Acorns Review 2024 - Passive Investing Made Easy

Discover the ease and convenience of investing with Acorns, one of the best passive investing apps for beginners. Learn how it works and why it's perfect for those looking to start their investment journey.

Imagine tossing your spare change into a piggy bank that not only saves your money but also invests it for you.
Acorns
Acorns
★★★★☆ | 4.6 / 5
 
Easy-To-Use
Beginner Friendly
Pre-built Portfolios
Limited Investment Options
 
With Acorns you have a versatile investing app that’s easy to use, invests your spare change, and offers personalized portfolios to take the guesswork out of picking stocks.
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Acorns is an easy-to-use investing app that focuses on automation and simplifying the investing process.
With its user-friendly interface, it can be an ideal option for the beginner investor who might be intimidated by more complex investment platforms.

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Key Takeaways

  • Automated Investing: Acorns automates investing by using spare change from daily purchases to build a diversified portfolio.
  • Easy-to-Use App: The platform is tailored for beginner investors with a simple setup and educational resources to ease the learning curve.
  • Low Minimum: A small $5 minimum investment is required to begin, making it accessible for users to start saving and investing seamlessly.
Try Acorns, and get a special sign-up bonus here.
Try Acorns, and get a special sign-up bonus here.

What Is Acorns?

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As a robo-advisor, Acorns simplifies the investment process by investing the spare change from your everyday purchases, automating your investment portfolio, and using extremely easy-to-understand terminology.
At its core, Acorns is an investment platform that makes it easy and affordable for beginners to get started passively investing in the stock market.
The app links to your existing bank account and debit cards, automatically investing the spare change from your everyday purchases.
Those funds are then automatically invested into a diversified portfolio that is customized for you based on your risk tolerance and investment goals.
Acorns also lets you make one-time investments as well as set up recurring investments to further automate the investing process.

How Does Acorns Work?

Acorns is available on iOS, Android, and desktop. Getting started with the app is pretty straightforward. From the moment you join Acorns, you’ll notice it’s a pretty intuitive platform and is easy to navigate throughout the app.
As a new Acorns user, you’ll be prompted to choose from one of their 5 pre-made investment portfolios based on your personal risk tolerance and investment timeline. They have portfolios ranging from:
  • Conservative
  • Moderately Conservative
  • Moderate
  • Moderately Aggressive
  • Aggressive
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Each portfolio is composed of varying percentages of exchange-traded funds (ETFs) and index funds that align with your financial goals.
The real power of Acorns comes from all its built-in investing automation features.

Acorns Best Features

Round-Ups

As with all robo-advisors, Acorns makes investing easy by handling the process for you. One of their signature features is called Round-Ups.
Picture turning your spare change into a growing investment — this is exactly what Acorns does with its Round-Ups feature.
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With Acorns Round-Ups you simply link a debit or credit card to the app, and each time you make a purchase, Acorns rounds up your purchase to the nearest dollar and invests the difference for you.
Let’s say you bought a sandwich for $5.50. Acorns would automatically round that up to $6 and invest the $0.50 difference into your Acorns portfolio.
Once your spare change adds up to $5 Acorns transfers the money into your account.

Recurring Investments

In addition to Round-Ups, you can also set up recurring investments where you can link your bank account and have Acorns automatically invest your money for you.
Whether you prefer weekly, bi-weekly, or monthly, you have full control over the frequency and the amount you want to invest.
For example, you could have $50 transferred each time you get paid. Or you could invest lump sums (as little as $5 at a time) whenever you choose.
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Portfolio Rebalancing

With automated portfolio rebalancing, Acorns makes it easy to maintain a diversified portfolio without having to do all the work yourself.
It monitors your account regularly and rebalances your investments to keep your portfolio properly balanced for your financial goals.
Automatic portfolio rebalancing takes the guesswork out of trying to time the market or over-manage your portfolio.

Dividend Reinvesting

Another helpful feature is their dividend reinvestment plan (DRIP). With Acorns, if you receive dividends (recurring payouts) from your investments, they are automatically reinvested back into your Acorns portfolio.
While you can turn this feature off, leaving Acorns’ automatic dividend reinvestments turned on can be a great way to grow your investments over time with compound interest.

