What is Wombat?
Wombat Invest is a low-cost investing app founded in 2019 by Australian entrepreneur Kane Harrison. The app is primarily aimed at young and novice investors providing an easy way to invest in fractional shares and Exchange Traded Funds (ETFs), simplifying the investing process while keeping costs low. In this independent Wombat Invest review, we take a look at the key features, how much it costs to invest as well as how it compares to other popular investing apps including Moneybox, Dodl and Plum.
Wombat Invest features
- Start investing from as little as £10
- Access to fractional stocks and ETFs
- Invest your spare change by setting up 'auto-round ups'
- UK based customer service team available 7 days a week, 365 days a year
How does Wombat work?
Users can access Wombat Invest via a smartphone app available on the Apple and Google play store. Users will need to create an account by submitting some personal information, including an email address, phone number, national insurance number and bank details. Users will then need to choose how much they would like to initially invest, with £10 being the minimum investment to open an account. Finally, users will need to choose an investment account and can choose from an 'Instant' plan or 'Standard' plan. We provide more details about each of the Wombat accounts below.
Wombat Invest Instant plan
- Wombat Invest Instant plan users can invest in US shares (including fractional shares) via a General Investment Account (GIA).
- Trades are unlimited and commission-free.
- Each trade is subject to a 0.65% foreign exchange (FX) fee as well as a 'small' currency conversion fee.
Wombat Invest Standard plan
- Wombat Invest Standard plan users can invest in both Exchange Traded Funds (ETFs) and Shares in the US, UK and Europe.
- Users can invest via either a General Investment Account or Stocks and Shares ISA.
- Wombat Standard plan users can also take advantage of the round up feature which allows users to automatically invest their spare change. We explain more about this feature below.
Wombat round ups explained
Round ups are a popular feature with investing apps as they allow users to round up and invest the spare change from each purchase they make when using their debit card when shopping. For example, if you spent £2.30 on a coffee, Wombat would calculate that £0.70p should be added to the round ups pot. To set up round ups, users need to be on the Standard plan and allow Wombat to securely access a read-only version of their online bank account via the app. Transfers are made twice a month and can be cancelled at any time by moving the slider to the 'off' position within the app.
What can you invest in with Wombat?
Investors who opt for the Instant plan have a choice of US shares to invest in. However users on the Stanadard plan can choose to invest in Exchange Traded Funds (ETFs) as well as UK, US and EU shares.
What shares can I invest in with Wombat?
You can invest in a total of 41 different shares, including popular stocks such as Tesla, Apple, Google (Alphabet), Amazon and Facebook (Meta). Wombat allows users to invest in fractional shares. A fractional share is when you own less than one share in a company and so allows those with smaller sums of money to invest directly in companies whose shares they may otherwise be unable to afford. The choice of available shares can easily be filtered by country, meaning investors can opt to see just the UK or US shares on offer or alternatively investors can choose a category that interests them such as Fashion, Entertainment or Food and Drink.
What ETFs can I invest in with Wombat?
You can invest in a total of 28 different ETFs with Wombat, however, you will need to be a Wombat Invest 'Standard' plan holder to access the funds. Users will need to pay a £1 per month subscription fee, a platform fee of 0.10% per year and provider fund fees of between 0.07% and 0.75% (depending on which ETFs you are invested in). Wombat has elected to call its range of 28 ETFs 'Themes' and has placed them into a number of categories in order to help simplify the choice available. We list all of the Wombat 'Themes' below:
- Technologies - The Battery Room, The Techie, The Blockchain, The AI, Powering the Internet, The Space Age, The Gamer, The Robo, The Innovator
- Ethical Investing - The Future of Food, Medical Cannabis, The Electric Car Revolution, The Green Machine, The Goodies, Women in Power, The Innovator
- Global Brands - The High-Ender, The World's Greatest, Fly the flag, All American, The British Bulldog
- Diversification - The Adventurer, The Balanced, The LifeStyler, Women in Power
- Food and Drinks - The Future of Food, The Foodie, The Snack Attack
- Commodities - Pure Gold, The Money Maker
- Scientific - The Healthcare Innovators
- Model Portfolios - The Adventurer
How much does Wombat cost?
Wombat Invest Instant fees
The Wombat Invest Instant plan does not attract either a subscription charge or platform fee, however, each trade is subject to a 0.65% foreign exchange (FX) fee. Additionally, when you buy or sell US shares, cash is converted from GBP to USD and Wombat collects a 'small' currency conversion fee which it says helps to "generate revenue, grow the business and bring you even more benefits and features".
Wombat Invest Standard fees
Wombat Standard users must pay a fixed subscription fee of £1 per month. In addition, users are charged a platform fee of 0.10% of the portfolio value. If investing in shares then a 0.65% foreign exchange fee applies to each trade as well as a small currency conversion fee.
