Acorns is a fintech company that works as a robo-advisor. It is best known for its micro-investing feature that allows users to round up their purchases to the nearest dollar and invest the spare change in the market. Investments are made into different portfolios with varying levels of risk.
The app is designed to make investing simple and available to everybody, especially those who may not have large amounts of money to invest. Acorns is a helpful tool for anyone wishing to enter the world of investing because it also provides goal-based saving options and educational materials.
In this article, we will uncover Acorns’ availability and expansion plans in the UK, as well as provide alternative solutions.
Is Acorns available in the UK?
Unfortunately, Acorns is not yet available in the UK and it’s currently available exclusively for US residents. According to their website, Acorns “is only available to US citizens or legal residents currently residing in the United States. Exceptions are made for active Armed Services personnel that maintain US addresses and are temporarily overseas”.
In March 2023, Acorns US acquired London-based GoHenry, a startup focused on providing money management and financial education services to children and teenagers from 6 to 18 years old. Many consider this acquisition as a first step for Acorns to enter the UK market and grow internationally. However, Acorns has not yet officially publicized any projects for expanding beyond the US.
Keep reading this article as we attempt to shed light on some of the top Acorns alternatives accessible for investors in the UK wishing to take advantage of the benefits offered by robo-advisors and micro-investment apps.
Acorns Alternatives in the UK
Here’s a comparison table of top financial platforms in the UK that share comparable features with Acorns and can be the best alternative you’re searching for.
|UK-based fintech company that offers a mobile app-based investment platform that incorporates robo-advisory services.
|One of the largest digital wealth management companies in Europe, based in the UK.
|UK-based digital investment platform that offers robo-advisory services.
|American financial technology and financial services company that specializes in micro-investing and robo advice.
|UK and Italy
|United States ONLY
|$ 0 to open an account; $ 5 to start investing
|Cash, Bonds, Property, ETFs, Shares, Commodities, cryptocurrencies
|Stocks, Bonds, Real estate, and index funds.
|Cash and equivalents, Bonds, Shares, Property, and Commodities.
|Stocks, bonds, Cash equivalents, real estate, commodities, and cryptocurrency.
|£1 per month subscription fee; 0.45% per year fund management fee; Up to 0.58% per year fund provider fee
|0.35% to 0.75% per year management fee; 0.10% per year market spread; 0.2% per year investment fund fee
|0.60% annual fee; 0.16% average investment cost for original plans; 0.70% average investment cost for ethical plans
|$1 per month for the Lite plan; $3 per month for Personal; $5 per month for the Family Plan
|FSCS guarantee (up to £ 85,000)
|FSCS guarantee (up to £ 85,000)
|FSCS guarantee (up to £ 85,000)
|Assets Under Management
|Not disclosed (£221 Billion for Aviva)
|$ 6.3 Billion
Moneybox in a nutshell
Moneybox is a UK financial technology company that offers an investment platform designated to help individuals save and invest in a simple and accessible way.
The app offers a range of investment options including stocks and bonds. You can choose from many investment portfolios depending on your risk tolerance and financial goals. Similarly to Acorns, Moneybox offers a roundup feature that allows its users to invest their spare change in the market.
Management Fees: 3 types of fees are charged to your investment accounts as follows:
- Fixed Subscription Fee: £1 per month that covers all transactions and investing costs. This fee is charged on a user basis, so if you have multiple investment accounts you will only pay £1 per month. The first 3 months are free.
- Platform fee: 0.45% per year of the value of your investments. This fee accrues daily and is charged monthly.
- Fund provider fees: Up to 0.58% annual fund fees that cover fund management and transaction costs. These fees are charged by the fund provider and are subject to change.
Minimum Amount: You can open an investment account with as little as £1.
Portfolio types: Depending on your risk tolerance, you can choose between 3 Starting Portfolio Options: Cautious, Balanced, and Adventurous. Each option contains a mix of tracker funds. You can build your own customized portfolio as well.
Assets Classes: Moneybox invests in Global shares, corporate and government bonds, cash and cash equivalents, property, ETFs, Commodities, and Cryptocurrencies.
Additional fees: A 0.45% currency conversion fee is charged if you invest in US stocks. The percentage is applied to the value of the trade and covers the cost of converting from GBP to USD and vice versa.
Regulator and security: Moneybox is authorized and regulated in the UK by the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA). As for security, your money is protected up to £85,000 by the Financial Services Compensation Scheme (FSCS).
Spare Change Investing: By linking your bank cards to the Moneybox app, you can round up your everyday purchases to the nearest pound and invest the spare change in the market. You can change your round-up settings at any time.
Financial advice: Moneybox is a self-directed platform, you have to make your own investment decisions. They do not offer financial advice.
Rebalancing: Your funds can be rebalanced manually by changing your starting option and not automatically by the app.
