Key Lessons From Acorns

I hope this Wednesday finds you in jovial spirits, especially as we almost say goodbye to August.

Thank you for all your positive feedback on my last post on Betterment. I’m encouraged by your commitment to finding out whether the site works, or not, for you. Your thirst for more commentary on other experiments that I’ve tried inspires today’s post. As such, I want to share a few takeaways from my experience with Acorns, which allows you to invest your spare change. As you might imagine, it’s ethos – “Anyone can grow wealth” – resonates well with me.

If you’re not familiar with Acorns, let me break it down for you. In short, Acorns allows you to make automatic daily, weekly and monthly investments. With its ‘Round-Ups’ feature, every purchase you make can become an investment into a portfolio that has been created with exchange traded funds (ETFs) - if you need a refresher on ETFs, check out my video. Specifically, this is how a Round-Up works – if I spend $4.35 on a bottle of lotion (I like my skin moisturized), Round-Up will take $0.65 (which is the difference between $1 and the $0.35 extra change), and keep track of each Round-Up until my total Round-Ups are greater than $5.00. After my total exceeds $5, Acorns will automatically transfer the money to my Acorns account and invest the money into a portfolio of ETFs, which you will chose when you set-up the account. And, when your portfolio moves with the market, Acorns rebalances it so that you can stay on track. As such, the Acorns platform allows you to invest without thinking about it, and funds these investments when you spend money via a debit or credit card.

I joined the Acorns platform three years ago this month, and since that time, I’ve only used the ]Round-Up feature. In three year’s time, I’ve been able to stock away over $1,300, including $139 in market gains from the actual investment performance. So, on average, I put in approximately $1.20 per day from the extra change on my purchases. Not bad, right? You may be thinking – Charisse, that’s not a lot of money. Well, that’s all a matter of perspective.

Let me ask you this – would you actively put away a set amount of money every day from your spare change on your own? Probably not!   

I look at my Acorns account as more of a savings account than makes it easy for me to have some play money from my everyday debit card spending habits. Yes, it makes a little money from the market, but the real value is the automatic withdrawal into a separate account. And, I think the concept is cool because I can see exactly what purchase contribute to my stash.

What’s your story? If you also use Acorns, share your experience in the comments below.

Do you want to try Acorns out? Try it here as a friend of mine – we both $5! Yipppeeee!

Finally, here are my favorite articles over the last few weeks:

Latest Round of Stock Volatility Adds to August Turbulence – market swings continue, it’s par for the course!

A Popeyes Chicken Sandwich and a Tactic to Set Off a Twitter Roar – we’ll see how the new Popeye sandwich affects the competition.

4 Money Management Tools for Parent Entrepreneurs – Check out this advice for yourself or share it with your parent entrepreneurs.

Have a wonderful upcoming Labor Day!