How Acorns’ Micro-Investing Platform Proves Money Really Does Grow on Trees

In the midst of the confusion of the micro-investing craze, Acorns offers a platform that opens doors for the average person to start growing their wealth—and develop their financial literacy.

Photo: Visual Stories, Micheile via <a href="">Unsplash</a>
Photo: Visual Stories, Micheile via Unsplash

“Investing.” For many, this is a daunting, mysterious word. Sure, we know how to save money (most of the time), but we often think of investing as reserved for those with financial literacy and plenty of spare change. But micro-investing is changing the playing field.

Nowadays, you don’t need to be a finance wiz to benefit from compound interest or capital gains. Case in point? You may have heard about the Robinhood/GameStop controversy a few months back, when normal people all over the country used Robinhood to invest their way into fortune. It was a great plan, until the popular investing app froze GameStop trades, blocking users from selling the stock at its peak. And while the situation is certainly an investing anomaly, it highlights a modern trend: investing is now for everyone, and it can be done with just a few taps.

Robo-advising platforms like CashApp, Ellevest, and Acorns emphasize this new reality. Harnessing the power of AI, these tools automate the investing process to maximize your finances. And yes, it even works for those of us (myself included) who studied humanities as an undergrad.

Specifically, Acorns is a micro-investing app that connects to your credit or debit card and allows you to automatically invest spare change. While you can’t choose your own individual stock investments, Acorns’ AI-powered system will recommend a personalized portfolio of index funds—including real estate stocks and corporate bonds—based on the risk level of your finances. The app considers your age, time zone, goals, income, net worth, employment status, and more to match you with the portfolios that best suit your financial situation. And if you feel Acorns’ matchmaking skills prove too risky or too conservative, you’re free to take the wheel and invest in a different portfolio at any time.

But what can marketers learn from Acorns’ micro-investing approach? Let’s take a look. 

Investing is for everyone

The idea for Acorns came to Jeff Cruttenden when he was a college student at Lewis & Clark College. Cruttenden himself began investing when he was 11 years old, thanks to his financially savvy father. But when he got to college, he realized not all of his classmates had received a similar financial education. With Acorns, he hoped to remove investing barriers and simplify the process.

This inspired the micro-investing component of the Acorns app. When you create an account, you’re investing your spare change (rounded up to the nearest dollar) from everyday purchases, such as gas and groceries, even if it’s just $.08. And while those small investments may seem insignificant, Cruttenden himself saved over $1,000 using Acorns, with “no real impact on [his] daily life.”  

An Acorns account also includes automatic portfolio rebalancing, which means adjusting your investments to reflect your desired level of risk and ultimately help you reach your investing goals. The key word here is automatic; you don’t need to flex a single brain muscle to optimize your savings, because Acorns’ AI does it for you. 

The bottom line? Acorns opens doors that were previously closed to the average Joe, making it easy for anyone to invest and save—giving even those most mystified by investing a chance to grow their wealth. 

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Helping “grow your knowledge” 

Yes, Acorns does the investing for you. If you want to put your savings in the hands of a robo-advisor and forget it, you can. However, if you do want to learn more about how to make the most of your money, Acorns has your back. 

Acorns offers educational resources explaining everything from, “What are Stocks?” to “How to Save for Retirement.”

What’s more, Acorns has partnered with CNBC to create Grow magazine, which features countless how-tos, interviews, photos, and videos (including an advertisement video from Mr. Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson) on the topics of saving, investing, earning, spending, and borrowing. These resources are available to everyone, regardless of whether or not you have an Acorns account.

With a wealth of resources available to the public, Acorns proves that they care about your financial future. Not only will they handle your finances for you, but they’ll also teach you how to handle them yourself—making finance more accessible to everyone. 

“From acorns, mighty oaks do grow” 

Acorns’ motto? “From acorns, mighty oaks do grow.” Start small, and big things will happen.

In other words, Acorns emphasizes that you don’t need to be rich to start micro-investing. One of its ads in particular shows a bar graph highlighting how the app can grow your savings substantially over the course of four months: $28.58 in January turns into $118.60 by April, creeping higher with each passing month. And while perhaps not quite as effective as an ad appearance by “The Rock” (what is?), it’s a pretty powerful way of showing that you don’t have to be swimming in cash to see a worthy return on investment. 

Looking to grow your profits? Learn how our creative team can turn small words into big sales. Contact MarketSmiths today

Rachel Carp

Rachel Carp

Rachel is a Philly native who came to New York after a freelance stint that ranged from blog writing to social media copy to personal essays. When she’s not click-clacking away at her computer, Rachel can be found listening to true crime podcasts and online window shopping.

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