ESG investing with Acorns

Invest in yourself & the planet with Acorns Sustainable Portfolios

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ESG Investing at Acorns
Environmental, Social, and Governance

What is ESG?

ESG stands for environmental, social, and governance. Acorns Sustainable Portfolios are made of Exchange Traded Funds (ETFs) designed to provide exposure to more sustainable companies, while aiming to perform on par with a traditional portfolio.

Environmental

Environmental

How a company meets standards related to the environment, like renewable energy, animal welfare, and reducing CO2 emissions.

Social

Social

How a company meets standards related to social topics, like corporate social responsibility, supporting local communities, and data security.

Governance

Governance

How a company meets standards related to governance, like anti-corruption, diverse board of directors, and ethics.

Ready to invest in yourself and the planet?

Update your portfolio in under 2 minutes!

Investing in your values isn’t just easy. It can be more rewarding. In fact, in the first half of 2020, leading ESG portfolios outpaced traditional indices.

Step 1

Log in to your Acorns app and tap the account you’d like to update: Invest, Early, and/or Later

Step 2

Tap “Portfolio” and select “Theme”

Step 3

Follow the easy prompts to switch to Acorns Sustainable Portfolios

Why Acorns Sustainable Portfolios?

Acorns Sustainable Portfolios are built with iShares, the world’s leading innovator of sustainable ETFs. They’re designed to perform on par with our Core portfolios, and help our customers build a strong foundation for the long term.


ESG Fun Fact ESG Fun Fact

ESG Fun Fact

At the height of the COVID crisis, net new assets into ESG ETFs grew by $900 million! Over half went into iShares broad ESG ETFs, like those in Acorns Sustainable Portfolios. This signals that investors are seeking companies with ESG-friendly methods and innovations.
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Learn more about ESG Ratings

Global ESG ratings are set by MSCI, a leading provider of research and data, that assesses a company’s response to some of the world’s biggest issues. Companies with positive ESG business practices may be better positioned for long term growth.
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Learn more about ESG Ratings Learn more about ESG Ratings

ESG Performance

A study of 3,000 U.S. mutual funds and ETFs found that sustainable equity funds outperformed non-ESG peer funds by a median total return of 4.3% in 2020. There are no guarantees in investing, but experts cite consumer demand for sustainability as a positive, long-term indicator for ESG investing.
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Invest In Your Future

Explore Sustainable Portfolios Today!

Ready to start investing in yourself and the planet? Tap below to switch your Acorns portfolio to Acorns Sustainable Portfolios.

I’m ready

All investments involve risk, including loss of principal. Acorns Sustainable Portfolios are not available in the Conservative Portfolio theme. Switching portfolios may cause a taxable event.

Investor Education

How to invest in Acorns Sustainable Portfolios

How do I get a Sustainable Portfolio?

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If you are an existing customer, you should see the option to switch to a Sustainable Portfolio for your Invest, Later, or Early account. Please note, if you are currently in the conservative Core portfolio, you will not see a comparable conservative Sustainable Portfolio option. Please complete the following steps to switch your portfolio theme:

For Mobile

  1. Tap the Invest, Later, or Early. 
  2. Tap "Portfolio"
  3. Scroll to the bottom to see Theme options. 
  4. Tap “Theme”
  5. Review the details and disclosures
  6. Tap on your desired portfolio theme, then Next.  
  7. Tap on “Change to this portfolio” 
  8. Carefully review the information on the screen
  9. Tap “I’m sure” to confirm.

For Web

  1. From the home screen, click your Invest, Later, or Early.
  2. Click “Portfolio”
  3. Scroll to the bottom to see Theme options. 
  4. Click on “Theme”
  5. Click on your desired portfolio theme, then Next.  
  6. Review the important disclosures and details
  7. Click on “Change to this portfolio” 
  8. Carefully review the information on the screen
  9. Click “I’m sure” to confirm.

Acorns does not recommend changing portfolios often, due to our overall passive investment strategy and the potential tax consequences of selling or exchanging Exchange Traded Fund (ETF) securities in your account. You do have the ability to override the recommendation provided in the app, however, you may want to check with your tax advisor to ensure you are comfortable with the resulting impact to your tax obligations, as applicable. 

What are Sustainable Portfolios?

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Acorns’ “Sustainable Portfolios” are made of varying combinations of Exchange Traded Funds (ETFs), which invest in individual companies focused on their environmental, social, and governance business practices or their Morgan Stanley Corporate International (MSCI) ESG rating. MSCI ESG ratings are a comprehensive measure of a company's long-term commitment to socially responsible investments (SRI) and environmental, social and governance (ESG) investment standards. In particular, the MSCI ESG ratings focus on a company's exposure to financially relevant ESG risks.

Acorns has created four Sustainable Portfolios to allow you to invest in companies that are making an impact in one or more of these areas.

Do Sustainable Portfolios perform as well as the standard Core portfolios?

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The aim of the diversified Sustainable Portfolios is to perform in a manner comparable to our standard Core portfolios. Acorns cannot guarantee any rate of return for any portfolio. Similar to the Core portfolios, the Sustainable Portfolios were created with the intent to help you stay diversified in accordance with your personal risk tolerance and other information you provided in your investor profile. Our goal is to optimize your return, while taking your risk tolerance into account per the principles of Modern Portfolio Theory.   

