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 – 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.
Ending. Get £100 cashback on £1k+ investment
Our Evestor deal proved popular and has now run out, though we've left the details here so you can see the kind of offer that runs.
Until 5pm on Friday 22 June, or when 750 people have opened an account and set up a payment, new Evestor customers opening a stocks & shares ISA via our link can get £100 cashback if they invest a minimum of £1,000. The limit was originally 500 people, though Evestor has increased it to 750 following a high level of demand.
The £1,000 can be invested either as a lump sum or monthly payments of at least £125 – the first monthly payment must be made by Wednesday 1 August and the full £1,000 must be invested by 1 March 2019.
You must keep the initial £1,000 investment in your account until the cashback is paid, which will be by 5 April 2019. After that you're free to withdraw the money, though remember it's usually better to invest for the long term.
Even without the cashback offer, Evestor charges low fees. When you sign up you can choose one of three risk levels and it will allocate your money to a portfolio which matches your appetite for risk.
- Annual platform charge: 0.35% (0.25% Evestor fee + 0.10% product fee)
- Annual transaction costs: 0.04%
- Annual fund manager charges: 0.13% max
- Min ISA deposit: £1
- Transfer-out fee: £0