Last Updated: September 13, 2021
SEC and FINRA
0.10% on average
A lot of potential investors want to know is Acorns worth it. Before we get there, though, we need to explain how this platform works and what it offers.
Simply put, Acorns is a financial services platform that specializes in micro-investments and dubs as a perfect saving app. Think of it as a digital alternative to а piggy bank. Due to its simple nature and low investment margins, it’s perhaps the best way to invest money with modest means.
What Is Acorns?
Founded in 2014, Acorns is a savings and cash reward tool. The platform’s mission is to make investing accessible to everyone.
Living up to that pledge, Acorns investing is straightforward and inexpensive. You can use the platform for as little as $1-$5 per month. Once you open an account, the app automatically takes all the spare change from your digital transactions and uses them to build your portfolio.
For instance, if you spend $0.75 to buy something, Acorns sets aside the remaining $0.25 to a round dollar. When it accumulates up to $5, the platform invests it on your behalf.
How Does Acorns Work?
Starting out on any platform, even one as user-friendly as Acorns, can be quite daunting. So, here’s how to invest money and make savings on Acorns.
What are the account requirements?
Every Acorns investing review needs to start with the registration process and account requirements.
Acorns is all about rounding up a spare change, which is why it needs access to your online banking log. This feature is only available to users of certain banks. These are:
- Bank of America
- PNC Bank
- US Bank
- US Navy Federal Credit Union
- Wells Fargo
If you’re not a client of one of them, you might also need a checking account and a routing number.
Aside from this, it’s also necessary to provide some basic information such as:
- Valid email address
- Physical address
- Social security number (SSN)
Once all of this is submitted, some specific Acorns financial information will be required to wrap things up. For instance, the app will want to know about your occupation and earnings. It will also inquire about your financial goals. This way, crafting a portfolio will be easier and more efficient, and you will quickly gain access to some beginner investing features.
How to start trading?
To start trading stocks on Acorns, you first need to choose an investment account type. Our research for this Acorns investing review showed the IRA account is the most suitable for this task. But apart from the three different IRA options, there’s a regular brokerage account for those who want something more common.
From this point, you need to fund your account by making digital purchases and allocating the spare changes or through a direct deposit. Acorn will then choose stock to invest in. It’s really that simple.
What can you trade?
Stocks, bonds, and cryptocurrency trading are all available on Acorns, but only through a managed portfolio. This is one of the unique aspects of the Acorns app when compared to other investment tools.
With Acorns, you’re investing your spare change into your managed portfolio, which automatically chooses investments based on the risk range you’ve set. In other words, you can’t choose an investment product, but you can select the aggressiveness of your portfolio.
Which tools are available?
No Acorns app review would be complete without a mention of some of its most significant tools. The two most interesting are Acorns Early and Acorns Spend. The first one allows you to start saving and investing on behalf of your child. The latter is Acorn’s checking account product. It links to your debit card and allows you to earn as much as 10% of your cash back every time you use your debit card with specific vendors.
How does the platform work?
The Acorns app is simple and ingenious. You connect your accounts (and cards), and every time you spend money, the app sets aside the ‘change’ up to a round dollar. Once the sufficient amount is accumulated ($5), the app automatically invests it, according to your portfolio’s preset risk. This is what makes the question of whether it’s an investment or a saving app so tricky. It’s both at the same time.
Another thing worth mentioning in this Acorns review is that the app has a relatively simple pricing structure.
First, you have the monthly fee for using Acorns. There are three plans available:
- Lite: $1 per month
- Personal: $3 per month
- Family: $5 per month
While this may seem incredibly inexpensive, keep in mind that you may not be rounding up a lot of money, to begin with. Sure, Acorns fees seem insignificant if you can round up dozens of dollars every month. But what if all your purchases are already rounded up? Or if they end with $.99, which means that you need a hundred of them to round up to a single dollar? In this case, even this seemingly low cost wouldn’t be worth it.
You can also deposit money into your Acorns account, with no minimum amount requirement.
Basic mathematics implies that as your Acorns portfolio grows, the payment ratio shrinks. Even if that’s not the case, the risk is low since, in the worst-case scenario, you’re only losing several dollars (or cents) every month.
