So, is Wealthfront available in the UK? The answer, unfortunately, is no! Wealthfront currently only operates in the US and they have so far not made attempts to enter the UK market.
There are, however, many alternatives to Wealthfront in the robo-advisor and commission free trading space in the UK. In our opinion, the best robo-advisor alternative to Wealthfront in the UK is Moneyfarm. For commission-free trading, our favourite is eToro. For an all-round investment platform with a huge range of options, Hargreaves Lansdown is a great choice.
It’s possible that Wealthfront may enter the UK market in the future, but for now we will round up the best alternatives to Wealthfront in the UK.
So, What is Wealthfront?
Wealthfront is a US-based robo-advisor financial technology (fintech) company founded in 2008 and originally known as kaChing. In fact, Wealthfront was one of the very first robo-advisors.
As of January 2022, Wealthfront has 470,000 clients and $27bn of assets, making it one of the largest robo-advisors in the world.
Wealthfront now offers a large range of products and services, not all of which are available at any of its UK alternatives (see below), including:
- Robo-investing: the core offering, robo-investing is a hands-off way of investing your money. The UK has many alternatives to Wealthfront for this (see below), where an algorithm optimises your investment portfolio based on your preferences
- Socially responsible investing: sometimes referred to as impact investing, Wealthfront offers a socially responsible investment option. This option invests in funds which aim to exclude industries such as tobacco and fossil fuels. Currently the best UK alternative is Circa5000 but Moneyfarm also now offers socially responsible investing options
- Banking and savings: Wealthfront now offers banking and savings accounts to its clients all in the same app. You can get a debit card, pay bills and generally do all of your usual banking activities in the same place as your investments.
- Portfolio Line of Credit: the ability to borrow cash secured against the value of your investment portfolio. This is something that’s not that common in the UK but can be done by speaking to specialist financial advisors
- Planning: Wealthfront offers financial planning services aimed at those planning for retirement, home ownership, a career break and college. It does this using a robo advice engine, without the need to speak to a human advisor.
Who owns Wealthfront?
In January 2022, Wealthfront was bought by Swiss banking giant UBS for $1.4bn, as competition intensifies among big banks to attract Millennial and Generation Z wealth and investment clients.
Alternatives to Wealthfront in the UK
There are alternatives to Wealthfront in the UK that provide many of the same features. But there isn’t quite an equivalent that offers everything that Wealthfront does in a single app.
Having said that, there are some great robo-advisors that offer the same core investment services that Wealthfront does. There are also lots of commission-free trading alternatives to Wealthfront in the UK.
It’s our aim to review all of the investment platforms the UK has to offer, so here’s our roundup of the best UK alternatives to Wealthfront.
Wealthfront UK Alternatives – Robo Advisors
TOP PICK: Moneyfarm
If you want to sit back and allow experts to manage your money for you, then Moneyfarm is your ideal partner. It’s a robo-advisor, one of the largest in the UK, and it offers a general investment account as well as the main ISA accounts.
Simply complete an onboarding questionnaire and Moneyfarm will work out your risk appetite and allocate your money to a suitable portfolio. Moneyfarm’s professional investment managers then get to work for you, aiming to grow the value of your portfolio over time.
Moneyfarm is in the process of launching a share dealing service too, so you’ll be able to pick investments to add to your account. You can also open a pension account and speak to one of Moneyfarm’s investment consultants for free, making it a great alternative to Wealthfront.
There’s also the option to make your investments socially responsible, like Wealthfront offers, and add ‘themes’ to your portfolio, such as AI and robotics investments. Plus the more you invest the lower the percentage fee becomes.
Moneyfarm – Key Details
- Portfolios: 7 actively managed, 7 ethical / socially responsible, 5 fixed allocation, Thematic Investing
- Products: Stocks & Shares ISA, SIPP, Junior ISA, GIA
- 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%
- Minimum Investment: £500
- FCA Regulated: Yes
- FSCS Protection: Yes
- Trustpilot Rating: 3.9
PRIZE DRAW: Open and fund a SIPP account or transfer a pension to Moneyfarm by the 12th December 2023 and enter a prize draw for a chance to win £20,000. New customers only. Ts&Cs apply.
Read our detailed Moneyfarm review for more.
More robo-advisor alternatives to Wealthfront in the UK:
A great alternative to Moneyfarm, &me is a new robo-advisor having just launched in the UK in January 2023. It’s the creation of M&G Wealth which is owned by M&G plc, one of the biggest asset managers in the UK, so you’ll have peace of mind knowing that your money is backed by one of the UK’s largest financial institutions. They offer a range of investment portfolios, including socially responsible.
Another useful feature they have is the option to speak to an investment consultant, which would benefit someone who wants to get more personalised investment guidance.
Who is a robo advisor for?
The UK is well-served for robo-advisors, which invest your money based on an algorithm that uses your responses to a detailed questionnaire. Depending on the provider, this will take into account your risk appetite, investment goals and any themes or socially responsible preferences you have.
Robo-advisors are a hands-off way of investing your money, and are most suited to people who don’t have the time or desire to manage their own investments.
Read our detailed guide to the best robo advisor in the UK here.
Wealthfront UK Alternatives – Commission free trading platforms
TOP PICK: eToro
One of the best-known trading platforms in the UK, eToro offers commission-free trading on stocks and shares. Alongside this, eToro offers some of the most innovative trading features alongside thousands of stocks, ETFs and cryptocurrencies* to invest in.
