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Wealthify review: Better options are available

Wealthify is a robo-advisor that offers simplified investments via a range of low-cost, ready-made portfolios with a range of ethical options. They are owned by the financial giant Aviva.

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The following dataset includes the performances of ready-made portfolios/funds offered by investment platforms and may include both actively and passively managed ready-made portfolios/funds. Performance indicated is also net of all fees to 31st January 2024, unless stated otherwise; any tiered fee structure will be disclosed. Ready-made portfolios/funds that include cryptocurrencies or any other securities outside cash and equities are not included in the dataset. The dataset only includes ready-made portfolios/funds which are explicitly advertised by their respective platforms as being for ‘beginners’, and which are exclusively offered by the platform itself. Funds which are managed by other providers and may be identically offered across multiple platforms were not included in this dataset. For example, the Vanguard UK All Share Acc. ETF was offered by Plum, but as it is not directly managed by Plum and customers could reasonably access it on multiple platforms, it was not included for the purposes of this research. Other discretely advertised securities or investments are not included.
Avg. 5-year performance across all Wealthify ready-made portfolios
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The industry average is the median average of all fund/ready-made portfolio performance figures we collated from 23 investment providers. To see the full dataset, visit X page.
Industry avg.
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By Antonia Medlicott

  • Published: April 23, 2024
  • Edited by: Clare West
  • Last Update: 2 months ago
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NEW TO WEALTHIFY? pointOpen or transfer an ISA or Pension to Wealthify, and you could get between £50 - £500 cashback when you invest a minimum of £1,000. Registration ends 20th May. New customers only. T&Cs apply.

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Antonia's View:

The Verdict

Average Success Rate

20.3%
The following dataset includes the performances of ready-made portfolios/funds offered by investment platforms and may include both actively and passively managed ready-made portfolios/funds. Performance indicated is also net of all fees to 31st January 2024, unless stated otherwise; any tiered fee structure will be disclosed. Ready-made portfolios/funds that include cryptocurrencies or any other securities outside cash and equities are not included in the dataset. The dataset only includes ready-made portfolios/funds which are explicitly advertised by their respective platforms as being for ‘beginners’, and which are exclusively offered by the platform itself. Funds which are managed by other providers and may be identically offered across multiple platforms were not included in this dataset. For example, the Vanguard UK All Share Acc. ETF was offered by Plum, but as it is not directly managed by Plum and customers could reasonably access it on multiple platforms, it was not included for the purposes of this research. Other discretely advertised securities or investments are not included.
info5-year performance across all Wealthify ready-made portfolios.
27.9%
The industry average is the median average of all fund/ready-made portfolio performance figures we collated from 23 investment providers. To see the full dataset, visit X page.
infoIndustry average
This is a difficult platform to recommend in the robo-advisor space. There are much cheaper options (InvestEngine), much better performing options (Moneybox), options with a wider range of accounts and services, such as wealth managers (Nutmeg), and platforms offering products with a great interest rate (Moneyfarm).
In fact, in the robo-advisor space, you’d pay average fees for the lowest historical returns at Wealthify.

I suppose if I had to find a positive, it would be that the majority stakeholder in Wealthify is Aviva, which would provide a good level of financial security for the platform. But this certainly wouldn’t be enough to make me choose this platform over the other ones on offer. In fact, once this review is complete, I will be closing my account at Wealthify and moving on.

That being said, they have amassed an impressive number of awards in the trophy cabinet, which I understand, as they certainly looked like a decent option to me when I reviewed them several years ago. However, the independent analysis we have conducted at Investing Insiders has thrown up some new data that highlights some serious failings with this platform.
arrow-down-orangeRead more
quote

Pros

  • A very uncomplicated service
  • Good customer service
  • Backed by Aviva
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Cons

  • Ready-made portfolios have performed under the industry average
  • Very limited options
  • Better interest rates at Moneybox and Moneyfarm
  • Verdict3.0
  • Ready-made Portfolio
  • Fees3.5
  • Trading Platform4.0
  • Research3.0
  • Safety4.5
  • Education3.0
  • Customer Service5.0
  • Alternatives
  • Portfolio View

Antonia's View:

Who do I recommend it for?

