So you want to own some stock but don’t know where to start? Stockpile may be a really good alternative online broker. They offer investors the opportunity to invest as little as $25 per with many well-known brands like Facebook, Google, and Apple Stockpile also offers a very low $0.99 fee per trade. Additionally, Stockpile gives you the flexibility of gifting stocks to your loved ones through gift cards.
What Is Stockpile?
Stockpile is an online broker that lets you buy and sell stocks similar to other online brokerage firms like Ally Invest and TD Ameritrade. They also sell gift cards that can be used towards the purchase of stocks or exchange-traded funds.
Stockpile accounts are held through Stockpile Investments, Inc., a registered broker-dealer, a FINRA member, and SIPC participant.
Why Fractional Shares?
Many soon-to-be investors believe they cannot afford to invest. Giving more people the opportunity to invest in their favorite brands can spur them to learn more about the market. Fractional shares can help investors afford a piece of very expensive stocks like Amazon. You can buy stocks starting at $25.
Why Gift Cards?
Gift cards are a unique way to get others–children and adults– interested in investing. They work similar to other retail gift cards but redeemable at Stockpile. Instead of gifting your children toys, you could give them a gift card towards a share of stock of their favorite brands. They are available on the website or some retailers across the country.
How Does Stockpile Compare With Other Online Brokers?
Stockpile doesn’t have all the bells and whistles you’ll get with a more traditional online broker such as TD Ameritrade or Ally Invest. However, Stockpile does offer you the ability to buy fractional shares and has a very low trading fee
Commission And Fees
There are no account fees or minimum balance requires with Stockpile. The fees you’ll pay will be based on trades and gift card purchases. Trade fees are currently $0.99 which is drastically lower than most online brokers.
There is a base price of $2.99 for the first stock and $0.99 for each additional stock plus a 3% debit and credit card fee. For example, a $50 e-card purchase of Amazon stock, will cost $2.99, plus $1.50 ($50×0.03) card fee, totaling $4.49. As the gift, you pay the fees, not the recipient.
Gifts: Physical Gift Cards
Buy a physical card, you’ll pay a fee of $4.95 for a $25.00 gift card, $6.95 for a $50 card, and $7.95 for $100 gift card. The fees cover all the costs.
Who Is Stockpile Best For?
Stockpile is good for any investor looking to test the market or own some of the well-known companies without the sticker shock. If you’re looking for a very affordable online broker with lower fees, this is a great option for you too. It is best for those who may not need all the bells and whistles of a more traditional online broker like Ally Invest and TD Ameritrade.
What Are The Pros And Cons Of Stockpile?
- No Minimum — No minimum account balance is required with Stockpile.
- Low Trading Fees — It only costs 99 cents to buy and sell stocks per trade.
- Fractional Shares — Own fractions of well-known brands with high stock prices.
- No Annual Fees — Keep your account without paying fees.
- Limited Investment Selection — More than 1,000 stocks and ETFs. That seems to be enough for the novice investor. Compared with other online brokers which give you access to thousands more.
- No Real-Time Trading — Unlike other online brokers, Stockpile doesn’t offer real-time trades. Trades executed before 3 p.m. will settle the same day. After 3 p.m trades will be executed the next business day.
Stockpile is also a good option for parents looking to teach their children about investing. It’s also best for college students. And again, a really good option for anyone who wants to start investing with ease.
Stockpile Invest Features
No monthly fees or minimums to keep the account open.
Buy small amounts of stocks or fractional shares of stocks of common household-name brands like Amazon or Apple. Fractional shares start at $25.
Buy gift cards for others as gifts redeemable at Stockpile or exchanged to a retail website. These gift cards can be purchased as e-certificates or physical gift cards. You can select which stock to offer your gift recipient or have them choose. Choose between $25, $50, $100, or another amount. There is a cost for the gift cards that includes the trading fee and processing fee assessed by credit card companies or Paypal.
What Happens If You Get A Stockpile Gift Card As A Gift?
You have three options with a Stockpile gift card.
- Redeem at Stockpile. If you don’t have a Stockpile account, you must open a brokerage account with them. After that, it’s simple to redeem the gift card for stock. There are no fees for having an account.
- Under 18 years old. You’ll need a parent or guardian to open an account for you as a custodial account.
- Unable to redeem. Stockpile is only available to US Citizens and residents as per federal regulations. If you cannot redeem the gift card for stock for any reason, you can exchange it for a retail gift card from major retailers like Toys R Us.