The rise in the use of investment apps in the UK has been significant over the last few years, with estimated downloads reaching around 7.1 million or 13% of the adult population.
Having worked in the retail investment sector in the financial heartbeat of the UK (London) over the last four years, I had the opportunity to experience the rise first-hand.
Additionally, in my role working for one of the UK’s leading financial companies, “a trustworthy and respected provider of news, education and market analysis for the everyday investor”, I was able to work with and test some of the biggest auto-investing apps on the market.
Using my experience in this field, I’ve compiled a list of the best automatic investing apps in the UK based on factors such as usability, safety, fees and additional features.
All the automated investing apps I’ve reviewed below are available on Android and iOS, and more importantly, regulated by the UK’s financial watchdog, the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA).
So, in a nutshell, what are the best automatic investing apps in the UK? The best automatic investing apps in the UK include Chip, Moneybox and Plum. Chip offers intelligent auto-saving features and investment plans; Moneybox, known for its round-up feature that invests your spare change; and Plum, which uses AI to analyse your spending and automatically set aside money for investment. These apps make it easier for users to save and invest without manual intervention.
Top Automatic Investing Apps UK Ranked
Here is a quick list of the best automatic investing apps to use in the UK based on my hands-on analysis:
- Chip – Overall best automatic investing app UK
- Moneybox – Best automatic investing app for commission-free stock trading
- Plum – Best auto-investing app UK for complete money management
- InvestEngine – Best automatic investing app for low-cost ETFs
Best Automatic Investing App UK Reviews
Take a look at the reviews and list I’ve prepared below of the top automatic investment apps available in the United Kingdom.
1. Chip – Overall best automatic investing app UK
Designed to streamline your investing journey, Chip stands out in the UK’s financial tech space as a dynamic automatic investing app.
Leveraging the power of artificial intelligence, Chip delves into your income and expenditure patterns, seamlessly siphoning an unobtrusive sum to bolster your savings.
This process, driven by intricate algorithms, ensures that your savings grow without a dent in your day-to-day spending. Getting started is a breeze; with a bank app on your smartphone, you can set up your Chip account and link it to your primary bank in mere minutes.
Chip’s expansive portfolio beckons with themed funds spanning sectors like Clean Energy, Healthcare Innovation, and even Crypto Companies, reflecting global trends and facilitating investment choices rooted in personal beliefs.
These funds, managed by some of the world’s premier asset managers, serve as miniature diversified portfolios, offering exposure to a medley of shares, bonds, and assorted assets.
Emphasising a long-term investment horizon, Chip eschews the volatility of individual stocks for the stability of collective investment. The app further augments its offering with an ‘auto-saving’ feature, which periodically diverts funds into a chosen investment pot, simplifying wealth accumulation for the user.
While Chip’s structure is robust, it does trail behind competitors like Plum in certain aspects. Notably, auto-saving directly into investments is a feature currently missing, although Chip is keen to bridge this gap soon.
At present, users must manually transfer funds from savings to investment accounts. When it comes to costs, Chip showcases flexibility.
With a ChipX subscription at £5. 99 every 28 days (or an annual £65.05), users enjoy a 0% platform fee, presenting an enticing proposition for those eager for a steady fee outline. Without this subscription, there’s a 0.50% annual fee, with fund fees fluctuating between 0. 22% and 0.97% based on the chosen fund.
Chip’s product range encompasses a Stocks and Shares ISA and a General Investment Account, making it a comprehensive tool for both novice and seasoned investors in the UK.
2. Moneybox – Best automatic investing app for commission-free stock trading
Moneybox stands as an innovative investment app in the UK, bridging the gap between traditional savings methods and modern digital financial platforms.
Modeled after the classic moneybox concept, Moneybox’s unique feature rounds up your card transactions to the nearest pound, transferring the difference directly into your account.
For instance, a snack costing £2.30 will see a neat 70p moved to your Moneybox investment – an effortless way to bolster your savings.
Catering to a range of investor profiles, Moneybox showcases flexibility in its investment offerings. Beginners or those inclined towards pre-curated investment solutions can opt from three portfolios designed around varying risk appetites: Cautious, Balanced, and Adventurous.
