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InvestEngine review – is this bold new investing platform cheap AND flexible?

14–17 minutes to read

In this InvestEngine review, we’ll take a look at what this unique platform offers and why it could have the competition licked. Essentially, InvestEngine combines the hassle-free benefits of a robo-advisor, with the flexibility of more traditional DIY platforms.

Furthermore, with no dealing fees, it’s one of the cheapest platforms on the market.

In fact, Vanguard fans might be surprised to learn that it’s actually cheaper to hold Vanguard funds with InvestEngine, than the Vanguard Investor platform itself, which is renowned for low fees! 

So, could this really be the platform to suit all investors types? This InvestEngine review will help you decide. I’ll walk you through the pros and cons as I see them, and compare InvestEngine to its closest competitors.

Heads up – We aim to produce honest and accurate content, however, we are not financial advisors. If you need financial advice, Unbiased can connect you with a suitable professional for free. Some of our links may earn us a small commission to help us run the site.

InvestEngine sign up bonus - £50 for investing £100!

InvestEngine is offering new investors a £50 bonus for signing up. If you open an InvestEngine account and invest at least £100, you’ll get a £50 bonus. Remember, you need to keep your money invested for at least 12 months to retain the bonus.

Sign up to InvestEngine here and get your £50 sign up bonus.

Do you like sign up bonuses? Check these out:

Who is InvestEngine?

Having started in just 2019, InvestEngine is a relatively new kid on the investment platform block. Since then, its promised flexible investing and great value.

In fact, InvestEngine has the lowest robo-advisor fees we’ve seen. Plus, it doesn’t charge for holding funds. This is a significant draw for value investors.

Indeed, many Vanguard Investor fans might be surprised to find that it’s actually cheaper to hold Vanguard funds with InvestEngine than with Vanguard themselves!

As you would expect, InvestEngine is authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) and covered by the Financial Services Compensation Scheme (FSCS).

All great so far. But what makes InvestEngine different is that you can hold a robo-advisor account and a DIY account, all under one roof. This means you can have your funds managed, while still having the ability to buy something you like on the side as well. However, there are some limitations, so read on for more details.

Investing for Beginners

If you are new to investing then check out our free Investing for Beginners guide. It has everything you need to help you learn about getting started in investing. Crucially, we cover the steps you should do before you even start.

Investing for Beginners – How to bankroll your financial future.

InvestEngine key details

  • Easy portfolio selection.
  • (Very) low cost.
  • Actively managed portfolio and a DIY portfolio all in one account.
  • Minimum £100 investment.
  • Safe and trusted.

What is a robo-advisor platform?

Robo-advisors are investing services that provide automated financial planning with little to no human supervision.

A typical robo-advisor will collect information about your financial situation and goals, and then use this data to automatically invest your money.

Essentially, it will automatically balance your portfolio according to your appetite for risk. So you get to focus your time on what enjoy.

Why are robo-advisors good?

Because they make potentially daunting decisions for you, they are well-suited to new investors. Essentially, you can kick back and let the robo-advisor decide on your investment strategy and portfolio allocation.

Plus, they also work well for those who are time-poor and looking to offload their investing tasks and decisions.

And then there’s the cost. Before robo-advisor platforms, investors may have chosen an Independent Financial Advisor to manage their investments. These often carry hefty ‘management’ fees and would typically be more expensive (depending on lots of personal factors).

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What accounts does InvestEngine offer?

InvestEngine offers the following accounts:

Most investors looking to shelter any gains will choose a Stocks and Shares ISA account. Remember, you can only contribute to one Stocks and Shares ISA per year. So, if you already have one then you’ll need to transfer your account to InvestEngine.

You can open as many General Investment Accounts as you like. However, you’ll need to manage the tax on your earnings. So, to keep managing your money easy and simple, you may want to limit these to only a few.

Need some help? Check out our Beginners Guide to Investing – How to bankroll your financial freedom.

