How I Invest My Money

Actively Investing on Acorns, Stash, and SoFi Invest

By tvlachak | The Weekly Summary | 31 Dec 2020


How I Invest My Money

I've been actively investing since August 2019. During my journey with stocks, ETFs, and bonds, I use three investing platforms. In my experience, here's the order of ease and effort in comparison to each other. Those investing services are Acorns (easy), Stash (intermediate), and SoFi Invest (difficult). As of this writing, my rate of return using these investment platforms are as follows:

1. Acorns - 18.81%
2. Stash - 16.62%
3. SoFi Invest - 27.79%

Acorns

As the saying goes, set it and forget it. Acorns is as automated as you can get when it comes to an investing platform. Acorns is considered to be a micro and robo financial services company. When I opened my Acorns account, I picked moderately aggressive for my risk tolerance out of the five choices given.

Acorns Moderately Aggressive Risk Tolerance

And every week Acorns pulls the money I've allocated from my bank and invests between the same six pre-selected index funds or ETFs.

Acorns ETFs List

The funds earn dividends on a monthly or quarterly basis and get automatically reinvested. There are no individual stocks, so you're selection is very limited through a handful of index fund or ETFs based on your risk sentiment.

Stash

For Stash, I also have a weekly amount that gets drafted from my bank account. But there's more work involved with Stash when compared to Acorns. There are hundreds of investing options offered by Stash. From all those choices you can select from many individual stocks, index funds & ETFs, and bonds. I select stocks and funds based on research and reading I do weekly. I have to confess. My return on Stash has been padded a bit because of the Stash Stock Party giveaways.

Let's have a good time at the Stash Stock Party

I've received nearly $35 of free fractional shares at an almost 42% return. Without the Stash Stock Party free money, my overall Stash return of 16.62% would be lower. Like Acorns, all my holdings that earn dividends get reinvested by Stash. If you glance at my Stash Stock Party portfolio, you will notice that a majority of the free fractional shares that are awarded by Stash have impressive returns.

SoFi Invest

SoFi Invest gives you access to hundreds of options between stocks, funds, and bonds like Stash. SoFi Invest also allows you to buy or sell a handful of the most popular cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin, Ethereum, and Litecoin. However, SoFi holds the keys to your crypto. You can't move your crypto to another exchange or wallet...yet. In a recent call to customer support, I was informed that SoFi Invest is working on a crypto wallet. My SoFi Invest rate of return of 27.79% does NOT include my Bitcoin and Ethereum purchases on that platform.

Back to trading securities on SoFi Invest. Which leads to my favorite feature of this investing platform - limit orders. According to Investopedia, "a limit order is a type of order to buy or sell a security at a specific price or better." This is an area in which Acorns and Stash fall short. Your security purchase on Acorns and Stash is executed in certain pre-determined time frames of the day, usually one in the morning and the other in the late afternoon before the stock market closes. So the buy or sell order on those two platforms are completed no matter what the price of the stock or ETF is that time of day.

My investing strategy is long term. However, I admit doing a couple of trades on SoFi Invest where I've taken profits because of an outstanding return, as a result of limit orders. Be aware that trading securities in the short term will probably trigger a higher tax cost when compared to holding a stock or fund long term. So please do your research or consult a tax professional to determine the tax outcomes for your profit on such a short term trade.

Another feature I enjoy in SoFi Invest is the Leaderboard. The Leaderboard gives you a limited social aspect in the investing app, in addition to viewing other investors' activity in SoFi Invest and interacting with them on a limited basis. Investor rankings are based on having at least 3 holdings totaling at least $500. The percentage is based on a time-weighted return, calculated over the last 30 days across your active investing portfolio. Currently there are 4,745 investors participating in the SoFi Leaderboard where everyone gets ranked. A daily Top Ten of individuals are always featured. I'm currently ranked #2,790. In the Leaderboard, I like how there's also a way to view your investment performance by 30 day, 1 month, 3 month, 1 year, and overall.

SoFi Invest Leaderboard

Conclusion

In my short part-time amateur investing career, I love the path I've taken. Personally, starting out on Acorns, then Stash, followed by SoFi Invest has worked really well for me. My investor IQ has progressed nicely and I've learned a lot in the past 1+ year.

I will continue investing in all three platforms regularly. I read and study about investments frequently, and I get to apply ideas to mostly SoFi Invest and then Stash. Acorns is on cruise control. Interestingly enough Acorns has been the second best performing platform of my investing apps, so there is something to say about automating your investments.

Let's see how the markets perform in 2021. Will I maintain these returns? Will they continue to go up? I will continue to learn and invest in public. Here's to a prosperous new year for all of our portfolios.

Have a Happy 2021!

Disclaimer

Ideas and information presented in my articles are for educational purposes only and not intended to be investment advice. Investments in the stock market and cryptocurrency could be speculative and volatile and result in money loss. Always conduct your own research. You may want to obtain independent legal, financial, taxation, and/or other professional advice with respect to any information from this content. I may mention products or services and some of those products are affiliate links that reward me.

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tvlachak
tvlachak Verified Member

I'm a student of personal finance, investing, cryptocurrency, NFTs, & blockchain. I'm currently learning and thinking in public on The Weekly Summary. I'm also a foodie that loves fitness.


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