Our bottom line
Thameside is great if you’re not interested in stock-picking. This seems like a relatively low-risk, set-and-forget solution. Its fees are fair and transparent. What’s more, you only pay if your investments perform.
However, if you’re willing to do your own research, you could potentially get higher returns for yourself in a low-cost brokerage. And you’d probably pay much lower fees.
Keep in mind that if you’re ever unsure about the suitability of an investment for your own circumstances, please seek independent financial advice first.
What kind of DIY solution is Thameside?
Thameside lets you save in a diversified basket of investments. All you do is add funds to your account. Their managers allocate the money on your behalf – to a range of stocks, bonds and other assets.
You have three simple account options based on your risk tolerance. Each account has a target return. You only pay a fee once this target has been beaten.
Thameside’s top feature
All of Thameside’s investment professionals have at least 20 years of industry experience. They’ve managed a combined £2billion of assets.
Why is this Thameside’s top feature? Because we haven’t had a serious financial crisis in over a decade. There are many in the financial industry who’ve never actually managed investments through a serious, prolonged falling market.
If there’s another crisis, you’ll want to know your money managers have been there before.
How do the fees work?
Thameside gives you three easy account options based on your risk tolerance. Each account has its own target annual return of 3% (low risk), 5% (medium risk) and 7% (higher risk).
You don’t pay any fee on your account until it beats your chosen benchmark. If your account does outperform, you pay 50% of the extra returns.
For example, let’s suppose you choose the 5% account and invest £10,000. Thameside aims to get you a £500 return on the year. You don’t pay them a penny until this target is met.
Now, suppose your investment does outperform. You make £750 on your first year. Your benchmark 5% (£500) costs nothing. But you pay a 50% fee on the remaining £250. Your annual fee for that year would total £125.
Your fee is broken down and charged on a monthly basis. (In the case above, this would total £10.42 per month.)
Your performance is also re-evaluated each month. You NEVER pay for the same performance twice.
Another important point: your fees are taken from the cash portion of your investment plan. That means no surprise withdrawals from your bank account.
Your Thameside account is actively managed by investment professionals. Simply deposit new savings as and when you like. Or set up an automatic monthly deposit straight from your bank.
Everything is managed on your behalf. And you only pay a fee if your account beats its target return.
The platform is simple and mobile friendly. It’s updated daily with your account’s performance. Your statements, invoices and annual reports are accessible from one place.
One word of caution: it’s probably not a good idea to jump on this platform daily, watching the short-term rises and falls. This should be considered a long-term investment. In fact, Thameside suggests you only invest savings which you can set aside for 5-10 years.
What are the risks?
All three of Thameside’s plans are relatively conservative. Even its 7% “adventurous” account contains large holdings of cash and bonds. And its assets are mostly in developed markets – the UK, Europe and North America.
However, the benchmark returns are by no means guaranteed. Indeed, you could lose more than you put in.
Also, don’t discount the fees. Thameside does have a fair, transparent fee structure. But once your target return is beaten, the 50% fee on further gains is very steep.
This is an important factor when considering risk. Normally, you assume the risk of stocks and bonds for the chance of an outsized reward. However, if your Thameside account overperforms in a big way, you surrender much of those gains.
For this reason, Thameside might not be the best option if you’re willing to do more of the work. By taking on more risk, you’d keep more of the reward.
Personally, I would only bother with the 7% account. That way, you’re assured a strong return before the fees kick in. However, I admittedly have a strong stomach for risk. Your situation might be different.
How accessible is Thameside?
Setting up a Thameside account is quick and easy. You can launch an account within minutes. And you only need £100 to begin.
Thameside also make it easy to transfer existing accounts from other places. This might be helpful if you already have Cash ISAs with the bank. With a Thameside ISA, you might enjoy greater returns – and still pay no tax on the gains.
Just fill out a form. They work with your provider to make the transfer on your behalf.
Simply choose your target return – 3%, 5%, or 7% – and add new funds whenever suits you.
Since Thameside’s accounts are actively managed, they’re suitable for anyone with zero investing knowledge.
Service and support
Thameside’s customer support is based in the UK. You can reach them by email, phone or post.
As I write this, Thameside has a perfect 5-Star customer review score on Feefo.
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