Acorns App Review 2019: A Versatile Investing App For New Investors

Jun 12, 2019

In this Acorns app review, we're discussing the popular micro investing app that makes it easy to invest the change from your everyday purchases. Not only does the app have a very user-friendly design, but you can also get started investing on Acorns with as little as $5. I’ll be going over all of Acorns features, covering it's pros and cons, and share who I think this app is most ideal for. 

Check out our Acorns app review below and and see how it compares to today's top investing apps here.


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☑️ Quick Summary ☑️

- Get started investing with just $5  
- Invest the spare change from your everyday purchases
- Choose from pre-built and diversified portfolios based on your investing goals
- Clean user-friendly app interface for new investors
- App features an investing account, a massive cashback portal, a mobile banking account, and a 10% cashback VISA debit card


 🍏 Try Acorns and Get a $5 Sign Up Bonus Here 🍏

 

What Is The Acorns App?

Acorns is a popular micro investing app that makes it easy for new investors to invest in the stock market through their pre-built and diversified portfolios. The Acorns app is available on both iOS and Android devices. 

Acorns can truly be thought of as an all-in-one investing app solution. At its core, Acorns is an easy-to-use investing platform with several automation tools to help you invest with ease. But they now also offer a massive cashback portal, a mobile banking (checking) account, a cashback VISA debit card, and even have the option to open an additional retirement account.

I’ll go more in depth on each of these areas in just a bit. The main thing you need to know is that Acorns provides a very clean user friendly interface and uses easy to understand terminology for new investors to the stock market.

 

How Does the Acorns App Work?

By bringing together robo advising technology and automated savings tools, the Acorns app provides a modern way of saving and investing your spare change. 

In fact, there are several ways the Acorns app works with automation to help encourage investing and growing your portfolio.

Round-ups:

Firstly, you can link your debit or credit card to your Acorns app, and the app will round up your everyday purchases to the nearest dollar. Once your spare change adds up to $5 Acorns will automatically sweep the spare change into your investment portfolio which you can view and track in the app.

There is no limit on how many debit or credit cards you can link to your Acorns account and this round up feature can be turned on and off at anytime. 

And although these roundups are the bread and butter of the Acorns platform you can also invest lump sums of money manually or even set up recurring deposits for more passive investing. 

Recurring Deposits

If you want to build healthy investing habits without having to think about it then you will definitely want to take advantage of Acorns recurring deposits feature. This allows you to set up recurring deposits on a daily, weekly, bi-weekly, or monthly basis. And these deposit amounts can be as small as $5.

This a great tool, because small consistent contributions are one of the best ways for new investors to get started investing. And just like their roundups feature, you can turn the recurring deposits feature on and off at anytime. 

Investing Cashback

Acorns also has a cashback portal for your investment account built-in to the app, called Found Money. Through their Found Money portal Acorns has partnered with hundreds of major retailers such as Amazon, Walmart, and more. Acorns then invests anywhere from 1%-10%, or a set dollar amount, of your purchases back into your Acorns portfolio. 

The interesting thing with this cashback portal is that instead of simply earning cashback for your everyday purchases, Acorns actually invests your cashback right back into your Acorns account so it can grow even more. I'll talk more about the cashback you can earn from their Found Money program further down below. 

 

Getting Started

Acorns really takes the guesswork out of getting started investing. When you first create your Acorns account you will be give a short survey to help Acorns determine your investment objectives and financial goals. Acorns will then recommend one of their five pre-built and diversified portfolios for you to choose from. 

Investments

Acorns currently offers five pre-built and diversified portfolios to invest in:

  • Conservative
  • Moderately Conservative
  • Moderate
  • Moderately Aggressive
  • Aggressive

Within each of these portfolio descriptions is a breakdown of what percentage of every dollar you're investing into different parts of the market:

  • Large cap stocks  (large established U.S. companies)
  • Small cap stocks  (growing U.S. companies)
  • Real estate
  • Emerging markets  (international stocks from emerging regions)
  • Government bonds
  • Corporate bonds

They will also provide investment projections for each portfolio so you can get an idea of how your chosen portfolio will perform over the next year, 5 years, 10 years, etc. 

Lastly, each portfolio description also includes a further breakdown of some of the featured holdings (stocks) within each portfolio.

Account Minimum

The minimum amount to open an account and start investing on Acorns is just $5. Most larger investment brokerages require you to invest hundreds or even thousands of dollars just to get started investing in single stocks.

This allows you to start with as little as $5 and continue to invest whatever amount is comfortable to you on a consistent basis. 

The beautiful thing behind this approach is that no matter how small of an amount you can afford to invest every week or every month, even small consistent contributions will add up and your investments will grow over time.
 


