Acorns is a fintech company that works as a robo-advisor. It is best known for its micro-investing feature that allows users to round up their purchases to the nearest dollar and invest the spare change in the market. Investments are made into different portfolios with varying levels of risk.
The app is designed to make investing simple and available to everybody, especially those who may not have large amounts of money to invest.
In this article, we will uncover Acorns’ availability and expansion plans in Australia, as well as provide alternative solutions.
Is Acorns Available in Australia?
To answer the question shortly, no. Acorns operates exclusively in the US and it is not available in Australia. According to its website, Acorns “is only available to US citizens or legal residents who currently reside in the United States. Exceptions are made for active Armed Services personnel that maintain US addresses and are temporarily overseas”.
However, if you’ve heard of Acorns Australia, which was the result of a joint venture between Acorns Grow Inc. of the USA and Instreet Investment Limited Sydney, you must know that the platform changed its name to "Raiz" to more accurately reflect its Australian identity and to better suit the country's unique financial system. Raiz operates independently but it has some parallels to the original Acorns concept of micro-investing.
This article attempts to shed light on some of the top Acorns alternatives accessible for Australian investors wishing to take advantage of the benefits offered by robo-advisors.
Acorns Alternatives in Australia
Here’s a comparison table of top financial platforms in Australia that share comparable features with Acorns and can be the best alternative you’re searching for.
Raiz is a micro-investing platform established in Australia that allows users to invest tiny sums of money automatically. Raiz's goal is to make investing more accessible to a wider spectrum of people, including those who do not have huge sums of money to invest or who do not have much experience investing.
Raiz, previously known as Acorns Australia, separated from its parent company Acorns US in 2018 and became an independent fintech with its own autonomy and investment products. The app shares multiple features with Acorns, including spare change investing, which makes it one of the top Acorns alternatives in Australia.
Management Fees: The fee structure depends on the portfolio you choose and it is as follows:
Standard Portfolio: $4.50 / month for account balances ≤ $20,000 and 0.275% / year for account balances ≥ $20,000
Plus Portfolio: $5.50 / month for account balances ≤ $25,000 and 0.275% / year for account balances ≥ $25,000
Sapphire Portfolio: $4.50 for active account balances + 0.275% / year
Property Portfolio: $4.50 for active account balances + 0.275% / year
Additional Fees: There are underlying Investment fees (Indirect Cost Ratio) ranging between 0.190% and 0.605% depending on your investment option. There are no brokerage fees, entry fees, or exit fees.
Minimum Deposits: A minimum of $5 is requested to open an account.
Investment Strategy: Raiz uses the Dollar Cost Averaging Strategy which means investing small amounts regularly. That way, if prices go up, you buy fewer of the now more expensive shares and, if they go down, you buy more of the now cheaper shares. It’s an automated, disciplined approach to investing for the long term.
Spare change Investing: With the roundup feature, your purchases are rounded up to the nearest dollar and the difference is invested in your account.
Asset Classes: Mainly a mix of Exchange-traded Funds and a small portion of Bitcoins and Bonds.
Risk-based portfolios: 5 Standard portfolios that differ by their level of risk, ranging from 'Conservative' to 'Aggressive' and each consisting of a mixture of ETFs listed on Australia's stock exchange.
Emerald portfolio: Raiz's sixth portfolio invests in companies that meet ESG (environmental, social, and governance) criteria, Australian Government Bonds, and the Australian Money Market.
Sapphire portfolio: This portfolio includes a 5% investment in Bitcoin and a mix of the same ETFs in the risk-based portfolios.
Custom Portfolio: You can choose how to spread your investment across 16 ETFs (pre-selected by Raiz) and Bitcoin, although Bitcoin investment is capped at 5%.
Raiz Cash: Raiz offers a Round-Up Feature that links the portfolio to the user's bank account and automatically rounds up everyday purchases to the nearest dollar. The spare change is then invested into the user's Raiz investment account.
Trading Platform: Raiz is an easy-to-use mobile app and website that allows users to track their investments, evaluate performance, and manage their accounts.
Regulator: Raiz Invest Limited (Raiz) is an ASX-listed financial services company and Raiz and its subsidiaries are regulated by the Australian Securities and Investments Commission (ASIC).
Safety: Money in your Raiz account is held by an independent Custodian: Perpetual Corporate Trust Limited.
Spaceship Voyager is an Australian investment app provided by Spaceship Financial Services Pty Ltd. It is intended to make investing simple and approachable for people, especially those new to investing or searching for a quick method to get started.
Like Acorns and Raiz, Spaceship Voyager offers a micro-investing feature. It enables users to make modest investments in a variety of assets. Users only need $5 to begin investing.
Management Fees: Spaceship charges a monthly fee of $2 for Spaceship Voyager portfolios. This fee is charged only when you have at least 1 Spaceship Voyager portfolio with a balance of $100 or more at any time during the month. In addition, there’s a percentage-based fee paid yearly. This fee depends on the portfolio you choose and it is as follows: 0.15% per year for the Spaceship Origin Portfolio, 0.50% per year for the Spaceship Universe Portfolio, and 0.50% per year for the Earth Portfolio.
