Our bottom line
This is a simple and straightforward platform to use, and very little interference is required from the investor. Also, the broker has an impressive asset base to add to stability. However, this comes at a price. At 0.4% management fee plus the share dealing fees, if you’re on the lower end of the investing spectrum, you’re dumping a substantial amount of capital into fees. However, it’s still one of the better-priced stocks and shares ISAs on the market.
Remember, if you’re ever unsure about the suitability of an investment for your own circumstances, please seek independent financial advice first.
Top features of Bestinvest’s account
It’s hard to ignore a freebie when you spot one, especially when dealing with investment brokers. Bestinvest lures their investors with the promise of free fund dealing, which means you don’t pay to buy and sell funds. They also state that most funds don’t levy initial fees either. For investors looking to focus the biggest part of their investing journey on these funds, the actual costs of their ISA will be much lower than investors who are heavy-handed with share dealing.
Bestinvest has one of the easiest investment platforms around, in my opinion. That being said, the options do seem a little dated compared to other trading platforms. One thing that I find slows me down during the decision-making process is when the information I need isn’t on the page I’m making the selection on. I like to see important fund facts on the same page as the options, not as a separate document. However, that’s a personal pet peeve as the information that investors have access to is relevant and well populated. There is clearly a strong drive to ensure that fund education remains a priority.
Bestinvest is also not afraid of calling out underperforming funds and its tongue-in-cheek annual report, Spot the Dog, takes a swipe at these funds. While this might not be directly attributable to their stocks & shares ISA, it’s good to know that Bestinvest’s fund managers keep a sharp eye on the funds. Worth the management fee? Yes, if it means all the funds on its books are managed as ruthlessly.
Investors who already hold ISAs with other institutions and wish to transfer the funds to Bestinvest won’t have to pay additional fees with Bestinvest. Also, Bestinvest may even cover up to £500 of the transfer costs levied by the other institution on a case-by-case basis.
Bestinvest commission prices
While the buying and selling of funds don’t cost anything, investors will need to fork out £7.50 for each share dealing trade. Telephone dealing comes at a hefty price tag of £75 per trade.
Fees you should know about
While share dealing is charged at £7.50 per trade, high-value trades (£100,000 and higher) are charged at £75 per trade.
It’s also important to know that when you sign up with Bestinvest that you choose whether to go with the advised or non-advised option. The advised option may charge additional fees as actual advice is rendered.
Fund fees are a little harder to come by and you will need to click on each individual fund to get this information. However, from a quick glance at Bestinvest’s research centre there are several passive index tracking funds available with ongoing charges that start from c. 0.10%. If you choose to invest using Bestinvest’s ready-made portfolio (RMP) range of managed funds, expect ongoing charges that range from around 1.47% upwards.
Buying shares, ETFs and funds with a Bestinvest account
Online is the preferred way to buy and sell stocks and shares with Bestinvest. The moment you start dealing telephonically, expect to see a sharp decline in your capital as those fees are markedly higher than online trading.
The trading platform is simple enough to navigate, however it can do with some additional widgets to make the trades a little simpler. This includes the addition of fast fund facts and market indicators. While the information is available elsewhere on the site, it would make trading a little easier. Investing in a more intuitive platform might make Bestinvest rank with some of the top investment brokers in the UK.
There is no cost to open the account and there is no minimum balance required, however, most funds have a minimum opening deposit of £50.
While Bestinvest’s platform is not the fanciest out there, it does get the job done. It also provides information that makes the share dealing process simpler; however, as I’ve said before, there are platforms that offer more.
Things to watch out for
Stick to online trading. The hefty fees kick in when you decide to pick up the phone. It also helps to keep an eye on the fund fees to know whether your fund is just going to erode your investment capital.
Service and support
Telephonic support is rated as one of the best in the UK. Expect to be met by courteous and professional staff.
Is a Bestinvest account right for you?
If you’re looking for a Stocks and Shares ISA that requires little intervention from you as an investor then this might be a good fit. The fees are relatively low for an ISA product that’s actively managed.
If you want a little more say in your investment strategy, you might be better off with an investment platform that’s a little more responsive.