Trading platform: Simple and user-friendly mobile app.
Moneyfarm in a nutshell
Moneyfarm is a digital wealth management platform that acts as a robo-advisor. It offers financial and investment advisory services. The company is based in the UK.
By using algorithms and data analysis, Moneyfarm creates and manages diversified investment portfolios of ETFs for its clients after assessing their risk tolerance and financial goals.
Management Fees: 3 types of fees are charged to your Moneyfarm investment account:
- Portfolio management fee: For actively managed portfolios, this fee ranges between 0.35% and 0.75%, depending on the amount invested. As for a fixed allocation portfolio, the fee ranges between 0.25% and 0.45%.
- Investment fund fee: 0.20% of the value of your investments, on average, per year.
- Market Spread: 0.10% of the value of your investments, on average, per year.
Minimum Amount: To start investing with Moneyfarm, you need to deposit a minimum of £500.
Portfolio types: Moneyfarm presents 7 different types of portfolios classified as high-risk vs. low-risk portfolios. The investor chooses the level of risk he wants to invest in, and Moneyfarm will build your portfolio of ETFs and actively manage it.
Assets Classes: Moneyfarm invests in various asset classes that include Bonds, ETFs, Mutual funds, Property, Stocks and shares, and Index funds.
Additional fees: In addition to management fees, an early exit fee applies if you withdraw your money within the first year of investment. This fee is typically 0.50% of the withdrawn amount.
Regulator and security: Moneyfarm is authorized and regulated in the UK by the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) as an Investment Management Company and as an Investment Advisor. As for security, your money is protected up to £85,000 by the Financial Services Compensation Scheme (FSCS).
Spare Change Investing: Unlike Acorns and Moneybox, Moneyfarm does not offer roundup features and spare change investing options.
Financial advice: Moneyfarm offers robo-advisory services, but it is not a 100% robo-advisor. This means that the company offers its own personal advice when constructing your portfolio and makes FCA-compliant recommendations.
Rebalancing: The Company offers automatic rebalancing of portfolios, usually done once per year by Moneyfarm’s expert investment team.
Trading platform: The platform is simple and safe. It offers tracking options for your investments and is user-friendly.
Wealthify in a nutshell
Wealthify is a digital investment platform with robo-advisory services established in the UK. Wealthify employs technology and algorithms to offer automated investment management and portfolio development for its clients.
Wealthify’s algorithms create a diversified portfolio of investment assets, which may include stocks, bonds, and other financial instruments, based on the risk profile and goals of the client.
- Management Fees: Wealthify charges a simple annual fee of 0.60% for managing your investments, regardless of the amount invested or portfolio type. In addition, you will have to pay 0.16% average investment cost for original investment plans and 0.70% average investment cost for ethical investment plans.
- Minimum Amount: You can start investing with as little as £1 with Wealthify.
- Portfolio types: Wealthify offers portfolio options based on the investor’s risk appetite. There are 2 types of investment plans: Original and Ethical. Each investment plan contains 5 portfolio types: Cautious, Tentative, Confident, Ambitious, and Adventurous. You can choose between these depending on your risk tolerance and financial goals.
- Assets Classes: Wealthify invests in Cash and equivalents, Bonds, Shares, Property, and Commodities.
- Additional fees: There are no hidden fees and no additional trading costs.
- Regulator and security: Wealthify is authorized and regulated in the UK by the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA). As for security, your money is protected up to £85,000 by the Financial Services Compensation Scheme (FSCS).
- Spare Change Investing: Unlike Acorns and Moneybox, Wealthify does not offer roundup features and spare change investing options.
- Financial advice: Wealthify does not provide personal and financial advice. You are responsible for choosing from the available portfolios based on your risk appetite, and if you need a personalized recommendation, you should seek it outside Wealthify.
- Rebalancing: Wealthify is responsible for rebalancing your investment plan. The company continuously monitors and manages your portfolio and will adjust the portfolio as needed to maintain the desired level of risk and alignment with your goals.
- Trading platform: The platform is simple and user-friendly. You can access your portfolio performance, receive regular updates, and track your investments using the Wealthify platform or mobile app.
While Acorns has become well-known in the US as a micro-investment software, people in the UK have a wide range of excellent options to consider. Each of these options caters to various preferences and financial objectives while offering its own special benefits and features.
Moneybox provides a simple interface with the opportunity to invest spare change, making it a great starting point for novices. Both Wealthify and Moneyfarm provide robo-advisory services, constructing and managing diversified portfolios using technology to make investing more accessible to a wider audience.
The final decision regarding an Acorns substitute in the UK should be based on your financial objectives, risk tolerance level, and investment management involvement. You can take a proactive step toward creating a more secure financial future that is suited to your requirements and interests by investigating these alternatives and learning about their offerings.