Micro-Investing App Execs and Cons

You’ve most likely heard of Acorns. It’s a well-liked micro-investing app — even amongst individuals who don’t know loads about investing — that helps you get monetary savings in a diversified portfolio.

By utilizing one among its hottest options, you make investments cash with out even actually eager about it. We love that comfort.

However investing is definitely a severe endeavor. On this Acorns evaluation, we’ll cowl the app’s options, investing technique and price, together with different essential particulars it is best to know earlier than you get began.

What Is Acorns?

Acorns is a California fintech firm that helps simplify and automate investing. Customers can contribute cash to a passively managed, diversified portfolio by recurring transfers and/or by rounding up the spare change from debit transactions.

Based in 2014, Acorns has turn out to be one of the worthwhile and well-liked micro-investing apps in North America. The beginning-up has an estimated 8.2 million customers and was valued at roughly $1.9 billion in March 2022, in line with CNBC.

Acorns is extra than simply an investing account. The corporate has steadily expanded its monetary providers over time. The Acorns app now affords banking merchandise (together with a checking account), instructional assets, a debit card, custodial accounts for youths and an automatic retirement account service.

Most not too long ago, Acorns launched Bits of Bitcoin, which allocates as much as 5% of a consumer’s investments in a Bitcoin-linked exchange-traded fund (ETF).

Acorns derives about 80% of its income from month-to-month consumer subscription charges. The opposite 20% comes from interchange charges and model partnerships.

Acorns affords two membership choices to subscribers. Each accounts cost a flat month-to-month payment:


  • $3 per thirty days. You get entry to an funding, retirement and checking account.


  • $5 per thirty days. Along with all of the Private account options, the Household account grants entry to custodial funding accounts for kids.

Let’s dive into what these providers embrace and different options within the Acorns app.

New to investing? Try our Investing for Novices information to study in regards to the constructing blocks of rising wealth.

How Does Acorns Work?

Getting began with Acorns is straightforward. You open an account by visiting the Acorns web site or cell app, enter some private data after which hyperlink your banking account to the app.

Acorns has a $0 account minimal stability, however requires a minimum of $5 to begin investing.

Acorns Providers

Acorns markets its saving and investing options with 5 completely different names: Make investments, Later, Banking, Early and Earn.

Most options can be found with the $3 account, however Acorns Early is barely obtainable with the $5 Household account.

Acorns Make investments (Taxable Brokerage Funding Account)

This can be a taxable funding account that places your cash into a group of exchange-traded funds (ETFs). Acorns creates your portfolio primarily based on a questionnaire designed to gauge your threat tolerance and monetary targets. You’ll reply these questions once you create your account.

You possibly can add cash to your Acorns funding portfolio through Spherical-Ups, recurring transfers out of your financial institution or one-time deposits.

Whereas Acorns affords a variety of diversified portfolios with portfolio rebalancing included, it notably doesn’t provide tax loss harvesting.

We’ll focus on extra about how Acorns invests your cash shortly.

Acorns Later (Conventional IRA, Roth IRA, SEP IRA)

This can be a tax-advantaged retirement account.

A retirement financial savings account is an funding portfolio, nevertheless it comes with some particular federal tax perks (and some penalties, particularly for early withdrawals).

The Acorns app enables you to choose from both a conventional or Roth IRA. In addition they provide a SEP IRA possibility for self-employed staff. Don’t fear: Acorns will advocate an IRA to your monetary state of affairs should you’re unsure.

Saving for retirement is essential. In case your employer doesn’t provide a 401(okay) plan (or even when they do), opening an IRA is an effective way to begin rising your nest egg.

The Acorns Later (IRA possibility) is a separate account out of your Acorns Make investments (taxable brokerage account). You get entry to each with the $3 tier.

Like Acorns Make investments, your IRA portfolio is made up of ETFs. You can too arrange recurring transfers out of your linked account to your Acorns retirement account.

Acorns Banking (Checking Account)

Acorns Banking (previously Acorns Spend) enables you to open a checking account (no-interest checking solely) by the app’s partnership with Lincoln Financial savings Financial institution or NBKC financial institution.

You’ll additionally get entry to a heavy steel Visa debit card (with a matte inexperienced end and your engraved signature) related to your Acorns Banking account.

The Acorns checking account doesn’t cost overdraft charges. As an alternative it pauses your account till you add funds and get your stability out of the pink.

It additionally doesn’t cost international transaction charges should you use your Acorns Visa card overseas. Plus your card can withdraw money from greater than 55,000 fee-free ATMs globally.

