Name: GoHenry Description: GoHenry is a pocket money app that helps children learn about money by giving them the independence to make their own choices about what they spend their cash on. They also have a Junior Stocks and Shares ISA that lets you invest in your children’s future. Once you invest in a JISA the money is held in a tax-efficient account and can only be accessed by your child when they turn 18. Summary GoHenry is a great way to combine educating your children about the future value of money along side giving the financial independence with their pocket money app. When you invest in the GoHenry Junior ISA you are buying Vanguards LifeStrategy 60% Equity Accumulation Fund, which contains a mixture of stocks and bond Pros Cons
GoHenry JISA Review
Description: GoHenry is a pocket money app that helps children learn about money by giving them the independence to make their own choices about what they spend their cash on. They also have a Junior Stocks and Shares ISA that lets you invest in your children’s future. Once you invest in a JISA the money is held in a tax-efficient account and can only be accessed by your child when they turn 18.
GoHenry is a great way to combine educating your children about the future value of money along side giving the financial independence with their pocket money app. When you invest in the GoHenry Junior ISA you are buying Vanguards LifeStrategy 60% Equity Accumulation Fund, which contains a mixture of stocks and bond
I got quite drunk at the City Am awards the other night, and after Nick Ferrari told some amusing stories about Boris Johnson and made some Whatapps jokes and dinner had been cleared, I found myself aimlessly wandering around looking for someone to talk to. The same thing happens to me at conferences, it reminds me of nightclubs at university or Saturday night discos at school pretending to look for the loo. I really just wanted to go home, but before I did, I was delighted to see that Louise Hill, one of the founders of GoHenry, who won “Entrepreneur of the year”, was still at her table.
So I strolled on over, didn’t introduce myself, and started waffling about how GoHenry was one of the best apps in the world, anywhere, ever. I’ve been chasing an interview with GoHenry for a while now, as it’s always nice to hear from the people who set up these game-changing apps to see what makes them tick. Will Carmichael, who founded Rooster Money (before Natwest bought it), had some great stories about trying to predict the stock market based on what children spend their money on. Julian Robson from Beanstalk, also had some fascinating insight into why there is never a bad time to start investing, particularly the key advantage children have over adults when it comes to investing, that being time in the market, rather than timing the market.
Anyway, it was a brief encounter, and hopefully, we’ll nail them down for a proper chat at some point.
I’m glad I did though because GoHenry has genuinely changed our lives as parents. It would be hard to say that about most financial apps, becuase they are all basically just tools. But what GoHenry has done is made our lives cheaper and easier and that’s a big win.
We first started using GoHenry during lockdown, so that the children could earn money for doing chores, but that actually became a bit of a chore for us because if I’m completely honest the app itself is a bit slow, takes ages to log in and the UX is a bit tricky to navigate. So we fairly swiftly stopped allocating pocket money based on chores and now the children just get a regular £5 a week.
The issues with the app aren’t such a big deal because they never use it, but love their cards. Amazingly they always know where they are, and haven’t lost one yet. I’d say I login once a month, so I can cope.
But, more importantly, it’s revolutionised our children’s attitude to asking for things. Before GoHenry every time we went anywhere, ever, we would be pestered for tat in gift shops, sweets in the supermarket and pleas for things their friends have.
Sometimes we’d give in, and it would cost us a fortune. But now, if they want something, we just say, “of course, you can have it if you buy it yourself”. Which triggers children to think about whether or not they actually need something. Or, if they want it more than they want something else because unlike (in their eyes anyway) their parent’s unlimited supply of magic money, being able to see what they can afford and if they buy this they may not be able to buy something else, makes them think twice about what they want.
So it’s made our lives easier because we’re not asked to buy so many unnecessary things.
Despite raising the cost of having the pocket money card from £2.99 to £3.99 a month and in percentage terms of their account balances that is massive, it’s worth every penny because we are certainly spending less than that overall. In fact, we hardly buy them anything, they do it themselves.
GoHenry can even make you money, well not you, but your children. If you get them investing with a JISA (for an additional 0.67% a year).
The key advantage of investing in a Junior ISA for your children is that once the money is in, it’s in and you can’t take it out. In fact, only your child can withdraw it when they are 18, and all profits are tax-free. Some may argue (Justin Urquhart Stewart did when I interviewed him) that 18 is the worst possible time to give children any money because they are so irresponsible at that age, but then they must grow up and make their own mistakes.
