What is Acorns?:
Acorns is a web/app platform that is attempting to make the barrier to investing as low as possible. The platform allows you to easily invest lump sums of money in increments of $5 or elect to turn on Automatic "Round Ups." Round ups are Acorns bread and butter, essentially the way this works is for every dollar you spend acorns will "round up" to the nearest dollar and deposit that amount into your investment account. IE. You purchase a payday bar for $1.07 Acorns would deposit .93 cents into your account.
Ease Of Use:
This application is incredibly easy to use and set up. You simply download the app from your respective app store (apple and google only) and start the set up process. To set up all you need is to create a username and password and verify your payment method. Once verified you choose your investment strategy, for new investors I recommend moderately aggressive or aggressive as those should net you the largest gains. The other options focus on maintaining wealth and dividends, a better option when closer to retirement or when you have a higher balance.
One interesting tidbit is that acorns only purchases funds in increments of $5. So your round ups will just sit until you hit $5 or more in a given period. My guess is this was done in the interest of cutting costs on Acorns side of things.
The App works great and it is easy to build up money quickly. In 1 year I was able to amass $356.16 in my account, this comes out to being a roughly 7% return. That is quite a bit better than the average savings account.
Now for the elephant in the room. Acorns charges fee's after the first month and depending on how you use the platform they can be quite overwhelming. The fee structure is fairly straight forward; $1 per month if your balance is under $5000 and .25% annually if your balance is over $5000. The $1 a month is not a perfect but in my personal use over 1 year it did not stop me from growing my money (My account increased over $22.00 vs a fee of $11), eventually your dividend payments will pay more than that fee I estimate around the $1000 level. Once you get over $5000 those fees can start to get out of control.
One nice bonus is Acorns is offering students with an .edu email address 4 years fee free!
Acorns is an easy to use platform to get started with investing, I would not recommend using it after breaking the $5000 threshold. On this site you can watch my portfolio grow and make your own determination based on that.
Thanks for reading
Easy to use
Offers Diverse ETF Investing
$1 per month is reasonable
.edu users get 4 years fee free
Fee structure above $5000 gets tough to recommend