Who are OpenMoney?

OpenMoney are here to make financial advice both accessible and affordable to people, regardless of how much money they have. Financial advice has traditionally only been available to those who already have thousands of pounds to invest and the cost of the advice can be expensive.

OpenMoney was co-founded by Anthony Morrow and Duncan Cameron and now employs over 30 people from their office in Manchester.

Why did evestor change its name to OpenMoney?

When we launched back in 2017, we were running a financial advice service and a ‘do-it-yourself’ investment management service under one name, evestor.

As evestor grew and the services we offered to customers expanded we felt that evestor no longer accurately reflected all the services we offer.

We made the decision to split our services. Our ‘Do-it-yourself’ investment management services lives on under the name evestor. But, our financial advice service was renamed ‘OpenMoney’.

Our customers come to us for help across the whole financial journey from simply getting their finances under control to making long-term investment decisions; we feel OpenMoney enables us to talk to all of those people.

What's the difference between OpenMoney and other "robo-advisers"?

With OpenMoney, you’ll receive a recommendation based on your personal circumstances and how much risk you would like to take. This recommendation will explicitly tell you whether we think investing with us is right for you, and if so what you should invest in. We are authorised and approved by the FCA to provide financial advice, but not all robo-advisers are! Some of them will only offer you guidance, which means they might help you narrow down your options, but they can’t tell you what is best for you.

One of the other key differences between us and other robo-advisers, is that if investing isn’t right for you at the moment, we don’t just leave you there - we help you get your finances in shape, through our app. We will help you reduce your debts and build some cash savings, we can even help you see where you’re spending your money - and how you can save it!

How safe is my money with OpenMoney?

As with most investments, when you invest you are putting your money at risk. This means you might get back less that you put in. We manage this risk by ensuring the portfolio you invest in is right for your risk appetite and capacity for loss.

When you invest with OpenMoney, your money goes straight into a special bank account held by our product provider Gaudi. This bank account is protected by the FCA’s client money rules, which means that it is held separately from both our business and Gaudi. In the very unlikely event of OpenMoney, or Gaudi failing, we are also covered by the Financial Services Compensation Scheme, so your investment would be protected up to certain limits.

Similarly, when your money is invested into the funds, the investment - or ‘asset’ is protected under FCA client asset rules. Most of the funds we invest in are also covered by the FSCS. So, whilst you are putting your money at risk by investing, you can be safe in the knowledge that we are holding your investments safely, in the event of a firm’s failure.

When did OpenMoney launch?

OpenMoney was launched in 2017, originally under the name evestor. As evestor, we ran two main services; a DIY investment platform and a financial advice platform with an accompanying app. We decided to separate the two services, with the financial advice platform becoming OpenMoney.

What is the OpenMoney app?

The OpenMoney app is a tool for managing your day-to-day finances. It will help you make sense of your finances and transactions and set budgeting and savings goals.

In later developments, we plan to make the app into a sophisticated tool which can analyse your financial situation and make personalised recommendations to make your money work smarter and harder for you.

Is the OpenMoney app free to use, or are there any hidden fees or in-app changes?

The app is 100% free, and there aren’t any hidden charges or in-app fees to worry about. We only charge fees for the managing of any investments you have with us.

What tools does the OpenMoney app give me?

Link all your financial accounts including current accounts, saving accounts and credit cards so you can see them all in one place.

Categorise payments and group (‘tag’) transactions together, so you can see and analyse the ‘bigger picture’ across all of your financial affairs.

Set smart budgets across a number of categories, to help better manage where you hard-earned money is being spent.

Set savings goals, for everything from a new gadget to a new house, and track how you’re progressing towards those.

Set targets to pay down debts quicker and more efficiently, to help you avoid unnecessary costs and charges.

In later developments, you’ll be given more tools to help you manage, save and invest your money.

How secure is the OpenMoney app?

All interaction from the app to our servers is secured using bank-level encryption.

You can also add a secure PIN to access the app. We will soon be adding facial recognition and fingerprint ID to the app.

What happens if I lose or swap my phone if it has my data on it?

If you swap your phone, just download the app on your new device, log in and you’ll be able to pick up where you left off.

If you lose your phone – don’t worry; as long as you have enabled a security measure on your device, your data will be safe.

How does the OpenMoney app work?

