How does Barclays investing work?
With Barclays you can choose between three different investment approaches depending on how much help you want with your investments.
You have three different strategies to choose from. This is based on your experience with investing and how much help you think you need. Barclays helpfully sorts out the three options based on how much experience you have with investing and how much help you want.
Here’s a brief explanation of what each choice involves. We explain them in more detail further down.
- I want some help. This is for you if you don’t have much investing experience. Your investments are chosen for you and managed for you.
- I need some inspiration. This option gives you a little more control, but not much. You can choose between 5 ready-made portfolios.
- I’m confident choosing investments. With this option, you’re on your own. You can create a portfolio yourself which includes whatever you want.
Click on one of the buttons below to scroll down to find out about how each of these work and which would be most suited to you.
What products are available with Barclays?
With Barclays, you have three product options to choose from. Which one you go for depends on your investments in the current tax year and how long you plan to invest.
The products available with Barclays are:
- Individual savings account (ISA). This account lets you invest without paying tax on your profits.
- Self-invested personal pension (SIPP). This is a type of personal pension that gives you more control over your investments.
- General investment account. A standard investment account with no tax benefits.
This has the same characteristics as ISAs with other providers – we have a whole guide on stocks and shares ISAs if you’re not familiar with them.
You can invest up to a certain amount each tax year without paying tax on your profits, known as your personal allowance. The allowance for the 2021/2022 tax year is £20,000
Each year, you can open and pay into a new ISA or continue with the one you have, but you can’t pay into two of the same type of ISA in one financial year (April-March).
The self-invested personal pension (SIPP for short) lets you prepare for retirement. You make your own investment decisions and may be entitled to tax relief on the amounts that you pay in.
You can’t withdraw from your SIPP until you turn 55.
You can invest in one of the ready-made portfolios or choose your own investments with the Barclays SIPP. You can also check out the Barclays funds list, which is a list of funds put together by Barclays experts.
Barclays general investment account
The general investment account is usually chosen by people who have already used their ISA allowance for the year, or are already paying into an ISA.
There are no limits on this account, but you may have to pay capital gains tax on your profits if you make more than £12,300, so it takes a bit more thought than the ISA.
How do you pay into your Barclays investment account?
There are three ways that you can fund your investments – these let you pay in a way that suits you. The three options are:
- Make one-off payments or regular payments by direct debit
- Pay in with your debit card whenever you fancy it
- Transfer investments that you’ve already got with another provider
Option 1: I want some help
Barclays Plan and Invest
Barclays Plan and Invest is for you if you’re not a very experienced investor. If you choose this option then Barclays asks you a range of questions about your finances, how you feel about investment risk, how much you plan to invest and how long you want to invest for.
It asks you these questions every year to make sure that your investments consistently match up with your goals.
Barclays then sets up an investment plan for you, which shows you:
- How much you can afford to invest. This is both straight away and on a monthly basis.
- The likelihood of reaching your goal. This also shows what you can do to boost your investments.
- Your suggested strategy. Barclays tells you the strategy it believes is right for you and how it will adjust it over time.
- The combination of ISA and/or Investment Account. It will make sure it’s investing in a tax-efficient way for you.
You need to invest £5,000 in cash or as a transfer with this option.
Option 2: I’d like some inspiration
Barclays ready-made investments
This is for those who are looking for ready-made portfolios. Barclays has a selection of experts who know what they’re doing, and will attempt to balance the portfolios to make you some profit. Of course, this isn’t guaranteed.
There are 5 different portfolios available, all slightly different in terms of how they aim to return and the risks involved. It’s really easy to invest like this – you just choose the portfolio based on your risk tolerance, open an account and leave Barclays to it.
|Name||Risk||Balance||Barclays describes it as…|
|Defensive||Lowest, but not risk free||25% cash, 57% bonds and 18% shares||Like riding a bike with stabilisers on|
|Cautious||A little riskier, but still quite low risk||16% cash, 51% bonds and 33% shares||Taking the stabilisers off your bike – you might wobble slightly, but it’s not too dangerous|
|Balanced||Medium||8% cash, 39% bonds and 53% shares||Riding a bike on the road, but still in the cycle lane|
|Growth||Higher risk – for those who want to take some chances||2% cash, 24% bonds and 74% shares||Riding off-road – but making sure you’re wearing a helmet and knee pads|
|Adventurous||The highest risk fund that Barclays offers – for those willing to take a large risk of loss for the chance of getting a great reward||2% cash, 11% bonds, 87% shares||Riding down a mountain – you could suffer serious harm but the exhilaration could be worth it|
Option 3: I’m confident choosing investments
Barclays Smart Investor
It’s in the name. If you know what you’re doing (and really know, rather than have just read a few Reddit threads) then this is the choice for you.