 You can see my full Acorns app review in the video below:


 

Account Types

Acorns offers three different account types:

  • Acorns Core - their standard individual investing account. This is a non-retirement account, meaning you can withdraw funds at anytime without restriction.
  • Acorns Spend - their mobile banking checking account. Acorns Spend has no monthly fees, no setup fees, and no minimum balance requirement. It also includes an Acorns VISA debit card so you can both earn cashback from local retailers as well as easily transfer funds between your checking account and your investing account.

  • Acorns Later - they also offer tax-advantaged retirement accounts, including the following IRA types (Individual Retirement Accounts).
    • Roth IRA
    • Traditional IRA
    • SEP IRA

And much like the Acorns core investing account, you can open a retirement account with as little as $5.

 

Earning and Investing Cashback

At it's heart, Acorns is designed to help you save and invest money without having to stress about it. Because of this, they've developed two easy ways that you can earn and invest cashback from your everyday purchases:

  1. You can earn up to 10% cashback at local restaurants and merchants using Acorns' Local Found Money portal. This feature opens a google map inside the app, which displays all the nearby stores and restaurants you can earn cashback and have invested back into your Acorns account. 
    • There is no limit to how many debit/credit cards you can link to your Acorns account and use for cashback purchases.
  2. Acorns also invests anywhere from 1%-10%, or a set dollar amount, of your online purchases back into your Acorns portfolio. Through their Found Money portal Acorns has partnered with hundreds of major retailers like Amazon, Walmart, Apple, Ebay, Chevron, and countless more. 

You can learn more about Acorns Found Money Program in my video below:

 


Pricing and Fees

There are no fees to buy or sell any investments on Acorns. However, there is a fixed monthly fee to use the app. It can be as low as $1 per month for just the core investing account. 

  • Acorns Core Account  (investing account)
    • $1 per month on account balances up to $1 million dollars. [FREE for college students!]
  • Acorns Core + Acorns Later  
    • $2 per month. (investing account + retirement account)
  • Acorns Core + Acorns Later + Acorns Spend
    • $3 per month. (investing account + retirement account + mobile banking)

Students: Acorns Core is free for up to four years for college students with a valid .edu email address! 

Is Investing On Acorns Safe?

As a member of SIPC (Securities Investor Protection Corporation), Acorns is SIPC insured against brokerage failure. Securities in member's accounts are protected up to $500,000, including up to $250,000 in cash. For further details, please see www.sipc.org

SIPC insurance is investor protection for investment brokerages. Now unlike a bank's FDIC insurance, SIPC does not protect against the decline in value of your securities. Investments in the stock market are subject to fluctuations in market value. 

However, SIPC protects against the loss of cash and securities – such as stocks and bonds – held by a customer at a financially-troubled SIPC-member brokerage firm. SIPC works to restore to customers their securities and cash that are in their accounts when any potential brokerage firm liquidation begins.

Pros

Who would I recommend the Acorns app for?

Ideal for new investors

  • Since you can start investing with as little as $5, Acorns makes investing very accessible.
  • Their app is user-friendly and they use terminology that is easy to understand.
  • They also have an area inside the app, called Acorns Grow, which provides plenty of easy to read articles on saving and investing.

Ideal for college students

  • Acorns Core is free for up to four years for college students with a valid .edu email address. 
  • And for everyone else their investing account is just $1 per month.

Ideal for those looking to get a lot of value out of a single finance app

  • Acorns provides you several tools to automate your saving and investing, which helps encourage consistent contributions to grow your investments over time.
  • In addition to their investing account they also offer a mobile banking account, a cashback debit card, and the option to save for retirement.

 

Cons

Who would I not recommend the Acorns app for?

Not as ideal for active stock traders

    • Acorns is more geared towards long term investing and saving.
    • If you're instead looking for a stock trading platform with zero fees, I would recommend checking out the Webull app.

Not as ideal if you want to invest in individual stocks

    • While Acorns offers pre-built portfolios made of diversified selections of stocks, you cannot currently invest in individual stocks. 
    • If you're looking to invest in thousands of individual stocks and ETFs I would recommend checking out M1 Finance.

 

Sign Up Bonus

When you join Acorns and invest your first $5 you will receive a free $5 sign up bonus to invest. If you'd like to try out the Acorns app feel free to join here and enjoy your free $5 sign up bonus

 

Final Thoughts

If you're a new investor looking for an easy to use platform to get started investing, the Acorns app is a great option. However, if you're more interested in having access to investing in thousands of individual stocks and ETFs you may want to consider M1 Finance.

If you'd like to try out the Acorns app you can join here.

Or feel free to see how Acorns compares to today's other top investing apps here.

Need help with investing? We can help you find the right investing platform for your financial goals.

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