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Stake investment app review
The Stake app lets you trade in US stocks and shares. Find out how it works.
Stake claims to offer you unrivalled access to the US stock market. It lets you invest in thousands of US stocks and ETFs with its mobile and desktop apps. It has a range of features designed to help you along the way. Stake has two tiers to choose between: Stake and Stake Black. We’ve summed up the features of the different tiers available and some pros and cons of Stake.
What is Stake?
Stake is a global digital brokerage platform that lets you invest commission-free in US stocks and ETFs. It was the first online trading platform to offer commission-free US share trading for those living outside the US. It launched in the UK in February 2020.
Stake claims to offer the widest, most sophisticated and direct access to the US stock market, with an easy-to-use app and desktop platform and a simple fee structure. It has more than 330,000 customers worldwide.
How does Stake work?
With Stake, you simply choose which brokerage pack you want to invest with, and you’re good to go. There aren’t any lock-in contracts or commitments, so you’re free to switch between brokerage packs as you like.
How to open a Stake account
- Download the Stake app. The app is on the App Store and Google Play.
- Sign up for Stake. It claims the onboarding process takes less than 3 minutes and verification is instant and fully digital.
- Add funds. You can add funds with Open Banking, which offers secure transfers from your bank account. Your money is converted into US dollars when you make a deposit, and your trading is then handled entirely in US dollars. This means you won’t pay foreign exchange fees on individual trades, but you do pay to convert it.
- Start investing. Easy as that!
You’ll get access to real-time market data and the ability to make unlimited commission-free trades. You can manage your account within the Stake app.
As Stake offers US stocks, it operates on US market hours, which are 9:30 – 16:00 ET (14:30 – 21:00 GMT). You can set buy and sell orders outside of these hours, but the trades will not be executed until the market next opens. Stake will also automatically complete your W8-ben US tax form.
Stake brokerage packs
Stake offers two accounts, a free one and a premium account, Stake Black. The one you choose will depend on your experience level and which features you want to use.
Both account types offer:
- Thousands of US stocks and ETFs available
- Unlimited commission-free trades
- Advanced order types
- Fractional shares
- Digital verification
Stake Black offers:
- Price targets. You can see what experts are valuing stocks at.
- Pro level data. Full financial data on every company.
- Analyst ratings. See what Wall St pros are saying about each stock.
- Instant buying power. Your funds from sell trades can be invested right away.
Here’s a quick view of the two brokerage packs that Stake offers:
|Advanced order types||Trade on unsettled funds|
What products does Stake offer?
You can only invest in a general investment account with Stake. There isn’t an individual savings account (ISA) available, so you can’t make use of your annual ISA allowance when investing with Stake.
If you’re looking for a platform similar to Stake that offers an ISA then consider Freetrade or Trading 212.
You can’t invest in a pension with Stake.
How much does Stake cost?
With the core account, you’ll avoid all commission and account fees. If you want a Stake Black account, you’ll need to pay a monthly account fee, but will also get more advanced trading features.
Stake also has a number of additional fees and charges, but these will differ based on the type of account you have and how you use your account.
Currency exchange fee. You’ll pay a 0.5% foreign exchange fee whenever you move money in or out of your account from GBP to USD, or vice versa. Unlike other brokers or trading platforms, you are not charged a foreign exchange fee on trades.
Funding fee. There’s a 0.5% express funding fee to deposit money quickly.
US trading fees. There are also a number of small US trading and administrative fees that you may need to pay, such as SEC fees. You can check them out on the Stake site.
What can you invest in with Stake?
|Investment type||Available with Stake?|
The Stake app and desktop platform
The Stake app lets you track and manage your portfolio, as well as deposit and withdraw funds.
You can search for specific stocks using real-time market data, set up a watchlist and check the status of your account, including current equity, buying power and any unsettled funds.
You can also earn rewards by referring friends to the app, including Stake merchandise and free shares.
Is Stake safe?
Stake is the trading name of Hellostake Limited, which is authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) in the UK. Your use of Stake is also protected by the Consumer Rights Act 2015 (UK).
It is also partnered with members of the Securities Investor Protection Corporation (SIPC), which means securities in your account are protected up to $500,000.
As with any type of investment, your capital is at risk when you use Stake. There is no guarantee of returns, and you may end up with less than what you started with.
Hear from Stake co-founders Matt and Dan
We interviewed Stake’s co-founders, check it out below.
Pros and cons of Stake
- Unlimited free trades on all accounts
- Big range of stocks
- Free option available
- No hidden foreign exchange fees
- No lock-in contracts
- Funding and withdrawal fees
- Only offers US stocks
Stake has made a name for itself by helping open up the US stock market to international retail investors. With its simple account system and simple, transparent fee structure, it’s a good choice for investors of all stripes wanting to try their luck with thousands of US stocks.
While there are probably cheaper options for those just looking to get started or those making limited trades, the paid Stake accounts offer share-trading bells and whistles at a reasonable price.
Investors looking to diversify will need another brokerage or platform to access non-US stocks, but if you’re looking to expand your portfolio options, or are only interested in US stocks, Stake is hard to beat.
Get started by visiting Stake and opening an account. Still not sure? Compare other share trading platforms with our comparison table.
Frequently asked questions
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