When you create your OpenMoney app account, you are asked to link your financial accounts. This includes things like current accounts, savings accounts and credit cards. We use a provider called Yodlee who pull through your account information so you can see it on the app, and so we can use it to aggregate your accounts, and in later developments, make tailored recommendations for your finances.

Can I change the recommendation I’ve been given?

For investment advice, you are able to speak to a qualified financial adviser to discuss your recommendation. They are able to recommend an alternative solution if it is in your best interests.

Why is financial advice important?

Financial advice can help you take control of your finances and plan how to meet your longer-term goals and objectives, whether that’s a new home, a dream holiday or a stable retirement. Even if you don’t have a specific goal in mind, your adviser will be able to tell you which products and investments are right for you.

Can I get financial advice on products I have with another provider?

If you have an existing ISA or pension product with another provider, we can review this for you and recommend whether a transfer to OpenMoney is in your best interests. There is no fee/charge to review your products and no obligation to transfer.

If my circumstances change, will I get new advice/recommendations?

For our invested customers, we will contact you every year to see how things are going, and if there’s been any changes to your circumstances. If anything changes between your yearly reviews get in touch with the team to let us know, you can discuss these changes with a qualified financial adviser to make sure your investments are still suitable.

Who is eligible for financial advice?

Anyone who is 18 or over, who lives in the UK.

If you’re not sure whether you classify as a UK resident check here: https://www.gov.uk/tax-foreign-income/residence

How do OpenMoney provide financial advice?

Financial services professionals have developed our financial advice journey. Our automated system will provide you with a recommendation based on the information you provide to us. You are able to discuss any investment related recommendation with one of our qualified financial advisers at no extra cost.

In later developments, you will also receive advice and recommendations on your finances within the OpenMoney app.

What is financial advice?

A personalised recommendation based on your personal and financial circumstances that will help to achieve your financial goals/objectives. Our advice could be to invest, pay down your debt or build up your cash savings.

Investment advice is restricted to OpenMoney products and investment portfolios.

Is my capital at risk even with OpenMoney's lowest risk portfolio?

With any investment, your money (or ‘capital’) is at risk, and this applies to all our portfolios. This means that you could get less money back than you invested, depending on how the funds perform. With our lowest risk portfolio, we hold more of your investment in cash and less risky investments, which means it has the lowest risk of capital loss of our portfolios.

Where do OpenMoney invest?

We invest in assets from all over the world! We want our portfolios to be well diversified, which means we like to have shares and bonds in companies and governments from all over the world. This means that if an event impacts one area of the world, for example an election in the US, or natural disaster in Asia, it shouldn’t have a massive impact on your overall investment.

Will you recommend that investing is right for me?

We only advise you invest if you are willing to invest for a minimum of 5 years and have sufficient money in accessible cash in case of emergencies. Investing should be seen as a medium – long term commitment and therefore working with these principles should help to ride out any short-term fluctuations in the value of your investment.

How do I top up my investment or change my current direct debit payments?

Investment customers can top up their current investments with one-off or monthly payments and edit existing payments in their OpenMoney portal.

To set up a top up payment, log in to your OpenMoney portal and select ‘Manage payments’. Before setting up a new payment, we will ask you to confirm a few financial details to make sure your new payments are suitable and affordable.

To edit an existing payment, log in to your OpenMoney portal, select ‘Manage payments’ and select the pencil icon next to your existing payment to edit. When editing payments, we will advise on whether the payment will take you over your yearly allowance for ISAs or Pensions.

Please remember that it’s your responsibility to make sure you do not pay more than your annual personal allowance into either an ISA or Pension.

Do I pay more for OpenMoney to manage my investment on a discretionary basis?

No, it’s all included in our annual fee. As we may swap or change your investments throughout the year, and the transaction costs within the fund may vary, the actual amount you pay in fees may be slightly different to the estimate we provide you with before you invest. The actual amount you have paid will be available on your annual statement.

How do you invest?

We use something called a passive investment strategy. This means that, unlike some other investment providers, we don’t try to beat the market by swapping and selling our investments regularly. We choose some good quality, low cost funds to build a portfolio with, and we track them against a benchmark. We make minor tweaks, such as swapping a fund or changing the amount customers have invested in a certain type of asset (like a share) from time to time, to keep costs low or manage other risks.

Can I change the recommendation I’ve been given?

For investment advice, you are able to speak to a qualified financial adviser to discuss your recommendation. They are able to recommend an alternative solution if it is in your best interests

What does discretionary investment management mean?

