Popular App Acorns Is Growing. Here's What It Means for Consumers

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  • Acorns and GoHenry users may see more parent-friendly features coming soon.
  • Parents can combine robo-advisors like Acorns with intuitive cash management strategies to better teach kids how money actually works.
  • The Acorns app may also become available to European customers.

Acorns, a popular U.S.–exclusive investing app, is branching out. The app offers over 5 million users easy, automated investment strategies. Acorns' robo-advisory services are more affordable and straightforward than human advisors.

Over the last decade, Acorns has grown its offerings, including retirement accounts and access to a Bitcoin ETF for customers. They've even dabbled in custodial accounts through Acorns Early, which lets parents make tax-advantaged investments for their kids.

This month, Acorns doubled down on appealing to parents who want their kids to be financially savvy. It acquired GoHenry, a U.K.–based app that helps parents teach their kids financial literacy by providing 6 to 18-year-olds with debit cards, paid chores, and more.

Customers can rest assured their app won't disappear into the interwebs. The acquisition is being branded as a partnership, not a merger. Both Acorns and GoHenry will stick around as separate apps under Acorns' ownership.

As Acorns thickens its canopy of offerings, consumers can expect to see Acorns expand internationally. GoHenry and Acorns users may see new features coming soon. Current customers can keep calm and carry on as per usual.

What the acquisition means for Acorns users

Acorns hasn't flagged any disruptions to its service. Chances are, Acorns users won't notice any disruptions to the app.

In its press release, Acorns CEO states that the acquisition will "accelerate our roadmap" regarding offering financial services for kids. That's good news for customers unsatisfied with Acorns Early, the company's current solution to teaching kids financial fluency.

For example, Acorns may bring popular GoHenry features like paid chores and allowance management to the Acorns app. Doing so would make it even easier for parents to teach kids how to manage money.

New customers abroad can expect Acorns to come to them. This acquisition marks the first time Acorns has branched outside the United States, specifically to the U.K., France, and Spain, where GoHenry currently operates.

What the acquisition means for GoHenry users

GoHenry users have no cause for concern. According to a GoHenry blog post, the merger won't interrupt regular app usage. U.S. users will see GoHenry rebranded to GoHenry by Acorns in the app store.

The most notable thing GoHenry has revealed so far is that the partnership between the fintech companies will create new opportunities for customers to save and invest. For example, GoHenry may integrate core Acorns features, like the stocks investments and round-ups, combining the best parts of both platforms.

A robo-advisor can make parenting easier

Acorns appeals to beginner investors who prefer simple strategies over nitty-gritty ones. By expanding features offered to parents and minors, Acorns makes it easy to save early.

There are alternatives to using robo-advisors like Acorns. Some parents prefer to teach their kids with cold, hard cash. Cash strategies benefit kids, who understand transactions more intuitively when they see green bills exchanged for candy bars at the grocery counter.

There's nothing stopping parents from using both strategies. Parents can combine the convenience of automated money management with intuitive, real-world examples of how money actually works.

For example, parents can mix and match digital banking with trips to physical banks, grounding money in its historical context. Parents can have their kids exchange physical cash for digital cash on an app. By linking physical to digital value, parents prepare kids for modern finance.

Acorns is just one of many companies that offer simpler money management. Shop around to find a money-management service that works for your needs. The best robo-advisors let hands-off users grow their money without thinking about it.

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