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Stash lets customers invest as little as $5 in companies they know

App breaks down barriers to investing

Stash, a savings and investing app, is helping create a whole new crop of investors by allowing customers to purchase fractional shares of companies they know and like — for as little as $5.

That lets them become part-owners of Apple, for example, whose stock runs a hefty $219 per share, while also helping average investors tap into other investments such as exchange-traded funds and bonds. And Stash allows users to automatically save and invest spare change when they make use of a Stash debit card and make purchases through the tool.

Co-founder Brandon Krieg told CBSN the company is on a mission to break down barriers to investment and give everyone a chance to grow their savings. "Ultimately, we are helping our clients live a better financial life," he said.

High minimum investments are among the biggest barriers to entry for non-investors.

"If someone really wants to start investing, and it's Amazon they want to start with, it's over $1,000 a share. That's completely out of touch. So when we started the company, we built a fractional investing platform so people can buy fractions of stock, and we made the minimum $5," Krieg said. 

Customers who sign up for a Stash debit card can invest while they shop at their favorite establishments. 

"So if we go to Chipotle and put the card in the machine, the second we pay, we become a Chipotle shareholder," Krieg said. 

This way, customers build investment portfolios "that look like them and highly reflect the way they live their life," he added.

At the end of the day, this co-founder believes that no matter how good an idea he might have, his customers always know best. "You just have to listen to them," he said. 

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