Plum Review – Is Plum The Best Way To Save And Invest?

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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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Plum Investment Review with Plum logo and Generation Money logo

This Plum investment review will focus on the features and services of the Plum mobile savings and investment app. We’ll take a look at whether Plum is the best app for you to begin your saving and investing journey.

As millennials begin to settle into their careers and purchase their first homes, they naturally begin to think about ways to make their hard-earned money start working for them.

As a result, a number of innovative new investing apps have been developed in recent years that are designed to target this very specific demographic. Whilst some of these apps are not worth the time it takes to download them, others have proven themselves to be extremely useful in helping young people to save and invest their disposable income.

I’m a Chartered Accountant with more than 9 years experience in banking, so I know how important it is to control your finances. Whether that’s your personal finances or in business!

Overall, Plum provides a good service to those who are just starting in the world of investing. And, whilst it’s not perfect, it remains a great app for younger people to begin putting their money to work.

I hope that this Plum investment review will provide you with the insight that you will need in order to determine whether or not the Plum investment app is right for you.

New Plum customers who open a Stocks & Shares ISA before 12 noon on the 30th April 2023 will enter into a prize draw with a chance of winning £250!

To enter, you will need to open a Stocks & Shares ISA with a subscription to Plum Pro or above. No purchase or deposit is necessary, simply open a Stocks & Shares ISA and subscribe to Plum Pro or above by 12 noon on the 30th April 2023. Your first 30 days of Plum Pro/Premium/Ultra are free. The £250 prize will be paid into the winner’s Plum primary pocket within 10 days of competition close. Click the link below to get started:

Read on for my full Plum review, or use the links below to jump straight to a particular section.

Plum Review: What is Plum Investment?

Founded by UK-based Cypriots, Plum is a ‘robo’ savings and investment tool that can be downloaded directly onto your smartphone. Unfortunately, whilst millennials count themselves among the most educated humans in the history of our species, very few of them have the financial education necessary to make the best financial decisions for their individual situations.

The founders of Plum took on the challenge of developing financial technology capable of targeting younger generations in an effort to help them develop the financial skills necessary to thrive in the modern world.

In service of that mission, the app’s primary purpose is to help individuals grow their wealth. To accomplish this, the app focuses on two main categories: savings and investment. I’ll explore how each of these functions in more depth throughout this Plum investment review.

Whilst Plum has over 1 million users, it should be noted early on that in order to access Plum’s services you must be a UK resident and hold a UK bank account. If you are unable to meet these requirements then you will be unable to use Plum’s investment app.

Plum Review: How Does Plum Work?

In order to help you save, the Plum investment app allows you to link your primary bank account directly into the app. Plum’s software then intelligently analyses your spending in order to determine the optimal amount that you should be saving every week/month. It then automatically sets this money aside for you.

In case you’re worried that the Plum robot will take lock you into a set savings habit forever, then fear not. Fortunately you can read through Plum’s recommended savings amount and make any adjustments that you may feel are appropriate. This is a nice feature that allows you to tweak your recommended financial habits and budgetary requirements if you would like to.

Should the need arise for you to stop saving your designated amount, or adjust it, you can stop saving or make the necessary adjustments at any point.

Ultimately, saving your money is simply a habit that must be trained and developed. Plum’s intelligent saving software and tools are designed to help you establish these financial habits and create the discipline needed to consistently save your income over a sustained period of time.

As any financial professional is already aware, being a disciplined and diligent saver is only the first step in the creation of wealth. The sad reality is that very few of us will ever be able to just save our way into financial independence and so the next step will be to invest these savings into assets that appreciate in value.

The minds behind Plum are already well aware of this reality and so have devised a number of investment vehicles in which you can place your savings to begin growing your wealth for a small monthly fee. When investing, your capital is at risk.

These investment vehicles include ISA accounts which allow individuals to invest up to £20,000 tax-free per year. Unfortunately, it should be noted that it is not possible to carry over any of this amount to the following year should you be unable to invest the maximum £20,000 in any given year.

