This piece was written by Pension Times and reviewed by Bestinvest for compliance purposes as part of a paid partnership.
With so many ways to manage your finances and wealth, it can be tough to know the right way to go. Investing can be a highly effective way of growing your hard-earned cash. With a healthier pot of money, you can retire with a certain level of lifestyle. But remember, the value of an investment can go down as well as up and you may get back less than originally invested.
Many people are now turning to online platforms to invest. But, the financial services industry has almost infinite wealth management service providers. Here, we see what exactly Bestinvest has to offer to see if they could be a fit for your investment goals.
Who is Bestinvest?
Bestinvest, part of Evelyn Partners Group Limited, was initially founded in 1986 by John Spiers to help investors with their wealth management. Now, with its online investment platform, the company aims to make investment management accessible and affordable for all.
It has a wide range of products on offer, in addition to a number of features, such as:
- Free expert coaching.
- Planning tools.
- Competitive pricing.
Additionally, Bestinvest’s approach to customer service is excellent, as seen by them winning the Best Customer Service Provider at the 2021 Shares Awards.
Products Bestinvest offers
Bestinvest has several products through which you can invest. Let’s explore some of the most popular.
Bestinvest offers a SIPP (self-invested personal pension) product so you can use their platform to buy, sell or switch your pension investments. Through their platform, you can check the value of your pension, and when it comes to your retirement, you can take an income in the most appropriate way for your needs. So, you can either buy an annuity, set up income drawdown or make lump sum withdrawals.
A Bestinvest SIPP can be a good value investment vehicle for your retirement, thanks to its tiered service fees. Those fees mean the larger your pension, the lower your fees. The standard service fee is 0.4%. Also, there are no set-up charges when you open a Bestinvest SIPP. Bestinvest can pay up to £500 towards any exit fees to existing providers who may charge you to transfer out of their pension products (T&Cs apply).
Having a Bestinvest SIPP doesn’t automatically mean you have to run your own portfolio. While you absolutely can take a ‘DIY’ approach, you can also have Bestinvest experts manage your investments through ready-made portfolios. Bestinvest’s service fees for these ready-made portfolios starts at 0.2% a year on the funds you have held within them (with a minimum service fee of £10 per month). Your own individual share dealing would cost £4.95 a trade, and buying or selling investment funds is free.
Using the experts can be a good ‘bridge’ if you want the flexibility that a SIPP provides, whilst perhaps not having the in-depth knowledge to be fully comfortable investing on your own. SIPPs are not suitable for everyone, though. If you don’t want to invest across different asset classes or don’t think you will make use of the investment choices that SIPPs give you, then a SIPP might not be right for you.
You can also open a pension for any children or grandchildren with Bestinvest. With a Child SIPP, you can contribute up to £2,880 a year on behalf of a child. Due to children's long time horizon until retirement age (age 55), even small amounts can grow substantially, helping them come retirement. However, as ever, your investment value can always fall and rise.
Prevailing tax rates and reliefs depend on your individual circumstances and are subject to change.
Bestinvest offers two types of ISA products: Stocks and Shares, and Junior. ISAs are a tax-efficient way of investing your money, as gains made through an ISA are exempt from capital gains tax and dividends are free from income tax. You can invest up to £20,000 per tax year in a stocks and shares ISA and £9,000 in a Junior ISA, a sizeable amount that can grow without incurring tax liabilities. As a result, they can be popular ways to build up wealth over time.
Stocks and shares ISA
The Bestinvest Stocks and Shares ISA allows you to invest through a diverse range of assets, including shares, funds, investment trusts and bonds.
The number of funds Bestinvest offers its account holders exemplifies that diversity. Currently, Bestinvest offers over 1,600 funds, UK shares, investment trusts and exchange traded funds (ETFs). While that may sound like a lot, the company offers a user-friendly search tool that simplifies picking investments. The company also provides free guides and articles with vital insights to help support investment decisions.
If you'd benefit from expert assistance, you can invest in ready-made portfolios like with a SIPP. They have the same annual service fee, starting at 0.2% on the funds you have held within them. In-house experts run these portfolios, so if you do not feel confident building your own portfolio or simply don’t have the time to manage your investments, these can be a good solution.
Bestinvest also offers a Junior ISA product, so you don’t have to go elsewhere to open one. Junior ISAs are for your own children, but you can contribute to one for your grandchildren, too. Their parents will need to open it, however.
Any income and gains made on investments are free from tax. You can invest up to £9,000 per tax year for your kids or grandchildren and help them reach investment goals from a very early age.
Bestinvest’s Junior ISAs are similar to their Stocks and Shares ISAs. The platform makes investing straightforward, with Bestinvest on hand to offer support along the way if you need it.
General investment account
Often referred to as an ‘investment account’, this Bestinvest product also gives you access to share dealing - including trading UK shares, US shares and other investment vehicles such as exchange-traded funds (ETFs). You may want to open an investment account with Bestinvest if you have used up all your annual ISA and pension contribution allowances or if those products are not quite right for your specific situation.
Opening the account is hassle-free and quick. You can open one using the company’s UK-based team or simply by setting it up online with your debit card. Once you’ve opened your account, you’ll be able to invest in the funds and other investment vehicles Bestinvest offers.
Bestinvest’s investment account also offers access to fund fact sheets for your due diligence, guides, and articles that can make investing a little more straightforward.
As with Stocks and Shares ISAs and SIPPs, you can take a hands-off approach to investing using the ‘ready-made’ portfolios on offer. They have the same annual service fees starting at 0.2% a year on the funds within them. Or, you can use the free expert coaching from qualified financial planners to increase your knowledge to run your portfolio.
Advantages to using Bestinvest
When reviewing Bestinvest, we identified the following benefits which may make it attractive to you as a potential investor.
Free investment coaching
Bestinvest’s free financial coaching is a fantastic feature that provides you and other account holders with guidance from a qualified financial planner. Within a coaching session, the investment expert will talk through financial markets with you directly and help you set realistic goals and make informed investment decisions.
Having this financial coaching can provide you with much-needed confidence to conduct your financial planning by better understanding the investment strategies available to you and wider market dynamics.
Smart planning tool
Bestinvest's planning tool could make it easier for you to map out your financial future. By considering your risk tolerance, this tool can empower you to take control of your investments and wider wealth management. Over time, you will improve your financial literacy and make investing more accessible.
Another valuable feature of Bestinvest is its investment insights. They help you run your investments more easily by helping you understand potential investments more quickly as they’re easy to read and clearly explain a number of complicated ideas. They also have their quirkily named ‘Spot the Dog’ tool, highlighting the funds that have been performing poorly for you. It allows you to navigate the stock market more transparently and offers timely and comprehensive information.
Is Bestinvest good to invest with?
Picking an investment platform is always a highly personal choice, as everyone’s financial situation differs. However, at the very least, we believe the many benefits of Bestinvest could make it an attractive option for many different types of investors.
Not only does it offer the aforementioned free investment coaching, smart planning tools, investment insights and many investment products, but it also offers all this simply and clearly. For instance, their The Best™ Funds List is easy to navigate to find specific funds that may interest you.
In the world of wealth management, Bestinvest shines as a strong contender. Their diverse range of products, competitive pricing structure, and solid industry reputation make them an attractive option to many.
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