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Robo advisors are digital investment platforms that help you build a long-term investment portfolio by matching your investment objectives with relevant premade ETF portfolios or funds and can be cheaper than wealth managers as the process is automated.

Best Robo-Advisors 2022

We have ranked, compared and reviewed some of the best robo-advisors in the UK that are regulated by the FCA.

Our picks for the best UK robo-advisor accounts are based on:

  • over 7,000 votes in our annual awards
  • our own experiences testing the robo-advisors with real money
  • an in-depth comparison of the features that make them stand out compared to alternative robo-investing accounts.
  • interviews with the robo-advisor CEOs and senior management

All investing carries risk. This article contains affiliate links which may earn us some form of income if you go on to open an account. This does not affect our editorial bias, rankings or comparison.

Nutmeg

Nutmeg: Best robo-advisor 2022

JP Morgan owned Nutmeg won our award for best robo-advisor in 2022 and 2021 as they offer one of the simplest ways to start investing with either a standard account, stocks and shares ISA or pension. 

Pros:

  • Socially responsible investing
  • Owned by JP Morgan
  • Easy to use

Cons:

  • High £500 minimum investment
  • 0.75%* account fee is relatively high
  • Cannot invest in individual shares
*Nutmeg account fees drop to 0.35% for balances over £100k. There is an addition charged by the investment fund managers of around 0.2% and the market spread on buying and selling portfolios is on average 0.07%

Moneyfarm

Moneyfarm: Excellent choice of risk-based portfolios

Moneyfarm is a very simple way to invest and offers guidance from experienced professionals backed by ongoing digital investment advice so you can feel confident about your investments.

Pros:

  • Easy to use
  • Simple portfolios
  • Good customer support

Cons:

  • High £500 minimum investment
  • 0.75%* account fee is relatively high
  • Cannot invest in individual shares
*Moneyfarm investing account fees are scaled between 0.75% for accounts between £500 and £50,000, then above £100k are 0.45% to 0.35%. Average investment fund fees are 0.2% and the average market spread when buying and selling is 0.10%

Weathify

Wealthify: Invest from just £1

Wealthify, part of the Aviva Group, lets you invest in either an original portfolio of investments from the UK and overseas or choose an ethical investment plan made from a blend of environmentally and socially responsible investments.

Pros:

  • Managed account
  • £1 minimum deposit
  • 0.6%* account fee

Cons:

  • Cannot invest in individual shares

*There are also investment costs of on average 0.16% for original plans and 0.7% for ethical plans. Capital at risk.

Compare Robo-Advisors

In our comparison table of robo-advisors, you can see how much they charge and what types of accounts and if they offer.

Robo AdvisorFeesISAPensionJunior ISALifetime ISAMore Info

Nutmeg Robo advisor

0.75% to 0.45% for first £100k then 0.35% to 0.25% (depending on portfolio)✔️✔️✔️✔️See Offers

Wealthify Robo advisor

0.6% of portfolio value✔️✔️✔️See Offers

Moneyfarm roboadvisor

0.75% to 0.6% up to £100k then 0.45% to 0.35% over✔️✔️✔️See Offers

Robo-Advisors Explained

Robo-advisors allow customers to invest in a small selection of ETFs or funds. These are normally repackaged with friendlier names than the original basic underlying fund.

The product range that you can invest in using a Robo Adviser is not as broad as if you were investing with a human wealth manager. As technology simplifies the choice to the basic risk and ethical options, a broader fund is offered rather than individual investment choices.

To invest with a robo-investor, you will have to pick which funds you like in their portfolio and assign some of your long-term investment portfolio to it.

Robo-advisors are not actually robots, the portfolios have been chosen by investment managers and given risk and geotags so that the choices you input on the website are matched to appropriate investments.

For example, robo-advisor Wealthify builds its client portfolios by allocating to low-cost ETFs, whilst rival Nutmeg offers fixed allocations to a range of funds based on risk appetite, which are then regularly rebalanced based on the price performance of the underlying assets.

Robo-advisors are suitable investment accounts for those that don’t want to make their own investment decisions and are happy to buy into a pre-made portfolio of diverse investments through a general investment account, stocks and shares ISA or pension.

