Stockpile Review – Stock Up on Gift Cards

Not every investor wants to actively trade in stocks and other options, preferring to limit the time and fees associated with the market. That narrows the field down some, but there are still a ton of apps which offer automated investing at affordable rates. There is a vast selection of investing apps available to choose…
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Not every investor wants to actively trade in stocks and other options, preferring to limit the time and fees associated with the market.

That narrows the field down some, but there are still a ton of apps which offer automated investing at affordable rates.

There is a vast selection of investing apps available to choose from, but if you want something truly unique—try Stockpile.

Stockpile allows you to purchase a stock gift card instead of buying stocks directly.

Let’s take a look at just how that works.

About Stockpile

Stockpile is a stock investing app and online broker that allows people to purchase fractions of high-priced stocks instead of one full share.

The company also offers gift cards that can be used for buying both stocks and exchange-traded funds (ETFs).

With the user-friendly app, you can avoid the stress of having to buy a single stock.

Instead of buying the stock directly to issue as a gift, you can buy a gift card that can be used for the purchase of a given stock. You can never find an easier way of giving the gift of stock!

How Stockpile Works

Stockpile gives you two options for purchasing stock:

  • Buying a gift card for someone
  • Choosing stock for yourself

Let’s explore each option in detail:

Purchasing Stock Gifts for Someone Else

It’s quite easy to buy a gift card for someone through Stockpile.

All you need to do is visit the Stockpile website and click on the “shop now” button. You can then choose to purchase a physical card or an e-card from the drop-down menu.

After clicking on your preferred link, you’ll be directed to the Stockpile marketplace, where stocks are classified into various categories such as fashion, trending, and kids.

Once you select your preferred category, you’ll be shown a wide selection of brand logos with the name of the brand’s parent company displayed below the corresponding logo.

Most of these brands you’ll probably be familiar with, so you’ll have an easier time making a choice. In fact, it always exciting buying something you know and understand.

Once you locate the brand you want, just click on it and select the amount of the stock’s gift card you intend to purchase.

While the gift card you select is meant for purchasing a specific company’s stock, it is essentially a cash card you can use on the Stockpile platform. In other words, you can redeem the card for the specified stock, other stock on Stockpile site, or a retail gift card.

It’s also worth noting that it is not a must that you have a Stockpile brokerage account to be able to purchase someone a Stockpile gift card. It is also possible to purchase Stockpile gift cards in retail stores across the country.

Choosing Stock for Yourself Through Stockpile

You can purchase stock for yourself on the Stockpile’s website. You will need to open a brokerage account with Stockpile to do so.

Stockpile gives you two options for purchasing stock:

  • Open an account, link your bank account, and buy stock
  • Select stock, purchase it, and open an account with a linked bank account

Stockpile promises to execute your trade orders within same-day if you place the order before 3 p.m.

How You Can Use Stockpile

One of the most important factors to consider when choosing an online brokerage service is the platform on which it runs.

With Stockpile, you have two options to choose from:

  • Desktop platform – Stockpile offers a user-friendly desktop platform that is ideal for beginning investors. Every aspect of this platform was designed with the beginner in mind, including account set-up, funding, trading, purchasing, and withdrawals. The desktop is so simple and straightforward that you will quickly learn to navigate your way around the platform.
  • Mobile app – Stockpile also offers a smartphone app that is compatible with iOS and Android operating systems. You will get all the features available in the desktop platform in this mobile app. The app is designed to allow you to review portfolio performance, redeem gift cards, deposit funds, request withdrawals, and place your trades.

The best thing about the mobile app is that you can access Stockpile on the go. You can use it wherever you are and on almost any device.

How Much Does Stockpile Cost To Use?

When it comes to purchasing or selling stocks and ETFs through the Stockpile brokerage account, you will need to pay $0.99 per trade. When it comes to purchasing gift cards, the fees you’ll pay will depend on the delivery method.

Namely, if you choose to present it as a physical gift card, there are several denominations to choose from, as shown in the table below:

Gift Card Denomination Fees Charged
$25 $4.95
$50 $6.95
$100 $7.95

If you choose to purchase an e-card, you’ll need to pay $2.99 for the initial stock. Then, for every additional stock, you’ll need to pay $0.99.

Keep in mind that a 3 percent debit or credit card fee is applicable depending on the amount of the gift.

It is also worth noting that all investments in your Stockpile account are protected by Security Investors Protection Corporation (SIPC). What does that mean?

If anything goes wrong with Stockpile and the company vanishes, SIPC will compensate you up to $500,000 for the stocks you owned.

