Acorns: Small Investments in Your Future

Acorns: Small Investments in Your Future

Last year in December (of 2015) I enrolled in a little-known application called Acorns. This company would look into your transaction history; all of your credit card and other purchases, and then round up to the nearest dollar from the purchase and take the difference. They’d these small amounts of money up, anywhere from 1 cent to a dollar, and once you had $5 available, would invest these micro-investments into a series of mutual funds.

 

I didn’t expect much out of this since we’re talking literally pennies per purchase. But I was wrong. Site after site emphasizes the importance of investing whatever you have to work with. So while I invest already in a number of different ways, I decided to give this a try. From $5 onward my balance slowly started to grow. Eventually I started to see returns outside of my investments as dividends were given and funds sold. I don’t ever expect this to become a nest egg for me, but I do use it for an emergency fund. I slowly invest as I make additional purchases, and it acts basically as a savings account earning around 3% for me. If I had an unexpected expense like maybe one of my cats got sick, I’d just withdrawal from the account and be on my way.

Normally you can get $5 when you sign up but they seem to be running a special where you will get $10 free for signing up. Check it out here.

 

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Overdue Update

I somewhat expected to have long spans where I didn’t write in this but months seems a bit long.  Winter has been rather lacking from what I expect from a typical winter but I’m not sure if I’m happy or upset about it.  On the one hand I don’t have to walk to the train in the snow and weather and it hasn’t been cold to the extreme (note: it has been cold) but on the other hand it isn’t very much like winter these days.  It’s the first part of February and I think Chicago has received only a few measurable snow falls this season.  I do look forward to the snow each winter and I think the worse the winter is the more apt I am to be excited for spring and summer.  I’m looking forward to playing outside this spring and summer but I have to ask myself if I am looking forward to it as much as if we had a bunch of snow this winter.  As mild as it has been I can’t imagine more winter weather this year.  It’s been in the 50s the past week or so which is highly unusual.

Anyway this update is short to say that I am still around and I’ll hopefully get back into the writing mood from time to time.  I am also going to start reading my next book, Jim Cramer’s Real Money: Sane Investing in an Insane World.

Jim Cramer - Real MoneyWhy am I reading this?  I’ve read this book before but I want to get a refresher in his books because my 401k starts at work soon so I want to be prepared to make the appropriate decisions.  The stock market is fascinating to me.  I’ve played around with it a little bit and I’ve had some success in it.  I just don’t devote enough time or money to make it really worth my while.

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Mad Money

I’ve decided to reread Mad Money by Jim Cramer.  I own I believe three of his books currently and have read one-and-a-half of them.  Why not use downtime at home to read books?  I think this is part of growing up.  The stock market has always fascinated me and while I don’t exactly have the best situation to invest in (I can’t imagine what Warren Buffett feel like) I do what I can with what I have.  Currently this is the half book that I read of his so I am going to just start over and read the entire book again.

Mad Money by Jim Cramer

Mad Money by Jim Cramer

I’m a really big fan of Jim Cramer.  I can’t claim that I get excited about celebrities or people of interest often.  Most know about my unhealthy obsession with Bob Dole but really I just don’t care about a lot of the celebrities and I think it has something to do with me not respecting those who haven’t earned my respect.  Jim Cramer is one of those people.  He is such a hard-working man writing books and being on his television show every single day.  I can’t claim to be an avid watcher of his show.  It goes in waves.  I started out on his show and was quickly hooked.  But when more pressing matters come into play in life the show and stocks and such go on the back burner.  So moving to Chicago and starting a new job kind of took precedence over everything else.  Don’t get me wrong, I don’t ignore the investments I have I just don’t spend the time on them that I should with regards to research.

For those who are interested of the one and a half books I have read of his I enjoy them.  There is an order to them so make sure to read them in that order because he references his other books and that could be somewhat confusing.  His books build upon each other in that regard as well as in complexity.  So in one book he talks about being able to identify market segments based on the name of the company and based only on that you can quickly determine if that stock is a buy, sell, or hold (not always but a lot of markets are cyclical like that.)  This specific book goes more in depth about determining what investments are right for you specifically and then detailed explanation of his show recommendations and research you can do to determine the best investments for you.

I would recommend that before buying one of his books you watch his show a few times.  I greatly enjoy it when I do watch it.  I do recommend his books too, at least the ones that I’ve read I can recommend.  His strategy is sound and it’s helped me invest wisely for myself and give advice to others about their investments.  I don’t deal in the volume that he deals in with his charitable trust but I can easily say he’s helped me earn money to greatly help when I’ve needed extra cash.  He’s a great resource for both standard stock trading/investing as well as retirement savings.

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