Acorns vs Stash

A friend introduced me to investing last year, and I started in March. Not exactly consistently, but curious me did some searching. There are a ton of investing apps out there: WeBull, Robinhood, Betterment, SoFi. I don’t need a dozen brokerage accounts, though.

My friend uses Acorns and Stash, so I went with those too. I downloaded M1 Finance because I wanted to check that out too, but that requires a minimum of a $25 deposit, so that needs to wait. Acorns and Stash require only $5, and Cash App (of all apps!) requires only a minimum of $1. I had too much fun with that.

From what I read, Acorns’s biggest feature is its round-up, which lets you invest tiny amounts of money. Ultimately, a “set it and forget it” concept. You invest without thinking about it. This is great if you like automatic transfers…

…which I don’t. I’ve never used this feature. In fact, I disabled it after it would’ve invested money I needed at that moment. I don’t like anything that automatically deducts payments unless I choose to set it. “Set it and forget it” is a great way to overdraft. No.

Acorns is strictly a robo-investor, which I like, but not when it’s the only option. Recently, I discovered it takes a week for money deposited into their retirement account to be invested. That is patience I don’t possess. I also dislike there seems to be no option to turn off automatic re-investing. Not that my dividends are anything to brag about, but I’d still like the option.

In short, Acorns is becoming uninteresting to me. Then again, maybe it isn’t supposed to be interesting.

I came to prefer Stash solely for the fact it has more options than Acorns. Stash allows manual and robo-investing. I use both just because. Automatic re-investing can’t be disabled for the robot portfolios, but it’s optional for the personal one, so I keep it off. I get a little too much enjoyment out of reading ETFs and picking one. I’m weird.

I want to move out of Acorns, but unfortunately, taxes must be paid on anything withdrawn from a brokerage account. I hate taxes, so really, that money may just stay in Acorns, and I stop bothering with it. I’ll play around with M1 Finance, but I think I may settle on Stash and stick with it. It’s the one that’s working for me.

Fidelity, Vanguard, and Schwab are the most renowned investment tools. I already have Fidelity for my job’s 401K, so that’s covered.

Intermittent Goals

I can’t think of a better name for goals you make in the middle of the year.

Recently, the thought occurred to me I likely meet so few of my goals because I overwhelm myself with them or get stupidly excited. Hence why I skated only once since buying skates for myself. That, and skate rinks have really weird hours.

I want to try setting some not-so-pressured goals for myself and see where that goes. Since this blog needs activity anyway, why not here?

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Things Change, part 2

Four years later.

When I browse through my archives, I feel like I barely know the person who wrote those entries. I have a diary blog on Blogger I haven’t updated since December 2014, but keep around for the sake of looking back when I want to read my old stuff. I pity my younger self for a lot of the hopes and ideas she had, despite I had no way of knowing they’d become a disaster until they did. There have been a lot of changes, big and small. Of course, the one thing I want to change hasn’t and I’m not hopeful it will. But there are many things I couldn’t picture until they happened.

One of the biggest changes is my desire to own a house. On my diary blog, I mention wanting no less than a three-bedroom house, and no less than a five-bedroom house if I have a partner. I even entertained the thought of having a six-bedroom house! Much like my childhood dream of being a veterinarian sputtered out because I grew up to realize how much schooling is needed, my dream of owning a house died because I learned about mortgage, loans, household repairs, property taxes, and most annoyingly, HOAs. Actually, this opinion is seven years old, but at the time, I only knew about HOAs. I am not buying a house, only to be told what I can and can’t do with it! People argue renting is bad because “you’ll have nothing to show for it at the end of your life except a bunch of rent receipts”, but I don’t care about having anything “to show” for strangers. If how I live my life bothers you that much, that’s your problem. I’d rather not take out a loan for the sake of having a boring house to show off either. If I buy a house, I should be able to do what I please with it. If HOAs make that impossible, home ownership isn’t worth it. And no, I wouldn’t care what the neighbors think. They wouldn’t be the ones paying the mortgage or living there. If I want to paint my house with rainbow polka-dots, there should be rainbow polka-dots on the outside paneling! No arguments! I wouldn’t paint my house with polka-dots, but the point is I should have that freedom.

So, yeah, I’m cool with renting for life. May as well with all the restrictions HOAs have.

Something funny I came across in one of my early 2015 posts is referring to my boyfriend as a friend, and insisting I won’t let any more relationships go beyond friend. I sure failed at that! In my defense, I had good reasons. Nevertheless, I have no regrets, but should we ever break up, I will not enter the dating world again. As I said in that linked post, dating sucks.

On my diary blog, I claimed I wouldn’t return to college if I had to take out loans, and when I did return to college, I wouldn’t study IT. Do I really need to say that proved to be a huge falsehood? It goes without saying! No regrets about that one being wrong either. I hate I have loans, but $12,000 is manageable. It was worth that certificate.

Above all, I think what makes me really different from the person who started this blog and my old diary one is I don’t feel so hopeless anymore. Perhaps not here, but many of the diary posts and Tumblr posts are about how I constantly feel depressed, hopeless, and want to kill myself. I think that’s what’s really unrecognizable. Of course, I still have bad days and bad times, but I no longer wake up to wish I had died overnight. I travel when I need to, I work, I spend time with people I love when I can, I stay out late, I have money, and I now have a certificate. All of that probably makes a big difference.

Among the smaller changes: I gave up drawing to focus on writing because I never was passionate about the former, I’ve had Cities: Skylines for four years and don’t play it anymore, I don’t care for Pokemon anymore (I didn’t enjoy the Let’s Go games, and the price jump from $40 to $60 didn’t help; I like Pokemon, but the games aren’t worth $60, and I don’t like the eighth generation starters either, meaning the last generation I liked was the seventh), and I refuse to allow my retail job to take over my life anymore. Maybe that last one isn’t a small change, but for me, it was as simple as not going in extra every time I’m asked. I remember when I was so excited to have my first job. Now, I’m yearning to leave it for a higher-paying one that isn’t retail.

I can’t think far ahead, but I look forward to the next changes that will happen over the years, assuming they are positive. I mentioned in a recent post I’m studying to finally get my driver’s license, so that’s one change I have my hopes up for. It’ll still be a long time before I can get a car, but having the license is the first step. I think at the moment, that’s the change I’m most looking forward to.