M1 Finance UK: Expansion Plans and Alternatives

Franklin Silva| Updated January 12th, 2022
M1 Finance UK Alternatives

By now, you are probably familiar with M1 Finance! Let us start with the bad news… M1 Finance is not available in the UK. To open an M1 Finance account, you must check some boxes: be over 18 years old and a US citizen or permanent resident (a green card holder) and have a current US mailing address.

As of this writing, M1 Finance has not yet announced any plans to go outside the US. It is something we will try to keep you posted on if any update comes up. Want to know the M1 Finance alternatives available in the UK? Keep on reading. We’ve got you covered!

In a nutshell, what is M1 Finance?

M1 Finance is based in the US, launched in 2015 and presents itself as an investing platform with three distinct services:

  • Invest: where you may invest on your own in over 6000 stocks and funds (both ETFs and Index Funds) and build custom investment pies or select from nearly 100 experts pies while enjoying the benefits from automated deposits and portfolio rebalancing.
  • Borrow: you can ask for a loan of up to 35% of your investment portfolio with an interest rate starting from 2%. Not only do you have the option to use it as a way to leverage your portfolio and increase your potential returns, but also to use it as a loan for expenses (car, holidays, student loans,…) and even handle it as an emergency fund.
  • Spend: M1 Finance gives you access to a debit card just like any other bank. If you upgrade to “M1 Plus”, you even get a 1% cashback on certain debit card purchases, but that comes with an annual cost of $125.

What M1 Finance alternatives can I find in the UK?

As you just witnessed, M1 Finance offers a wide variety of services within the same app. As we are not aware of the particular aspect you may be looking for, we will give you our best choices for each feature inside M1 Finance.

M1 Finance UK Alternatives

Which ones do not charge any commissions?

eToro

Commission-free stock (including fractional shares) and ETF trading. You can also diversify your investment by copying other traders. Easy-to-use website and mobile app, and trusted by a global clientele of over 20 million people. Read our eToro review.
Disclaimer: 67% of retail CFD accounts lose money when trading with this provider.

Trading 212

Completely free stocks and ETFs trading with a currency fee of 0.15% (if you invest in a currency other than your home-based currency, you will be charged for that). More than 14 million clients worldwide. Since 2016, Trading 212 has been the UK’s #1 trading app. Read our Trading212 review.
Disclaimer: 76% of retail CFD accounts lose money when trading with this provider.

Freetrade

It is one of the most popular UK-based fintech startups. It is the closest you can get to Robinhood, indeed. You do not need to pay any commission to transact stocks and ETFs. Read our Freetrade review.

Revolut Trading

This “sub-platform” can be found inside the Revolut App and provides its users with an efficient way to invest (all in one place). You are limited to 1 free trade every month. In addition, you have a custody fee of 0.12% of your asset value per annum. Check our in-depth Revolut Trading review.

M1 Finance UK Alternatives

Are you looking for the Robo-Advisor side of M1 Finance?

Trading 212

In addition to the above-mentioned features, it provides a free AutoInvest & Pies feature where you can construct different pies and pre-define your target weight for each asset you include in the pies (only stocks and ETFs). As soon as you realize that your actual weights in your investments are deviating too much from your original goals, you may rebalance it in a single tap. Read our Trading 212 Autoinvest review.
Disclaimer: 76% of retail CFD accounts lose money when trading with this provider.

Moneyfarm

Another great Robo-advisor to manage your investments in a stress-free wealth management service. The pricing varies according to your investment amount. It goes from 0.35% to 0.75% in case you invest £1.000.000 or £10.000, respectively.

M1 Finance UK Alternatives

Is it safe to invest in the fintechs mentioned above?

All the investment fintech in this article are regulated and/or registered in the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA). All clients are covered up to £85,000 by the Financial Services Compensation Scheme (FSCS). Therefore, in the unfortunate event of bankruptcy, your money will be safeguarded.

Despite their recent activity, we have seen that they were capable of withstanding the massive spike in volatility that occurred especially in March and April of 2020 due to Covid-19. We hadn’t seen that much market instability since 2007-08, during the global financial crisis, so it gives us good comfort to know that none of those apps suddenly crashed as happened with Robinhood, a US-based peer of M1 Finance.

Still undecided?

At the end of the day, everything will depend on your specific case (profile, preferences, objectives…) and on the importance you give to every single factor involved.

In general, it is crucial always to be aware of the fee charged, make sure that they are regulated by top-tier institutions such as the FCA in the UK, know the range of products they allow you to trade (not all platforms allow you to trade EU stocks, for instance), and know how responsive the customer service is, among other factors.

Explore the websites and decide for yourself!

A reminder that the above should not be construed as investment advice and should be considered information only. Investors should do their own research and exercise due diligence about the services and opportunities best suited for their risk, returns, and impact strategy.

Hope we helped, and leave your comments below.

Happy investments!