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Acorns Vs Robinhood: Which Is Best For You?

Acorns and Robinhood both are both online investment platforms that appeal to millennials or investors new to the investing world. The question is, which is best for you: Acorns or Robinhood? After all, when it comes to Acorns vs Robinhood, both offer the same valuable benefits.

The main difference between Acorns and Robinhood, however, is that Acorns does not allow its members in individual stocks. Instead, Acorns invests your money for you in exchange traded funds. Whereas, Robinhood allows investors to pick their own stocks.

We will look at the key differences between Acorns and Robinhood to help you decide which one is the better choice for managing your investment portfolio.

In the meantime, you can always talk to a financial advisor to assess your financial goals and risk tolerance and learn more about the Acorns vs Robinhood comparison.

Acorns vs Robinhood: An Overview

Here’s a quick overview on the Acorns vs Robinhood comparison.

Both Acorns and Robinhood are investing platforms that appeal to younger investors. In other words, if you’re a millennial or new to investing and don’t have a lot of money, then Acorns and Robinhood are good places for you.

However, the two platforms differ in their approach.

Acorns allows investors to have a hands-off approach to investing, while Robinhood allows investors to choose their own stocks and ETFs. The fees across the two platforms are also non-existent.

For example, Robinhood allows users to open an account and trade fee-free. with acorns, you won’t need to pay anything to open an account. But there is $5 charge to start trading.

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Acorns: Fast Facts

If the Acorns vs Robinhood comparison is weighing on you, here are some fast facts about the two.

Acorns is a micro-investing platform that primarily takes your spare changes by rounding it to the nearest dollar and investing it in ETFs. Acorns also offers retirement saving accounts, a debit card, and other basic banking services.

The company was launched by founder and son Walter and Jeff Cruttenden in August of 2014. The CEO of Acorns is now Noah Kerner. 

The company heavily appeals to millennials and beginner investors who may not have a lot of money to put toward their retirement savings. Acorns’ mission was to “make investing accessible to everyone.”

Today, the company has over 6 million members.

Acorns provides its members three services. The first, “Acorns Invest,” tracks your debit and credit card purchases and round them up to the nearest dollar, then takes the difference and puts it aside for investing in exchange-traded funds (ETFs).

The second, Acorns Later, enables members to create and fund an IRA. Acorns will recommend an IRA that is right for you. Then, they will update it regularly to match your goals.

The other provides members with a checking account with a debit card to spend money.

Acorns is legit and safe, as it is registered by the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC). It is a member of Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA).

It is also insured by the Securities Investor Protection Corporation (SPIC), which protects up to $500,000 for securities and cash or up to $250,000 for cash only per account.

In addition, the company is backed by well-known brands, high-profile celebrities and investors such as the famous basketball player Kevin Durant, the actor Dwayne Johnson (the Rock), and Jennifer Lopez.

Robinhood: Fast facts

Robinhood was founded in 2014. It is a mobile-only brokerage firm that charges no commission or account minimums. However, there is a $5 monthly fee for the premium trading platform, Robinhood Gold.

Like Acorns, or any other brokerage firms, Robinhood is regulated by SEC and is a member of FINRA.

Also, like Acorns, your investment accounts with Robinhood are covered by SPIC, covering up to $500,000 for securities and cash or $250,000 for cash only per account.

In addition, Robinhood offers excess SPIC, covering up to $1.5 million for cash and $10 million for securities.

Acorns vs Robinhood: key differences

Here are the key differences on the Acorns vs Robinhood question:

Fees

In terms of fees, Acorns and Robinhood are quite different.

Acorns charges $1 per month if you only choose the ‘Acorns invest’ option. When you choose the Invest and Acorns Later options, it is $2 a month. When you choose all three options, it is 3$ dollars per month.

There is also an investment expense rations from 0.05% to 0.18%. These monthly charges can eat away your portfolio, and you might be left wondering “Is Acorns worth it?

In addition, there is a $50 fee per ETF to have them transferred to another broker when you close your Acorns account.

Robinhood does not charge trading fees. That is stocks and ETFs trades are commission free. There is also no fee for option trades.

However, trading on margin requires a Robinhood Gold subscription at $5 per month. There is a $75 account transfer fee. To send a domestic check overnight, there is a $20 fee.

Acorns vs Robinhood: Account Types

Robinhood only permits stocks and ETF trades. Robinhood does not offer bonds and mutual funds. Also, Robinhood does not offer an IRA account option. Whereas Acorns allows users to open an individual retirement account.

Acorns account types:

  • ETFs
  • Checking account
  • Roth IRA
  • Traditional IRA
  • SEP IRA

Robinhood account types:

  • Stocks
  • ETFs
  • Options
  • Cryptocurrency
  • Fractional Shares

Features

Both platforms provides a great consumer experience.

Acorns features:

While you can access Acorns through its webpage, the platform is designed to be used on a mobile device. The app is easy to use and has a good rating. You can download the app on the Apple App Store or Google Play.

Robinhood features:

The Robinhood app is straightforward, very easy and simple to use. With a free Robinhood account, you will be able to trade stocks, ETFs, options and cryptos. Robinhood also has a website, but it is a mobile-first company.

The Mobile trading platform includes customizable alerts, news feed and ability to listen to earning calls.

Minimum deposits:

On the surface, Acorns and Robinhood look similar in terms of account minimum. Robinhood does not require any money to open a brokerage account. With Acorns, there is $0 to open an account.

However, $5 is required to start investing. The $0 minimum deposit to open account is aimed at bringing young investors to the market.

Acorns vs Robinhood: the bottom line

Acorns and Robinhood makes investing easy for beginners. However, a key difference is that Acorns does not allow you to trade individual stocks. Instead, they do the work for you by investing your money into ETFs.

This can appeal to those investors who want a hands-off approach to investing. However, if you are one of those investors who want to pick your own stocks, it’s better to go with Robinhood.

Keep in mind, however, you won’t be able to open an IRA account, checking account with Robinhood.

Put Your Money to Work

Managing your money effectively starts with careful planning. With SmartAsset, you can get matched up with three advisors who can empower you to make smart financial decisions. SmartAsset also helps take the mystery out of retirement planning by answering some of the most commonly asked questions in a simple, personalized way. Learn more about how SmartAsset can help you find your advisor match and get started now.

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