Acorns Investing Review $1 Per Month

Summary

Acorns lets you invest the spare change of your everyday purchases by rounding up each purchase to the next whole dollar.  The change is invested in an expert recommended investment portfolio created with “the help from a Nobel Prize winning economist to automatically rebalance when the market moves.” The Acorns Later and Acorns Spend features allow you to further invest for retirement, and take advantage of investing free cashback offers with partnered retailers. 

Overall
4.3
  • User-Friendliness
    (5)
  • Portfolio Options
    (3.5)
  • Customer Service
    (5)
  • Portfolio Reports / Charts
    (3.5)
  • Price
    (4.5)

Pros

  • Invest with as little as $5 (and even with less for Acorns Spend accounts)
  • Customized investment portfolio recommendations
  • Get cashback offers with partnered retailers that can later be invested
  • Investing is set on autopilot
  • Invest when you have a tight budget

Cons

  • Limited investment options
  • Limited investment tools
  • Only 5 investment portfolio options
Comments Rating 0 (0 reviews)

Acorns is a money app that allows you to begin investing in the stock market with your spare change. You know that glass jar at home that you stash your change from daily purchases? Well, Acorns now allows you to “round up” your daily purchases to the next dollar and invest the spare change in the stock market.

After answering a few questions upon account opening, they provide an expertly created and diversified investment portfolio for you automatically. Furthermore, Acorns has expanded it's reach to IRA accounts and their new Acorns Spend card that pays you cash back for purchases at partner retailers and invests your cashback in your account. This Acorns Review will cover the details of the Acorns Investing App from top to bottom, and from firsthand experience.

An Overview of The Acorns Investing App

Product Description: Acorns' goal is to make investing easy, automatic and a process that only takes your spare change to begin. The Acorns app provides access to three main products which are the Acorns Invest account, Acorns Later (an IRA account), and Acorns Spend (a checking account that invests your cash back). The three together provide both beginning and expert investors the ability to put their investing habits on autopilot.

Features & Benefits: By linking your checking account, or opening up an Acorns Spend account, your daily purchases will be rounded up to the next whole dollar amount and the spare change will be automatically invested. Many consumers don't invest due to not having enough money to begin. Now, with Acorns you can invest that spare change without hardly feeling any tightening of the budget. You can contribute as little as $5 per month to your Acorns Later account to get the retirement savings going, and Acorns Spend provides discounts and cashback options with partnered retailers, who then deposit your earned cashback into your core investment account.

Price Details: There are three pricing options available:

  • Acorns Core: $1 / month
  • Acorns Core + Acorns Later: $2 / month
  • Acorns Core + Acorns Later + Acorns Spend: $3 / month

Note: Acorns Core is a basic investment account. Acorns Later is the Acorns Individual Retirement Account (IRA). Acorns Spend is an Acorns checking account with added features and benefits.

“The Original Micro Investing App”

Micro investing is a modern term used to describe investing in the stock market with as little as $5. Acorns is one of the original micro investing apps that allows you to take advantage of the stock market gains without the high capital requirements to start.

Acorns introduced multiple concepts to the investment world that are growing in popularity, and as a result, many other investing apps are following. They are:

  • Round-Ups: The term used to round up your daily purchases to the next whole dollar, and invest the spare change in a diversified portfolio.
  • Found Money: The concept of cashback programs and investing, combined. Found Money allows you to shop at partnered retailers that will invest the cashback money received into your Acorns Core investment account.
  • Acorns Spend: Acorns Spend is an account that combines round-ups and found-money into a basic checking account.

As far as I'm concerned, Acorns was the first app to introduce the three above concepts to be combined with investing. Their goal is to make it easy to invest money and even save money to be later invested, automatically.

With an Acorns Core, Acorns Later and Acorns Spend account, your money will be invested automatically…even while you're spending!

Acorns Core: What Is It & How Does It Work?

The original Acorns account, known as Acorns Core, is your main investment account that automatically invests your spare spare change, known as “round-ups”, into a diversified portfolio. These round ups are when your everyday purchases and expenses are “rounded up” to the next whole dollar, and the spare change is invested for you.

You can choose to have your round-ups put on autopilot where every purchase you make each day is automatically rounded up, or you can set it on a manual status, and go through your transactions to select which ones you want Acorns to include. As your total round-ups reaches at least $5, it is then invested into your diversified portfolio.

Here's how the process of investing your spare change with Acorns works:

  1. Perhaps you decide to make a quick stop at the local corner convenient store on your way to work to purchase a snack that costs $4.35.
  2. After making the purchase, Acorns will round up your transaction of $4.35 to an even $5.00, and deposit the rounded up $0.65 to your core investing account. (The round-ups can be set on autopilot, or set to choose which transactions are rounded up at a future date).
  3. As your spare change round ups pile up, it will be invested into your diversified portfolio after reaching at least $5.

How Is Your Investment Portfolio Determined?

Once you open your account, you will be asked to answer a few questions to determine your investment risk tolerance. Based on your responses to these questions, you will be recommended one of five different investment portfolios:

  1. Conservative: Made up of 40% short term government bonds, 40% ultra short term corporate bonds, and 20% ultra short term government bonds.
  2. Moderately Conservative: Made up of 24% large cap stocks, 4% small cap stocks, 4% real estate stocks, 30% government bonds, 30% corporate bonds, and 8% international large cap stocks.
  3. Moderate: Made up of 29% large cap stocks, 10% small cap stocks, 3% emerging market stocks, 6% real estate stocks, 20% government bonds, 20% corporate bonds, and 12% international large cap stocks.
  4. Moderately Aggressive: Made up of 30% large cap stocks, 14% small cap stocks, 4% emerging market stocks, 8% real estate stocks, 10% government bonds, 10% corporate bonds, and 16% international large cap stocks.
  5. Aggressive: Made up of 40% large cap stocks, 20% small cap stocks, 10% emerging market stocks, 10% real estate stocks, and 20% international large cap stocks.

