Acorns launches retirement account product to expand beyond retail investing

Acorns, the mobile service that’s providing a gateway to investing in the stock market, has completed the master plan it set in motion months ago with the acquisition of Vault by finally launching a retirement account product today.

Called Acorns Later, the service is the first Acorns investment vehicle to get the same kind of tax advantages the swells get when they invest through products like Individual Retirement Accounts.

“Setting up a retirement account is confusing and, as a result, two out of three Americans aren’t saving for later in life,” said Noah Kerner, Acorns chief executive officer, in a statement. “Acorns Later removes friction from the decision making process, getting back to our central product philosophy: make big decisions small.”

Based on the same premise as the Acorns app, the Acorns Later feature will automatically recommend a retirement account and portfolio to customers.

The recommendations use an investor’s age, income and “other factors” to suggest one of three individual retirement accounts — either a traditional account, a Roth account (which charges you taxes up front, but not upon withdrawals that meet certain conditions) or an SEP (simplified employee pension plan).

Anyone can launch an account as long as they can put five dollars into it — then, like a regular Acorns account — customers set contributions to be withdrawn from an account daily, weekly or monthly.

“We joined the Acorns team to offer more Americans a simpler way to save,” said Randy Fernando, the founder and former chief executive of Vault and current head of investment products at Acorns, in a statement.