Acorns Review 2021: Is Acorns Safe and Legit?

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 sysstem 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.

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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 Acorns 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 investment 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 investment 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 portfolios made up of exchange-traded funds. 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.

The 9 portfolios are the following:

Core:
  • Conservative
  • Moderately conservative
  • Moderate
  • Moderately Aggressive
  • Aggressive
Sustainable:
  • Moderately Conservative
  • Moderate
  • Moderately Aggressive
  • 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. Theportfolio 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.

For a limited time, Acorns is offering a free $20 bonus when you make your first investment. Sign up for Acorns today to take advantage of the offer!

Acorns Review: How much does Acorns cost?

Acorns operates on a subscription basis.

There are three tiers of subscription:

  • Lite: $1 per month
  • Personal: $3 per month
  • Family: $5 per month

Lite subscription

With the Lite subscription, you will get access to Acorns Invest, which is Acorns’ flagship investment account.

With this subscription, you can:

  • 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

Personal subscription

At $3 a month, the second tier, “Personal”, gives you access to the following:

  • Acorns Invest (same features as Lite)
  • 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: this is Acorns’ checking account. 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 investment and retirement accounts

Family subscription

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. You can add multiple kids at no additional cost, enjoy exclusive bonus 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.

How do I invest with Acorns?

There are three main ways you can invest with Acorns: Round-Ups, Recurring Investments, and one-time investments.

Round-Ups

With Round-Ups, Acorns rounds up any purchase made from a linked account, debit 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

Recurring Investments allow you to invest as little as $5 per day, week or month into your Acorns accounts.

One-time investments

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. 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 are Canadian, you can use Moka instead!

Select your subscription level

Next, you’ll select your plan level, Lite, Personal or Family.

Choose your Round-Up setting

Next, you will need to set your Round-Up setting. You can either round up to the next 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.

Start investing

Congratulations, you are now ready to start investing with Acorns!

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

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 alternatives you can try.

Moka

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!

SoFi Investing

Looking to become an active investor without having to pay account fees? SoFi 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

Stash Invest is another popular automated investment app. There’s no required investment minimum.

For a limited time, Stash is offering a free $5 bonus when you add $5 or more to your personal portfolio. Claim your $5 bonus by signing up for Stash today!

Wealthsimple

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!

Is Acorns for me?

How do you determine if Acorns is the right fit for you? Answer the following questions for yourself:

Do I struggle to save?

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.

Do I have small amounts of money to invest every week/month?

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.

Do I prefer a hands-off approach?

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.

Am I a US resident?

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.

Acorns Review: Final Words

This is it! My comprehensive Acorns review. With just $1 a month, you can save and invest your spare change effortlessly. Is Acorns worth it if you want to give it a try? Definitely! Sign up for Acorns today!

For a limited time, Acorns is offering a $20 bonus investment when you make your first investment. Sign up for Acorns to claim your offer today!

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