Plum Investing Review
Description: Plum is an all-in-one saving, investing and spending app which aims to make the process fun and engaging. It offers a variety of games, challenges and quirky gimmicks all aimed at helping its users save and invest more. Interestingly, Plum originally launched as a Facebook Messenger savings chatbot, and now has over 1.8 million users across Europe.
Plum’s USP is in their gamification of the saving and investing process. They have created an app that gives users mini goals and rewards to work to, making it perfect for users who struggle to save and invest using traditional platforms.
With that said, the costs are likely to be high for a typical user and the number of investment options is limited.
- Automatic savings
- Simple to use
- All in one solution
- Low savings rates
- No investment funds
Research & Analysis
- Turns saving and investing into a game by offering challenges and fun gimmicks – such as ‘Rainy Day’s’ which automatically saves money when it rains where you live
- User friendly investment options which makes it simple to understand what you’re investing in, with funds offered from well known providers
- All-in-one solution that allows customers to have their savings, investments and spending money all in one app
Plum offers four different pricing tiers. These are:
- Basic – £0
- Pro – £2.99 a month
- Ultra – £4.99 a month
- Premium – £9.99 a month
You can only invest in direct stocks for the Basic plan, which in my opinion is not a good option for beginner investors. To gain access to investment funds you need to pay for a plan, which can be expensive on lower amounts.
For example, investors with £1,000 invested on the Ultra plan will pay £59.88 for a year (assuming no change in investment value). That’s a whopping 5.99% in fees. Obviously as this fee is fixed, it becomes better value the more money you have invested.
Plum also charges an additional £2.99 per month for their ISA wrapper, and a 0.45% management fee for fund investments.
That means if you were to invest £1,000 into Vanguard LifeStrategy 80% Growth fund using a stocks and shares ISA wrapper via the Plum app, the minimum you would pay would be £76.26 for a year (assuming no change in investment value).
That’s 7.63% in fees.
If you were to invest in exactly the same fund in an ISA through Vanguard directly, you’d pay just 0.37%, or £3.70.
Plum offers a wide range of direct stocks in multiple countries, but the number of funds on offer is low. None are available on the Basic plan, 16 are available on the Pro and Ultra Plan, and 25 are available on the Premium plan.
Platform and App
The app is easy to use and really does make money simple and “fun”, and I really like the gimmicks and challenges they use to encourage saving.
For example, their 52 week challenge sees savers put aside £1 in week one, then increase this by an additional £1 every week for a year. So £2 in week 2, £3 in week 3 etc. By the end of the year it adds up to savings of £1,378 in a year.
I wouldn’t use Plum for investing, simply because the fees are far too high.
As you’d expect for a company targeting younger users, Plum is relatively active on social media. They direct users to their website for any customer service queries, specifically to their help centre and ‘live’ chat function. They typically respond there in a few hours.
Plum doesn’t have a contact number for personal enquiries.
Customer service reviews are generally good, with a 4.2 rating on Trustpilot, however the auto save feature clearly catches out some users and has sent them into their overdraft, so watch out for that!
Research and analysis
Plum isn’t really the platform for users wanting to get into the weeds on investment research and analysis. For those who want to dive into the details before investing or want advanced tools to monitor their portfolios, a full-service online stock broker would be a better option.
Problems with Plum
- Full feature list and higher savings interest rates only available for a fixed monthly fee, which could be expensive for lower balances
- Lower savings interest rates than other providers on the market
- No investment funds are available on free plan (direct stocks only), and limited number of fund options even on top tier Premium plan