Famous for its affordable access to US and Australian stocks, Stake is a desktop and mobile trading app with a flat brokerage fee.
In this Stake review, I will give you insights on using Stake, its products, and its pros and cons.
Find out more below to see if Stake suits your needs.
Table of Contents
Introduction to Stake
Founded in 2017 by Matt Leibowitz and Dan Silver, Stake is an Australian financial services company headquartered in Sydney, Australia.
The company offers low-cost brokerage services as its unique selling points to investors in Australia, New Zealand, Brazil, and the United Kingdom.
Currently, the platform has over 540,000 people worldwide as its customers. It received significant attention when it played a role in the GameStop short squeeze in Australia.
At that time, thousands of investors joined the platform to trade GameStop. Stake even reported a tech outage due to the sudden surge of interest.
Eventually, Stake was forced to stop trading in GameStop because of a partnership with DriveWealth, a US broker-dealer who wanted to tame the wild price fluctuation in the GameStop saga.
Nevertheless, the company is still going from strength to strength.
It raised $AU 90 million from Tiger Global Management on two separate occasions and became Australia’s 7th fastest-growing company in 2021.
Stake now has over $AU 2 billion in managed assets, generating around $AU 20 million in revenue annually.
How to Create an Account at Stake
When I tried to open an account on Stake, it took less than 5 minutes from start to finish.
The secret is getting your documents ready before you sign up. The documents you will need are your National Insurance Number and residential address.
But if your verification fails, you should also prepare extra documents, including your government-issued ID, a photo of you holding said ID, and proof of address.
When you sign up to Stake, you can get free shares in Nike, Dropbox, GoPro, or a mystery share. To claim this reward, you should fund your account via deposit within 24 hours of signing up to Stake. The minimum amount of deposit is £50.
Stake’s Product Range & Features
There are two types of accounts to choose from at Stake:
- Stake UK Standard Account: With Stake’s free Standard account, you can access commission-free trading for US stocks and shares, ETFs, fractional shares, and advanced order types
- Stake UK Black Account: Stake’s premium account offers advanced limit and stop order types, access to financial data, ability to trade instantly on unsettled funds. You can purchase the Black Account for £9 per month.
Stake has helpful features for trading, which include:
- The Wrap: This is a round-up of what’s been happening in the markets, giving customers details to make trading decisions
- Advanced filtering: Use this filter to find stocks to trade, such as trending stocks that are must up, most down, most traded, or most watched. You can also filter by categories such as industries and company size.
- Related stocks: The platform suggests related or similar stocks based on what you’re trading
Research & Education Tools on Stake
The free version of Stake has limited research and education tools.
The platform offers news and analysis for each stock from the internet for traders. The platform also has a commentary blog where users can find trending stocks.
To access advanced financial data and charts, you must pay for Stake Black.
With the premium version, you can switch between regular stock price charts and candlestick charts to see how stocks performed in the past day, week, month, year, or three years.
Fees can dampen your enthusiasm for investing; that’s why Stake’s commission-free trading benefits their clients.
Here’s a breakdown of the fees:
- Withdrawal fee: $2 fee for every withdrawal
- Brokerage fee: $3 brokerage fee for all trades up to $30,000
- Exchange fee: Because all the trades in the platform use US dollars, UK users will have to pay foreign exchange fees. Stake has a flat 0.5% exchange fee every time you deposit to your Stake account. This is an excellent system because you won’t have to pay for every transaction; instead, you pay a one-time deposit fee.
- Stake UK Black Account fee: You must pay £9 per month to access unlimited features.
How to Deposit & Withdraw Money
You can use several methods to send a deposit to your Stake account: EFT, POLi funding, credit or debit card, Apple Pay, and Google Pay.
When you fund your account, you can get free shares in Nike, Dropbox, GoPro, or mystery stock. Just ensure you deposit it within 24 hours of opening your new account.
To withdraw your money from Stake, the minimum amount is $10. You can transfer your funds into your bank account, so link your bank to your Stake account.
It will take up to 4 business days for the funds to arrive in your account, but if it goes longer, you should contact customer service. Each withdrawal has a $2 bank processing fee.
Here are the steps to withdrawing from Stake:
- Tap “wallet” and click “withdraw”
- Enter the amount you wish to withdraw
- Select the bank account you want to transfer to
- You will receive a summary of the transaction estimation
- Verify by entering the unique pin sent to your email
Safety & Security
Fortunately, Stake is authorised and regulated by the UK Financial Conduct Authority.
This means that clients at Stake are protected by FSCS or Financial Services Compensation Scheme; clients will be eligible for compensation of up to £85,000 should the company go under.
Customer Support Review
You can contact Stake’s customer support by email at [email protected], by phone, or by using the message feature on their website.
Their customer support is available from 9:30 AM to 4:30 PM from Monday to Friday. I contacted them via email and got my answer within a day, which is a decent time frame.
When I checked out their Trustpilot review, many struggled with the platform. Stake was scored 2.0 out of 5.0 or poor by their customers.
Most complaints were about the platform’s slow responding interface and glitchy mobile app. These complaints were dated back to 2021.
Hopefully, the platform has overcome these technical difficulties to receive better reviews in the future.
Who Should Use Stake?
Stake is great for beginner investors who are looking for affordable trading.
The platform offers one of the cheapest options with its $3 brokerage fee. But due to its limited research tools, experienced brokers may want to find other platforms that support better decision-making.
You can try Stake Black for an extra fee if you want a more sophisticated option, but other platforms offer better research tools for free.
Alternatives to Stake
If you find that Stake doesn’t offer what you need, here are some alternative brokers that also focus on providing low-cost trading:
- Freetrade: This platform lets you invest in more than 6,000 stocks from the US, UK, German, Finland, and the Netherlands and ETFs free of charge. Based in the UK, Freetrade is excellent for traders who want low trading fees. On the downside, their research tools can be limited, so it’s unsuitable for advanced traders. Read my full Freetrade review.
- Alpaca: Founded in 2015, Alpaca Trading is a commission-free stock broker that gives you access to top-tier US stock markets. It’s also one of the most innovative platforms, allowing coders to contribute algorithms to aid investment research. Some downside to Alpaca is it has limited deposit and withdrawal options.
- Interactive Brokers: Interactive Brokers is one of the most trusted brokers, as it has experience in trading since 1978. The platform offers stocks, ETFs, and options with low conversion fees for forex trades. There are also options for portfolios if you’re a novice investor. Read my full Interactive Brokers review.
- eToro: If you’re a big fan of social media, this is the perfect platform for you. eToro has over 10 million users and has the option to copy and follow other traders or investors. It’s one of the pioneers of social investing, where you can watch what others are doing and learn as a community. Read my full eToro review.
Pros & Cons of Stake
- No monthly fees for a standard account
- User-friendly interface
- Free shares on the first deposit
- Low brokerage fees
- Limited markets offered
- Need a premium account to access better tools
Stake Review – Final Thoughts
Although Stake offers plenty of stocks, shares, and ETFs, these products are limited to US markets, so you won’t be able to explore others.
Unfortunately, we have to get a premium account to access decent features, which you can get for free on other platforms.
Stake is still a reputable web and mobile trading app, offering commission-free trading with a user-friendly interface. It also allows a lower starting deposit of £50 and free shares to get the ball rolling.
Overall, I recommend beginners use this platform for their first trading experience.