Plum Review: Pros & Cons

Below summarises the main pros and cons of Plum:

Plum Pros

  • No monthly fee to invest in individual stock and shares
  • Huge choice of stocks and shares, with up to 3,000 to invest in
  • Build your own investment portfolio, with 21 funds to choose from (29 including pensions)
  • Start investing from just £1
  • Wide range of savings and money management tools
  • Plum debit card allows you to spend, similar to a bank card
  • Bill switching service covering energy bills, credit cards and broadband
  • Intuitive and easy-to-use app makes for a great user experience in the Plum app
  • Lots of savings and investing guides for beginners
  • Simple and straightforward signup process
  • Good product range, great for those who are new to investing
  • FCA regulated and savings and investments are covered by Financial Services Compensation Scheme (FSCS)

Plum Cons

  • Investment options great for beginners, but may not offer enough for experienced investors with only 23 funds on offer
  • Investing fees are expensive when investing small amounts due to monthly fees
  • No ready-made portfolios to invest unlike rival investment apps
  • Only 3 ethical funds to choose from
  • Simple and straightforward signup process
  • Sleek and intuitive app design makes for a great user experience in the Plum app
  • Invest starting with just £1
  • Good range of investment vehicles to choose from and Plum is able to cater to a range of risk tolerances, which is great for those who are new to investing
  • FCA regulated and savings and investmens are covered by Financial Services Compensation Scheme (FSCS)

Plum Review: Who Is Plum Investment For?

Plum’s target demographic is the young adult who is just starting to learn to appropriately manage his/her finances. If you enjoy managing money on your phone, need to begin saving and investing, and live in the United Kingdom, then the Plum investment app is for you.

Plum is particularly good for those who struggle to implement a budgeting and savings plan. The way Plum links to your bank account allows it to automatically save for you.

As hinted at in the section above, Plum investment is designed with the novice investor in mind. The app targets those who have little to no experience in navigating the financial markets and essentially attempts to simplify the investing process for them. 

So, if you’re a beginner to investing then Plum is a great place to start. It’s also great if you’re looking for a hands-off approach to investing your money, as Plum’s software does it all for you once you’ve entered your preferences.

If you’re already good at savings and have a good understanding of investing options, then Plum is probably not the best platform for you.

Plum Review: Plum’s Best Features

  • Automated Savings – Utilising their advanced AI software, Plum is able to provide a detailed analysis of your spending habits and recommend optimal savings targets.
  • Savings Pockets – Plum offers users the option of both a primary pocket, from which monies can be withdrawn instantly, and an interest-paying pocket, which will require one day’s notice for withdrawals. 
  • Investments – Plum allows its users to invest their hard-earned capital into both a tax-free Stocks and Shares ISA account or a general investment account.
  • Regulatory Protection – Plum is regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority and its savings and investment accounts are covered by the Financial Services Compensation Scheme to protect your deposits.
  • Roundups – Roundups allow users to round their transactions to the nearest £1 for savings allowing users to automatically save their money without thinking.
  • Low minimums – Users can begin investing with Plum with just £1!
  • Payday saving – Much like a standing order, this feature allows you to automatically save your money every time you get paid!
  • 52-week challenge – Available to all pro users, take part in Plum’s 52-week money-saving challenge by saving £1 every Monday and increasing it by just £1 each week!
  • Rainy Day Fund – The United Kingdom is no stranger to bad weather, so why not make the most of it? Pro users will be able to save or invest money automatically whenever it rains!
  • Privacy Mode Engaged – When engaged, privacy mode will allow you to show your Plum account to anyone you wish without divulging any personal information.
  • Adjustable moods – Plum allows you to adjust the amount you save each month ranging from “Shy” to “Beast Mode”. – me to expand in Summary
  • Lost Money Alerts – The advanced spending analysis software will provide users with alerts if any financial products they purchase can be found cheaper at other providers and assist you in switching thereby helping you save your money.
  • Multiple Accounts – Who only has one bank account anymore? Plum allows you to link multiple accounts to your app allowing you to more easily manage your finances.
  • Overdraft Savings – For those of you who have become a little too fond of your overdraft facility, Plum assists you in saving whilst you are in your arranged overdraft. Please note this feature must be manually activated.
  • Save for Retirement – Plum’s recently introduced Self-Invested Personal Pension (SIPP) will allow users to consolidate multiple pensions in a single location to help you save for your retirement faster!
  • Goals – This feature allows you to set specific savings goals for each of your Plum pockets so you have something to work towards. Only available to Plum Pro and Ultra users.
  • Money Maximiser – Only available to Plum Ultra account holders, the money maximiser feature helps you to create a more effective budgeting plan by dividing your money into weekly allowances by calculating your bills and income to determine the amount of spending money that should be spent each week.

