Orca is an investment app that was founded towards the end of 2020. It claims to have designed an investment app “for everyone”, with a huge selection of investment guides, plenty of features and low fees. It lets its users invest in 250 stocks and ETFs.
Orca is only at the start of its journey, so it’s not going to have quite the range of features you’d find from a more established investment broker, such as Hargreaves Lansdown, but it’s taking customer suggestions and has even published a roadmap to let people know what it’s working on at the moment.
We’ve taken a look at the Orca investment app to find out some pros and cons to help you decide if it’s the investment app for you.
Orca lets you invest in a couple of different account types: a general investment account, which is a standard account that gets you access to all of Orca’s features; and a stocks and shares individual savings account (ISA), which is very similar, except that it has a tax wrapper, which means that you can invest up to a certain amount in each tax year without paying any tax on your profits.
Orca general investment account
A general investment account is a standard account without any limits. You can access all of Orca’s features with it, but there aren’t any tax benefits. This might be suited to you if you’ve already used your annual ISA allowance.
Any profits over £6,000 in each tax year may be taxable.
Orca stocks and shares ISA
Orca’s stocks and shares ISA is very similar to stocks and shares ISAs with other investment providers. They’re pretty much a carbon copy of the general investment account, except there’s an ISA allowance, which is the maximum you can invest up to in each tax year without having to pay tax on your profits. The current ISA allowance is £20,000.
Orca DIY vs Orca collections
DIY investing is when you choose investments yourself from the stocks, exchange traded funds (ETFs) and investment trusts that Orca has available on its app. This is typically the option that more experienced investors go with as you’d have the responsibility to rebalance your portfolio and keep an eye on how specific investments are getting on regularly.
Orca also has “collections” which is similar to ready-made portfolios that you might find with a robo-advisor. In Orca’s case, the portfolios are themed collections of stocks. It has a collection of the UK’s most valuable brands, which it calls “God Save The Queen”; a Halal collection, which contains companies that are complying with Shariah; “Women CEO”, which is a collection of women-led companies, among others.
You can look at how the collections perform as a whole and in terms of individual assets. You can also look at their performance against other popular investments and the dividend yields of each collection.
What stock exchanges does Orca let you invest in?
If you’re more interested in investing in individual stocks, that’s an option too. At the moment, Orca only has stocks on the London Stock Exchange, so if there’s any overseas stocks that you fancy investing in, it might not have them available just yet.
Orca is planning on adding stocks on the New York Stock Exchange and the NASDAQ in due course, so watch this space!
What can I invest in with Orca??
|Investment type||Available with Orca?|
|US Stocks||Coming soon|
What trading tools are available with Orca?
Orca has interactive charting tools, but doesn’t have the ability to add any advanced charting tools like Bollinger bands. It’s got a smart stop loss which lets you set a percentage loss or gain you’d like the app to automatically sell the stock at.
The platform is app only, so if you’re looking for a trading platform that you can access on desktop, this isn’t the one for you. If that’s a game changer, you could consider something like eToro.
You can set alerts, access news and research, create watch lists and see advanced information about company details and financials, including dividends.
Orca is launching a stock and ETF screener in the next few weeks as well, which will help you find new investments.
Orca’s learning tools
Orca has plenty of educational content which can help you choose investments and understand exactly what it is that you’re doing. It aims to teach you while giving you the chance to put what you learn into practise. It goes through the key information you need to know, has a glossary of key terms and useful guides to different types of investments.
Orca’s fees are pretty simple. It charges commission of £1 per £1,000 that you trade every time you trade. If your trade value isn’t a round thousand, you round up the amount to the next thousand.
That means that if you make 3 trades of £650, £6,500 and £1,005 each, then you’d pay £1 for the first trade, £7 for the second trade and £2 for the third trade. There are no additional fees for using an ISA and no monthly subscription fees.
Is Orca safe?
Orca is covered by the Financial Services Compensation Scheme (FSCS), which means that you are covered up to £75,000 of you investments if Orca were to go bust. This doesn’t cover investments that don’t perform as you wanted or expected them to.
Orca is an appointed representative of RiskSave technologies, which is authorised and regulated by the FCA.
Pros and cons of Orca
- Simple fee structure. We like that it can be summarised quickly. There aren’t any extra or hidden fees.
- Trades are low cost.£1 for each £1,000 works out between 0.1% and 0.19% in fees, which is pretty good.
- Not many investments on offer. There are only 250 stocks and ETFs available to invest in. It’s introducing additional stocks in due course, which is great.
- You can only invest in stocks on the London Stock Exchange. This is something that Orca is working on.
Orca is whaley new in the sea of investing — this has its positives and negatives. There’s not a huge selection of stocks available, and there are key features that members might be disappointed to see missing, such as advanced charting tools. Its newness does mean that it’s building the platform around a modern investor. More recently, investors have shown that they want low cost or commission free investing that’s not complicated, wordy, or full of jargon they don’t understand. Orca has published its roadmap to let its users know that it’s listening to them and implementing features that they want, which we really like to see.
We’d be interested to see how Orca grows over the coming months, especially with its planned onset of new features and stocks.
All investing should be regarded as longer term. The value of your investments can go up and down, and you may get back less than you invest. Past performance is no guarantee of future results. If you’re not sure which investments are right for you, please seek out a financial adviser. Capital at risk.
Frequently asked questions
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