Interest Rates & Returns
The main disadvantage of course, is that stocks and shares ISA can go down in value, which ours actually have. So, the GoHenry Junior ISA doesn’t pay interest, instead, it makes money based on how well the stock market performs. But that’s fine because we’re not trading in the short term, that money will be locked away for a good few years in Vanguard’s LifeStrategy 60% fund, which is one of the cheapest and most diverse funds about. The 60% represents the fund’s exposure to main market stocks, which generally go up. The 40% is in bonds, which generate steady income.
What’s also good about the Junior ISA is that if our children want anything ridiculous, we can force them to invest. For example, my daughter has been begging for a pair of Air Jordans which we’ve always said no to because they are over £100 and it’s insane for an eleven-year-old to have shoes that expensive. So what we actually did was buy her a second-hand pair on eBay as a treat for dealing with the stress of finding out from Surrey Country Council what school she has been allocated. However, even though we bought them, we deducted the £69.74 from her pocket money and transferred it to her JISA.
Because, whilst your children will grow out of shoes, what you really want to see grow is their financial independence so they have enough money to travel the world on their gap year.
GoHenry Video Review
Watch as we pick GoHenry as “app of the day” and invest live with real money in their Junior ISA.
GoHenry Junior ISA FAQ
When you invest in the GoHenry JISA, you are buying the LifeStrategy® 60% Equity Fund – Accumulation fund, which is a fund invested in 17 different other funds that track various stock and bond markets. 60% of the fund is in equity funds, whilst the remainder is in fixed-income products such as bonds.
The breakdown at the time of writing is:
- 19.50% – Vanguard FTSE Developed World ex-U.K. Equity Index Fund GBP Acc
- 19.00% – Vanguard Global Bond Index Fund GBP Hedged Acc
- 15.20% – Vanguard U.S. Equity Index Fund GBP Acc
- 15.10% – Vanguard FTSE U.K. All Share Index Unit Trust GBP Acc
- 5.70% – Vanguard U.K. Government Bond Index Fund GBP Acc
- 4.90% – Vanguard Emerging Markets Stock Index Fund GBP Acc
- 4.30% – Vanguard U.K. Investment Grade Bond Index Fund GBP Acc
- 3.30% – Vanguard FTSE Developed Europe ex-U.K. Equity Index Fund GBP Acc
- 3.10% – Vanguard U.K. Inflation-Linked Gilt Index Fund GBP Acc
- 3.00% – Vanguard Global Aggregate Bond UCITS ETF GBP Hedged Accumulating
- 1.60% – Vanguard Japan Stock Index Fund GBP Acc
- 1.30% – Vanguard U.S. Government Bond Index Fund GBP Hedged Acc
- 1.20% – Vanguard U.S. Investment Grade Credit Index Fund GBP Hedged Acc
- 1.00% – Vanguard Euro Government Bond Index Fund GBP Hedged Acc
- 0.90% – Vanguard Pacific ex-Japan Stock Index Fund GBP Acc
- 0.50% – Vanguard Japan Government Bond Index Fund GBP Hedged Acc
- 0.50% – Vanguard Euro Investment Grade Bond Index Fund GBP Hedged Acc
The GoHenry Junior ISA costs 0.45% per year, based on the value of your child’s account. There is also a 0.22% fee charged by the fund manager, Vanguard. You also need to pay the £3.99 pocket money app monthly fee.
The annual fees are the same are Hargreaves Lansdown, but more than AJ Bell’s 0.25% (although you do have to pay £1.50 when you deal). Interactive Investor are also a cheaper option if you just plan on buying the same Vanguard fund once a month as their JISA is free with an adult trading account and you get one deal a month free (after that it costs around £5.99).
GoHenry is a private company that has raised more than $66.0 million in venture capital funding since it was founded in 2012.
Investors include Citi ventures, Edison Partners, Gaia Capital and Muse, it has also raised another $30.0 million from friends, family and crowdfunding.
The firm operates in both the UK and the USA, and according to data on Crowdcube, GoHenry turned over £19.71 million in 2020 and had just over £31.0 million in cash on its balance sheet at that point.
Yes, your funds are invested with Vanguard which is regulated by the FCA and protected by the FSCS.