Investing doesn’t have to be hard, or expensive either.
With advances in technology comes advances in trading algorithms, which allow users the option to passively invest their money into the stock market.
Robo-advisors are popping up all over the place, and today we’re going to talk about two of the most popular robo-powered brokerages, M1 Finance and Acorns.
The best investing app, M1 Finance or Acorns?
Overall, M1 Finance is a better investing app than Acorns is, and it’s free.
Both offer great passive investing features, but M1 Finance allows users to be a little more hands-on with their investments.
If you don’t want to think at all about investing, and you don’t care about the small monthly fee, then Acorns is a great app to use, it just lacks some of the functionality that M1 Finance and other investing apps have.
If you don’t want to really think about it any more, then just click the buttons above to sign up for whichever investing app seems good to you, OR you can keep reading to see why we rated them the way we did, it’s up to you!
M1 Finance Vs Acorns: Services and features
We have gone through a bunch of investing apps and listed the features each one offers investors.
Here’s a table that shows a comparison between the services and features of M1 Finance and Acorns.
|M1 Finance Features||Free Account||Premium Account||Acorns Features||Free Account||Premium Account|
|Monthly Fee||$0||$125 per year||Monthly Fee||N/A||$1/$3/$5 per month|
|Minimum Balance||$0||$0||Minimum Balance||N/A||$0|
|Instant Deposits||Instant Deposits||N/A|
|Automatic Deposits||Automatic Deposits||N/A|
|Fractional Shares||Fractional Shares||N/A|
|Mutual Funds||Mutual Funds||N/A|
|Paper Trading||Paper Trading||N/A|
|Margin Accounts||Margin Accounts||N/A|
|Retirement Accounts||Retirement Accounts||N/A|
|Banking Services||Banking Services||N/A|
|Human Advisors||Human Advisors||N/A|
|Robo Advisors||Robo Advisors||N/A|
|Stock Screeners||Stock Screeners||N/A|
|Level 2 Market Data||Level 2 Market Data||N/A|
|Other||Pie Sharing||Pie Sharing||Other||N/A||Round-ups, Custodial Accounts|
Best services and features, M1 Finance or Acorns?
Overall, M1 Finance offers investors more features and services than Acorns does, but mostly because Acorns was made to be really hands-off.
Both of these investing apps will do exactly what you need them to do, but they don’t stand out enough to brag about.
Fractional shares and a Dividend Re-Investment Plan are helpful and make both of these apps really simple and convenient, which is nice.
Acorns DOES offer custodial accounts for children to learn how to invest with adult supervision, which is pretty neat, but not exactly a game-changing feature for most investors.
Which investing app is easier to use, M1 Finance or Acorns?
Is M1 Finance easy to use?
M1 Finance isn’t exactly hard to use, it’s fairly easy to understand, but unfortunately some of the other investing apps, like Acorns, are just SO simple to use that the bar is set pretty high here.
Once you get your pie set up and automatic deposits/ automatic investing set up, then you basically just sit back and wait for returns, OR try to copy other investors’ pies, whatever you prefer.
Is Acorns easy to use?
The ease of use of the Acorns investing app is pretty much unrivaled, and it deserves credit where it’s due.
When I first heard about Acorns, I was skeptical that an app could be THAT easy and still make you money, but I was wrong.
The developers did a wonderful job making Acorns simple enough for any investor, to the point where the app is almost TOO simple.
Which investing app is easiest to use?
Acorns was designed to be the most simple investing app out there, so it’s no surprise that it wins this category…. again….
M1 Finance doesn’t require a college degree to figure out though, so don’t be intimidated, you’ll be able to figure it out if M1 Finance looks like a better app for you.
M1 Finance and Acorns sign-up and referral rewards
Who doesn’t like free money?
Thanks to the wonderful world of marketing, companies will pay users money to try their services, in the hopes of converting them into a long term customer.
So if you want to learn more about how much these apps offer people to sign up or refer new users, read on!
M1 Finance sign-up and referral program
M1 Finance has a pretty standard sign-up and referral program which rewards users with $10 for signing up and depositing $100 into their account.
The user who referred the new customer also gets $10, which can add up if you know a lot of people.
A lot of investing apps seem to give out shares of stocks to new users, so getting a cash reward deposited into your account feels nice.
Acorns sign-up and referral program
Acorns has a promotion running right now where users can earn an extra $300 for inviting 4 friends in August.
These friends have to be new users and have to deposit $5 into their acorns account to be eligible.
The regular sign-up and referral bonus of $5, which is a pretty small amount by itself, gets paid in addition to the promotional offer, and these promotional offers happen pretty much every month, so a lot of money can be earned if you know how to refer users.
Best sign-up and referral program?
Because of the constant promotional offers, Acorns wins this category.
Both M1 Finance and Acorns offer cash bonuses instead of shares of stocks for their sign-ups and referrals, which is nice and convenient, but being able to make large amounts of money per month just for inviting a few friends gives Acorns a huge advantage.
It’s also much easier to talk someone into depositing $5 into an investment app than it is to talk them into depositing $100, so keep that in mind if you’re trying to get a lot of referrals.
M1 Finance and Acorns stock research tools
M1 Finance stock research tools
M1 Finance has all the basics you would expect from an investing app, like news reports, index trackers, and basic charts.
Unfortunately, the app isn’t designed to really offer investors very powerful technical analysis tools, so if that’s important to you then you may want to try a third party market research resource like Marketwatch.
Acorns stock research tools
Passive investing, which is what Acorns is ALL about, doesn’t require you to pick stocks. All you have to do is answer some questions about your risk tolerance, income, and investment goals, and Acorns will do all the stock picking for you.
If you want your investing to be completely hands-off, then this is probably the best app you’re going to find.
Best stock research tools, Webull or Acorns?
Honestly, neither one of these apps has very amazing tools.
Acorns is built to not even use stock research, you basically just answer a few questions and the app’s robo-advisor invests for you, so tools aren’t needed.
M1 Finance has some resources to learn about investing, and some basic tools included on their app, but don’t expect a professional-grade trading platform. If that’s what you want, you may be better off trying Webull, because M1 Finance is more of a passive investing app.
Since this is simply a comparison between two passive investment apps, technically M1 Finance wins, but I wouldn’t worry too much about this category in this specific case.
Passive investing typically requires more of a fundamental analysis approach, whereas day-trading usually opts for the fancy charts and indicators.
Which investment app did you prefer, M1 Finance or Acorns?
Or did you decide that passive investing wasn’t right for you and choose another app?
If you have any questions or suggestions to make our investing app reviews more helpful, make sure to leave a comment below!
Thanks for reading, and good luck investing!