Easy Investing with Stash App and Why I Like it

(Have you been wanting to invest?  Are you curious about what companies are out there to help?  Are you ready to get started?)

Stash is an investing app that lets you buy fractional shares of ETFs and stocks from many established companies.  Stash makes it easy for investors to get started investing with as little as $5.  They also offer banking, retirement and custodian accounts.  Stash was founded in February 2015.  Eight months later in October 2016, it was launched on the iOS App Store and then on Android in March 2015.  Stash was created by Brandon Krieg, David Ronick, and Ed Robinson.

I actively use four different stock buying apps to trade and invest in stocks.  I use each company for a different reason.  This article is about my thoughts and experiences with Stash.  Stash is an app that I use mostly for investing in individual stocks.  I also have a few EFTs that are in my mix.  I mostly use Stash on my phone but it also can be accessed on my computer.  I prefer the easy access and usability of the phone app.

On my stock trading journey, I believe Stash was the second company that I signed up for.  I wanted it because it let me invest in partial shares instead of buying a whole share when investing.  I also liked it because it didn’t charge me per transaction.  Stash did charge a $1 monthly fee for their services.

Now, many companies have changed their policy and have decided not to charge any transaction fees, though it wasn’t like that when I started.  And at the time I didn’t trust or understood companies that gave away things for free.  It made me feel better and I trusted the company more because I was being charged and the fact I was only paying a dollar per month made it very affordable.

Stash and M1 Finance (I will write about M1 later) are the two companies that I use for long term investing.  I started with being a growth investor but found out that dividend investing is a better fit for me because I want monthly income when I go RVing.

I love my Stash.  It is the app I put most of my money in because it is so easy and I get to pick which stock I will buy.  I also have 4 stocks that are connected to Stash’s auto-deposit.  With this feature Stash puts $ (my choice) in the stocks I put on auto.  This feature has helped me keep my investing more consistent.

What are all the reasons I love my Stash?

*I love that I can just invest $5  (This has been a game-changer- mostly mentally)

*I love the numbers and feedback it gives me.  It tells me how much I have invested, how many shares I own and how much I have earned by growth in $ and %.  When the % goes down I can decide if I want to buy more.  This is made for my personality.

*Once my dividends reach $1, Stash will take out the monthly payment from the dividends instead of my bank account.

**Once my dividends reach $5 I can decide which stock I want to buy with my free/earned dividend money.

*They offer well-known Company stocks and EFTs that I can choose from. (I have looked for stocks that they don’t carry.  Most are newer, IPOs or more risky stocks)  I have found most of the ones I want.  KO, JNJ, Pepsi, Apple, Amazon, Microsoft, Google, etc…   If you are looking for an established company than they should have it.  Many people choose EFTs because they usually come with less risk.  Stash has many EFTs to choose from.
This is my all-time favorite investing app so far.  It is not perfect and has some things that I don’t like, but I am super happy with this app.

I have not tried taking any money out yet.  I have sold a stock but then reinvested the money into another stock.  Though when I was investigating this Company I found a few reviews about some people who had decided not to use the app anymore and they claim the company kept charging them the $1 monthly fee.  The reviews didn’t say how they notified the company about stopping their use.  They might have just deleted the app and expected the charges to stop or maybe they did end their membership properly and the company messed up?  I do not know.

Since I knew I wanted to be a long term investor, which meant that I planned to stay with the company, that it wasn’t going to be a problem I would have to deal with and joined.  Best decision I have made.  If only this was around 20 years ago I would have so much money in stocks.  I can dream.  Picking up Amazon at $50 would have been awesome!

My biggest headache is that once you put in your order it takes a while to get the order filled.  Sometimes the price goes up during that time, though sometimes it goes down.  I have come to terms with it because I figure it evens out over time.  Plus I only invest $5 at a time.

