Acorns Review: Everything You Need to Know about Acorns Saving and Investing with the App

UTC by Adedamola Bada · 8 min read
Acorns Review: Everything You Need to Know about Acorns Saving and Investing with the App

Acorns app is a perfect way of saving and investing for beginner and tech-savvy investors. Find a complete review of its features, benefits, and things to improve in this guide.

Acorns Inc. is a US-based privately traded firm that deals in micro and robo-investing. The firm was set up in 2008 by Walter Cruttenden and Jeffrey Cruttenden, his son. Two years after its startup, the firm released a mobile app version that was available on both Android and iOS devices. As of last year, Acorns had over 4 million customers, boasting of over a billion dollars in net worth.

The firm was started to save people from the whole process entailed in making investments. Many want to invest their earnings but do not know how to go about it; which is what Acorns does. Acorns is perfect for young, new, and tech-savvy investors. Acorns has made some massive milestones, with reputable businesses such as Chevron, Macy’s, Inc., Nike, AirBnb, Disney+, Expedia, Walmart, etc., making investments into the business.

How Acorns Works

All Acorns users are expected to create and set up an account via the mobile app. During the set-up, the user is then required to link their credit cards to the account; the app then automatically monitors all payments the user makes, rounds it up to a whole figure, and then invests the difference.

The service also allows the user to select from the types of investments available, be it for the children, Long-term, Short-term, General, and Major Purchase investments. All new users are now credited with $5 for investing only as soon as they sign up on the service.

The service also has a range of Vanguard Investment options accessible for the subscriber to pick from, having stocks from Big firms, small firms, Major markets, Upcoming Markets, Real estate and Housing, Corporate, and Government Bonds.

Key Features

Round-Up feature – once the user has successfully set up the account, the service will automatically withdraw the first deposit for investments. The service will then act based on every payment via the linked cards, the approximation to the nearest figure is invested into the service. As soon as the amount available goes as high as $5, the account is ready to start investments. It is however possible to boost the power of approximated amounts for investments by as high as two, three, or even ten times.

Deposits – other than the round-up feature, the user can also make repeated payments into the service based on their discretion, be it daily, weekly, bi-weekly, or monthly deposits for investments.

Found Money – due to nation-wide recognition gained by Acorns, they have partnered up with some of the biggest retail services in the United States of America like Postmates, Sephora, Blue Apron, MeUndies, Birchbox, etc. These partners in turn help consumers by adding an extra percentage to the rounded-up figure added to the acorns account for investments.

Learn – This is a new option, that encompasses all situations from educating users on the tenets of investments, news, how to make use of the app properly, FAQs, how the consistency of scheduled payments (be it weekly, monthly, or daily) affects their investments and returns gained.

Later – this feature is designed to secure the future of users. All investments made into this category goes into a specified retirement account. The feature however charges one dollar every month for all investments made under a million dollars. Once the million-dollar mark is attained, the service then charges 100 dollars per month for every million dollars.

Early – this is a feature that enables parents or legal custodians and guardians to set up accounts for kids under their care. Due to the coronavirus pandemic, all accounts created for children born in 2020 will be at no cost whatsoever.

Gift Cards – the service has also created gift cards that can be gotten online or via supported retail outlets. These gift cards are valued at 25 dollars and are a good method of introducing family and friends to the service.

Spend – this has a different account of its own, connected to a debit card which enables the subscriber to invest round-ups, and retirement investment & savings. The service also enables users to invest up to one-tenth of all transactions from store outlets that are not in partnership with the Found Money system. There is a fee of $3 every month for this service option.

Family – this option allows adults to open accounts for all their children, including investment, retirement, and spend accounts. This option costs only $5 every month.

How to Set-up an Account with Acorns

Given that the application is ready for download on desktops, android, and iOS devices, beginning the process is very simple:

Select a Round-Up Account – this is the account that the customer will constantly observe, select the payments that you want to monitor, and then invest the difference in approximation. This mobile app has a range of banks registered and available for selection, but a search button is available in a situation where the user is unable to find their bank’s name among those shown.

The user will then be required to sign in to their bank account using the login details, and then select the type of account the user wants, be it savings or current. The option to use more than one account is also available.

Add Checking Account

This is separate from the aforementioned. This is where all the money from the round-up will be moved into the Acorns account. It can be set up in the banking hall or via online login details. Since Acorns hashes all consumer data with extra security, people can be assured that their information will not be traded off or leaked in the case of an organization’s security breach.

Set Up the Investment Account

All information is required at this stage. The user will be required to input:

  • First and Last names
  • Date of Birth
  • Security question and answer (for a case of forgotten password)
  • Employment background
  • Mobile number
  • Annual Income
  • Estimated net value
  • The purpose of wanting to engage in investments
  • Social Security number

The user will also be asked if they are or have direct connections with stockbrokers if he or she owns as much as one-tenth of the share values in a publicly-traded firm, and if the IRS has claimed that he or she is at the risk of “backup withholding”. These questions must be checked if the user falls into said categories since they are demanded by the SEC to open an account.

The above questions and required information will allow Acorns to properly guide the new customer using a Robo-advisor, on how much the user should invest, how often to make payments/deposits, and the kind of investment method to employ. There are 5 major portfolios to select from, starting from conservative, down to aggressive. One will be endorsed for the trader, but the person is allowed to change the portfolio later or immediately, based on the user’s discretion.

Acorns focuses on the majority of the younger generation, which is why all services are free on all major accounts for students in higher institutions. To access this, the user must select “student” underemployment status, and this is valid for 4 years, starting from the day the person signs up.

Acorns’ Pros and Cons

Pros: If anything makes the world an easier place, it is the application of technology. The automatic collation of excess change on all purchases for investment ensures that people do not have to worry about executing saving measures. As a bonus, the customer can link as many cards as he or she wants the service.

Shopping at partnered retail outlets ensures that the customer receives a certain percentage of their money back.

The service also charges nothing on transferring funds back to the bank, investments, and all withdrawals that the person may want to make from the checking account.

Cons: While flat fees of $1, $3, and $5 every month for making use of the service may not seem like much, on a small account, the service could be charging almost as high as 5% on the person’s money.

Despite the zero withdrawal fee, the user will be charged a $50 fine for every ETF if he or she decides to move their money out of Acorns to another saving and investment service option. The implication of this is that if the person has 7 ETFs, the mobile app will demand a $350 moving fee.

Conclusion

Saving and Investing with Acorns Inc. is perfect for beginner investors especially those who are looking to invest without having to change their way of life. Unfortunately, those round-up fees are too little for adults looking to provide for themselves after retirement; unless the customer makes several payments per day, allowing for more money to trade with.

Even though trades made on Acorns accounts are quite cautious and have low risks, majorly trading in stocks and bonds markets that are under the SIPC insurance; the possibility of losing money via the service is still present. The service has an 8.5 out of 10 ratings given by users nationwide.

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