Saving for the future is critical, but finding the right place to invest your money in a crowded marketplace can be tough. &me is one of a growing number of investment platforms that claim to simplify the complicated parts of investing, helping you to grow a pot of money that is aligned with your financial goals and attitude to risk. In this article we provide an independent review of &me, an investment platform and smartphone app backed by finance giant M&G Wealth. We will look at how the platform works, how easy it is to get started and how much it costs.
1 minute summary
- Invest from as little as £500
- Invest in a Stocks and Shares ISA, General Investment Account (GIA) or Junior ISA (JISA)
- Management fees ranging from 0.35%-0.75%
- Socially responsible investment option
- &me Offer: Sign up to &me and invest at least £500 in a Stocks and shares ISA, Pension, Junior ISA or General investing account and pay no management fees for 12 months*
Because &me may be suitable for some readers (read our full independent review below), I have highlighted an exclusive offer for MoneytotheMasses.com readers.
No management fees for 12 months
&me will run your money fee-free for 12 months* if you open a Stocks and Shares ISA, Pension, Junior ISA or general investment account with a minimum amount of £500.
In the interests of transparency, MoneytotheMasses.com receives a small fee from &me if you utilise the offer mentioned above. However editorial independence is paramount to MoneytotheMasses.com and in no way is this review or our views ever influenced by third parties. I have included a link to Moneyfarm at the foot of this article which you can use and MoneytotheMasses.com will not receive any payment from your referral.
What is &me?
&me* is an investment platform that gives users access to a series of managed portfolios. Users can access the platform from a web browser or through the &me app. The platform is powered by M&G Wealth, a large finance company which also invests in Moneyfarm.
&me is branded as a quick and easy way for beginners to start investing. It aims to cut through industry jargon and technical concepts to simplify investing. Customers start off by answering a series of basic questions. &me then formulates your investment profile and recommends a suitable portfolio. You will need to start off with £500 to invest and monthly deposits will need to be at least £200 per month.
&me also offers its users access to a team of investment consultants, who can answer user questions on investing. You can get in touch by email, over the phone or through the app.
&me Key Features
- Start with an initial investment of £500
- Invest in a Stocks and Shares ISA, Pension, General Investment Account (GIA) or Junior ISA (JISA)
- Fees range from 0.35% – 0.75% depending on the amount invested
- Invest via your mobile using the &me app
How does &me work?
&me assesses your financial goals and appetite for risk before suggesting an investment strategy that should suit what you are looking to achieve. The range of investment options offered by &me are designed to fit a variety of different financial situations. Through a questionnaire of basic questions about your goals, financial position and investing experience, the system should be able to match you up with an adequate plan.
The sign up process with &me will follow the following framework:
Set out your money goals
You will need to tell &me what your financial goals are. This could be saving up to buy your first home, putting money away for retirement or building a pot of savings for your children. You do not need to go into significant detail, just a general idea of why you want to invest your money. Keep in mind that you will need to start off with at least £500.
Work out your appetite for risk
Investments rarely grow at a consistent upward trajectory. There will likely be ups and downs as your investments dip and grow. This element of risk is a key part of investing money and something you will need to be comfortable with. However, everyone has their own relationship with taking risks.
If seeing negative growth in a given year is likely to make you panic, you should probably be investing in lower-risk options. If you are content to see losses in order to build significant growth over time, you may be able to opt for a higher-risk option.
&me will work out which side you fall on and to what degree. A significant factor will be how long you are looking to invest for and when you want to spend the money you are saving up. Through asking basic questions about yourself, &me will create your risk profile and pair you with the correlating investment plan.
Choose how you want to invest your money
&me will then ask you how you want to invest your savings. If your financial objectives or life plans evolve, you can always make changes to your portfolio. When you sign up the options are split into two categories:
This is the most basic and lowest-cost offer from &me. Customers invest through passive portfolios that have been curated by investment experts from M&G Wealth. The portfolios include some cash, as well as US equities, UK corporate bonds and other investments across different regions. The experts will decide which investments to choose and how much to invest in each asset.
As the name suggests, this option involves a more active role for the investment experts from M&G Wealth. They will monitor, analyse and review your investments regularly, then make any necessary alterations based on performance, market trends and new opportunities. These actively-managed portfolios invest in equities, bonds and alternative options including infrastructure, as well as holding some cash.
The investments made through this plan will be ‘socially responsible’, which means they should be having a positive impact on humanity and the environment.
Keeping up with your account
Once your account is open, you may want to set up a regular deposit to keep your pot growing. &me requires any monthly direct debit to be at least £200 per month. You can then use the app or log in online to see where your money is being invested and how your investments are performing. Users can contact &me’s team of investment experts by phone or email to answer any questions about their account or the platform.
