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Apps like Acorns

Acorns brings a robo-advisor together with an automatic savings tool, but it lacks features that make these 5 apps like Acorns stand out.

Acorns is a robo-advisor that rounds up purchases made with a linked debit card and sweeps the spare change into an investment portfolio managed by an algorithm. But its fees can be steep on small balances, and it lacks sophisticated research tools, a larger investment menu and a separate account that lets you pick your own stocks. Acorns’ alternatives offer many of its benefits and pick up where it lacks. Here are five apps like Acorns.

Brokerages like Acorns

These trading platforms are some of Acorns closest competitors.

  1. SoFi Invest
  2. Betterment
  3. Fidelity Investments
  4. Wealthfront
  5. Titan Invest

1. SoFi Invest

Sofi Invest

4.35 / 5 ★★★★★

Go to site
on SoFi Wealth Management's secure site
  • Lower fees than Acorns.

Like Acorns, SoFi Invest offers a computer-managed portfolio built with exchange-traded funds (ETFs). The robo-advisor manages this portfolio for you and rebalances it when market changes deem it necessary. But unlike Acorns, SoFi Invest doesn't charge a management fee.

And if you want to set aside some money to build your own portfolio, you can use its active investing account. This lets you trade stocks and ETFs without worrying about paying commissions.

You can access both accounts online or through the SoFi app.

Account typesBrokerage, Retirement, Robo-Advisor
Annual fee0%
Stock trade fee$0
Minimum deposit to open$1
Option trade feeN/A
Asset typesStocks, ETFs, Cryptocurrency

2. Betterment

Betterment

Go to site
on Betterment's secure site
  • Better than Acorns for smaller portfolios.

Acorns alternative Betterment is also a robo-advisor. Its automated investment platform recommends a portfolio based on your goals and risk level. It also manages it for you. But Betterment's fees can be lower than Acorns' if you have a small balance.

Betterment charges a 0.25% annual fee based on a percentage of assets held in your account. Acorns charges monthly fees that range from $1 to $5 depending on the scope of services you want.

But on small balances, Betterment ends up being more affordable. Let's say you invest $5,000. With Betterment's 0.25% fee, that's $12.50 a year. With Acorns, you pay $36 a year ($3 x 12 months).

Plus, Betterment's basic plan comes with automatic tax-loss harvesting. This strategy can reduce the tax burden on your investments. And you'll have access to certified financial planners (CFPs) if your balance is at least $100,000. They can advise you on personal matters like debt management and retirement planning. These CFPs can also provide advice on investments outside Betterment.

Account typesRetirement, Robo-Advisor
Annual fee0.25% on balances up to $99,999
0.4% on balances of $100,000+
Stock trade fee$0
Minimum deposit to open$0
Option trade feeN/A
Asset typesETFs

3. Fidelity Investments

Fidelity Brokerage Account

4.18 / 5 ★★★★★

  • More research tools than Acorns.

Like Acorns, Fidelity Investments offers an automated investment platform. But it also lets you open an active investing account with an arsenal of sophisticated research tools and a vast menu of investment choices. You can invest in bonds, mutual funds, index funds and other securities not available through Acorns.

Day traders can use research tools like a stock screener with more than 140 criteria. They can also filter stocks by industry sectors and flip through third-party research from Thomson Reuters and other industry leaders.

Hands-off investors may be interested in Fidelity GO, which combines a robo-advisor and the expertise of an investment team. Fidelity GO waives management fees on balances less than $10,000. This automated platform builds investment portfolios with Fidelity mutual funds. An investment team monitors the markets and makes adjustments to your portfolio if needed.

Account typesBrokerage, Retirement
Stock trade fee$0
Minimum deposit to open$0
Option trade fee$0 + $0.65/contract
Asset typesStocks, Bonds, Options, Mutual funds, ETFs

4. Wealthfront

Wealthfront

  • Better for families saving for their children's education than Acorns.

Similar to Acorns, Wealthfront is a popular robo-advisor. Its 0.25% annual management fee may be lower than Acorns' fees if you carry a small balance. But its $500 minimum investment may be a bit steep for some.

However, Wealthfront stands out for its automated 529 plan. A 529 plan is a tax-advantaged account meant to help you invest in your child's college education. Unlike a traditional brokerage account, money in a 529 plan grows tax free. You can also withdraw money from a 529 plan tax free if you use it on qualified educational expenses.

But Wealthfront offers plenty of tools to help you make the most out of your 529 plan. Using the Wealthfront app, you select the school you want your child to go to. Using data from the Department of Education, Wealthfront estimates how much it would cost by the time your kid reaches college age. These estimates account for tuition, expenses, projected inflation and how much financial aid you can expect. Wealthfront then recommends a monthly savings amount to meet these expenses.

