This piece is sponsored by Save. However, any opinions expressed are my own.
UPDATE (12/28/23) – It’s the end of the year. Roughly seven months since I opened an account with Save. Here are my results so far.
I initially invested $5,000 with Save (1-year term) and received a $5,000 (investment-only) referral bonus. Since then, I’ve received a $1,000 (investment-only) bonus for my birthday.
So, of course, my original $5k investment is still intact, but I have $11,000 working for me. What has it returned at this seven-month mark?
$192.85 or 1.75%
If you split that up between my actual $5,000 investment and the bonuses, it looks like this:
- $123.66 or 2.47% (original investment)
- $69.18 or 1.15% (bonuses)
I have to say, given the current market valuations, deposit interest rates, and Save’s advertised rates, this is an uninspiring performance to date.
In short, I could have done about the same had I kept my money in a high-yield savings account (where I’d be able to move it around freely). And I certainly would have beat this performance had I kept my $5k in a brokerage account sitting in a VTSAX fund or something.
But, the experiment isn’t a seven-month experiment. We’re going for a whole year here (the full term). So, let’s reserve too much judgment at this juncture.
I’ll report back in June 2024.
I did take a quick peek at what it would look like to pull my funds from Save right now. It would cost me $126 in closing costs to withdraw my funds. That would leave me with a ~$60 overall return.
In addition to this experiment, I got to meet the Save team in person at FinCon this past Fall. Shout out to them for making the trip over to mix it up with the finance creator community.
That’s a 1.37% unrealized return in a little over two months. Extrapolate that over twelve months and I could be looking at a very healthy return.
In this post I’ll share why I’m trying Save, how I signed up, how it’s going, and a little about how they work.
For the uninitiated, a quick primer on Save:
Save is a fintech platform that allows you to save money at up to 8%+ variable APY* (not guaranteed) by utilizing two accounts. An FDIC-insured3 deposit account with Webster Bank, N.A., Member FDIC and a separate investment account with Apex Clearing Corporation.
Save and their partners fund investments in your selected portfolio of stocks, bonds, real estate and other asset classes accessed via ETFs. At the end of your term, you get your initial deposit back, plus any returns generated by your portfolio, minus their fee.
It’s a bit complex, but it’s a promising model for conservative savers/investors.
There is a $1,000 minimum to get started and the funds must be kept with Save for 1 or 5 years if you want to avoid fees. So in a sense, it acts more like a CD from a liquidity standpoint.
Why I’m Trying Save (aka Save Advisers aka JoinSave.com)
There are many reasons I’m trying Save.
First, I like earning a high-yield on my long-term savings. Inflation is up and it’s more important than ever to stay a head of it.
My current savings fund is divided between an FDIC insured savings account at Ally, a taxable brokerage investing account at Vanguard, invested in index funds, and a small amount with I bonds at Treasury Direct. Save is, one could argue, enabling all of these strategies under one platform.
Here’s a recent video from Save suggesting their Market Savings program is a possible good fit for your long-term savings goals like a house down-payment.
How many savings accounts do you have? We hope it's at least one (hi, emergency fund!), but these 5 are fairly critical to have in our opinion, especially if you're trying to ensure your financial stability and security. Learn the details on our blog: https://t.co/sWILEDSVFc pic.twitter.com/xm1QHDRrwR
— Save® (@save_join) July 6, 2023
Second, Save has been showing up on high-interest savings account lists with eye-popping variable annual percentage yields of above 8% (not guaranteed). Although not guaranteed, if Save can provide that kind of return that’s well above anything even the best high-yield savings accounts and CDs are paying right now.
Third, I’m a fan of fintech innovation and I like giving new solutions a shot. What Save is doing is a new concept. Naturally, there are several questions and concerns about their platform. My hope is that this post will bring more clarity around Save and what they can do.
Finally, I’ve seen other bloggers reviewing their service. One review in particular by a trusted friend caught my attention: Jonathan at MyMoneyBlog.com is trying Save out and sharing his experience. It’s going well so far.
