Acorns Investing Review

Acorns Investing Review

8 min read

Acorns Investing Review: Looking to invest your spare change with Acorns? Well, we’ll explore the robo-advisor concept of micro-investing and how it can work for you. Touted as the new millennial investing strategy, the acorns investing app strives to simplify the process for the up-and coming investors. Instead of throwing your loose change in a piggy bank, let acorns invest some extra pennies for you. Note this app is geared towards investing, so day traders need not apply (unless you want to invest as well!)

Jeff Cruttenden, 28, came up with the idea for the business in 2011 while he was a student in Portland, Oregon. “So many of my friends talked about investing all the time, [but] they literally had nothing,” he said.

Finally his dream to make investing accessible to everyone came true and the Acorns app was launched on August 26th, 2014. Ever since people have been letting acorns invest spare change in an automated way. Set it and forget it.

“People generally associate investing with lots of dollars,” said Jeff Cruttenden, co-founder and CEO of Acorns. “Once [people] find out that you can invest spare change, it’s a really attractive concept.”

Not surprisingly, millennial’s make up the majority of it’s user base. As of May 2018, it had more than 3.5 million users. So many of our peers are interested in growing their bank account, we simply had to write an acorns app review.

Acorns Investing Website

What Is Acorn Investing?

The Acorns Investing app encourages you to invest your spare change from debit and credit card purchases using a system they call “round-ups. It sweeps excess change from every purchase using a linked account into an investment portfolio.

There are three levels of service which we will get into below:

  • Core
  • Later
  •  A checking account called Spend

Investing in a Core account lets you put a minimum of $5 to work by purchasing a set of diversified exchange-traded funds (ETFs).  For $1 per month, Acorns Core automatically transfers money to your account, based on your preferences. The app rounds up to the nearest $1 and gives you the option to transfer that change into an investment portfolio.

For example, if you buy a coffee for $4.75, the app rounds up to $5.00 and automatically invest $.25. Once the roundups reach $5, it withdraws the money and invests in a personalized stock portfolio. What’s more, you can attach a credit card or a PayPal account to your portfolio.

How Is This App Different?

Everything is automated, no minimums, no trade fees, only $1, $2 or $3 until you have $1 million invested. There’s support when you need it. What’s more, it’s free for college students with a valid .edu email address. 

You can apply a multiplier to your roundups as well to save more. So, a $0.25 roundup turns into $2.50. Which means at the end of the month, the app invests about 30% of your income.

In my opinion, it’s a great way to save for the long term using acorns investing app.

The mobile app gives you a complete view of your account and how you can change your future buy investing more. Acorns Later customers, you can now allocate One-Time Contributions to the 2018 or 2019 tax years! Just tap “Invest for your future,” then “Later,” and select the “One-Time” button at the top of your screen.

Acorns Investing Spare Change

What Are Acorns Fees? (Pricing Review)

At a glance the fees seem reasonable. In fact, if you’re looking to open a Acorns Lite is $1 a month. Additionally, the Acorns Personal is $3 a month. This also includes the investment and retirement accounts as well as a checking account. Compared to traditional management, mutual funds, and do it yourself exchange traded funds, this fee is incredibly low. Acorns Family is $5 a month.

Get updated pricing here.

Acorns Debit Card

Let’s review the Acorns debit card feature in this review. If you spend more you invest more and the % Acorn takes goes down. At 100 transactions per month with an average of $.25 per transaction, you’ll invest $25 the first month and give 4% to Acorns. At 150 transactions, you’re investing $37.50 and giving almost 2.7% to Acorns. On the other hand, if you only make 50 transactions a month with an average of $.025 rounded up, you’re only investing $12.50 a month. This means they take away 8% of your investment portfolio in your first month. Check out a list of the top .

The Competition

Typically other robo-advisors out there charge a percentage of your assets they manage. For example, competitors like Wealthfront and Betterment charge a 0.25% management fee. Furthermore, Wealthfront has a $500 account minimum, effectively excluding those with little money to invest.

