In a nutshell
Improving the future of humanity and making money at the same time, it’s a winning combination! Their app is great at helping you save money and save the planet at the same time. The fees are reasonable and their customer service is excellent. It’s 5 stars for us.
cracked open 🥥
Could there be a better blend of 2 things in 1? Grow your money, and save the world? We don’t think so.
With CIRCA5000 you put your savings ‘to work’ by not only aiming to grow your money, but your money is helping businesses that have a positive impact on the planet and humans!
The concept is to ensure humans survive well past the year 5000 (circa 5000), and at the current rate we are destroying the planet, it’s not a sure thing…
If everyone invested their money in companies that positively impact the future of humanity, we might just have a chance. After all, it’s the love of money that got us into this mess, so it’s worth a shot that money can get us out of it!
We’ll dive into what the investments actually are and how they’re selected later (there’s a strict criteria).
CIRCA5000 is a great and easy to use app that's available on both Apple and Android phones. It’s currently rated 4.5 out of 5 on Apple and 4.4 on Android – not bad!
Already decided it’s for you? Keen to get started? Here’s a bonus for you: get £15 for free, and 2 trees planted here. And if you're after a pension, you'll also get free account fees until 1st April 2023!
Is CIRCA5000 good for beginners?
It’s really easy to get started and use the app. All you really need to do is decide which investment option you’d like – there’s only 3 and we cover these below – and which account type you’d like, whether that’s a standard account, Stocks & Shares ISA or a pension – we’ll cover these later too.
After that, just add your money and you’re away.
Tip: it’s also a sensible idea to set up a regular payment if you can afford it – you’ll be surprised by how much your savings can grow without you realising it.
The investment selection process
There’s one sole goal for CIRCA5000 investments: ‘to keep the future human’, but that doesn’t just mean any old investment will do. Their selection process is rigorous and a complex process to identify the right types of investments.
The selection criteria is actually broken down into 3 categories:
Impact: will the investments positively impact the future of humanity
Return: does the investment expect to make money for customers
Risk: is the risk of the investment low enough to suit the investment strategy
Investments must align with at least one of the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), and these are things such as no poverty, clean water and sanitation, sustainable cities and communities, climate action, affordable and clean energy, quality education and good health and well-being, plus more.
The investments are then researched to determine if they are actually delivering on their sustainable development goals or they are simply ‘greenwashing’ (just pretending). And must provide value in terms of return on investment too.
To put simply, you can be sure that the investments are not just having a positive impact on the world, but the investments are suited to growing your money further – it’s the perfect pairing.
Types of investment accounts
You’ve got 3 options: a Stocks & Shares ISA, a personal pension or a standard account (called a General Investment Account), and one if you’ve got kids: a Junior ISA.
Let’s dive into the benefits of each one:
Stocks & Shares ISA
This is the most popular account – you can invest up to £20,000 into this type of account every year (called your ISA allowance), and everything you make is tax-free, forever! Not bad right?
By the way, you can only pay into one Stocks & Shares ISA each tax year (6th April to 5th April the following year), so if you’ve already paid into one this tax year with another app or investment provider, you’ll have to wait until the next tax year, or open a standard account (General Investment Account) in the meantime.
General Investment Account (GIA)
This is your standard account, with no bells or whistles. You can have as many as you like, wherever you want them (other investment platforms), and put in as much cash as you like.
You’ll pay Capital Gains Tax on any profit you make over £12,300 per year, from all of your investments (if you sell them).
With CIRCA5000 you can open and manage your own self-invested personal pension (SIPP).
It’s a very good idea to save for your retirement with a personal pension, in addition to a pension from your employer (if you have one), or if you’re self-employed, to set up your own one.
You’ll automatically get a government bonus of 25% of whatever money you put in, up to £40,000 per year or up to 100% of your salary/income (whichever is lower). Plus you can claim 40% back if you’d paid any tax at 40%, such as a higher rate tax payer (earning above £50,270 per year).
You can’t withdraw your money until you reach 55 however, so you need to be in it for the long term – a sensible strategy to be honest!
By the way, there's currently a deal, there's no account fees on a pension until 1st April 2023! That's a big saving. Plus you'll get £15 for free, and 2 trees planted. Get started here to claim¹. That's a huge saving of £5 per month, plus 0.70% in fees!
Why not support the future of humanity and the future of your family too? You can open a Junior ISA, which is similar to an ISA for yourself, except it’s for your kid(s). You can put in up to £9,000 per year, separate to your own £20,000 allowance, and when they turn 18 it’s all theirs!
