Following its soft launch in November 2015, Acorns is now available in Australia and enables users to invest their virtual spare change into a diversified exchange-traded fund (ETF) portfolio.

Acorns Australia managing director George Lucas said: “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.”

The app automatically rounds up a user’s debit or credit card transaction to the nearest dollar, subsequently adding the spare funds into one of five self-selected investment portfolios based on the user’s risk profile. An annual flat fee of $15 is charged to users with accounts of holdings under $5,000.

“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 five dollars,” Mr Lucas said.

Mr Lucas argued that the app is also educationally beneficial, as it shows the benefits of regular savings.

According to Mr Lucas, the app received 26,000 sign-ups through its beta testing period. In the US, the app received two million app downloads since July 2014.

The Australian launch is a 50/50 joint venture between Acorns Grow and Australian investment firm Instreet. Acorns Grow Australia will be responsible for the app’s promotion and distribution in Australia. 

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