People like to make money. People like letting their money make them money. Common knowledge suggests the best way to do this is to invest. You’re probably already stashing money away into a 401(k) and that’s great, but there’s more money to invest, which could bring you back a hefty monthly return. Most of us don’t have a ton of extra cash lying around just to invest, and more importantly, most of us don’t really understand how investing works.
Acorns aims to solve both of these problems by making investments in small amounts from your spare change and making investing ridiculously easy. First you answer a couple of simple questions and connect your bank account. This will allow Acorns to withdraw and deposit money to your account.
The idea is, Acorns sees how much you spend on any particular item and will round the change up to the nearest dollar. Whatever the remainder of change is, Acorns will automatically add to your portfolio for investing.
For an example, you might go to lunch and spend $7.50 on a sub sandwich. Acorns will automatically take the remaining 50 cents and add it to a portfolio of index funds. This is an ingenious way to add money to your investment account slowly but surely, and at the end of the month people averaging total investments of over $75. Investing $75 a month is something most people might be advert to if it required dropping one large lump sum. Acorns takes the stress out of investing by using a little money at a time rather than a large portion all at once.
You can also add any amount of money into your investment account at any time. You can also set up recurring money transfers. For example, you might want to invest an extra $20 once a month. Acorns makes it easy to automatically withdraw $20 a month to be added to your investment portfolio.
The app invests your change into small-cap stocks, large-cap stocks, emerging market stocks, real estate stocks, government bonds, and even corporate bonds. You can invest in any portfolio you’d like, and they range from conservative to aggressive.
There is a fee to use Acorns, which seems minimal. If you have an account with less than 5,000 dollars you’ll pay $1 per month to use the service. Accounts with $5,000 or more will charge .25% per year.
Many Acorn reviews suggest that the one dollar per month fee is expensive, I just can’t see how. For only 12 dollars a year, you could make exponentially more money off of your investments that would cover the costs of the usage fee times over.
Acorns is an easy way to get started investing. Unlike jumping into the cold water of a pool, Acorns allows you to slowly get used to the temperature change. While you most likely won’t see a huge return on such small incremental amounts of money, it is much safer to risk spare change rather than a lump sum investment.
Acorns is a long-term investment account that you should be warned against touching for at lest a decade. The expected return is 4-9% and adding money for a longer period of time could result in a higher gain. Acorns works just like most other investment opportunities, so you would be advised to follow standard investment practices while using Acorns. But of course, your money can be withdrawn and added back into your bank account at anytime.
Our final thoughts: This beautifully designed app is a great stepping stone for first-try investors. Chances are its not going to fund your retirement, but it is definitely a great start for people looking to dip their toes in the world of investing. The Acorns app hopes that a lightweight experience will make investing more fun. Dynamic graphs, easy-to-navigate menus, colorful graphics, real-life investment expert backing, and lock-tight security makes Acorns a worthy download.
If you’re interested in investing a little at a time, so your money can eventually make you money, and you’d like the process to be ridiculously easy, download Acorns for free here.