Moneybox vs Moneyfarm – Which Is The Better Investment Platform?

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The Generation Money Guarantee

At Generation Money our purpose is to help you make better financial decisions. All of our articles are independently written and/or edited by finance professionals and adhere to strict editorial guidelines. This post may contain links which, if clicked, could result in a payment to the site. These links never impact our editorial policy and all rankings and product recommendations remain unbiased. For more details, read how this site is financed.

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Moneybox logo vs Moneyfarm logo

This is my comparison of Moneybox vs Moneyfarm, two leading digital investment platforms in the UK.

I’ll be putting Moneybox and Moneyfarm head-to-head on a number of metrics in this comparison to see which comes out on top. This includes portfolio performance, ethical offerings, products and, of course, fees.

Most people want to get the best possible return on their money for the least cost. As an experienced investor and a Chartered Accountant, I know how important it is to balance costs against returns!

Read on for my full Moneybox vs Moneyfarm comparison, or use the links below to jump straight to a particular section.

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Moneybox vs Moneyfarm: At A Glance

Here’s my overview of Moneybox vs Moneyfarm in case you don’t want to read the whole comparison. 

The table below looks at the key features compared against each other.

MoneyboxMoneyfarm
Management Fees£1 per month subscription fee, free for your first 3 months

0.45% platform fee

SIPP Fees:
Up to £100k: 0.45%
Over £100k: 0.15%
No monthly subscription fee for a SIPP
Up to £10,000: 0.75%
£10,000 – £19,999: 0.70%
£20,000 – £49,999: 0.65%
£50,000 – £99,999: 0.60%
£100,000 – £249,999: 0.45%
£250,000 – £499,999: 0.40%
Over £500,000: 0.35%

When each tier is reached, you pay that % on the entire balance, e.g. with £80k the entire £80k is charged at 0.60%
Fund Fees0.12%-0.58%0.20% (0.21% on SRI / Ethical portfolios)
Minimum Investment£1£500
ProductsSimple Saver & Notice savings accounts

Cash LISA

Stocks & Shares: ISA, LISA, JISA

GIA, SIPP (Pension)
Stocks & Shares: ISA, JISA

GIA, SIPP (Pension)
Number Of Portfolios37
Ethical Portfolios37
Fixed Allocation PortfoliosNo5
DIY PortfolioYesNo
Thematic InvestingNoYes
FSCS ProtectionYesYes

Moneyfarm is a robo-advisor investment platform and offers an extensive range of portfolios to choose from. This includes its 7 core actively managed portfolios, as well as 7 ethical portfolio options. It also has 5 lower-cost fixed allocation portfolios to choose from.

This range of choice for your actively managed investments is not matched by Moneybox, which has only 3 main portfolios to choose from. Each of these has an ethical option too. 

Moneybox does allow you to create your own investment portfolio, though, by choosing the funds in your investments. You’re unable to do this with Moneyfarm, and if you’re a more experienced investor you may like this option.

One of Moneyfarm’s newest features is its Thematic Investing which allows you to choose high-growth themes to allocate up to 20% of your portfolio to. This is an interesting feature that gives you a small level of customisation in your portfolio, but not to the same extent as Moneybox does where you can pick individual funds.

If you want to pick individual US stocks and shares – not just funds – to invest in, then Moneybox allows you to do so commission-free. There is a 0.45% currency conversion fee from GBP into USD when purchasing US shares, though. You’re unable to buy individual stocks with Moneyfarm.

Moneybox is more than just an investment app though. It has a wide range of money management and savings features, including round-up and automated savings tools. 

There’s also a greater product range with Moneybox. You can open savings accounts if you don’t want to invest your money into the market. It also provides Lifetime ISAs in both cash and stocks & shares, something that Moneyfarm doesn’t offer. 

Overall, Moneybox is a more comprehensive money management and investing platform than Moneyfarm, but does not offer as wide a range of ready-made portfolios to invest in.

What is Moneyfarm?

Moneyfarm is currently one of the largest digital wealth management companies in Europe with over 90,000 users and over £2 billion in assets under management. It launched in Italy in 2011 and then in the UK in 2016. 

It is a ‘robo-advisor’ which means rather than individually managing your investment it provides ready-made portfolios to invest in based on your risk appetite. Robo-advisors are therefore a good low-cost investment option for you to consider if you don’t want to actively manage your own money.

