When it comes to investing, there are many reasons that people don’t ever get started or don’t invest on a regular basis. 401k accounts work for a lot of people for regular retirement investing because once you sign up, it becomes automatic. That’s great for your retirement investing, but a 401k shouldn’t be your only regular investing.
There are many excuses for not getting started investing, including the following:
- I don’t have enough money to start investing
- I don’t know where to start
- It’s too complicated and I don’t know anything about investing
- I can’t take the risk of losing money
These excuses among others hold many people back from investing. In addition to these normal excuses for not investing, there is also the behavioral side of finance that stops people from investing on a regular basis outside of their 401k, specifically, if it is not set up to be automatic, people will find somewhere else to spend the money.
I’ve used at least the first excuse of “I don’t have enough money to start investing”, all the while spending money on lifestyle inflation in other areas of my life. But other things have held me back as well, one of which was that I wanted to start investing more outside of my 401k, and I wanted it to be automatic. If it wasn’t going to be able to be set up to automatically invest every month, or biweekly, etc. then it wouldn’t happen (just behavioral finance taking hold).
So after a long time of not putting money regularly into investment accounts to invest, I found the investment company Acorns. And what they’ve done is attacked all the excuses in the above bullet points, as well as the behavioral finance aspect of it.
How Acorns works:
- $0 Minimum Balance
- Easy setup via Acorns App or the website
- The choice to start with initial investment via transfer from your linked bank account
- Automatic investments via:
- Roundups of linked accounts. For example, you buy a coffee for $2.50, Acorns will round up to the next dollar $3.00, and invest the difference once your roundups reach $5.00 via a transfer from your linked bank account.
- Automatic investments set to a schedule you select, Daily, Weekly, or Monthly, at a minimum of $5.00 per recurring investment.
- Funds are automatically invested into one of 5 diversified portfolios (Conservative, Moderately Conservative, Moderate, Moderately Aggressive, or Aggressive) with different strategies based on answers to a few quick questions. You can override their recommendation if you choose.
- All of the above is done with minimal fees for what you get. $1 a month is the fee. This is great because there are no transaction fees for each time you invest which would eat away at your returns.
I have found Acorns to be an integral part of how I’ve grown my savings rate to over 58% of my income. While you might not start out saving this high of a percentage of your income, every bit that you do save puts you in a better position on your path to financial freedom. The key to getting ahead is getting started. Take a look at Acorns, and see if this is what you need to get rid of your excuses for not investing.