Plum Review: Plum Account Options

The Plum investment app comes with four account options that provide users with a range of benefits. These account options are the Plum Basic plan, Plum Pro, Plum Ultra and Plum Premium. Let’s examine the benefits of each account option now:

Plum Basic

As the name suggests, this is the Plum apps foundational account option. The account type is completely free but comes with only the most basic features and is ideal for those of you who wish to test the waters and see whether or not Plum is right for you. It is likely most Plum users will start off with the basic plan before deciding to upgrade.

The basic account will allow users to employ the use of Plum’s roundup feature and make use of Plum’s savings accounts. You will be able to withdraw the money at any point and at any amount without the worry of any hidden charges or fees.

I’ve used and reviewed many other savings and investing apps, and the lack of features in Plum’s basic account is a little disappointing.

Plum Pro

Plum Pro is the second most advanced account type on the Plum app encompassing all the other benefits offered by the Basic account and a few exclusive features. Plum Pro users will have the benefit of opening up to 15 additonal pockets in their primary pocket accounts and unlocking the goals feature which allows users to set specific goals for their Plum pockets.

Other features included in the Plum Pro account are the rainy day fund, the 52-week challenge, and the new Plum SIPP account which will help you to save for retirement.

Plum Ultra

The Plum Ultra account is likely to be the best option for those of you who are interested in starting your investing journeys. It provides access to a range of different share funds that are available on the Plum investment platform allowing you to invest in some of the largest companies in the world.

Unlike the basic account, Plum Ultra costs £4.99 per month and will incur the cost of the Plum investment fees. The total fee payable for use of the Plum investment platform will be dependent on the total value of your investment portfolio and will likely range from 0.40%-0.50%.

Plum Plus will also allow users to create a Plum savings pocket which will earn 2.30% annual interest and is fully protected by the Financial Services Compensation Scheme.

Plum Premium

Lastly, we have the creme de la creme of the Plum investment app. Plum Premium provides account holders with all the benefits of every other account type but includes the exclusive money maximiser feature detailed above. If you have trouble creating budgets to help you manage your money, then Plum Premium is the account for you!

Plum Review: How Much Does Plum Cost?

As outlined above, Plum offers 4 different types of account. The fees and charges for each are summarised in the below table:

Plum BasicPlum ProPlum UltraPlum Premium
Monthly costFREE£2.99 per month (first 30 days free)£4.99 per month (first 30 days free)£9.99 per month (first 30 days free)
Platform FeesN/A – cannot invest in funds with Plum Basic0.45%0.45%0.15%
Fund FeesN/A0.22% average0.22% average0.22% average
Ethical / Socially Responsible Fund FeesN/A0.17%-0.90%0.17%-0.90%0.17%-0.90%
Individual Stocks & SharesCommission-free but 0.45% currency conversion charge for US sharesCommission-free but 0.45% currency conversion charge for US sharesCommission-free but 0.45% currency conversion charge for US sharesCommission-free but 0.45% currency conversion charge for US shares
Unlimited free withdrawalsYESYESYESYES

For a more detailed look at the saving and investing features of each Plum plan, keep reading.

Plum Review: Saving With Plum

Whilst explaining the intricacies of algorithmic technology and artificial intelligence goes slightly beyond the scope of this Plum investment review, what we can say is that Plum employs the use of AI technology to help you save money.

The technology will analyse the spending in your linked bank accounts to determine the optimal amount you should be saving weekly/monthly. You can then adjust these recommendations according to your own specific preferences and begin saving your money accordingly.

The saved money will either be kept in your primary pocket which can be immediately accessed at any time, or in an interest generating pocket which will require 1 day’s notice in order to access.

All money can be withdrawn from the Plum app to your bank account and should arrive within 30 minutes of the withdrawal request being received. Please note that not all pockets are afforded the same level of regulatory protection – read more below.

See the table below for a comparison of saving with Plum for each account type:

 Plum BasicPlum ProPlum UltraPlum Premium
Subscription CostFree£2.99 per month£4.99 per month£9.99 per month
Number of Pockets1151515
Interest*2.20%2.45%2.45%2.90%
Instant AccessYesYesYesYes
Withdrawal Notice RequirementsSame Day (before 3pm)Same Day (before 3pm)Same Day (before 3pm)Same Day (before 3pm)
FSCS ProtectionYesYesYesYes

*Interest rates accurate as at March-23.

