Fallen Acorns

In late January, I signed up for one of the auto-investing apps that are gaining a lot of attention. Acorns rounds up credit card purchases to the nearest dollar, deducts that amount from a checking account, and invests the money in one of five portfolios based on a customer’s risk level. (I chose the fourth highest, which consisted of 80% equities.)

Given we charge a lot of things to Visa to gain those ever-valuable frequent spender points, a bunch of .08, .27 and .63 roundups add up. Plus, about a month in I upped the ante and started contributing an additional $12 per week. Of course, the stock market hasn’t moved much overall this year, so as of June 1, we made a whopping $4.36 above and beyond our $680 in contributions – net of the $1 per month fee Acorn assessed for this easy-investing privilege.

Given Acorns made more than us during that period, I cashed out – and a few days later Acorns placed the full amount in our checking account.

Having thought about this a while, I’m not sure it makes sense from an investing standpoint. In effect, all they did was return our money, plus that $4.36. I did buy a couple of Powerball tickets with the four bucks. Alas, that turned out to be a dry well, too.


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