Fractional Shares

Acorns makes investing accessible for beginners by letting you invest in fractional shares of their Exchange-Traded Funds.
Many ETFs can cost hundreds of dollars for just one share. By letting you invest in a "fraction" of a share you can start investing in Acorns ETFs and funds without needing to buy a full share.
Acorns offers fractional shares on both new investments and reinvested dividends.
This feature is essential for new investors who may only have a few dollars to invest because it allows you to start investing today—even if you don't have a lot of money to start with.

Acorns Earn

In addition to their automated investing features, Acorns also offers a pretty generous cashback program inside the app called Acorn Earn.
With Acorns Earn, Acorns has partnered with hundreds of major online and local retailers, merchants, and restaurants. They even have a Chrome extension to earn you cashback when you make purchases on your browser.
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But unlike most traditional cashback programs, not only do you earn cashback on your everyday purchases, but that cashback is then automatically invested for you straight into your Acorns portfolio.
As you explore Acorns Earn you'll see that Acorns typically invests anywhere from 1-10% of your purchases back into your account automatically.
With the ability to earn and invest cashback from major brands like Chevron, Amazon, and Uber Eats, it's another easy way to automate your investing and grow your portfolio over time.

User Experience

When you first dive into the Acorns app, you will find that the app is designed with simplicity in mind.
The app comes with a clean and easy-to-navigate interface with all the necessary information right in front of you. You can easily track your investment portfolio anytime through the app or on their desktop website.
There is even a section in the app called Acorns Learn where you can find quick and easy-to-follow educational guides on investing, saving, and personal finance.
The user interface makes Acorns an extremely beginner-friendly platform for those who are just starting out investing as well as those who already have some financial knowledge under their belts.

Acorns Investment Portfolios

When you invest with Acorns, you're looking at a variety of investment portfolios tailored to your financial goals.
Acorns currently offers five pre-built and diversified portfolios to invest in:
  • Conservative: Heavy on safer assets like government and corporate bonds
  • Moderately Conservative: A balanced mix with a tilt towards bonds
  • Moderate: Equal parts stocks and bonds, for those who enjoy a balanced diet
  • Moderately Aggressive: Skews towards stocks, for a bit more excitement
  • Aggressive: Largely stocked with domestic and international stocks
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Each of these portfolios invests in exchange-traded funds. ETFs are diversified groups of stocks bundled together in a single investment to help lower the risk of individual stock exposure.
Each ETF is composed of hundreds of stocks in major companies to help give you instant diversification.
Because Acorns portfolios are already pre-built and diversified, you don’t have to worry about actively trading stocks, researching companies, or constantly managing your portfolio.
And within each of Acorns' portfolios is a breakdown of what percentage of each dollar is being invested into different parts of the stock market, including:
  • 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
In addition to stocks, bonds, and real estate, Acorns also lets you add some Bitcoin exposure to your portfolio.
With their Bits of Bitcoin feature, you can choose to invest a small percentage of your portfolio in Bitcoin by investing in a Bitcoin-linked ETF.
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While Acorns doesn’t currently offer the ability to invest in individual stocks on their standard plans, they have recently added the ability to invest in individual stocks with their premium subscription. We'll get more into pricing in just a bit.
For those who want their investments to reflect their values, Acorns also offers optional ESG portfolios that focus on environmental, social, and governance criteria.

Minimum Investment Required

Starting an investment account can seem like it requires a significant amount, but Acorns keeps it super simple and affordable.
There's no minimum account balance required to open an Acorns account—which makes it great for those looking to enter the stock market without needing a lot of cash upfront.
When you're ready to start investing, you can start investing with Acorns with just $5. That's an incredibly low bar for entry and makes Acorns one of the most accessible stock market investing apps out there.
Try Acorns, and get a special sign-up bonus here.
Try Acorns, and get a special sign-up bonus here.