As I am writing this it seems like they have a morning window (about 8-9) when they trade and an afternoon window (near closing) when they trade.  I take this into account when buying a partial stock knowing I am not going to get the price I am looking at.  Though mentally I remind myself that I am buying maybe 0.005- 0.1 of a share and not a full share.  It helps me to not panic if the price goes up because even if I bought it at a higher price I may have paid an extra 10 cents instead of an extra $4 (if it was a whole share).

If you want to get into stock trading this has been a great tool for me.  This site is made for long term investing and not for day or swing trading.  Also know that the stock markets will go up and down, though if you invest in EFTs or Companies you trust to be around for the next 10-20 years, then the dips don’t matter as much.  Most investors are excited to buy more of their stocks when they go ‘on sale’.  I have picked up some more stocks at a discount lately.  Only invest money that you don’t need.

As I am writing this the stock markets are taking a hit.  I have gone through 2 smaller dips now where my balance was in the negative.  They were emotional to get through and this one is a lot bigger.  In the middle of February my profit in Stash was almost $2000, 2/27 it dropped below $1000 and in March my balance dropped to negative $400.  That made my heart flutter a little.  I made sure to only invest the money I would not need.  What this means to me is if the stock market went away tomorrow and I lost all the money it wouldn’t affect my life at all.  I love stocks and would miss it, but financially it wouldn’t hurt me.  Well, my ego would feel the loss of the money though.

If you have been thinking about investing then starting it when the stocks are lower may be a good time to get in.  If you do it through my link then I believe we both get an extra $5 to invest.  If you don’t know how to pick a company yet or anything yet, then start studying stocks and how to invest.  Many people will invest in EFTs so they can be diversified and have less risk.  Since I love dividends my favorite EFT is SCHD.  There are many good EFTs out there though.  If you put in your risk tolerance into the  Stash App it will help you pick some stocks.  I do not know enough to give financial advice.  I watch a lot of videos about investing and I still have a lot to learn.  But at least now I am in the game and so happy about it.

Stash app affiliate link: https://get.stashinvest.com/dianeimv06

Have you been wanting to invest?  Are you curious about what companies are out there to help?  Are you ready to get started?

ROBINHOOD APP: 19 Months Into My Trading Journey

(How has your trading journey been going?  Have you started yet?)

I am so grateful for online trading apps because without them I don’t think I would have ever started investing.  They are so easy to use and since I am not a techie, if I can do it than I think anyone can.

So let’s get into my progress, though  I am warning you that it is not pretty.  I opened a Robinhood account with $100 and during that time I think I have gotten about .40 in dividends.  For me to get to the place where I break even I will need to bring my account back to $100.40.  As I will show you I am far from that amount.

My current account balance as I am writing this is $54.71.  It is hard to admit, but the account actually got down to $47.29.  I have been slowly trying to pick better stocks and stick with them.  It is definitely not day trading.  The last 2 stocks I got went down after I bought them (of course), but I was almost positive they would go up because they were in an upward trend and had no bad news to make them fall.  I held onto them for about 4 weeks before they finally came up and sold for the price I was asking for.

It was so hard to wait.  In fact I almost sold out of one of the stocks for a loss about 3 days before it’s price hit the selling point I had set.  This is how I lost most of my money in the first place. I lost money by not trusting my decision on buying the stock and selling for a loss.  The second mistake was if I was going to sell I would hold onto the stock too long and sell it for a bigger loss. I often felt so good about my wins and then lose bigger than what I just won.  I need to practice having a stop loss price that is set in stone before I buy a stock.  Since I haven’t done that regularly I lose more than I should.

So, here is what my account looks like from the beginning.


I was finally going to show you that I was gaining some ground and then my stock took a small dive.  Of course it happened a day after I bought it.  It drives me nuts how often this happens.  Though unless I hear bad news about the company, then I will hold onto the stock.

IMG_20191114_094612 UGH!

