Planting the seeds of personal finance

Personal finance can be very intimidating. The amount of technical vocabulary and obscure concepts make it difficult to know where to start. In recent years, new apps and services have made this process a lot easier. When it comes to getting started with investing, there are few better places to start than Acorns.

Acorns is a tech-based financial services company that make the investment process very easy through a very usable mobile app. Once you download Acorns and create an account, you can start investing money straight away. On Acorns you can choose for your money to be invested in a number of portfolios ranging from “Very Conservative” to “Very Aggressive.” The conservative options are primarily in government bonds, while the more aggressive you go the more your money will be routed towards the stock market.

Acorns emphasizes accessibility and usability over all. It’s stand out feature is the option to “round-up.” When you have this feature enabled, Acorns will round any payments made on a linked credit card up to the nearest whole dollar amount and invest that money automatically. So say, for instance, you pay $2.50 for your morning cup of coffee, Acorns will round up to $3.00 and invest 50 cents into a portfolio.

This feature is customizable. You can set multipliers on the round up of x2, x3, or even x10. In the cup of coffee scenario, if you were to do this with x10 enabled, Acorns would still round up to the nearest whole dollar. But then it would multiply those 50 cents to a full $5. Unless you’re looking to put a lot of money into Acorns, it’s probably best to stick with x2 or x3.

What makes the round-up feature so great is that it allows you to invest without thinking about it too much. You can start putting money away by simply going about normal daily activities and don’t have to stress about it.

Acorns also comes with several analytics features that allow you to track how well your investments have done as well as visualize your earnings into the future. They also produce a lot of educational content on the app. All around, it’s a very user friendly and approachable experience.

Acorns charges a monthly subscription fee of $1/month. This can actually be pretty steep percentage-wise compared to similar funds, such as Fidelity, which have no account fees. But the more you invest in Acorns, the better value for your money you are getting. As an app designed to get younger people and beginners into saving and investing, it is certainly much better to put some of your money away passively using Acorns than not to save at all.

Learn more about Acorns here.

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