At the end of January 2021, Stake ended its promotional trial of Stake Black, its suite of feature add-ons, for all Stake users.
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What is Stake Black?
Stake Black is a subscription-based add-on which users can opt-in to for a suite of extra features including:
Instant buying power
Having ‘instant buying power’ means you can trade on unsettled funds instantly after selling a stock instead of waiting for the 2-day settlement period.
However, this does not mean you can trade instantly with funds that you deposit – you will still have to wait for your deposit depending on how you funded the account.
‘Pro-level data’, analyst ratings and price targets
Stake choosing to separate the three terms (‘pro-level data’, analyst ratings and price targets) on their website even though the latter two are technically considered what they label as ‘pro-level data’ is a little unsettling – resorting to overexplaining features usually means there are less than advertised.
For Stake Black, ‘pro-level data’ is described as being able to access a company’s financials from the stock’s page within the app.
The financials include the company’s income statement, balance sheet and cash flow statement details presented in easy to read and clean format.
However, there is no reason anyone should get Stake Black for just this feature, as statistics like these can be found easily and for free on sites like Yahoo Finance or on a company’s website (Like Apple, for example).
If you can’t do the simple research to obtain a public company’s financials for free, you probably won’t find the in-app financials useful anyway because you wouldn’t know how to read it. If you prefer to visualize key financial facts about a company, you can always check out HyperCharts which provides a fair amount of info in visually pleasing graphics for free.
Both price targets and analyst ratings should not be separated when advertised on the website because they always come hand-in-hand. This notion is further supported through the way users access the price targets in-app – by going to the ‘Analyst Ratings’ section, under which is a button labelled ‘View Price Targets’.
Sure, Stake offers a fun and easy way to view price targets – but it really isn’t worth any money when, as previously said with the financial data, everything can be found for free with a quick Google search.
Despite free websites on the internet having data presentations from the 90s, the info is definitely up-to-date and even if they lack certain ratings, investing based on analyst ratings is like letting horoscopes plan your life.
One of Stake Black’s features on the website is ‘superior enhancements – constant upgrades of more sophisticated features to further power your investing’.
Seriously? This is even more filler to make Stake Black look like a better deal than it actually is – first the overexplanation of ‘pro-level data’ and now this.
At least a Ponzi scheme lets you know what the product you’re trying to get others to buy is.
Is it worth it and should you get it?
Let’s be clear what signing up to Stake Black actually means – it means you get to trade on unsettled funds.
That is the only real benefit there is.
However, since Stake does not offer margin accounts to charge interest on, it has resorted to charging a minimum of USD90/yr (USD 9 [USD 108/yr] if billed monthly) for the functionality.
At least there are no cancellation fees.
In reality, you’re also going to be charged a little more than the stated fee because you can only pay for the subscription with the USD in your account, which you paid fees on when converting from AUD.
Stake has done something annoyingly cheeky here by marketing a feature commonly found for free with other brokers as ‘Black’, a word commonly associated with luxury and affluence (AMEX Centurion ‘Black’ card, Uber Black, caviar, etc.) and coupled it with ‘pro-level data’ available online for free to lull users into a false sense of achievement and exclusive access when signing up.
A note for accounts with a value of under USD 25k
Accounts with under USD 25k are subject to pattern day trading restrictions, which means they allowed only 3 day trades per week.
If your account is below USD 25k and you are thinking of subscribing yearly at a rate of USD 7.5/mo – can you utilize Stake Black to make more than USD 7.5 per month with a maximum of around 12 day trades?
If yes, then please go ahead and leverage this feature to the brim.
If no, then why bother? The costs incurred will exceed any benefits you obtain.
Whether you should hop on Stake Black is entirely dependent on how you invest and how much you have to invest.
Note that Stake Black only benefits those who need to trade with their funds from immediately to one day after selling.
If you’re a long term investor who is not affected by the price differences between two days and can wait until the cash settles, why pay for a feature you’re not going to use anyway?
Just save on Stake for steak instead.