After you’ve decided which type of account(s) you’d like to invest with, you’ve got the choice of which investment option you like. There are 3 in total, so it’s relatively simple, and these are:
People + Planet: this is where your money is invested in both of the below options.
Planet: your money will be invested in companies that help the planet, so things like green energy and sustainable water and food.
People: your money will be invested in companies that help humanity specifically, so these are things like health and education.
There’s also a risk level that needs to be chosen, and this is simple too, there’s only 3 options: cautious, balanced and adventurous.
Although the aim of all 3 is to grow your money safely over the long term, you can decide to risk part of that plan to grow your money quicker (adventurous), or if you’d like to keep your money more stable and stick to lower expected returns each year (cautious).
How much is CIRCA5000?
There’s two types of fees, account fees and then investment fees. Let's take a look at both:
With a Stocks & Shares ISA, Junior ISA, and a General Investment Account, you’ll pay a monthly fee of £1, which is called a subscription fee. And then you’ll also pay 0.45% per year on the total value of your investments within your account.
These fees are automatically taken every month from your account, so you don’t have to worry about paying them.
With a pension, there isn’t a £1 per month fee, instead you’ll pay 0.45% on the total value of your investments. However, there’s no fees until 1st April 2023! Get started here¹ to save on this fee – and get £15 added to your account for free.
In addition to your account fee, as your money is in investments, these investments have their own fees (which are not CIRCA5000 fees), and all investments wherever you invest have these fees.
Depending on which investment option you choose, you’ll pay between 0.24% and 0.65% per year, and again these are simply taken from your investment itself.
So in total, you’re looking at a range of 0.74% to 1.35%, plus £1 per month. That’s actually fairly reasonable. If you compare with PensionBee, which is one of the cheapest out there for pensions, you’d be looking at around 0.5% to 0.95% depending on which investment option you choose.
It’s a B Corp
You may not be familiar with what a ‘B Corp’ is, but it’s an official certificate that confirms they put people and the planet on the same level as profit – that means they exist not simply to make money, but to effectively make the world a better place.
It’s incredibly hard to get the certificate and represents a fundamentally new type of business than what has dominated over the last 100 years – think about the large energy companies destroying the world for pure profit, or companies destroying the Amazon rainforest – these are definitely not B Corps. Let’s hope their days are coming to an end soon.
You can learn more about B Corps here.
The customer support is excellent.
You can chat to them within the app itself (called live-chat) and they normally give quick responses. Or, you can email them.
Better yet, there’s actually a phone number to call and speak to someone. Available 9-5pm Monday to Friday. That’s pretty rare for an investment business these days!
There’s also a great help centre with answers to all the common questions you might have.
Is CIRCA5000 safe?
Yep! It’s all safe and sound.
They’re authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA), which means they have been approved and are trusted to look after your money.
Plus your money is protected by the Financial Services Compensation Scheme (FSCS), which means you’ll get up to £85,000 back should anything happen to CIRCA5000 itself, such as going out of business, which is very unlikely anyway.
And as your money is within the investments themselves, they’ve got even more protection from the investment fund. Any cash you have is held within a separate trust bank account that CIRCA5000 cannot access, it can only be returned back to you.
CIRCA5000 customer reviews
It’s a fairly new business, so there’s not many customer reviews out there just yet, but they have got a great score on Trustpilot, the popular reviews website, with a score of 4.3 out of 5 – that’s pretty good, in fact it’s excellent!
Here at Nuts About Money, we are huge fans and advocates of anything that helps the planet and people. So a company like CIRCA5000 that aims to grow your money alongside having a positive impact on the planet, well, we simply love it!
But on top of that, the fees are reasonable, the customer service is excellent, and the app is great and easy to use. There’s not many negatives at all.
In fact, it’s all positive for CIRCA5000 and we’re giving it a big 5 stars.
Note: there’s a couple of other options for similar ethical investment accounts, read our comparison of ethical ISAs, for more information.
If you’re already set on CIRCA5000 visit the CIRCA5000 website¹ and get £15 plus 2 trees planted. And did we mention there's no account fees on a pension until 1st April 2023?!
Is there a deal?
And it’s really good. First, you can get £15 for free added to your account, and get 2 trees planted on your behalf too. And if you want a pension, there's no account fees at all until 1st April 2023. That's a huge saving of £5 per month, plus 0.70% in fees!
And full disclosure, they’ll give us a bit of commission if you sign up using our link. It helps us keep the lights on. But as always, we’re completely impartial – we love CIRCA5000 though and you will be soon too!