Welcome to our Moneybox review, Moneybox is an app-based broker focusing on the hot new trend of micro-saving and using it as an opportunity to invest in the stock market.
With 300,000 users on both, this fintech startup has garnered a lot of attention from awarding bodies including The Times in association with Boring Money, Moneyfacts Consumer Awards and altfi.
For those erring on the side of caution of these new types of companies, Moneybox is protected by the Financial Services Compensation Scheme, meaning your cash is safe up to £85,000 and it is regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA).
They have a variety of ISAs including the new Lifetime ISA which is available both in a Stocks & Shares and Cash option. Their Lifetime Cash ISA currently provides some of the best interest rates on the market.
Their fees are a little higher than some stockbrokers but their pricing structure is simple and easy to understand. Moneybox may also not be the best option if you like to be in full control of where your investments are held. Nevertheless, it is the perfect choice for people who don’t have hours upon hours to spend researching tracker funds and instead just want to start putting some cash away for their future.
They have a wealth of blog posts and tutorials to familiarise users with all the lingo when it comes to investments and provides useful tools for calculating how much your money could be worth in the next decade.
Moneybox is available on both iOS and android and you can get signed up in just a few minutes.
Moneybox offers your basic range of products for savings and investments for UK residents. Their investment accounts include the following:
- Stocks and Shares ISA
- Stocks and Shares Lifetime ISA
- Junior ISA
- General Investment Account
- Pensions – though upon downloading the moneybox app it says that pensions are coming soon
- They also give you regular cash savings account options with their 95 Day Notice account and Cash Lifetime ISA account.
The 95 Day Notice account is particularly interesting as it offers a fairly competitive rate compared to UK banks of 1.65%, but can only be withdrawn from with this 95-day notice which may not be all that useful if you need the funds in an emergency.
It’s also interesting to see them offer both the Stocks and Shares and Cash lifetime ISA, which is part of a new government scheme but has been often overlooked by brokers. We will take a deeper dive into this ISA under the ISA review section below.
With Moneybox, you won’t be able to select the exact funds you want to invest in. The funds are chosen by the team of experts at Moneybox and are reviewed annually. At the time of writing, investments were distributed between the Fidelity Index World Fund, iShares Global Property Equity, iShares Overseas Corporate Bond Index, iShares Overseas Government Bond Index, and Legal and General Cash Trust.
You can find out more about fund allocation here.
Not so much a product, but a feature worth mentioning with Moneybox is the way in which it encourages you to invest. You can connect your bank account and it will automatically round up all your transactions to the nearest pound and get those extra few pennies invested for you.
Research and Tools
With Moneybox, you don’t see all the usual research and analysis tools you may be used to finding on a broker webpage. That’s likely due to the product being slightly different than your usual ISAs and SIPPs a broker would offer.
With Moneybox, all the funds are pre-selected for you and you simply put in what level of risk you want to take, which redistributes what percentage of shares go where. They are all tracker funds and Moneybox state that they review them annually – which, so far they have done.
Though this could put off some investors, who are very specific in terms of where they want their cash to go, for others it’s a no-nonsense avenue to getting on the stock market.
You can tell that Moneybox are positioning themselves to target either the younger generations such as Millenials and Gen Z’s who don’t have much in the way of savings or investments and those who want to invest but want it made as simple as possible and who don’t have the time to research what funds they want their money to go in.
When it comes to general educational content, Moneybox do fairly well, they have easy-to-digest videos and blog posts to explain all the basics of finance and keep you up to date with the latest news. Their blog is categorised into four topics which are easy to navigate; Updates, Pensions, Learn, Academy and Stories.
The fees you pay with Moneybox are dependent on your account type and what funds your money has been distributed in. They pride themselves on being transparent with fees and we have to say that it’s refreshing to see simple pricing rather than pages upon pages of options for SIPPs, ISAs, phone transactions, stock purchases and so forth.
Monthly Subscription Fee
To make the fee structure simplistic they have a monthly subscription fee of just £1 which covers all investment accounts with Moneybox, they’re also offering new customers their first three months for free.
Moneybox charges a platform fee of 0.45% which is more than most other providers charge. Having said that, the slightly higher fee is likely from the fact that it’s pretty much a done for you service so is understandable.
