18 December 2014 ~ 7 Comments

Acorns Micro-investment Round up app review

Acorns is a cool little iOS and Android App that connects to your bank account and uses “Round-Ups” to invest money.

Basically if you make a purchase of, for example, $4.98 cents, it will then hold the remaining $0.02, rounding it to $5, and using that to make an investment.

One of the things I liked about Acorns was that it was really a “set it and forget it” style of investing, you set it up, it monitors your transactions and rounds up your change, then once it reaches $5 or more, makes an automatic deposit into your investing account.

You don’t really have to put any thought into it, or any active actions to make it work, once it is set up, it just goes until you stop it.

This is great for the audience that I believe it to be targeted to, which is essentially people who don’t have the knowledge (or patience) for selecting their own stocks, but don’t quite need the hand holding that comes with having your own advisor manage your investments for you.

This makes it a super easy way for people who know they should be investing money, but aren’t, to start dipping their toes into the water.  The issue however, is that when you are trying to compete with the sort of automated online/cloud based investing.. the fees just aren’t up to par.

With Acorns you pay $1 a Month + 0.5% (Up to $5k, then it drops to 0.25%).

I used this for a few days and found from my own personal use it was averaging about $3 a day in Round-Ups.

If we took that $3 x 30.5 days a month we would be given a monthly investment of $91.50.

A $1 Fee + 0.5% turns out to $1.45, or 1.59% of our investment…

Now if we just stopped investing here, and let the money sit.. with a market average annual return of 7% a year, our $91.50 would have an annual growth of $6.40, but the fee on it would be nearly $20.

When you look at online investment options, the novelty of the ‘Round-Ups’ is quickly washed aside by the fact that fees are so dramatically higher than their competitors, and will be sitting there slowly eating away at your investments.

Have you used Acorns?  What do you think?

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18 July 2012 ~ 21 Comments

Payza Updates and EgoPay new to Payment Processors

So it was announced on the 13th of this month (July 2012) that Payza would no longer be supporting some sites, and the emails of panic have been flying in so I’m going to set some things clear here and now.

People without reading the Payza update are making assumptions that they won’t support affiliate marketing, this is not true.  Their update adds to the Activities Not Allowed section of the user agreement in that it will not support investment type sites, or unlicensed stocks / investments, etc.  The websites that fall into this category are, plainly, ILLEGAL.  That’s all there is to it, they are broadening their terms to make sure they are in line with federal regulations.  If you are using a site that used Payza but now won’t.. guess what, it’s not legal!  Most notably JSS which is a long running Ponzi scheme, even the well known fraud owner Fredrick Mann has admitted several times it’s Ponzi structure, and countries like Italy have even arrested affiliates of the site as being brokers of unlicensed investments.  If you run a legitimate program within the laws of your country, you have nothing to be concerned about!

Next is the matter of EgoPay, Mann and many other fraudulent investment site owners have been saying they are going to switch to this bogus payment processor called EgoPay, many are even claiming it is created by Payza, though neither company makes this claim.  I can guarantee you if Payza launched a new company, every member would know about it, but they did not.  EgoPay claims to be registered in Belize, but the domain was registered by a private firm in Arizona, where as with Payza, they claim to be in the UK which is also where their Domain is registered.  EgoPay also does not allow you to transfer to your bank account, they require you to use a non-guaranteed third party service to transfer your money to another payment processor which you can transfer out of.

This whole EgoPay thing smells of the same scent as the Illegal Investement Programs that are supporting it.

As with all marketing and especially when using your money, due diligence is necessary, if the scam investment site you are using does not take your money, the scam payment processor that supports them likely will.

As an Editorial Note, I am very thankful to see Payza’s change into being more in line with federal regulations as far as which companies they support, and making it more difficult for people to use the kind of illegal garbage sites that it no longer supports will with any luck put a slow down to these scamsters and prevent them from stealing more people’s money.

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