How our ratings work
Investors have a huge number of options when choosing where to invest and which products to buy. Here are some details on how we rate providers.
Our Boring Money Best Buys (https://www.boringmoney.co.uk/isas-pensions/isas-pensions/) are awarded to reputable firms, with decent products which are sensibly priced and are well-rated by their customers.
For novice investors, that means they must have a small range of easily understandable investments – a sort of pre-packaged investment 'ready-meal' which does lots of the heavy lifting for you. For experienced investors, they must either provide access to a wide range of investments from different investment managers or assume a higher level of knowledge about investments.
Our Best Buys are strictly independent. We make no money from click-throughs or sneaky deals. If we changed all our Best Buys tomorrow, it would make no impact on our revenues.
The Best Buys are divided up into four categories: ISA, Pensions, Best for Beginners and Best for Sustainable Investors.
Winners of a Best Buy for ISA and Pension all gained a “We Say” score of 3.8 or more out of 5 based on the cited criteria and have more than 40 customer reviews to ensure an adequate customer voice.
For our Best for Beginners, we have adjusted the criteria slightly. We have adjusted the weighting of our normal scoring to focus more heavily on guidance, clarity of language and the support that is available to investors. We have only included the costs for the novice investment scenarios, which have been described in more detail below. Additionally, we have removed the minimum number of customer reviews criteria.
Best Buys for Sustainable Investors are given to providers who have an overall Boring Money score of 3.5 or above, a customer ‘recommend score’ of 70% or above and a simple, guided buy journey to a narrow range of sustainable investments or portfolios.
Our 'We Say' scores
Our scores are based on a range of criteria:
Each provider is rated by the Boring Money team, based on their website, ease of use, service and the quality of their communications and content. In particular, we use live accounts to look at what it is like to be a real customer. This is currently 33% of the final rating.
We gather reviews from platform users. These reviews currently make up 30% of the score, with a weighting applied according to the date of the review.
Cost is scored based on the type of proposition offered and makes 25% of the final score. The cost score is based on several different scenarios, each with different sums of money and amounts of activity, split across 2 broad categories:
Novice investors, where we include investment charges, since the service is often bundled together with the investments.
Buy and hold investors, where we just look at the cost of the ‘platform’, as investors are free to pick from thousands of funds with different prices.
We also rate platforms on phone customer service, based on their call centre opening hours and the time they take to answer the phone. This accounts for 6% of the final score.
Providers are scored according to ‘future stability’ based on the size of their platform and their longevity in the market, which makes up the final 6% of the score.