What investment options does InvestEngine offer?

InvestEngine provides two main types of portfolios:

  • Managed Portfolio – like a robo-advisor, InvestEngine will help you choose a suitable investment portfolio and automatically manage it all for you.
  • Do it Yourself (DIY) – here, you have the flexibility to pick the funds you wish to invest in, but it’s a manual process.

Crucially, you can have both of these portfolio types at the same time, if that’s what you need.

InvestEngine Managed Portfolio

The InvestEngine managed portfolio allows you to choose what matters most to you.

So, when you open a Managed Portfolio, you’ll need to decide if you are investing for Income or Growth.

Growth portfolios do what they say on the tin. They are designed to increase the total size of your investment pot to be as large as possible, based on the criteria you selected (ie risk).

By contrast, Income portfolios are built to pay you a monthly income. Interestingly, InvestEngine publish an estimated return of 1.4% to 3.5%. Of course, these are not guaranteed.

Next, you’ll need to decide which account type you want. The options are a Stocks and Shares ISA, a Personal Account (this is a General Investment Account) or a Business Account.

Finally, you’ll answer a few questions that help determine the level of risk you’re comfortable with.

Then, InvestEngine will then get to work on building a low-cost, diversified and managed investment portfolio designed to suit you.

InvestEngine - Managed Portfolio setup and management on mobile

InvestEngine DIY Portfolio

Fundamentally, the InvestEngine DIY portfolio allows you to create your own investment portfolio from a range of handpicked ETFs (Exchange Traded Funds).

The DIY portfolio has some helpful features that can help you easily manage your portfolio:

  • Smart Weights – set the allocation of each of your ETFs upfront. These form the base for Smart Orders and One-click Rebalancing, making investing easy and helping you stick to your strategy.
  • Automation – want to top-up or rebalance your portfolio? No need to work out %’s and £’s, all the hard work is done for you based on your Weights,  giving you a one-click option to invest your way.
  • Zero-fees – no account fees, no trading fees.

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InvestEngine fees

InvestEngine’s fees are some of the lowest on the market. Crucially, low fees mean you keep more of your investment returns, helping you achieve your financial goals quicker.

Managed portfolios (both Growth and Income) have an annual fee of 0.25%. By contrast, DIY portfolios don’t have an annual platform fee.

Both portfolio types boast:

  • No set-up fees
  • No withdrawal fees
  • No dealing fees
  • No ISA fees

By comparison, most other platforms on the market will usually have at least one of the fees above.

You will have to pay the fee for the underlying ETFs in your portfolio, but this is the same for every platform.

InvestEngine low fees detailed

InvestEngine vs Robo-Advisors - Nutmeg, Wealthify & Moneyfarm

The table below shows the fees charged on a £10,000 portfolio for three of the most popular robo-advisors.

We can see that whilst Moneyfarm‘s fees are the highest, they do drop as you invest more than £10,000. This puts the platform fee more in line with Wealthify for those with investments above £10,000.

By comparison, Nutmeg only starts to lower its fees once your portfolio hits £100,000.

And then there’s Moneyfarm, which, unlike the other providers, offers you access to your own investment consultant. Of course, this is reflected in the annual costs.

In summary, in the world of investing where small differences in fees can make a huge difference, InvestEngine stands out as a cheap investment platform by a decent margin.

InvestEngine Nutmeg Wealthify Moneyfarm
Platform fee 0.25% 0.75% 0.60% 0.75%
Avg. investment cost 0.15% 0.14% 0.16% 0.20%
Market spread 0.07% 0.08% 0.00% 0.09%
Total 0.47% 0.97% 0.76% 1.04%

For this comparison, we have used the Nutmeg Smart Alpha and The InvestEngine Managed Growth portfolio. This is the cheapest actively managed portfolio available from these providers.

