What is your opinion on micro investing apps like Acorns and Betterment? Are these good vehicles for building wealth in the long term, and are there any major drawbacks to these types of services?
I’m not saying there’s anything really wrong with Acorns or Betterment, but they do different things. Acorns is more of an invest pennies, round-up kind of program, where Betterment is kind of a robo-investing deal.
Here’s the thing. Micro investing is going to create micro wealth. And the big downside is you’re going to feel like you did something important. The way you end up with money is by investing money. The way you end up with more money is by investing more money. You can argue all you want that using things like these create extra money. Yeah, but not really. The returns are still micro. An app doesn’t make two dollars turn into twenty dollars.
It’s okay to use apps like that. I’m not mad at them, and I don’t think they’re a rip-off. What worries me about these kinds of things, in an investing sense, is they give the illusion that you’ve done something significant with your money.
* Dave Ramsey is CEO of Ramsey Solutions. He has authored seven best-selling books, including The Total Money Makeover. The Dave Ramsey Show is heard by more than 16 million listeners each week on 600 radio stations and multiple digital platforms. Follow Dave on the web at daveramsey.com and on Twitter at @DaveRamsey.