What can you invest in with &me?
&me customers can open a Stocks and Shares ISA, a Pension, a General Investment Account (GIA) or a Junior ISA (JISA). Here we explain the basics of each account to help you decide which is the best option for you.
&me Stocks and Shares ISA
The advantage of a stocks and shares ISA is that the investment growth is tax-free. You can save up to £20,000 per tax year into an ISA, but you can only pay into one account per type of ISA each year.
The &me pension allows you to invest for your retirement while receiving tax relief on your contributions paid into the pension. You can also transfer existing pensions into the &me pension plan and specialists at &me will help to consolidate them into one plan.
&me General Investment Account (GIA)
This is the standard form of investment account and does not come with any special tax benefits, so you may need to pay tax if your profits exceed your Personal Savings Allowance.
However, you are not limited in how many new GIAs you can have in one tax year. This means that you could open a GIA with &me even if you have already opened a Stocks and Shares ISA elsewhere during the same tax year.
&me Junior ISA
A Junior ISA is an account designed to help build up a pot of savings on behalf of a child. The money is tax-free, but the adult who opens it cannot withdraw any money. The account is changed to a standard Stocks and Shares ISA once the named child turns 18. They can take out the money or continue to invest.
How much does &me cost?
&me users will need to pay an annual management fee, an investment fee, and buying and selling fees. Every fee is calculated as a percentage of your total investment and is automatically deducted from your account.
The two main fees to compare with the equivalent charges from other providers are the annual management fee and the investment fees.
Annual management fee
This is the most significant fee and varies depending on how much you have invested. You can see from the table below how the fee reduces as your account balance goes up. The fee applies to the full amount you have invested, so you will pay 0.65% if you have £50,000 invested and this will reduce to 0.60% on the whole portfolio once you exceed £50,000.
|Invested amount||Management fee|
|Up to £10,000||0.75%|
|£10,000 – £20,000||0.70%|
|£20,000 – £50,000||0.65%|
|£50,000 – £100,000||0.60%|
|£100,000 – £250,000||0.45%|
|£250,000 – £500,000||0.40%|
&me charges different investment fees for its two types of portfolio. The &me Targeted portfolios, which are actively managed, charge an investment fund fee of 0.42%. The &me Classic portfolios are branded as a lower-cost way to invest and come with a cheaper investment fund fee of 0.19%, plus a market spread fee of 0.04%.
Is &me good value for money?
The fee structure mirrors the fees charged by another M&G Wealth-linked brand, Moneyfarm. The fees from &me are in the lower range of what investment platforms will usually charge customers for ready-made and actively-managed portfolios. The addition of &me’s expert advice means that it could be a good value option for certain investors, especially if you have the funds to access the lower fee tiers.
Is your money safe with &me?
&me is a financial institution regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA). This means that it is a legitimate investment platform and that the money customers invest is protected by the Financial Services Compensation Scheme (FSCS).
The FSCS protects up to £85,000 of your money if the financial institution that holds it goes bust. Keep in mind that this protection does not apply if you lose money because of poor investment performance, it only protects you from &me going out of business.
&me customer support
There is a separate &me customer service team in addition to its investment experts. Contact support services by email or over the phone from 9am to 6pm Monday-Friday. There is not currently a live chat option on the &me website.
&me Pros and Cons
Here are the main pros and cons of choosing &me as your investment platform.
- Easy to open an account
- Competitive fees
- Advice from investment experts included
- Socially responsible investment option
- Easy-to-navigate website and mobile app
- Must start with at least £500
- Minimum direct debit of £200
Is &me any good?
For beginner investors, the most important part of an investment platform is likely to be price and accessibility. &me* places a lot of emphasis on how easy it is to use and this is backed up by its pared back product choice and simple smart phone app. As for the cost, its fees are on par with Moneyfarm, another platform with links to M&G Wealth. It is significantly cheaper than paying for independent financial advice separately.
The tiered nature of the &me fee structure means that the more you invest, the less you pay. This can be a great motivator to put more money away for the future.
The biggest obstacle for some users could be the minimum investment requirements. You will need to commit £500 upfront, plus another £200 per month if you want to make regular deposits. This might not suit beginners looking to build their investments gradually over time. There are competitors such as Wealthify that require as little as £1 to set up an account and no monthly commitment.
If you have £500 you would like to invest and a spare £200 a month to put away, plus you want the security of a team of experts to reach out to, the &me platform could be a cost-effective and simple way to invest your money.
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