Ben Todd | Jun 3, 2017 | 2
Acorns Review: Investing Your Pocket Change
The Acorns Investment App allows you to invest with your spare change. What is more impressive is that it is created for amateur investors or people that simply wish to start saving money for the first time in their lives. The app allows you to sign up, to link your accounts, and to save and invest by rounding up your change and/or by investing lump sums at your discretion.
Getting Political On You
The current situation in the US and Europe is one where people are taught how to spend. The idea of saving money is alien to a massive amount of people. It doesn’t matter how much they earn, they still say they don’t have enough money to start investing or saving.
People are brought up believing they should spend their money while they have it. If people are asked what they would do with their lottery winnings, they list a bunch of ways they would spend the money rather than save it.
The Excuses People Use For Not Saving
No matter how much people earn, they refuse to save. Some people save for a short while before spending the money.
There are quite a few excuses, do you recognize any of them.
- I don’t have enough disposable income to save
- I don’t have the discipline to save
- I need all my money
- I should put my extra cash on my debt
- I’m in debt, so it is silly to try saving
- I don’t earn enough to start saving
How Does All This Relate To The Acorns Review?
The Acorns Investment App is built for people that make similar excuses to the ones above. It only invests your small change, it does it in a very non-overt way, and it hides much of the investing complexities from you.
If every time you had loose change in your pocket, you put it into a tub and gave that tub to an investor, would you honestly miss the money? Most people spend their spare change on impulse buys anyway, so where is the harm in allowing the app to invest it.
[fusion_builder_container hundred_percent=”yes” overflow=”visible”][fusion_builder_row][fusion_builder_column type=”1_1″ background_position=”left top” background_color=”” border_size=”” border_color=”” border_style=”solid” spacing=”yes” background_image=”” background_repeat=”no-repeat” padding=”” margin_top=”0px” margin_bottom=”0px” class=”” id=”” animation_type=”” animation_speed=”0.3″ animation_direction=”left” hide_on_mobile=”no” center_content=”no” min_height=”none”][+] The investing complexities are hidden from you
[+] Saving is almost passive
[+] You do not have to be actively involved in saving
[+] The money you invest will not be missed
Open An Account Via Your Smartphone
In most cases, you open an account online and they have an app you can download, but the Acorns Investment App is an app first. Download it onto your mobile phone and you will be able to sign up for an account.
You have to link your bank accounts to the app so that it may remove the money for you. It rounds your account balances up and invests the change for you automatically. For example, if you have $250 in your account and you buy a light bulb for $0.60, it will take $0.40 to invest and will leave your account with $249.
Are There Security Concerns?
All apps have some sort of security risk, and apps that involve money are especially at risk. Nevertheless, there have not yet been any reports of major data breaches or hacks. There is risk from both the way the service is administered and from your end if your phone is hacked and/or stolen.
This app has access to your bank details and is able to draw sums of money from your accounts. This article is not here to say if you should trust it or not, but it may be worth checking on your accounts every now and again to look for irregularities. Read the terms and conditions to see how much you are insured for if something goes wrong.
How Much Do You Have To Invest?
There is not a minimum balance requirement, but in order to start investing, you will need to have at least $5 in your account. The company charges you $1 per month if you have a minimum balance of less than $5000 and 0.25% per year if you have a balance of over $5000. If you are younger 24 years and you are attending college, then the service is free.
What To Expect
You may only sign up for an individual account, and it is not the sort of thing that will allow you to save for your retirement. The account will conduct “Round Ups,” which is similar to the money example given earlier. For example, if you spend an amount on your credit card that gives you cents of change, it will round up the amount to a dollar and invest the change.
Those are the passive saving functions that are very painless and require very little thought. If you are more passionate about investing, you can schedule deposits that take money out of your current/checking/credit accounts either daily, weekly or monthly.
They are also experimenting with a “Found Money” system where the company invests a little more if you shop with certain companies. For example, if you shop with JackThreads, then your change is invested and a little extra is invested by Acorn and/or the company you bought from.
Creating Your Acorns Account
You may sign up by downloading the app, or online via the Acorns website. The app may be downloaded from the Amazon app store, the Google Play store or the Apple iTunes store. There is a three-step sign up process. You may only use this app if you are a US citizen.
You have to pick a round up account and a checking account. The checking account that you link to your Acorns Investment App account is the one where you may deposit lump sums. For example, if you decide to add a lump sum, or if you set up scheduled deposits, then this is the account it comes from.
The round up account is another account you need to link to your Acorns Investment App account. For example, your round up account may be a credit card, and when you spend, it rounds up and invests the money. Your round up account may be a checking/current account that you use frequently.
It is confusing, but they are asking you to link one account for them to do the round-up-and-invest gimmick, and to link another account for if you ever wish to deposit cash into your Acorns account.
What Are Your Reasons For Investing?
- Long-term investment
- Short-term investment
- Major purchase
The reason they ask your reasons for investing is so they may offer you the investment options that best suit your end goals. It also gives them an indication of how often you are going to wish to withdraw your money.
The app will recommend a portfolio for you based on the information you input when you sign up. Your cash flow, your job, your investing goals, and so forth, are all taken into consideration, and a portfolio is recommended for you.
You do not have to take the portfolio they recommend for you. You may use their tools to see which portfolio suits you the best, which includes a function where you may increase the amount you invest every week to see how much you receive over a certain number of weeks, months and years. Your portfolio options are:
- Moderately Conservative
- Moderately Aggressive
What Are Some Of The App’s Selling Points?
The Acorns system has been well reviewed on this article, but what about the app itself? The app is not responsible for the rounding-up function because that is undertaken by the Acorns service, but the app will allow you to set up scheduled payments and one-off payments into your Acorn investment account.
You may watch your progress with the app. You may see how your money is adding up, and how much it is going to be worth if you leave your money in the investing account.
The Acorns Investment App system and Acorns system is SIPC protected, which means you are protected against fraud by up to half a million dollars. The app allows you to withdraw your money whenever you wish without being charged, which is not common for most saving and investing services.
You may stay educated with the app by reading the Acorns online publications known as the Grow magazine. The app has a 256-bit encryption that helps protect your money from hackers, and it will automatically rebalance your portfolio.
You may set your Acorns Investment App to re-invest your dividends for you, and you may diversify your portfolio and set it to be as aggressive as you like. You may do all of this with your app, which includes being able to monitor the results of your decisions with the app.
The Acorns Investment App and the Acorns service help to overcome many people’s mental barrier to saving and investing. It takes the complexity out of investing, and it takes the “Oh I can’t do it” out of saving. It is a form of passive saving and investing that suits people that have not been taught to save from a young age.[/fusion_builder_column][/fusion_builder_row][/fusion_builder_container]