How our ratings work

Investors have a huge number of options when choosing where to invest and which products to buy.

Our Boring Money Best Buys 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 need to offer a simple user experience and a small range of solid investment options. For experienced investors, they need to offer a wider range of investment options.

Our Best Buys are strictly independent. We make no money from click-throughs or sneaky deals. If we changed all of our Best Buys tomorrow, it would make no impact on our revenues.

The small print

Different investors want different things from an investment provider – depends if you're a beginner or a Wolf of Wall Street. So, each Best Buy comes with a suggestion about who it suits.

For novice investors:

  • The investment provider 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. Since the service is often bundled together with the investments, when we look at cost we analyse the total cost to the investor.

 For experienced investors:

  • The investment provider must provide access to a wide range of investments from different investment managers. In terms of cost, for those services suitable for experienced investors we just look at the cost of the ‘platform’, since investors are free to pick from thousands of funds with different prices.

Our scoring

  • We gather reviews from platform users. These reviews currently make up 25% of the score.
  • Each provider is rated by at least two of the Boring Money team, based on their website, ease of use, service and the quality of their communications. This is currently 26% of the final rating.
  • We also rate platforms on phone customer service, based on their opening hours and the time they take to answer the phone – 4% of the final score.
  • Cost is scored based on how expensive they are for small and large portfolios and makes 30% of the final score.
    • For services that we categorise as better for novice investors this is based on the all-in cost including investment charges.
    • For platforms it is just based on the platform charge.
    • We’ve also based the cost score on the cost to the type of customer we’re saying they are appropriate – so since we say fixed-fee platforms are better for larger portfolios we’ve scored them on cost for large portfolios.
  • Finally, we have a score for longevity and size as a proxy for platforms’ long-term viability. We’re not saying that newer or smaller platforms won’t be around in 10 years, just that we’d like to wait and see before we recommend them. This is 15% of the score.
  • All the scores are combined and Best Buys given to the top scoring platforms for experienced investors and top providers for novice investors.