Once you’ve signed up and funded your account, Moneyfarm then manages this portfolio for you over time. Their investment professionals constantly analyse the market and rebalance your portfolio when necessary. I’ve personally been using Moneyfarm since 2017 to invest my own money.

When I signed up I was placed into the ‘Pioneer’ category, which is risk level 6 out of 7. Since late 2017 and up until February 2023 it has returned just under 13% on a money-weighted basis. On a time-weighted basis, it has returned just over 19%. To understand more about the difference between money-weighted and time-weighted returns, you can read my full Moneyfarm review.

What is Moneybox?

Moneybox is a personal finance and investing app that was founded in 2016. Its aim was to allow more people to access wealth building and financial planning services and knowledge.

In 2023 it now has more than half a million users and offers a wide range of personal finance and investing features

This includes a robo-advisor investment offering, similar to Moneyfarm, as well as savings accounts and home buying services.

Moneybox vs Moneyfarm: Fees

Let’s look in more detail at the all-important costs for Moneyfarm vs Moneybox. If you’re not careful when investing in general, you can end up paying much higher fees and charges than you need to. 

Moneybox has a simple fee structure – it charges 0.45% on all investments (except for over £100k in a SIPP), no matter how much you have invested. There’s also a £1 per month subscription fee, but this is waived for your first 3 months. 

Moneyfarm has a tiered fee structure based on how much you have invested.  

MoneyboxMoneyfarm
Subscription Fee£1 per month, first 3 months free
No monthly fee for SIPP
No subscription fees
Actively Managed Portfolio Management Fees0.45%

0.15% if investing more than £100k in a SIPP
Up to £10,000: 0.75%
£10,000 – £19,999: 0.70%
£20,000 – £49,999: 0.65%
£50,000 – £99,999: 0.60%
£100,000 – £249,999: 0.45%
£250,000 – £499,999: 0.40%
Over £500,000: 0.35%

When each tier is reached, you pay that % on the entire balance, e.g. with £80k the entire £80k is charged at 0.60%
Fixed Allocation Portfolio Management FeesN/A£500 – £100k: 0.45%
£100k – £250k: 0.35%
£250k – £500k: 0.30%
£500k+: 0.25%
Fund Fees0.12%-0.58%0.20% + 0.09% market spread
Ethical / Socially Responsible Fund Fees0.12%-0.58%0.21% + 0.09% market spread
Thematic Fund FeesN/A0.40-45%
Individual Stocks & SharesCommission-free but 0.45% currency conversion charge for US sharesN/A

Because Moneybox’s subscription fee is fixed at £1 per month, or £12 per year, it means that the more you invest the lower the fee becomes in percentage terms. If investing small amounts, the £1 per month fee can massively eat into your account balance.

For example, over 12 months the £12 annual fee with £1,000 invested works out to a charge of 1.2%. Added to Moneybox’s platform charge of 0.45%, this is a total fee (before fund costs) of 1.65%.

But if you have £10,000 invested for a year the subscription fee equates to a charge of 0.12%, which comes to a total of 0.57% when combined with the platform fee. 

If your Moneybox account balance is zero, you won’t get charged any fees.

Moneyfarm charges fees based on the amount you have invested, where the more you invest the lower the fees. It’s a tiered charge too, so from the table above you can see that when you reach a tier, your entire balance is charged at that tier’s fee percentage. 

It’s not straightforward to compare fees for Moneyfarm vs Moneybox because of Moneybox’s monthly subscription fee. But with low investment amounts, Moneybox is less competitive. 

Generally, when investing up to around £5k, Moneyfarm is cheaper. Between around £5k and £100k, Moneybox is cheaper. Above £100k, Moneyfarm becomes cheaper again.

Moneyfarm’s fixed allocation portfolios, which are rebalanced only once per year, are lower cost than any amount invested with Moneybox. But as fixed allocation portfolios are not actively managed, returns may be lower. Moneybox does not currently offer fixed allocation portfolios.

Moneybox vs Moneyfarm: Products

Moneybox and Moneyfarm both offer stocks and shares ISAs, General Investment Accounts (GIAs), Self-Invested Personal Pensions (SIPPs) and Junior ISAs (JISAs).

