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In 2016, the innovative investment company Acorns debuted. It provides users with a free mobile application, takes their spare dollars and cents, and invests that money in exchange-traded funds (ETFs). Below is an in-depth report on this company.
To get started, download the free app or head to the Acorns website for the web-based service. You’ll need to fill out a somewhat lengthy questionnaire to set up your account. Then you’ll have to link a credit card and savings account.
There’s no minimum dollar amount to open an Acorns account, though the program won’t start investing until your account contains $5 or more. Then, as you make purchases, the app will take your “spare change” and invest it. Acorns achieves this through fractional shares investing.
Let’s say that you use your credit card to buy a bagel, and it costs $1.80. As soon as you pay, the Acorns app will automatically take $0.20, rounding up to the nearest dollar, and put it in a linked checking account. From time to time, the app will take that checking account money and invest it.
Now, you might not want the app to automatically take your change. In that case, you can opt for manual investments. Every so often, you can go through your list of recent purchases and select change amounts that you’d like the program to invest.
Moreover, you could set up a recurring investment system. That is, regardless of your payments, you could ask Acorns to invest a certain sum of your money every day, week or month.
Especially appealing, Acorns will automatically rebalance your portfolio according to market conditions, and it will reinvest the dividends you earn as well.
With Acorns, you’ll decide what kind of portfolio you want. The safest investments come with the conservative portfolio; there, most of your money would be in bonds and cash. There are four more categories that offer increasing rewards for increasing risk. The biggest potential payoffs come with the aggressive category, where most of your money would be in equities.
The Acorns app can suggest which of those portfolios would be the best for you given your age, how much money you hope to make and various other factors.
Acorns exchange-traded funds can include domestic large-cap stocks, international large-cap stocks, small-cap stocks, developed markets stocks and emerging markets stocks.
In the most conservative Acorns portfolio, 18 percent of the investments are stocks; in the most aggressive category, that number is 90 percent. In between, the portfolios are made up of 36 percent, 54 percent and 72 percent stocks.
Government and corporate bonds are included among Acorns asset classes. In the most conservative portfolio, 80 percent of the investments are bonds. As the portfolios get more aggressive, bonds constitute 60 percent, 40 percent, 20 percent and none of the investments.
Acorns supports both Roth IRAs and traditional IRAs.
The basic Acorns investment account costs $1 per month.
To add an Acorns retirement account, you’ll pay an extra $1 per month. And, for $3 monthly, you get the grand package: an Acorns investment account, a retirement account and a checking account.
College students under the age of 24 can obtain an Acorns investment account for free for a period of four years. To receive this deal, you just have to demonstrate that you have an email address that ends in .edu.
Also, Acorns offers a cash-back incentives program called Found Money. Just use one of your linked payment accounts to buy products or services from an Acorns partner company. Many major corporate names, including Hilton, Amazon and Apple, are among those partners.
Acorns is not a platform for accumulating great wealth. But it is a terrific program for introducing yourself to the world of investing and amassing a respectable pot of savings.
Acorns is best for college students, for people who’ve never invested before and for those who find the idea of investing a little intimidating. It’s also ideal for individuals who lack the time or inclination to figure out where to invest their funds.
Acorns doesn’t make available any investment advisers. However, you can call or email the company to ask questions, and the app features live chatting. Further, the app has a calculator that can predict the returns you’d get from various investment sums. In addition, the Acorns website contains plenty of educational materials on investing.
Acorns is a reliable program that delivers just what it promises. You might consider it to be merely a first step in your lifelong journey of investing. Nevertheless, using this app can be a surprisingly enjoyable experience. It’s like a souped-up, 21st-century version of a piggy bank.