Acorns: Investing Your Spare Change

Acorns: put your spare change to work in the stock market!

Note: I don’t get paid for making these recommendations, these are actually just stuff I’ve found that I think is cool and want to share with you!

Those of you who have been with my blog for a little while might remember when I talked about Digit, a cool little application that squirrels away your extra money, a few dollars and cents at a time, into a savings account. In that same vein, I recently discovered an application called Acorns. In the same spirit as Digit, Acorns (currently a mobile app, with a web application on its way very soon) pulls small amounts of money from your accounts over time. However, instead of depositing it in a plain-old savings account, Acorns invests it.

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RSUs: Restricted Stock Units

Pretty soon, you’ll feel comfortable with all this stock market stuff!

I spent most of my life before now knowing nothing about the stock market or investing. However, when I graduated, I had investment thrust upon me because of RSUs: Restricted Stock Units. RSUs are a form of alternative compensation which is often included in job offers, particularly in the tech sector. They serve several purposes:

  1. Acting as a delayed bonus which you can cash out after a set period of time (known as a “vesting period”). This helps companies retain employees since if you leave before the end of the vesting period you lose out on your bonus.
  2. Forcing employees to invest in the company’s stock so they will have more motivation to do their jobs well, because if the company is doing better your stock is worth more.
  3. Serving as an alternative to increased salary when trying to piece together an acceptable offer for a new engineer (see my post on salary negotiations to learn how you can use this to your advantage).

It can sometimes be pretty confusing to figure out how RSUs work, and what RSUs should be worth to you. I’ll guide you through those thought processes in this post.

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