We Tried Acorns & So Should You (Plus, A $5 Bonus!)
September 8, 2018
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Acorns is an investment app links with your bank account and credit cards, rounding up daily purchases and automatically investing the ‘change’ into a diversified portfolio of ETFs. The idea is to create an easy entry into the stock market for younger, new investors, removing traditional entry barriers such as high fees and buy in prices. It also serves as a way to save money without even really thinking about it – something I know I struggle with.
Signing up to the service is super easy.
Download Acorns HERE and create an account. It does ask for some pretty personal details to help work out the best investment portfolio for you, so if you really value your digital privacy, this might not be for you.
Acorns, while free to download will cost you $15 a year if your portfolio is worth less than $5000 or 0.275% if it’s worth more than that. Still significantly less than a traditional broker.
Once you’ve created your account, link your bank accounts and credit cards. The ease of setting this up depends on what bank you’re with and whether or not your account requires an RSA token for login. I was lucky, my debit card and savings account were linked easily by logging into my Navy Federal account, while I could do the same without issue with my Capital One card.
All the big banks are here, plus most other institutions under the more banks section.
Once you’re all set up and connected, you begin to customize. You can select how much you want to round up when it lands on an even dollar, which for me I kept it at the default amount of $1. Your most important part is selecting what portfolio you want.
Your money can be invested in five fund types, ranging from conservative, which puts most into cash and bonds, through to aggressive which has over 80% allocated to equities.
At first I had mine in the very safe moderate setting, but I have since moved it up to moderately aggressive, with companies such as Apple, Microsoft, Google, and Amazon.
Here’s a snap of how my funds are spread:
It’s mostly large United States stocks, but there’s a few Asian ones in there too.
The roundups work really well, so essentially, if you spend $3.50 on a coffee the app will then automatically round up 50c into your investment account. Once you’ve rounded up $5 worth of change it then deposits it into your account. You can also accelerate this if you want and deposit more money as you please.
Roundups can be anywhere from $0.01 – $1.00.
Since I signed up, I’ve deposited a total of $120.99 just through roundups and an initial $20 deposit to kickstart the account. So, in 30 days, I’ve acquired $3.48, which is a lot more than what a traditional or online savings account would yield me.
You don’t have to invest strictly the automatic $5 at a time. You don’t have to set up a recurring investment at all!
But for me, being still very young and having never invested money in the stock market before, this has done exactly what it’s meant to. I’ve become genuinely interested in the market and want to invest as much money as I can, which has hopefully led me to a successful future investing.
Acorns is best for:
People who struggle to save
The only thing better than building an investment portfolio out of a bunch of spare change is building an investment portfolio out of someone else’s money. Acorns’ Found Money program essentially lets you do that: It’s cash back for your investment account.
Acorns has partnered with more than 100 companies — including Apple, Nike, Blue Apron and Airbnb — to give you cash back when you use a linked payment method at one of the partners. In most cases, you get the cash back automatically, without an additional step. You simply use a card linked to an active Acorns account to make the purchase, and the Found Money rewards will land in your account in 60 to 120 days.