In this Acorns review, we will review the investment app that allows users to round up purchases and automatically invest the change in various expert ETF portfolios.
It achieves this through its pre-built expert portfolios and investment features. It is therefore an ideal investment platform for seasoned investors looking to increase their savings. So, let’s get to the review.
What are acorns?
Acorns makes passive investing easy for new investors with its simple platform. It allows any investor to invest in exchange-traded funds (ETFs).
However, the platform may be suitable if you are experienced in investing and have deep pockets. Its flat-rate structure is a bit more expensive than percentage-based fees for those just getting started.
So, acorns may not be the best option if you’re new to investing and have a limited budget. This is due to the lack of human consultants on the platform and high fees with lower investments.
Acorns’ robo-advisor features make the most sense for investors who like the platform’s “rounded” savings application. The balance of an investment account is rounded to the nearest dollar when a user makes purchases with a linked account.
So overall, acorns might be more useful for people who badly need a boost in their savings versus newbies with low balances who are looking for the cheaper option.
There are several ways to use the Acorns platform…
Acorns Review: Invest, Later, Spend, Earn and Family
This Acorns review will go over different ways to save with the platform. For example, there are five main ways users can save and invest with Acorns…
- acorns invest – A taxable investment account that invests your money in ETFs based on your risk tolerance and financial goals. Roundups, recurring deposits, and on-demand deposits are all options for funding the account. You can take advantage of dollar spend averaging by setting up recurring contributions with Acorns – as little as $5 at a time. Included in the Acorns Personal Plan.
- tassels later – This is a tax-advantaged Individual Retirement Account (IRA). This allows users to create an IRA and choose a low-cost portfolio centered around their retirement goals and investment risk. Included in the Acorns Personal Plan.
- Acorn expenses – A standard current account in partnership with Lincoln Savings Bank. Following the Smart deposit feature, you can automatically transfer money from your Spend account to other accounts, such as Invest. Included in the Acorns Personal Plan.
- acorns win – An online marketplace that offers a small percentage back on purchases made at hundreds of major retailers. Allows more 350 major brands to invest a fixed amount or a percentage of your purchase price directly into your Acorns Invest account when you spend with them. Included in the Acorns Personal Plan.
- Acorn family – This is the top Acorns account. For $5 a month, it offers all of the previously mentioned services plus the ability to open an investment account for your children through Acorns early. It is basically an investment custody account that allows parents to invest on behalf of their children.
Start on the acorns
The installation process for Acorns is simple. First, investors go through the basics: creating an account with an email and password. Additionally, users have the option of setting up a four-digit passcode on their smartphone.
Next, the setup process will ask you to link your bank account and any credit or debit cards. This is key to the platform’s rounding feature, where it automatically invests your reserve currency.
After the initial setup process, Acorns needs to ask you some investor questions before you get started. This includes a series of questions about your risk tolerance and lifestyle to find the right portfolio for you. As part of the construction of the portfolio, Acorns enlisted the help of financial experts, mathematicians and Nobel laureate Dr. Harry Markowitz, pioneer of the modern portfolio theory.
Acorn examination: fees and costs
There are two levels of Acorns subscription…
- Personal plan which includes checking, investment and retirement accounts for $3 a month.
- Family package which includes the three accounts you get with the personal plan, plus additional investment accounts for your children for $5 a month.
Acorns claims to charge low fees, but that depends on how you measure them. Despite the app’s promise to make investing affordable for everyone, the monthly fee will eat into a big chunk of your returns if you only set aside a few dollars a month.
The type of investors that Acorns is trying to attract (young beginners) will end up paying more than they would with other robo advisory platforms. So, to maximize your Acorns account, set up recurring deposits to grow your portfolio and minimize fees.
Here’s an example of how Acorns fees can add up. Suppose you have invested $100 in a new investment account. You would pay $0.25 per year if you used Betterment, which charges 0.25% for its base Betterment Digital offering. However, in an Acorns Personal plan, you would spend $36 per year on your $100 investment.
The more you invest, the lower the fee percentage. However, this can take time and is not a feasible option for everyone.
Expense ratios for investments vary between 0.03% and 0.25%. If you choose Early, Invest or Later, you will pay this amount.
Acorn review at a glance
Here is the Acorns review summarized…
Now that we’ve looked at the Acorns review at a glance, let’s take a look at the pros and cons of the platform.
Advantages and disadvantages of acorns
- Investment options in a risk-adapted portfolio
- Automatic savings features encourage investors to save more
- Easy to use interface
- There are high fees depending on the amount of money you have in your account
- Costs associated with transfers
- No tax loss to minimize customer tax bills
- Unlike other robo-advisors, you will have to pay a fee to access your checking account
Now, let’s wrap up this Acorns review by looking at the final thoughts.
Acorn Review: Is It Worth The Investment?
One of the highlights of this Acorns review is that it charges high monthly fees compared to other investment platforms. However, it offers a lot of educational content that would be useful for new investors, in addition to investment opportunities resulting from rounded purchases.
If you’re a new investor, the educational content may be worth the price of admission. Its automatic deposits and simple investment strategies make it a great option for anyone who wants to get started but doesn’t know how. Still, the monthly fee might not be worth it for many…especially when there are cheaper alternatives.
So, be sure to do your research before choosing an investment platform. If you are interested in other investment platforms, check out the best online brokers of 2022.
Aimee Bohn is a graduate of the College of Business and Economics at Towson University. His background in marketing research helps him uncover interesting trends. Over the past year, she has primarily focused on researching IPOs and other trends.