App lets Australians invest pocket change
Wednesday, 10 February 2016 12:54pm

A new app released in Australia will allow users to round up daily purchases and invest the "change" into a diversified exchange-traded fund portfolio.

Acorns, created by father-son business Acorns Grow in 2012, was released in the US in 2014 and has since accrued over two million downloads.

It gives users the opportunity to round up individual purchases - a $3.50 coffee, for example, becomes $4 and the 50c is invested into the portfolio. The minimum balance is $5, and for any balances less than $5000, the only fee is an annual $15 charge.

Over 26,000 users have already signed up to the Australian beta. "There's a real excitement about the app coming to Australia, largely due to the fact that it breaks down the barriers associated with investing such as high start-up costs and being fully invested with the minimum balance of $5," said Acorns Australia managing director George Lucas.

Acorns Grow Australia Limited is a 50/50 joint venture between Acorns Grow Incorporated of the USA and Instreet Investment Limited. The joint venture was established in March 2015. Acorns Grow Australia Limited will promote, distribute and provide fund manager services to the Acorns app in Australia.

Lucas, who is also the managing director of Instreet, added, "The ethos behind Acorns is using technology to make it easier for people to save and invest. The app is perfect for those who know little about investing or don't know how to start.

"It's about levelling the playing field and opening the market up, particularly to younger generations.  It is also about educating people about the benefits of regular small investments into the market."

Users can choose between five portfolios matching different risk profiles, and the app provides projection tools to educate customers about risk/return ratios.

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