If you’re looking for simple ways to make money, then investing small amounts into a growth-driven portfolio is one of the best ways to plant the seeds for a successful financial future. This is the key factor behind the personal finance app, Acorns, which is designed to round up any purchases made with your synced cards and deposit that spare change into an investment portfolio. Here is our Acorns review.
Whether you’re just getting started in investing or you’ve been looking for new ways to invest beyond your traditional accounts, then Acorns’ easy-to-use app and innovative investment strategy could be the perfect fit for low-income and seasoned investors alike. Here’s what you need to know before signing up:
The Acorns investment account takes less than five minutes to set up and there are plenty of options to personalize your account. For instance, you can decide when you want purchases to be rounded up (everything from $0.99 and below or perhaps everything from $0.50 and below?). If you opt for maximum round-ups, then a $15.15 purchase would equate to $0.85 deposited into your Acorns account.
The spare change comes from your checking account, so you’re not making money from Acorns directly, instead, you make money from the interest accrued in your portfolio of diverse investments. Depending on your financial goals and age, Acorns will determine the optimal allotment of different stocks, bonds and ETFs for your personal financial needs and goals. There are five general portfolios to choose from, ranging from conservative to aggressive (with more moderate options in between).
The spare change deposits, which Acorns calls “Round-Ups”, can be added to your account every day, and you can also set up regular auto-deposits of any amount to grow your portfolio more quickly. If you’d rather stick to the spare change Round-Ups, then there’s almost no maintenance at all involved, with Acorns, you’re constantly investing without consciously realizing it every time new funds are deposited into your portfolio.
Extra Cash Back
Want to make more money to fund your Acorns account? By shopping with any of Acorns’ 250+ partners through the “Found Money” program, you could earn extra money from that retailer, which will then be deposited into your account.
For example, if you want to purchase an Apple product, then click “Shop Now” through the Acorns app and make your purchase from there (you can’t get “Found Money” if you don’t initiate your shopping trip through the Acorns app). Apple offers 1.2% of your purchase back for Acorns users (but the money must go into your Acorns account), while other retailers may offer different amounts, including Hilton (6%), Airbnb (1.8% of your service fee), and Walmart (1%).
Retirement Saving with Acorns
With Acorns Later, you can set up an IRA with recurring contributions for just a $5 initial deposit (traditional, Roth or SEP options available). There are different allocation levels available for young and older investors alike, so you don’t have to worry about your retirement savings being subjected to some arbitrary one-size-fits-all approach because it’s incredibly customizable.
When you have both the Acorns Core and Acorns Later accounts, you’ll pay $2 in account maintenance fees (or $1/month for one account) until your Acorns accounts reach the $1 million mark. Acorns Later offers an ideal way to save for retirement, even if you’re on a limited budget and cannot afford to put aside large sums each month.
Spend with the Acorns Debit Card
A relatively newer feature that Acorns recently rolled out is its own debit card (synced with an Acorns Spend online checking account, which has no account minimums and no overdraft fees). Deposits into an Acorns Spend account are FDIC-insured (protected up to $250,000) and you can earn 10% more on purchases made with your Acorns debit card through the “Found Money” feature.
Best of all, you get unlimited ATM fee reimbursements (and access to thousands of fee-free ATMs nationwide), so the only cost involved is the $1/month account maintenance fee for Acorns Spend.
Should You Sign Up for Acorns?
Acorns’ micro-investing flexibility, diversified portfolios (created with the help of Nobel Prize-winning economist, Dr. Harry Markowitz), and extensive personalization options are nearly unparalleled in its industry. Unlike many traditional investment firms, you don’t need a huge initial investment to get started, and you can easily monitor your portfolio’s daily progress from your computer or smartphone.
Acorns also has top-notch 256-bit encryption to protect its users’ privacy and sensitive financial information, so you can enjoy peace of mind while incrementally growing your savings every time you make a purchase with a credit or debit card synced to your Acorns account.