Robo-Investing Platforms

Find the best Robo-Advisor to manage your investments

Updated: 17th April 2021

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What Is Robo-Investing?

Robo-investing – sometimes called robo-advisors or online wealth managers – are investment platforms that invest on your behalf. They do all the hard work for you and are great for those that either don’t know how to invest or are not inclined to manage their own portfolio.

A robo-advisor will provide a digitised and simplified alternative to what a human financial advisor would traditionally have offered, but crucially for a much lower fee. It’s important to understand that robo-investing services aren’t designed to give the full advice offered by a financial advisor. A robo-advisor will typically pick and manage your investments but won’t offer any other financial advice.

On signing up to a robo-investing platform you will be asked some fact-finding questions that aim to assess your attitude to risk and financial goals. They will then allocate you to a suitable basket of investments and manage them for you.

Who Is Robo-Investing For?

While robo-investing platforms are very affordable, they do typically cost more than do-it-yourself investing platforms. However, the most important thing when investing is not the fees you pay but what overall return you get after fees, so a small premium may be worth paying.

For most people who have no interest in investing, a robo-advisor is likely to provide greater returns than what you could get elsewhere or what you could get yourself. Plus, you have the added benefit that you don’t need to swot up on this complex subject. You can get back to binging on Netflix in safe knowledge that your investments are still being cared for.

However, if you want to make your own investment decisions check out the best do-it-yourself investment platforms page. Bear in mind that even if you are interested in investing you should ask yourself whether your behaviour is likely to damage your returns. Trading frequently, reacting to bad news, and trying to time the market are some of the many ways investors underperform. If this is likely to be you, robo-investing could be the answer.

Why Invest?

Investing your money will allow it to grow. Whether you’re investing for retirement, financial freedom or just financial security, an investment pot working for you will greatly help you to reach your goals.

The purchasing power of money rapidly shrinks year after year due to the silent assassin known as inflation. Not only does investing allow you to build wealth but it also helps defend your future against this invisible enemy.

Interest from savings will not protect your money in real terms as the miserly interest rate paid by banks is far below inflation. You must invest to protect and build your wealth…

Robo-Investing – The Need-To-Knows

Before you start investing, here are the things you should know about robo-investing.

1. With robo-investing you can’t pick your own investments.
Robo advisors are designed to manage investments on your behalf. They will build a portfolio of funds that are based on your risk-profile, which they establish by asking you a series of questions. Some robo-investing services may also allow you to choose your own investments, but this is a separate service.

2. Keep fees to a minimum.
Fees matter. Even seemingly small fees can significantly eat into your long-term returns. Having said this, choosing not to invest at all because of some small fees is likely to be a mistake.

3. Don’t let the welcome bonus dictate which platform you use.
Welcome bonuses should be considered a bonus and shouldn’t be the deciding factor when choosing an investment service.

4. The value of your investments can up as well as down.
As with any investment there is a level of risk. Robo-advisors will try to assess your attitude to risk and allocate an appropriate portfolio, but this will never eliminate risk completely. Here at Money Unshackled we try to remind investors that inflation is always chipping away at your money, so learn to accept some risk in an attempt to outpace this constant devaluing of your wealth.

5. Utilise Your ISA allowance.
Everyone in the UK aged 18+ has a £20,000 ISA allowance for 2021/22. In most cases it would be wise to utilise your ISA allowance before investing in taxable accounts.

Our Top Pick Robo-Investing Platforms

Nutmeg

UK’s first robo-advisor. Simple, transparent and excellent track record.

Open Account

For the investor who wants all the hard work done for them. Nutmeg builds and manages a diversified portfolio for you, using technology to keep charges low and the investment goals personal to you. The portfolios are constructed from diversified ETFs.

Nutmeg will ask you a series of questions and assign you to a suitable portfolio based on your attitude to risk.

It has four different plans to choose from, with no hidden fees – the cheapest, the “Fixed Allocation” plan, costs 0.45% up to £100k, and 0.25% beyond. There is also a fund fee (average 0.19%), and finally a market spread (average 0.05%).
The “Fully managed” plan, costs 0.75% up to £100k, and 0.35% beyond. Again, there is also a fund fee (average 0.19%), and a market spread (average 0.05%). With the fully managed plan Nutmeg will watch over your investments and make changes whenever they deem it necessary with the goal of outperforming the market.

