Compare Robo Advisors
However well intentioned, the government’s 2012 Retail Distribution Review resulted in very large numbers of people being either unwilling to pay for financial advice or denied access to it.
Now the financial technology – fintech – revolution is providing another solution for those wrestling with tuition fees, spiralling housing costs and retirement planning – digital wealth management, or robo advisors.
In the States the ‘401k’ conversation has graced many a dinner table, but in the UK we are really only just getting to grips with pension freedoms in a post-final salary scheme world, just when investment returns are at historically low levels.
DIY investing requires some effort and retail investors need to work really hard to remain dispassionate in their decisions in order to avoid the ‘buy high, sell low’ trap.
Now, with the blessing of the regulator, a new generation of automated investment services has arrived, pushing down the cost of advice and helping individuals with goal setting and asset allocation.
One size does not fit all when it comes to financial advice; robo advisors generally fulfill the needs of most beginner investors and investors with an uncomplicated financial portfolio.
Suitability of a particular platform may depend upon your net worth and the complexity of your investments, and may be used alongside a DIY strategy.
New services coming on stream often differ in their underlying investments, their asset allocation model and their route to market, but so far as is possible, Muckle will deliver and maintain an objective comparison to enable users to find the right platform for their individual requirements.
The first generation – dubbed robo-advice 1.0 – platforms vary in terms of their level of automation and sophistication; some considerations for would be investors are:
- Minimum Deposit– Some firms you can start out with nothing and others require sizable amounts to start with.
- Annual Fees– Be aware of hidden costs and ETF management charges.
- Asset Allocation– Asset allocation can vary based upon your age, and the way you answer their risk assessment questions.
- Account Type Support– Do they offer general investment, ISA and SIPP accounts?
- Automation– Some services are 100% automated others deliver human assisted advice.
- Goals – Can you set more than one end-goal – eg, tuition fees and retirement?
|Management Fee||Fund Charges||Account |
|Investment management||Investment instrument||Rebalancing||Human|
|0.7% asset management fee (min £70 GIA/ISA min £40 JISA)||0.11% - 0.16% fund management fee||general investment|
£1,000 lump sum or £100 pm JISA
|monthly||yes||client selects one of six risk based model portfolios||desktop, tablet, iOS app||Visit site|
|0.65% on first £100k|
0.5% on next £150k
0.35% > £250k
|0.6% average||general investment |
|actively managed funds||yes and annual risk assessment review||365 days a year support||five risk based investment strategies from defensive to aggressive||desktop, tablet, app, telephone||Visit site|
|0.48% up to £25k|
0.29% on total assets on investments over £25k
0% on 'Young Investor' account
|0.11 - 0.15% TER fund management fee||general investment account, ISA, Junior ISA, SIPP||£100||automated||ETFs||yes||no||goal based risk management||desktop, tablet, Android, iPhone, Windowsphone||Visit site|
|0.25% management fee|
0.10% product fee
|0.13% max fund management fee||general investment |
|£1||restricted advice - 'money management'||ETFs||yes||live chat|
|goal based investing||desktop, tablet, app - iOS and Android, telephone||Visit site|
|initial 0.25% + 0.34% asset management fee||0.46 - 0.52% fund management fee||general investment|
|£1,000||automated investment advice|
active discretionary management
|actively managed funds and ETFs||yes||no||model portfolios and risk assessment||browser based desktop, tablet, mobile||Visit site|
|0.65% up to £50k|
0.35% £50k to £250k
0.1% over £250k
|£500 per account type||investment manager||iShares ETFs||yes |
|yes telephone/online||five risk based portfolios cautious to aggressive|
annual risk review
|browser based||Visit site|
0.6% £20k - £100k
0.5% £100 - £500k
0.4% £500k +
|0.30% fund management fee||general investment|
|none||automated investment advice||ETFs||yes||no||model portfolios||desktop, tablet, iOS, android apps||Full review
|£69 initial advice|
0.7% ongoing advice
|0.3% ongoing discretionary management|
£99 set up pension
£50,000 considered viable
|hybrid||managed portfolios - ETFs and actively managed funds||yes||limited personal advice||model portfolios and risk based||browser based||Visit site|
|0.75% p.a.||0.19% - 0.25%||general investment|
|£50||automated||ETFs||yes||yes||risk based portfolios||all devices supported||Visit site|
|Initial advice £5 - £500|
Platform fee 0.11%
Sliding monthly monitoring fee
|0.22% max||general investment|
|£250 lump sum|
£25 per month
|automated||ETFs||yes||WhatsApp-style chatbot||Vanguard Lifestrategy funds||'mobile first' technology, online||Visit site|
|Fully managed 0.75% < £100k, 0.35% beyond.|
Fixed portfolio 0.45% <£100k, 0.25% beyond.
|0.19% average||general investment|
|£500 per pot|
Min £100 per month <£5,000 invested.
Pension £5,000 min
|automated investment advice||ETFs||yes||no||model portfolios||browser based, tablet, mobile||Full review
|£0 or £6 per month (optional)||typically 0.22%||general investment||£10,000||automated discretionary wealth management, with an alpha overlay.||ETFs and Fixed Income Securities||yes||yes||a speciality, founders are Certified Financial Risk Managers||browser based||Visit site|
|0.75% p.a.||0.25%||general investment|
|£5,000||automated discretionary wealth management||ETFs||yes||no||individually and dynamically managed portfolios, risk assessment||desktop, tablet, iOS, android||Full review
|yes||no||model portfolios and risk management||Visit site|
|0.4% management fee||0.82% fund charge||general investment |
|£50||active portfolio management||portfolios of active and passive funds||yes||yes, email, online, telephone||ten risk based portfolios from active to aggressive||desktop, tablet, app||Visit site|
£100 - £250k 0.15%
£250k + 0.1%
|£15,000||UBS wealth management||ETFs, trackers, smart beta ETFs, actively managed funds||yes||yes and integration with other services||goal based personalised advice||browser based, mobile and tablet||Visit site|
0.75% asset management fee
|0.18% fund management fee||general investment|
|£1,000 or £100 per month||automated personal recommendation||passive funds||yes||limited personal advice||model portfolio and risk assessment||browser based||Visit site|
0.6% £15k - £50k
0.5% £50k +
|0.17% ave||general investment|
|£1||automated||ETFs and mutual funds||yes||limited personal advice||model portfolios and risk assessment||desktop, tablet, mobile app||Full review
|0% < £5k|
Wealthsimple Black 0.5% £100k+
|ETFs and passive trackers||yes||Yes - free portfolio review||three risk managed portfolios - conservative, balanced, growth||desktop, tablet, iOS, Android||Visit site|