As you can tell that after 19 months I am far from being a good day trader.  In fact I can’t become a real day trader unless I have $25,000 in my account.  Since I have less than that I am only able to have a max of 3 day trades within 5 trading days.  I love Robinhood because sometimes I lose track of how many day trades I have done and the app gives me a warning that I had hit my limit.

I have not been a good day trader because I am not doing the research and putting in the time to do better trades.  Many mornings I have a job I need to go to and I am just not interested in getting up really early to trade before going to work.  Then once I am at work I am not able to get into and out of stocks in a timely fashion since I am working.  So at this time, I am not too interested in Day or Swing trading.

What I am getting interested in is Dividend and Growth investing.  For my lifestyle right now, this is more my speed.  The apps I am using for these are Stash and M1 Finance.
Like I said at the beginning, I love these investing apps.  They make investing so easy. You still need to be careful what you are investing in, but the ease is amazing.

I hope when I get more free time I will look more into day/swing trading because I still think I would love to watch the charts and news (never thought that would be true) and use techniques to predict the direction of a stock.  Until then, I will just invest in stocks I feel secure about and hold long term.  I plan to share my experience with the Robinhood, Stash, M1 Finance, and Webull apps in upcoming posts.

In case you are interested in starting your own journey with investing (Do research and start with a small amount of money so you can practice) here are my links to sign up with these investing apps that I am using.  If you sign up through someone’s referral, then you get a bonus when you sign up (I get a bonus too if you use my referral.)  So, if you would like a free gift use one of these links below. (copy and paste)

Robinhood:   join.robinhood.com/dianez7
Stash:    http://get.stashinvest.com/diane421
Webull:                                                         https://act.webull.com/promotion/invitation/share.html?inviteCode=hVnRJM8545jj
M1 Finance:   https://mbsy.co/t2wpC

How has your trading journey been going?  Have you started yet?

Invest or Pay Off Debt First?

The short answer is do both.  Why you should do both would be the real question.  To financially get ahead and feel more secure most people should start investing now for their future.

(Have you starting investing yet or are you paying down debt first?  I would love to hear your story.)

I have been coming across this debate off and on for decades and understand the reasons for each side.   I use to believe in paying down debt first, but because of my experience with my own debt I have changed my thinking.  Let’s start by looking at each side of the argument.

Why pay off debt first?

Every month that you are paying a monthly payment on a loan you are paying extra money called interest.  This interest is your charge for getting and paying off the loan slowly.  The money you are paying in interest is not helping you pay down a loan.

Let’s say you are paying $80 on a debt.  If $40 is just in interest than each month only $40 goes toward paying down your actual debt.  This is why it is so important to find good interest rates when looking for loans or credit cards.  As you pay down your debt you will be paying less interest each month.

Having debt hang over your head and struggling from pay check to pay check is stressful.  The process of trying to get out of the ‘debt trap’ is hard.  It takes planning and tightening your belt when it comes to purchases and your lifestyle.

Paying off the debt first feels wonderful.  It reduces your stress and it gives you extra cash that you can start investing with.  This is a great reason for paying debt first.

Why invest first?

It is always a good idea to have money put aside.  You never know when you will need it.  This includes short term (savings) and long term (investing) money.  Knowing you have a safety net is very comforting and can reduce stress even if you are still paying off debt.

Advise:  You should be putting money into an emergency account that you can withdrawal easily.  This savings should be big enough to support you and pay your bills for 6 months.  Of course it will take a while to reach this amount, though putting a little away each month will help you to eventually reach this goal.

Investing long term is money you invest for the purpose of letting it grow.  That means once you invest it, you don’t touch it!  The reason long term investments in the market are a good thing is because the stock market averages a 10% growth each year.  Some years it will increase 5% and some years it will increase 15%.  Either way it has a better growth than an average savings account.

Disclaimer:  Know your risk level.  Younger investors can usually go for the higher risk stocks because if they lose money they have more time to recover it.  So, know your risk level and do not gamble with your money.

