Andrew Goldman has been writing for over 20 years and investing for the past 10 years. He currently writes about personal finance and investing for Wealthsimple. Andrew's past work has been published in The New York Times Magazine, Bloomberg Businessweek, New York Magazine and Wired. Television appearances include NBC's Today show as well as Fox News. Andrew holds a Bachelor of Arts (English) from the University of Texas. He and his wife Robin live in Westport, Connecticut with their two boys and a Bedlington terrier. In his spare time, he hosts “The Originals" podcast.
Acorns are plentiful in Canada. In fact, acorns are one of the primary reasons you should never take a walk in the woods barefoot–they’re just about as pleasant to step on as a stray Lego.
Oh, but you’re seeking Acorns, the roboadvisor and microinvesting service?
Sorry to disappoint, but here’s the short answer to your question: no, Acorns is not currently available in Canada.
One note of disambiguation: Acorn TV, the subscription streaming service that specializes in British programming, is indeed available in Canada so if you like all your cop shows to feature a broad range of London accents, you’re in luck.
What is Acorns and is it available in Canada?
Considering that you made it this far, we imagine you’ve probably already got a pretty good inkling of what Acorns is, so we’ll make it quick. Acorns is an Irvine, California based tech startup founded in 2012 by father and son team Jeff and Walter Cruttenden. Its mobile app debuted in 2014.
Acorns is a roboadvisor, meaning that when you invest with the company, your money isn’t managed on the day to day by humans but rather by a computer algorithm. You may want to take a deeper dive on roboadvisors, but suffice it to say that generally, roboadvisors like Acorns try to keep fees low through passive investing, that is, investing their clients funds in low-fee ETFs that seek to mirror and match the returns of a sector or index like the S&P 500, an index of the 500 most highly valued companies listed on American stock exchanges.
Acorns distinguished itself in the field of roboadvisors by offering a feature that allows clients to link both debit and credit cards to an account and round up to the nearest dollar any transaction and invest that spare change in a pre-chosen portfolio of ETFs.
Acorns is a FINRA-approved broker dealer and in July 2018, company CEO Noah Kerner announced the company had over 1 billion under management and 3.7 million users of its app.
Acorns is not available in Canada at this time. On its website, the company explains that “currently, Acorns is only available to residents of the United States and Australia. In the US, exceptions are made for active Armed Services personnel that maintain US addresses and are temporarily overseas.”
Another roboadvisor in Canada that will invest round ups
Just because Acorns isn’t currently available in Canada doesn’t mean there isn’t a roboadvisor that will happily round up and invest spare change from credit and debit card transactions.
In 2018, Canadian automated investing service Wealthsimple announced its new “roundup” feature that would allow all Wealthsimple clients to link a credit and/or debit account to their accounts and invest those quarters, nickles, and pennies left over every time you buy your groceries, your coffee, or your shirtless Nick Cage pillow case.
Even if you’re not quite ready to invest, anyone with five spare minutes can go to Wealthsimple’s two-time Webby-winning website and sign up for a Wealthsimple account.
Wealthsimple is anything but a fly-by-night startup; it’s Canada’s largest automated investing service. It’s received $265 million in investment from some of the world’s largest financial institutions in Canada and Europe. Our brokerage Canadian ShareOwner Investments Inc., which handles all client trades, is a member of the Canadian Investor Protection Fund (CIPF). CIPF is a program that insures all accounts up to one million dollars against member firms bankruptcy.
Wealthsimple may be the best thing to happen to spare change since the invention of the sofa. All Wealthsimple clients, regardless of how many quarters they’ve got invested, receive state-of-the-art technology, unlimited human support and remarkably reasonable management fees.