Acorns Review: An Investment App That Grows Your Spare Change (2019)
Did you know that 65% of American’s have little to no savings? We all know that we need to save and invest but doing it is a whole other story.
Wouldn't it be nice if there was an inexpensive way to get started? In our Acorns review we will look at a company that claims to offer the ability to invest with your spare change!
There are many investing and money apps on the market. It can be difficult to determine which ones you can trust and if they’re worthwhile.
Keep reading if you want to learn how to save money with Acorn.
How apps like Acorns help you save
Acorn is a bit different than the money apps we’ve reviewed so far. It’s not just a cash back app, but rather an entire financial suite.
It puts away money automatically, tracks your finances, and makes you a smarter person financially. Let’s dig a better deeper into how this app works exactly.
What is Acorns?
Acorn is a mobile investing app that helps you save money, invest, and become a better spender. They are backed by two Nobel Prize economists, world-class economists, and other notable financial advisors.
They are one of the first services that help users like you micro-invest, retire easier, and earn cash back all from your phone. It doesn’t get any easier than that.
Here are some of just a few of the amazing people that make this a reality.
How does Acorns work?
Acorns offers a few different features, the first of which is Acorns Core, an investment management service. It particularly helps you with micro-investing, and more than $1 billion has been invested through their program so far. You can invest spare change into an affordable and diverse portfolio with just a few minutes of your time.
Here’s an example of a conservative portfolio that they will help you put together.
For the more risky investors, Acorns also has moderately aggressive and aggressive options, like below.
Similarly, there is Acorns Later, their recommended IRA that makes saving for retirement a breeze. You can set a recurring contribution, making it set-and-forget.
It will slowly compound, and you’ll be blown away by how much it adds up to eventually. For $2/month, it’s a no brainer! There are also tax advantages to having an IRA, and Acorns will help find the perfect one based on your individual financial goals.
This investing app also has their Acorns Spend package. This combines the investing, saving, and spending features all into one. You even get your very own Visa card from them.
When you shop with this debit card, it automatically puts money away and invests for you at the same time. You don’t have to connect your bank account or other institutions, as everything is done with Acorns sleek and heavy duty card.
Now, Acorns does have a cash back feature, but with a twist. It’s called Acorns Found Money®, and is partnered up with many different companies. These include Airbnb, Barnes & Noble, Dollar Shave Club, Nike, and more. When you shop through their partners, money is automatically invested and saved.
Here are some of their partners.
Signing up for Acorns
If you want to give Acorns a try, signing up couldn't be easier. First go to their homepage and click the "Sign Up" button in the top right.
Acorns well then take you through a series of account set up screens. They've really done everything they can to simplify this process, getting the whole done in four steps. In the first step you'll provide some personal information to establish your account.
You'll then be prompted to connect your bank account, so that they can start investing your change. Acorns uses a popular fintech tool from a company named Plaid to streamline this process in a secure fashion.
The next step you'll provide some additional personal information that Acorns uses to make sure you are who you say you are. When it comes to investing online, security is extremely important.
Finally Acorns will show you the portfolio strategy they will be using to invest your change. Depending on your risk profile it may change. I chose the conservative option so I ended up with a healthy mix of stocks and bonds.
Who is Acorns for?
Acorns is for individuals that wish to get into saving, investing, and earning cash back with little to no effort. Investments and finances can be very intimidating, meaning it is also a great app for anyone that’s afraid of the process or taking the plunge.
We also believe it’s ideal for those that don’t have a lot of times on their hands to manage a portfolio, either. Unless you’re happy with who you already invest with, there’s practically nobody that couldn’t benefit from using their service.
Is Acorns legit?
The last thing you want is giving an untrustworthy company your money and financial information. It’s completely normal to be skeptical and a little nervous before using an investment app.
That’s why research is crucial, and we analyzed Acorns Better Business Bureau page to investigate their history.
Acorns unfortunately only scored an “F” rating, which as you could guess is not good. The Better Business Bureau determines ratings by advertising practices, customer service, complaints, licensing, and a large number of other factors. You can read into how the BBB ranks companies more in their overview guide.
Furthermore, they only received two out of five stars over 14 customer service reviews. This is what one customer had to say.
This user claims that they experienced several issues with the round-ups feature, with Acorns blaming their bank. No action was taken by the users' bank, yet it started working as intended shortly later. This could have been a simple bug with the app, however.
Acorns also refused to refund the monthly service fee and closed the users account without permission. You have to remember that you are agreeing to a company’s terms of service when you use their product, so they are technically able to do this, although it wouldn’t be fun.
Another user had similar complaints, but a much more positive tone to their Acorns review.
Once again, customer service was the issue. This user, in particular, had to contact five different customer service representatives before their issue was solved. Kudos to their patience, but besides that, they enjoyed using the app and nailed it by saying that these apps are startups -- they have plenty of room to grow, bugs to fix, and aren’t going to be perfect.
Overall, Acorns is a legitimate company, but it does appear that they have a poor customer service track record.
Advantages of Acorns
During our Acorns review, there were certain features that stood out to us the most, which were:
It’s hands-off: Acorns helps you save money, invest, and earn cash back with little to no effort. All of these processes can take time and be intimidating to the average person, so it’s a very well rounded and effective app.
A unique debit card: Acorns is the first cash back app that we saw which had their very own debit card not. Not only that, but it saves and invests for you as you use it!
No minimum: Many investment services require you to invest thousands or more to begin investing. That can be overbearing for many people, so it’s nice that Acorns allows you to put in as much money as you’re comfortable with.
Disadvantages of Acorns
Acorns isn’t perfect. These are some disadvantages we found while using their service:
Poor customer service: All of the negative reviews we researched always related to a customer service experience. Whether it was a lack of help, many attempts, or similar, it boiled down to trouble in that department.
Monthly fee: While it isn’t much to pay $1, $2, etc, it’s still a fee that you have to pay. All of the other money apps we’ve reviewed so far were free, so it is a slight drawback.
Higher fees for large accounts: If you plan to build up your Acorns portfolio, expect to also pay higher than average fees. These can really add up.
Is Acorns worth your time?
Acorns is a newer app on the market and still has time to fixes its slight flaws. It will help you save and earn all at once. Not many apps can boast that.
It’s easy to use and made to be as passive as possible. There’s no set minimum investment, and you determine how much to put in at once or as a recurring payment.
Our Acorns review didn't find everything to be so great though. Their customer service track record isn’t the best, but that isn’t an outlier. Many of the apps and websites we’ve reviewed don’t always have the best ratings in the customer support department but still excelled overall. It's just something that comes with the territory for many digitally focused companies.
Have you had any good or bad experiences with Acorns? Leave a comment below and let us know!