Ashton Kutcher on His Best Investment (It's Not What You Think)


Ashton Kutcher has played many roles in his lifetime.

You probably know some of them: Michael Kelso from “That ’70s Show,” Walden Schmidt from “Two and a Half Men,” and the star of dozens of movies, including “The Butterfly Effect” and “No Strings Attached.”

Others you might not be as familiar with. Before becoming famous, Kutcher worked jobs ranging from clean-up on construction crews to skinning and cleaning deer at a meat locker to baling hay.

More recently, he’s co-founded a human rights organization (THORN) , and a digital media company ( A Plus ), and, for the last several years, focused on one gig he seems particularly skilled at: startup investor.

In 2011, he co-founded venture capital firm A-Grade Investments, and in 2015, Sound Ventures, and has since poured millions into companies like Airbnb, Uber, and (ahem, full disclosure) Acorns. We talked with Kutcher about investing , financial firsts, and his best advice for living the life you want.

What inspired you to invest in startups?
I spend a lot of time thinking about new and simpler ways to do things, but don’t have enough time to execute on all those ideas. So I found people who were executing on them and invested in their success. What gets you excited about a particular company?
But the real thing that sweeps me away is when I get the feeling that something is obvious, and it just seems like, `Of course this is how we should be doing it!’ Or when an idea is so wonderful that you spend hours thinking about various iterations and applications. What do you consider your best investment?
Looking forward, what area of investing captures your imagination?
So, tell us about your first jobs.
What’s the first thing you saved for?
What was your scariest financial decision?
If you could impart some wisdom to your younger self, what would it be?
Optimism is priceless—but only when coupled with measurement. What would you tell someone who asks what they should invest in?
[Then] pay attention. If you work in a grocery store, pay attention to the items that you can’t keep in stock, and the new things that are hitting the shelf. If you are a contractor, investigate the new materials showing up on jobs. Who makes them? Why are they better? You may have a more educated opinion than you are giving yourself credit for. Too often, people speculate on investments based on what’s making someone else rich and forget to do a deep index on their own behaviors. Invest in that which you would like to see become a reality. Worst-case scenario, you lose money—but at least you will get the life you want.

acorns+cnbcacorns cnbc

Join Acorns


About Us

Learn More

Follow Us

All investments involve risk, including loss of principal. The contents presented herein are provided for general investment education and informational purposes only and do not constitute an offer to sell or a solicitation to buy any specific securities or engage in any particular investment strategy. Acorns is not engaged in rendering any tax, legal, or accounting advice. Please consult with a qualified professional for this type of advice.

Any references to past performance, regarding financial markets or otherwise, do not indicate or guarantee future results. Forward-looking statements, including without limitations investment outcomes and projections, are hypothetical and educational in nature. The results of any hypothetical projections can and may differ from actual investment results had the strategies been deployed in actual securities accounts. It is not possible to invest directly in an index.

Advisory services offered by Acorns Advisers, LLC (“Acorns Advisers”), an investment adviser registered with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (“SEC”). Brokerage and custody services are provided to clients of Acorns Advisers by Acorns Securities, LLC (“Acorns Securities”), a broker-dealer registered with the SEC and a member of the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority, Inc. (“FINRA”) and the Securities Investor Protection Corporation (“SIPC”). Acorns Pay, LLC (“Acorns Pay”) manages Acorns’s demand deposit and other banking products in partnership with Lincoln Savings Bank, a bank chartered under the laws of Iowa and member FDIC. Acorns Advisers, Acorns Securities, and Acorns Pay are subsidiaries of Acorns Grow Incorporated (collectively “Acorns”). “Acorns,” the Acorns logo and “Invest the Change” are registered trademarks of Acorns Grow Incorporated. Copyright © 2021 Acorns and/or its affiliates.

NBCUniversal and Comcast Ventures are investors in Acorns Grow Incorporated.