Acorns: Investing app is a good option for college students


The Appalachian Online

Lauren Merrill

Recently, experts have observed a noticeable delay in savings among millennials.

As a survey from August revealed, over 10 percent of millennials say they delay savings, largely because of student loan debt.

A good way for millennials to begin saving for the future is to invest in stocks, but just 18 percent of millennials view the stock market as a good way to save for the future, according to a Goldman Sachs survey.

Investing money is crucial, especially for college students who will soon be entering the real world.

Obviously, the type of investment that earns significant gains will require time and research. Luckily, there is an app available that can help millennials save modest amounts of money with relative ease.

The app is Acorns, a mobile app that allows anyone to invest simply through their cell phone.

This app is meant to target users who are 35 or younger, and it works on a system where you are investing spare change and do not need a large amount of money to start investing.

The app works by simply connecting to the debit or credit card you provide when you sign up. When you make a purchase, it rounds up what you spent to the next dollar and invests the spare change.

There are over 3,500 stocks that your money can be invested into, and there is no minimum to open an account. All data is encrypted and never stored on your phone, and you have the power to set the amount of risk you want to be involved with.

Acorns uses six primary exchange-traded funds to invest your money. By doing this, Acorns is using a managed fund so that users do not have to partake in large buy-ins that an ETF such as Vanguard, one of Acorns most popular ETFs, would usually require an investor to do.

Acorns had 65,000 members, mostly millennials, as of April 2015, according to CNN. At that time, the members had saved a total of $25 million.

It should be said that those numbers don’t give a large amount of savings per person. But for college students, the program gives several attractive features.

One of the best things for college students and anyone under the age of 24, investing is free.

For those older than 24, there is a $1 fee for accounts with less than $5,000. Depending on the amount of savings, that might not make it the best deal for some older people.

Another major benefit is convenience. Students can set the account up on their phones, and from there the entire process is simple.

You don’t even have to go into a bank, you simply log into your phone and automatically begin collecting interest.

The other reason to use this app is because of the safety guarantee with it. Each Acorns account is insured by up to $500,000 through the Securities Investor Protection Corporation, according to Investopedia.

Overall, Acorns is a safe and easy way for students to begin investing. It is free for college students and you only invest some spare change each time you make a payment with your credit or debit card.

Of course, as we move on after college we will need to look at other investment and savings options. But as college students, this is a great option for putting away some money in school in a way that is simple.

Merrill, a sophomore journalism major from Chapel Hill, is an opinion writer.