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Bestinvest review

Is Bestinvest the best platform to invest your money?

Bestinvest is an investment platform that lets you invest in a huge range of investment types in several different account types, including flexible ISAs, pensions and junior products. One of the stand out features of Bestinvest is that it offers free coaching, so investors can make a financial plan with expert help. We’ve detailed some of the features and fees of Bestinvest, as well as some pros and cons of the platform.

Bestinvest products

Bestinvest
Stocks and shares ISA
Lifetime ISA (LISA)
Pension
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Bestinvest has a huge range of account types that you can invest in, including general investment accounts, individual savings accounts (ISAs), junior accounts and self invested personal pensions (SIPPs). These all have different advantages and disadvantages and many of them have tax benefits, which we’ll detail below.

Bestinvest general investment account

This is a standard Bestinvest account. There aren’t any tax advantages to the general investment account, so it’s often chosen by people that have already made use of their ISA allowance for the year. You may be liable to pay tax on any profits that you make over the capital gains tax allowance in each tax year (£12,300 in the 2021/2022 tax year).

Unlike ISAs, there aren’t any annual limits or restrictions, so you can invest to your heart’s (or wallet’s) content.

You can invest in ready-made portfolios and individual investments in your general investment account and you’d be able to get free coaching from an expert.

Bestinvest ISA

The Bestinvest ISA is pretty much the same as the general investment account, except you can use your ISA allowance. This allows you to invest up to an annual limit (£20,000 in the 2021/2022 tax year) without having to pay any tax on the profit you make.

One of the key standout features of Bestinvest is that it offers flexible ISAs, which let you withdraw some of your money and pay it back into your ISA in the same tax year without impacting your ISA allowance. Usually, if you were to withdraw money and pay it back in, each deposit would count towards the ISA allowance.

As with the general investment account, you can invest in either ready-made portfolios or individual investments in the Bestinvest ISA.

Bestinvest junior ISA (JISA)

Bestinvest also offers a junior equivalent of the stocks and shares ISA. It’s pretty similar to the ISA, except a few key things:

  • Money paid into the ISA belongs to the child, but they won’t get access until they turn 18.
  • The JISA allowance is £9,000 (in the 2021/2022 tax year), so you can invest up to £9,000 into your child’s ISA each year without being charged on any profits the investments make.
  • A parent or legal guardian needs to open the ISA, but anyone can pay into it (perfect for overenthusiastic grandparents or aunties).

You can create your child’s portfolio with either individual investments or ready-made portfolios. You’re able to rebalance it whenever you like — it can make for a great learning experience if your child is old enough.

Bestinvest SIPP

The Bestinvest SIPP is a type of pension product that gives you additional flexibility in what you invest in. You can choose to invest in one of Bestinvest’s ready-made portfolios, or you can choose from its range of shares, funds and exchange-traded funds.

There are tax benefits to investing in SIPPs, similar to ISAs. You can invest up to £40,000 per year in your combined pensions, including payments into a defined contribution scheme by you or your employer and increases in a defined benefit scheme. If you are within this allowance, then you won’t have to pay any tax on your contributions.

With a pension, you won’t be able to withdraw your money until you’re 55 years old. This changes from time to time, and may depend on your birth year.

What stocks can I trade with Bestinvest?

Bestinvest
UK - London Stock Exchange
US - NASDAQ
US - New York Stock Exchange
Canada - Toronto Stock Exchange
Euronext
Germany - Deutsche Börse
Keep in mindCapital at risk
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You can’t trade stocks on any stock exchange other than the London Stock Exchange, which is a little disappointing. You can still access overseas shares through funds, exchange-traded funds and venture capital trusts, but you won’t be able to choose individual shares from overseas.

There are more than 2,000 shares available to choose from with Bestinvest.

What types of investments can I trade with Bestinvest?

Investment typeAvailable with Bestinvest?
Shares
Funds
ETFs
Investment trusts
Venture capital trusts
Ready-made portfolios

Bestinvest individual investments

Bestinvest has a really good range of investment types available (known as “financial instruments”), so you can build a really diverse portfolio of investments. You can choose between UK shares, funds, exchange-traded funds (ETFs), investment trusts and venture capital trusts (VCTs)

Bestinvest ready-made portfolios

Alongside individual investments, you can invest in ready-made portfolios, which are bundles of investments put together by experts. With these, you’ll simply state how much you’d like to invest, top up and start investing.

Bestinvest has 15 ready-made portfolios available, split between “Smart” and “Expert”.

Smart portfolios invest mainly in passive investments, such as ETFs that mirror the FTSE100 or other indices. They’re considered passive because experts do not have to make adjustments regularly.

Meanwhile, Expert portfolios invest in a range of funds and are actively managed by experts. You’ll have investments across a range of different asset classes and your portfolio will be checked regularly to ensure that it keeps up with your investment goals.

Bestinvest fees

Trading fees

Trade typeFee
Buying or selling shares or ETFs£4.95 per trade
Buying or selling fundsFree
Limit ordersFree
Inactivity feeFree
Telephone orders£30 per trade

Ready-made portfolio fees

For investments under £250,000 in a self invested personal pension, there’s a minimum fee of £120 per year.

Investment amountAnnual fee
£0 – £250,0000.2%
£250,000 – £500,0000.2%
£500,000 – £1m0.1%
£1m and aboveNo charge

The fees you’ll pay will depend on how you choose to invest. Ready-made portfolios are charged based on a percentage of the amount you invest, while other investments are charged per trade.

Bestinvest customer satisfaction

Bestinvest
Customer help via email
Customer help over the phone
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If you need help, you can contact Bestinvest over the phone and via email. You can also request a callback.

Bestinvest also offers free investment coaching with a qualified financial planner. The coach can give you information about your investment options and help you map out a financial plan, including helping you use your tax allowances. If you’re an existing Bestinvest client then you can book an appointment once logged into your account — you can choose a date and time that works for you and answer some questions about what you’d like to achieve ahead of the appointment.

Bestinvest review: What else do I need to know?

Bestinvest is a great investment platform if you’re a beginner investor. It has some good research tools, including lists of the best funds and information about ESG investing. Bestinvest also has some excellent learning tools to teach beginners how to get started.

Bestinvest research and tools

Bestinvest has some really useful research and tools available on its platform, including “The Best Funds List”, which is its list of the best funds available to invest in. It does this with its “10 commandments”, which outlines the thought process behind the decisions.

Bestinvest also has “Spot the Dog”, which sounds like a fun game, but is actually an exposé of badly performing funds. It claims to help you spot “the runts of the litter in your portfolio”. Even if you just download the list for the cute photos of dogs, it’s worth it.

Pros and cons of Bestinvest

Pros

  • Low fees. Bestinvest’s robo-advice fees are among the lowest we’ve seen, and its share dealing fee isn’t too bad.
  • Great research. It’s evident that Bestinvest has expertise in the industry.
  • Free coaching. This is the first provider we’ve seen that offers this.
  • Flexible ISA. Many providers don’t offer flexible ISAs.

Cons

  • UK shares only. If you want to trade shares on other exchanges, you’ll need to find an alternative.
  • No mobile app. We’re expecting an app to be released in 2022.

Bottom line: Is Bestinvest any good?

Overall, Bestinvest is a pretty good investment platform. We really like that it offers flexible ISAs — there aren’t many share dealing providers that offer these. Bestinvest’s free coaching is another huge benefit of the platform, as it allows beginner investors to get some expert insight into financial planning. It’s disappointing that it doesn’t offer overseas shares and does not have a mobile app.

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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