Read our Robo-advisors reviews here:

Nutmeg review – robo-advisors make investing quick, simple and easy

Wealthify review – investing made easy

Moneyfarm review – is this the best robo-advisor?

Choosing between them - InvestEngine vs Moneyfarm vs Nutmeg vs Wealthify

Of course, there is often more to choosing an investing platform than charges alone. In fact, fees aside, these are fairly closely matched providers. Handily though, there are a few main differences that may help investors choose between them.

The first is how much you plan to invest. Each platform has a minimum investment, as you can see from the table below. Wealthify customers can open an account with just £1, whereas Nutmeg and Moneyfarm require a minimum of £500. InvestEngine sits in the middle with a minimum investment of £100.

InvestEngine Moneyfarm Nutmeg Wealthify
Minimum Investment

£100

£500

£500

(£100 for LISA)

£1

If you are just starting out, then dropping £500 into an investment account might feel a bit scary. If you feel this way, then it’s perhaps worth considering InvestEngine or Wealthify.

You can read our full Wealthify Review here (plus there is a £25 bonus for opening an account).

However, if you are more experienced or have more cash to invest, then choosing between providers is going to be tough. All offer help choosing and managing a portfolio based on your personal profile and attitude to risk.

But, if cost is your primary concern, then InvestEngine is pretty hard to beat. New InvestEngine customers will also get £50 when they invest their first £100 and keep it invested for at least 12 months.

You can open an account and get your sign up bonus using this link.

InvestEngine vs DIY platforms - Hargreaves Lansdown, Interactive Investor and Vanguard

For this comparison, we have outlined the differences in the platform charges below. It’s important to point out that usually, the majority of the costs comes from trading activity.

For the example below, we have assumed a £10,000 portfolio and two trades per month. The reality is, that if you use a percentage based broker such as Vanguard, your fees will vary each month as the value of your portfolio changes.

Furthermore, it’s important to recognise the differences in each platform.

Interactive Investor, for example, is a fixed fee broker. This means that your fees will stay the same each month regardless of portfolio size. This usually suits investors with larger sums.

On the other hand, Hargreaves Lansdown does charge an annual fee of 0.45% but not on ETFs.

So, as InvestEngine only offers ETFs, we felt this was the fairest comparison. If you purchased non-ETF funds, then you would have to pay 0.45% per annum of the value of these.

Finally, while the Vanguard Investor platform has one of the lowest costs, it only offers Vanguard funds and doesn’t have a mobile app.

InvestEngine Hargreaves Lansdown Interactive Investor Vanguard Investor
Monthly fee Free Free £9.99 per month 0.15% p/a
Fee per trade Free £11.95 One free per month Free
Total Free £1,195 £1,199 £150

How did we compare them?

The comparison below was based on a £10,000 portfolio consisting of ETFs only. We have added the costs of two trades per year.

For this comparison, we have left out the annual fund charges as this fee is set by the fund manager and not the platform provider so these will be the same.

Read our full DIY Investor platform reviews here:

Hargreaves Lansdown review – the best value platform for your ISA & LISA?

Interactive Investor review – how cheap can investing be?

Vanguard Investor review – the cheapest way to invest?

InvestEngine reviews

InvestEngine review receives 4.7 stars out of 5

Good news – InvestEngine has received top reviews from the independent review site Trustpilot. Its customers have awarded it 4.7 out of 5, which ranks it highly against its competition.

Plus, InvestEngine has also received 4.5 from the Google play store for its app.

However, while the reviews are very positive, there are relatively few compared to its competitors. I suspect this is down to how new InvestEngine is to the market. Time will tell if it can keep these great ratings.

As you would expect, the web and app interface is clean and easy to use. Handily, if you have multiple portfolios, you can see them all from the home page.

InvestEngine also has a useful analytics report that shows you how diversified your investments are.

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Is my money safe with InvestEngine?

InvestEngine UK Limited is authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) FRN: 801128 and covered by the Financial Services Compensation Scheme (FSCS).

