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Wealthfront UK: Expansion Plans and Alternatives

Franklin Carneiro da Silva| Updated May 23rd, 2022
Wealthfront UK

The title already gives a clue on whether Wealthfront is available or not in the UK. Yes, you guessed it, Wealthfront is not available in the UK. At the “Help Center” on their website, you will find the following statement: “We currently require all Wealthfront clients to have a US social security number, a permanent US residential address, and currently reside in the US due to financial regulations. We cannot support clients residing outside of the US (…)”.

On top of that, they have no current plans to expand internationally. It’s a pity, we know… But there are some solid alternatives! We’ve got you covered! Keep on reading.

What is Wealthfront?

You are likely to have been searching for Wealthfront on google, so we will give you a quick insight into why this platform has brought so much excitement in the U.S.

Wealthfront is a U.S.-based fintech start-up created by venture capitalist Andy Rachleff, who is currently the company’s CEO. Wealthfront is described as a Robo-Advisor, and it was even ranked as the #1 Robo-Advisor 2020 by Investopedia! Nonetheless, their services include a wide range of products such as:

  • Banking: It allows you to earn an annual percentage yield (APY) of 0.35% on your cash balance, get cash from 19.000 ATMs, and pay bills with your debit card (VISA).
  • Investing: A pure passive approach is used in your investments. Essentially, your money is put to work automatically while keeping costs low (only 0.25%/annually) and taxes low.
  • Borrowing: An option to add leverage to your investments (up to 30% of your investment account) and use it as a simple line of credit for expenses with interest rates starting from 2.40%.
  • Planning: A more personalized approach to your particular needs. Incredibly easy to be your guide in your homeownership, early retirement, among other life steps.

Wealthfront Alternatives in the UK

In the UK, there is no platform where you can have all those features. So, your best option is to do a deep dive through other fintech that, in aggregate, may help you achieve your investment goals.

Moneyfarm

Manage your investments with a stress-free wealth management service. The pricing varies according to your investment amount. It goes from 0.35% to 0.75% if you invest £100.000 or 10.000£, respectively.

inbestMe

A Robo-Advisor with multiple portfolio options and customization. The service is fully automated and even offers tax-loss harvesting (tax efficiency). It charges a maximum management fee of 0.41%/year. Access to a human advisor is available for amounts above €100,000.

ETFmatic

ETFmatic is one of the leading Robo-advisors in Europe and allows its clients to invest in ETFs in a low-cost and automated way. The only fee charged is an annual fee of 0.48% on the total value of your portfolio. Read our ETFmatic review.

Is it safe to invest through these companies?

All the investment companies present in this article are regulated and/or registered by top-tier regulators like the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) in the UK. Under this shield, all clients are protected up to £85,000 on their financial assets by the Financial Services Compensation Scheme (FSCS). Therefore, in the unfortunate event of bankruptcy, your money should 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 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 it happened with Robinhood (more info here), a US-based peer of Wealthfront.

Are you still scratching your head?

At the end of the day, everything will depend on your specific case (profile, preferences, objectives) and the importance you give to every 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 it allows you to trade (not all platforms will enable you to trade EU stocks, for instance), learn 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 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!