
Like SoFi Invest, Stash is a member of SIPC and it is regulated by the SEC. This means your investments in your account are protected up to $500,000 total (including $250,000 for claims for cash). For details please see www.spic.org. For uninvested funds, your Stash account is enrolled in something called the Apex FDIC-insured Sweep Program. Deposits to the Sweep Program are covered by FDIC insurance up to $250,000 limit per customer at each FDIC-insured bank that participates in the Sweep Program. Once your cash is deposited with the participating banks under the Sweep Program, such cash will no longer be covered by SIPC. Learn about the FDIC Sweep Program.
With regards to account security, Stash has a zero-liability policy against fraud as well as continuous fraud monitoring. They also use 256-bit encryption to keep your account safe.
SoFi Invest vs. Stash: Customer Support
At some point, you’ll likely need to contact your brokerage’s customer service. So, your firm must offer great support for your questions and concerns. Here’s what you need to know.
SoFi Invest account holders can call or chat online with a customer service representative during working hours (Pacific Time) from Monday to Friday. These limited hours can be a bit of a disappointment for some account holders, especially those that live in the eastern US.
So, if having round-the-clock access to support is important to you, this is something to consider before opening a SoFi Invest account.
Stash account holders can contact their customer support desk via phone and email from Monday to Friday during business hours (Eastern Time). The company also has an online chat feature, though this is an AI-driven chatbot rather than a live human.
As with SoFi Invest, these limited customer support hours aren’t great, especially if you also work during normal business hours.
SoFi Invest vs. Stash: Platform and App
An online brokerage isn’t very useful if its platform and apps are difficult to use. Let’s take a quick look at how SoFi Invest and Stash interfaces compare.
SoFi Invest offers an online interface and a mobile app. Both their platforms are fairly easy to use. However, many experienced traders will find that they’re a bit too simple for their needs.
In particular, SoFi Invest’s platform only allows you to place market orders. While this might be okay for some traders, many experienced active traders will find that this isn’t enough functionality for their needs.
Stash is primarily a mobile app-based platform. While this might be a disappointment to folks that prefer web-based trading, Stash’s app is fairly intuitive and easy to use.
With your Stash app, you can access and manage all of your Stash investing and banking features. You can also place stock and ETF trades on the app, however, these are only executed as market orders four times a day.
Who Is SoFi Invest For?
SoFi Invest is a great choice for newer investors that want to start trading. Since the company offers both self-directed and automated investing features, there’s a SoFi Invest account out there for most people.
Of course, the company’s relatively basic platform isn’t awesome for more experienced investors. But, their low-cost accounts and simplified trading features make it ideal for the new investor.
In A Nutshell
- Account Minimum: $0 ($1 to start investing)
- Fees: Zero-commission stock and ETF trading
- Promotion: None at the moment
Who Is Stash For?
Stash is an ideal trading platform for people who want a comprehensive approach to money management and investing. While investing is certainly part of Stash’s mission, the company offers many additional features that can help folks become financially competent.
Although Stash’s subscription-based service might not be ideal for folks that want to eliminate fees, it’s still relatively affordable. Furthermore, while their lack of crypto trading is a bummer for some, most folks will find that Stash has everything they need to get started.
Both SoFi Invest and Stash are solid platforms for new investors. While neither platform offers the features that very experienced active traders might look for, they’re both great choices for folks that want a simplified, relatively low-cost way to start investing.
Ultimately, SoFi Invest is your go-to option if you want to learn about trading but would like a user-friendly way to get started. Alternatively, Stash is an ideal platform for people who want to manage their money and invest all in one place.
“Paid non-client endorsement. See Apple App Store and Google Play reviews. View important disclosures.”
Nothing in this material should be construed as an offer, recommendation, or solicitation to buy or sell any security. All investments are subject to risk and may lose value.
1 Fractional shares start at $0.05 for investments that cost $1,000+ per share.
2 Bank Account Services provided by Green Dot Bank, Member FDIC.
3 All rewards earned through use of the Stash Visa Debit card (Stock-Back® Card) will be fulfilled by Stash Investments LLC. Rewards will go to your Stash personal investment account, which is not FDIC insured. You will bear the standard fees and expenses reflected in the pricing of the investments that you earn, plus fees for various ancillary services charged by Stash. Stash Stock-Back® Rewards is not sponsored or endorsed by Green Dot Bank, Green Dot Corporation, Visa U.S.A., or any of their respective affiliates.
4 What doesn’t count: Cash withdrawals, money orders, prepaid cards, and P2P payment. If stock of the merchant is not available for a qualifying purchase, the security will be in shares of a predetermined ETF or from a list of predetermined publicly-traded companies available on the Stash Platform. See full terms and conditions.
5 Debit Account Services provided by Green Dot Bank, Member FDIC. Investment products and services provided by Stash Investments LLC, not Green Dot Bank, and are Not FDIC Insured, Not Bank Guaranteed, and May Lose Value.
Stash Subscription fee starts at $3/ month. You’ll also bear the standard fees and expenses reflected in the pricing of the ETFs in your account, plus fees for various ancillary services charged by Stash and the Custodian. Please see the Advisory Agreement for details. Other fees apply to the bank account. Please see the Deposit Account Agreement.
“Retirement Portfolio” is an IRA (Traditional or Roth) and is a non-discretionary managed account. Stash does not monitor whether a customer is eligible for a particular type of IRA, or a tax deduction, or if a reduced contribution limit applies to a customer. These are based on a customer’s individual circumstances. You should consult with a tax advisor.
“Kids Portfolio” is a custodial UGMA / UTMA account. Money in a custodial account is the property of the minor. This type of account is a Non-Discretionary Managed account.
*Offer is subject to T&Cs.** You must complete within the specific time period included in this offer: (i) successfully complete (or already have completed, or re-apply for and complete) the registration process of opening an individual taxable brokerage account (“Personal Portfolio”), (ii) link a funding source to your account; AND (iii) deposit at least $5 from your funding source into your Personal Portfolio. *T&Cs
A “Smart Portfolio” is a Discretionary Managed account whereby Stash has full authority to manage. “Smart” is only available in Growth ($3) and/or premium ($9).
Clients may incur ancillary fees charged by Stash and/or it’s custodian that are not included in the monthly subscription fee.
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Gaby is a freelance writer and self-employed business owner with a personal interest in all things finance-related. She has a passion for educating others on how to make the most of their money and loves writing about everything from taxes to crypto.