Like many investment managers, InvestEngine holds all of your money in pooled client bank accounts with a recognised bank, and your investments in a pooled client account at CREST (operated by Euroclear UK and Ireland), which is segregated from the firms and custodian’s investments. Registration of your investments will be held in the name of InvestEngine Nominees Limited.

This means InvestEngine has no legal right to your investments and cannot use it to cover any of InvestEngine’s obligations. In the unlikely event that either InvestEngine or Euroclear UK and Ireland goes bankrupt, your money and investments will still be protected.

In addition, investments held by InvestEngine are protected by the Financial Services Compensation Scheme (FSCS). As such, you are covered for investments up to £85,000. Critically, you are NOT covered for investment losses, only if InvestEngine goes into liquidation.

What we like about InvestEngine

  • Cost – some of the lowest fees we have seen.
  • Flexibility – you can choose your own investments or let InvestEngine do it for you.
  • Ease of Use – my account was set up in less than 15 minutes and I was ready to start investing.
  • No exit fees – you can try InvestEngine out and if you don’t like it, you can leave for free (some providers charge a fee).
  • Help to choose investments – for many new investors getting started, important decisions can be tricky. With InvestEngine’s managed portfolios, you can simply answer a few questions to help you get started easily.
  • Look-through feature – allows you to see the specific companies within your portfolio as well as each ETF. This gives that additional layer of clarity on what ETFs actually invest in and highlights the extra level of diversification that a single ETF gives you.
  • Sign-up bonus – who doesn’t like a signup bonus? Get £50 by investing just £100 for at least 12 months.

What we don't like about InvestEngine

  • DIY portfolio limitations – while the DIY portfolio is great, this is limited to only a select number of ETFs. That means you can’t buy individual stocks. If this is important to you, then InvestEngine can provide the managed funds but you’ll need another platform such as Hargreaves Lansdown for stock picking.
  • No SIPP – currently, InvestEngine doesn’t offer a SIPP. This means pension investors will need to find another provider if they require this. What is a SIPP?
  • No managed ethical portfolios – as yet, InvestEngine don’t have a managed ethical investment option however you can pick ethical ETFs with the DIY option.

How to open a InvestEngine account

Opening a new InvestEngine account can be done in under 15 minutes.

First, when you sign up, you’ll be asked to fill in a short questionnaire. This will determine your investor profile. From this, you will get your recommended portfolio.

Then, when you are ready, you can add your funds to your account and get started.

Once your account is open, you will get periodic reviews of your portfolio and an annual assessment to ensure your risk profile still matches your original answers.

The rest should be easy. Simply choose how much you want to invest each month, then sit back and relax.

Open your InvestEngine account and get a £50 bonus.

InvestEngine review - final thoughts

InvestEngine has shouldered its way into investing platform market with a strong offering. Uniquely, it can provide customers with both a managed portfolio similar to robo-advisors and also cater for investors who prefer a DIY approach.

In fact, InvestEngine‘s low fees have been turning heads. If you are using the Vanguard Investor platform currently, you may be pleasantly surprised to find an even cheaper competitor.

However, while InvestEngine has tried to bridge both platform types, it lacks the diversity of investment options that most DIY investor platforms offer. To me, this is its main weakness. But if you are just looking for a managed portfolio, then this probably won’t concern you.

Crucially, like other robo-advisors, InvestEngine can give you a hands-free investing strategy. If you have a busy life or if you have no interest in learning about investing, then a robo-advisor can help. InvestEngine‘s reviews, fees and performance make it very competitive against its competition. 

Open your InvestEngine account here.

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EatSleepMoney.co.uk does not offer financial advice and is intended for reference/information only. Remember, you should always carry out your own research and/or take specific professional advice before choosing any financial products or services or undertaking any business or financial venture. If you need financial advice Unbiased can connect you with a suitable professional for free. Investments may go up as well as down and you may get back less than you put in.