In contrast, seasoned investors can craft bespoke portfolios, leveraging the array of tracker funds, ETFs, ETCs, and US stocks on offer. Starting your Moneybox journey is incredibly accessible, requiring a mere £1.
And while it champions commission-free trading for US stocks, other investments have associated fund management fees ranging from 0. 12% to 0.61% annually. A currency conversion fee of 0.45% is applied to US stocks.
Beyond these financial particulars, Moneybox extends a comprehensive product suite, encapsulating a Stocks and Shares ISA, Lifetime ISA, Junior ISA, Personal Pension, and General Investment Account.
In essence, Moneybox’s blend of traditional savings ethos with modern investment methods, combined with its expansive product offerings and competitive fee structure, positions it as a leading choice for both nascent and adept investors in the UK.
Read my full Moneybox review.
3. Plum – Best auto-investing app UK for complete money management
Plum, a standout in the UK’s automatic investing app landscape, epitomises ease and efficiency in personal finance management.
A user-friendly platform, Plum allows swift account setup, seamlessly connecting to your primary bank, and deploying intricate algorithms to discern an affordable savings amount.
Operating discreetly, it sets aside money, presenting multiple account choices that include interest-bearing savings, personal pensions, and diverse investment accounts. Once onboard, users can handpick their actively managed funds and customise fund allocations.
Distinguishing itself with its vast offering, Plum grants access to an impressive 21 funds, encompassing over 3,000 domestic and international stocks. Echoing the global shift towards ethical investments, it also introduces ESG options, allowing value-driven investment decisions.
One of Plum’s signature features is its ’round-up’ system: it tops up card transactions to the nearest pound, allocating the difference to investments. So, a mere £1.20 expense could lead to an 80p investment. This proactive approach, combined with a weekly automated investment feature based on affordability calculations, amplifies savings potential.
Starting your Plum journey requires only a modest £1. While the platform levies a monthly subscription fee, it remains competitive, ranging from £1 to £9.99, with the initial month being complimentary.
Users benefit from commission-free stock trading, though other charges might be applicable, including a spot rate + 0.45% FX rate for US stocks. An average annual fund management fee of 0.39% applies across their fund spectrum.
Plum’s extensive suite features a Stocks and Shares ISA, General Investment Account, and Personal Pension, with the ISA notably being non-flexible.
With tiered account levels, including Basic (free), Plus (£1), Pro (£2. 99), and Ultra (£4.99), and an average annual investment fee of 0.48%, Plum successfully melds budgeting tools with AI-enhanced investing, making it a compelling choice for both savings enthusiasts and investment aficionados in the UK.
4. InvestEngine – Best automatic investing app for low-cost ETFs
InvestEngine, a leading low-cost ETF investment platform in the UK, seamlessly bridges the gap between novice and seasoned investors.
What sets InvestEngine apart is its two-pronged investment approach: for beginners or those seeking ready-made solutions, the platform offers expertly managed portfolios tailored to individual risk appetites and preferences.
With these managed portfolios, which are curated selections of ETFs, InvestEngine’s seasoned team handles daily investment choices, letting users passively monitor their investments’ performance.
On the other hand, adept investors with a penchant for hands-on investing can delve into a vast selection of over 550 commission-free ETFs, crafting their portfolios to their exact specifications.
A notable feature is the fractional investing option, allowing investments in fragments of an ETF for as little as £1 – a boon for those aiming for diversification on a budget. Not only does InvestEngine shine in its extensive ETF offerings, but its cost-effectiveness is unparalleled.
With no platform, setup, dealing, ISA, or withdrawal fees, it’s undeniably one of the UK’s most affordable investment apps. The DIY portfolio comes at zero fees, while the managed portfolio levies a modest charge of 0.25% annually. A minimal investment threshold of £100 makes it accessible to a broad audience.
Further sweetening the deal, InvestEngine’s product lineup includes a Stocks and Shares ISA, Personal Account, and Business Account.
For those on the hunt for an efficient and cost-effective way to venture into ETFs, InvestEngine unquestionably stands out as a top contender.
Read my full InvestEngine review.
How to Choose the Best Automatic Investing App UK
Choosing the best automatic investing app in the UK requires careful consideration of several factors, ensuring it aligns with your financial goals, risk tolerance, and investment knowledge.