The Wealthfront 529 plan portfolio invests in a mix of municipal securities and ETFs based on your risk level and other factors. It's automatically managed and functions similarly to a target-date fund (TDF). This means its investment mix is rebalanced to become more conservative as your child gets closer to college age.

The Wealthfront 529 plan incurs an all-in fee of no more than 0.49%. But you may find other 529 plans with smaller fees. Almost every state administers 529 plans. You can invest in any plan, regardless of the state you live in. Still, you can link external 529 plan accounts to the Wealthfront app and take advantage of its tools.

Account typesRetirement, Robo-Advisor
Annual fee0.25%
Stock trade feeN/A
Minimum deposit to open$500
Option trade fee$0
Asset typesETFs

5. Titan

Titan

Go to site
on Titan's secure site
  • More investment options than Acorns.

While Acorns invests your money in a mix of ETFs designed to mirror the returns of the market indices they track, Titan Invest puts your money in actively managed portfolios designed to outperform the market.

Titan, also called Titanvest, lets you choose from either its Flagship or Opportunities portfolios. Each invests in 20 stocks and inverse ETFs meant to hedge against market downturns. Inverse ETFs are designed to go up when the market goes down.

Titan uses this strategy to seek large returns while protecting you from market downturns.

These portfolios are professionally managed by Titan's investment team. So you can take a hands-off approach like you do with Acorns.

But it's not for everyone. A stock-heavy portfolio and inverse ETFs require high-risk tolerance. Plus, there's a $100 minimum investment to open a Titan account. Its annual management fee is 1% on accounts of $10,000 or less. For smaller accounts, Titan charges a $5 monthly fee taken from the bank account linked to your Titan account.

Consider Titan if you believe Acorns is not earning you strong enough returns and you can stomach the risks that come with seeking bigger gains.

Account typesRetirement, Robo-Advisor
Annual fee1% on balances of $10,000+
Stock trade fee$0
Minimum deposit to open$100
Option trade feeN/A
Asset typesStocks

Pros and cons of Acorns

Acorns puts your deposits in automated portfolios and sweeps excess change from your purchases, making investing easy. But its fee structure may not work for everyone.

Acorns’ fees are $1 to $3, depending on the services you want. For example, the $3 monthly plan gives you an individual brokerage account and an individual retirement account (IRA). Other brokers like Betterment and Wealthfront have basic plans that provide access to IRAs at no extra charge.

Here are some benefits and drawbacks to consider before opening or keeping an account with Acorns.

Pros

  • No minimum to open an account
  • Automated portfolios built with low-fee ETFs
  • Automated savings tool

Cons

  • Complex fee structure
  • No active investing account
  • Limited investment options

How to transfer your brokerage account

If you’re switching brokers, the process can vary depending on your current broker and where you’re transferring funds to. Acorns charges a $50 per ETF outgoing transfer fee. This means that a $50 fee would be charged for each ETF in your portfolio.

Acorns uses the Automated Customer Account Transfer Service (ACATS), so expect to go through the following process.

  1. Get a statement from your broker that has information like your account number and current assets
  2. Open the same type of account with your new broker. For example, an individual brokerage account should go to another individual brokerage account.
  3. Fill out a transfer initiation or ACAT form with your current broker.
  4. Your current broker validates your form or notifies you of the next steps within three business days.
  5. Your old broker completes the process and moves funds within six business days.

Note: Some brokers don’t accept the proprietary funds of others. So you may not be able to transfer mutual funds or ETFs managed by your old broker.

Compare trading platforms

To use these or other brokers, you’ll need to sign up. Here are the details on several.

Name Product Stock trade fee Asset types Option trade fee Annual fee Signup bonus
Sofi Invest
$0
Stocks, ETFs, Cryptocurrency
N/A
0%
Get one free stock worth up to $1,000
Open an account
A free way to invest in stocks, ETFs and crypto.
Webull
$0
Stocks, Options, ETFs
$0
0%
Get one free stock valued between $3.00 and $300 when you open an account, one more with a deposit
Open an account
Margin financing rates start at 3.99%. No monthly subscription fees for margin.
Public
$0
Stocks, ETFs
N/A
$0 per month
Download and sign up with Public.com; approved accounts receive a free stock slice worth up to $70, selected from 9 popular stocks.
Open an account
Commission-free trading in stocks and ETFs with a social networking twist.
Robinhood
$0
Stocks, Options, ETFs
$0
0%
Free stock (chosen randomly with a value anywhere between $2.50 and $200)
Sign up using the "go to site" link
Make unlimited commission-free trades in stocks, funds, and options with Robinhood Financial.
Moomoo
$0 for US stocks
Stocks, Options, ETFs
$0
$0 per year
N/A
Trade stocks on the US, Hong Kong, Shanghai and Shenzhen markets.
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*Signup bonus information updated weekly.

Disclaimer: The value of any investment can go up or down depending on news, trends and market conditions. We are not investment advisers, so do your own due diligence to understand the risks before you invest.

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