Advantages of Robo-advisors

  • Cheap – robo-advisors are a form of passive fund management as they invest in trackers called ETFs (exchange-traded funds) that require less human interaction from a fund manager, which makes them cheaper investment products.
  • Low minimum investment – you can invest as little as £1 with a robo-advisor when you open an account
  • Easy – robo-advisors have pre-made diverse portfolios meaning you buy a range of investments in different countries, markets and sectors in one go. This means that if you are not an experienced enough investor to pick your own investments, the platform does it for you.

Disadvantages of Robo-advisors

  • Lack of choice – you cannot invest in individual shares. With Robo-advisors you can only buy into pre-made portfolios. Whilst some Robo-advisors like Wealthify allow you to increase or decrease your risk/reward ratio of a portfolio if you want to buy shares in a specific company you need a share dealing account.
  • No advice – even though robo-advisors like to call themselves digital wealth managers, they are unable to provide advice or recommendations on what to buy or sell, or even provide guidance on what to do in a bear market. If you want advice on your investments, you need a traditional wealth manager.
  • Cost – despite Robo-advisors being cheaper than wealth managers, they are still more expensive that DIY investment platforms. For example, the cost to hold ETFs with AJ Bell Youinvest is 0.25% capped at £3.50 per month, compared to the cheapest wealth manager Wealthify, which charges 0.6%. Of course, with DIY investment platforms, you have to choose your own investments, whereas robo-adviors are more expensive because they do the hard work for you.

Robo advisor fees & charges

Investing with a robo advisor is cheaper than a traditional wealth manager as the process is automated, but there are still fees and costs to consider including:

  • Account fee – charged as a percentage of the funds you hold on account
  • Ongoing fund management charges – this is charged on top of your account fee and is the cost the fund manager charges for managing the ETFs and funds in your portfolio.
  • Exit fees – in some cases you are charged a fee for withdrawing funds. However, this is less common with robo-advisors
  • Dealing fees – this is the cost charged every time you buy and sell an investment. However, these are less common now as robo-advisors become more competitive

Robo-advisor fees also depend on the level of investment as the more you invest the lower your fees will be. This comparison table of robo-advisor fees below outlines the key differences between the main robo-advisers costs.

Investment amountMoneyfarmNutmeg fully managed portfolioWealthsimpleWealthify
Up to £10,0000.75%0.75%0.70%0.60%
£10,001 – £50,0000.60%0.75%0.70%0.60%
£50,001 – £100,0000.50%0.75%0.70%0.60%
£100,000 +0.35%0.35%0.50%0.60%
Average investment fund fee0.200.19%0.20%0.16%

Annual cost of investing

(Including average fund fees but excluding market spread which varies among platforms)

MoneyfarmNutmeg fully managed portfolioWealthsimpleWealthify
Up to £10,000£95£94£90£76
£50,000£415£470£450£380
£100,000£855£940£700£760

Robo-advisors versus wealth managers

The main difference between robo advisors and wealth managers is that with a robo advisor the process is automated. The underlying service is the same in that both help you invest in funds that track the stock market. The underlying portfolios of those who invest with a robo-advisor and a wealth manager will actually look quite similar.

The difference is that with a robo advisor you do it all online, by inputting your preferences into a website. With a wealth manager you can decide what to invest in via face-to-face meetings, phone calls or video chats.

The obvious difference is that Robo Advisors are not human however they are an alternative or extension to the services provided by IFA’s and wealth managers rather than direct competitors to them. Though that might change in the future as automated systems become more intelligent and autonomous.

Robo-Advisor FAQs:

A robo-advisor is an investment platform that automatically invests your money in a pre-made portfolio of diverse investments.

Wealthify is the cheapest robo-advisor with account fees as low as 0.6%.

Robo advisor costs are based on the size of your investment portfolio with them. There are generally no dealing fees for when you buy and sell funds within the platform. The current costs for some of the best robo advisors platforms in the UK are:

  • Nutmeg – 0.45% to 0.75%
  • Wealthify – 0.6%
  • Moneyfarm – 0.75%
  • Robo advisors are most appropriate for beginners who are just starting out investing. They provide a quick, cheap and simple way to set up long-term investment accounts like stocks and shares ISAs or private pensions.

