$5,000 Fee: $1/month for taxable accounts; $2 per month for IRAs

What that amounted to: $12 or $24 Fee: $1/month for accounts under $5,000

What that costs: $12 $20,000 Fee: $1/month for taxable accounts; $2 per month for IRAs

What which costs: $12 or $24 Annual fee: 0.25%

What that amounted to: $50 $50,000 Fee: $1/month for taxable accounts; $2 every thirty days for IRAs

What which costs: $12 or $24 Annual fee: 0.25%

What that costs: $125 $100,000 Fee: $1/month for taxable accounts; $2 30 days for IRAs

What that costs: $12 or $24 Fee: 0.25%

What that amounted to: $250

A flat-fee?structure isn’t friendliest for starting investors. While $1 monthly sounds small, it could be a significant part of their total assets. For accounts with $500, such as, that’s a 2.4% annual fee – and that doesn’t count fees charged via the actual investment funds themselves. Once account balances top $5,000, the fees of both services are usually more in accordance with the industry standard, although larger rival Wealthfront manages the primary $5,000 free for NerdWallet readers.

But with Acorns you’re benefiting from management for anyone fees. It is going to place you in investments that match your individual situation – age, time horizon, goals, income and risk tolerance – and allocate accordingly. And it’ll rebalance your portfolio should one investment grow beyond its allocation. To ensure the app provides some valuable direction for novices. (And individuals can have their fees waived for as many as 4 years, making it a better bargain.)

Stash will provide you with a collection of investment funds by basic information but less guidance. Its biggest entice investors is its creative, potentially helpful thematic renaming of funds determined by anything they get. As an example, the Defending America fund invests in aerospace and defense companies, while Clean & Green targets on clean-energy firms. But Stash doesn’t offer much portfolio management – the amount of you should get of each one fund – at night occasional suggestion or warning.

Winner:?Acorns provides more, though on some balances the advisor’s costs can be higher for people who use Acorns Later retirement accounts. Portfolio management are usually vital that you an investor’s success after a while, and Stash doesn’t offer it. As noted in our full-length overview of Stash, “With hardly any research, you could find the ETFs that Stash offers, or suitable alternatives, through many car loan brokers commission-free.”


The best highlights of both Acorns and Stash automate the whole process of investing, helping investors overcome their biggest hurdle – themselves.

Each app can invest automatically according to investment preferences that you just set (your objectives, your efforts frame, your tolerance for risk, etc.). Both offer basic tools for starting investors and both require little money to start. Furthermore they both be employed by individual taxable accounts and Roth and traditional-ira accounts.

One neat component of Acorns is it allows an individual to sweep excess alter from everyday purchases in investing account. The app rounds purchases around the closest dollar and rolls that quantity within the investments. A comparable feature called Found Money rebates you as many as 10%, though most rebates are far lower, on purchases at select merchants – including Jet, Airbnb and Blue Apron – after which acquire cash deposited into your account in a very couple of months.

With these programs, you’re not planning to retire a tycoon, but they’re a bit salve to your conscience any time you spend, understanding that you’re also saving somewhat, too. In addition, they keep Acorns, thus your investments, troubling you.

Stash doesn’t provide any comparable bells or whistles.

Winner: As they quite simply offer the majority of the same base features, notably automatic investing, Acorns’ extras include some juice to your portfolio.

Human advice

Nope. These apps are only for low-frills investing, so pricier plenty of handholding on your investments and in what way they perform. If you want human advice, consider?Betterment?a treadmill with the other robo-advisors offering a far more personal touch, like Schwab Intelligent Advisory, Vanguard Personal Advisor Services?or Personal Capital.

Investments and fund expenses

In addition to management fees, investors can also be liable for investment expenses charged via the funds themselves. Acorns uses low-cost exchange-traded funds from iShares and Vanguard that define six asset classes: real estate investment, corporate bonds, government bonds, large-cap stocks, small-cap stocks and emerging markets. Importantly, the fees on these investments are priced between 0.05% to 0.15% – about starting as low as they arrive.

Stash offers low-cost ETFs along with more pricey ones in investing niche themes that may interest investors. Considering choose to invest in green energy or socially responsible companies, you should buy the Clean & Green and Perform the Right Thing ETFs, or Equality Is employed by companies sponsoring workplace equality. Investment expenses vary from 0.07% to 0.95%, which has an average of 0.39%. That’s cheap along at the low end, but beginning to get pricey within the luxury.

So it is possible to whole package cost, soup to acorns? Let’s go on a $5,000 balance:

  • Acorns: Assuming the average value of 0.10% for investment expenses as well as?$1 management fee, investors would find themselves paying an acceptable 0.34%. ($1 thirty days on $5,000 is 0.24% per annum.)
  • Stash: Assuming a standard valuation on 0.39% for investment expenses plus the 0.25% management fee, investors would have to fork over about 0.64% of assets annually – and it also could be more in case you decide on the pricier funds. After a little legwork you might probably lower that figure, however, you may well not obtain that thematic fund you want.

Winner: Acorns is released on top here, with lower fund expenses leading to lower overall costs. Stash would win when it were all about choice, since it offers a lot more funds.

Which you’re best for you?

Acorns originates out when the winner on this face-off, with similar base features as Stash but more useful portfolio management as well as some neat extras. Both offer low-cost funds; Acorns’ are less expensive without a doubt, but Stash lets investors select their thematic interests from a wider pool of ETFs. Overall, investors can expect to pay less with Acorns than Stash, and studies have shown it really is a primary factor as a whole returns after some time.

Acorns provides some real value cheaply, even giving a number of the larger robo-advisors a run for novice investors wanting to get in the technology race. Its simplicity, as well as basic but real investment recommendations and planning, means Acorns should attract starting investors, regardless if this hadn’t make our directory of top robo-advisors.