Acorns, the app using small change to invest, is launching an Australian super fund

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Acorns, the micro-investing app which uses small change, is launching an Australian superannuation fund, Acorns Grow Australia Super.

The fund, available from March, will be integrated into Acorns Australia’s existing app which has had more than 550,000 downloads, building more than $150 million in funds under management in two years.

“We have always been much more than a savings and investment tool,” says George Lucas, managing director, Acorns Grow Australia.

“Superannuation is one of the most underappreciated aspects of personal finance and we hope to use our platform to further educate and engage users on how they can invest and build wealth for their future.”

Acorns hasn’t yet announced what fees it will charge for the super fund.

Instreet Investment Limited, an Australian asset manager with $500 million under management, last month took a controlling stake in the local arm of Acorns.

The app can be set up to take one-off or recurring investments or use spare change, rounding up purchases and investing the difference. For example, if you spend $8.50 on lunch, Acorns will invest 50 cents.

Acorns charges no brokerage fees and has one of the smallest minimum investment amounts in the industry. The average Acorns user made 10.5% a year to the end of July 2017 on their investment after fees but before the $1.25 monthly subscription fee.

Acorns Australia has introduced several new features including Little Acorns, a savings tool for children, carbon offsetting and the introduction of an ethical investing portfolio.

“The millennial generation, which our user base skews heavily towards, have traditionally been viewed as poor savers, but we don’t believe that stereotype at Acorns Australia,” he says.

“Hundreds of thousands of young people are building up a level of savings for retirement. Similarly, we’re often told millennials do not engage with their superannuation, but we are confident we can also bust that myth with the upcoming launch of Acorns Grow Australia Super through the app.”

In the US, where Acorns was started in 2012 by father-son duo Walter and Jeff Cruttende, the app has more than 2.9 million accounts.

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