This complete Acorns review will help you decide if this is the platform for you to save and invest your money. You can also make some money on the side with this app!
If you are located in the United States and are looking for a platform to save and invest your money, you should consider joining Acorns. Acorns is a financial wellness system that helps you establish good financial habits by allowing you to easily invest your spare change in a diversified portfolio made up of Exchange-traded funds. Through Acorns Earn, you can also receive additional earning opportunities when you shop, find a new job, or even invite a friend.
Acorns is one of the most popular saving and investing apps in the United States. It has over 9 million sign-ups since its inception in 2012. As a personal finance blogger who is passionate about financial wellness, I thought it would be valuable for me to write a comprehensive review on Acorns to help you decide if you should use Acorns as part of your personal financial plan.
Acorns Review: frequently asked questions
This review on Acorns will cover every little thing you want to know about this savings and investing app. You will discover what it is, if it is legitimate, how to sign up, how to use the app to save and invest, and how to earn money with this platform.
What is Acorns?
Acorns is an American financial technology and financial services company based in Irvine, California. It specializes in micro-investing and robo-investing. It was established in 2012 by father and son duo Walter Wemple Cruttenden III and Jeffrey James Cruttenden to promote incremental and passive investing. In 2014, Acorns launched an app for iOS and Android devices. The portfolio options you can choose from were designed in partnership with Harry Markowitz, a Nobel laureate.
Since its inception in 2012, Acorns has established itself as one of the leading micro-investing apps in the United States. It currently has over 9 million customers and $3 billion in assets under management.
Acorns’ mission is to “look after the financial best interests of the up-and-coming, beginning with the empowering step of micro-investing.”
Is Acorns safe and legit?
Since Acorns manages your money, it is very important to understand if Acorns is safe and legit. Rest assured that Acorns is a safe and legit app to help you save and invest money.
As a financial services and financial technology company, Acorns is serious about security. Here are the many steps that Acorns has taken to keep your account and information protected.
- SIPC Protected Investment Accounts: Securities in your Acorns Invest and Later accounts are protected up to $500,000.
- FDIC Insured Checking Accounts: Deposits in your Acorns Checking account is insured up to at least $250,000.
- SSL Encryption: Acorns’ website and app are secured with 256-bit encryption. This means only you and Acorns can access your personal and financial information.
- Account Alerts: We will alert you when we detect unusual account activity for protection against fraud.
- Bank-Level Security: Multiple layers of security to safeguard your information, including secure servers.
- Account Safeguards: Automatic logouts and ID verification help prevent unauthorized access.
Is Acorns a scam?
No, Acorns is not a scam. It is a legitimate company that helps you save and invest your money.
When you invest with Acorns, your money is invested into an Acorns portfolio. You can view how your investments are performing at any time in the “Performance” section of the mobile app or web app.
You can also withdraw available funds and/or close your Acorns account at any time. Withdrawals may take 3-6 business days.
Your investments are protected by SIPC (up to $500,000) and your checking account is insured by FDIC (up to $250,000).
How does Acorns select its pre-built investing portfolios?
Acorns’ portfolios were designed in partnership with Nobel Laureate in economics, Dr. Harry Markowitz. They were specifically tailored with long-term investing in mind.
What do Acorns’ investment portfolios consist of?
Acorns offer 9 different investment options made up of exchange-traded funds trading on the stock market. ETFs for short, they are made up of broad holdings of stocks or bonds. Often, these ETFs replicate an asset class or an index like the S&P 500 or Dow Jones Industrial Average. Investing in ETFs will help ensure that you invest in a diversified portfolio. Diversification is important in managing your risk exposure.
You will choose from the 9 portfolios below for your Acorns investing account:
- Moderately conservative
- Moderately Aggressive
- Here is an example of an aggressive portfolio:
- 55% to large domestic companies through Vanguard S&P 500 ETF (VOO)
- 30% to international stocks through iShares Core MSCI International Stock (IXUS)
- 10% to mid-cap stocks through iShares Core S&P 500 Mid-Cap (IJH)
- 5% to small-cap stocks through iShares Core S&P 500 Small-Cap (IJR)
- Here is an example of an aggressive portfolio:
Sustainable (for socially responsible investing):
- Moderately Conservative
- Moderately Aggressive
You can check out the exact compositions here.