You possibly can fund your Acorns checking account 4 methods:

  • Direct deposit
  • Recurring deposit
  • One-time deposit
  • Cellular verify deposits

Acorns Early (UGMA Custodial Accounts)

Acorns Early enables you to arrange funding accounts to your kids, also referred to as a  UTMA/UGMA account.

You possibly can open a number of UTMA/UGMA accounts with an Acorns Household plan — whether or not they’re to your baby, a grandchild, a niece or perhaps a godson.

To get began, you’ll want the kid’s full identify, date of beginning and Social Safety quantity. Like Acorns’ different choices, you solely want $5 to get began with Acorns Early, and your cash funds an automatic, diversified portfolio of ETFs.

A UGMA account is a custodial brokerage account for kids. You possibly can switch this funding account to your baby after they turn out to be a authorized grownup.

Not like a 529 plan that may solely be used for instructional bills, a UTMA/UGMA is extra versatile on how the cash may be spent. You need to use the funds for something that advantages the kid.

As soon as the kid reaches the age of switch, normally 18 or 21, they turn out to be the account’s proprietor and may use the cash for any motive.

Be sure to analysis the several types of funding accounts for youths or converse with a monetary advisor to seek out one of the best account for you.

Acorns Earn (Bonus Funding Characteristic)

Previously often called Discovered Cash, Acorns Earn is the app’s on-line market with over 350 manufacturers, together with Chewy, Apple, Resorts.com and Nike.

Once you store with these retailers, more money will likely be added to your Acorns Make investments account, normally as a share of your order whole or a flat greenback quantity.

You possibly can even obtain a Google Chrome extension to seize extra Acorns Earn offers whereas on-line purchasing with greater than 12,000 manufacturers. Bonuses take 60 to 120 days to succeed in your account.

Along with Earn bonus investments, this system rewards you with funding money for inviting associates ($5 for you and $5 to your pal).

A ultimate word: Whereas there are some good affords on Acorns Earn, many are incentivizing you to purchase issues you might probably not want. Buying a elaborate services or products simply to get a couple of dollars invested in your Acorns account form of defeats the aim of saving to your future.

Acorns additionally has just a few options widespread to all of its funding accounts.


Spherical-Ups might be Acorns’ best-known function. After linking a debit card, your purchases are rounded as much as the closest greenback and the spare change is swept into your Acorns investing account.

For instance, should you spend $10.20 on Amazon, you’ll be charged $11 and the 80-cent distinction will likely be invested into your portfolio. This makes Spherical-Ups a simple strategy to make investments once you spend cash on on a regular basis purchases.

If in case you have the Acorns Visa card, Spherical-Ups are robotically deposited into your account. In case you don’t, Acorns transfers the cash out of your linked account to your funding account as soon as it reaches a minimum of $5.

Recurring Investments

You possibly can arrange automated transfers out of your linked banking account to your Acorns account on a every day, weekly or month-to-month foundation.

Enabling recurring contributions is an effective way to reap the benefits of dollar-cost averaging and persistently make investments cash to your future with out eager about it.

You possibly can choose in for recurring transfers along with spare change Spherical-Ups to develop your account stability even sooner.

Acorns additionally enables you to make one-time lump-sum deposits.

Acorns Cash Fundamentals

That is the hub for Acorns’ instructional articles and recommendation on private finance and investing.

Articles are damaged into completely different classes, like retirement and borrowing, and so they’re written in easy phrases digestible in an app-friendly format.

For extra instructional assets, you’ll be able to take a look at Develop Journal on the develop.acorns.com website, powered by CNBC, which options articles on market traits and monetary literacy matters.

How Acorns Manages Your Cash

Acorns is a robo-advisor, that means it makes use of pc software program and algorithms to pick a pre-made portfolio primarily based in your age, earnings, threat tolerance and time horizon (how lengthy earlier than you might have to entry your funds).

After you reply a short questionnaire, Acorns invests your cash right into a portfolio of exchange-traded funds (ETFs), which bundle quite a few shares or bonds right into a single fund. (FYI: ETFs are typically known as index funds.)

Acorns makes use of iShares and Vanguard ETFs, which include very low expense ratios. An expense ratio is the working payment charged by an ETF.

Acorns affords 5 completely different portfolios, starting from conservative to aggressive. The aggressive possibility consists of inventory ETFs whereas conservative choices expose you to extra bond ETFs.

You possibly can select a distinct portfolio should you disagree with the algorithm, however you’ll be able to’t choose your personal particular person shares or bonds with an Acorns account. In case you’re trying to be extra concerned within the inventory market, you’ll need to open a brokerage account that allows you to be extra hands-on.