Average Success Rate

20.3%
The following dataset includes the performances of ready-made portfolios/funds offered by investment platforms and may include both actively and passively managed ready-made portfolios/funds. Performance indicated is also net of all fees to 31st January 2024, unless stated otherwise; any tiered fee structure will be disclosed. Ready-made portfolios/funds that include cryptocurrencies or any other securities outside cash and equities are not included in the dataset. The dataset only includes ready-made portfolios/funds which are explicitly advertised by their respective platforms as being for ‘beginners’, and which are exclusively offered by the platform itself. Funds which are managed by other providers and may be identically offered across multiple platforms were not included in this dataset. For example, the Vanguard UK All Share Acc. ETF was offered by Plum, but as it is not directly managed by Plum and customers could reasonably access it on multiple platforms, it was not included for the purposes of this research. Other discretely advertised securities or investments are not included.
info5-year performance across all Wealthify ready-made portfolios.
27.9%
The industry average is the median average of all fund/ready-made portfolio performance figures we collated from 23 investment providers. To see the full dataset, visit X page.
infoIndustry average
arrow-down-orangeRead more
quote

Pros

  • A very uncomplicated service
  • Good customer service
  • Backed by Aviva
quote

Cons

  • Ready-made portfolios have performed under the industry average
  • Very limited options
  • Better interest rates at Moneybox and Moneyfarm
  • arrowVerdict
    3.0
  • arrowReady-made Portfolio:
  • arrow Fees:
    3.5
  • arrowTrading Platform:
    4.0
  • arrowResearch:
    3.0
  • arrowSafety:
    4.5
  • arrowEducation:
    3.0
  • arrowCustomer Service:
    5.0
  • arrowSocial Trading
  • arrowPortfolio View

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Updates

May 2024 Wealthify review published

Who do I Recommend Wealthify For?


Wealthify is really easy and simple to use and they provide a decent level of customer service, but this isn’t enough to make me recommend this platform. Regardless of what type of investor you are, there are better options out there for everyone.

Hopefully, the injection of financial backing from Aviva will bring about some much needed changes here.

Account types and assets / Markets and products


General investment account (GIA)
There’s very little substance to the General Investment Account (GIA) and if you were dead set on using Wealthify, the likelihood would be that you were completely new to investing and would therefore be better off with an ISA (assuming you haven’t already opened an ISA elsewhere and used up your £20,000 allowance).

On a positive note, you can get started with just £1, and there are 5 original portfolios and 5 ethical portfolios to choose from. There are also monthly direct debits available that allow you to automatically drip feed your money into the market, although that is a fairly standard offering and Wealthify offers no round up, or payday boosts to enhance your savings.

*Read more about GIAs

Outside of the GIA, there are 3 other investment accounts that carry all the same features as the GIA in a tax efficient way. They include:

  • Stocks and shares ISA
  • Junior stocks and shares ISA
  • Personal Pension

The only difference I could find between these accounts was with the pension, where there is a starting amount of £50, and, of course, the automatic government bonus that is standard with all pension accounts. There is very limited information available about the investments you can hold within these accounts but I have done my best to make sense of what they do offer. Needless to say, it's simply a matter of answering a few questions to determine your risk level and getting matched to one of the ready-made portfolios.

Investment Options
Regardless of which investment account you choose to open at Wealthify, the investment options are the same. My immediate issue with this is that on many of the other platforms, people saving for their retirement will have pension portfolios specifically designed for that purpose. I realise it may sound like I’m dragging Wealthify over the coals here, but the purpose of having specially designed pension funds is that they adjust as you get closer to retirement, reducing your exposure to risk. As far as I can tell, Wealthify assesses your risk as you come through their virtual doors, matches you with a portfolio, and that’s the job done. The investments are passively managed, which means there is minimal intervention beyond that point, other than the odd tweak here and there.

I’m not saying that passively managed investments are a bad thing; indeed, our preliminary analysis of this has indicated that the additional cost of actively managed portfolios may not always result in further gains. However, you still expect portfolios to perform well, and in this instance, they haven’t. And a platform does need to provide the tools and services to justify its cost, which I don’t think is the case here.

Ethical Investments
There are five ethical plans on offer at Wealthify; which one is best suited to you will depend on your risk profile. The ethical portfolios exclude any assets that could be deemed harmful and instead seek to gain exposure to organisations that are making a positive impact on society. There are 18 funds that are used to create each portfolio, all managed by the likes of Vanguard, Rathbone, Liontrust and Royal London, to name a few. Average fund charges are higher on ethical plans so you can expect to pay slightly more for this option.

