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Acorns – How Spare Change can Grow your Portfolio

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Acorns – How Spare Change can Grow your Portfolio

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Nick M.-

Have you thought you don’t have enough money to invest? You aren’t alone. Many people assume investing is for the rich. What if we told you that you could invest with your spare change and it will help you save for big goals, like buying a house or saving for retirement?

It’s true. Acorns makes it possible for anyone, even the doubters, to invest their spare change and slowly but steadily build your portfolio. Check out our review to see Acorns can work for you.

What is Acorns?

Acorns is a micro-investing app. They invest your spare change once you accumulate a balance of $5. You don’t even have to do anything – the app rounds up your purchases in your linked credit or debit accounts to the nearest dollar. They sweep the change into your Acorns account and automatically invest it in your predetermined portfolio.

Acorns creates your portfolio or combination of ETF investments after looking at your goals and risk tolerance. Acorns invests in ETFs (Exchange Traded Funds) which are a combination of stocks or other assets within the same asset class.

A few example asset classes include large or small companies, real estate, government bonds, and emerging markets. A conservative portfolio, for example, would have a large part of their portfolio in government bonds, whereas an aggressive portfolio would have a large investment in emerging markets.

Acorns has five portfolios including:

Name Description
Conservative All bonds
Moderately Conservative A combination of stocks and bonds (but heavy on the bonds)
Moderate An even split between stocks and bonds
Moderately Aggressive A combination of stocks and bonds (but heavy on the stocks)
Aggressive All stocks

Who Should use Acorns?

Acorns is great for the beginner investor. The person that’s never invested before and thinks investing is only for the ‘rich.’ It’s for the investor that can’t budget enough money to put aside for investing, but that knows saving for retirement or even short-term goals is important and the only way to do so is with regular deposits.

Acorns automates the saving and investment process for you, taking the thinking out of it. You can literally invest pennies at a time and watch your portfolio grow.

Ways to Save with Acorns

Acorns makes it easy to save:

  • Round ups – Link your most used debit or credit card and invest your spare change from your everyday purchases. The spare change adds up faster than you think.
  • Recurring investments – Set up automatic transfers on your desired schedule as often as you want
  • One-time investments – Add as little or as much as you want to your Acorns account, every dollar matters
  • Found money – Shop at one of the more than 2,000 Acorn partners and earn a portion of your purchase back in your Acorns account
  • Referrals – Earn $5 for every friend that you refer that opens an account and makes their first $5 investment

Ways to Invest

Acorns offers two investment programs and a spend account:

  • Acorns Invest – Acorns invests your spare change in a taxable account in a customized portfolio (more on that below). You can withdraw and use the funds as you need, but you should keep the money in for the long-term for the best results.
  • Acorns Later – Don’t think you can save for retirement? Let Acorns help. This retirement account invests your spare change in your future. Acorns recommends an IRA plan and then invests and manages it for you. The money you invest in here cannot be withdrawn (without early withdrawal penalties).
  • Acorns Spend – This is a checking account from Acorns that includes a debit card. Every time you spend with your debit card, you instantly save and invest. There are no overdraft fees or minimum balance fees and there are over 50,000 fee-free ATMs throughout the country.

What are the Fees?

Acorns offers three subscription options:

Name Cost Per Month Description
Lite $1 A taxable investment account that includes round-ups, Found Money, and a customized portfolio
Personal $3 A taxable investment plan, retirement plan, and spend plan all in one plus everything included in the Lite plan
Family $5 Includes everything in the Personal account plus investment accounts for all kids (no extra charge), exclusive offers and bonuses, and other educational opportunities


  • You can sign up in under 5 minutes
  • There’s no required minimum investment
  • Investments are automatic
  • You earn cashback with certain purchases furthering your investments
  • Plenty of educational content for new investors
  • Investors can access Acorns on a browser or the mobile app


  • It costs money to transfer assets from Acorns if you change your mind
  • It’s easy to get comfortable investing only spare change

What is Acorns Grow?

Acorns offers plenty of educational material to teach you and help you grow as an investor in Acorn Grow. Read articles, watch videos, and use the tools to help you make the most of your money whether you’re saving, investing, or spending.

Is Acorns Safe?

Like most robo-advisors, Acorns is SIPC insured, which provides investors with coverage up to $500,000. The Acorns Spend account is also FDIC insured up to $250,000. Acorns uses bank-level security and SSL encryption.

Should you use Acorns?

If you’re looking for a micro-saving/investing platform, Acorns has a lot to offer. They make it easy to save without thinking, which many investors need. Whether you’re a first-time investor or you know you have extra money to invest but you don’t have the time to manage it, Acorns offers a user-friendly platform that takes the thinking out of investing while helping your money grow.

Whether you use Acorns to save for a rainy day fund, to buy a house, or to start your retirement fund, starting is half the battle and Acorns makes it easy.

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