Here’s a step-by-step guide to help you make an informed decision:
- Define Your Goals: Understand what you want from the app. Are you looking for long-term growth, short-term gains, or a mix of both? Your goals will dictate the type of automatic investment app you should lean towards.
- Evaluate User Experience: A good app should be user-friendly, with an intuitive interface that’s easy to navigate. Read user reviews and perhaps try out a demo version if available.
- Diversification Options: Look for apps that offer a variety of investment choices, from stocks and bonds to ETFs and other instruments. This allows you to spread your investments and manage risk effectively.
- Cost Structure: Analyse the app’s fee structure. This includes management fees, trading fees, and any hidden costs. Opt for apps that are transparent about their charges.
- Automatic Features: Since you’re looking for an automatic investing app, ensure that it provides features like round-ups, recurring investments, and auto-rebalancing.
- Customisation: While automation is key, the ability to customise your portfolio based on your risk tolerance and investment goals is equally important.
- Research & Educational Tools: Especially if you’re a beginner, apps that provide educational content, market analysis, and research tools can be invaluable. They not only help you make informed decisions but also enhance your investment knowledge over time.
- Security: Ensure the automatic stock investing app has robust security measures in place, such as two-factor authentication, encryption, and regular security audits.
- Customer Support: Effective customer service can be a boon, especially if you encounter issues or have queries. Check if the app offers timely support through multiple channels like chat, email, or phone.
- Regulation: The app should be regulated by relevant UK authorities, such as the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA). This provides an added layer of safety and ensures that the platform adheres to specific standards.
- Additional Features: Some apps might offer unique features like tax-loss harvesting, ESG (Environmental, Social, Governance) investing options, or other specialised investment strategies. Determine if these align with your objectives.
- Community & Reviews: Look for feedback from other users. Online forums, review platforms, and even financial news outlets can provide insights into user experiences and the app’s performance.
What Is Automatic Investing?
Automatic investing is a financial strategy that involves consistently allocating a specified amount of money at regular intervals into an investment account or portfolio, regardless of market conditions.
Instead of manually deciding when and how much to invest, users set up a predetermined schedule, often monthly or bi-weekly, and the investment platform automatically deducts the set amount from their bank account and invests it into chosen financial instruments, such as stocks, bonds, or mutual funds.
This approach not only simplifies the investing process but also takes advantage of a principle known as “pound-cost averaging“.
By investing consistently over time, investors can mitigate the impact of market volatility, as they purchase more shares when prices are low and fewer shares when prices are high.
Automatic investing is particularly popular among beginner investors and those who prefer a hands-off investment strategy.
Pros & Cons of Auto Investing
Here are some pros and cons of automatic investing.
Pros of Auto Investing:
- Consistency and Discipline: Automatic investing ensures that you’re consistently contributing to your investment account, which can lead to compound growth over time.
- Pound-Cost Averaging: By investing regular amounts at regular intervals, you buy more shares when prices are low and fewer shares when prices are high. Over time, this can average out the cost of investments and potentially reduce the impact of market volatility.
- Hands-Off Approach: It’s ideal for those who may not have the time, expertise, or inclination to manage their investments actively. Once set up, the process runs on its own.
- Emotionless Investing: Automatic investing removes emotional decision-making from the investment process, reducing the likelihood of making impulsive decisions based on market fluctuations.
- Convenience: Most platforms make it easy to set up, modify, or halt automatic contributions, offering flexibility and convenience.
- Encourages Savings: Knowing that a specific amount will be deducted and invested can encourage better budgeting and saving habits.
Cons of Auto Investing:
- Lack of Control: Some investors might feel they’re losing out on potential opportunities because they’re not actively managing their contributions or reacting to market conditions.
- Potential Overexposure: If not periodically reviewed, one might end up being overly exposed to certain assets, leading to a lack of diversification.
- Fees: While many platforms offer low-cost automatic investing options, some might charge fees that can eat into returns over time.
- Lack of Lump Sum Benefits: By spreading out investments, you might miss out on the potential benefits of investing in a larger lump sum during a market dip.
- Over-reliance: Solely relying on auto investing and not periodically reviewing and adjusting your strategy can be detrimental in the long run, especially if your financial goals or circumstances change.
