The Acorns App Turns Your Loose Change Into Financial Investments

The popular US finance app Acorns is now available in Australia. Like the nut it is named after, the app takes something small -- your leftover change -- and attempts to grow it into something much bigger. This is achieved by automatically investing the money into a diversified portfolio of exchange traded funds (ETFs) whenever you make an online purchase. Here's how it works.

The idea behind Acorns is pretty genius: once activated, the app automatically rounds up digital transactions to the nearest dollar when you make a purchase on credit or debit card. This virtual "spare change" is then allocated into one of five self-selected diversified portfolios. It's essentially a starter app for first-time players in the stock market.

The five portfolios on offer range from conservative to aggressive with users paying an annual flat fee of $15 for accounts holding less than $5000. All data is stored securely on a remote server with bank-level security and data encryption.

According to Acorns managing director George Lucas (no, not the Star Wars creator), the key strength of his service is the elimination of the high start-up costs normally associated with investing.

“The ethos behind Acorns is using technology to make it easier for people to save and invest," Lucas explained. "The app is perfect for those who know little about investing or don’t know how to start.

"It's about levelling the playing field and opening the market up, particularly to younger generations."

We feel it's worth noting that it pays to do as much research as possible before launching any financial venture. If you really want to maximise a return on investment, relying on an automated smartphone app probably isn't the way to go. With that said, every budding investor needs to start somewhere, and this seems as good a place as any.

Acorns is available now on Android and iOS devices.

See also: Don't Know Anything About Investing? Just Get Started | Five Common Myths That Keep People From Investing, Debunked | How Can I Get Started Investing In The Stock Market?


Comments

    In the US everyone suggests using Vanguard etf's instead of this but I can't work out how to do that in Aus so I'm giving this a go

      You can buy into Vanguard ETFs on the ASX just like you would shares. Just search for the Vanguard codes and you can buy them from any trading platform.
      Try Commsec. I use them for shares and ETFs including Vanguard. It is pricey compared to other trading platforms but good for beginners

        I was under the impression that if I do that I will be paying extra commissions to the trading platform which kind of negates one of the main selling points of these low cost etfs?

    The link in the story is for the US version and can't be installed in Australia. Go to Google Play Store and install Acorns AU.

    This is a link to the Android Australian version. Chris, can you please update the article with the right links for the Australian versions of the apps?

      Apologies, Google Play usually converts the URL to the country of origin automatically. This has now been fixed.

    I would've thought that handing over your bank account log in details to a third party app like Acorns would breach the bank's terms and conditions.

      Apparently not. They mentioned this on their blog.

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