However, Moneybox offers a wider range of products than Moneyfarm as it isn’t just an investment platform. It also offers a cash ISA and a cash LISA as well as Super Saver and Notice savings accounts.

Moneybox also now offers home-buying products, including mortgage advice and a broker service. These can be an integrated part of your savings and investments with Moneybox. You’re able to set a deposit goal in the app and it will track how long and how much you need to save or grow your investments to reach it.

The integration of these wider personal finance features with saving and investing make the Money Box app one of the most innovative and comprehensive on the market at the moment. 

Although Moneyfarm doesn’t have as many products as Moneybox, it’s a more specialist robo-advisor and has a wider range of portfolios to choose from. More below under Portfolios.

Moneybox also allows you to invest in individual US stocks and shares through its commission free trading feature. While there is no commission on buying and selling shares, there is a 0.45% currency conversion fee when converting your money from GBP into USD to purchase the shares.

Offering the ability to buy and sell US stocks without commission allows Moneybox to compete with other investment apps in the UK that allow you to do this too. You’re also able to buy fractional shares from just £1 if you cannot afford to buy a whole share outright. 

Moneybox vs Moneyfarm: Portfolios

Moneybox offers 3 portfolios to choose from, each with differing risk levels: Cautious, Balanced and Adventurous. 

Moneyfarm’s actively managed investment option has more portfolios to choose from with 7, each also with a different risk level. So while Moneyfarm doesn’t have the product range of Moneybox, it does offer more investment portfolio options.

In addition, Moneyfarm offers two more sets of portfolios. The first is its Fixed Allocation portfolios which offer lower cost investing. There are 5 options to choose from here, again depending on your risk appetite.

Fixed allocation portfolios are lower cost as they are not constantly monitored and rebalanced like Moneyfarm’s active management portfolios. Instead, they’re reviewed and rebalanced once annually. They may be a good option for you if you simply want low-cost exposure to the market.

Secondly, Moneyfarm recently introduced Thematic Investing. Moneyfarm has created  4 investment ‘themes’ – Technology, Sustainability, Society and Multitrend. The idea of these themes is to get exposure to high-growth industries. Investments in these themes include exposure to industries such as e-commerce, clean energy and AI. 

Thematic options can be added as a proportion of your existing portfolio allocation rather than operating as standalone portfolios. Up to 20% of your overall portfolio can be made up of the 4 themes, and you can choose which themes you want to invest in.

Although Moneybox lacks the range of portfolios of Moneyfarm, it does allow you to create your own investment portfolio. You can choose from a range of mutual funds to build your own portfolio. If you’re a more experienced investor you may very well like this option. 

Overall though, Moneyfarm offers a greater choice of ready-made portfolios for you to choose from.

Both Moneybox and Moneyfarm offer ethical/socially responsible investing options. Read on for more on ethical investing.

Moneybox vs Moneyfarm: Ethical Portfolios

Environmental, Social and Governance (ESG) investing or Socially Responsible Investing (SRI) is a growing area as more people look to invest ethically. Investors increasingly want to know which companies and industries their money is going into to ensure that they align with their values. So it’s no surprise that both Moneyfarm and Moneybox offer a range of SRI options.

Both Moneybox and Moneyfarm use the term Socially Responsible Investing (SRI). Each of their SRI offerings are created using Exchange Traded Funds (ETFs) in the same way as Moneybox and Moneyfarm’s standard actively managed portfolios. The difference is that the specific ETFs chosen for SRI portfolios must adhere to socially responsible investment criteria. 

Moneyfarm offers 7 SRI portfolios to choose from, each representing different risk levels in the same way its regular portfolios are arranged. This is also the case for Moneybox which has an SRI option for each of its 3 portfolios: Cautious, Balanced and Adventurous.

You can customise your ethical portfolio with Moneybox in the same way as with its regular funds. So if you want to pick your own ESG funds from those on offer, you may prefer Moneybox to Moneyfarm.

When it comes to cost, both Moneybox and Moneyfarm charge their usual management fees for SRI investments. Generally, ESG fund costs are slightly higher but with Moneyfarm they’re only 0.01% more than non-SRI funds. Moneybox SRI funds have the same cost range of 0.12%-0.58% as its regular funds. 

Again, Moneyfarm has the greater range to choose from when it comes to ethical investing, but Moneybox allows you to customise your portfolio.

