FAQ

General Questions

What types of accounts does Acorn support?

Acorn currently supports taxable investment accounts including individual, joint and trust accounts. We also support:

  • Traditional IRAs
  • Roth IRAs
  • Simplified Employee Pension (SEP) IRAs
  • Simple IRAs
  • IRA Transfers
  • 401(k) Rollovers.
  • Beneficiary IRAs

Do you support Custodial & Guardianship accounts?

Yes, we currently support Custodial & Guardianship accounts, including:

  • Custodian for a Minor
  • Conservatorship
  • Guardianship
  • Traditional IRA for a Minor
  • ROTH IRA for a Minor

Who may open an account with Acorn?

Any individual 18 or over, who is a legal U.S. resident or a U.S. citizen (with a permanent U.S. street address) may open an Acorn account.

What is the minimum amount required to invest with Acorn?

Our account minimum is $5,000, which entitles you to a periodically rebalanced, diversified portfolio of low cost institutional class mutual funds.

Can I transfer my existing IRA to Acorn?

Yes. Please open an IRA on our website and select the option to transfer an existing account. Complete the information and your IRA will automatically transfer in 5-10 business days. Please note that we will sell any positions in your existing IRA upon transfer to Acorn and reinvest the proceeds per your Acorn investment plan.

Can I transfer a portion of an existing brokerage account to Acorn?

Yes, we can complete a partial account transfer in one of two ways; however, each requires some manual effort on your part:

  1. You can email us and we will send you a form to fill out that will allow us to transfer the assets you specify on your behalf.
  2. You can ask your current custodian to split your existing account into two accounts, and then transfer the account containing only the assets you intend to transfer to Acorn. To complete this transfer, you open a new account with Acorn and fund it by choosing the “account transfer” option.  You also enter the account number of your new Acorn account with your old custodian.  We will then transfer the specified account into your new Acorn account.

Can I open multiple accounts?

You are welcome to open as many accounts as you like as long as each account has a minimum of $5,000. You may open dedicated accounts for each of your savings needs, such as buying a house, financing college educations, and saving for retirement.

Where is my money held?

Your assets are held in a brokerage account in your name at TD Ameritrade.

How do I find my brokerage account number?

To access your brokerage account information, login to: www.acorndw.com, and then select Dashboard from the top of the page.  You will find the number and name for each account in the Portfolio section.

Can I convert a Roth IRA into a traditional IRA or vice versa?

We do not support conversions of a traditional IRA to a Roth IRA at this time, nor do we support converting a Roth IRA to a traditional IRA.  However, if you have an IRA that you are considering moving to Acorn as a Roth IRA, please complete the Roth conversion at your current institution before moving the account to Acorn.

How do accounts from $5,000 to $50,000 differ from other Acorn accounts?

Small accounts, from $5,000 to $50,000, will be invested in one of fifteen (15) Global and Target Date mutual funds that include investments in various asset classes.

However, small accounts may be invested in an environmental, social and governance strategy that has more than one mutual fund. The specific mutual fund(s) chosen for you will be based on your questionnaire answers. Small accounts may not be invested in Global Equity or Fixed Income strategies.

Fees

How much does Acorn charge for its services?

Acorn charges an annual fee of .50% of the account’s market value, payable quarterly in arrears.

The annual fee of .50% (or 50 bps) covers investment advice, brokerage commissions, dealer spreads and other costs associated with the purchase or sale of securities, custodian fees, rebalancing, and account administration.

What kind of trading commissions will I incur with an Acorn account?

None

Are there custodial fees associated with an Acorn account?

None

Are there termination fees if I close my Acorn account?

None

How are fees calculated?

 

The fee is calculated by taking the market value of your account at the end of the month and then multiplying by the fee rate (.50%).  The monthly result is then added and charged to your account at the end of each calendar quarter.  For the initial month, fees are calculated proportionally based upon the number of days left in the month from the date of Acorn’s acceptance of your account.  If you terminate your account in the middle of the month, fees are calculated proportionally based upon the number of days in such month that we managed your account. There is a minimum monthly fee of $5.

For example, Jane invests $35,000 in a diversified portfolio with Acorn. Jane begins investing on June 5th. At the end of June, she will have been invested for a total of 26 days. Acorn’s annual fee is 0.50 percent. To simplify this example, we will assume that the net market value of Jane’s assets hold constant at $35,000 at the end of the month. Therefore, Jane’s fee for the month of June equals: (0.50% x $35,000 x 26/365 days) = $12.47.

When does Acorn charge its advisory fee?

Advisory fees for a particular calendar quarter are usually charged within the first week of the following month. For example, the advisory fee for the quarter ending June 30th will be charged the week of July 1 – 7 (the first week of July). Advisory fees will be reported on your Dashboard under the Transactions tab on the first business day of the month.