Disclosure: Diversification and asset allocation do not guarantee a profit, nor do they eliminate the risk of loss of principal.

Why don’t I see an ESG option for the conservative portfolio?

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The Sustainable Portfolios consist of Exchange Traded Funds (ETFs), which are primarily invested in individual companies.  Since the conservative “Core” portfolio is composed solely of bond ETFs, Acorns does not have a comparable conservative ESG (environmental, social, and governance) portfolio.  

Acorns has selected your portfolio based on the responses to the questions you provided in your investor profile questionnaire. If your results show a “conservative” risk tolerance, you would need to opt into a Sustainable Portfolio with a different risk profile, to the extent you wished to invest in a Sustainable Portfolio. Please note this change requires you to assume additional risk. 

If you are currently in a conservative portfolio and are looking for a Sustainable Portfolio option, you have the ability to switch to a Sustainable Portfolio; however, please note this assumes you are willing to accept additional risk. 

Please see the steps below to override our portfolio recommendation and change your preferred portfolio: 

For Mobile

  1. Tap the Invest For Your Future button
  2. Tap "Risk"
  3. Tap the buttons at the top of the screen to scroll through the different risk types.
  4. Tap on your desired portfolio, then Next.  
  5. Tap “Change to this portfolio”
  6. Tap “Continue changing portfolio” to override our recommendation
  7. Tap “I’m sure” to confirm, 
  8. Tap “Done” to return to the Invest Portfolio screen
  9. Tap “Theme”
  10. Tap on “Sustainable Portfolios”, then Next.  
  11. Tap on “Change to this portfolio” 
  12. Tap “I’m sure” to confirm.

For Web

  1. Click on the Invest For Your Future button 
  2. Click “Portfolio”
  3. Click the left and right arrows to scroll through each portfolio
  4. Click on your desired portfolio
  5. Click “Change Portfolio”
  6. Click “Continue changing portfolio” to override our recommendation
  7. Click “I’m sure” to confirm, 
  8. Click “Done” to return to the Invest Portfolio screen
  9. Click “Theme”
  10. Click on “Sustainable Portfolios”, then Next.  
  11. Click on “Change to this portfolio” 
  12. Click “I’m sure” to confirm.

Please note, the portfolio for your Later account is based partially on your retirement age, so the portfolio risk generally cannot be changed. However, we do offer the ability to switch the theme to our Sustainable Portfolio. 

What ETFs are included in Acorns Sustainable Portfolios?

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There are four different Acorns Sustainable Portfolios that you can choose from, each portfolio is composed of exchange-traded funds — ETFs for short. To learn more about our Sustainable Portfolios, click here

Depending on your portfolio, you’re invested in a mix of companies, markets, and bonds.

Here is a list of the ETFs and corresponding prospectuses, currently included in our Sustainable Portfolios (please note these ETFs are subject to change):

  1. Large Company Stocks - ESGU
  2. Medium Company Stocks - SUSA
  3. Small Company Stocks - ESML
  4. International Company Stocks - ESGD
  5. Emerging Market Stocks - ESGE
  6. Short Term Corporate Bonds - SUSB
  7. Long Term Corporate Bond - SUSC
  8. Short Term Treasury Bonds - SHY
  9. Long Term Treasury Bonds - GOVT
  10. US Mortgage Backed Bonds - MBB


Depending on your portfolio, your investments may not include some of these ETFs. To see which ETFs each portfolio includes, please visit acorns.com/invest or the portfolio screen in-app. 

Please note that the Sustainable Portfolios are not available if you are in the Conservative portfolio.

How did Acorns determine what Exchange Traded Funds (ETFs) are in the Sustainable Portfolios?

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Overall, the goal of each Exchange Traded Fund (ETF) within the Sustainable Portfolios is designed to meet the Environmental, Social, and Governance (ESG) criteria. The ETFs included may not meet all three criteria and are rated by a third party, Morgan Stanley Corporate International (MSCI).

MSCI ESG ratings are a comprehensive measure of a company's long-term commitment to socially responsible investments (SRI) and environmental, social, and governance (ESG) investment standards. In particular, the MSCI ESG ratings focus on a company's exposure to financially relevant ESG risks.

Depending on your portfolio, you’re invested in a mix of companies, markets, and bonds. Please click "What ETFs are included in Acorns Sustainable Portfolios?" above to see a list of prospectuses of the ETFs which are included in our Sustainable Portfolios. 

Please note, your investments may not include some of these ETFs. To see which ETFs your portfolio includes, please visit acorns.com/invest or the portfolio screen in-app.

Are there any tax considerations I should be aware of before switching to Sustainable Portfolios?

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Yes. When you elect to change from a Core portfolio to a Sustainable Portfolio, Acorns must sell the ETFs underlying your Core portfolio and then purchase shares in the ESG ETFs. The sale of securities is a potential taxable event and you may want to discuss with a tax professional whether changing portfolios is appropriate for your unique tax situation. This is not tax advice and Acorns does not provide tax advice. Please contact a tax professional if you have questions.

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