Which plan is better? Only time will tell. Their track record on the fully managed plan is impressive, returning on average 8.8% per annum in the 8.5 years to Feb 2021.

Nutmeg offers a wide range of account types including ISA, Lifetime ISA, General Account, Pension, and Junior ISA.

For new investors Nutmeg will reduce the platform fee to 0% for 6 months when you sign up with the link below.

Key Info

Platform Charge: For the Fixed Allocation plan fees are 0.45% on the first £100,000, then 0.25%

Other Fees: Fund fees average 0.19% and Market Spread average 0.05% (on Fixed Allocation plan)

Minimum Investment: £500. (Lifetime ISA: £100)

Transfer Out fee: Free

Bonus Period: First 6 months without platform fees when you sign up via Money Unshackled

InvestEngine

Simple, low cost, transparent.

Open Account

InvestEngine’s robo investing service builds and manages investment portfolios for individuals and businesses for fees of just 0.25% a year. The portfolios are constructed from low-cost diversified ETFs. Note that InvestEngine also offer a “do-it-yourself” service where you can trade ETFs for free with zero platform fee.

The low platform fee for the robo investing service of just 0.25% puts it amongst the most competitively priced robo-investing services. In fact, the fee is so low it is cheaper than most do-it-yourself investment platforms.

InvestEngine offers two types of portfolios – Growth and Income. You choose which type you want, and they match you to a specific portfolio within each category to suit your risk level.

InvestEngine offers a wide range of account types including ISA, General Account (they call it Personal), and Business Account. Pension accounts are not currently available, but they are planning to offer this soon.

For new investors InvestEngine will give you a £50 welcome bonus when you sign up with the link below.

See full platform review here.

Key Info

Platform Charge: 0.25%

Other Fees: Fund fees average 0.15% on growth portfolio or 0.25% on income portfolio. Market Spread average 0.07% 

Minimum Investment: £100

Transfer Out fee: Free

Bonus Period: £50 welcome bonus when you sign up via Money Unshackled and deposit £100 – keep it invested for 12 months to hold onto the bonus

Full Price Comparison Table (Best Robo-Advisors)

Platform Welcome Offer With Our Link Minimum Starting Investment Platform Fee Fund Costs Market Spread Accounts Offered Review
Nutmeg 6 months with zero platform fee £500
(Lifetime ISA: £100)
Fixed Allocation Portfolio:
0.45% up to £100,000, 0.25% beyond
Average 0.19% Average 0.05% Stocks & Shares ISA,
Stocks & Shares Lifetime ISA,
General, Pension,
Stocks & Shares Junior ISA
Coming Soon
Fully Managed Portfolio:
0.75% up to £100k, 0.35% beyond
Average 0.19%
Smart Alpha Portfolio:
0.75% up to £100k, 0.35% beyond
Average 0.14%
Socially Responsible Portfolio:
0.75% up to £100k, 0.35% beyond
Average 0.32%
InvestEngine

("managed for you" portfolios)
£50 welcome bonus £100 Managed Portfolios: 0.25% Average growth portfolio: 0.15%,
Average income portfolio: 0.25%
Average 0.07% Stocks & Shares ISA,
Personal (General),
Business
Full Platform Review Here
Wealthify £25 welcome bonus £0 (£500 for offer) 0.60% Average: 0.16%, or
Average ethical portfolio: 0.56%
Included in fund costs Stocks & Shares ISA,
General, Pension,
Stocks & Shares Junior ISA
Coming Soon
MoneyFarm 6 months with zero platform fee on your first £5,000 £5,000 Up to £10,000: 0.75%
Next £10,000 - £50,000: 0.60%
Next £50,000 - £100,000: 0.50%
On anything over £100,000: 0.35%
Average 0.20% Up to 0.09% Stocks & Shares ISA,
General, Pension
Coming Soon
Wealthsimple - £1 (£5,000 for SRI portfolios) Up to £100,000: 0.70%
£100,000+: 0.50%
Average 0.20% Included in fund costs Stocks & Shares ISA,
General, Pension,
Stocks & Shares Junior ISA
Coming Soon
IG Smart Portfolios - £500 0.50% (capped at £250 a year) Average 0.14%.
0.50% FX fee when converting foreign dividends
Average 0.07% Stocks & Shares ISA,
General, Pension
Coming Soon
evestor - £1 0.35% Average 0.11% - 0.14% Included in fund costs Stocks & Shares ISA,
General, Pension
Coming Soon

So you know…

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