Plum Review: Investing With Plum

As we noted above, Plum provides its users with the option of investing in a range of different fund types that are designed to cater to every level of risk tolerance. For those of you who are unfamiliar with funds, they are essentially pools of money that are invested into a basket of companies. If the companies in the group perform well, then the money you invest will be worth more. Likewise, if those companies underperform, the money you invest will be worth less.

For example, a fund may invest in U.S technology companies like Facebook, Apple, and Tesla. If you invest in this fund, the performance of your investments will depend on the performance of the U.S technology stocks that your fund has invested in.

It should be stated that Plum does not purchase these shares for you directly but rather employs the use of a third party to purchase the shares and then hold them on Plum’s behalf.

Currently, Plum offers 21 different funds to invest in depending on your subscription level. You can access these funds through either a tax-free Stocks and Shares ISA which will afford you up to £20,000 of tax-free investments or through a taxable GIA (General Investment Account):

 Plum BasicPlum ProPlum UltraPlum Premium
Subscription CostFree£2.99 per month£4.99 per month£9.99 per month
Number of Stocks1,2001,2001,2003,000
Number of Funds0121221
Fund Platform FeeN/A0.45%0.45%0.15%
Repeat InvestmentsNoNoNoYes
Price AlertsNoNoNoYes
FSCS ProtectionYesYesYesYes

REMINDER: New Plum customers who open a Stocks & Shares ISA before 12 noon on the 30th April 2023 will enter into a prize draw with a chance of winning £250!

To enter, you will need to open a Stocks & Shares ISA with a subscription to Plum Pro or above. No purchase or deposit is necessary, simply open a Stocks & Shares ISA and subscribe to Plum Pro or above by 12 noon on the 30th April 2023. Your first 30 days of Plum Pro/Premium/Ultra are free. The £250 prize will be paid into the winner’s Plum primary pocket within 10 days of competition close. Click the link below to get started:

Naturally, your capital will be at risk when investing in the financial markets and so Plum will detail the level of risk associated with each fund by displaying its risk score of 1-7. The higher the score, the higher the risk associated with investing in the fund.

Plum’s investment options are a good choice for anyone new to investing, and wanting to take a hands-off approach. Plum’s AI will automatically invest your money on your behalf based on your preferences and risk level. You can simply keep an eye on how it’s performing at any time through the Plum app.

With over 1,200 stocks to invest in on Basic/Pro/Ultra plans, Plum offers one of the widest ranges of share investment options among its rival apps. For example, Moneybox only offers 20. Plum Ultra customers get even more, with over 3,000 stocks to invest in.

Further, beyond the fees that are charged by Plum for use of their various account options, the funds you invest in will have fees of their own which will vary depending on the funds you choose to invest in. Fund provider fees generally range from 0.06%-0.90%, but average 0.22%. When investing, your capital is at risk.

Plum Review: Plum Self-Invested Personal Pension Plan (SIPP)

When you’re young and just starting out in life, the last thing you are likely to be thinking of is your retirement. More likely, you are thinking about that first home, your first car, or even just that trip to Ibiza with your friends once these travel restrictions are lifted.

That said, the earlier you begin to plan your retirement, the better off you’ll be when that day finally arrives. This is why Plum has developed and launched its own Self-Invested Personal Pension Plan (SIPP).

Fully protected by the Financial Services Compensation Scheme, Plum’s SIPP is provided through the third party Gaudi Regulated Services Ltd. Through this feature, users can either consolidate existing pension plans through the Plum app or begin an entirely new pension plan right on the app.

Users are able to contribute directly to their Plum pension plans through the Plum autosaving feature or make one-off contributions through their linked bank accounts.

Unfortunately, withdrawals (known as pension drawdowns) are not currently available through the Plum app and pensions would need to be transferred to another provider in the event that a pension drawdown was necessary. So if you’re close to retirement age, you may want to consider an alternative provider.

