acorns Archive

Acorns: An Overview

I’ve decided to take the leap and sign up with Acorns.

Intimidated to invest?  Consider signing up as well.

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What is Acorns?

Acorns helps you save & invest spare change from your everyday purchases and invest into a diversified portfolio of stocks and bonds. You can easily get started in minutes: anytime, anywhere. 

Acorns is a free mobile app that rounds up your credit and debit card purchases to the nearest dollar, then puts this digital “spare change” in an investment account. You don’t notice it happening as it is automatically done for you on every purchase, making it a hands off approach.

All you need to get started is a bank account and an Internet connection.  There is no minimum deposit or balance as well as no restrictions on withdrawals.

It is a great way to get started on investing, as Acorns simplifies the process. They have essentially removed the guesswork from the equation.

By starting small, continually adding and being patient, growth will happen automatically. All it takes is time.  

Sound simple enough? Read on 🙂

“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.”

Signing Up

Sign up is relatively simple.

You will need to answer multiple questions to create a financial profile and state your investment goals.

Make sure you have your bank and account credentials available.   You can link up as many debit and credit cards as you want.

There are five different Acorns investment portfolio options you will choose from, ranging from aggressive to conservative (aggressive, moderate, or conservative).  Each one is made up of six exchange-traded funds (ETFs) selected to achieve your portfolio objective.  These portfolio options are compiled by a team of investment analysts, mathematicians, and economists in conjunction with Nobel Prize-winning economist Harry Markowitz.

Sign up here today and receive a $5 bonus!

Round Ups

Whenever you make a purchase, Acorns “rounds up” the purchase to the next dollar and invests the change into a diversified stock portfolio. When your Round-Ups exceed $5, Acorns transfers the money from your debit/checking account to this portfolio.

Example:

Let’s say you buy a meal at McDonald’s for $6.45 using a linked credit card.   Acorns would round up to $7, with the difference of .55 (round up amount) being invested.

This would happen automatically.  However, it doesn’t have to be, as you can change the setting to be manual.  In this setting, you would manually add round ups by selecting from a list of payment transactions.

One thing of note as well is that Acorns does not cover overdraft fees for its withdrawals.

How Much Does It Cost to Use Acorns?

They charge $1 per month for balances under $5,000 or 0.25% per year for balances over $5,000.  Students and those under 24 years can use the app for free.

There are no fees on accounts with a balance of $0.

Security

Acorns has the following security features:

  • SIPC Insured Accounts – Every Acorns account is insured up to $500,000 for fraud
  • SSL Encryption – Website and app are secured with 256-bit encryption
  • Account Alerts – Users are contacted about unusual account activity
  • Bank-level Security – Secure servers and privacy verified by physical security
  • Account Safeguards -Multi-factor authentication, automatic logouts, and ID verification help prevent unauthorized access

Other Information

  • You can deposit money directly into your Acorns, account in addition to the automatic Round Ups
  • When you’re ready to withdraw your money, it’s in your account within a few days
  • Automatic rebalancing helps your account benefit from market corrections
  • You can change your risk profile at any time to be more or less aggressive

 

*NEW Feature* Found Money (Beta)

New in version 1.5.0

Shop with any of the Found Money partners, and they’ll automatically invest in your Acorns account!

You do not have to opt in – rewards will automatically be invested as long as you have a credit or debit card linked to your account.  You will need to do so in order for the Found Money partners to be alerted that you’ve purchased something from them and can promptly reward you.  Rewards will vary by brand.

This Found Money will appear in your account within thirty days of your purchase.  You can track what you’ve earned on the history screen in your Acorns app.

Check out the Found Money page in the app fore more details!

This Should Be Your Shopping Process (The Art of the Online Discount)

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As the Holiday shopping season is now in full swing, here are some tips to consider before and after checking out:

 

Online Only

Make Sure To Get Cashback (and Other Rewards)

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  •  Shopping through eBates is a great option (gives you a percentage of money back for doing so).  New members get a free $10 gift card after their first purchase through Ebates.
See if there are any promo codes available to stack on

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  • RetailMeNot is a great resource for coupon and promo codes
  • Install the Honey browser extension that will automatically search for and apply available promo codes
See if there are any free shipping offers available

  • With ShopRunner, you can get free Express Shipping at stores like Newegg, Staples, Saks Fifth Avenue, Vera Bradley, 1800Flowers and more. Sign up for a free trial now or Paypal members can score a FREE 2 Year Membership.
  • Pick up in-store
  • Free Shipping Day
Bonus tips
  • You may receive discounts or coupons from retailers just by abandoning your shopping cart
  • Use price alerts – set up notifications about Amazon price changes using tools such as camelcamelcamel
  • Chat online – ask for a lower price or inquire about promotions/discounts using a retailer’s online instant chat service

 

In Store Only

Get rewarded for simply walking into stores
  • Install the Shopkick app on your phone to view all rewards and offers
See if there are any coupons available to stack on
  • Check out Coupons.com for printable coupons, coupon codes, loyalty coupons, and more

 

Both In Store and Online

Make Sure You Are Getting The Best Price (Find The Best Deals)

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  • Use Price Grabber to search for the item you are looking to purchase (i.e. Samsung 40″ TV) or use a phone app like Red Laser
  • InvisibleHand shows a discreet notification when there are lower prices available on a product (online browser extension)
  • There are also sites like Blue Kangaroo and Cost Shredder that are great resources in helping you get the best price
Be a Follower
  • Follow your favorite retailers on Twitter, Facebook and other social networks
  • Sign up for email alerts
  • Download their mobile apps as well and sign up for text alerts
Look for discounted gift cards
  •  Sites like Raise.com (<- Get a $5 credit for using this link to sign up!) and Gyft.com offer many discounted gift cards below face value
  • eBay often has discounted gift cards available as well.  Here is one example: eBay Gift Card
  • Swagbucks has introduced a new site called MyGiftCardsPlus that will give you SBs for buying gift cards
Choose the best method of payment
  • Many credit cards companies offer cash back on purchases, so it may be wise to use them depending on the situation / circumstances
    • One example is the Barclaycard Rewards MasterCard (1% cashback)
  • Consider store credit cards as well — Store Credit Cards That Are Worth It
  • If shopping at Target, use your REDCard to save an extra 5% + Free Shipping (on order $25+)
    • Speaking of shipping, choose “Ship to Store” to save money if that option is available
Once your shopping is done…
  • Open your Ibotta phone app to find additional rebates for anything you bought
    • Keep your receipts! There are a number of apps that will pay you for a photo of your receipts, such as Yaarlo and Receipt Hog.
  • If you buy something and it goes on sale later, Paribus automatically works to get you money back
  • Link your credit card to Acorns to invest spare change automatically into a diversified portfolio

 

Are there any steps in the process I am missing that should be noted? Comment below!

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