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Micro-Investing App Acorns Appoints Behavioral Economist Benartzi



Acorns app investing
micro-investing app, Acorns, allows users to invest their spare


  • Micro-investing app Acorns has appointed a behavioral
    economist, Shlomo Benartzi, to chair its Behavioral
    Economics Committee.
  • Benartzi will lead an innovative program encouraging
    people to save more.
  • Benartzi’s first Acorns-endowed experiment
    finds people can close savings gap by saving a few
    bucks everyday. 

the micro-investing app that encourages users to invest their
spare change
, has appointed a notable behavioral
to lead an project that encourages people to
save more.

Shlomo Benartzi, professor and co-founder of the Behavioral
Decision-Making Group at UCLA Anderson School of Management, will
chair the company’s Behavioral Economics Committee, according to
a statement released on Thursday. Benartzi will work with a team
of leading scientists to launch a new program, named Money Lab,
to help up-and-coming Americans boost savings and

“We’ve solved the first big societal problem: getting
people to start investing,” said Acorns CEO Noah Kerner.
“Now we’re focused on how we can combine insights of psychology
and economics to create an entire financial system that helps
people save and invest — our Money Lab can really make an

Acorns is trying to tap into the human tendencies revealed
by behavioral economics to create products that can retain
customers and to help people make better financial

Benartzi’s first Acorns-endowed experiment is to test
consumers’ saving habits, through which he has found more people
tend to keep saving as a habit when it’s framed as a daily
contribution. For example, he found that people were more willing
to skip a $5 Starbucks latte every day, rather than making a $150
monthly contribution to their savings — even though it was the
equivalent amount of money. 

Benartzi has previously worked on programs
using nudges to boost financial well
. One program he designed called The Save More
Tomorrow was
 designed to hep employees increase their
savings rates over time. It was incorporated
into the Pension Protection Act of 2006 to help raise
American retirement savings.

Research has shown that despite a historically low
unemployment rate and rising wage growth, Americans still are not
putting much money aside for savings. According to a survey from,
 a consumer financial services
company, 20% Americans are yet adding anything to their

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