 At the time of writing this plum investment review, Plum offers its users 13 pension funds to choose from. You’re only able to pick one of the below to invest your pension into though, no matter which Plum subscription you have:

  • 2 Target Retirement Date Funds – These funds alternate your investment strategy from higher risk to lower risk the closer you come to your desired retirement day. It will begin with the highest-risk investments early on and then slowly transition to lower-risk investments as you reach your retirement date. Provided by Vanguard.
  • Global Equity Index Fund – As the name suggests, this fund invests in a number of company shares across the globe.
  • Future World Climate Change Equity Factors Index Fund – This fund targets the shares of companies that meet specific carbon and environmental criteria that benefit the environment.
  • Real Estate – Investments in real estate across the US, Japan and Hong Kong
  • Global Gold – An actively managed fund investing in gold and gold mining operations worldwide
  • Japan Prime – A 100% equities fund focused on the Japanese market
  • Biotech and Genomics – A 100% equities fund focused on biotech, genomics and medical research investments
  • Inflation Protected – An actively managed fund that invests in UK corporate bonds and cash products
  • UK Dividends – UK equities from different industries with a focus on dividend growth 
  • China Supreme – A 100% equities fund focused on the Chinese market
  • Global Dividends – Equities from different industries across the world with a focus on dividend growth 
  • Natural Resources – A 100% equities fund focused on oil, gas, mining and precious metals

As you might imagine, the Plum SIPP comes with its own fee. The Plum SIPP fee is divided into a 0.35% administration fee and a 0.10% custody service charge totalling 0.45% annual fees which will be deducted monthly from your SIPP balance.

Further, the specific fund you choose to invest in will have similar fees that will range from 0.24%-0.30% depending on the fund you select.

Plum Review: Is Plum Safe To Use?

Plum is fully regulated and compliant with all the governing regulatory frameworks that are in place to protect you. It is regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority and covered by the Financial Services Compensation Scheme (FSCS) for money that you have in savings or investments, but not in your primary account.

To be clear, the Plum instant-access primary pocket is not covered by the Financial Services Compensation Scheme and so should anything occur which would render Plum unable to return your money, you will be at risk of losing the entire amount. The FSCS covers up to £85,000 of deposits per individual.

As such, it is not recommended that users store meaningful amounts of money on this account and instead move such sums into the interest-yielding accounts which are fully protected and provide you with passive income in the form of interest payments. This is, after all, what Plum is designed to encourage you to do!

Plum does however say that any money you keep in your primary account is protected by E-Money Safeguarding Rules. Your money in this account is stored as e-money and is subject to these safeguarding rules, including maintaining a segregated account which holds e-money. These are not as comprehensive as the FSCS, but does provide for some protection.

Safety and security should rightly be an investor’s largest concern when investing through third parties and Plum spares no expense in this regard. The Plum investment app implements the latest and industry-standard security features in its app, which employs the use of 256-bit TLS encryption.

Plum Review: Plum Customer Reviews

According to the Plum website, with over 1.1 million customers they have managed to secure a 4.7-star rating on the Apple app store drawn from an average of over 60,000 reviews.

Further, Trustpilot has provided the Plum investment app with a rating of “Excellent” after scoring 4.5/5 stars from over 2000 reviews.

With this many positive reviews, it suggests that Plum customers are generally very happy with the service being provided.

Plum Review: Plum Customer Service

Customer service is a key consideration when it comes to financial services providers. When something goes wrong with your money, the last thing you want to do is spend hours trying to get a hold of someone who can help you.

Thankfully, Plum’s customer service teams are known to consistently provide the highest levels of customer service. Customers who have any issue are afforded the opportunity to speak to a human representative on Plum’s Customer Support Team through the app’s live chat function.

Plum Investment Review: Final Verdict

Financial order and planning are the first steps to financial freedom and independence. Over the years since it was first developed, the Plum investment app has proven itself to be a valuable commodity for young people who are interested in getting their financial lives in order.

If you find yourself in a position where you would like to begin budgeting, saving, and investing your money, then we would recommend Plum for you. We hope that this Plum investment review has helped you determine whether the Plum investment app is right for you.

REMINDER: New Plum customers who open a Stocks & Shares ISA before 12 noon on the 30th April 2023 will enter into a prize draw with a chance of winning £250!

To enter, you will need to open a Stocks & Shares ISA with a subscription to Plum Pro or above. No purchase or deposit is necessary, simply open a Stocks & Shares ISA and subscribe to Plum Pro or above by 12 noon on the 30th April 2023. Your first 30 days of Plum Pro/Premium/Ultra are free. The £250 prize will be paid into the winner’s Plum primary pocket within 10 days of competition close. Click the link below to get started:

To get a better understanding of how to allocate your savings yourself, check out our guide on where to put your savings.

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