After a recent visit with my Edward Jones advisor, I was informed of a new policy that Edward Jones is utilizing. They are moving towards a different model of fee structure. Now, I'm a firefighter, so I'm not investing thousands and thousands... more like hundreds, and at times, tens! So according to my advisor, any change in my investing would have started my account under the new fee structure, which would cost me a lot more money in fees over the year. I've been wanted to invest a slight bit more, but I would be losing money each year if I made an increase in investments due to the fee structure.
With this change, I started to look elsewhere for an investing vehicle that I could play around with. I like the idea investing in some stocks that I'm interested in, but can't afford that kind of risk when investing in only one stock. After some searching, I found Acorns, Robin Hood and Stash. I signed in, messed around with each, and I ended up with an Acorns account and have been enjoying it over the last couple of months.
I wanted Robinhood to work for me the most. I loved the idea of zero-commission trades and the fact that I could choose which stocks I wanted to invest in. But, quickly I learned, Robinhood was not supported by my regional bank 1st Source Bank... Bummer, onto the next one.
Stash seemed great. To be honest, I didn't even go through their sign up because os some articles I read. Most of the articles give Stash and Acorns level marks, but the thing that sold if for me was the Found Money feature on Acorns (more on that later). But Stash allows investing in EFT's and the goal behind Stash, like Acorns, is taking small amounts every week, or every month and setting it aside for investing. Read the article below from Investor Junkie.
Now, this is where I landed! It has been a relatively smooth transition period. First, the sign up was rather easy. I was able to link both a checking account and a Chase credit card of mine. I was disappointed to find that I couldn't add my checking account as a "Linked Card". Acorns works by rounding transactions up to the next dollar. In order to do this, you add a card and each transaction eventually has some added to it for a final amount at the end of the day. I was able to add my checking account as a "Funding Source" which means I can add funds manually or automatically, but I can't use my checking account or debit card with the automatic round up feature.
The round up feature I did add to my Chase credit card though. For the first couple of weeks I tried the round up feature, but found it a little too variable for my liking. I transitioned into recurring deposits from my checking account. Again, I'm a firefighter, so I'm talking about depositing $25-50 a month, just to get the ball rolling.
With Acorns, you invest in EFT's, and you select what kind of risk profile you want. Being 34, I selected the riskiest, but potential for the most reward. I've been happy with the performance over the last couple of months, but I'm in it for the long haul.
Finally, the feature that sold it for me!! Acorns Found Money feature is a great little perk that makes it better than Stash. Inside the Acorns app, you can see a TON of companies that provide a small percentage back to your Acorns account, of whatever is spent with them. Walmart 1%, Hotels.com 6%, Ticketmaster 1%, Apple 1.2%, etc. When Acorns recognizes a transaction with a linked card with one of their partners, the benefit is added to your account. I recently bought a pair of shoes from Zappos, which I didn't know they were a partner. Zappos has a 2% reinvestment benefit. Just because I bought my shoes through Zappos, like I always do, I received a dollar and change to my Acorns account to invest. With that being said, it takes a little while for that money to show up into your account. The estimated time period is 60-90 days from the transaction, and mine is taking that long.
With all of that being said, just start something. If you can get your bank account to work with Robinhood, try them. Download Stash or Acorns and give them a shot. I'm burying really small acorns, with the hope that one day they'll either be bigger acorns or maybe they'll grow into bigger trees. They are certainly making investing easy, especially those of us that lean towards the Millennial tag!
Jack of All Trades, Master of None