Acorns Account Types

Whether you’re an individual seeking to grow your wealth over time through an individual investment account or a parent planning for your child's future, Acorns has accounts tailored for everyone.
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Acorns Invest

Acorns Invest is their individual (taxable) investment account that includes their pre-built and diversified portfolios with automated investing and portfolio rebalancing.
This is a non-retirement account, meaning you can withdraw funds at any time without restriction if you ever need to.

Acorns Later

For those looking for retirement saving options, Acorns also offers tax-advantaged retirement accounts, called IRAs or (Individual Retirement Accounts). Acorns offers 3 different types of IRAs:
  • Traditional IRA
  • Roth IRA
  • SEP IRA
Unlike Acorns Taxable investment accounts, Acorns Later retirement accounts offer tax benefits. With these plans, you can save pre-tax or post-tax money towards your retirement goals.
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Acorns Later retirement accounts provide all the same diversified portfolios and investing automation features as their taxable investing account.

Acorns Early

Imagine giving a head start to the kids in your life. Acorns Early is a custodial account where you can kickstart your child’s investment journey as it grows with them.
Available to Acorns Premium subscribers, these are known as UTMA/UGMA accounts which allow you to transfer these custodial investment accounts to your children when they become legal adults.
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Unlike a 529 plan that can only be used for educational expenses, a UTMA/UGMA is more flexible on how the money can be spent. You can use the funds for anything that benefits the child.
Once the child reaches the age of transfer, usually 18 or 21, they become the account’s owner and can use the money for any reason.
Like Acorns’ other accounts, you only need $5 to get started with Acorns Early.

Acorns Banking

Acorns also brings mobile banking to the app with their mobile banking checking account. Acorns Banking is an integrated checking account that has no hidden fees, no overdraft fees, and no minimum balance fees.
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 Acorns investing account.
One of the benefits of using your Acorns Visa debit card is that it instantly invests your spare change with Real-Time Round-Ups. There's no more waiting for Round-Ups® to hit $5.
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When you use your Acorns Visa debit card your spare change gets instantly invested, so it has even more time to grow.
In addition to their debit card, Acorns Smart Deposit gives you the option to have Acorns automatically invest a piece of each paycheck into your Acorns Investment account.
You can choose how much to invest, starting at 1%, and change it at any time. Together, having Acorns Banking and Acorns Investment portfolios in one app makes Acorns a pretty versatile platform.

Is Acorns Legit?

When it comes to investing your hard-earned funds, one of the key questions you need to ask is if an investment platform is safe to use.

Is Acorns Safe?

Yes, 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 for cash.
SIPC insurance is investor protection for investment brokerages. Being a member of SIPC adds a layer of trustworthiness and regulation to your investments.
Additionally, as a platform regulated by the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA), Acorns must follow strict regulations designed to protect investors, adding another level of security to your transactions.
Acorns Checking accounts are FDIC-insured up to $250,000.

Is Acorns Worth It?

Acorns offers you risk-appropriate, low-cost investment portfolio options for a flat monthly fee.
Whether Acorns is worth those few bucks a month depends on how much you value the convenience and the gentle nudge toward building your savings.

Acorns Pricing And Plans

Acorns offers three pricing plans.
First up, is their core Personal plan. For just $3 per month, it includes an investment account, a checking account, and a retirement account.
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Their next plan is the Personal Plus plan for $5 per month, where you get everything in the Personal plan plus access to Acorns’ Mighty Oak Banking.
This is an enhanced banking account that lets you grow your money with 3.00% APY on Checking and 5.00% APY on your Emergency Fund. It also includes a tungsten metal Mighty Oak Visa debit card.
For those who are thinking about family financial planning, there's the Premium plan.
For $9 per month, it comes with everything in the Personal Plus plan, with the added ability to customize your portfolio with individual stocks. It also includes the addition of Acorns custodial investment accounts for your kids.
Personal: $3/month
  • Investment Account
  • Checking Account
  • Retirement Account (Roth or Traditional IRA)
Personal Plus: $5/month
  • Investment Account
  • Checking Account
  • Retirement Account (Roth or Traditional IRA)
Premium: $9/month
  • Investment Account
    • Ability to invest in individual stocks
  • Checking Account
  • Retirement Account (Roth or Traditional IRA)
  • Custodial Accounts for kids
  • Banking Accounts for kids
Acorns operates on a flat-fee model. Whether you’re investing $5 or $5,000, the monthly fee stays the same.
As a result, their subscription plans can feel steep on smaller balances, but as your investments grow, the fixed-fee amount becomes a diminishing fraction of your portfolio.

