What is Acorns?
Acorns allows new investors to invest small sums of money without worrying about managing their investment portfolio. You can just choose from one of the pre-built investment portfolios, and they will do the rest. They have an app to make it easier to track everything and change something if you need to.
You will have to link your credit cards and checking account as they round up your transactions and take the spare change for investing. I know you are a little confused, but I will explain more a little later.
This company has been around since the year 2012. The founders of this company are Jeff Cruttenden, Mark Dru and Walter Cruttenden. Their app is aimed at people who don’t have experience and want to invest automatically.
In this review, we will find out whether this is a good option for investing your money or not. This review is not biased as I am not writing to promote this app.
How does Acorns work?
This app is not focused on investing large sums of money, but it is focused on something called micro-investing. Let me explain how this app works. You can invest with the app through various ways. The first one that we will focus on is the Round-Up feature. The app allows you to round-up your purchases and invest the difference in your chosen portfolio.
You can link as many credit cards or debit cards as you want. Whenever you make a purchase and the purchase amount is not a round number, then they will round-up that number and invest the difference. Let us assume that you bought something for $50.50. The app will round-up that number to $51 and take the difference ($0.50) for investing. Now this is not a lot of money, but it can add up and lead to significant returns.
The app also allows you to multiply the round-ups by the amount that you select. The maximum limit for multiplying your round-ups is 10, which allows you to invest 10 times more than your round-up. In the above example, you would have invested $5 if you had chosen to multiply your round-ups by 10.
Obviously, they can’t stop you from making a one-time investment. You can make a one-time investment of any amount that you choose easily through the app. You can also setup recurring investment if you want to ensure that you invest a certain amount of money daily, weekly or monthly. It is easy to set it up, and it will work automatically after the initial setup.
Instead of giving cashback directly, they allow you to invest the cashback that you get through the Found Money program. It allows you to earn some money that is invested in your account when you shop with their partners. They have a lot of major brands as their partners like Amazon, Walmart and Nike. You can earn cashback locally through the Local Found Money feature. It will allow you to see local businesses that offer opportunities to earn cashback.
They will ask you a few questions when you make an account for the first time. These questions will be used to determine the portfolio that they will recommend to you. They have different portfolios based on your needs, and you get to choose the one that you like.
There are different types of accounts that you get depending on the fee that you pay them. The first one is the Core account. It is the account that allows you to invest on a regular basis. It comes with all of the features that I have mentioned before. Another account is called the Spend account, which is used for spending the money from your investments. You can transfer your invested funds to this account and spend them.
Finally, you can invest for your retirement through Individual Retirement account. It would be smart to invest more money into the retirement account and start investing as soon as possible.
So, I have covered the basics of investing with this app here. The app excels at two things, which are automation and micro-investing. I believe it is newbie-friendly, and I don’t think that you will have to do much to invest with this app. Their app is well-built, and you wouldn’t struggle to operate it at all.
How much does it cost to join?
They have different fees depending on what you need. They charge $1, $2 and $3 per month depending on what you choose. For $1 per month, you get the Core account. For $2 per month, you get the Core account and the Later account (Individual Retirement account). For $3 per month, you get all three accounts, which are Core, Later and Spend account. So, it all depends on what types of accounts and features you need.
Note: Core account is free for college students.
How much can I earn?
Your earnings will depend on a variety of factors such as the portfolio that you choose, the amount that you invest and the fees that you pay. You can invest as low as $5 of spare change, which can add up. However, their fees can lead to lower returns for people who have invested a low amount of money. If you are investing thousands of dollars, then it can work well for you.
In a lot of cases, people would just use this app to invest their spare change and hopefully earn some decent returns. If you are a college student, then you should definitely take the benefit of the Core account. Obviously, there is always the possibility of losing money instead of earning it when it comes to investments. Hence, the type of portfolio that you choose will affect your earning a lot.
If you don’t want to risk it, then you should not go for an aggressive portfolio. In the end, your earnings are too hard to predict. As a newbie, you can still expect good returns. I don’t think that you can get the best returns here if you are investing small sums of money.
Are there any complaints?
Yes, I have listed some complaints below.
I was investing with Acorns. I only had about $350, but my money did not grow, and it just went down.
I’ve been wanting to make a withdrawal from the account that I have with Acorns but have been unable to do so.
Acorns is not a scam in my opinion. It is hard to recommend them to everyone because they are not for everyone. If you are new to investing and want to invest money without worrying about it, then you can try it. However, you will need to invest a good amount of money to make it worth it. Good luck.
Easy to use
Fees can hurt those who invest small amounts
Not for experienced investors
Limited investment options