Savings accounts
There’s just one savings account at Wealthify. It’s not an ISA so you should be aware that you would be subject to tax on any gains. If you would like to save into a cash ISA with easy access, then Moneybox provides one with a better interest rate than you will find here. Check out my Moneybox review for more information on this.

At the time of this review, Wealthify was offering 4.91% AER on their Instant Access Savings Account.

Ready-made portfolio performance


This makes for pretty grim reading, especially for the medium and high risk portfolios. The numbers really speak for themselves, but in case you are in any doubt, I’ve had our senior equity analyst give us his take, which you can read just below these tables.

Lowest risk portfolio for cautious investors – 5-year average 10.8%

Medium risk portfolio for confident investors looking for a balanced portfolio – 5-year average 22.8%

High-risk portfolio for adventurous investors – 5-year average 44.4%

Missing from this data is InvestEngine, as despite our best efforts, InvestEngine was unwilling to release any data relating to the past performance of their portfolios.

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John Choong

Senior Equity Analyst
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Wealthify’s overall ready-made portfolio performance leaves plenty to be desired. Amongst all the other platforms that offer in-house ready-made funds, Wealthify ranks second-last on a trailing 5-year basis, with a median return of 20.3%. This underperforms the industry median of 27.9% and only beats last-place Santander’s dire median return of 13.3%.

That said, the platform does push up the ranks ever so slightly when its ready-made portfolios are segmented into their respective risk categories. Wealthify’s Cautious (2.1%) and Tentative (11.7%) portfolios, for instance, manage to outperform several of its peers, like Moneyfarm, IG, Nutmeg, and Santander, over a 5-year period, although the two still lag the cautious and conservative category average of 12.3%. A similar trend can be seen in the broker’s more balanced and aggressive/adventurous funds, where their performances come in slightly below the median average across a 3 and 5-year period.

However, proponents may be well within their rights to claim that Wealthify could be turning a corner. Their ready-made funds’ more recent performances have been better, especially over the past year. While still not near the top of the charts by any means, at least the brokerage’s average ready-made fund performance over the past year is above the industry median — not a bad shout considering its below-average showing over a 5-year period.

Nonetheless, investors should keep in mind that most of these figures are just averages. I’d still encourage investors to assess the data for themselves, as averages don’t always paint the full picture.

4.0

Trading Platform


There are two platforms available on web and mobile.
Web platform

This is one of the simplest platforms I have encountered. It could not be easier to perform transactions, create new plans, or move money between plans. Savings and investing are two separate tabs at the top of the page to keep things really simple. Of course, the lack of choice or functionality makes this kind of user experience easier to achieve.

Mobile app
As far as investment apps go, this one is actually a pleasure to use. However, this could be due to the very limited services provided. Whatever the reason, this is a really easy-to-navigate app with clear, concise functionality and access to live chat. There is a biometric ID and a pin for accessing your account.

3.5

Fees


More bad news for Wealthify here. Poor historical performance, with fees at the higher end of the passively managed spectrum, makes for a fairly grim combination. They aren’t the most expensive option for this kind of service; that accolade goes to Moneybox, but when you factor in the really high returns Moneybox has historically achieved when compared to other robo-advisors, it starts to look like it’s worth the additional cost.

Actual fees at Wealthify are calculated as a percentage of your holdings, as follows:

These fees are correct at time of publication, however I would always recommend that you check the Wealthify website for any changes.

3.0

Research, Tools and Education


This would usually be divided into two sections for a review, with education having its own space. However, in this instance, it seemed appropriate to combine this information, as it is all combined in the form of articles on Wealthify. Categories include:

  • Investing
  • Junior
  • Future planning
  • Retirement planning
  • Ethical
  • News and performance
  • Budgeting and saving

While the information is decent, well presented, and constantly updated, it does lack anything interactive for those looking to improve their knowledge of investing. That being said, Wealthify is one of those apps that takes all the major decisions out of your hands and does the whole thing for you, so tools and research wouldn’t be as important here than at other platforms where you are picking and choosing your own assets.

