Did you know that 65% of Americans have little to no savings? We all know that we need to save and invest but doing it is a whole other story. In our Acorns review, we will look at a company that claims to offer the ability to invest with your spare change!
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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 for the long term with Acorns.
How apps like Acorns help you save
Acorns 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, with investment accounts built in. Some apps like this have tons of features such as tax-loss harvesting, debit cards, credit cards, and checking accounts.
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?
Acorns 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.
Acorns also have plenty of resources to improve your financial knowledge, including blog posts, videos, and a support center. You will have no issue using their app from start to finish because of this.
How does Acorns work?
Acorns offer 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.
Acorns Later is designed to build a retirement portfolio
Similarly, there is Acorns Later, their recommended IRA retirement account. Acorns Later make 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.
Acorns Spend helps you save and invest
The Acorns app also has their Acorns Spend package. This combines investing, saving, and spending features all into one. You even get your very own Visa card from them linked to your Acorns checking account.
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 financial institutions, as everything is done with Acorn’s sleek and heavy-duty card.
Acorns Found Money
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. Anything they find is essentially bonus investments.
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 will 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, like your email address.
You’ll then be prompted to connect your bank accounts so that they can start investing your spare change.
Acorns uses a popular fintech tool from a company named Plaid to streamline this process in a secure fashion. This tool creates a secure connection between your various savings accounts and investment accounts.
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 asset allocation 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 the Acorns app for?
Acorns is for individuals that wish to get into saving, retirement investing, and earning cash back with little to no effort. Investments and finances can be very intimidating for the new investors, meaning it is also a great app for anyone that’s afraid of the process or taking the plunge. They also provide helpful money tips along the way, like ways to increase your tax savings or spend on credit cards.
We also believe Acorns is ideal for those that don’t have a lot of time on their hands to manage a portfolio, either. Unless you’re happy with the investment advisor you already work wtih, there’s practically nobody that couldn’t benefit from using their service.
Is Acorns legit?
The last thing you want is to give an untrustworthy company your money, investments, and financial information. It’s completely normal to be skeptical of their security and a little nervous before using robo advisors or investment apps
That’s why research is a top priority, 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 overdraft fees and closed the user’s 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.
Pros 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 investment app that we saw which had their very own debit cards. Not only that, but it saves and invests for you as you use it!
- No minimum account balance: Many investment portfolio services require you to invest thousands of dollars 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.
Cons 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 customer service experience. Whether it was a lack of help, many attempts, or similar, it boiled down to trouble in that department.
- Monthly Acorns fee: While it isn’t much to pay $1, $2, etc, it’s still a management 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 investment accounts: If you plan to build up your Acorns portfolio, expect to also pay higher than average fees. These can really add up.
Wrapping up our Acorns review
Acorns is a newer app on the market and still has time to fixes its slight flaws. The bottom line, they 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 balance, 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!