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Acorns is an investment app that lets people easily invest their spare change from purchases made on linked credit or debit cards. This money can go into investment accounts that match your risk tolerance. Acorn only offers managed portfolios of ETFs for investing, but it also provides checking accounts and bonus investing when shopping at over 350 retailers.
- Automatically invest spare change
- Bonus investing from select retailers
- Educational resource library
- Can only invest in ETFs
- $50 ETF transfer fee
Acorns’ robo-advising app makes it simple for you to invest automatically. Additional perks like checking accounts with metal debit cards and bonus investments help you earn more. Just remember — all investments have risk.
What is Acorns?
Acorns is a financial wellness system that strives to make investing more accessible through automatic micro-investing and related services, like banking and other forms of investing.
On the investment side, it features both investment accounts with diversified, exchange-traded fund (ETF) portfolios and investment accounts focusing on retirement, children and sustainability. Acorns’ micro-investing lets you round up purchases to the nearest dollar and invest that amount, but you can also set up recurring contributions if you want.
Acorns also offers FDIC-insured checking accounts, bonus investments when shopping at certain stores, a job-search platform powered by ZipRecruiter, a digital magazine and an educational resource library covering money and micro-investing basics.
How does Acorns work?
At its core, Acorns is a robo-advisor that invests your money into managed portfolios of ETFs that reflect your investment risk tolerance. One of Acorns' standout features is that you can automatically invest your extra change for purchases on linked cards or your Acorn checking account (available under Personal and Family membership tiers). However, you can still invest as little as $5 on a recurring or one-time basis.
The company then diversifies your investments across over 7,000 stocks and bonds, making sure to keep within your target allocations by automatically rebalancing your portfolio.
Acorn also has retirement accounts (traditional IRAs, Roth IRAs and SEP IRAs) and UTMA/UGMA accounts for investing in your children’s future. You can fund these accounts through recurring or one-time contributions. If you want to learn more about investing before jumping in or as you gain experience, Acorn has a resource library that covers finance basics.
Acorns offers three membership tiers:
- Lite ($1 per month): This provides access to an automated investment account with features like Acorns’ signature Round-Up program for spare change investing, recurring investments and early bonus investments from 350+ Found Money partners.
- Personal ($3 per month): This provides all the benefits of Lite plus access to retirement and checking accounts, a metal debit card, automatic investing and up to 10% bonus investments.
- Family ($5 per month): This provides all the benefits of Personal plus investment accounts for kids with no added cost for multiple children, Automatic Recurring Investments, exclusive bonus investments, family financial advice and potential tax savings.
While Acorns’ monthly fees are reasonable, they may actually be a better deal for investors with larger balances. If you don’t have much to invest initially, you may pay less with other investment platforms whose fees are a percent of your assets.
Acorns also charges relatively steep fees to transfer investments when closing your account — $50 per ETF. If you have four ETFs, that’s a $200 fee. Other platforms may charge lower flat rates to transfer out all your investments.
- Does Acorns make you money?
- Acorns is an investment app that facilitates investing in ETF portfolios in different asset classes. You can make money from your stock gains and dividends, but you can also lose the money in your account.
- Is Acorns investing safe?
- It depends on what you mean. Acorns has taken several steps to make investing safe, including FDIC-insured Spend accounts, SIPC-protected investment accounts, SSL encryption, account alerts, bank-level physical security and account safeguards. However, all investments have some risks.
- Is Acorns FDIC insured?
- Acorns’ deposit accounts are FDIC-insured for at least $250,000, but this doesn’t apply to investment accounts.
- Is Acorns free?
- No, its monthly membership fees range from $1 to $5 per month. There’s no minimum to open an Acorns account, but you need funds in your account to be able to invest.
Is Acorns worth it?
Acorns’ robo-advising platform makes automatic investing simple, even if you don't have large sums of money, advanced investment knowledge or a personal broker to act as a go-between. However, its monthly fees can be pricey for smaller account balances, and its ETF transfer fee is pretty high. Regardless, Acorns is still an excellent option if you want hands-off investing options for yourself or your family.
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Don't fall for it like I did. I'm going to go elsewhere and encourage others too as well. After saving 13k with their program, I fell for one of their incentive program pitches and had two friends sign up, make deposits, etc. within a week. They met all the requirements AND a rep assured me they were counted and I'd get the $200 bonus. A few weeks later I inquired as to when the bonus would be available and was told I was no longer getting it and they wouldn't tell me why. A very convenient set-up for them...I just hate dishonest manipulative marketing. Don't fall for it.
I set up an Acorns account about two years ago. I wasn't using it as a serious investment tool, thankfully. Just putting in a little a month, and doing the "round up" thing with one of my debit cards. I kind of forgot about it, then decided I didn't need it and wanted to close my account. I have never had so much trouble trying to get access to my own money! Customer support is a joke. After finally getting someone on chat, who was no help, I was told that my issue would be escalated and I would get an email in one or two days.
That never happened, went back through the chat thing, still no help. Cannot be provided with a phone number to an actual human who can accomplish anything... Once again told that I would be emailed (and if I have an escalation ticket, don't you think they could provide a ticket number??). I may or may not receive a phone call from a supervisor, because apparently they are so busy they might not get around to it. This company is a joke, but not a funny joke... because they won't give you your money back without a fight.
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I opened an Acorns account around January 2020. It was a great experience saving change that was rounded up. So, I also decided to open a spend account with them as well in which you purchase a debit card to use and have your funds transferred from your other bank. I have never had a problem and had enjoyed using it. Last week, Wednesday, I transferred $1030 to my spend account knowing I needed to pay some bills and have money for the weekend. It usually takes 1-2 days for the transfer to complete.
On Friday I was doing a little online shopping and went to pay for my purchase and my payment did not go through. I then went to check my balance on the acorns app and had a message that I needed to provided additional verification. So, I called Acorns and the customer service rep advised me that we would have to complete a 3 way call to my bank to confirm I had the funds transferred. The transfer was successfully verified. I was told that my account would be released and that my funds would be available in my spend account on Monday and she would be having them expedite this. Had to go through the weekend without my money.
Okay, so Monday I checked my account and was still unable to login and received the same message. I called customer service for a second time. This time I was told that I had to provide a screenshot showing that the funds had been taken out of my regular bank account. I asked the customer service rep why I wasn’t told this on Friday. He had no answer for but kept apologizing to me and telling me he understands. I told him that this is not right and I wanted to know why I was being treated this way and that I was very ticked off. Again, no answer.
He told me that after I send the screenshot of the said transfer I would have to wait for 2-3 days for my funds to be available to me. Well, then I was really ticked off! I am being treated very unfairly and I know that this is not right and can’t get any answers as to why this is happening. Now my bills are late and I am not sure what to do, because no one is giving me answers! If I get on there in a couple days and my money isn’t available to me, I’m not sure what my options are.
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