Investing In College: Acorns

Have you ever gone to the store and purchased an iced coffee between classes or a school logo hoodie at the bookstore and have a bit of change left over? Of course you have and you’ve probably tossed that change in the bottom of your bag, the cup holder section of your car, or in your jeans pocket to only be dispersed and lost between your couch cushions. While keeping pocket change can seem like an insignificant result of breaking a larger bill, your spare change can be what you need to propel you into financial security for years to come when you invest with Acorns.

What Is Acorns?

Acorns is a micro-investing platform accessible via a mobile app. The company takes the idea of spare change and transforms it into a simple, easy to use platform that turns your spare change into financial investments. Without thinking or putting forth much effort, the Acorns app makes the investing process automatic and takes the confusion out of the process. The app takes your spare change and invests in Exchange Traded Funds or ETF’s. Simply put, these ETFs replicate different asset classes which helps to diversify your portfolio without you having to pursue a separate degree in finance to know what you are doing. Acorns invests your spare change into asset classes ranging from large companies to real estate and into over 7,000 stocks and bonds. When your investments are diversified, you are more protected against unpredictable changes in the market.

How Does Acorn Work?

Acorns makes creating an account incredibly easy and effortless to use which is ideal for college students that don’t have the time to learn the ins and outs of investing. Users can set up an account and link their credit or debit card. With each purchase that you make, Acorns will round up the amount spent to the nearest dollar and store the extra change in your account that is on the platform. So, if you spent $2.35 on a cup of coffee, Acorns would take the excess .65 cents and add it to your platform account. This is the original, classic way to use the platform. However, as Acorns has grown and developed since its creation in 2012 it now offers several ways to invest your extra change.

Outside of rounding up your purchases to the nearest dollar, users can choose to set up automatic deposits from their bank accounts to their Acorns account either daily, weekly, or monthly. These deposits can be as little as $1 which is great news for college students that are scraping together enough change to swing a midweek 4 for $4 at Wendy’s. Users can also add a one time boost to their account at anytime as well. One of the latest features available on Acorns is Found Money. This feature is practically created for the new age college student that lives their life on the internet. Acorn has partnered with over 200 brands to create Found Money and that list is growing everyday. Each time users shop with these specific brands, they invest a certain amount of money into the Acorn account. Brands range from Birchbox to Barnes and Noble Booksellers which means there is something for everyone. The amount of money invested varies per brand and users are encouraged to explore the app for details on how Found Money works.

Users can decide to use Acorns as a savings tool or use it to also invest their funds into 6 different smart investment portfolios that are created by the founders of the platform and  range from conservative to aggressive.

Acorns costs as little as $1 per month for accounts that have balances under $5,000 and they charge accounts exceeding that amount a 0.25% fee. Like with anything associated with your personal information, security is priority. Acorns makes every effort to keep your private information secure by encrypting all of your personal data and never storing it on your mobile device. As a member of the SPIC, every Acorns account is protected up to $500,000. You can learn more about how Acorn protects your personal information here.

Why Is Acorns Perfect For College Students?

Acorns is simple and easy to use and makes investing for the first time a breeze. Investing sounds like an exclusive privilege only available to finance gurus and those that still balance their checkbooks. However, with Acorns, college students can invest the excess change from their morning lattes, beer runs, and gas fill ups without thinking about it. Dipping your toe into the world of investing can set you up for financial success for years to come and the Acorns app is a great place to start.

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