What is Acorns?

Concept of Acorns app and Acorns debit card.
Acorns takes willpower out of the equation.

Acorns is an investing service and savings tool rolled into one.

When you make a purchase, Acorns automatically rounds the price up to the nearest dollar and places the excess — the coins that would wind up in your pocket if you were paying cash — into a diversified investment portfolio.

Let’s say you purchase a doughnut for $2.30. Before you’re done licking the sugar off your fingers, Acorns will round the amount to $3.00 and invest the 70 cent difference for you. That’s all there is to it.

Saving 70 cents or less at a time may not seem like much, but just remember that $2.50 worth of daily round-ups adds up to $900 per year — and that’s before counting all of the additional gains you could make in the market.

Signing up for Acorns takes less than five minutes, and you can choose between two account types that won’t cost you more than five bucks a month.

Plus, if you sign up with this special link, Acorns will add $10 to your account as soon as you make your first investment.

How does Acorns invest my money?

A view of the Acorns app showing roundups

Acorns offers five different automated portfolios you can invest in. Based on your unique financial goals and tolerance for risk, the app will recommend the portfolio that’s best suited for you.

And Acorns’ investment accounts aren’t just your average work of algorithmic wizardry. They were put together with assistance from the very human, very Nobel Prize-winning economist Harry Markowitz.

At the same time, they’ve been designed to automatically rebalance as the market changes, which means you shouldn’t need to panic about your investments the next time the New York Stock Exchange is in the headlines. You don’t have to pay trading fees, either.

Just keep using your card like you normally would, and feel good about the fact that your “spare change” is now going toward something more rewarding than your next coffee.

Juice your portfolio

A view of the Acorns
Earn partners with nearly 10,000 retailers to give you a percentage of your purchase, to be automatically invested.

While Acorns has no minimum deposit, you can always boost your portfolio faster by setting up recurring deposits and investing as much as you like every month.

You can also increase your savings by using one of Acorns’ Round Up Multipliers, which increase the amount of “change” you invest on every purchase. For example, if you choose a 2X multiplier and then purchase a hot dog for $2.50, the 50 cents Acorns would normally save and invest for you would become $1. Whatever multiplier you choose can be turned on or off with a few taps on your phone.

The Acorns Earn program can boost your portfolio, too. When you use the app or add the extension to your Google Chrome browser, you’ll unlock bonus offers from tons of popular brands, like Walmart or The Home Depot. Each time you buy, you’ll receive money back that gets automatically invested in your Acorns account.

And if you’re saving for retirement — as we all should be — there’s Acorns Later, which puts your spare change into an IRA instead of a regular investment account.

9.5 million users and counting

A person using the Acorns app at night.

If you’ve been thinking about investing but you’re still feeling wary about the state of the stock market, Acorns could be the perfect place to start.

Millions of people have already used the app to turn their spare change into real money-making investment portfolios. Don’t let them have all the fun.

Sign up today. Not only will you get an easy new way to invest, you’ll also collect that $10 bonus just for getting started. Where your savings go from there is up to you.

About the Author

Clayton Jarvis

Clayton Jarvis


Clayton Jarvis is a mortgage reporter at MoneyWise. Prior to joining the MoneyWise team, Clay wrote for and edited a variety of real estate publications, including Canadian Real Estate Wealth, Real Estate Professional, Mortgage Broker News, Canadian Mortgage Professional, and Mortgage Professional America.

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