Wombat Invest is a Fintech start-up thematic micro-investing app, similar to robo investing apps, that targets its investment services to novice and young investors by making investing relatable and in tune with your individual personality.
Launched in 2019 in the UK, it already boasts over 170,000 users and offers a low-cost opportunity to individuals looking for a simplified way to become acquainted with investing.
Read on to find out more about my Wombat Invest App review.
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Who is Wombat Invest?
Wombat Invest is quickly becoming one of the fastest-growing investment apps in the UK. It is specifically aimed at making investing affordable and accessible to people who are embarking on their investment journey.
Who owns Wombat Invest?
Wombat is owned by Australian Kane Linton Harrison, a former risk analyst at National Australia Bank.
Wombat Invest Product Range Overview
Wombat allows investors to choose to invest in a range of companies through 26 branded EFT themed funds.
Investors can also build custom portfolios and invest in fractional shares from companies in both the UK and USA.
Within these themed funds you can start investing with as little as £10, by selecting one or more of the following themes based on your interests and beliefs:
- Fly the flag
- Pure Gold
- The Adventurer
- The Money-Maker
- The Lifestyler
- All American
- The AI
- The Techie
- The Foodie
- The World’s Greatest
- The Innovator
- The Snack Attack
- The Healthcare Innovators
- Women in Power
- The Goodies
- The Balanced
- The British Bulldog
- Social Media Guru
- The Robo
- Medical Cannabis
- The Green Machine
The Wombat investment themes have a risk level, illustrated with chillies, so you can create a carefully balanced investment strategy, or select a diversified portfolio that is in line with your appetite for risk.
Wombat also offers impact investing themed funds which allow investors to back companies that are making a positive impact on the world. These funds include brands that support entities such as clean energy and medical cannabis, with five portfolio choices in total that allow ethical investing.
If the ETF price is too high for your personal budget, fractional shares allow you to buy a fraction of the share, allowing you to own part of big brands and companies, but you can still invest in an ETF of your choosing for just £10.
Some of the shares that fractional investing at Wombat gives customers access to include brands such as Netflix, Microsoft, Facebook, Amazon and Apple to name a few. All the fractional shares on offer at Wombat are UK or US shares and offer investors the opportunity to create a diversified portfolio.
Want to know more? Head to the learning hub where you can find out more about fractional investing on the Wombat investment platform and how it works.
Wombat links to your bank account in order to round up your purchases to the nearest pound to add money to, and grow your investment fund, without you really noticing it. Whilst round-ups are an effective strategy for saving and investing money, they have been on offer at several high street banks for some time now so aren’t exactly new and innovative but rather a handy little add on.
Auto-Invest allows users to automate their investments to repeat monthly, a revolutionary feature that makes investing a habit and can facilitate a set and forget type approach to investments.
Wombat General Investment Account (GIA) Review
The General Investment Account at Wombat is free of charge for accounts under £250 and provides you with the means for investing in funds using the Wombat themed funds.
Given that the Stocks and Shares ISA at Wombat is also free for balances under £250, you may as well swerve the GIA and take advantage of the UK tax reliefs available in the ISA account for investing in the funds of your choice.
Wombat would certainly represent the cheapest Stocks and Shares ISA for people with small investment amounts who are just starting out on their investment journey.
Wombat SIPP Review
Currently wombat doesn’t have a SIPP account on offer however, they have hinted at adding this to their account options in future roll outs.
As well as this Wombat are currently working on a Junior App which will allow under 18s to experience their first foray into the world of investments, as well as Wombat Gift, where people will be able to offer investments as a gift, a great little feature that will be new to the marketplace.
Wombat Platform Review
Whilst Wombat offers a great place for newbie investors to have their first foray into the marketplace, it is currently only available via the Wombat app. This may act to deter investors who prefer a web-based program, however, given that Wombat is targeting their efforts at young and novice investors, it is likely that this demographic will be more than comfortable with conducting their investments through a mobile app.
Wombat provides a clean, innovative and easy to use platform that can be navigated quickly in order to place your investments.
The wombat investment app is rated 4.4 out of 5 by users on the Google Play Store, and 4.7 on the App Store, which would indicate that they have presented a slick, easy to use interface, and offered a great place for novice investors to get started on a simple, intuitive platform with a fresh modern look.
One of the features on the app that I loved was the auto invest feature, whereby users can program Wombat to automatically invest a defined sum on your behalf each month. This can encourage good investing habits without taking any of your valuable time.
Research Service and Tools Review
Wombat offers decent charts, providing you with tracking information on your portfolio size with some handy projections into the future of your investments. They also have a fairly comprehensive Learning Hub with interesting, helpful articles to improve your investing knowledge. The Learning Hub also has a handy little search function that allows you to quickly navigate the articles to get you to the one you are looking for.