Acorns makes use of fashionable portfolio idea, an funding technique that works by diversifying you throughout completely different asset lessons to assist decrease threat and maximize returns.

ETFs span six completely different asset lessons:

  • Company bonds
  • Authorities bonds
  • Home giant firm shares
  • Worldwide giant firm shares
  • Small firm shares
  • Medium firm shares

As a result of ETFs can price lots of of {dollars} per share, Acorns builds your portfolio with fractional shares. That’s how one can get began with as little as $5.

When you begin investing, your portfolio will likely be periodically rebalanced to keep up its goal asset allocation. You additionally get the good thing about automated dividend reinvestments.

Acorns Sustainable Investing Portfolio

Acorns offers customers the choice to save lots of and put money into a sustainable portfolio made up of ETFs graded utilizing environmental, social and governance (ESG) standards.

Acorns says these socially accountable investing portfolios are designed to supply publicity to extra sustainable firms, whereas nonetheless striving to carry out in addition to a conventional portfolio.

You possibly can choose into one among 4 of Acorns’ sustainable portfolios for no extra month-to-month price. Nonetheless, the ETFs in these ESG portfolios include barely greater expense ratios.

Acorns Charges

Acorns expenses a flat month-to-month administration payment for its providers. It advertises two completely different membership tiers: a $3 possibility and a $5 possibility.

There may be an Acorns Help possibility that’s $1 a month for these experiencing financial hardship. Present prospects can request Acorns by following these steps on the corporate’s web site.

Acorns Account Pricing

Membership Worth per thirty days
Acorns Help (for current prospects going through financial hardship) $1
Acorns Private $3
Acorns Household $5

We recommend locking in that $1 Acorns Help value should you can. In any other case, spending $36 a yr for a brokerage account is somewhat dear, particularly in case your account stability is low.

Acorns’ administration charges take up a smaller proportion of your stability as you make investments extra money. Nonetheless, you’d want about $13,000 in an Acorns Private account to get right down to an annual payment of 0.25%.

Nonetheless, on the finish of the day, we’re simply comfortable you’re investing. It’s first step; simply thoughts these administration charges over time.

What Acorns Gives

Right here’s a better have a look at the nuts and bolts of Acorns accounts.

Acorns Evaluation: Providers and Options

Characteristic Particulars
Account minimal $0 to open, $5 to take a position
Account administration charges Private, $3; Household, $5
Portfolio combine Inventory & bond ETFs
Socially accountable portfolio choices Larger expense ratios
Retirement and UTMA/UGMA account choices Conventional, household and self-employed choices
Tax technique No tax loss harvesting
Computerized rebalancing Free for all accounts
Human advisor possibility None
Checking account/money administration account Checking w/ no overdraft
Buyer assist Electronic mail [email protected]

Execs and Cons of Acorns

Acorns affords a number of benefits, nevertheless it’s not for everybody. It’s essential to grasp the professionals and cons of any investing app earlier than you enroll.


  • Simple-to-navigate interface you’ll be able to entry in your pc or cell system.
  • Diversified portfolios with risk-appropriate, low-cost funding choices.
  • Spherical-Ups to the closest greenback and recurring transfers from a linked debit or bank card make investing simple and easy.
  • You get the choice to financial institution, make investments and get monetary savings for retirement in a single app.
  • There’s no account minimal and you can begin investing with $5.


  • Acorns’ administration charges are comparatively excessive for accounts with low balances.
  • No tax loss harvesting function.
  • No entry to human monetary advisors.
  • You possibly can’t tweak particular person investments inside your portfolio. (Nope, you’ll be able to’t purchase particular person shares of Tesla or Apple with Acorns).

Regularly Requested Questions (FAQs) About Acorns

We’ve answered a number of the largely generally requested questions on Acorns investing app.

Can You Make Cash with Acorns?

Sure, that’s the entire concept. You’ll make cash as your investments acquire worth over time. Simply keep in mind: Investing includes threat, although diversified portfolios maintain that threat low. You can too earn bonus investments, often called Earn, by taking part in affords from the corporate’s enterprise companions. Lastly, Acorns additionally affords referral bonuses to customers who get their family and friends to join the app.

Is It Secure to Make investments with Acorns?

Sure, Acorns is a protected and safe monetary providers app. Similar to different brokerage accounts, Acorns complies with federal legislation and is registered with the U.S. Securities and Trade Fee. Its checking account can be FDIC insured, giving you a similar safety as a conventional financial institution.

What Are the Cons of Acorns?

The most important disadvantage of Acorns is that its $3 or $5 per thirty days account choices are comparatively dear for individuals with low account balances.

Rachel Christian is a senior author for The Penny Hoarder.

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