The portfolio will be rebalanced automatically regardless of which one you choose.
Which investment portfolio should I choose?
When you sign up, Acorns will ask you a series of questions to determine your financial situation and goals. Acorns will then recommend you a mix of ETFs that will become your portfolio. The portfolio recommendation is designed to maximize your potential return for your selected level of risk. You can change your portfolio any time you like.
It is very important to answer the questions honestly to get the recommendation most suitable for you. A common investing pitfall is to invest in a portfolio that is riskier than what you can actually tolerate. You will have trouble sleeping at night if the market faces a downturn.
Is Acorns a good investment?
Acorns is not a free service. However, starting at just $1 a month, it is a great way to build good financial habits and start seeing the power of saving and investing.
Of course, if you feel like Acorns isn’t a great fit for you after trying it, you can cancel the subscription at any time.
Acorns Review: How much does Acorns cost?
Acorns charges a flat service fee and operates on a subscription basis. The flat fees structure allows you to easily predict how much you are spending every month.
Acorns offers two membership tiers:
- Personal: $3 per month
- Family: $5 per month
At $3 a month, the first tier, Acorns personal account, gives you access to the following:
- Acorns Invest (Acorns’ flagship investment account)
- Put your spare change to work with Round-Ups
- Earn bonus investments from Acorns’ 350+ partners
- Access hundreds of articles on investing from financial experts
- Acorns Later: this is the retirement account with which you can invest automatically for your retirement while enjoying tax advantages through an Individual Retirement Account (IRA).
- Acorns Spend: Acorns also provides a checking account (aka. cash management account) through Acorns Spend. You can save ave money with no account fees and 55,000+ fee-free ATMs nationwide and around the world, earn more with up to 10% bonus investments, and invest automatically with built-in retirement and investment accounts.
At $5 a month, you can get access to all the features that a “Personal subscription” offers, plus Acorns Early. Acorns Early is an investment account for kids. These custodial investment accounts allow parents to invest on behalf of a minor child, and use the money for expenses that benefit the child. Once the child reaches the age of transfer (this will depend on where they live), they gain ownership of the account and can use the money for any reason.
You can add multiple kids at no additional cost, enjoy exclusive additional investments, and receive potential tax savings while your fund grows. This account makes it easy for you to create a UTMA/UGMA account for your kids.
Note that custodial accounts are not the same as 529 college savings accounts. 529 accounts are less flexible, as they’re designed for education expenses, but they also offer more tax advantages and are generally considered a better way to save for college. Be sure to do your research or consult a financial advisor to determine the best account for you.
How do I invest with Acorns?
There are three main ways you can invest with Acorns: Round-Ups, Recurring Investments, and one-time investments.
With Round-Ups, Acorns rounds up any purchase made from a linked account, debit card or credit card to the next dollar. Acorns then invest Round-Ups in your Acorns Invest account when they add up to at least $5 from all linked accounts. You can find and manage your Round-Ups within your Invest account.
Round-Ups will always be transferred from your Funding Source, or personal bank account.
Recurring Investments allow you to invest as little as $5 per day, week or month into your Acorns accounts.
You can also make one-time investments anytime to boost your account value.
Acorns Review: the sign-up process
The sign-up process is very simple and straightforward. You can sign up on their website or through the Acorns app. Here are the steps:
Head to Acorns
The link in the title will take you straight to Acorns’ sign-up page. No more need for googling!
Create an account
You will be asked to enter your email address and create a password. Note that you must be a US resident and be at least 18 years old.
If you in Canada, you can use Moka instead!
Select your subscription level
Next, you’ll select your plan level, Personal or Family. Again, the monthly fee for Personal is $3, and that for the Family plan is $5.
