Stockpile: Simple and Affordable Investing Options for Beginners

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Most financial planners and advisors emphasize the importance of investing your money. While it sounds straightforward, knowing how much to invest and where to invest isn’t always clear-cut.

If you’re not financially savvy or lack knowledge about the stock market, you might hesitate to invest any portion of your income for fear of losing it. Even if you have a good understanding of investing, the cost of certain stocks can be more than you can or are willing to spend.

This is where Stockpile comes in.

WHAT IT DOES

Stockpile is an online stock market platform that allows you to purchase fractions of stocks instead of entire shares. This enables people with limited disposable income to invest in companies and organizations they might not otherwise afford.

Stockpile makes purchasing stock easy by allowing transactions through gift cards and a mobile app. This saves money by eliminating the need for a broker and allows you to gift stock to others. After providing some basic information, linking your bank account, and creating a profile, you can buy, sell, trade, and track your stocks all in one convenient place.

For those new to investing, Stockpile offers mini stock lessons to help you become more familiar with the process and the stock market. You can choose from various popular companies to invest in, and Stockpile ensures your information is secure through encryption, protecting its members for up to $500,000.

HOW MUCH IT COSTS

The cost of using Stockpile is flexible and depends on how much you want to invest. You can purchase gift cards and stock ranging from $1 to $1,000.

There are some fees to be aware of, such as a $1.99 fee for gift cards valued at $100 or less, and a $1.99 fee plus 3% of the card value for purchases over $100.

Additionally, there is a 99-cent fee for each stock trade, but no fee for transferring funds to your bank, and no minimum balance requirement. However, transferring your account to another broker will incur a $75 fee. Overall, Stockpile’s fees are relatively low.

PROS & CONS OF STOCKPILE

PRO: SIMPLE AND EASY TO USE

Stockpile makes investing accessible and less intimidating. Compared to other online brokers, Stockpile is one of the easiest to use.

CON: THERE IS A PURCHASE LIMIT

Stockpile has purchase limits on certain stocks. For instance, you can only purchase up to $200 worth of Amazon stock at a time, which might not be ideal for serious investors.

PRO: NO MINIMUM BALANCE

Stockpile doesn’t require a minimum balance to open an account or transfer funds to your bank. You can invest and transfer any amount you want.

CON: COST OF PHYSICAL CARDS

There are additional costs for purchasing physical gift cards, as Stockpile takes a commission, often around 20%.

PRO: YOU CAN PURCHASE A FRACTION

Not everyone can afford to invest thousands in the stock market. Stockpile allows you to buy fractions of a share, making it accessible to more people.

HOW IT COMPARES

Stockpile isn’t the only platform for online stock investment. Robinhood and Stash also offer similar services, allowing fractional shares and ETFs.

Stash charges $1 per month until your account reaches $5,000, then charges 0.25% of your balance. Robinhood doesn’t charge commission but requires you to purchase full shares, and it offers limited support for first-time investors.

Stockpile’s unique feature is its gift card capability, making stock purchases easy and accessible.

WHO IS IT BEST FOR?

Stockpile may not be ideal for those looking to build a substantial long-term portfolio. In such cases, investing in a 401(k) or a traditional brokerage account may be better.

However, for those wanting to start investing, learn the basics, or gift stocks to children or teens, Stockpile is an excellent option for beginner investors.

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