With the Acorns app, you can save and invest your spare change. Acorns rounds purchase up to the nearest dollar and invest the difference. However, the monthly account fees will affect your returns.
This review will provide you with an overview of how it works, what the potential savings and risks are, and help you decide whether it is a good investment tool to make money.
As a child, do you remember your piggy bank or loose change jar filled with nickels, dimes, and quarters?
As most people know, bringing in change every time adds up to more money than you expect.
This company is committed to taking the “out of sight, out of mind” savings strategy to the next level. The company rounds up your expenses to the nearest dollar, then invests your nickels and dimes to achieve your long-term goals.
The company has recently added retirement accounts, debit cards, and a $10 sign-up bonus.
However, can this micro-investing strategy really increase your wealth? Let’s find out.
Acorns: What Is It?
Acorns is a robo-advisor and spare change jar. This app rounds up your purchases from linked credit or debit cards, now with the option to boost those round-ups by 2, 5, or 10 times.
Acorns Invest: $1 Per Month
Add cash to your investments regularly and receive kickbacks from partner retailers to boost your investments. Round purchases up to the nearest dollar and invest the difference in a taxable account.
Acorns offers this service for $1 per month. To sign up, you connect your bank account and credit/debit cards to which you wish to make round-up investments.
Then you select the amount that you would like to contribute to your Acorns investment to get started. There is no minimum investment amount, but the app will not begin investing on your behalf until your Round-Up balance reaches $5.
After answering some questions about your financial situation, goals, and risk tolerance, Acorns will recommend one of its five ETF-based investment portfolios. You can override their selection if you wish.
Additionally, you can set up recurring investments that occur daily, weekly, or monthly. Acorns Found Money has partnered with over 200 brands to give you cash back on purchases, automatically invested.
For college students, this account level used to be free for a period of four years, but it no longer offers this benefit.
Acorns Invest + Later: $2 Per Month
It provides investors with the ability to invest in an Individual Retirement Account (IRA) as well as original Acorns.
As of 2018, Acorns has added retirement investments to its platform, including Roth, Traditional, or SEP IRAs. Investments into your Acorns Later account occur in the same manner as with the original service.
Acorns Invest + Later + Spend: $3 Per Month
Acorns’ online checking account provides full banking services, FDIC insurance, and the ability to boost your Acorns + Acorns later investments with instant Round-Up and cash-back rebates from local merchants.
Acorns Spend, the most recent addition to the platform is a full-service checking account that offers digital direct deposit, mobile check deposits, and payments, as well as unlimited fee-reimbursed ATM withdrawals.
Using Acorns Spend, you can receive real-time Round-Ups, create custom spending strategies to boost your savings, and earn up to 10% Found Money cash back from local retailers you regularly visit.
How Does It Work?
As with most robo-advisors, Acorns’ investing service is based on Modern Portfolio Theory, developed by Harry Markowitz. It offers five optimized portfolios to choose from, automatically rebalances your portfolio, and reinvests dividends.
Acorns portfolios are made up of ETFs or Exchange Traded Funds that provide exposure to multiple asset classes. These ETFs have internal expenses that are approximately 0.10% of your investment over the course of a year.
When you add money to your account through Round-Ups or scheduled deposits, Acorns will invest it according to your risk profile. In the case of the basic account, this will occur in a taxable investment account.
In addition to being able to withdraw your money from Acorns at any time, investment withdrawals can take 5 to 7 business days, and you should not use your savings as a regular source of cash.
By withdrawing money from this account for day-to-day expenses and goals, you are increasing the likelihood of losing money in the market.
It is no surprise that investors have questions with so many options out there. Here are some of the top questions around the web.
Does A Small Investment In Round-Up Make A Difference?
Every little bit counts when it comes to saving for your future.
But, should Round-Up investments be the cornerstone of your investment strategy? No.
The investment of $30 a month at a 7% market rate in ten years amounts to over $4,900. Invest the same amount in an online saving or money market account, and you’ll only be looking at just under $3,900. And the gap between investing and saving only increases over time. That is the magic of compound growth.
How Much Does Acorns Charge?
Three plans are available:
- Invest $1 a month
- $2/month Invest + Later
- $3 per month for Invest + Later + Spend
A $1 monthly fee is extremely high for small accounts and offsets any reasonable potential return from the investment.
Suppose you had 50 round-up transactions a month at an average round-up value of $0.40. The app would invest $20 for you each month, but it would charge you 5% of the savings.
It is important to note, however, that you would need to invest $5,000 before Acorns’ fees were as low as Betterment’s 0.25%. Betterment offers these fees with no minimum investment threshold and access to a retirement account. To match Betterment’s fees, you would need to invest $10,000 in an Acorns IRA.
For a taxable account, a $1/month fee means:
|Account Balance||Annual Fee|
Is There Any Risk In Investing With Acorns?
The performance of an investment is not guaranteed. Investing entails risks, which means your portfolio’s value may fluctuate over time, as well. While the S&P 500 has consistently provided returns of around 8% annually, year-to-year variations could result in substantial losses—sometimes in excess of 10%.
As an Acorns user, the greatest risk is not contributing to your account and keeping it small. Remember, the smaller the balance of your account remains, the greater the impact the monthly fee will have on it.
Consider a high-interest savings account if you have plans for your money in the next three to five years.
Is It Okay To Invest Significant Sums Of Money?
Hands-off investors with significant sums to invest may find the flat-rate fee appealing. For example: If you have over $10,000 to invest in the Invest + Later membership level and your fees drop below those of top robo-advisor competitors such as Betterment and Wealthfront, Acorns appears to be a cost-effective option.
It is not recommended to invest large amounts with Acorns, as their investment options are not as robust as those of the bigger players. There aren’t as many different types of assets in portfolios, and you can’t change the way assets are divided outside of the five main portfolios.
Furthermore, Acorns does not offer tax-loss harvesting for long-term returns if you invest primarily in a taxable account (the basic level).
In addition, Acorns does not provide professional financial support. Larger robo-advisors provide some access to Certified Financial Planners (CFPs) to answer any questions you may have. You might not have any at the moment, but as your portfolio grows or we experience a downturn in the market, it can be a comforting option.
Who Is The App Best For?
Those who are looking for a hands-off solution to grow their savings will find Acorns to be the best choice for them.
Is It Worth It?
Acorns is one of the best investing apps on the market when it comes to round-up investing apps. It is easy to use, offers a good educational platform for new investors, and has simple, straightforward fee structures.
It is important to remember, however, that whether the $1-3 monthly fee is a benefit or a detriment depends on your account balance. If you’re only adding a few dollars a month to your account, then the $1 a month fee will hold back your investment growth.
Acorns app rounds up your purchases from linked credit or debit cards, now with the option to boost those round-ups by 2, 5, or 10 times. It’s one of the best investing apps on the market when it comes to round-up investing apps.
It is important to remember, however, that whether the $1-3 monthly fee is a benefit or a detriment depends on your account balance.