Annual Fund Provider Costs
These fees vary depending on the funds you opt to invest in but vary between 0.12% and 0.30% which is pretty standard. Moneybox doesn’t really have much control over these rates – though they can choose funds with lower fees so they can pass those savings on to investors.
Moneybox doesn’t charge their subscription fees for pension funds but does charge their platform fees on a sliding scale basis.
For those of you who have a pension pot of less than £100,000, you will be charged the standard 0.45% platform fee. However, if you hold a pension pot over £100,00, their fees become much more lucrative at just 0.15% making them a great option for those with pension balances between £100,000 and £250,000
Opening an Account with Moneybox
Opening an account with Moneybox is incredibly easy and you don’t seem to have to go through the masses of questions you get with the more traditional brokers. It’s all done on the app too which has been designed to be very user-friendly.
The only details you may need to double-check are your bank details as you are required to set up a direct debit when opening the account but other than that you will just need your personal details and address to get going (and a smartphone – of course).
You’re asked what type of account you want to open and how much you want to invest weekly with the option of adding a lump sum investment on payday (so you don’t miss the money). They’ve also taken the liberty of showing you how much you could have in 10 years based on the various options you select throughout the sign-up process.
Transferring your Investments to Moneybox
Transferring your investments to Moneybox is simple and the form to initiate the transfer can be accessed on their website or the app. It will then have to be posted to them.
The process can take a fair amount of time however, compared to most mainstream brokers. They state that the transfer can take up to 30 days which is around double the time it takes to transfer in with other investment services providers.
It’s also worth noting that you won’t be able to invest your money in the same funds or shares that you currently have them in unless they happen to be the same as what Moneybox is offering as they have already pre-selected the investments for you.
Moneybox ISA Review
Moneybox offers a wide range of ISA products including Stocks and Shares ISAs, Stocks and Shares Lifetime ISAs, Junior ISAs, and Lifetime Cash ISAs.
We’re particularly interested in their Lifetime ISA options as these are a relatively new scheme introduced by the government designed to help young people, aged 18-39, save for their pension or to buy their first home. Under this scheme you can save up to £4,000 per year and the government will top it up with an extra 25% (max £1,000). Although if you withdraw the funds before retirement age or use them to buy something other than your first home, you will have to give the money back.
Lifetime ISAs are a great way to give yourself up to £33,000 in free money from the government if you invest for the maximum period. The Stocks and Shares option is also a prime opportunity to maximise your potential returns, especially if it’s put in a more adventurous fund. The Cash ISA, on the other hand, gives you a guaranteed interest rate of 1.4% variable.
The reason these Lifetime ISAs are much better value than your standard Help to Buy ISA is that the Help to Buy ISA is only for your first home and the Lifetime ISA can be for any home/pension purchase as long as you’re in the age requirements when you open the account.
So, how do Moneybox’s fund options perform for all these ISAs?
As you have no choice on where your money is invested with Moneybox (the investments are preselected) you want to make sure that you are earning a reasonable interest rate. Moneybox only started up in 2016 however, the funds they’ve chosen to invest in do have plenty of data and you can check it out on the Moneybox site here.
The portfolios have presented a decent return on investment over the last 10 years, even with some slumps in the markets.
Moneybox Personal Pension Review
At the time of writing, Moneybox’s Personal Pension scheme still states it’s coming soon. Be sure to check back for an update once they have their service up and rolling.
Moneybox Customer Service
The Moneybox customer service team are around 7 days a week 9-5:30 pm either via the chat section on the app or by email.
Their chat service, however, is operated by Intercom, so it could be a few hours before they actually get back to you, although we guess it’s a step in the right direction as most brokers don’t offer an online chat option at all – having it ‘live’ though would make it much better and they might try to aim for this as the company grows.
Who is Moneybox Suitable For?
Moneybox is best suited for people with no investment experience who want to dip their toes into the world of investing without putting too much effort into selecting funds and doing their own analysis. Of course, this does pose some risk as you’re relying on someone else’s opinion but it’s a great way to get started.
It’s a perfect option for those who aren’t great at saving as it aims to encourage putting away small amounts of money often to see potentially big returns.
Peter Field CFA
Peter uses his many years of experience to oversee the reviews and guides published on InvestingReviews.co.uk
When not at his desk, Peter is training for his next triathlon and trying to be a great dad and husband.