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abrdn review

Find out what we thought of abrdn and how its service plans work.

abrdn, pronounced “Aberdeen” and formerly Standard Life Aberdeen is an investment company based in Edinburgh. It offers a range of investments, including access to individual savings accounts (ISAs) and pensions. It also offers financial advice and wealth management.

abrdn ISAs

abrdn offers a stocks and shares ISA which lets you invest up to a set allowance each year (£20,000 in the 2024/2025) without having to pay any tax on your profits.

You can choose to invest a sum of money in one go, known as a lump sum, or you can make regular payments. You can invest in abrdn’s ready-made portfolios or choose individual funds to invest in.

How to open an abrdn ISA

It’s really easy to get started with an abrdn ISA, you’ll just need your national insurance number, a form of ID and some payment information to fund your account. Here’s how to get started:

  1. Open an account. You can do this on the abrdn website. You’ll need to give some personal details, so have these ready.
  2. Choose between ready-made portfolios or DIY investing. Ready-made portfolios are great for beginners, while DIY investing is great for more confident investors.
  3. Choose how to pay into your account. You can either make regular payments or invest a lump sum.
  4. Get started. You’re ready to make your first investment!.

Investments available with abrdn

You can’t invest in individual shares with abrdn. You’re able to choose individual funds to invest in, which is its “DIY” option, or you can choose a ready-made portfolio, which it calls the “Easy” option. Here’s how they both work.

DIY

DIY lets you choose from abrdn’s selection of funds. You can filter the funds available on the platform using its screener, which lets you choose an asset manager, class and investment style. You’re also able to search for specific funds, if you have one in mind.

The DIY option is completely in your control — you’ll need to keep an eye on your portfolio and rebalance it yourself. You’re able to choose between more than 3,000 mutual funds. There’s a list of funds on the website that abrdn keeps up to date regularly.

Easy

abrdn has a range of ready-made portfolios, which it calls the “Easy option”. As the name suggests, it’s a lot more passive than DIY investing, as you simply choose a portfolio, set up payments or invest a lump sum and sit back. The portfolios are called MyFolio index funds and they range from low risk to high risk, with higher potential returns for higher risk choices.

Here are the funds and their risk profiles — the higher the risk, the more holdings there will be in equities (company shares), lower risk funds will have less equities and more bonds, which are essentially IOUs from companies and governments.

FundRisk level
MyFolio Index I FundLower risk
MyFolio Index II FundLow to medium risk
MyFolio Index III FundMedium risk
MyFolio Index IV FundMedium to high risk
MyFolio Index V FundHigher risk

abrdn financial advice

abrdn offers financial advice for a range of different financial needs, including retirement advice, investment advice and wealth management.

Retirement advice

abrdn also offers information on retirement. You can use its online calculator to find out your retirement income — it asks a few questions about your pension, savings and income and lets you know how much you could have as an income in retirement.

In just a few clicks, you’re able to book a free 15 minute call with an expert. When we checked, we were able to book a call within 24 hours, which is exceptional availability. In the call you can chat with a financial planning expert to ask questions about whether you need additional financial planning services.

If you go ahead with focused retirement advice, you’ll get a dedicated financial adviser and will pay a one-off fee and an ongoing fee, which would be a percentage of the assets managed.

Investment advice

You’re able to get advice on choosing and managing investments with abrdn. Like its retirement advice, you start out with a free 15 minute call to get an idea of how abrdn can help you with your investments.

abrdn can help you with choosing investments; environmental, social and governance (ESG); and sustainable investing. An adviser can also help you with expert advice on managing your investment portfolio.

If you choose to get advice, your adviser will spend some time getting to know you, including how you feel about risk, your financial situation, what you’ve already got saved and what it’s currently invested in (if at all). They’ll build you a strategy based on the information they collect and keep checking in with you to make any changes, if they need to.

Wealth management

Wealth management covers financial planning, investment management, tax planning, powers of attorney, trusts, philanthropy, inheritance tax planning, wills and nominations.

As with investment advice, you’ll get an initial consultation for free to determine the next steps you could take and your need for advice — after this, you’ll pay for the services you need.

Fees

The fees you’ll pay will depend on what services you need.

abrdn ISA fees

Investment valueAnnual fee
The first £200,000 invested0.35%
Anything over £200,0000.20%

abrdn advice fees

ServiceWhat you’ll getFee
Initial consultationThe chance to see if you need advice and understand how you can benefit from advice.Free
Focused retirement adviceExpert advice, with detailed recommendations. Everything will be set up for you once you’re happy.£999 one-off fee and 0.5% ongoing charge
Complex financial planning and adviceA dedicated adviser, expert advice and detailed recommendations. Everything will be set up for you once you’re happy.1-1.5% one-off fee and a 0.69% ongoing charge

Bottom line

abrdn’s best service is its financial advice. We like that it offers a free consultation to work out whether you require advice and how abrdn can assist you. abrdn’s investment service doesn’t match up with some of its competitors — you can only choose between funds and its ready-made portfolios, which would work for you if this is all you are looking for. Its fees for both investments and advice is pretty low in comparison to other providers.

This article offers information about investing and the stock market, but is not personal investing advice. The value of investments can fall as well as rise, and you may get back less than you invested. Past performance is no guarantee of future results. If you’re not sure which investments are right for you, please get professional advice, for example from a financial adviser.

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