Acorns is an investment app. How does it work? Acorns simply rounds-up every purchase you make to the nearest whole dollar and invests that amount in a customized investment account. But there’s more to it than that.
When you initially sign up, you’ll be asked for the same information a bank would ask you for when opening up a new account. If you use this link, you can earn $5.
Once there, go through the process of signing up. You’ll need to link your bank account to the app and enter personal information like address, social security number(for tax purposes), and so on.
The app will ask for a one-time investment as small as $5. It will also ask if you want a recurring deposit to happen every month. You don’t have to accept that if you don’t want to.
After signing up and you have your new account, there is a 4-5 day processing period. I’d suggest downloading the app for your phone and check on it after a few days to see if your account is up and running.
Once your account is approved and opened, you will be greeted by a friendly message. Right below that, there’ll be a message that reads “Your account value is __.” This is also the default tab which is labelled “Present” on top.
The longer your account is open, the more money you’ll accumulate. Acorns will look at all transactions going through your linked bank account and will round-up every transaction made. This includes online bill payments, Paypal purchases, subscription payments(eg. Spotify, Netflix, Hulu, etc.), and ATM withdrawals(including ATM-fee’s). Every debt made will be round-up.
On debts made that end in whole numbers and have no change, these transactions will be round up to the next whole dollar. For example, if you purchase $29 in gas, it will be round-up to $30. On the opposite side of that, if you make a purchase of $2.99, only $0.01 will be rounded up and added to your account.
Acorns won’t draw any money from your account until you reach $5 or more in round-ups.
As you can see from my account, I’ve had $56.61 saved from 96 transactions. The money does add up. My account is only about 3 weeks old too(at the time of writing this)!
At the top of the app, you can click the “Past” tab and see all the transactions you’ve made and the amounts being round-up. You’ll also see your dividend payments and referral rewards. Your dividend payments and referrals are automatically reinvested into your account.
If you click on the “Potential” tab, you can see a projected value of what your account could grow into over time. The project does not predict the future. It’s merely a demonstration tool that allows you to see how recurring investments can grow over time. It’s fun to play around with and see what the potential growth of your account can be.
I’d suggest clicking on the “Change my future” button at the bottom and change the amounts and how often the recurrence happens. If you have it set for $20/month, click $20/week and then $20/day. On the dollar amount, you can swipe left and right to add or subtract the dollar amount. You can go as little as $5 and as high as $2500. As long as you don’t click the “Update your recurring investment” button, no changes to your account will be made. If you do click on it by accident, don’t panic. You can go to the “Invest” tab and change it.
As the app says “From acorns mighty oaks do grow.”
On the top left, there is a button with three horizontal lines. That opens a menu that allows you to do more with the app.
“Invest” allows you to put a multiplier on your round-ups, do a one-time investment, link more cards so you have multiple accounts contributing to your Acorns account, edit your recurring investment(increase, decrease or stop altogether.) If you accidentally changed your recurring investment playing on the “change my future” tab, you can correct it here.
“Round-ups” allows you to do more one-time investments, link a second bank account or credit card, and see all approved and unapproved round-ups. If you click on the un-approved tab, you can click the (+) circle on the right and the amount shown will automatically be invested.
“Performance” shows you in a breakdown of how your account is being handled. Swipe left and you can see percentages and dollar amounts for where your money is at and how it is being invested.
“Found money” is a tab where you can scroll through all of Acorns partners. If you make purchases through the links provided here, the partner will make an investment for you into your account. Seems like a no-brainer if you’re already planning on purchasing something through one of their partners. It is literally “found money.” Take a scroll through the list and check out all the Acorns sponsors so you don’t miss out on an opportunity for some free money.
“Grow” is Acorn’s newsstand. There are awesome articles for the savvy or novice investor. Don’t just grow your bank account, grow your mind as well!
“Invite Friends” is where you’ll find your personalized link. Every person who signs up for Acorns through your personalized link will receive $5 and you’ll receive $5. Win-win! I believe this is a limited time offer so don’t miss out on it. Share your link and make some money!
If you haven’t read my other post Acorns, Robinhood and Stash-Invest, three investment apps everyone should have! They could earn you up to $750! Go check it out. It gives you step by step instructions on how to make a potential $750.
“Withdraw” allows you to withdraw your money at any time. It does take 3-6 business days to process though so if you’re in need of cash, take that time into account. Since your money in Acorns in invested in mutual funds/ETF’s, your shares need to be sold first which can only happen during market hours which is why it takes time to process.
There are no early, standard, or other withdrawal fees. It is free to move money in and out of your Acorns account.
“Settings” allows you to edit your settings. If you want to change your portfolio and switch from an ‘Aggressive portfolio’ to a ‘Conservative portfolio’ or vice versa, this is where you can do that. Again, you’re given a breakdown on how your money is handled in each portfolio.
You can also edit further settings like notifications and passwords, etc.
My overall impression of the app is that its repetitive in some aspects but good. What is offered is most important. It gives new investors an opportunity to get into savings without much effort on the users part. This is far better than stashing money under your mattress or in a piggy bank. Every year with inflation, that money hidden away loses some of its value. Investing in ETF’s, even at a conservative level, gives you a better return than leaving money locked in a safe.
Acorns also teaches you the value of a recurring investment. How something small can grow over time. That to me is an extremely valuable lesson. That’s being practical.