Expanding its reach, Acorns gains a PFM partner

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Microinvesting sites are strategically expanding their appeal among millennial investors.

Now claiming over 2 million investment accounts, Acorns announced a partnership with Clarity Money, which offers a personal finance management app.

Through the partnership, Clarity Money customers can use Acorns’ automated investing features, while Acorns investors are able to see a snapshot of their investing activity in the Clarity Money app.

The blending of microinvesting and PFM will likely alter how wealth management clients are delivered advice, according to a recent study by industry research firm Celent.

And the appeal of microinvesting among millennials — despite concerns about how fees are levied against their normally small accounts — has brought these providers more than just partnerships. Earlier this month, Acorns' competitor Stash announced an additional $40 million in fundraising.

Clarity Money, which launched last year, allows customers to aggregate their bank accounts, analyze their financial habits and make suggestions to save money. (Clarity itself raised $11 million in funding in March).

Clarity is one of a number of free savings apps in the market, but has plans to go beyond its initial service and offer its users access to financial products through partnerships such as the one with Acorns, said Colin Kennedy, chief revenue officer at Clarity Money.

“Absolutely, we’re on the road to offer more financial products, and one way we’re doing that is this partner approach,” he said.

The partnership has been in effect for six days, and Kennedy said user adoption has already exceeded expectation. “The number of users opening [Acorns] accounts has already exceeded in the first week what we projected for the first month,” he added.

Clarity Money’s user base will also have access to Acorns’ rewards program, Found Money. Launched in May 2016, the Found Money program invests up to 10% of a user’s purchase with a partner retail brand into their Acorns account.

Clarity Money was founded by Adam Dell, brother of Dell Technologies CEO Michael Dell.

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