Where Can I View Acorn's ADV Part 2A & 2B?

Please click the following links to view Acorn ADV Part 2A and Acorn ADV 2B

Transfers

Can I transfer my outside portfolio into Acorn?

Yes, this is not only possible – we encourage it. We are able to transfer an outside brokerage account in its entirety to Acorn using the industry-standard Automated Customer Account Transfer Service (ACATS). This will bring your assets over in their entirety.

We then have the ability to sell your transferred assets and invest you in the appropriate Acorn portfolio.

If your account is taxable, any gains on these sales will be taxable.

Is it better to sell any securities before I transfer my account to Acorn?

Yes, we highly recommend that you sell existing securities before you transfer your account to Acorn.

If your account is taxable, any gains on these sales will be taxable.

Can I transfer a portion of an existing brokerage account to Acorn?

Yes, Acorn offers a fully electronic process to transfer all or part of your account. Acorn will recommend a transfer plan for each of the securities in your account and generate a list of assets to be transferred. You are welcome to edit this list by removing or adding securities (except for holdings such as penny stocks, bonds, options, and certain other instruments, which cannot be transferred to Acorn).

What do I do if my IRA or 401(k) administrator did not write my Acorn brokerage account number on my distribution check?

If your 401(k) administrator does not allow you to include your Acorn account number on your rollover check, please instruct the administrator to send the check directly to you instead of sending the check directly to TD Ameritrade. The check should still be made payable to “TD Ameritrade”. When you receive the check in the mail, confirm that it is made payable to “TD Ameritrade” and then handwrite your brokerage account number and your name in the memo field (or where it should be) on the check. You can find your brokerage account number by logging in to your Acorn account, and then select Dashboard from the top of the page.  You will see the number and name for each brokerage account.  Once you have filled in the additional information, please send the check to TD Ameritrade by mailing it to

TD Ameritrade Institutional
5010 Wateridge Vista Drive
San Diego, CA  92121-5775

How do I fund my account?

You will be prompted to select a funding option whenever you open an account or deposit funds.

We currently offer three funding options, which must originate from a U.S.-based financial institution.

  1. Bank Transfer (ACH):This option lets you move funds directly between a checking or savings account and your Acorn account, as long as these accounts are in the same name.  Your money will be transferred electronically and you will be allowed to make additional deposits at any time. In most cases, bank ACH transfers will be deposited into your Acorn account within two to three business days.
  2. Wire Transfer:Should you choose this option you will need to initiate a wire transfer from your bank account to your Acorn account. In most cases, the funds will be deposited in your account the next business day after the wire transfer is initiated. Your funds will be invested after the transfer is completed. Please ask your bank if they charge a fee for this wire transfer, as many banks do.
  3. Account Transfer (ACATS):You can transfer an existing brokerage account held at another firm by selecting “account transfer” as the funding option during the Acorn new account process.  If you own some of the ETFs selected by Acorn, this option may allow you to save on capital gains tax, since the ETFs will be transferred rather than sold. Please be sure that the name of your new account at Acorn matches the name of your current brokerage account.  Also, remember that you will need to sell any mutual funds, bonds and/or equities, other than ETFs that will be part of your Acorn plan, before initiating the transfer process.

Deposits originating from foreign banks or brokerages will be returned.

When can I expect my money to be invested?

  1. ACH Deposits are generally available for investment within 2 business days.
  2. Wire Deposits are generally available for investment the first business day following receipt.
    • Example: If you were to wire funds to us on Monday, your funds will be available for investment on Tuesday
  3. Check Deposits: Deposits by check, i.e. cash additions, 401(k) Rollovers and IRA Rollovers, are held for 5 business days to allow the deposited funds to clear your bank before being released for investment the following day.
    • Example: If your check is deposited on a Monday, your funds would be available for investment in 8 days, or the following Tuesday.

How do I deposit additional funds into my account?

To deposit funds, login to: www.acorndw.com, and then select Account – Transfer Money from top of page. You’ll have the option to make a one-time deposit or to schedule recurring deposits via bank transfer (ACH). Recurring deposits can be scheduled to repeat weekly, biweekly (1st & 15th), monthly, or quarterly.

When the funds arrive, the status of your transaction will update from pending to approved on the Bank Transactions screen.

Can I transfer funds from an account under a different name?

You may only transfer funds between accounts with exactly the same name.  Transferring funds from an account under a different name will cause the fund transfer to be rejected.

Can I transfer securities to and from my Acorn account?

Yes, Acorn supports ACATS, which is the preferred industry standard to electronically transfer securities into and out of your Acorn account. Transferring an account to Acorn will not require help from your existing brokerage firm. When opening or adding to your Acorn account, all you need to do is specify the brokerage firm where the account you want to transfer is held.  You should also specify the account number. The ACATS system automatically transfers the account over. The same process can be used to transfer an Acorn account to another brokerage firm if you are dissatisfied with our service. You will not incur a fee from us if you choose to transfer an account in or out.