Acorns Mobile App
Acorns’ mobile app is available to Android and iOS device users. The interface for both platforms is simple and accessible. Also, since most tasks handled here are automatic, there’s no risk of making an investment mistake due to a slip of the finger.
On both app stores, Acorns has a near-perfect score. When the number of ratings is considered, this is a truly impressive feature to include in our Acorns app review.
Acorns Customer Service
The Acorns customer service options are somewhat limited. The platform has a pretty decent FAQ page that contains most of the information you would need to use the service effectively. Email support is probably the most standard customer care format on this platform. Yet, considering that some other investing apps offer more options (live-chat, priority support for users of advanced plans, etc.), things don’t look great in this department.
While its complex structure may make it difficult to directly compare it to peers, this is the only unbiased way to determine is Acorns worth it. So, here are some alternatives and how Acorns fares in comparison.
Stash vs Acorns
The average price of Acorns is lower than that of Stash in more than one way. First of all, it’s worth mentioning that both apps have a $1 management fee. The divergence comes at the average cost of investment expenses. For Acorns, it’s merely 0.10%, while Stash has an average price of 0.30%. Annually, Acorns stock trade would cost 0.34%, while Stash costs 0.54% for the same service.
In terms of base features, these two platforms are fairly comparable.
Acorns vs Robinhood
Right off the bet, it’s important to stress out that Robinhood doesn’t have a monthly fee of any kind or commission fees. Acorns, on the other hand, costs $1-$5 a month. But this comparison only works if we decide to do a review of Acorns as a standard investing app.
Acorns doesn’t allow the trade of individual stocks, which is a feature that Robinhood has in offer.
Betterment vs Acorns
Neither of these two investment apps has an annual fee, full account transfer fee, partial account transfer fee, or inactivity fee. The minimum account deposit is $0 for both Betterment and Acorns. In terms of management fees, Acorns has a fixed monthly fee, while Betterment charges 0.25% for digital offering and 0.40% for the premium offering. The latter also requires a $100,000 minimum account balance.
This Acorns invest review sees the feature of tax-loss harvesting as the biggest advantage of Betterment. Notably, Betterment’s portfolio offers 12 asset classes, while Acorns offers merely seven.
So, is Acorns worth it? Provided that you’re interested in effortless online investing and micro-investing, there’s nothing quite like Acorns. This app can act like a standard investment platform, but, in reality, it’s much more than that. Acorns is more like a virtual piggy bank. Even if you don’t have much spare change on a monthly basis, your losses would be minimal (up to $5). Therefore, it’s hard to imagine a scenario in which Acorns isn’t worth it.
- Using your spare change to invest
- Fraction shares
- Everything is automatic
- Transaction round-ups
- No direct investing
- Lack of human advisors
- Not so great customer support
- Lack of tax-loss harvesting feature
Is Acorns legit?
Acorns is a legit regulated brokerage. The company Acorns Advisers LLC is regulated in the state of Delaware. The US Security and Exchange Commission (SEC) and the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA) oversee the platform’s operations. This gives a sufficient level of legitimacy to put anyone’s mind at ease.
Is Acorns safe?
Acorns is a regulated brokerage covered by both SIPC and FDIC. This makes all the assets you have on this platform insured and secured. In terms of cybersecurity, the platform uses SSL encryption, account alerts, account safeguards, and a bank-level of security backing your private information.
Has anyone made money on Acorns?
Because Acorns currently has 8.2 million customers and more than $3 billion in assets under management, it’s safe to assume that a lot of people have made money using the service. Also, a number of positive user reviews state just that.
Does Acorns charge a fee?
Yes, Acorns charges a monthly fee to use. There are three pricing plans. Acorns Lite costs $1 per month, Acorns Personal asks for $3 per month, and Acorns Family is $5 per month.
Is Acorns a good way to invest?
Because Acorns can work only with your spare change and doesn’t require regular, personal input, it’s considered a great way to invest. Of course, you can make additional deposits in order to get more value out of these investments, but this is completely optional.
Is your money safe in Acorns?
The checking account is FDIC-insured up to $250,000, which provides the users of Acorns with a great level of reassurance. Making sure your money is safe is one of the biggest factors that will help you determine whether to use an investing platform. So, is Acorns worth it? The answer is a resounding yes.