Release Your Inner Tycoon with the New Acorns App

By on September 6, 2014

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Many years ago, a small site called Mint was launched. It was the first site to tackle budgeting and finances with an savvy, next-generation approach to finances. It was aimed at the everyday user and made money management incredibly easy. It also sported on of the best designed sites in the business at that time. It was revolutionary.

Everyone that visited that site immediately thought, “Wow! Why haven’t we been doing it like this all along?” The Acorns app reminds me of that experience.

Acorns is a new service that removes the mystery and complexity of investing. It helps you finally start investing some of your income and it does it with a gorgeous interface and a simplicity that even Steve Jobs would admire.

acorns

It’s Only an App

First off, it an app and only an app. That is to say that while they do have a website, it’s basically just a pointer to the app with some support options.

The real workhorse of Acorns is the app and what great app it is. It makes the whole process of investing (normally a bit of a complicated chore), both simple and inviting.

I initially thought that not having a bigger web version would be a drawback but I’ve found that the app is so great that no web version is needed. Indeed, the app-only approach makes it feel easier and less intimidating.

From every interaction with the app, you can tell this whole system has been well thought out on a lot of levels.

What Does It Do?

When you first install the app, Acorns walks you through a brief survey and then decides what type of investment portfolio best suits your needs. You can change this of course but the app asks all the pertinent data is needs to make a great recommendation.

Then, Acorns asks you to connect a bank account to your Acorns investment account. That sounds complicated but it isn’t, assuming your using a major brand bank. Truthfully, all you need is your login info that you use to access your online banking.

Funding Your Portfolio

Screen-Shot-2014-08-26-at-10.30.29-PMOnce you’ve connected a bank account, Acorns asks you if you’d like to deposit some money in your new Acorns account from your bank account. You have a lot of options here.

You can just specify an amount and transfer the money. You can also set up an automatic monthly deposit of some amount. Or, you can have it round up every purchase you make with that account.

Just like many banks offer a round up or a “keep the change” savings program, Acorns lets you round up for investments. This is both brilliant and a little less painful that just moving chunks of money around.

Now You Own Some Stocks and Bonds

Account-Home-Screen-220x390Now that your Acorns account has some money in it, the fun really begins.

Professional fund managers do their best to grow your money for you and you get to watch it in real time.

Whenever you log into the app, you get a great graphical view of how your investments are doing.

You can also see a breakdown of where you’re investing your money. For instance, it will tell you how many of your dollars are in small company stocks versus large company stocks, or growth stocks or bonds, etc.

You can also look at some predictions of what your investments will be worth several years down the line if you continue to fund your account at the current rate.

Why This is So Great

thumbWhat I love about this app, and the service behind it, is that it does for investing what Mint did for budgeting.

Highlights:

  • It makes investing drop dead simple and, well, fun.
  • There are never any minimum amounts to invest or transfer. You can invest pennies or just $5. It doesn’t matter.
  • You can automate everything. Just set it up and let it roll.
  • The round up feature makes this about as painless as possible and it allows you to invest a few cents at a time.
  • You can make a withdrawal (move your money back to your bank account) just as easily as a deposit. You can also do it at anytime with no fees. You can basically move your money back and forth without worrying about it.

So, why not start your investment empire today?

You can learn more and download the app here.

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