Robo-funds are being heavily advertised. They're far simpler than normal investing but you're locked in to invest in a 'portfolio' of funds. We think this is somewhat restrictive. However, sometimes these robo-funds offer cashback via a special link when you invest, which'll get you a huge head start on other funds.
Without the cashback, they're fighting against other standard investments, and we'd always tell you to look for lower fees and a bigger choice. But as some of this cashback has been equivalent to up to a 10% head start, other products would need to do very well to beat them.
MoneySavingExpert.com's speciality is not what to invest in Ė we only look at these as deals, as we can't tell you what is going to be a good or bad investment. So the most important thing to understand is:
We're not saying to go for these funds, we're just saying that if you're going to go for these anyway, then make sure you get the cashback.
Here are five things you need to know:
- With robo-investment firms you can't pick your own selection of funds. Instead, your money will be invested in a basket of funds selected by the robo-provider and based on your risk profile (the firm will ask you a number of questions when you sign up to assess the level of risk you're willing to take).
- Always keep an eye on fees. Because even small fees year after year can eat into your investment.
- The bigger the investment, the less cashback will matter. If you invest more than the minimum needed to receive the cashback, do remember that you'll be more reliant on market movements to boost your returns in relation to the cashback.
- ALWAYS remember the warning. As with any investments, the value of your funds can go down as well as up, and while it's unlikely, you could lose all your money.
- The deal below is for stocks & shares ISAs only. Remember, everyone in the UK over 18 has a £20,000 ISA allowance for 2017/18. For more options, see our Stocks & Shares ISAs guide. You can only contribute to one stocks & shares ISA each tax year.
If this is the first time you've considered any type of investing, it'll be worth reading our beginners' guide to investing to get a broader idea of what's involved.
NOW ENDED BUT KEPT FOR REFERENCE. £100 boost on £1k+ investment
MSE Update Wed 15 Aug 2.25pm: This Wealthsimple deal has proved really popular with MoneySavers and all 500 £100 bonuses have now gone. We've left the details here for reference - if you open and fund a new account now, you WONíT be eligible for any bonus.
The first 500 people who open a Wealthsimple account for the first time via our Wealthsimple link and invest a minimum of £1,000 can get £100 cashback.
The £1,000 can be deposited into any type of Wealthsimple investment account, or cumulatively across different accounts - for example, you could put £500 in a stocks & shares ISA and £500 in a Junior ISA on behalf of a child.
As there are only 500 bonuses available, it's worth funding your account as close to opening it as you can. Though Wealthsimple told us as soon as it hits 500 funded accounts with £1,000 each, it will email everyone else and let them know they havenít qualified for the £100 bonus.
The bonus payment will be added to your account between 15-29 Nov 2018, though you'll need to keep the initial £1,000 investment in your account until 1 Aug 2019 (or the bonus will be deducted from your withdrawal amount). After that you're free to withdraw the money, though remember it's usually better to invest for the long term.
When you sign up, you can choose between three risk levels, from conservative to growth, depending on the level of risk you want to take.
Its charges, which are detailed below, are cheaper elsewhere, but itís the cashback that makes it a top pick, and as a result gives you a 9% boost on a £1,000 investment.
- Annual platform charge: 0.7% (£0-£100k), 0.5% (£100k+)
- Annual transaction costs: £0
- Annual fund manager charges: 0.18%
- Min ISA deposit: £1
- Transfer-out fee: N/A
- Deal ends: 1 Nov 2018 (or sooner if all 500 bonuses are snapped up)