Did you know that there is a better use for your spare change than putting it in a jar at the end of the day? Can you save smarter with the Acorns app? Acorns is an investment service that takes all that change you don’t even notice, and invests it! This Acorns reviews will tell you how.
What Is Acorns?
Acorns is a stress-free investment app which collects your spare change and converts it into investments. All you need to do is to connect a debit or credit card to your Acorns app and for every purchase that you make, Acorns will round it up to the next pound and deposit the change into your Acorns account. Once you have $5, Acorns will start investing for you!
You don’t need to be an investment whizz, or even know anything about investing at all. Just fill out your profile when you sign up, telling Acorn your current financial situation and end goals, and Acorns will select a portfolio of ETFs (Exchange Traded Funds) on your behalf. You can make changes to your portfolio as and when you like, or choose your own investments if you prefer, as well as make recurring payments to really kickstart your investment potential!
What Is Acorns Best for?
Acorns is mostly aimed at students and Millenials, younger people who want to start investing but don’t necessarily have a lot of extra cash with which to do so. Busy students might also not have the time to research the stock market, in order to make savvy investment choices. Acorns takes the stress out of that by choosing low-risk investment opportunities on your behalf. Because the app saves money out of what is essentially loose change, you won’t even notice it, and it happens every time you use your card so the amount could add up fast!
Acorns investing is also a good option for those who want to take investment risks but are unsure of how to do it safely. With Acorns you can choose the level of risk you want to undertake, from fairly low-risk right up to aggressive. This will decide how much money Acorns takes and where they put it. Bigger risks often mean bigger pay-offs and with the knowledge of investment experts behind you it’s a much softer landing than starting out on your own. Or you could start slow and build up your investment risks as you become more confident. It’s entirely up to you to take it at your own pace!
Fans of cashback apps and sites will also love Acorns, as it has several features which work in the same way. The Found Money section of the app allows you to get “cashback” on purchases in the form of money dropped into your investment account. This can be invested, but you can also take money out of your Acorns account whenever you like so it does still work like cashback as well. Partner companies such as Amazon, Uber, Airbnb and Apple ensure that your Found Money account sees plenty of action, on the kinds of purchases you are already making on a regular basis.
What Are Acorns Fees?
Acorns falls into three different categories, on a scaled pricing system, with more benefits offered to those paying for the higher tiers. Fees are very low whichever tier you choose though, and the more that you pay into your Acorns account the cheaper your fee works out!
Acorns Core – this is the most basic of the Acorns tiers, at just $1 a month. It includes automated investing via the Round Up payment settings, as well as portfolios chosen for you based on your needs and goals. You’ll also have access to the Found Money service, and Grow Magazine.
Acorns Core + Acorns IRA – $2 a month and includes Acorns Core and all of its associated benefits, as well as Acorns Later – a simple version of an IRA which is an easy way to pay for your retirement. Not only do you save via the Round Up, you can also set up recurring payments which will come out at regular intervals as chosen by you. This option tends to rack up savings much faster than Core on its own.
Acorns Core + Acorns Later + Acorns Spend – the highest tier of the Acorns app is just $3 a month and works like a checking account, but one which saves, invests and earns more money for you. You’ll have a debit card so that you can withdraw your money at any time, and there is no minimum balance requirement or overdraft fees. Not only can you use the Found Money service, but you’ll get an extra 10% invested in stores and places that you visit every day.
Pros and Cons of Acorns
- Low risk investing
For those just starting out in the investment world, or students who don’t have much money to spend in the first place, Acorns offers an affordable and low-risk way of investing. Fees are waived for college students for four years and there is no minimum investment (although you have to wait until your savings pot reaches $5 before your first investment will be made).
- You can choose how aggressive your portfolio is
Acorns offers five options for investors to choose from. The more aggressive your portfolio is the higher the investment that is made, but you can change your portfolio at any time.
- Set up an IRA using just spare change
An IRA is usually quite an expensive and difficult process to get started. Many brokers will require a large minimum deposit to get your IRA started, so you’ll need to save up in advance. With Acorns you can start investing in your future with small change. It is unlikely to make you a millionaire but it certainly gets you on the right track.
- Easy to use
Acorns offers hands-off investing, with a team of experts on hand to choose investments and tailor your investment portfolio to your specific requirements. All you need to do is accept your portfolio and go on living your life. You don’t even need to check up on it if you don’t want to. The money is saved into your Acorns account automatically and you can put in lump sums as and when you want to
- Potentially not very lucrative
If you are looking for a way to get rich quick, Acorns is not the app for you. Based on the fact that you are only saving tiny amounts, however frequently, you are unlikely to check back in a year and find thousands of pounds waiting for you. If all you want is to save a little extra cash and dabble in investments, Acorns is perfect, but if you want to make some serious money there are far better apps and investment opportunities out there.
- No tax benefits
Often investments come with tax write-offs that can make them even more beneficial. However, Acorns does not offer tax loss harvesting, and cannot help you with any other form of tax either.
- The fees can be high if you keep a small balance.
Although seeming fairly low at a first glance, $1 a month could work out to being a substantial percentage of your earnings if you don’t want to top up your investments any higher than the minimum. A $1 fee on a $5 investment is 20%, which is higher than with other brokers.
- You don’t get to play an active role in your investments
If you are new to investing it might seem great that someone else is handling all the tricky stuff and you can just sit back and wait for the money to roll in. However if you are genuinely interested in investing and want to learn more, Acorns might not be the app for you. There is no real progression allowing you to learn more about investment here, and although you do have the chance to choose your own investments, Acorns for the most part chooses from fairly low-cost low-risk iShares across between five and seven asset classes. If you want to get an education on investing, this is not the place to do it.
Is Acorns Worth It?
Whether Acorns is worth it for you or not really depends what you want from an investment app. It is potentially great for students or anyone who wants to learn more about investing, but for people who are more serious about investing, maybe not.
Acorns is a nice way to save spare change and do something productive with it, rather than just watch it disappear. But you shouldn’t expect it to fund your retirement or take you on a luxury holiday!
For those looking to dabble in investment but aren’t really sure what they are doing, Acorns provides a risk-free and fun way to learn more and earn yourself some cash. Maybe you’ll use it as a jumping-off point to get you into investing in the future, or maybe you’ll just earn yourself a little bit of money and call it quits. Either way, this Acorns review thinks it is a wonderful way to use your spare cash that otherwise might just drip away over time without you noticing.