Once you have selected your theme based on your interests and beliefs, it’s easy to access more information in the fund’s documents section, including the risk and reward profile, charges, objectives and investment policy, past performance, and any other practical information.
Wombat Fees and Charges Review
The great news for investors considering the Wombat app for their investment needs is that for accounts under £250, Wombat have no account fees, no trading fees and no transaction fees.
However, as soon as your account value reaches £250, Wombat will charge a £1 monthly fee for your subscription as well as a fee of 0.10% for the use of the investment platform. Of course, this amount will depend on the size of your fund, however, other platforms such as Plum, charge a flat platform fee of £1 a month which could end up being a more cost-effective solution if you are investing with a substantial sum.
As an example, a fund of £10,000 will incur a platform fee of £1.83 per month at Wombat Invest, but only £1 per month at Plum.
There is also a ETF fund provider fee of between 0.07% and 0.7%, depending on which fund you have chosen. This is charged annually as a reflection on your actual ETF rather than billed to your account. More information is available in the FAQ section of the Wombat website.
Guide to opening a Wombat account
One of the biggest selling points for the Wombat app is that they have managed to make investing easy and convenient, and this also rings true of their account opening process. Once you have downloaded the app, you will be asked a few basic questions, after which time you will be ready to start investing. It only takes around five minutes and with their simple investment model you can be up and running with a few clicks.
Wombat Deposit and Withdrawal Review
At present Wombat only offer bank transfer as a means of funding your investment account, although they do claim that they have plans to add a credit card option in the future. To transfer money to Wombat you should go to the homepage of the app and press ‘Add money’.
You can then choose to make an Instant Deposit if your bank supports open banking or a traditional bank transfer which should arrive within a couple of hours during business days.
Withdrawals must be done by contacting support within the in-app live chat feature.
Wombat Customer Service Review
We were very let down by the Customer Service at Wombat, mostly because they only offer support via email, hardly an instant source of support or very technologically advanced. Also, considering the app is set up for newbies, I really think having a chat function would enhance the experience. Forget about trying to locate a Contact Us section on their website, as this is sadly lacking and even on the app itself it is tricky to find details for their support.
That being said, when we did get in contact our query was answered in a timely fashion and the agent seemed knowledgeable and polite.
Here I have outlined some key pieces of information to make your experience at Wombat as seamless as possible.
How do I contact Wombat Invest?
Wombat Invest can be contacted via email on firstname.lastname@example.org
How do I withdraw my money from Wombat Invest?
Withdrawals can be done easily through the account section of the app. However, you must have settled the amount you wish to withdraw. Your investments must be sold before the withdrawal after which the amount in question is returned to your primary bank account within a few days. The entire process can take up to 4 working days which is better than a lot of platforms I’ve reviewed in the past.
How do I close my account at Wombat Invest?
When you are ready to close your Wombat account, ensure you have sold any investments in your investment account and withdrawn all your funds. You then need to email email@example.com and request that they close your account. This will cancel your direct debit and disconnect your round-up account.
Who is Wombat Suitable For?
Nearly half of Wombat’s users are under 35 and have little or no previous experience investing. Therefore, this is an ideal platform for anyone wanting to become acquainted with the world of investing without being overwhelmed with options. With no trading or platform fees for accounts under £250, we would also recommend Wombat for smaller investors who want to experience trading with a predetermined portfolio.
It’s important to note that whilst Wombat will provide you with details of some of the funds on offer, they don’t actually offer any financial advice, so if you are after financial advice then you may want to look elsewhere.
Is Wombat Invest any good?
If you are looking to set out on your investment journey and want a low cost and uncomplicated way of doing this, then Wombat is a great starting point. It has successfully made investing relatable and interesting whilst removing all the complicated jargon that can put new investors off. However, if you want to invest with a pot that is worth over £250, you may find a better deal elsewhere. That being said, the use of the ISA comes as part of the package and it is worth remembering that other platforms will charge extra for the use of the ISA.
Wombat also like to remind potential investors that they are able to invest with as little as £10, and whilst this may sound appealing, there are other investment platforms out there that will allow you to invest with as little as £1.
Wombat are one of only a handful of investment apps that allow you to buy fractional shares. Fractional shares can help make investing in one of the big companies (think Amazon or Apple) which may otherwise be prohibitive due to the price. If you are looking to set out on your investment journey and want a low cost and uncomplicated way of doing this, then Wombat is a great starting point.
How safe is Wombat Invest?
Being authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority in the UK, Wombat offers investors a safe platform from which to invest. As well as this, Wombat is also covered by the Financial Services Compensation Scheme which protects users’ funds by up to £85,000 should the company go bust. There is also adequate data protection in the form of 256-bit TLS encryption and the app offers a decent level of security so we couldn’t find any issues with Wombat when it comes to the safety of your investment.
That being said, when investing on any platform, it is important to remember that your capital is at risk and you could lose more than your original investment.