The website is big, bold and professional
But carries a large amount of industry-speak, leaving something that is visually quite appealing
What we say
Easy to use and engaging information. Bestinvest has spent time and effort on their fund research pages and the revised journey enables improved comparison as well as helpful, well-signposted investment details and information. Competitive pension charges especially for larger accounts.
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Mobile & Apps
No mobile app exists. When not logged in, pages are mobile optimised. However we are yet to find a single page once logged in that's mobile optimised. There's a lot to be done here to improve the mobile usability.
Behind the scenes
The site has been upgraded over 2018 and it is now much easier to navigate around, managing a portfolio but also reading up on the markets and getting tips and ideas on what funds to pick. This service will suit the all-round investor - the purist share trader wont like it and the novice will feel a bit at sea. But for those who want to do a bit of reading, and manage their own portfolio, without needing to be an expert, it's a good option.
There are lots of useful calculators available and the fund research is good.
The 'Geeky' Details
Bestinvest is a decent online investment platform, which offers a solid pension option. The website has plenty of guides and investment research available once you're in. It also has a range of ready-made portfolios and pre-packaged investment choices, as well as individual company shares and a wide range of investment fund choice.
There’s a fair bit of technical information and fund research, so it’s more likely to suit those who are more experienced.
The platform has several own-brand multi-asset funds (ready-made options) available in both passive and active options. Confusingly called the IFSL Tilney range. The charges for these active options are broadly in line with (equally pricey) comparable industry alternatives and range from 1.47% to 1.54%. It is hard to think why an investor choosing a passive multi-asset option, with the platform fee on top, would pick this route to market.
Bestinvest’s pension offering, known as ‘The Best SIPP’, has a 0.3% annual platform charge that reduces to 0.2% for sums greater than £250k and has no additional admin costs on any money above and over the £1m mark. This platform charge is accompanied by a £120 annual SIPP admin fee. There are however no fund dealing charges - so for investors putting small amounts into a few different funds on a monthly basis it is pretty low cost.
For investors looking to decumulate their pension, there is a £120 initial calculation fee. For SIPPs under £100k (after withdrawing tax-free cash) there is a £120 annual charge for income payments. This fee is waived for SIPPs over £100k. Ad hoc income payments are charged at £30 and annuity purchases through Bestinvest cost £90.
Closing fees only apply if the account is closed within two years of opening; £348 if within the first year and £210 if within the second.
For those looking to transfer their pension, Bestinvest will currently pay up to £500 towards any exit fees applied by existing providers, subject to their T&Cs.
Important Facts & Figures
Mid-sized investment platform administering around £2.7bn
£100 minimum lump sum investment
£50 minimum monthly contribution