Why should you pick one option over the other?

When you decide to only focus on one option and then really work hard to achieve, it will help you get there faster and have better results.  You will be able to pay off your debt faster or you will be able to put more money into investing.  Either way working hard toward one option will make it easier.

Why tackle both together?

I do understand that trying to do both will mean you will be paying off your debt slower and not investing as much as you could if your debt was paid off.   Though it is too easy to not save money.  And that is why many will put it off and some will never do it.  When you don’t start you miss out on the gains you could have had. (I have this regret.)

In life unexpected bills always seem to come.  So, we keep turning to the credit card to get us out of trouble.  (At least that is what I have done, especially car repairs.)  If you are trying to pay it off and keep adding to it, then the debt will be around a lot longer.  Waiting to invest UNTIL your debt is gone may take too long. (Yep!)

Many of us always feel like we don’t have enough money.  By putting some money aside each month will help you not feel so strapped.  You will see that you do have money to fall back on and that you are also investing for your future.

If you invest into stocks with dividends and reinvest your dividends back into the stock, you will benefit from the compounding effect.  Make sure you pick a stable company. There are many out there.

If you wait to invest till everything is calm in your life and there is no debt, then many of you may never start.  Give yourself the gift of security and peace of mind by investing in a savings account and an investment account.  This will help you know you have a safety net if you need it.

To save money is easier than ever these days

There are several apps out there to help you with your savings and investing.

I have heard many people talking about the Acorn App.  It helps you to save in a savings account by putting little bits of money aside.  Soon it starts to grow and gives you a safety net.

Stash* is an app (I use this one) that helps you to invest with as little as $5.  If you invest $5 into a stock that is worth $20, then it will buy ¼ of the stock for you.  You will receive gains and losses based on the % of stock you own.

Remember for investing you are doing it long term so don’t pay too much attention to the market.  Unless you are playing out of your risk comfort, which you just shouldn’t do. Stash has a feature that will ask you what risk level you want and it will recommend stock bundles for you.  (Always investigate a company before you invest money.)

There are many more companies coming down the pike to help you save and invest. The ones I mentioned were the ones I was more familiar with.  Do your own research and pick what feels right for your personality and comfort zone.  Make sure to start putting money away as soon as you can

The sooner you make a habit of putting money aside and not spending it on things or having it disappear into your revolving debt the sooner you will start feeling better about your financial health.

Get a savings account with the best interest you can and let the interest compound to help the account grow faster.  Get an investment account and reinvest any dividends again to help your account grow faster.

Use time as an ally.  The sooner you start the more money you will have saved up. Whether you decide to put $5 in a month or $500, you will get a better feeling the earlier you start.

My recipe for success     (Make sure you research and do what is best for you)

1. Make sure to pay all debt payments on time.  You do not want to waste money because of late charges.

2.  Always make sure to pay over the minimum payment each month. Whether it is 50 cents or $50.

3.  Make sure to put some money aside into emergency savings.  Make sure this is not touched unless you are in real trouble.  (Goal: enough $ to last 6 months)

4. Put money into long term investments.

5. Do this EVERY month.   Make it a habit!
These 5 activities should be done at the same time.  Do a little squirreling away with your money.  As you pay down debt, then put more money into savings and investments.  Some people find that if they do this online instead of at a bank, which they can easily get to, they are less likely to dip into their savings.  Also, try to make it automatic.  Have the bank put money automatically into a savings, so you don’t have to think about it monthly.

This is for your future!  This is for your peace of mind!  This is to protect you from unseen financial problems and having a future with no money!

These things are very easy to do, though they are also very easy not to do.  Do yourself a favor and start making sure you have a safety net now and for the future.

*If you would like to try Stash.  If you sign up through this link they give you an extra $5 in stock.    https://get.stashinvest.com/dianeimv06

Have you starting investing yet or are you paying down debt first?  I would love to hear your story.