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Claro

What we say

Holly's View

Holly has accounts with all the providers on our website and independently reviews all of them.

This is a really interesting new option well suited to less confident or beginner investors. I suspect the feel of it will appeal mostly to the under 50s. The financial coaching session to get you going is a great idea. The app has savings options for cash, open banking to help budgeting, and a few thematic portfolios such as American Allstars and Conscious Lifestyle to offer easy start investments. The investments are not as well diversified as some so do read up on what lies under the bonnet.

HollyHolly
Holly MackayFounder and CEO of Boring Money

Overall Summary

Ease of use

Simple, clear instructions throughout the app and the bonus of a free financial coaching sessions where users can address any concerns make this an easy option to use. Support is provided for admin tasks and more complicated investment-related queries.

There are some great features on the website, including multiple calculators, which can be a useful tool for users modelling future returns. The website does feel slightly disconnected from the app however and it is easy to miss things like this.

The onboarding is very simple and users can do lots of things on the app without any hassle, such as linking bank accounts, tracking spending, reading articles and choosing investment portfolios.

Mobile & Apps

Claro users need to download the app to sign up and invest. Currently the app is only available on Apple devices, however, plans to make it available on Android are in the pipeline. The app is easy to use and split into clear sections. It isn’t as refined as some of the very best out there, with the layout feeling slightly congested at times, but it is still early days, and the core functionality is strong.

The 'Geeky' Details

Provider details

A modern start-up with a twist, Claro is an app that focuses on the importance of creating and following a customised plan for your finances. Their services cover the full spectrum; including saving, planning, coaching and investing, and soon to launch insurance and pensions.

Financial coaching is their main USP, with new users getting a free 45-minute one-to-one zoom session. Before the call, you must fill out a short questionnaire that asks for standard information regarding your finances and financial goals, allowing your coach to get a better understanding of the specifics of your situation. During the session, the coach uses this information to build a customised financial plan alongside you, as well as answer any questions you have and offer some guidance on how to best achieve your goals. The level of attention each individual user gets is impressive and it is well worth your time, even if you’re already a pretty savvy investor.

The app integrates with open-banking technology, allowing users to link their bank accounts to the app and track their spending. Claro also offer excellent cash saving rates, with a very high 2% bonus on savings.

Users can invest in ready-made portfolios at different risk-levels across 9 themes, some with a regional or industry focus. Claro don’t charge a platform fee on the first £2,500 worth of investments, making this a great place to dip your toes into the water. After that, platform charges are 0.45%, bringing total investing costs to 0.7% - which is roughly £7 for every £1,000 invested.

The portfolios are thematic – including Big Tech and Great British Business – which some will argue could offer limited diversification at a relatively high price. But the flip side to this is that they look interesting, they do what they say on the tin and will give people an easy way to start.

Users should just be aware that holding one portfolio, with most of the exposure coming from one fund, is not a great way to spread your risk around. This will probably be OK in rising markets but could bite once markets take a downturn. Mind you don’t go too niche.

All in all, a exciting proposition that offers something different from what is currently out there and provides good value across the board.