Moneybox vs Moneyfarm: Performance

Given that Moneyfarm has 7 portfolios and Moneybox has 3, a direct comparison of performance is a little difficult.

So let’s look at how the lowest risk, medium risk and highest risk portfolios with each provider compared against each other for 2022:

2022 PerformanceMoneybox ReturnsMoneyfarm Returns
Moneybox Cautious / Moneyfarm Portfolio 1-5.3%-7.5%
Moneybox Balanced / Moneyfarm Portfolio 4-8.6%-7.4%
Moneybox Adventurous / Moneyfarm Portfolio 7-9.2%-10.1%

It’s important to note that 2022 was not a good time for investors. Energy prices, a cost-of-living crisis and high inflation, particularly in Western economies, caused widespread volatility in many major stock markets.

For context, the S&P500 in the US lost 18% during 2022 and the pan-European Stoxx 600 lost 12.5%. The UK’s FTSE100 fared slightly better, posting a modest 0.9% return for 2022. With that in mind, comparing Moneyfarm’s returns to Wealthify for 2022 is about which lost the least value.

On the face of it, Moneybox performed better at the lowest and highest risk levels, with Moneyfarm outperforming in the medium risk level. However, this is not a scientific analysis and past performance is not a guarantee of future performance.

For added context, let’s also look at performance for 2019 for Moneybox vs Moneyfarm, which was the last full-year before the covid pandemic:

2019 PerformanceMoneybox ReturnMoneyfarm Return
Moneybox Cautious / Moneyfarm Portfolio 17.6%2.9%
Moneybox Balanced / Moneyfarm Portfolio 418%11.7%
Moneybox Adventurous / Moneyfarm Portfolio 720.5%19.8%

In 2019, Moneybox appears to have outperformed Moneyfarm at all risk levels. However, Moneyfarm has a greater range of portfolios. For example, Moneyfarm Portfolio 2 achieved a return of 6.6% in 2019, much closer to Moneybox’s Cautious performance.

Which portfolio you fall into with Moneyfarm or Moneybox is down to your own personal circumstances and risk appetite. I am invested in Moneyfarm’s portfolio 6, for example. 

For more on how Moneyfarm’s returns compared to simple index investing, read my Moneyfarm review.

Moneybox vs Moneyfarm: Research, Tools and Advice

Moneyfarm is a robo-advisor, so naturally doesn’t have the level of research options and tools that more traditional investment platforms have.

However, Moneyfarm offers some basic tools such as a pensions calculator as well as a range of investing guides and ebooks on its website. You’re also able to see the past performance of its portfolios. 

Moneyfarm also hosts live webinars with members of its investing team. This could be useful if you want to keep up to date with the latest views and strategy from those investing your money at Moneyfarm. It’s alos useful for a casual or passive investor to keep up to date with the latest market news.

Although it doesn’t have a huge amount of investing tools compared to some trading platforms, Moneybox offers a lot more in the way of money management. The Moneybox app has savings goals and round-up features which can help to automate your investing.

Moneybox also has home-buying tools and mortgage advice. This goes beyond a typical investing platform, so if you want a more well-rounded personal finance app then you may prefer Moneybox. 

With Moneyfarm, you can chat to an investment consultant for free which is something that you can’t do with Moneybox. To be clear, this is not regulated financial advice, but a Moneyfarm investment consultant can help you with your investing journey. 

If you’re a less experienced investor you may like the ability to speak to an investment consultant about your options.

Moneybox vs Moneyfarm: Which Has The Better App?

The Moneyfarm app is great for a simple and straightforward robo-advisor platform. It has a sleek user interface and is easy to navigate around. 

The home screen clearly presents your investment performance, both graphically and with a percentage return. The in-app chat support feature has always worked well, too. Within the app you can also access Moneyfarm’s regularly updated blog and market news. 

There aren’t that many innovative in-app features though, unlike with Moneybox. You get more comprehensive personal finance features with the Moneybox app, some of which you may be familiar with from digital banking apps.

This includes round-up spending, savings goals and budgeting and automated investing features. You can also browse individual US stocks and shares if you have a Stocks & Shares ISA with Moneybox. 

Another difference with Moneyfarm vs Moneybox is that you can log in to your account through Moneyfarm’s website. With Moneybox, it’s completely app-only so you’ll need to be comfortable with just using the app if you sign up.

