Question: What do you do with your spare change?
Chances are good you leave those excess pennies, dimes, nickels and quarters lying around your car. Maybe you empty your pockets into a jar on your dresser and vow to cash them in some time in the future. Or maybe you count out coins when you buy something (good for you!)
Now, there’s Acorns, an investing and savings app that lets you put those pennies to good use.
You can literally open an Acorns account with less than a dollar’s worth of change.
Acorns is a beginner friendly investment platform that makes saving seamless. The Acorns platform will round up your debit card purchases to the next dollar, and invest the difference. This way you can begin investing small sums over time. Acorns caters to investors who would like to get started, but may struggle with saving or committing capital to investments.
Easy to use platform
Automatic deposits into your account via rounding up your purchases
Invest in pre-built portfolios based on your circumstance
High fees, especially for smaller accounts
Cannot purchase individual stocks
Acorns is a robo-advising, micro-investing platform that does the saving and investing for you. Right now, there are more than 7 million people using the Acorns platform, and this could be a good time for you to join them.
It’s basically micro-investing with micro-pricing.
There are no deposit or account minimums to maintain, no commission fees and no penalties when withdrawing funds. What’s more, Acorns charges just $1 per month for its basic service.
Perhaps the most interesting feature of Acorns is automatic round-ups. You simply link a credit or debit card, then buy groceries, Friday night dinner, gas, Nikes, you name it! Acorns will round-up the amount you’ve spent to the nearest dollar. Then, it will take that change, no matter how small an amount, and funnel it into your investment portfolio.
Once your round-ups total $5, the money is withdrawn from your linked checking account and invested, where it will continue to grow in your carefully chosen portfolio.
When you invest with Acorns, there are no minimums and zero commission fees.
This loose change comes from any purchases made from a linked debit or credit card or even your PayPal wallet, making it the very essence of found money.
Acorns seamlessly transfers those spare coins into investments diversified across more than 7,000 stocks and bonds that are automatically rebalanced with market fluctuations up and down.
You can add to your wealth by making one-time investments from anywhere. Got an extra $25 from cutting coupons and making coffee at home? Shuttle that right into your Acorns investment account.
The key word here is “automatic.” You set it and forget it. Not only will that spare change be going towards your future, it will also eliminate the need for a plastic jug to store those coins for years.
You can help your investments grow faster by setting up additional deposits in set amounts on a daily, weekly or even monthly basis.
This could be a smart move, particularly given the fact that automatic round-ups will be tiny amounts. For example, earmarking $100 a week from your paycheck will help your investment account grow considerably faster!
Another option is to set-up one-time investments to fund your account during a particularly lucrative time, such as when you get your bonus from work or receive your income tax refund.
You can also opt to use the round-up multiplier to increase the amount stashed away in your portfolio by two, three or ten times for each total purchase. You can try this out and if it doesn’t work well for you or if you’re feeling the pinch, you can turn the multiplier off.
The founders of Acorns have taken to heart their mission of planting seeds for future growth.
They are planting oak trees across the U.S. for several reasons:
Nearly 400,000 trees have been planted to date, and more than 550 acres of forest land has been restored.
You must meet the three requirements to join Acorns:
You will also need to link your credit and debit cards to Acorns if you want to participate in the round-ups program. If not, you can still add to your account on a regular basis with scheduled deposits.
You can sign up for Acorns in three levels of membership:
Includes a taxable investment account.
This level tacks on an Individual Retirement Account and a checking account.
This includes everything in the lower tiers, plus Acorns Early, which lets you open investment accounts for kids.
Are you a risk taker? Or do you prefer slow and steady?
Whatever your personality dictates, Acorns will tailor a portfolio for you. Just answer some short, simple questions about your lifestyle and financial goals, and a mix of Exchange Traded Funds (ETFs) will become your portfolio.
You may want to give some thought to your financial future when you figure out your investment objective, because you’ll need to boil it down into one of 5 options:
Your Acorns account is a Limited Trading Authority account. You will be directed (or can choose for yourself) into one of 5 Acorns investment portfolios, but the ETFs in the portfolios are previously selected.
Keep in mind that your investments could earn dividends that you can direct Acorns to re-invest in more shares, a move that will also grow your portfolio.
Acorns Earn is a long list of retail partners that will earmark an extra 5 to 10 percent of your transaction in cash back to your Acorns brokerage account.
These retail partners include:
Acorns Spend is a debit card for a checking account with Acorns built in. The account has no minimum balance requirement, no overdraft fees, and unlimited free or fee-reimbursed ATMs nationwide.
This gives you access to an online library of videos, articles, a variety of tutorials and other educational content to help you learn more about the fundamental knowledge about everything from writing a budget to saving for college.
Recent topics have included:
Why should you open an Early account?
Consider this: If you invest just $5 a day in a child from birth, considering an 8% average annual return, they could be a millionaire by 50. As a parent or other family member, you can now do more than just save for a child's future. You can invest in it.
Acorns Early is a UTMA / UGMA account. This means that, unlike a 529 that can only be used for education, you can use the funds for anything that benefits the child.
Your Early UTMA / UGMA account can be transferred easily to the child at a specified age of transfer as they enter adulthood.
These are Individual Retirement Accounts (IRAs) both traditional and Roth.
Acorns experts will recommend an IRA for you based on your goals, employment and income, then keep you posted on how it’s doing. IRAs allow you to save money without all the tax implications of other investments.
More than 250,000 people have already signed on as Acorns Later investors. And if you already have an IRA or 401k, Acorns professionals will help you roll it over into Acorns Later. As you approach retirement, your investments will begin to shift to line up with your goals.
Acorns is micro-investing, which means your investment portfolio isn’t going to grow in leaps and bounds overnight. You won’t be choosing the stocks and ETFs that make up your portfolio. This could be a welcome relief – or a hindrance to you learning more about investing over time.
At the very least, Acorns will help you become aware of what you’re needlessly spending – even if it’s a few pennies or nickels. If that loose change is stowed away into an investment account, you have something to show at the end of the day.