Updated: 22nd January 2022
Focused on investing to help the planet and the people on it. A good range of products and costs similar to others in the space of ‘doing good investing’.
Overall Score 2.5
What accounts are available?
As a relative newbie, we thought the account selection might be a bit limited, but were pleasantly surprised to see that Circa5000 (which uses the web address tickr.com) has a pretty extensive range to choose from. All the usual suspects are there including a Self Invested Personal Pension (SIPP) and an Individual Savings Account (ISA) with a Junior ISA option for the kids too. What’s more the ISA is of the flexible variety which means you can take out money and put it back in the same tax year without it counting against your ISA limit. One point to note is that if you open a SIPP and then want to drawdown money from it later, there’s no option for this at the moment. You’d have to transfer your account to someone who offers drawdown.
What kind of investments can I make?
This was a surprisingly hard piece of info to come by on the Circa5000 website. In the end we had to message them. There are basically three: people, planet and people and planet. Each comes with the option of three different levels of risk, so effectively making 9 ready made choices. You can also alter the Exchange Traded Funds which make up these ‘oven ready’ portfolios, or just choose your own from those available. In any event they are all designed to provide a return but at the same time have a positive effect for the planet and/or the people that live on it.
What account features are available?
This is where Circa5000 comes up a bit short. Whilst you can do round-up investing through open banking, and they encourage regular monthly investing, that’s about it. There is a Guide to Investing PDF for those starting out, and an FAQ section (thank goodness as lots of basic stuff is missing from the web pages, although this is not unusual amongst the company here) but we’d struggle to class this as true help to ‘learn investing’. There’s no auto rebalance either – which means as your portfolio grows over time, there’s nothing to stop it drifting away from the level of risk you said you were happy with at the outset – unless you intervene manually.
How can I access my account and get support?
As we said above, there was a need to message Circa5000 to get the answers we couldn’t find on the website – 4 or 5 times actually. That being said, they responded quickly with very full, honest and helpful answers, and the promise to update the FAQ section with the things we were enquiring about. There’s no telephone support, but the online chat works pretty well. Equally, whilst there is a website, you can’t access your account there – you’ll need to download the app to your phone for that.
How much does it cost?
On the face of it Circa5000 looks a bit expensive here compared to some of the others. However, it’s worth noting you are buying ‘green’ and ‘doing good’ which is generally more expensive all round. The investment costs shown here are for the average for the ‘people and planet’ portfolio – others may be more or less and will change if you start selecting your own funds, so it could actually differ materially in reality. There’s a monthly subscription fee in addition to the platform fee, but these aren’t high compared others.