Wombat Invest Instant vs Wombat Invest Standard
The table below provides a simple comparison between the Wombat Invest Instant and Standard plans.
|Wombat Invest Instant plan||Wombat Invest Standard plan|
|Other fees||0.65% FX fee and currency conversion fees||0.10% platform fee
0.65% FX fee and currency conversion fees if investing in shares
|General Investment Account (GIA)|
|Stocks and Shares ISA|
|Fractional US Shares|
|Fractional UK and EU Shares|
Is Wombat safe?
Any cash that is not invested and showing as cash in the Wombat Invest account is held in a segregated client money account provided by Lloyds Bank PLC. Similarly, any investments that are sold are held within the same segregated account until you choose to reinvest the money or you can choose to have the money returned to your nominated bank account. Money held within the segregated Lloyds account is protected in accordance with the FCA’s client money rules which means that if it becomes insolvent, you may be entitled to a compensation claim from the Financial Services Compensation Scheme (FSCS), up to the maximum amount of £85,000 per person.
Additionally, if your money is invested in a fund and the fund provider has been declared in default, you may be entitled to a compensation claim up to the maximum amount of £85,000 via the Financial Services Compensation Scheme (FSCS).
Wombat customer reviews
Wombat Invest is rated as 'Excellent' on independent customer review site Trustpilot scoring 4.3 out of 5.0 stars. 78% of reviewers rate it as either 'Excellent' or 'Great' with only 6% rating it as 'Bad'. Many of the excellent reviews like the quick and easy application process as well as the excellent customer service. Of the negative reviews, some have expressed disappointment in the time it takes to withdraw money.
Alternatives to Wombat
If you are considering investing from your mobile phone, we provide a comprehensive list of the best investment apps in the UK in our article 'Best investment apps in the UK - How to invest from your mobile'. Below we have provided comparisons to Wombat's closest competitors, Dodl, Moneybox and Plum.
Wombat vs Dodl
Dodl does not charge a monthly subscription fee and charges an annual platform fee of 0.15% (minimum monthly fee of £1) compared to 0.10% charged by Wombat. Like Wombat, Dodl offers themed ETFs but goes a step further by giving investors access to seven diversified ready-made portfolios, provided by AJ Bell. Dodl also offers access to direct share dealing, but only on a range of shares in the UK at present (access to US shares is coming soon). Dodl also has more product choice, offering a pension as well as a General Investment Account and Stocks and Shares ISA. Dodl is likely to be a better option for most investors, except, perhaps those that particularly like the round up feature offered by Wombat.
For a more comprehensive look at Dodl, check out our independent Dodl review.
Wombat vs Moneybox
In terms of product choice, Moneybox wins hands down, offering 5 different savings accounts, a pension, Junior ISA, Lifetime ISA, Stocks and Shares ISA and General Investment Account. Like Wombat, Moneybox charges a £1 per month subscription fee for its investment accounts, however, new users will get the first 3 months fee-free. Moneybox charges a platform fee of 0.45% for its investment accounts, significantly higher than the 0.10% platform fee charged by Wombat. Both Wombat and Moneybox offer round ups as well as access to online resources to help users further their investment knowledge. If it is purely down to cost, Wombat is likely to be the smarter option but if product choice is a major consideration then Moneybox would be the sensible option.
For a more comprehensive look at Moneybox, check out our independent Moneybox review.
Wombat vs Plum
Plum started life predominantly focussed on savings, helping its users to save money into pots using smart AI technology. It has since expanded into investing and now offers a number of investing accounts as well as a personal pension. Like Wombat, Plum offers a free account as well as a monthly subscription account, with additional features on offer for those that are happy to pay the £1 a month fee. The additional features provided by Plum go above and beyond those offered by Wombat and include separate savings pockets, interest on savings and cashback offers. Plum also offers a 'Pro' and 'Ultra' account with additional features for those that are happy to pay the £2.99 and £4.99 monthly fee. Plum charges a management fee of 0.15% compared to 0.10% charged by Wombat. Those wishing to save and invest may prefer to look at Plum while those looking for simplicity and value may want to stick with Wombat.
For a more comprehensive look at Moneybox, check out our independent Plum review.
Pros and Cons of Wombat Invest
Below we list the main pros and cons of investing with Wombat Invest
Pros of Wombat
- Invest from as little as £10
- Unlimited commission-free trading
- Round up and invest your spare change
Cons of Wombat
- £1 monthly subscription fee if you want to invest in ETFs
- Limited product choice (No Lifetime ISA, Junior ISA or Pension)
- Foreign exchange (FX) and currency conversion fees apply to stock trades
Wombat Invest is an attractive proposition for those new to investing and those who prefer a streamlined product choice and a simplified setup process. While it doesn't offer the widest product choice, Wombat charges a low management fee of just 0.10% making it one of the cheapest investment apps available to UK investors. Like Moneybox and Plum, Wombat charges a £1 monthly fee for access to its 'Themed' investments and so investors keen to invest in ETFs should look at new app Dodl, provided by AJ Bell. Dodl charges a low management fee of just 0.15% (minimum £1 per month), offers a number of diversified ready-made portfolios in addition to shares and ETFs and most importantly, it doesn't charge a monthly subscription fee.