I thought it was time I tried it too. Let me show you what happens when you sign up for Save.
My Experience Signing Up with Save
The sign up process with Save takes some time but it’s very easy.
First, I made sure to use a referral bonus link to sign up (thanks, Jonathan). Using this link got me a $5,000 bonus in equivalent investments. Jonathan got one too.
The first step on the Save website is confirming your phone and email address. If you don’t see the email, look in your spam folder.
After that you are taken to a five part application that includes,
- providing some personal information,
- aligning yourself with Save’s investment goals and determining a particular portfolio,
- viewing and agreeing to some regulatory disclosures,
- setting up the funding (deposit) into Save from a bank account, and
- a few more things to finalize the setup.
After submitting my application I immediately received an email stating that application had been received. After two days I received confirmation that a transfer of the $5,000 deposit funds had been initiated.
After one more day I received an email notification that my account had been opened. On that same day I was notified that my referral bonus of $5,000 in equivalent investments had been granted.
Since that time I’ve received monthly statements updating my progress with Save, as well as an occasional marketing message or blog post.
My Results After One Month with Save
Okay, here’s what you came to see. How am I actually doing with Save?
Since May 31, 2023 I’ve gained $105.00 from my Market Savings deposit of $5,000 and $31.74 from the referral bonus of $5,000 in equivalent investments. That’s a total of $136.73 (or 1.37% returns) in a little over one month.
Since my term is one full year, I’m anxious to see if this monthly return continues. If so, it would be a healthy return on my money.
I’ll continue to update this post with my gains after
three, six, nine, and twelve months.
Who is Save and How Does it Work
Finally, I close with a little more color around who Save is and how their platform actually works.
Save was founded in a few years ago by Michael Nelskyla and is headquartered in Houston. Get to know him a bit more in this video interview:
Aspiring entrepreneurs, our CEO @nelskyla has some wisdom for you. He spoke with @justingatlin on his Ready Set Go podcast. Skip to the 16:45-minute mark to hear the interview about Michael's mentors, the founding of Save, and more: https://t.co/wV1h061HvS Video via @TidalLeague pic.twitter.com/2U4zJfMgM0
— Save® (@save_join) May 17, 2023
To get to know their company a bit more I suggest you check out their social media profiles and their blog, which gives a little more insight into the “why” and “how” behind their offering. Save can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org and by phone (customers only) at 1-844-940-Save® (7283).
What Save Does
So what does Save actually do? It’s a bit head-y but I’ll give it a shot.
Save will open an FDIC-insured deposit account on your behalf with Webster Bank, N.A., Member FDIC. Your deposit will be transferred from your existing bank to your Webster account.
Based on your selected investment portfolio of ETFs, Save takes the economic value of the deposit and purchases an equivalent investment on your behalf, which is placed in an investment account at Apex Clearing (SIPC insured).
Your deposit will not be invested and will remain at Webster Bank.
There are several investment portfolios to choose from. Any positive return at the end of your chosen investment term (one or five years), minus Save’s 0.35% management fee, is yours to keep.
Additionally, you get your initial FDIC-insured deposit back at the end of the term.
Just like the stock market, there is a chance that the investments will not make a positive return. In that case, the management fee is not charged.
The advertised variable variable APY* for Market Savings is 8%+. Can they guarantee that? No.
The variable advertised APYs are based on hypothetical back-tested performance in the Save Moderate Portfolio from 2006 to present and are net of fees.
As an additional benefit, the gains are considered long-term for tax purposes.
Regardless of what happens with the investments, you are given back your original deposit at the end of the term. Those funds are never at risk.
But that’s why I’m doing this experiment – to show you what happens when money is deposited with Save. Stay tuned for updates after
three, six, nine, and twelve months.
Will Save provide a 8%+ return? We’ll see.
If you’re interested in trying Save with me, and you’d like to take advantage of the referral bonus, be sure to sign up with this link. The bonus adds $5,000 in equivalent invested to the funds invested.