M1 Finace vs Stash Invest - Which is Better for You?
Both Stash and M1 Finance have good passive investing options, however due to the fees Stash charges, and other things we’ll cover below, we don’t really think they’re very competitive. As a result generally we’d say M1 Finance is better for most investors.
The platform I believe is better for most people, and I use for my long-term investing and saving is M1 Finance, as their fees are much less and their platform has more flexibility in what you invest in — not to mention we personally prefer the interface and user-experience that M1 Finance offers.
Keep in mind neither of these platforms offer options, futures, derivatives, or crypto trading currently, so if you’re looking for a brokerage with those services you’ll have to go elsewhere, tastyworks is our choice for such an ‘all-in-one’ brokerage as they offer a decent sign-up bonus + have low fees, good support, and a good trading-platform.
Which Platform has Lower Fees?
As briefly touched on above, M1 Finance doesn’t charge any fees, even for it’s managed portfolios. Their platform is entirely free, and they achieve this by making money through other means (such as offering to lend you money with your portfolio as collateral for 4% a year). While you don’t have to take up their offers for that, many people do and it’s a nearly risk-free way for them to make tons of money without charging fees.
Stash charges a flatrate $1 fee per month for small accounts and a 0.25% fee for accounts with more than a few thousand dollars in it. While that’s a small fee, in the long-run it can add up and scrape away thousands of dollars from you over the years, especially if you grow a large portfolio.
Which Platform has Better Tools & Functionality?
While it’d be fine if Stash offers more features for that extra fee they charge, they don’t really have any extra functionality or tools than M1 Finance. I’d argue they have fewer tools and functionality, as they don’t offer low-interest loans or margin like M1 Finance does.
Stash also doesn’t offer research elements that M1 Finance does, nor do they provide Tax-advantageous sale preferences, automatic dividend reinvestment, and portfolio rebalancing (if you so wish, you can disable those features if you’d like). M1 Finance simply has way more features.
Both platforms offer simple things like automatic transfers, so you can easily set up to deposit a set amount from your paycheck/bank-account every week or month if desired.
Which Platform has Better Customer Service?
In our experience M1 Finance’s customer service is much better — to be specific we’ve had quicker responses from them that are more concise than Stash’s answers, and quite frankly they’re way easier to get in contact with — not only do they have a FAQ and chat feature, but you can also email them or call them. In our experience you can get a near-instant reply/help by calling and usually within a few hours to a day if you email them.
This isn’t to say Stash has bad customer service, it’s not very good in our experience compared to M1’s, however compared to Robinhood’s or other primarily mobile-app companies Stash has pretty OK customer service. They hide the information a bit on the site, however when you find it you can email or call them and at least in our experience we received help in the case of email in 3-5days, while calling it varied wildly, however was obviously quicker than days.
Which Platform has The Better Sign-Up Bonus?
While both Stash and M1 Finance offer sign-up bonus programs currently we can only provide you a link to one of them — don’t worry though, we’ll tell you how to get the other ones sign-up bonus if you do want it. This is because we have chosen to not work with Stash any longer, as we don’t like to work with companies we don’t personally prefer, and thus we’ve terminated our relationship with Stash.
With that being said, Stash offers a $5 sign-up bonus most of the time, sometimes going up to $20, after opening an account with a small sum of funds — as we don’t work with Stash anymore for reasons mentioned above if you want this sign-up bonus you’ll have to either ask friends with a Stash account or you can click here to go to a reddit search that will display many Stash-users affiliate links which you could use to help them out, and get a bonus yourself.
As for M1 Finance, they offer a $30 sign-up bonus for all new users, and sometimes offer a sign-up bonus up to $2500 depending on your initial deposit into your account with them — you can read all about M1 Finance’s current signup bonuses on this page of our website, or you can blindly sign-up through this link and just get their $30 basic sign-up bonus offer.
Is there ANY reason to use Stash over M1 Finance?
Stash used to be better for custodian accounts, as M1 Finance didn’t offer them in the past, but now M1 Finance offers custodian accounts, so really we don’t see a reason to go with Stash over M1 Finance. I’d say for every type of account (Roth IRA, regular IRA, Traditional taxable investment accounts, etc) I’d say M1 Finance is better in every single regard compared to Stash currently.
M1 finance simply has everything Stash has and more, all without the pesky “maintenance fee” that Stash charges for you to have an account with them.
If you want to sign up for M1 Finance you can do so by clicking here. If you use that link you should receive a sign-up bonus of $30 or so after making your first investment of $100 or more, which is a bonus M1 Finance offers to readers of Greenery Financial.
Stash doesn’t offer any free stock or signup bonus as far as I know of, but if you do want to go with them you can signup normally here.