Moneybox vs Moneyfarm: Is My Money Safe?

Both Moneybox and Moneyfarm are regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) and have Financial Services Compensation Scheme (FSCS) protection.

This means that if either company were to go bust, your money would be protected up to the value of £85,000 by the regulator. 

It should be noted that some of the funds offered by Moneybox are located outside of the UK and therefore are not covered by FSCS protection. For example, the Global Shares ESG fund is based in Ireland.

Both Moneybox and Moneyfarm use sophisticated encryption to keep your data safe. Moneybox says that it uses bank-level encryption. 

The savings accounts offered by Moneybox are held with a range of different banks. Both Moneyfarm and Moneybox segregate client money from their own using custodian accounts held with secure 3rd parties. These also fall under FSCS protection.

Moneybox vs Moneyfarm: Pros & Cons

To summarise my comparison of Moneybox vs Moneyfarm, I’ve outlined below what I believe are the main pros and cons of each investment platform.

Moneyfarm Pros & Cons

Moneyfarm Pros

  • Lower cost investing vs Moneybox if you invest under £5k
  • Lower cost investing vs Moneybox if you invest over £100k
  • Allows you to invest in fixed allocation portfolios at a lower cost than actively managed
  • Invest in high-growth sectors through its new Thematic Investing option
  • Intuitive and easy-to-use app
  • Wider range of ready-made portfolios than Moneybox
  • Lots of resources and regular market updates through its website and in the app

Moneyfarm Cons

  • On the flip side, it’s a more expensive option compared to Moneybox if you have between £5k and £100k to invest (unless you choose a fixed allocation portfolio)
  • Higher minimum investment to get started (£500 vs £1 with Moneybox)
  • Underperformed Moneybox in 2022 for its actively managed portfolios. Past performance is not a guarantee of future performance, though
  • Lack of wider products (e.g. no LISA) and features vs Moneybox

Moneybox Pros & Cons

Moneybox Pros

  • Very low initial investment – get started from just £1
  • Cheaper than Moneyfarm when investing between £5,000 and £100,000
  • Low platform fee of 0.15% if investing over £100k in a pension (SIPP)
  • Wider range of products to choose from, including savings and LISAs
  • Customisable portfolios
  • Home-buying features, including mortgage broker
  • More comprehensive personal finance app
  • Access to commission free US stocks and shares trading with a Stocks & Shares ISA
  • Better 2022 performance vs Moneyfarm, but past performance is not a guarantee of future performance

Moneybox Cons

  • On the flip side, it has higher fees than Moneyfarm if you’re investing under £5,000 thanks to monthly £1 subscription fee
  • More expensive than Moneyfarm if investing more than £100k (except for SIPP)
  • Does not offer low-cost fixed allocation portfolios
  • Has fewer portfolios to choose from (only 3 vs Moneyfarm’s 7 portfolios)

Moneybox vs Moneyfarm: The Winner

If it’s a robo-advisor that you want, then Moneyfarm offers the widest choice of ready-made portfolios to choose from. You can also speak to an investment consultant with Moneyfarm, which will appeal to beginner investors or if you want guidance on your investment journey.

You can also choose Thematic Investing to add high-growth investment themes to your portfolio. 

Moneybox doesn’t offer the option to speak to an investment consultant, nor does it have as much choice of ready-made portfolios, with only 3 vs Moneyfarm’s 7. But you can build your own investment portfolio by choosing which ETFs you want to invest in, so you get greater customisation with Moneybox vs Moneyfarm. 

You’ll also get a wider range of products and features with Moneybox than with Moneyfarm. This includes both cash and stocks & shares Lifetime ISAs, which you can’t get with Moneyfarm. 

On top of this, you can invest in individual US stocks and shares with an investment ISA account, including fractional shares from just £1.

Beyond investing, Moneybox also offers a range of savings accounts to choose from, as well as home-buying services. This includes auto-investing features which you can use to help build your deposit on a property, as well as a mortgage broker service.

Overall, Moneyfarm has the greater choice for a pure robo-investment platform, and is generally cheaper if investing under £5k or more than £100k. Although Moneybox lacks the choice of ready-made portfolios, it has a much wider range of features beyond just robo-investing. It’s also slightly cheaper if investing between £5k and £100k.

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