Ask Stash

How does Stash make money?

The short answer is that Stash Financial Inc., its affiliates, and business partners act as an investment advisor, broker-dealer, banking services provider, insurance distributor, marketing affiliate, and a financial services organization, all rolled into one. Stash Investments LLC’s advisory affiliates also provide a wide range of financial services to individuals. 

Stash Investments LLC and its affiliates may receive compensation in addition to the Stash Fee (i.e., the monthly or annual subscription fee) that results from transactions or other services provided as part of Stash Investments LLC’s wrap fee program. For additional information check out the Form ADV Part 2A (Brochure) and Form CRS

Let’s break it down into specifics:

  • Stash Investments LLC receives “per-account” and “per-tier” subscription fees from each Client.  This advisory fee (AKA the “Stash Fee”) is further explained in other Ask Stash articles such as: What are the Stash monthly fees?, Why am I getting charged a fee each month?, How do you charge the subscription fee?, and What’s included in my subscription?.
  • Stash Cash Management LLC shares in revenue earned from qualifying purchases on the Stash Stock-Back® Card, plus consumer deposit account activity. 
  • Stash Capital LLC receives compensation when acting as a broker-dealer, executing transactions for Stash Accounts. 
  • Stash Capital LLC will share in revenue earned on securities lending, FDIC sweep on cash balances, payment for order flow, and other ancillary fees generated by Apex (including additional fees for the preparation and delivery of paper documents, account transfers, and other services).  
    • Optional Securities Lending Program: Stash Capital LLC will share in revenue earned on premiums that are being paid for borrowed investments in taxable brokerage accounts. Discretionary Managed Accounts do not participate in the Securities Lending Program. The compensation paid to Clients is 15% of the net proceeds earned and received by Apex for relending each Client’s securities.
    • Apex FDIC-Insured Sweep Program (“Sweep Program”): When cash balances are deposited into an interest-bearing FDIC-insured deposit account at one or more banks participating in the Sweep Program, cash will earn a reasonable rate of interest and the participating depository institution will benefit from its use of the deposits. Stash Investments LLC or its affiliates will then receive compensation from the participating depository institution.  
    • Payment for Order Flow: Stash may also receive cash credits and other benefits from exchanges or other market centers when it acts as a broker-dealer.  Based on the order flow, it can share in revenue earned depending on whether the order adds or subtracts liquidity from the market.  
      • Stash Capital LLC generally receives payment for order flow from Apex for all customer accounts other than retirement accounts (i.e., Non-Discretionary Managed Accounts, Discretionary Managed Accounts, and UGMA/UTMA accounts).  However, Stash Capital LLC does not receive payment for order flow for any Over-The-Counter international trades (i.e., American Depository Receipt (ADR) transactions). Additionally, Stash Capital LLC may not receive payment for order flow on any individual trade for which Apex does not have a contract in place (e.g., orders in low share amounts or low dollar amount securities).  
  • Stash Capital LLC is compensated for any administrative services they provide based on Client assets invested in the Sweep Program.  The earnings for these services is 50% of the net proceeds earned and received by Apex for relending each Client’s securities.
  • Stash Investments LLC may also receive compensation from retailers in connection with certain promotions (specifically when it refers Clients to the purchase of non-investment consumer products or services).
  • Stash Investments LLC occasionally enters into partnerships with third parties to offer promotions, benefits, and other rewards programs to its Clients. In connection with these  programs, Stash Investments LLC may receive a benefit in the form of compensation from its third party partners, at no cost to its Clients.

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