Additional Fees: There are no brokerage fees, entry fees, or exit fees.
Minimum Deposits: No minimum is required to open an investment Spaceship Voyager portfolio. However, investment plans are subject to a minimum recurring amount of $5.
Investment Strategy: Spaceship's fund managers and Spaceship Capital Index Solutions actively pick stocks to enter the Spaceship portfolios. The portfolios are mainly concentrated in the technology sector.
Spare change Investing: With the roundup feature, your purchases are rounded to the nearest dollar, and the difference is invested in your account.
Asset Classes: Spaceship Voyager funds only invest in Stocks.
Spaceship Origin Portfolio: This portfolio invests in 200 of the largest global and Australian companies by market capitalisation. It is a rules-based portfolio.
Spaceship Universe Portfolio: This portfolio invests in world-changing companies.
Spaceship Earth Portfolio: This portfolio invests in companies that positively impact people and the planet.
Trading Platform: Spaceship Voyager is an easy-to-use and simple micro-investing app that allows users to track their investments and manage their accounts.
Regulator: Spaceship Voyager is regulated by the Australian Securities and Investment Commission (ASIC) and operates under their own Australian Financial Services License.
Safety: With Spaceship, your money is pooled with other investors’ money and managed under 1 investment scheme. Your investment portfolio is not held under your unique HIN (Holder Identification Number)
Stockspot is a robo-advisor and digital investment management platform in Australia. It was created in 2013 and is one of Australia's first robo-advisory businesses. Stockspot's automated portfolio management services seek to make investing more accessible, affordable, and hassle-free for ordinary investors.
In contrast with Acorns and Raiz, Stockspot does not offer spare change investing and roundup options.
Management Fees: For accounts below $10,000, the first 6 months are free. After this period and for other amounts, the fee structure is as follows:
5.50 / month for account balances ≤ $10,000
0.66% / year for account balances ≥ $10,000
0.528% / year for account balances ≥ $200,000
0.396% / year for account balances ≥ $2,000,000
Additional Fees: StockSpot fees are all-inclusive and calculated monthly based on your average investment balance over the month. There are no brokerage fees, entry fees, or exit fees.
Minimum Deposits: A minimum of $2,000 is required to start investing.
Asset Classes: Australian shares, Global shares, Emerging markets (Brazil, Russia, India, China, and South Africa), Bonds (low-risk government bonds), and Gold
Portfolio Types: Total market ETF, Active stock picking ETF, Australian ETF, Property ET, and Defensive ETF
Investment Strategy: You can choose between investments strategies suited to your level of risk tolerance. The platform automatically rebalances clients' portfolios periodically to maintain the desired asset allocation.
Trading Platform: User-friendly website and mobile application.
Account Types: Individual, Joint, Kids, Self-managed super fund (SMSF), Company structure, Trust structure, Non-profit
Safety: Stockspot provides CHESS sponsorship for your holdings, and your money is held in your name.
Regulator: Stockspot Pty Ltd is regulated by the Australian Securities & Investments Commission (ASIC).
eToro is a multi-asset brokerage and social trading platform that was created in 2007. It has grown in prominence as a leading online platform for social investing and trading in a wide range of financial assets such as equities, cryptocurrencies, commodities, FX, and others.
While eToro provides some social trading and portfolio management capabilities that are comparable to robo-advisors, it is important to remember that eToro's core functionality is centred on social trading, and its platform may not fully mimic the services provided by dedicated robo-advisory firms.
In Australia, the company offers robo-advice services through its “Smart Portfolios” which are designed to help investors create diversified portfolios with minimum risks and maximum returns.
Management Fees: Zero Management and account Fees for eToro’s Smart portfolio.
Additional Fees: eToro charges 0 trading fees, however, there’s a flat withdrawal fee of $5, and additional foreign-exchange conversion fees may apply when you transfer Australian dollars into US dollars depending on your payment method
Minimum Deposits: A minimum of $500 is required to invest in an eToro smart portfolio.
Asset Classes: Cryptocurrencies, Stocks, Commodities, and Currencies in All Markets.
Investment Strategy: eToro’s Smart Portfolios present a hybrid approach to investing, which is a combination of both active and passive strategies. Smart Portfolios are not updated daily, and they are regularly rebalanced by the eToro investment team.
Top Trader Portfolios: Managed by eToro Traders that copy strategies from top traders.
Thematic Market Portfolios: These include CFD stocks, commodities, indices, and ETFs
Partner Portfolios: The funds are managed by fund managers who are partners with the investors and not by eToro's investment team.
Trading Platform: Advanced user-friendly Mobile Application.
Regulator: eToro AUS Capital Limited is regulated by the Australian Securities & Investments Commission (ASIC).
When it comes to financial technology and robo-advisors, Australians are increasingly using micro-investing applications to grow their money.
In order to make informed judgments and choose the platform that best meets your needs when looking for the best Acorns alternative in Australia, you must research the unique features and advantages of different platforms.