It means that we are able to make changes to your portfolio to help keep them in line with your risk appetite. This might mean that we change the amount you have invested in a certain type of asset, such as cash. Or, it could mean that we change a fund in your portfolio for a different one. A reason for this might be because the new fund is cheaper, and so we can keep your fees low.

How do you make sure my investments align with my risk appetite?

We monitor the portfolios on a daily basis, and our Investment Committee meet regularly to make sure that portfolios are meeting their objectives. There are some basic rules we follow to make sure our portfolios are suitable for different risk appetites: our lowest risk portfolio (1) holds more cash, whereas our highest risk portfolio (3) holds a lot more stocks and shares which are usually considered a riskier investment. As your investment is managed on a discretionary basis, we will monitor how much of and the types of funds held within your portfolio to make sure they align with your risk appetite.

How often do OpenMoney invest?

We invest 4 times per month. Our Direct Debit collection dates are 1st, 8th, 15th and 22nd; this is when we take the money from your bank account. After this, we invest the money as soon as it has settled in our client bank account (usually 5 business days after collection). You’ll see the purchases and investment value in your portal a few days after the trades have settled.

I work in financial services, so I’m not allowed to choose my own assets - are OpenMoney able to provide confirmation that my investment will be managed on a discretionary basis?

Yes, of course! Just get in touch with our web chat team or send an email to hello@open-money.co.uk.

Can I choose my own investments?

If you choose to invest with OpenMoney, we will advise on which portfolio is right for you, rather than giving you a choice. We offer a range of model portfolios which have a diversified mix of different assets, at a risk level appropriate for you. You don’t have to do anything except provide a few basic details and answer some questions.

What do you invest in?

We invest in a range of funds which hold a variety of different assets in them. An asset is a type of financial instrument, so it could be a share in a company or a type of debt owed from a government, they might be even more specialised like a share in a property company. We also keep some of your money in cash or in a cash fund, as this helps to balance the risk with other assets such as shares.

How do I pay my fees?

Our fees are automatically subtracted from your investment value on a monthly basis. You will see this in your OpenMoney portal.

We keep a small amount of your investment in cash, this is what we use to pay your fee so that we don’t have to sell any of your investments when your fee is taken.

Do OpenMoney charge any fees to provide financial advice?

No, we don’t charge an initial fee for the advice we give, nor do we charge for the use of our app services, or for advisor appointments. We only charge fees if we manage your investments. This means you’ll only pay fees if we recommend investing is right for you, and you choose to go ahead and invest with us.

What are OpenMoney's fees?

For any investment, in any of our portfolios, we charge some basic fees which don’t vary. These are:

  • 0.25% for managing your investment
  • 0.10% for investing in a product wrapper, such as a Pension or ISA

As we manage your investment on a discretionary basis, the portfolio fees can vary slightly. This is because we may change the funds a portfolio invests in, or the amount we invest in a certain asset for example cash. We use the amount you would have paid in fees for each portfolio, as at 20th April 2020 as a guide:

  • Portfolio 1 – 0.11%
  • Portfolio 2 – 0.10%
  • Portfolio 3 – 0.09%

Also, when assets are bought or sold in a fund, there are costs associated. These are called transaction costs. The exact cost of these transactions will vary, depending on how often assets are bought or sold within a fund, and it is not something OpenMoney controls. As at 20th April 2020, the transaction costs were:

  • Portfolio 1 – 0.03%
  • Portfolio 2 – 0.02%
  • Portfolio 3 – 0.02%

This means that the total fees for each portfolio, as at the 20th April 2020 were:

  • Portfolio 1 – 0.49%
  • Portfolio 2 – 0.47%
  • Portfolio 3 – 0.46%

So, if you invested £100 with us in a portfolio 1, you would pay 49p per year.*

We will try to keep the fees as close to these values as possible. We do this by monitoring the variable fees in the Investment Committee, so if one of the funds starts getting too expensive, we might swap it for another one, or reduce the amount we have invested in it. You find out exactly what you have paid in fees in your portal and through your statements, which are uploaded into your document store.

There is no fee for our financial advice or app services, the only time you will pay a fee to us is for the management of your investments, should you invest with us.

*based on fees payable as at 20th April 2020

How does OpenMoney make money?