With this option, you can choose from thousands of investments. These include funds, equities and bonds. If you want, you can use the Barclays Research Centre to get information about the market to help you make decisions.
What you can invest in with Barclays Smart Investor
Through a Barclays Investment Account or an Investment ISA you can get access to the following:
|Investment type||Available with Barclays?|
Barclays has insights and research from its team to help you make informed and confident decisions, as well as the latest developments and news in the global markets so you can keep up to date with the latest trends.
What are the benefits of the Barclays investment account?
- Open account in minutes (if you have a Barclays current account)
- Benefit from Barclays Price Improver. This gives you better prices than the ones quoted on the London Stock Exchange nearly all of the time
- Thousands of investment opportunities
- Access to Barclays’ ready-made investments
- Take advantage of experts’ views and opinions and use the research centre
- You can invest from just £50, or £25 for recurring investments
Is Barclays safe?
Barclays is one of the largest banks in the world and is well trusted by those who use Barclays direct investing. It has several procedures and protocols in place to ensure that your money is kept safe and secure at all times.
Barclays is also regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) and is bound by its rules and regulations in the conduct of its investment business. Your investments are protected by the Financial Services Compensation Scheme (FSCS) which means your deposits are covered up to £85,000 if Barclays goes bust.
Barclays share dealing fees
There are a couple of different types of fees you are charged.
This is for maintaining your service. It’s charged annually, but does not include cash in your account.
|Investment type||Customer fee (per year)||Minimum fee (per year)||Maximum fee (per year)|
|Other investment types||0.1%||£4||£125|
This fee is charged every time you buy or sell an investment.
|Investment type||Transaction fee|
|Other investment types||£6|
|Telephone investments (all types)||£25|
|Automated regular investments (all types)||£1|
Barclays customer reviews
We surveyed 750 people in December 2020. Barclays share dealing customers find it to be reliable and easy to use. Customers like that it’s got an app and they find the dashboard useful.
Barclays has online chat and help over the phone if you have any questions. Its lines are open 7:30am to 7:00pm Monday to Thursday, 7:30am to 6:00pm on Friday and it’s closed during weekends and public holidays.
How to sign up for Barclays share trading
It’s really easy to get started with share dealing; here’s how:
- Open an account. You need to choose which account you want: an ISA, a general investment account or self-invested personal pension.
- Fund your account. Barclays asks for your bank details in the sign-up process.
- Choose your investments. Barclays has loads to choose from – take a look above at what you can invest in.
- Invest. You’re good to go!
Pros and cons of Barclays share trading
- Low fees. For stocks, ETFs, funds and bonds, the fees are pretty reasonable.
- Search function and ideas. Barclays has organised the available investments by type. You can search for investments and browse its ideas.
- Good research. Barclays has an expert team to offer research, ideas and strategies to help you decide what you want to do.
- Limited charting tools. There are better tools available here than with apps like Freetrade but it’s not to the same standard as Hargreaves Lansdown or Fineco.
- Customer service isn’t 24 hours. If you’re more of a night owl when trading then any support you need will have to wait until the morning.
- No learning tools. If you’re a first-time investor then this might not be the platform to learn with. There’s no demo account either.
Our verdict: Is Barclays any good?
On the whole, Barclays is a good choice for share dealing, especially if you already have a current account with it, in the interests of keeping everything in one place. The fact that it’s with an already established and well-known bank can give extra peace of mind. It has reasonable fees and a selection of ready-made portfolios.
Get started by visiting Barclays and opening an account. If you’re just starting out with investing, you might prefer a share dealing platform that’s got more learning tools and resources. Compare other share trading platforms with our comparison table.Back to top
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