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Acorns is a simple investment app that rounds up spending to the nearest dollar and invests what’s left over—an ideal passive investing solution for those new to investing.
Have you wanted to get into investing but don’t know how to start or don’t feel comfortable managing the assets?
Acorns is generating a lot of buzz because it offers unique and automated features that, when combined with good investing practices, can help individuals save up money for the future.
Let’s look at how Acorns offers its services to make it accessible and valuable for the future.
What is Acorns?
Acorns is an investing platform that focuses on helping investors overcome mental or perceived barriers to entry into the world of investing.
Since many of these investors are from younger generations, the service targets these new investors with accessible services and a focus on the mobile experience.
In addition to these automated investment accounts, Acorns has several other personal finance services to help its users grow their wealth over time.
How Does Acorns Work?
Acorns first started with the idea of roundups. This automatic service allows users to take the spare change that would be leftover from a credit or debit card purchase and apply it to an investment account or individual retirement account (IRA) to the nearest dollar.
Over time, roundups can help users grow their wealth by incrementally depositing money into the account as Acorns rounds up more purchases.
Since then, Acorns has diversified its offerings. The platform now has several investing features and a checking account option.
Users can even set up separate investing accounts, depending on their retirement goals.
Acorns Investment Options
Currently, Acorns offers five different investing options for users to try out. Here are what those options look like and what the goal of each investment option is:
Acorns Invest is the standard Acorns account for investing. This account takes roundups from a linked credit or debit card and applies that money to an investment account.
The money in this account automatically goes to an Acorns portfolio of up to 7,000 different stocks and exchange-traded funds (ETFs).
The allocation to these different companies comes down to the robo-advisors powering the Acorns investment portfolio.
This account is great for beginners who want or prefer a hands-off investment approach. The Invest account automatically rebalances across assets, meaning users only have to worry about their roundups and any recurring deposits they wish to set up.
The Acorns Later option allows users to set up a retirement account for long-term wealth growth.
Each of these tax-advantaged accounts helps users grow their wealth for the future. Acorns also adjust your investing strategy based on your age.
Younger people have a growth-oriented strategy applied to their investments, while older investors have more wealth maintenance investments, such as bonds acquired for them.
Acorns Early allows parents to set up an account similar to a Uniform Transfers to Minors Act (UTMA) or Uniform Gifts to Minors Act (UGMA) account for their children for expenses in the future, including education.
Like the UTMA/UGMA accounts, parents can create these accounts for their children, who then acquire them once they reach a certain age, depending on their state of residence.
Investing with this option requires the Acorns Family plan, which comes with an increased monthly fee over the standard Acorns fees of $3 per month.
Thankfully, the fee only goes up to $5 per month.
Acorns ESG Portfolios
For those who want to invest in line with their morals, Acorns offers portfolio options based on the Environment, Social, and Governance (ESG) ratings that companies receive from third-party reviews.
Companies with higher scores tend to do better in taking care of the environment, local communities and data protection than those with lower scores.
To do this, Acorns partners with iShares, an innovator in ESG portfolios developed by BlackRock. Users select what focus they want their portfolio to take and what risk tolerance they want to hold.
After making those choices, the robo-advisor spreads the investment between stocks and bonds related to your focus and risk tolerance.
Doing this allows an investor to approach the stock market with a sustainable portfolio as their goal.
Acorns Bitcoin ETF
The most recent addition to Acorns’ services is their Bitcoin-linked ETFs. Acorns users can allocate up to 5% of their investment to a Bitcoin ETF that trades futures or paper assets based on what funds expect Bitcoin to be worth in the future.
Since cryptocurrency is a high-risk and volatile asset, Acorns exposes its users to Bitcoin at a low rate to prevent too much value from going up or down over time.
This futures fund (BITO) from ProShares offers exposure to Bitcoin without holding the cryptocurrency or the same volatility.
In addition to investment services, Acorns offers financial services for its users. Here is what those services look like:
Acorns Banking works much like a standard bank account, including access to a checking account.
The debit account has several perks, including a metal debit card, no fees from over 55,000 ATMs worldwide and no account minimum fees.
You can also make direct deposits for paychecks and mobile check deposits from your smartphone.
Also, Acorns Banking integrates with all of the other Acorns services. You can easily use this account as your linked account for investing services, including allocating where your paycheck goes when it arrives in your checking account.
The account comes with many of the same protections standard bank checking accounts do, including Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC) insurance and 256-bit encryption to protect against hacks.
Finally, Acorns has its earn program that helps users find more money to invest or save for the future. The two main ways they do this are through partnered brand deals and their job board.
Those using the Acorns Banking option can use their account to buy from partnered brands, earning cash back as a reward for the purchase.
Acorns has a job board where partnered brands can post part-time or gig work for users to view as a way to make money on the side.
Since most people feel they don’t have the money to invest, a side hustle is a great way to pad your checking and retirement account.
Acorns Fees & Minimums
|Personal Account||$3 per month|
|Family Account||$5 per month|
Who Should Use Acorns?
Acorns is a great place to start investing for beginners or those who want a hands-off investing approach.
Rather than asking users to identify the funds and stocks they want to buy, Acorns automates everything, including the payment of investment funds to the account.
However, this fact means that Acorns won’t make sense for those with unique financial goals or wanting to be more involved with the investing process.
How Does Acorns Compare?
| || || |
$3 - $5 per month
$4/month or 0.25% annual fee
$20 Sign Up Bonus (with a qualifying deposit)
Up to 1 year of free management for new clients. Terms apply.
1 free stock after linking your bank account
Getting Started with Acorns
The process of getting started with Acorns isn’t complicated. To create an Acorns account, follow these steps:
- Download the Acorns app for your smartphone (compatible with both iOS and Android)
- Enter your identifying information, including your name, address and social security number
- Create a roundup account, the standard investment account option
- Connect a checking account to fund the account with
- Choose what your financial goals for the account are, such as general investing or for your children
- Fund the account, and let the robo-advisor take care of the rest
After the above steps, you can log into your Acorns account to check your portfolio’s worth and adjust any settings you need to, such as your recurring deposits.
Should I Invest with Acorns?
If you have never invested before or prefer to let others handle the details of investing for you, Acorns is a great choice.
While relying on the roundups won’t be enough to retire from, using both the roundups and a recurring deposit can be a great way to start investing for your future.
Below are the answers to some of the common questions out there about investing with Acorns:
Is the Acorns app actually worth using?
Acorns offer general investing options, such as automatic recurring deposits and its round-up feature, to add extra dollars and cents to your account.
The app is responsive, and the user interface is intuitive and uncluttered.
Is Acorns legit and safe?
Acorns works with several of the largest financial institutions, including the FDIC payment processors such as PayPal and investing groups such as BlackRock, to ensure the checking accounts.
All these partnerships mean Acorns is safe and legitimate.
Is Acorns a good way to make money?
While Acorns markets its roundup features as its main draw, relying on that alone won’t make you much money.
Combining this feature with other offerings from the app is where users can make the most of their dollars.
Do you have to pay to use Acorns?
There are no free accounts with Acorns. Also, Acorns has two payment plans: personal and family.
The personal plan allows users to invest in most individual accounts and use its banking services, while the family account helps parents to invest in their children’s future.