We charge a small fee for the management of investments held with us. (see above)

Once we launch our partnership with uSwitch.com, we will make a commission every time someone we have recommended a household bill switch to, switches. We will never recommend a switch just to make money, only if it’s in your best interest. We will also always offer the best deal we can for you, based on what could save you the most money.

Will OpenMoney pass on my data to any third parties?

We will never sell your data onto a third party. We do provide your data to third parties with whom we have a legal relationship with. This is to enable us to provide the OpenMoney service to you. For example, if you invest with us, your data will be shared with our administrator - Quai Administration Services, our product provider - Gaudi Regulated Services and some basic information passed to the company who buys and sells our investments - Winterflood. If you choose to use the app to link your accounts, your data will be shared with Yodlee Inc. and uSwitch to enable us to provide you with information on your accounts and product switches. More information is available in our data protection policy and in your T&Cs.

What data do OpenMoney collect?

Our privacy policy provides more information on what data we collect and how it gets used.

This policy details how we’re compliant with privacy and data protection regulation and legislation such as the GDPR.

How long will OpenMoney keep my information for?

This depends on the type of information you provide us with. If you receive financial advice from us, we are required by the FCA to retain your information for 5 years after you stop being an OpenMoney customer. This FCA requirement supersedes the GDPR right to deletion.

How do OpenMoney secure my personal data?

The protection and security of your personal data is really importance to us. Your personal data is stored using 256 bit SSL encryption – the same level as most banks. When setting up your account, we also provide 2-step verification to further secure your account. We only share your data with people we have legal relationships with, and this is only to facilitate your investment or receive the information we need for you to use the app. More information can be found in our privacy policy.

How secure is the OpenMoney app?

All interaction from the app to our servers is secured using bank-level encryption.

You can also add a secure PIN to access the app. We will soon be adding facial recognition and fingerprint ID to the app.

I’m worried about the falling value of my investments! What should I do?

We understand there is a lot of uncertainty surrounding investments right now and the current market performance has seen investment values fall.

Fluctuations in the value of your investment is entirely normal with investing. We recommend to only invest if you have an investment timeframe of at least 5 years, as we believe the longer the investment timeframe the higher the chance of making a positive return.

Keep your initial timeframe and saving goals in mind, and as tempting as it may be, try not to focus on the short-term fluctuations of your investment.

I’m concerned about the impact of the coronavirus, can I withdraw all my investments?

You can request to withdraw at any time, at no charge. We would like to make you aware that it may be considered a bad time to withdraw at a time where markets have dropped. Drops due to recessions and pandemics tend to be short term, so we'd encourage you to remain invested to give your investments an opportunity to recover.

You can request a withdrawal by contacting a support member via live chat or hello@open-money.co.uk.

Is it a good time to put more money in?

Here at OpenMoney we don’t endorse timing the market, we believe it is all about time in the market. The value of units may be lower now, but no one can predict how markets will react in the coming months; whether these will recover or drop further.

You may wish to book an appointment in with one of our financial advisers to discuss this further. You can book an appointment at a time that is convenient for you via your OpenMoney portal under ‘Book an Appointment’.

I’m afraid I will lose all my money

Due to the way our portfolios are structured, you are invested in some of the largest companies worldwide, and in over 2,000 different companies. The likelihood of all these companies failing are very slim. Each of our portfolios also invests a portion of your money in cash, which is a risk-free investment.

Our portfolios are diversified, meaning the risk is spread over several difference asset classes on a global scale, performance is therefore not down to a single asset class or stock. You can request further information about our portfolios from our support team via webchat.

Are your services still running? What would happen if you were to go bust?

Yes, we’re still running at full capacity and all of our staff members are working remotely and following social distancing measures to help stem the spread of Coronavirus.

If we cease to operate, your funds will either be transferred to other management or returned to you. As per FCA rules, we do not hold client money. Your investments are held briefly in a client bank account with Barclays before funds are sent to the fund managers, these include providers such as Vanguard, Fidelity and BlackRock. Each provider holds trillions under management, if any of the providers fail and are unable to pay back your money, then you may be entitled to compensation from The Financial Services Compensation Scheme (FSCS) up to the value of £85,000 per fund provider.

Can I speak to an adviser about my investments?

Yes, our advisers will be happy to talk through your investments with you, simply book an appointment at a time that is convenient for you via your OpenMoney portal under ‘ Book an Appointment’.

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