Acorns Advisers, LLC and Acorns Securities, LLC

Customer Relationship Summary (Form CRS)

June 6, 2022 

 

  1. Introduction

Acorns Advisers, LLC (“Acorns Advisers”) is registered as an investment adviser with the Securities and Exchange Commission (“SEC”) and, its affiliate, Acorns Securities, LLC (“Acorns Securities”), is registered as a broker-dealer with the SEC and is a member of the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority, Inc.(“FINRA”). Acorns Securities is also a member of the Securities Investor Protection Corporation (“SIPC”). We refer to Acorns Advisers and Acorns Securities collectively below as “Acorns.”

This relationship summary is designed to provide you with a summary of the services that can be offered to you by Acorns, the fees charged for such services and various other information, such as the conflicts of interest affecting Acorns and its personnel and any relevant legal or disciplinary history. Free and simple tools are available to research firms and financial professionals at Investor.gov/CRS, which also provides educational materials about broker-dealers, investment advisers, and investing.

  1. What investment services and advice can you provide me?

Acorns only offers investment services and advice to retail investors.  As part of such services we offer you the ability to invest in two separate types of portfolios composed of various Exchange Traded Funds (“ETFs”):  

In terms of their risk profile, the Core Portfolios range from being “Conservative” to “Aggressive,” while the ESG Portfolios range from “Moderately Conservative” to “Aggressive.” Each portfolio has risk-based target allocations of various equity and/or fixed income ETFs.  In addition to the model portfolios, a client can select to allocate a portion of their portfolio to a bitcoin-linked ETF. The allocation will be fixed (up to 5% of the overall portfolio’s value) depending on the investor profile and risk tolerances.  

Acorns recommends a portfolio based on the information you provide in your investor profile. You have the ability to override the algorithmic determination if you so chose. In addition, you have the ability to request certain restrictions on your portfolio, which are reviewed for reasonableness based on factors such as your investment objective and complexity.

Upon opening an account, you will be prompted to select whether you wish to invest in an ESG Portfolio or Core Portfolio. You will not be permitted to invest in both types of portfolios at the same time.  

The ESG Portfolios are distinguished from Core Portfolios by specifically focusing on investing in ETFs that hold companies with strong MSCI ESG records. The risk profile of the Core Portfolio or ESG Portfolio that we recommend to you is based on information that you give to us about yourself, including, among other things, your financial situation, and objectives.  

Your portfolio is managed by Acorns Advisers, an investment adviser, in accordance with the Acorns Portfolio that you select and/or we recommend to you.  You are required to deposit the funds that you would like to invest in an account with Acorns Securities, a broker. You may use the Acorns mobile or web-based application for all account selections, funding, and withdrawal requests, and other account services.  Acorns Advisers uses a software-based algorithm to place orders with Acorns Securities to buy, rebalance, and sell ETFs according to the target ETF allocations of your Acorns Portfolio. By combining the brokerage services offered by Acorns Securities and the advisory services offered by Acorns Advisers, we aim to simplify the investment process for you.

With Acorns, you have the option to open a standard investment account (“Acorns Invest”), an individual retirement account (“Acorns Later”), and/or a Uniform Transfer to Minors Act/Uniform Gift to Minors Act investment account (“Acorns Early”). Not all account types are available at lower-cost subscription tiers. Please see our Firm Brochure for account types available at each subscription tier level.  The minimum amount you are required to invest in each such account is $5.00.

As part of our relationship, you grant Acorns Advisers discretion to buy and sell investments on your behalf in your account(s) without asking you in advance.  Acorns Advisers will monitor and rebalance your account(s) on a periodic basis to better align your portfolio with your stated investment objective and target allocations.  

Our parent company, Acorns Grow Incorporated, together with its subsidiaries, offers a range of other products and non-advisory services as part of our platform including Acorns Checking (“Acorns Checking”), which is a checking account offered through our partner banks, Lincoln Savings Bank or nbkc bank.  These services are described in greater detail on our website: www.acorns.com.  

Detailed information about our advisory services can be found in our Firm Brochure.

 

Ask us:

Given my financial situation, should I choose an investment advisory service? Should I choose a brokerage service? Should I choose both types of services? Why or why not?
How will you choose investments to recommend to me?