One benefit in transferring an account is that we can incorporate any ETFs selected by Acorn into your new investment allocation.

Any securities not incorporated into your new investment allocation will be sold and the proceeds will be invested into your new investment allocation. We do not charge a commission for selling securities you transfer to us.

If your account is taxable, any gains on these sales will be taxable.

Who should I contact if I am having trouble funding my account?

Please contact us by email (support@acorndw.com) or phone 888.88ACORN (888.882.2676) with any account-related question, concern or suggestion.

Why is there uninvested cash in my account?

There will usually be a small amount of uninvested cash in your Acorn account for the following reasons:

We purchase only whole shares of  mutual funds or ETFs for you. This leaves some cash uninvested until there is enough to buy additional whole shares according to your Acorn investment allocation.

We also reserve enough cash to cover Acorn’s fees.

May I dollar cost average?

Yes. If you would like to dollar cost average, we’ve made it convenient for you to schedule deposits into your Acorn account via bank transfer (ACH). The scheduled deposit will then be invested within a reasonable time. To set-up a scheduled deposit, login to: www.acorndw.com, and then select Account and Transfer Money from top of page.

Will Acorn sell the assets I transfer or incorporate them into my taxable portfolio?

If specific assets you transfer are eligible to be incorporated into your Acorn portfolio, and you select this option, we will attempt to include some or all of these transferred assets into your Acorn portfolio, according to your investment plan.

If your assets are not eligible for transfer, Acorn will sell your assets and if your account is taxable, any gains on these sales will be taxable.

The following assets are eligible for incorporation:

  1. ETFs you transfer that are the same ETFs Acorn uses for taxable accounts.
  2. Mutual funds that are the same mutual funds Acorn uses for taxable accounts.

Withdrawals

How do I make a partial withdrawal from my account?

To withdraw some of the funds in your account, login to: www.acorndw.com, and then select Account and Transfer Money from top of page.  We will send the funds to you via bank transfer (ACH). We cannot honor partial withdrawal requests that would leave your account below the required $5,000 minimum balance.

How do I withdraw all the funds in my account?

To withdraw all the funds in your account, login to: www.acorndw.com, and then select Account and Transfer Money from top of page. You will receive your funds via bank transfer (ACH).  In thirty (30) days after the withdrawal is complete, we will close your account as we do not maintain accounts with a zero balance.

How long does it take to withdraw my funds?

The timing of a withdrawal depends on several factors, including what time of day the withdrawal request is made and the institution receiving your funds, but most withdrawals take 5 or 6 business days before the requested funds will be in your bank account.

When you request a withdrawal from your taxable Acorn account, we will send you an email within one business day to verify that the request is valid. Once you verify your withdrawal request, we will place the trades to raise the required cash in your account. All trades then take 3 business days to settle (This applies to all brokerage firms, not just TD Ameritrade). Upon trade settlement, we will then return your funds via the electronic ACH link to your bank account, which usually takes another 1-2 business days, but can take a day or two longer depending on where the funds are being sent.

Please note that if you request a withdrawal into a bank account which is different than the account that originally deposited the funds into Acorn, that for your security, we may ask you for additional information before returning your funds.

How much can I withdraw?

You can withdraw as much and as often as you would like as long as you maintain a minimum balance of $5,000 in your account.

Does Acorn charge fees to withdraw funds?

No, Acorn does not charge fees when you withdraw funds or close your account. TD Ameritrade does not charge for bank transfers (ACH).

Will I have to pay taxes on money withdrawn from Acorn?

To satisfy your withdrawal request, we will typically have to sell some of your Acorn investments. If those investments are sold at a gain, it will typically generate a short-term or long-term capital gains tax.

However, when you withdraw money from an account at Acorn, we work very hard to minimize the tax liability on any gains. We do this by carefully choosing which Acorn tax lots we sell.  In particular, we’ll try to sell lots with losses first (since they generate no tax liability) followed by lots with a smaller tax liability (typically those taxed at the lower long-term capital gains rate) and thereafter followed by lots taxed at the regular long-term capital gains rate.

How does Acorn choose which investments to sell when I withdraw?

To satisfy a withdrawal request, Acorn will attempt to sell investment tax lots to both minimize your tax liability and to also rebalance your portfolio toward your target allocation.

Subject to the tax-efficiency constraints above, we’ll also use withdrawals to sell lots from asset classes that are over weighted relative to your investment plan, thereby moving your portfolio closer to your targeted investment allocation.

If we have not answered your question, please contact us by email (info@acorndw.com) or phone 888.88ACORN (888.882.2676) with any account-related question, concern or suggestion.