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Stockpile offers a great alternative for parents (or anyone) looking to gift stocks to a youngster, helping them discover the world of investing. This is the main use case for this niche broker, although you can set up your own account and invest. But Stockpile makes it much easier to get started and complete basic investing tasks, although it doesn’t offer many other features. Again, those looking to donate stocks will find it remarkably easy to do so, and it may be enough.
Stockpile may not offer enough even for newbie investors, but this group may find useful tools, training, and features from other investor-friendly brokers such as Fidelity Investments and Charles Schwab. Both also offer custody accounts, so you can still make the investment a learning experience for that young parent.
- Donation of shares
- Introducing young parents to investing
- Investment in purchase and custody
Stock at a glance
|The minimum balance:||$ 0|
|Negotiable securities:||Stocks and ETFs|
|Cost per transaction:||$ 0.99 per transaction; $ 2.99 for first e-gift cards ($ 0.99 for each additional card) and 3% debit / credit card fee|
|Customer service:||By email|
|Account fees:||No activity fees; $ 75 transfer fee|
|Mobile app:||The Stockpile mobile app is available on the Apple App Store and the Google Play Store|
Pros: Where Stockpile shines
Easy to donate stock
The biggest hook of Stockpile is the ability to donate stocks, and you can literally load stocks – or at least a gift card for stocks – onto your credit card. You can buy physical gift cards ranging from $ 25 to $ 100, while electronic gift cards can be loaded from $ 1 to $ 2000. Each e-gift card costs $ 2.99 and a 3% charge for credit / debit card charges. Each additional e-gift incurs a fee of 99 cents plus card fees. The recipient does not pay anything to use the gift card.
With physical cards, options include a branded gift card (for example, to buy Apple or Disney stock) or an unbranded card. Either way, your recipient can buy whatever stock they want – don’t worry about getting the wrong gift! Your recipient can use the gift card on Stockpile by creating an account and purchasing stock or shares. Then they are a legitimate shareholder.
And if you are giving a kid stocks, Stockpile can be a great way to teach them how to invest and understand why owning stocks is important. In fact, this is one of the reasons Stockpile landed on Bankrate’s list of best investment apps.
Stockpile gift cards and its regular brokerage offer allow you to buy fractions of shares into shares. So you don’t have to put enough credit on a card to buy a full share, which sometimes runs into the hundreds of dollars. Even if you give a $ 50 card, the full amount will be used to buy stocks, whether it’s a full share or less than one.
And if you use Stockpile as your regular broker, you can enjoy the same benefit. This is a good way to make sure that all of your money is working for you in the market.
Easy to install and exchange
Although it focuses on gift cards, Stockpile allows anyone to apply for an account and trade stocks. So if you want to use Stockpile as a broker, its easy to use interface makes it a snap. It costs $ 0.99 per transaction, and if you use a debit or credit card to fund the transaction, an additional three percent of the total transaction value.
It’s surprisingly easy to create your Stockpile account and get started. After a standard registration process asking for your personal information, you will be asked to link your bank account. From there, you’re taken to a dashboard with a few options: buy stocks, link a bank account, and set up auto deposit. A few links on the side allow you to use gift cards, invite friends and more.
The mobile app largely mimics the same process, and its clear layout makes it easy to navigate. You can quickly create a watchlist, search through available titles, read educational sections, and purchase gift cards. It’s super intuitive to use and explore.
To make a trade, you click on “buy shares”, search among the available shares and click on its icon. This brings up a news page with some of the stock’s essential details such as charts, financials, a news feed of recent articles, and a brief company profile. Click on it and you are prompted to select the dollar value of your transaction. Click on “order” and your transaction is complete. Almost.
Stockpile does not buy (or sell) your shares the same time you place the order, as a traditional broker would. Instead, he places all the orders at the same time in the market day to reduce his expenses. So you cannot fix your trading price and you will take the offered price when the trade is done.
Still, it’s surprisingly easy to set up your account and trade with Stockpile, and newbie kids should have no problem finding what they want and buying it.
Access to custody accounts
For some brokers, a deposit account is something of an afterthought, if they think about it at all. A custody account allows a parent or guardian to own shares in a child’s name until the child reaches the age of majority. It is a convenient and quick way to create an account for a recipient child and legally hold the stock in their name.
Often times in niche services like this you will be stuck with a narrow range of stocks, so you may not be able to buy the most recent stocks. But Stockpile offers thousands of stocks and ETFs, so you’re likely to find what you’re looking for. You can quickly browse the list of stocks and ETFs on offer, or search by company name, stock symbol or industry.
Even if you cannot find stock at the beginning, you can request that it be added to the list of available stocks. So even this new stock of hot tech will likely be available. However, Stockpile does not add stocks that trade below $ 3, penny stocks, cryptocurrency, and other more obscure things.
Cons: Where Stockpile Could Improve
Limited account types
Stockpile only offers two types of accounts: individual taxable accounts and taxable custody accounts. Since Stockpile focuses on offering stocks to newbies, that’s probably not a downside. But investors looking to open other accounts (such as IRAs) have no option here.
Virtually every other major brokerage firm offers these types of accounts and many more.
The good news is that it’s actually easy to buy stocks (or ETFs) on Stockpile, and you can practically point and click your way to a trade with any dollar amount, as described below. above. The flip side of this ease comes at the expense of functionality and sophistication. So things you won’t find at Stockpile include:
So you can easily trade here, but you can find other options like Robinhood just as easy without all the hassle. Again, Stockpile is intended for beginners and this is reflected time and time again in what is on offer here.
Lack of features and tools
Storage is a fun way to help kids start to get interested in investing. The clean layout of the site and the mobile application makes it easy to navigate and use. The educational components of the app offer basic investing lessons, though still useful.
While these resources may be enough for a child, adult investors seeking a more solid education and other tools will have to look elsewhere. Fidelity and Charles Schwab are both exemplary in their educational features and Merrill Edge also offers a great educational package.
At the end of the line
It’s important to remember that Stockpile is focused on a specific niche and tries to cater almost exclusively to that subgroup, so it won’t offer the same functionality as a typical online broker. Based on that, it will likely deliver what you – or your child – are looking for, especially if you are just starting an investment journey or trying to instill the value of investing.
For other newbies, especially those looking to increase their investments in the short term or those looking for an IRA, Stockpile will not be enough. Good alternatives include Schwab and Fidelity if you are looking for a âdo anythingâ broker. Meanwhile, E-Trade is a good overall option, while Robinhood is a solid choice for its easy-to-use mobile trading app.
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