4.5

Safety


I will touch on the regulations and safety measures in place, but the first thing to note when it comes to safety is that the majority shareholder is Aviva. Having the backing of a financial giant means that there is less concern that Wealthify could fail as a business.

In terms of regulation, Wealthify is authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) and in addition, all client funds are covered by the Financial Services Compensation Scheme (FSCS) up to the value of £85,000.

Account security
Biometric ID on the app, as well as a pin and password for the web platform, ensure all your data remains secure.

4.0

Customer Service


Once you have navigated your way past the chatbot, the human advisors are helpful and prompt at answering queries. The chatbot will ask you all sorts of questions about your account details and try to answer your query before handing you over. If, like me, you prefer to speak to an actual human, this can be slightly irritating. Hence, Wealthify has lost a mark in its customer service score.

The other option is to contact Wealthify via telephone at 0800 802 1800, or alternatively, send a secure message via the app. Customer service is available weekdays from 8am to 6.30 pm and on Saturdays between 9am and 12.30 pm.

Wealthify has scored ‘Great’ with 4.0 from 2,286 reviews on Trustpilot.

Awards


5.0

Opening and closing an account


Expect a quick and easy, fully digital account opening process.

** Note – It takes 3 business days for your funds to appear in your Wealthify account. There are other platforms that offer instant deposits.

In the interest of giving my account time to demonstrate the functionality of the investment process, I have yet to withdraw my funds from Wealthify. Therefore, I will return to the platform at a later date in order to document that process. In the meantime, I suggest you look at reviews on Trustpilot that mention withdrawals.

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Wealthify vs InvestEngine


Costs: InvestEngine will not be beaten on cost. If low-cost is your primary concern, then you should head there. In fact, Wealthify is one of the more expensive options for passive investing.

Accounts: InvestEngine is a great choice for anyone looking for a business account but Wealthify is the only one of the two options to offer a savings account.

Investments: You will find you have access to fairly similar investment choices in terms of funds; however, only InvestEngine has the option to put your own DIY portfolio together.

Performance: As InvestEngine has refused to provide any performance data for their portfolios, it’s impossible to say who wins in this category. However, we can ascertain that Wealthify’s portfolios have performed well below the industry average.

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Wealthify vs Moneyfarm


Costs: Moneyfarm is a much more cost effective option for investors, regardless of how much they invest. However, the gap starts to widen significantly for larger investment pots, with portfolios of over £250k costing £1,175 at Moneyfarm, compared to £1,900 at Wealthify.

Accounts: These two platforms offer the same account options for investing, however, only Wealthify has a savings account. That being said, Liquidity+ at Moneyfarm will offer the same sort of benefits, with a higher interest rate at the time of writing this review.

Investments: There are more options available at Moneyfarm. Portfolios can be actively or passively managed, and there is also direct access to shares.

Performance: For cautious investors, Moneyfarm has performed poorly over the past five years, and while their balanced and adventurous portfolios overtook Wealthify’s, the results are still nothing to write home about for either of these platforms.

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Wealthify vs Nutmeg


Costs: While there is not a significant difference, Nutmeg is slightly cheaper than Wealthify, regardless of the size of your investment pot.

Accounts: Nutmeg has a Lifetime ISA on offer, which instantly makes this a better choice for investors saving for their first home. In addition, Nutmeg feels like a better option for pension savings, with access to human advisors at an additional cost.

Investments: Both of these platforms offer ready made portfolios with socially responsible options. However, Nutmeg also offers thematic investing.

Performance: Nutmeg has performed better for the last five years on their medium and high risk portfolios. However, this changes for cautious investors, who would have seen slightly better returns at Wealthify.

FAQs

Wealthify is extremely user-friendly and easy for even a complete beginner to navigate. However, it’s important not to overlook the poor performance of the portfolios in recent years. In this regard, I believe there are better options available.

Not really, although if you are after a robo advisor, there are cheaper options available that have experienced higher returns on their portfolios.

Ask the insiders


Have a question about Wealthify that we haven't covered? Ask it here and we will get back to you as soon as possible!

This review is the result of my first-hand experience as an account holder at Wealthify and in no way represents financial advice.

If you’re looking for the best robo advisor, then head to my review of all the leading robo advisors, where I dissect each one and pitch them directly against each other to establish which one is offering the best service and, most importantly, which one would have made your money grow the most in the last 5 years, taking into account portfolio performance and fees.