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Stake Review UK

Stake is an Australian owned digital brokerage platform that offers zero-fees on all stock trading for US stocks and shares and ETFs.

Stake is regulated by a couple of regulatory bodies, including the Australian Securities and Investment Commission and closer to home, the UK’s Financial Conduct Authority.

Stake operates in the UK, Australia, New Zealand and Brazil, although their service in the UK is limited to the Stake app and all trades are conducted in USD.

With the vast choice of platforms currently available, are zero fees enough to make Stake stand out from the crowd? In this Stake review we’ve looked at some of the pros and cons.

*SPECIAL OFFER* For all new accounts, if you fund your account with at least $50 within 24 hours of the account being ready you can “spin the wheel” and win a FREE SHARE in either Nike, GoPro or DropBox – just click the Open an Account button to get started!

Stake Rating Summary

Overall Rating: 8/10
80%
Fees: 8/10
80%
Account opening: 10/10
100%
Deposit and withdrawal: 8/10
80%
Trading platform: 7/10
70%
Markets and products: 6/10
60%
Research: 7/10
70%
Customer service: 2/10
20%
Education: 7/10
70%

Pros

Free trading on US listed stocks and ETFs
Quick and easy account opening
Stake app is easy to navigate

Cons

Portfolio of investments limited to US stocks and ETFs
Very limited customer service
Paid for premium account is not worth the money

Stake Investment App review

Stake Product Range Overview

When it comes to share trading in the US stock market, Stake is head and shoulders above most of the trading apps on offer with over 3,800 different US stocks and EFTs to choose from. Stake offers both newbies and seasoned investors an opportunity for plenty of diversification within the US market.

However, there is a gap in terms of other stock markets from across the globe and there are plenty of other share trading platforms available that can offer the UK, Europe and emerging markets to their traders. That being said, plenty of investors are more than happy trading US listed stocks and ETFs on the US stock exchange alone. Whilst Stake does operate solely in the US Market and therefore keeps US market buy and sell hours, you can buy order and sell orders at any time and the trade will be executed when the market next opens.

Stake Standard Account

This is the perfect account for both beginners and well established investors. The main advantage of Stake’s Standard Account is that it is totally free with unlimited commission free trading on US stocks and shares, ETFs, fractional shares and advanced order types. In fact, out of the share trading platforms we’ve reviewed to date, we were really impressed with how much access Stake was willing to give their Standard Account holders to the various features available at Stake with no monthly cost.

Stake Black Account

Stake Black is the Premium account offering which is commission free until January 2021 after which it will cost $9 per month. The Stake Black account is perfect for more experienced investors who can utilise the additional features available and access more in depth information about the US stocks and shares they are trading in.

As with the Standard Account, investors at the Stake Black account can take advantage of features including unlimited commission free trading on US stocks and shares, fractional shares, market orders, advanced limit and stop order types and full financial data including price targets and analyst ratings on every company available. Fractional shares allow traders to buy a fraction of a share in a big company which otherwise might not be accessible to them due to their high share price. Stake Black also allows investors to trade instantly on unsettled funds providing immediate opportunities. Introducing trading on unsettled funds was in direct response to feedback from existing customers, illustrating that Stake are good at actioning constructive feedback.

During our Stake review of Stake Black we found it to be a poor upgrade from the standard account and definitely not worth the £9 per month Stake will be charging after January 2021. This monthly cost will soon eat into any profits you make from your investments and all the additional data is available on both account types anyway.

Stake Platform Review

The web based share trading platform for Stake is only available to their Australian and New Zealand investors, and therefore UK investors are limited to the Stake app for stock trading, however, this is hardly a sacrifice for most modern investors who are often more comfortable with the convenience of trading apps.

Stake App Review

During our Stake review, we found the Stake app to have a really well designed interface which was easy to use and quick to navigate around. Rarely can you find this number of US stocks and shares and ETFs available from an online app and Stake have complimented this with easy to use search functions to help you navigate your way around. It is also possible to search for companies by category such as ‘US tech giants’ or ‘oil’.

In terms of security, there is touch and face ID available on compatible devices, however, we did feel it was a shame that they hadn’t included two-factor authentication which many of their rivals have utilised.

The other thing we felt was missing is an alerts and notification function to keep you abreast of what is happening with your investments. However, Stake is always updating their offering so we wouldn’t be surprised if this was rolled out in the future.

Research Service and Tools Review

When it comes to data and analysis, Stake is outstripping a lot of the competition. Stake provides traders with analyst ratings and price targets on the share trading platform from different research houses to help you with your investments. There is also live market data and company fundamentals available.

As well as this, there is the ability to filter down US shares and stocks by sector and a neat little scrolling feature that allows you to click into popular searches. A great offering by Stake is ‘The Wrap’ which is a weekly digest providing a breakdown of the US markets activities, with enough information to appeal to both seasoned investors and newbies. We found all this to be an impressive level of detail and analysis.

