AJ Bell is a private limited company that provides online investment platforms and stockbroker services. It was formed in Manchester in 1995 by Andy Bell and Nicholas Littlefair.
AJ Bell was set up to make investing as easy as possible for its customers. Its core values include:
For retirement, AJ Bell offers self invested personal pensions (SIPPs), to help you save up for retirement. The SIPP lets you make decisions to determine what your pension is invested in and how it performs, so it’s more suitable for experienced investors.
There are also a range of products available for the little ones, if you want to start saving for their future now. This includes a junior dealing account, a junior ISA (JISA) and a junior SIPP.
Whether you’re saving for your future or your children’s, AJ Bell has a range of products designed to suit you. These include:
AJ Bell offers several different types of ISA, the stocks and shares ISA, a lifetime ISA (LISA) and a junior ISA. We review the junior ISA in the junior products section below.
The stocks and shares ISA is an accessible savings account. You can invest up to the annual ISA allowance (£20,000 for the 2020/2021 tax year) without paying any tax on any gains you make.
Lifetime ISAs can help you save up for your first home or retirement. They have some generous tax benefits, so for every £4 you put in, the government will add £1 (up to a maximum bonus of £1000 per year).
This is a nice way to top up your retirement fund or your deposit towards a house by up to £32,000.
Lifetime ISAs aren’t accessible in the way that the stocks and shares ISA is. This means that you can’t withdraw willy nilly. If you choose to withdraw for anything other than the purchase of your first home or retirement then you pay a withdrawal charge of 25%, so you could end up with less than you put in.
All of AJ Bell’s ISAs let you invest in a range of investments. You can choose what you want to invest in from stocks, shares, funds, investment trusts and exchange-traded funds (ETFs).
You can choose between investing a lump sum (from £500) or investing regular monthly sums of £25 or more. If you want to, you can do a combination of both.
Setting up an AJ Bell YouInvest stocks and shares ISA is done online and may require some additional documents. If you want to transfer an existing ISA then you can do this too. You’ll need:
AJ Bell’s pension product offers you a great level of freedom, meaning it’s quite suitable for those with experience in investing and know what they’re doing. This does mean that you could lose the money you put in.
What can I invest in?
As with the ISA, AJ Bell’s SIPP gives you access to a range of investments, including:
For those who want their SIPP managed for them, AJ Bell offers a platinum SIPP service. The main difference between this and the Youinvest SIPP is that you can appoint any UK authorised investment manager to run the SIPP for you. Features of the AJ Bell Platinum SIPP include:
AJ Bell’s dealing account gives you access to all the same investments as the ISAs, without the ISA wrapping. This means that there aren’t limits to how much you can invest in and you can make withdrawals whenever you want.
The dealing account is “execution only”. This means that you don’t get advice on what to invest in, so you need to be comfortable making your own investment decisions.
Features of AJ Bell’s dealing account include:
You can start saving for your children’s futures nice and early, with AJ Bell’s Junior ISA (JISA) and Junior SIPP
The JISA allows you to save up to £9,000 per year tax-free until they turn 18.
The Junior SIPP allows you to invest up to £2,880 per year with a 20% government top-up.
Both accounts are inaccessible until the child’s 18th birthday or when they retire, depending on which one you choose to go with. Plus, anyone can contribute, which is good for those over-eager grandparents or keen aunties (guilty as charged!).
You get great tax benefits with the junior products, but they have different limits.
AJ Bell Youinvest is part of the AJ Bell Group, which is a financially secure and regulated company. AJ Bell Securities Limited is a member of the London Stock Exchange and is regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority. It complies with the rules and guidelines of the FCA and is subject to review in the form of individual interviews, document review and deep-dive visits.
Your money is held in FCA approved banks and is protected under the FCA rules. Under AJ Bell Youinvest you are also covered by the Financial Services Compensation Scheme which means you could claim up to £80,000 if AJ Bell were to go bust.
The following fees and charges apply for all AJ Bell accounts.
For the shares in your account, including investment trusts, ETFs, gilts and bonds.
Buying and selling shares cost £9.95 per deal, or £4.95 if there were more than 10 or more online share deals in the previous month.
|Value of investment||Charge|
|All investments||0.25% of the value of the shares in your account up to £7.50 per quarter (£25 for the SIPPs and £5 for junior ISA)|
For the funds in your account including unit trusts, OEICs and structured products
To buy and sell investments (per deal) it will cost £1.50.
|Value of investment||Charge|
|On the first £250,000 of funds||0.25%|
|On the value between £250,000 and £1m||0.10%|
|On the value between £1m and £2m||0.05%|
|On the value of funds over £2m||No charge|
In terms of learning resources and tools, AJ Bell doesn’t have as much on offer that Hargreaves Lansdown and IG have, but it does have a nice selection of guides for all the products it has available, as well as a jargon buster.
AJ Bell also has a list of favourite funds to help you choose your investments. There’s a filter tool which lets you find a fund that suits you. You can filter by your investment goal, the type of fund and the sectors.
When deciding on the list, AJ Bell considers loads of different factors, including:
Customers like that there’s a large range of funds available to invest in and mainly claimed to never have had an issue with the service over many years of using it.
A couple of customers feel that AJ Bell doesn’t offer anything that you can’t get elsewhere and that the guidance on the site isn’t very clear.
Overall, AJ Bell is quite a good investment platform. It has plenty of different markets and products available, including junior products, which is a nice touch.
It could definitely have more learning resources and tools that help out beginners. You can pass control over to an expert to do it all for you, but you’ll never learn anything. There are loads of platforms with really good resources though, such as HL, IG and Trading 212.
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.
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