What do you think about investing apps like Acorns or Vestly?

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Posted by Nora Douglas (MONEY FORUMS: 7, Answers: 0)
Asked on March 19, 2017 10:55 am
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Posted by Niharika Singh (MONEY FORUMS: 0, Answers: 3)
Answered: December 28, 2018 1:02 am
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Hi Nora -another great question!

Investing apps like Acorns and Vestly can be very useful. The caveat being that people still really need to understand what they are doing.

Acorns invests your change by rounding up your purchases to the next dollar. There are also other ways you can use Acorns to invest, such as with systematic payments. While investing your change can add up to a significant amount of money over time it does not assure you of reaching any of your financial goals. The individual still needs to know what they need to invest for each goal and be sure they are doing enough and staying on track.

Vestly is a stock market game – interestingly playing a stock market game has been linked in academic literature to improved financial literacy, even more so than many other financial education tools. Could also be a lot of fun. But the fun doesn’t by itself take care of retirement or educate the kids. There still needs to be actual disciplined investing across time.
It will also be interesting to see how this one plays out across time. Will people who do well with the app do well with real money? People tend to behave differently with real money. And it harder to stay the course when you are losing your dollars and not just losing the concept of dollars. Perhaps people will learn a lot about themselves as well as about investing!

Apps can be a great tool to automate functions and to help us learn. But we still need to use them in context of making responsible and knowledgeable financial decisions. Apps can help us to do the right thing – but we need to know which right thing is most important for ourselves and which right thing is best for our situation. Then we can choose and use apps which will help us to learn and help us to do more, more easily.

Thanks for asking the question!

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Posted by Peter Neeves (MONEY FORUMS: 1, Answers: 59)
Answered: March 22, 2017 7:01 pm