Canadian robo-advisor Wealthsimple has relatively higher fees of up to .50%, but also offer a human touch. Wealthsimple charges a .40 – .50% account management fee. In contrast, they charge a flat fee of $1, $2 or $3 which is rare.

Is Acorns a Good Investment?

Acorns is a good investment app if you’re just starting out. It’s a great way to invest your spare change from debit or credit card purchases. This is not the right strategy to use to prepare for retirement or build wealth.

Similar to other robo-advisors, they take the investing decisions out of the hands of the user. Like any investing company/service, you need to answer a series of questions to determine which portfolio is best for you.

They let users choose between five different portfolios on a scale of conservative to aggressive. Users answer basic questions about investment goals and risk preferences; which determine what portfolio their change goes into.

On the other hand, the portfolios are smaller than the average robo-advosor ones. They’re made up of low-cost iShares and Vanguard exchange-traded funds that cover just five to seven asset classes. They range from real estate, large-cap stocks (domestic and international), small-cap stocks, emerging markets, and corporate and government bonds.

If that feels too restrictive, you might prefer to build your own portfolio without the help of a service like Acorns. 


By simply downloading their free app and linking it to your Acorns Spend debit card, you can spend, save and invest all at the same time.  Think long term! Acorns offers an easy way to manage your money and investments.

The app rounds up your purchases on linked credit or debit cards, then sweeps the change into a computer-managed investment portfolio. That approach is certainly a useful tool to save more — especially with the launch of retirement accounts, called Acorns Later.

Furthermore, Acorns Spend offers real-time roundups to your investment or retirement account, mobile check deposits, free ATMs (or reimbursed ATM fees), and requires no minimum balance.

Acorns Spend Review

Really, what’s better than cash back? If you aren’t earning cashback for what you buy, you are missing an opportunity. When you shop with Found Money partners, they’ll automatically invest in your Acorns Core account! Cash forward is the new cash back.

This app has linked with over 200 companies – including Airbnb, Barnes & Nobel, Groupon, Lyft, Macy’s, Nike, Sephora, Walmart

You simply shop with the Acorns credit or debit card that you’ve linked to your Acorns Core account.

Found Money will appear in your account within 60-120 days of your purchase. You will be able to see the status of your Found Money in the history screen in your app.

Does Acorns Actually Make You Money?

You absolutely can make money using the Acorns app. The more spare change that you invest the more you will make.

Spare Change Highlights

  • $0 to open account; $5 required to start investing
  • Core is free for college students
  • No commission
  • No overdraft or minimum account fees, unlimited free or fee-reimbursed ATMs nationwide
  • Up to $250,000 fraud protection
  • Phone, email and in-app chat support
  • ETFs from 7 asset classes available
  • Exchange-traded fund expense ratios average 0.10%
  • You can now open IRA accounts


  • Human financial adviser not available
  • Forced to choose from their five default portfolios
  • Not ideal if you have less than 50 transactions a month
  • Only available to US citizens

Who Is Acorns Best For?

  • Hands off investors
  • College students
  • People who struggle to save
  • Would-be investors with little money to invest

Acorns Investing Stock Price and Symbol: Are They Publicly Traded?

Investors cannot purchase shares of Acorns Investing because the company is privately held.

Acorns Investing Review Bottom Line

I’m 100% behind any tool that automates savings. Their approach is particularly advantageous for college students who don’t have much change to spare.

The downside? At small balances, the apps fees can cut into or completely wipe away investment returns. So be aware of this. Compounding really is the 8th wonder of the world and in 4 years of collecting spare change, it can really add up! Quite frankly, if you want to make the most of your spare change and get the occasional retailer kickback, there’s really no better place to do that.

I hope we answered your question about what is acorns investing and that you guys enjoyed this Acorns investing app review. The bottom line is this app is a great way to build a nest egg and you should let acorns invest spare change for you to make it simple.

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