Not only is share trading commission-free on eToro, but they also waive UK Stamp Duty fees which are normally 0.50%. This helps make it our top pick for a commission-free trading alternative to Wealthfront in the UK.
eToro’s CopyTrader is one of its most popular features and allows you to automatically copy the trades of the best traders on its platform. There are no additional management or platform fees for using CopyTrader, either.
You can also invest in Smart Portfolios’ with eToro which are investment portfolios put together around certain themes or strategies. You’re able to automatically invest in these portfolios, with no added fees.
Aside from investing and trading, eToro launched its own multi-currency and payments service called eToro Money which may be useful if you want to hold and transfer money in foreign currencies.
- Investment Options:
- Products: Trading Account, Pro Account, eToro Money Account, Demo Account
- Withdrawal fee of $5 on all withdrawals (deposits are free)
- FX conversion fee on all non-US dollar withdrawals & deposits. This fee depends on the method of transaction, e.g. bank transfer is 0.50%. No FX charge if using eToro Money account to fund your trading account
- $10 monthly inactivity fee if no login after 12 monthsUK share dealing: £2.95 per transaction
- Daily financing fees on all CFD* trades kept open overnight (inc. weekends) and broker spread, exact fee depends on asset being traded
- See detailed fees walkthrough here
- Minimum Investment: $50 for first deposit then $10 minimum investment. Smart Portfolios minimum investment is $500
- FCA Regulated: Yes (except cryptocurrencies)
- FSCS Protection: Yes
- Trustpilot Rating: 4.4
Read our in-depth eToro review for more about eToro.
*CFDs are complex instruments and come with a high risk of losing money rapidly due to leverage. 76% of retail investor accounts lose money when trading CFDs with this provider. You should consider whether you understand how CFDs work, and whether you can afford to take the high risk of losing your money.
Cryptocurrencies markets are high risk. Don’t invest unless you’re prepared to lose all the money you invest. This is a high-risk investment, and you should not expect to be protected if something goes wrong. Take 2 minutes to learn more.
More commission-free trading alternatives to Wealthfront in the UK:
Although primarily a digital bank account, Revolut now styles itself as a ‘digital finance super app’, offering commission-free stocks and shares trading. On top of stocks and shares, you can also invest in commodities and over 80 cryptocurrencies. So if you’re interested in making your own investment choices, then Revolut is one of the best commission-free trading options out there. That’s before considering the huge range of other features and tools available in the Revolut app, inluding low-cost international money transfers. Read our detailed, independent Revolut review here.
Another alternative is Plum, which is probably best for those who are new to investing. Plum is primarily a savings app designed to help customers save money and make the most of their savings. They now offer investment accounts too, which are great for beginners. There are thousands of stocks to invest in commission-free as well as some ready-made portfolios. Read our in-depth Plum review here.
Who is commission free trading for?
If you want to directly own stakes in companies and are confident in making your own investment or trading decisions, then the above commission-free trading apps are probably for you.
They’re also great for trading a variety of asset classes, such as getting direct exposure to commodities and ETFs.
If you’re going to trade using CFDs though, it’s very important that you have a good knowledge of how they work and the risks involved. They are leveraged instruments which can dramatically increase your losses (and profits).
Check out our guide to the differences in trading vs investing here.
Wealthfront UK Alternatives – Best All-Round Investment Platform
- Hargreaves Lansdown
For an all-round investment platform with a huge range of investments to choose from, look no further than Hargreaves Lansdown. It’s one of the largest retail investment platforms in the UK and allows you to invest in stocks & shares, bonds, investment trusts, mutual funds, ETFs and ready-made portfolios.
You can open an ISA, LISA, JISA and SIPP with Hargreaves Lansdown, as well as an ‘Active Savings’ account which brings together savings accounts from a range of providers all in one place. One of the few downsides is that it tends to be pricier than other investment platforms, particularly for share dealing. However, it boasts a huge range of tools and research to aid you in your investing process.
You can download Hargreaves Lansdown’s free investing guide here:
Is My Money Safe With These Wealthfront Alternatives?
All of the above investing and trading options are FCA registered and regulated, including Financial Services Compensation Scheme (FSCS) protection. This means that if they were to go out of business, you can be paid compensation directly by the FSCS up to the value of £85,000.
FCA-regulated platforms are subject to the Financial Ombudsman Service (FOS). This means that if you’re unable to resolve a dispute directly with the platform, you can take your case to the FOS. The FOS is impartial and their decision is binding.
This should give some comfort that your money is safe with these providers. But, as with any type of investment, the value of your investments may go up or down.
At Generation Money we’ve extensively used Moneyfarm, eToro, Revolut and Hargreaves Lansdown for a number of years and have not had any issues with my money or the security of their platforms.
What To Do Next?
Deciding on which platform, and type of investment, is right for you will be down to your individual circumstances. You should think about how you want your money invested and whether you want to actively buy and sell individual instruments, or take a hands-off approach.
For a hands-off approach, our top-pick robo-advisor is Moneyfarm which we’ve reviewed in detail and used oursevles. It’s a great Wealthfront UK alternative for robo-investing.
For a more hands-on approach, eToro is a great choice if you’re looking for commission-free stocks and shares. You can also diversify your investments by investing in cryptocurrencies and commodities. Their app also has lots more features, including multi-currency accounts making it a close alternative to Wealthfront in the UK.
For the widest choice of investments, Hargreaves Lansdown is the winner. Although it can be beaten on cost, especially for share dealing, its range of investment options and tools make it a great all-round option.
Remember, none of the above should be considered investment advice. Any investor should do their own research and take time to understand the risks involved and their own risk appetite for any investment.