However, in terms of charting Stake really lets themselves down with no technical indicators and we really felt that some more detailed editing tools wouldn’t go amiss
Stake Platform Review

Stake Fees and Charges Review

The fees at Stake are hard to beat and one of the most competitive offerings on the market today. Even small trading fees can seriously erode your gains when investing, however, Stake offers zero charges for any US trades conducted on its share trading platform which can have a significant impact on your bottom line.

In terms of non trading fees, you can expect to pay a 0.5% express funding fee should you need your deposit to be handled quickly. There is also a small withdrawal fee of $2 however this is offset by no inactivity fees and no monthly account fee for the Standard account. The only share trading platform we’ve come across that can offer better fees is Revolut who also have no withdrawal fees.

As all trades at Stake are conducted in USD there is also the FX fee to consider, however, Stake have managed to make this competitive by eliminating the FX fee on every trade and charging a FX fee of 0.5% on the USD amount for deposits on your trading account. This FX conversion to and from your USD account is how stake makes money when you trade on the app.

Guide to opening a Stake account

There isn’t much to say about opening a trading account at Stake, which in this instance is a good thing. This is because the entire account opening process is fully digital and takes a matter of minutes to complete. With a minimum deposit of £50 you could be up and trading in moments.

Of course you do need to download the Stake app first and you will be required to provide a bit of personal information such as your income and employment details. As well as free trades, Stake offers all new account holders a free stock in either Nike, Dropbox or GoPro should you fund your account within 24 hours of opening. You will get the option to get a free stock which will appear in your account within 3 working days. Which free stock you get will be allocated randomly and once yours you are at liberty to sell your free stock at any time.
Stake App Review

Guide to Depositing at Stake

Stake utilises the technology of Open Banking to make depositing into your Stake account as simple as a few clicks. This is because Stake connects your accounts securely, allowing you to transfer funds powered by TrueLayer.

However, all your transactions at Stake are conducted in USD, which means when you fund your account from your bank account using GBP you will need to pay a conversion fee. One of the best ways to avoid conversion fees is by opening a multi-currency bank account with a digital bank. For UK customers the FX rate is 0.5% or a minimum of $2.

Stake Customer Service Review

When it comes to customer support Stake have a long way to go before they can feasibly compete with all the other share trading platforms on the market. Whilst many of their competitors don’t offer 24/7 service, or live chat, or phone support, there are very few that don’t offer any of these options. If you want to get hold of Stake, your only option is to either email them or submit a ticket on their website or on the Stake app.

Who is Stake Suitable For?

Stake has features that could potentially appeal to all investors. A day trader should be happy with the offering, as should a trader looking to deal in the medium to long-term. Investors looking to diversify with a more international investment strategy will have to look for another share trading platform, however, if you are only interested in US shares and stocks and ETFs then this is an excellent choice.

Ready to Join Stake?

*SPECIAL OFFER* For all new accounts, if you fund your account with at least $50 within 24 hours of the account being ready you can “spin the wheel” and win a FREE SHARE in either Nike, GoPro or DropBox – just click the Open an Account button to get started!

Stake FAQs

How do I contact Stake?

If you have a query you would be best to check the FAQ section on the Stake website first to see if you can find the answer there. If you still need to talk to customer service then you can raise a request from the support section of the website and they will get back to you. From our experience it can take a while for someone to get back to you so don’t expect any immediate assistance.

Is Stake any good?

If you are interested in share trading on the US stock market then you would be hard pressed to find a better selection of US stocks and shares and ETFs on another investment app and unlimited commission free trades make them an excellent choice. However, this is not without its drawbacks and we were a little disappointed with the lack of communication choice when it comes to customer service and we found the educational tools very limited for newbies.
That being said, Stake is currently outperforming rivals such as Robinhood by opening up to global traders that want full access to the US market.

How do I withdraw my money from Stake?

In order to withdraw your funds from Stake go to your Stake Account and click ’Funds & Balances’, From there you simply need to click on ‘Withdraw Funds’ and select the amount you wish to withdraw. Be aware that your withdrawal will incur a $2 fee.

How do I close my account at Stake?

The first step to closing your Stake account is to transfer out all cash and securities. Once this is done you will need to fill out the Stake account closure form which can be obtained from the help section of the website using the search function. This process usually takes around seven working days to complete.

How safe is Stake?

We consider Stake to be a totally safe online trading platform, not least because they never actually handle your money themselves but rather it is held by their FX partner and then DriveWealth. All cash and securities are held in custody by Citibank.
Stake is also authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority as well as providing protection to their clients under the Securities Investment Protection Corporations insurance up to the sum of $500.000.
Stake is not a stock broker in itself and in no way run by a parent bank so are not in possession of a banking licence. In order to deliver trade on US stocks they partner with other stock brokers and banks, providing the website, platform, and marketing.

Who owns Stake?

Stake was founded in Sydney, Australia by Dan Silver, Jon Abitz, and Matthew Leibowitz with a mission to make it accessible to buy and sell US stocks and ETFs to both new and experienced investors. Since its launch it has expanded its offering of US markets to New Zealand, UK and Brazil.

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