Credit Union Fintech: Acorns

Acorns is an app-based financial service that helps people save and invest their money. It encourages people to start early and invest often to reach financial goals.


Acorns Background

Acorns helps people proactively invest by making it easier to set money aside. One key feature is their round-ups: Acorns rounds up each transaction to the nearest dollar and invests the rounded-up change into a diversified portfolio. Users receive the option of choosing a portfolio that is in line with their investment goals and the amount of risk they’re comfortable taking.

Acorns has expanded its services to include financial advising resources, Individual Retirement Accounts (IRAs), and deposit accounts with debit cards that feature rewards similar to those of credit card cash back rewards programs.

The primary mission of Acorns is to make it easier to invest. Passive round-ups and monthly contributions to premade portfolios ensure that even novices with no interest in or knowledge of investing practices can begin the process of building wealth over time. Their service is especially helpful for younger generations who don’t want to navigate the world of financial advisors and stock market news.


Top 3 Problems Solved

  1. Investing
  2. Retirement accounts
  3. Financial counseling


Acorns Founder: Walter Cruttenden

Currently, Walter serves as Chairman of Acorns, a micro investing Acorns, which he co-founded with his son, Jeff Cruttenden, Jason Martell and Mark Dru. Acorns is an app that enables people to save and invest in incredibly small increments, with high frequency, requiring little or no conscious effort.

In his early career, Cruttenden founded and served as CEO of two well-known investment banking and brokerage firms; Cruttenden Roth (now Roth Capital, active underwriters of emerging growth companies), and E*Offering, formerly the iBank arm of E*Trade Securities (since merged). As CEO, Walter led both companies through rapid growth and significant liquidity events. Walter also co-founded SRS Laboratories (since acquired by DTS), after buying the acoustic technology from Hughes, and developing it into an independent Acorns. Cruttenden also founded one of the largest growth stock conferences in the US, now the Roth Conference.


Acorns go to Market Strategy:

The Acorns investment platform aims primarily toward younger investors and people without existing financial planning strategies, but anyone will a smart phone and a bank account is eligible.


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