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I have an Acorns account and have been depositing a modest amount into it every week for a couple of years. I've been trying to understand exactly how it works recently. It seems like its a lot of Vanguard index funds tracking the overall stock market.

My question is does it make sense to put more money into it now than I usually would if I think the stock market will recover? For example I can see the VTI ETF is at about $118 a share right now. If I buy shares in that right now and the stock market recovers I will make a profit. Does the Acorns ETF have this same buy low characteristic?

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Yes - "Buy low, sell high" would apply to Acorn similarly to any other brokerage account.

Acorn is just a simple investing account where you can buy a limited number of Vanguard's low cost ETFs. The Vanguard ETFs typically are index funds which track a given market index like the S&P 500. The market's indexes are currently lower as you alluded to in your question.

There is no difference in investments between what the Acorn app offers and any other brokerage that trades Vanguard ETFs. The main difference between Acorn and other brokerages (eg: Schwab, Fidelity, TD Ameritrade, etc) are the limits Acorn imposes on your portfolio. The limiting differences are: limited selection of the type of funds you can purchase, the funds are exclusively Vanguard/iShares, and the ratios in which you can structure your investment account are fixed by Acorn's team. You can read about the different portfolio options here under "our portfolios".

Thus, Acorn's investments follow the same ebbs and follows as the greater stock market. Acorn just simplifies what investments choices you have available to you as a DIY investor. Yet, even with it's limitations, it still puts together a simple, yet comprehensive portfolio based on your selected risk tolerance.

If you're interested in knowing what limited selection of funds Acorn offers, check out this link.

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    One more advantage that a service like Acorns does: purchases of fractions of shares. Which is nice because you can set up a small amount, like $50/month to go into the fund, and depending on what portfolio you want, that $50 is still split among the various ETFs that it would buy. You dont have to wait for enough money to accumulate to buy a whole share; Acorns lets you split it up over the fractions of shares of ETF per the split you choose. – R. Hamilton Mar 20 '20 at 18:47

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