Purchasing individual stocks can be expensive and cumbersome, leading a lot of people to miss out on a great investment opportunity.
That’s where Stockpile comes in, making everything easy by allowing you to purchase fractional stocks and stock gift cards.
Let’s take a more in-depth look at Stockpile including how it works and the costs involved, so you can see if it provides the best solution for your investment needs.
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Launched in 2010, Stockpile is an online brokerage service that allows you to purchase, sell, and gift fractional shares in more than a thousand stocks, exchange-traded funds (ETFs), and American depositary receipts (ADRs) through gift cards.
The minimum purchase allowed is $5.
You must be a U.S. citizen or resident at least 18 years of age to open a Stockpile account.
Minors are allowed to receive stock gift cards, but their parent or guardian will need to set up a custodial account for them.
If you are looking to introduce your children to the basics of investing, you will find Stockpile an invaluable tool.
What Stockpile Has to Offer
Stockpile offers a variety of products and services that set them apart from other brokerage service providers. Two of their primary services include fractional shares and stock gift cards.
Sometimes you may want to own shares in a specific company, but you can’t afford the extremely high price of the stock.
With Stockpile, you can purchase fractional shares to reduce the cost of your investment, allowing you to purchase whole shares slowly over time.
If a company’s stock is priced at $5,000, for example, you can decide to purchase a portion of the stock. If you pay $100 for the stock, you get 0.02 shares.
The value of that stock can grow from there or go down depending on the market dynamics.
However, you won’t have much to lose if the market goes down because you’ve invested very little.
Stockpile Gift Cards
You can purchase Stockpile gift cards for a loved one, which they can then use to buy stocks in a wide range of well-known companies, including Google, Netflix, and Amazon.
You have the option of purchasing the card either as a physical card or as an E-card.
If you opt to purchase the e-card, you can get it from the Stockpile website. You don’t need to sign up for an account to be able to make a purchase.
Keep in mind the final price you’ll pay will include the cost of the card and the gifting fee. The gifting fee includes the trading fee and the credit/debit card fee.
Once you pay the total amount at the checkout window, the recipient will get a card for the full amount you wanted to give them.
You can get physical Stockpile gift cards at various stores in the United States. The list of those stores can be found on the Stockpile website.
Stockpile products and services have no fees.
To begin with, note that there are no fees for the recipient, ensuring they receive the full value of the gift card. It doesn’t cost any fees to cover the purchase fee on the first stock bought with the e-card.
Then there are no fees for debit cards.
Stockpile has a monthly fee of $4.95 or an annual fee of $50; a $75 fee for transfers out; and a $5 fee for accounts holding less than $20 that remain inactive for over 90 days.
Physical cards are available in three denominations:
- $25 – with $4.95 in fees
- $50 – with $6.95 in fees
- $100 – with $7.95 in fees
You may also have to pay for shipping of the physical cards.
However, shipping is usually free if you purchase at least three gift cards.
The good thing about physical cards is that they normally have a greater positive impact compared to an e-card sent to someone via email—there’s just something about holding a physical product that resonates more with recipients.
How To Redeem Stockpile Gift Cards
Purchasing Stockpile gift cards is simple and straightforward. However, redeeming them can be quite challenging. The recipient needs to be at least 18 years old and open a Stockpile brokerage account.
If the recipient is a minor, a custodial account in the name of a parent or guardian is required.
It’s also mandatory for the recipient to be a U.S. citizen or resident. Fortunately, the recipient doesn’t have to purchase stock in the company specified on the gift card.
While that is an option, Stockpile gift cards are for the site itself rather than individual stocks, meaning any product on the site can be purchased with the gift card.
What if the recipient is not interested in purchasing any stock?
Stockpile allows recipients to redeem gift cards for a gift to selected retail merchants. This is particularly helpful if the recipient isn’t in the US or is otherwise ineligible for a Stockpile account for any reason.
Bottom Line: Stockpile Review
Stockpile was developed to enable people to gift small amounts of stocks and to introduce children and beginning investors to the basics of investing.
You may want to give your child stock on a special occasion, instead of toys, or build up your own portfolio on a low budget.
That’s where Stockpile comes in handy. It helps you give the gift of stock or allows you to purchase stock for yourself in affordable amounts using fractional shares.
How We Review Brokers and Investment Companies:
Good Financial Cents conducts a thorough review of U.S. brokers, focusing on assets under management and notable industry trends. Our primary objective is to offer a balanced and informative assessment, assisting individuals in making informed decisions about their investment choices. We believe in maintaining a transparent editorial process.
To achieve this, we gather data from providers through detailed questionnaires and take the time to observe provider demonstrations. This hands-on approach, combined with our independent research, forms the basis of our evaluation process. After considering various factors, we assign a star rating, ranging from one to five, to each broker.
Product Name: Stockpile
Product Description: Stockpile is an innovative financial platform allowing users to purchase fractional shares of stocks through gift cards. Catering to both new and seasoned investors, it simplifies the stock-buying process with a unique and user-friendly approach.
Summary of Stockpile
Stockpile takes a unique approach to stock investing by enabling users to buy and sell fractional shares of their favorite companies through gift cards. This method not only democratizes stock investing by making it affordable and accessible but also introduces a novel gifting idea for occasions. The platform is designed to be user-friendly, catering to both beginners who are taking their first steps in the world of investing and seasoned investors looking for a streamlined experience. With its emphasis on education, Stockpile also provides resources and tools to help users make informed decisions.
Cost and Fees
- Stockpile offers one of the best and simplest ways to give the gift of stock.
- The ability to buy fractional shares is what drives Stockpile, thanks to the fact that most of the leading stocks are trading for much more than the $50 to $100 typically loaded on gift cards.
- Stockpile offers fee-free basic trading, setting itself apart in the brokerage market.
- Stockpile requires no minimum account balance. It allows a gift card recipient to open an account with no more than the cash value of their gift card.
- Stockpile charges no annual fees on its brokerage account.
- There’s no access to direct customer support through live chat or phone.
- Stockpile limits share purchases to the bigger name securities despite the fact that it offers over 100 RTFs and 1,000 stocks.
- If you are an active trader who would need an investment account, Stockpile may not be appropriate for you as it isn’t a full-service broker.
- You can’t access Stockpile if you are outside of the U.S.
- If anything goes wrong and Stockpile closes shop, your gift cards will become useless.