SIPC protection adds to the credibility of Stockpile. So, you don’t have to worry about your investments getting lost as is common with some rogue brokerage firms out there.

Redeeming Stockpile Gift Cards

Redeeming stockpile gift cards is somewhat more complicated in comparison to the purchasing process. The card’s recipient has to open a brokerage account with Stockpile.

That can only happen if the recipient is a U.S. citizen and is aged 18 years or older.

In case the recipient is not a U.S. citizen, he/she has the option of exchanging the card for a retail gift card. If the recipient is under 18, his parent or guardian is allowed to create a custodial account.

Advantages and Disadvantages of Stockpile

The Pros

  • Affordable trading fees – You only pay 99 cents per trade when buying or selling stock
  • Fractional shares – You can purchase and sell fractional shares through the Stockpile gift cards
  • No annual fees – You won’t pay any annual fees with Stockpile
  • No minimum – Stockpile requires no minimum account balance

The Cons

  • Limited account selection – Stockpile doesn’t offer individual retirement accounts (IRAs) or joint accounts. You can only have individual or custodial account.
  • Limited investment selection – Stockpile doesn’t offer bonds, mutual funds, or options. Only ETFs, ADRs, and stocks are available.
  • No real-time trading – If you place a trade before 3 pm, it will be executed the same day. Otherwise, you will have to wait until the next business day for your trade to be executed.
  • Accessible to U.S. residents only – You can’t use Stockpile if you’re a non-U.S. resident.

Alternatives to Stockpile

Compare Stockpile to other top online investing platforms, robo-advisors, and apps below.

M1 Finance

M1 Finance offers traditional robo-advisor services (like automatic portfolio rebalancing towards your target allocations), while also providing more customization of what assets your portfolio is comprised of than its competitors. Additionally, M1 Finance provides the ability to purchase fractional shares in companies. The service offers low-barrier to entry for investing beginners, and also gives more seasoned investors more control over their investments. Read my full M1 Finance review.

  • Minimum Investment to Open Account: $0
  • Management Fees: $0
  • Tax-Loss Harvesting: No

Learn More About M1 Finance

Betterment

Betterment is a traditional robo-advisor that recommends investing plans for its users based on their financial goals, investment timelines, and risk tolerance. Users have the ability to purchase fractional shares. This robo-advisor is great for beginning investors who don’t want to get too far in the weeds of investing. Read my full Betterment review.

  • Minimum Investment to Open Account: $0
  • Management Fees: 0.25% annual fee for Digital plan; 0.4% annual fee for Premium plan
  • Tax-Loss Harvesting: Yes

Learn More About Betterment

Stash

Stash is an investment app that, instead of building an investment portfolio for its users, equips them with education and recommendations to construct their own portfolios. Stash provides cause-driven investment options, such as green energy. App users can purchase fractional shares, but automatic account rebalancing is not offered. Stash is good for beginning investors who want on-the-job-training in investing. Read my full Stash review.

  • Minimum Investment to Open Account: $5
  • Management Fees: $1-$2/month (Note: Stash charges user accounts $1/month until the accounts reach $5,000. After that threshold, they charge 0.25% per year.)
  • Tax-Loss Harvesting: No

Learn More About Stash

Bottom Line

Stockpile was developed with the aim of making investing easy and affordable for all people, regardless of age or level of income.

The fact that one can invest by the dollar, not the share, makes this investing app easy for even low-income investors to access the most high-priced blue-chip stocks.

Moreover, Stockpile allows investors to present others the gift of stock in the form of gift cards. This is an innovative and exciting alternative to conventional gifts.

If you want to teach your kids the basics of investing, you might find Stockpile gift cards quite helpful, too.


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About Ryan Guina

Ryan Guina is The Military Wallet's founder. He is a writer, small business owner, and entrepreneur. He served over six years on active duty in the USAF and is a current member of the Illinois Air National Guard.

Ryan started The Military Wallet in 2007 after separating from active duty military service and has been writing about financial, small business, and military benefits topics since then. He also writes about personal finance and investing at Cash Money Life.

Ryan uses Personal Capital to track and manage his finances. Personal Capital is a free software program that allows him to track his net worth, balance his investment portfolio, track his income and expenses, and much more. You can open a free Personal Capital account here.

Featured In: Ryan's writing has been featured in the following publications: Forbes, Military.com, US News & World Report, Yahoo Finance, Reserve & National Guard Magazine (print and online editions), Military Influencer Magazine, Cash Money Life, The Military Guide, USAA, Go Banking Rates, and many other publications.

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