The stock market: America’s ever-expanding and completely infallible engine of wealth. You might think that it’s exclusively the province of rich guys in suits, but like art, that’s apparently not the case. A new app, Acorns, is offering to round up every debit card purchase you make to the nearest dollar and invest this “change” in the stock market. Our strategy is saving all of our change and spending it on the year’s Glug harvest, but hey, if you want to get poor another way, have at it!
BusinessWeek points out that this is basically the same thing that Bank of America does with their Keep the Change program, where they round up your purchase to the next dollar and takes the money from your checking account and puts it in your savings account. Except now, instead of putting it in a safe place like a savings account, which is run by criminals but at least is insured, Acorns puts your money into the stock market, which is run by criminals and doesn’t have insurance. Fun!
Fortunately, the investing portfolios that Acorns is looking to steer your money into are allegedly safe, passive funds, that are supposed to at least provide better returns than the low interest rates of a savings account. And really, unless you’re using your debit card for literally every purchase, you probably won’t bleed yourself dry with little dribs and drabs of change that get “invested” in some Goldman bro’s powder portfolio. Still, we’re mostly distrustful of the entire stock market apparatus, so we’re just gonna keep taking out change to the TD Bank change machine. You get a free piggy bank if you guess how much change you pour in it!