- Cash Flow Issues: If not managed properly, automatic deductions can lead to cash flow issues in one’s primary bank account, especially if there’s an unexpected expense.
Navigating the world of investments has been revolutionised by the rise of automatic investing apps in the UK.
These platforms cater to varying investment needs, streamlining the process to make wealth accumulation more accessible.
From beginners to seasoned investors, there’s an app that aligns with every strategy and goal. The key to success lies in choosing a platform that resonates with your financial vision.
Investing has never been this easy; seize the digital advantage and watch your savings grow.
How do I automatically invest in stocks?
Automatically investing in stocks is a streamlined approach to building a portfolio without the need for regular manual interventions. To start, choose an online brokerage or investing app that offers automatic investment options. Next, determine a consistent amount you’re comfortable investing, whether it’s monthly or weekly. Within the platform, select the stocks, ETFs, or mutual funds that align with your investment goals. Once set up, the platform will automatically deduct your specified amount from your bank and invest it in your chosen assets. It’s essential to periodically review and possibly adjust your selections based on market performance and your financial objectives.
Can you set up automatic investments?
Yes, setting up automatic investments is a convenient way to consistently grow your wealth over time. Many online brokerages and investment apps offer this feature. To initiate, simply choose an amount you want to invest regularly and select the frequency, such as weekly or monthly. Link your bank account, and the platform will handle the rest, deducting the specified amount and investing it in your chosen assets. This hands-off approach allows for disciplined investing and can benefit from pound-cost averaging. It’s wise, however, to review your auto-investments periodically to ensure alignment with your financial goals.
Is there an app that tells you what to invest in?
Yes, there are several apps designed to offer investment advice based on various criteria, such as risk tolerance and financial goals. Known as “robo-advisors”, these apps like Moneybox, employ algorithms to analyse the market and recommend a diversified portfolio tailored to individual needs. Users typically answer a series of questions about their financial situation and investment objectives, and the app suggests suitable assets or portfolio compositions. While these tools provide valuable insights for beginners and those looking for a hands-off investment approach, it’s essential to do your own research or consult with a financial advisor to ensure your investments align with your specific circumstances.
Is automated investing a good idea?
Automated investing, often facilitated by robo-advisors, offers a convenient way for individuals to invest with minimal effort. It’s especially beneficial for beginners or those with limited investment knowledge since algorithms or preset portfolios handle asset allocation. The advantages include consistent investing habits, diversification, and often lower fees compared to traditional financial advisors. However, like any investment approach, it’s not without drawbacks. Automated platforms may lack the nuanced advice a human advisor can provide, especially for complex financial situations.
Should I auto invest weekly or monthly?
Whether you should auto-invest weekly or monthly largely depends on your financial goals and cash flow situation. Investing weekly can smooth out market fluctuations, as you buy assets more frequently, spreading the risk through a method known as pound-cost averaging. On the other hand, monthly investing can better match monthly salary schedules and might simplify budgeting, as you’ll have fewer transactions to monitor. Both frequencies promote the habit of consistent saving and investing. The most important aspect is to choose a frequency that aligns with your financial situation and ensures you invest regularly, capitalising on compound growth over time.
Is automated investing worth it?
Automated investing can be worth it for those seeking a hands-off approach to wealth accumulation. It eliminates the need for constant market monitoring, promotes consistent investing habits, and leverages strategies like pound-cost averaging. By automatically diversifying funds across various assets, it helps mitigate risks. Additionally, the technology can rebalance portfolios and optimise for tax implications. However, like all investing methods, it’s essential to understand associated fees and ensure the chosen platform aligns with one’s financial goals and risk tolerance. Ultimately, automated investing is a tool; its value depends on the individual’s needs and circumstances.
How much can you make from automated investing?
The returns from automated investing depend on multiple factors including the market’s performance, the specific assets chosen, the platform’s algorithms, and the investment duration. While automated platforms streamline the investment process and utilise strategies like pound-cost averaging, returns are not guaranteed. Historically, stock markets have offered an average annual return of 7-10% after adjusting for inflation, but this can vary. It’s essential to note that past performance isn’t indicative of future results, and it’s always prudent to diversify investments and be aware of associated risks and fees.