Rest assured your investment portfolio recommendation was created with “the help from a Nobel Prize winning economist to automatically rebalance when the market moves”, so you can have the peace of mind you're getting a trusted investment recommendation.

Acorns Later: What Is It & How Does It Work?

Acorns later is is a basic Individual Retirement Account (IRA) that allows you to invest as little as $5 at a time for retirement. In a similar fashion as the Acorns Core account, you will be asked a few questions, and recommended an IRA and investment portfolio that fits your retirement goals.

To open an Acorns Later account, you need to either already have an Acorns Core account, or open an Acorns Core account as well. The two combined cost $2 per month, until your portfolio reaches $1 million dollars.

Keep in mind that your round-ups cannot be contributed to your Acorns Later account, just to your Acorns Core account. Acorns Later is beneficial in that the minimum investment requirement is just $5, and can be set up on a recurring contribution to set it on autopilot.

Acorns Spend: What Is It & How Does It Work?

Acorns newest product, Acorns Spend, is a basic checking account that allows you have your daily purchases rounded up in real time, rather than having to wait until you reach a minimum of $5. When linking your local bank account to Acorns, your round ups are held until they reach $5 before they are invested. This minimum is removed with Acorns Spend, thus taking advantage of having your money invested for time overall.

Acorns Spend also allows you to get Found Money offers in person as well as online. Most found money offers available when only having your regular bank account linked to your Acorns app, allow online only purchases to get Found Money deposited into your investment account. This is because when linking your regular checking account, there is not a way to track your in person purchases that qualify for Found Money offers. The Acorns Spend debit card tracks these automatically, making investing your cashback received from Found Money quicker and more convenient.

Who Will Benefit Most From Acorns?

With all the options to begin investing available to you, why would you choose Acorns over another investing app or discount broker? For the new investor who isn't familiar with the stock market, the investor who lives on a tight budget, or even the expert who wants an automated investment portfolio, Acorns provides a solution that meets all of the above demands.

New Investors

New investors who want to start investing but don't know where to start will have an advantage getting their portfolio rolling with an expert created algorithm that builds a diversified investment portfolio based on your answers to some simple questions. The questions are asked upon account opening, and are based on how you feel about market risk, investment objectives, time horizon for when the invested money will be needed, etc.

Once you've taken 5 minutes to open your account, you can be sure that your money is invested to meet your investment objectives.

Investors With A Budget

Investors who don't have much money to begin often stay out of the stock market because they can only afford to save $5 here and there, and perhaps a lack of confidence or understanding of the market.

This is beneficial for the investor with a budget because often times one may think of investing as a game that requires hundreds or even thousands of dollars to start. With Acorns Round-Ups, you take the power of little deposits that add up over time to start working for you in the stock market. After I had used my Acorns account for just about a year, I had nearly $1,000 saved without even noting much of a budget change.

Passive / Automated Investing

Some may be all too familiar with the stock market but don't want to spend the extra time it takes to build their own portfolio, review it, and update it on a regular basis. Each Acorns investment portfolio is created based on expert investing fundamentals to create a cost effective and diversified portfolio for you. The rest is set on autopilot.

This benefits the passive investor because it takes the hassle out of managing and updating your portfolio. Now, you can open up your app, look at your portfolio performance, and should you have a question or need a change, simply submit the request to Acorns and the rest is taken care of.

Where Acorns Falls Short…

Every good thing has it's weaknesses, and with Acorns there are a few that some may not be too fond of. Some of the few options that are lacking within the Acorns app are:

  • Lack of investment options
  • Not many investment tools and reports available to use

Shortfall #1: Lack of Investment Options

While some may argue that this is by design to make investing simple for those who prefer a more hands-off approach, it would be nice if Acorns offered the ability for one to either entirely create their own portfolio, or even partially select the funds they wish to invest in.

Perhaps they could provide an investment strategy, and then allow you to select among a certain list of funds for each investment that would fit the suggested strategy. Or, give the investor an option to choose how passive they want their portfolio to be managed. It's nice to have your portfolio automatically built for you, but I think a lot of people out there would enjoy having a say on which companies or funds within the investment strategy they can put their money.

Shortfall #2: Limited Tools & Resources

Again, perhaps this follows the “hands off” investment approach. However, within your investment account you have just one basic tool to view how your portfolio is performing: a basic chart with a stated current return; nothing more, nothing less.

For the analytical minded investors, whether you prefer a hands on investment approach or a hands off investment approach, it would be convenient to view which investments are performing well and which are under-performing, at the least.

Should You Invest With Acorns?

I'm a big believer in the Acorns investing app. I'm an early adopter, and was one of the few who got in early enough to test out the Acorns Spend card upon launch. I've been using Acorns for a couple years now, and find it a nice surprise to check my account every 6 months to find a few extra hundred bucks saved and invested.

If you're looking for an easy way to get started with investing in the stock market, then Acorns is a great starting point. Their educational content, Acorns Grow, even provides extra education on common investing concepts to help you along the way. Even for more experienced individuals, there are added benefits to automating your portfolio and taking advantage of investing your spare change rather than blow it on other useless snacks at the local convenient store.

Opening an Acorns account takes about 5 minutes, and you'll even get $5 for starting! $5 for 5 minutes time!

However, if you're looking for an expert investing app with more tools, reports and resources, then chances are there's a better option for you. Take a look at our list of the best investing apps for a more sophisticated approach to automated investing.