Choose your Round-Up setting
Next, you will need to set your Round-Up setting. You can either round up to the next nearest dollar, or use the Round-Up Multiplier to multiply the round up all the way up to 10 times the regular Round-Up amount.
Provide standard information
You’ll then be asked to provide the standard information needed to open a financial account, including your full name, physical address, and Social Security number.
Answer questions about yourself
Finally, you’ll complete a series of questions that will be used to determine your investment profile and risk tolerance. Based on your answers, Acorns will recommend a portfolio that maximizes your rewards while balancing risks.
Congratulations, you are now ready to begin investing with Acorns!
Earn free stock
Once you’re signed up you can then take advantage of what Acorns calls their “Found Money” bonuses to get free stock.
Companies like Amazon, Casper, Uber, Lyft, Airbnb among others will deposit free stocks into your account when you use their service or product and spend above a certain amount.
Can you earn money with Acorns?
Yes, you can earn additional money with Acorns Earn and by inviting a friend to join Acorns.
Acorns Earn is a Chrome Extension that helps you earn more money when you shop, find a job, and more. Acorns has partnered with over 12,000 brands, including Groupon, Old Navy, Walmart, Sephora, and so on, to help you earn more money.
When you browse the shops online, the Acorns icon will light up to let you know that a bonus investment is waiting. Simply log in to activate your offer, and earn more to save and invest more!
Invite a Friend
Simply tap “Invite a friend” from your Acorns profile. For every friend who becomes a new Acorns subscriber and sets up an Acorns Invest account using your personal referral link, you and your friend both get $5 invested. Acorns will also offer big referral bonuses on top of the $5 to help you earn even more money.
Alternatives to Acorns
Of course, Acorns isn’t the only reputable online platform from which you can save and invest money. Here are some other best investment apps you can try.
For all the Canadians out there who would love to micro-invest, Moka is your answer. Moka is Canada’s #1 automatic saving and investing app. Simply download the app, create a goal, link your bank, and you’re good to go! Moke also offers a cashback feature so you can save more and earn more. Sign up for Moka here!
Looking to become an active investor without having to pay account fees? SoFi automated investing is your answer. Deposit $100 to make your first trade or your next trade with SoFi Investing today!
iOS users: Sign up for SoFi here.
Android users: Sign up here!
Stash Invest is another popular automated investment app. There’s no required investment minimum.
Wealthsimple is another leading robo-advisors out there in the world. It is the simple way to grow your money like the world’s most sophisticated investors. $0 account minimum required. Note that you can also use Wealthsimple to help file your tax returns. Sign up for Wealthsimple here!
Schwab Intelligent Portfolios
This option offers tax-loss harvesting as part of their services, but you’ll need at least $50,000 in assets to take advantage of it at Schwab.
Is Acorns for me?
How do you determine if Acorns is the right fit for you? Answer the following questions for yourself:
If the answer is yes, then Acorns can be the answer for you. If you have trouble putting money aside, you will want to automate your savings as much as possible. Acorns’ Round-Up and Recurring Investment features will help you with exactly this issue.
If you answer “Yes”, then Acorns can be a great option for you. Acorns is a micro-investing platform designed for helping you invest regardless of how much money you have. For as little as $1 through the Round-Up feature, you can see how your money can grow.
Acorns is a great app for people who prefer a hands-off approach to investing (also known as passive investing). It has pre-built portfolios that auto-balance themselves, making it really easy for you to invest.
If you want to be an active investor, you may want to try a platform like SoFi investing instead.
Acorns is only available for US residents at the moment.
If you are Canadian, you should give Moka a try. Sign up for Moka here.
If you are comfortable letting a robo advisor be your guide, then Acorns is a good option for you. However, if you prefer human interactions, you may want to look for human financial advisors instead.
Acorns Review: Final Words
This is it! My comprehensive Acorns review. With a reasonable monthly management fee starting at just $3 a month, you can save and invest your spare change effortlessly and reach your financial goals. Is Acorns worth it if you want to give it a try? Definitely! Sign up for Acorns today!