No. There are no guarantees with investing or any Robo-Advisors will be any more or any less successful than wealth managers. Most robo-advisor portfolios track the stock market, so if the stock market (FTSE 100) goes up you make money, if it goes down you lose money.

Robo advisors make money by charging customers a percentage of the money they hold in their portfolio. 

Platforms that are regulated by the FCA can be considered safe. When an investment platform is regulated by the FCA, it is bound by the regulator’s rules and regulations.

FCA-regulated platforms are required to hold client assets and investments separately in the name of a nominee company or authorised third-party custodian. Meanwhile, clients’ cash must be held in trust accounts with authorised UK banks. This adds protection for investors.

If a FCA-regulated platform becomes insolvent, and investors suffer a loss as a result, they will be protected under the Financial Services Compensation Scheme (FSCS) up to £85,000 per client, if you have balances with a single financial institution that exceed this amount, you may wish to consider opening a new account with an investment provider under a separate banking licence to ensure your deposits are fully protected incase of investment broker collapse.

It’s worth stressing that regulation and FSCS protection will not protect you from investment-related losses. When you invest money, your capital is always at risk because of fluctuations in the markets.

No, not generally, as one of the main benefits of a robo advisor platform is that you are not locked in and can withdraw money easily.

Yes, but only if they are regulated by the FCA. All robo-advisors in the UK need to be regulated by Financial Conduct Authority which means that your funds are protected by the FSCS.

Yes, you can lose money when investing with a robo-advisor. As with all investing it is possible to get back more than you put in if the investments in your portfolio underperform. As robo-advisors generally invest in ETFs that track the performance of stock markets and sectors your returns are linked to how well the stock market is doing as a whole.

You can have as many investment accounts as you want. There can be benefits of using several different platforms as some have strengths in specific areas. For example, some platforms are better than others for investing in funds. Others are more cost-effective for share trading. However, it’s generally much easier to manage and monitor your investments when they are all on the one platform.

It’s worth pointing out that you can open multiple Stocks and Shares ISAs. However, you can only pay into one of these ISAs per year and the annual allowance is £20,000.

Technically, there are ways to buy shares without a broker (i.e. through a dividend investment scheme). However, in general, to buy shares online you need a broker. A broker will provide you with access to the stock market and make the process of buying shares straightforward.

There are a number of benefits to using a broker to buy shares. Benefits include customer support when buying shares and access to valuable investment tools and research. Here is more on how to buy shares.

No. Cryptocurrency is a very high-risk asset class and robo-advisors in the UK are for low to medium-risk investing in the long term. It is possible that some shares, and ETFs in a robo-advisor portfolio may have exposure to companies that are involved in the cryptocurrency sector though.

The minimum you need to invest with a robo advisor is £1. Here is a breakdown of the minimum investment requirements for the robo-advisors in our panel:

  • Nutmeg – £100
  • Wealthify – £1
  • Moneyfarm – £500

Humans. All robo-advisors have expert investment managers overseeing the pre-made portfolios and what investments are available on their platforms. There is some use of algorithms to help choose investments, ensure weighting is accurate and to re-balance portfolios, but there is always human oversight.

A Robo Adviser works in the same way that a human IFA or broker does, but rather than using their training and experience to guide the end clients, the software uses a series of rule-based algorithms to make investment recommendations and decisions.

No. Robo-advisors do not offer SIPP accounts becuase you cannot invest in individual stocks to choose your own investments. If you want to save and invest for your retirement they do offer private pension accounts.

These are the three steps you need to take to invest with a Robo advisor:

  1. Open an account online
  2. Pick a portfolio
  3. Deposit funds

Most robo-advisors are set up to make it as easy as possible to open an account. You can usually open an account and start investing in less than 10 minutes.

Moneyfarm versus Wealthify:

We rank Wealthify as better than Moneyfarm because the fees are lower at Wealthify versus Moneyfarm, you can open an account with less money at Wealthify and Wealthify is owned by UK investment and insurance giant Aviva.

 

Moneyfarm vs Vanguard:

It is cheaper to invest directly with Vanguard, with Vanguard you have to choose your own investments, whereas Moneyfarm makes them for you. You can also invest in a more diverse range of assets with Moneyfarm versus Vanguard.

No, VAnguard is an investment management company, however they do have a robo-advisor product called Vanguard Digital Advisor
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