Probably, you have already heard about Acorns Investment app and now looking for more information on how does Acorns work. Actually, it’s a very simple and friendly application that you’ll be able to learn in a few minutes. First of all, I’ll show you how to sign up with Acorns and then we’ll go for a small tour through the main screens to explain to you how to use the Acorns app.
Quick Background – What Is Acorns?
Acorns is one of the popular robo-advisor apps that allows you to start investing with small amounts of money. You can fund the account with round-ups from your credit card purchases or with recurring deposits. Acorns will create an investment portfolio for you, based on your personal financial situation, age and risk tolerance.
The cost is $1 per month for Core service (waived for the students).
If you are interested in more information about Acorns founders, types of Acorns accounts, cyber security of your personal data with Acorns, pros and cons of choosing this app, please head to my full and detailed Acorns review for 2019.
In this post, I’m going into operational details – how the Acorns app looks like, how to open an account with Acorns and how to use it.
How To Open The Account With Acorns
Opening an account with Acorns is super easy and quick. Just click on the button below (please note that if you don’t use the button and sign up directly from the company’s homepage, you will NOT get the $5 bonus)
You’ll go through the quick signup process and verification and will be able to start investing.
In the first step, you’ll need to create an account with your email address and password.
If you are a student and have a .edu email address – use it to get your fee for Acorns Core waived.
As you can see, you have to be a U.S. resident and at least 18y old to sign up with Acorns.
In the second step, you need to decide about the funding source for your account. If you decide to use credit card transactions’ round-ups, the accumulated amount will need to be transferred from your checking account to Acorns account. For this purpose, you’ll have to connect your banking account and add the credit cards that you want to use for the round-ups.
Once you click on “Connect your bank” button, you’ll be able to search for your bank and connect to checking account with your regular credentials (the username and the password).
If you don’t see the icon with your bank’s name, start typing it in the Search bar and Acorns will find it in the database.
Don’t worry about using your account’s username and password, as they are properly encrypted (industry high standard 256 encryption) and not stored by Acorns.
Provide relevant personal information (name, address, phone number) and answer a few simple questions about your current financial situation, such as employment status, your annual income, the value of your properties and possessions, investment plans etc.
The reason Acorns asks you to answer these questions is that it needs to understand your current financial situation in order to recommend the right investment portfolio for you.
Once you have provided all the information, account verification might take a couple of days as Acorns is subject to the Patriot Act governing the accounts openings in the US.
After you receive an email that your account is verified, you can start using Acorns from your computer or download a mobile application.
How to Download Acorns App
Acorns has both Android and iOS app (iPhone app). Go to the Apple App store for iPhone or to Google play store for Android, search for Acorns app (you’ll recognize it by the icon with a green acorn) and download.
In my iPhone 6, Acorns app takes about 92MB of storage.
This is how the screen looks like after you log in:
This is actually what the “Present” tab displays (see more details below).
How To Use Acorns App
By clicking on the icon in the top left corner, you’ll be able to get to “My Settings” and customize your Acorns account.
In this section, you will be able to update your profile, change the password, enable touch ID, link or remove accounts and credit cards, change your recurrent savings, manage notifications and email preferences.
As you can see in the picture above, the main menu on top of the screen has three options: Past, Present and Potential.
The Past Tab
The “Past” tab gives you the information about recent transactions in your account: recurring investments, round-up investments and dividends. It shows the quick summary of your Core Account activities like Total Investment, Total Gain/Loss, withdrawn amount, Found Money balance, referral rewards and Dividends.
The Present Tab
The Present tab (I’ve already attached the picture of this tab a bit earlier in the post) is the place where you can easily find the following information:
- Current account balance and Found Money balance
- Referral links and invite buttons for different social media sites
- Core performance chart to see how your account grows as the time passes
- Round up progress towards the minimum investment of $5
- Additional Acorns services promotions – Acorns Later and Acorns Spend (read about them in my full review)
- Earn Found Money – start from here if you shop online and want to check if the store is partnered with Acorns
- Weekly partner offers – special offers like this one from Casper:
- Link to “Grow” blog where you can learn more about finances
“Invest for your future” tab in the middle of the home screen is useful for all of the main account settings. Click on the tab, then on the small arrow in the “Core” square. You’ll get to the following screen:
Here you’ll be able to:
- Change the settings of round-ups and the multiplier
- Set up or change recurring investments – adjust the amount of the day of the week/month
- Make one time investments – choose from $5, $25, $50, $100 or set your custom amount to contribute
- Ask for withdrawal from Acorns back to your funding account
- Change your portfolio type (read more on this in my detailed Acorns review)
You can also see the performance chart here.
To be fair, this chart reflects a period when the markets went up at the beginning of 2019. These gains cannot be guaranteed in any means.
The Potential Tab
The Potential tab shows how much money you may have in your Acorns account at the age of 80 if you keep investing as you currently do.
I’m excited to see that my weekly $25 and the roundups will grow to $372,000 after 45 years!!
If you click on “Grow Even Faster” at the bottom of this screen, you can change the recurring investment amount and frequency, to see what happens to your portfolio under different scenarios.
Of course, this tool is based on certain assumptions that are not guaranteed to be realized. Therefore, the graph can be used for illustrative purposes only, to give you an idea of the power of the compound interest and financial markets growth.
Tax Documents for Acorns account
As a U.S. citizen, you have to report any investment income (dividends and realized capital gains) to the IRS as part of your annual tax return. Acorns will email you the 1099 form by February 15th.
There is no option to download statements and tax reports from the mobile app, but you can find them on www.acorns.com >> personal avatar icon >> Settings >> Documents and Settings. Select the required tax form from there, save it and print as needed.
Where are Acorns Support and FAQ?
Unfortunately, I couldn’t find a direct link to support when I was logged into my account from my laptop, so I had to look on the homepage. If you need it, here it is: https://www.acorns.com/support/
If you use the mobile app, just click on the left top icon (3 lines) and choose the “Help” option from the bottom. It will take you to the same support page.
I hope this short Acorns app walk-through helps you to make up your mind and decide if this is the right investment app for you.
Why not give it a try? With my $5 sign up bonus you have 5 months of management fees covered, so you can test Acorns in the real-time and learn more.
Please let me know if you have any additional questions about Acorns and I’ll be happy to help.
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