Do you want to start investing in the stock market? Do you want your money to consistently grow? Are you held back by fear and confusion? If you answered “yes” to any of these questions, we encourage you to research a new investing app called Acorns. It’s a low risk, automated money management platform that introduces young investors to the many aspects of trading.
Acorns links your credit and/or debit accounts to the app and automatically deposits the leftover change, after rounding up to next full dollar, into a personal money management account (MMA). For example, say you spend $7.25 on a Chipotle (CMG) Burrito, as the transaction is processed, Acorns will round your credited expense to $8 and automatically deposit the $.75 difference into your MMA. The app will then invest the “spare change” into different asset classes according to your pre-assessed risk tolerance (based on an algorithm that allows users choose one of five risk categories).
To many, this may sound too good to be true. However, companies like Wealthfront have proved that algorithmic trading models, based on modern portfolio theory, generate incredible returns (often higher than human-managed funds). In fact, because of its success, Wealthfront now manages north of $1 billion.
As for Acorns, there are no commissions, no minimum account balance thresholds, and no withdrawal fees. The application charges $1 per month, in addition to a .25-.5% management fee; this is far less than the average mutual fund fee of 1.29%. During its 10-week beta trial, Acorns acquired 10,000 users, many of whom averaged $3 per day in deposits and are expected to earn 4-9% in annual returns (easily outpacing the Fed’s current 1.7% inflation rate).
As was mentioned earlier, Acorns is great for users that wish to experiment with the stock market. By investing small cash amounts, instead of large lump sums, users develop regular investment trends and will likely better monitor their portfolios over time. Users can also gain insight from Acorns’ automated allocations and gain an increased understanding of different assets, risks, and returns.