What is your relevant experience, including your licenses, education and other qualifications?
What do these qualifications mean?

 

  1. What fees will I pay?

We will charge you a flat monthly fee in connection with our services irrespective of the size of your investments with us.  This fee is known as a “wrap fee” and covers the services of both Acorns Advisers and Acorns Securities.  We will not charge you a separate transaction-based fee when Acorns Securities facilitates an investment by you in an ETF.  All transaction costs are paid by us from the proceeds of the collective Acorns Advisory Fees. For more information, please refer to our Program Agreement

We charge different tiers of flat monthly fees based on the types of accounts and other services that you subscribe to with us.  Our first fee tier ($1/month), “Acorns Assist,” which is limited to customers facing economic hardship, gives you access to an Acorns Invest account.  Our second fee tier ($3/month), “Acorns Personal” gives you access to an Acorns Invest account, an Acorns Later account, and an Acorns Checking account.  Our third fee tier ($5/month), “Acorns Family” gives you access to an Acorns Invest account, an Acorns Later account, Acorns Early accounts, and an Acorns Checking account.  For account balances of $1,000,000 or more, the monthly fee will be $100 or $105 depending on the open account types.  Each fee tier offers access to certain financial wellness and education materials provided by Acorns Grow Incorporated.  You can find detailed information about our different fee tiers on our website: www.acorns.com/pricing.  Our tiered fee structure gives us an incentive to encourage you to open more accounts with us and use more of our services.

You will pay fees whether you make or lose money on your investments. Fees and costs will reduce any amount of money you make on your investments over time. Please make sure you understand what fees and costs you are paying. Detailed information about our fees can be found in our Firm Brochure.

 

Ask us:

Help me understand how these fees and costs might affect my investments. If I give you $1,000 to invest, how much will go to fees and costs, and how much will be invested for me?

 

  1. What are your legal obligations to me when providing recommendations as my broker-dealer or when acting as my investment adviser? How else does your firm make money and what conflicts of interest do you have?

Due to the limited role of Acorns Securities described above, we do not provide recommendations as your broker-dealer. When Acorns Advisers acts as your investment adviser, we have to act in your best interest and not put our interests ahead of yours. At the same time, the way we make money creates some conflicts with your interests. You should understand these conflicts and ask us about them because they can affect the services and investment advice we provide you.  Here are some examples of possible conflicts to help you understand what this means.

Acorns aggregates the orders that we are going to place on behalf of our customers before sending them to our clearing broker for execution. We send these aggregated orders to our clearing broker only at certain fixed times each trading day.  We obtain an average price for the aggregated order and provide it to all customer accounts purchasing or selling shares in that trading period equally. This process could cause a delay in a particular order being executed and on occasion, it could be possible that some orders on behalf of certain accounts receive more favorable execution than others based on this aggregation process.  Finally, some of the ETFs constituting our portfolios may include investments in securities in which we, our employees and/or principals have an economic interest.

As described in the “What fees will I pay?” section above, our tiered fee structure benefits Acorns when you open additional accounts and use more services.

Detailed information about our conflicts of interest can be found in our Firm Brochure.

 

Ask us:

How might your conflicts of interest affect me, and how will you address them?

 

  1. How do your financial professionals make money?

Our financial professionals are paid annual base salaries along with discretionary stock options and bonuses dependent on the overall success of the Acorns organization. The discretionary compensation is based on a variety of company benchmarks, which incentivizes the company and its financial professionals to grow the number of subscribers, increase the number of services offered and ultimately, the amount of subscription fees earned.

  1. Do you or your financial professionals have legal or disciplinary history?

Yes.  A free and simple search tool to research us and our financial professionals can be found at Investor.gov/CRS.

 

Ask us:

As a financial professional, do you have any disciplinary history? For what type of conduct? 

 

  1. Additional Information

For additional information about our services, you should visit www.acorns.com

You can request up-to-date information or a copy of this relationship summary by calling (855) 739.2859 or emailing support@acorns.com. Additional information about us is also available on the SEC’s website at www.investor.gov/CRS.

 

Ask us:

Who is my primary contact person? Is he or she a representative of an investment adviser or a broker-dealer? Who can I talk to if I have concerns about how this person is treating me?

 

 

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