Pros

Easy-to-use app
Automated investment portfolios
Invests your spare change
Simple interface for beginners
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The Acorns investing app is a great option for beginner investors or anyone who wants to get started with investing but is intimidated by the process.
The low barrier to entry means that you can start investing with as little as $5, and their “spare-change” savings tool makes it easy to set up automated investments.
Additionally, the Acorns Earn cash-back rewards program allows you to further automate investments from your everyday purchases and their integrated mobile banking account makes it a very versatile app.
Overall, the Acorns app is ideal for beginners, more passive investors, and those who want an easy way to set automated investment strategies without having to worry about managing their portfolios.

Cons

Limited investment options compared to other investment apps
No tax-loss harvesting - a tax-saving strategy offered by some robo-advisors
The monthly subscription can be somewhat expensive for small account balances
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While Acorns can be great for those who want a more hands-off approach to investing, it may not be as ideal for those who want more control over customizing their portfolio with individual stocks.
Because Acorns is a robo-advisor with pre-built portfolios, you won't have much control over customizing your portfolio beyond what they offer.
While Acorns' automatic portfolio rebalancing is a blessing for passive investors, it may not be as ideal for active stock traders or more active investors. Acorns is built for passive investing and diversified portfolios.

Who is Acorns Ideal For?

Acorns is ideal for new investors and passive investors who don’t want to worry about actively managing their portfolios.
It’s beginner-friendly, easy to use, and adapts to multiple financial goals.
For the hands-off investors who prefer other hobbies over analyzing stocks, Acorns' robo-advisor manages your investments for you with ease.

Sign-Up Bonus

Everyday Investing readers can claim a special sign-up bonus when signing up for Acorns here.
From my years of testing several investing apps, Acorns is one of the most simple to use for passive investing and beginners.
Try Acorns, and get a special sign-up bonus here.
Try Acorns, and get a special sign-up bonus here.

Acorns Alternatives

If you prefer more control over customizing your investments, let's talk about some competitors that might fit your investment style better.
M1 Finance: M1 is a comprehensive investment platform that offers a unique blend of automated investing and individual customization, allowing you to invest in fractional shares of stocks and ETFs.
M1 Finance: M1 is a comprehensive investment platform that offers a unique blend of automated investing and individual customization, allowing you to invest in fractional shares of stocks and ETFs.
SoFi Invest: SoFi Invest is an versatile investing app offering a variety of investment options, including stocks, ETFs, and even cryptocurrencies, allowing you to diversify your portfolio to suit your goals and risk tolerance.
SoFi Invest: SoFi Invest is an versatile investing app offering a variety of investment options, including stocks, ETFs, and even cryptocurrencies, allowing you to diversify your portfolio to suit your goals and risk tolerance.
Public.com: Public.com is a social investing platform that offers a unique way to invest in stocks and ETFs while allowing you to follow your friends and discover new investment ideas.
Public.com: Public.com is a social investing platform that offers a unique way to invest in stocks and ETFs while allowing you to follow your friends and discover new investment ideas.
Here’s a quick recap to keep things simple:
Platform
Features
Who it's for
Acorns
Automated tools, invest spare change
Hands-off investors
M1 Finance
Smart portfolios, fractional shares
Passive investors
SoFi Invest
Direct Indexing, automated investing
Passive investors
Public.com
Commission-free trades, community
Active investors

Final Thoughts

With Acorns, your long-term financial goals can become more achievable. It's like planting seeds without needing to remember to water them; the app does the nurturing for you.
Your investment strategy doesn't have to be complex. Acorns keeps things sweet and simple, meshing it with your daily life.
If you’re ready to start investing, you can sign up for Acorns here.
If you’re ready to start investing, you can sign up for Acorns here.