Bestinvest Review

Read about all the ins and outs of this investment platform.

Updated: May 20, 2024
Matt Crabtree

Written By

Matt Crabtree

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Bestinvest is a well-established UK-based digital investment platform which is frequently championed as a top choice for novice investors.

Because they are part of the investment firm, Tilney LTD, customers of Bestinvest get to enjoy various add-on benefits, such as free investment coaching from a qualified financial planner, which is especially helpful for inexperienced individuals looking to expand their investing knowledge.

With so many new digital banking platforms on the market, searching for the right online investment account can be extremely tricky, especially for newcomer investors. Whether you are planning for your retirement or searching for a ready-made portfolio, this article will certainly answer all your questions about Bestinvest, to help you know if it's the platform for you.

Our expert team has created this detailed Bestinvest review to guide you through all the ins and outs of this investment platform, so you can easily determine whether its products, services and financial tools match your criteria.

Bestinvest At A Glance…

  • Offer Investing Services & Financial Advice
  • 35+ Years In The Industry
  • 46,000+ Clients
  • £3bn Assets Under Administration
  • Received More Than 20 Awards
  • Provide Various Investment Products (including ready-made portfolios, Stocks and Shares ISA, SIPPS, etc)

What Is Bestinvest?

Bestinvest is a London-based organisation that doubles up as both a financial coaching company and an investment company.

For almost 40 years, they have been providing private investors with a magnitude of bespoke services, including financial planning, investment advice, execution-only trading, and investment management.

Who Owns Bestinvest?

Bestinvest was initially founded by John Spiers in 1987 but has since merged with Tilney LTD. In 2018, Tilney amalgamated with Smith & Williamson to form Evelyn Partners (formally titled ‘Tilney Smith & Williamson Group'), hence why Bestinvest is now called ‘Bestinvest By Evelyn Partners'.

What Sort Of Investor Does Bestinvest Cater To?

In 2011, Bestinvest launched its digital services for DIY investors, looking to independently make their own investments. Because this platform is advice-heavy and jam-packed with various blog posts, guides, investment research insights, and tutorials, it's perfect for customers who are newbies to investing.

Because Bestinvest provides actively managed investment options, such as a ready-made portfolio, they don't attract individuals looking to take full control of their investments.

However, they do appeal to busy people who wish to make investments but do not have the free time to spend researching investment vehicles and tracking/maintaining their funds.

What Products, Services, And Financial Resources Do Bestinvest Provide?

In this section, we will review all the investment options, tools, and services that are available when you chose to invest with Bestinvest. While their range may seem limited, it includes all the essentials a beginner needs to start their investing journey and build an investment portfolio.

What Investment Types Can You Trade With Bestinvest?

Bestinvest has a reasonably wide selection of investment types, with a range of reputable companies available (such as JP Morgan and Vanguard). Here's an overview of the different forms of investments available with Bestinvest:

  • Shares
  • Funds
  • Exchange Traded Funds (ETFs)
  • Venture Capital Trusts (VCTs)
  • Ready-Made Portfolios
  • Investment Trusts

Bestinvest's Ready Made Portfolios

While Bestinvest allows you to choose your investments, they also offer a range of ready-made portfolios which are compiled by a qualified financial planner.

Their ready-made portfolios are exceptionally low maintenance and straightforward; all you have to do is tell Bestinvest how much money you intend on investing, top-up as you please, and let their experts do the rest. Bestinvest have a rich range of portfolios which fall into two categories: (1) ‘Smart Portfolios', (2) ‘Expert Portfolios'.

Their ‘Smart Portfolios' mostly concern passive investments (such as ETFs) which do not require regular adjustments, while their ‘Expert Portfolios' are actively managed by Bestinvest's experts, and frequently assessed to ensure your assets are performing sufficiently, in line with your investment goals.

Here are some examples of the ready-made portfolios that you can select when using this investment platform:

  • Income: Money is generated by interest, capital gains, dividends and investments
  • Defensive: Stocks are stable and deliver consistent dividends and reliable earnings regardless of the stock market's state
  • Growth: Also known as an ‘aggressive portfolio'; this approach takes greater financial risks with the hopes of greater returns
  • Maximum Growth: Just like a growth portfolio but more vigorous; these portfolios take even bigger risks on more volatile securities
  • Ethical: Investing in industries which have a positive impact on our earth and society (such as sustainable energy)
  • Adventurous: Investing in both newly surfaced and developed stocks and shares to provide higher capital growth
  • Balanced: Highly diversified with bonds, stocks, and cash to ensure minimal risk impact and maximum return potential

Investment Accounts Offered By Bestinvest

Bestinvest offers a simple tax-efficient collection of investment products. While these products are perfect for beginners, they may be too basic for more experienced investors. It is also worth pointing out that Bestinvest does not currently offer a lifetime ISA.

Here are our reviews of their most popular account options:

Bestinvest Stocks & Shares ISA

Bestinvest's ISA enables you to invest up to the annual limit of £20,000 (in accordance with the 2023/2024 tax year) without any obligation to pay tax on your generated profit.

The most attractive feature of Bestinvest's ISAs is that they are flexible, meaning you can withdraw some funds and pay them back into your account during the same tax year, without having any negative impact on your ISA allowance.

Unlike competing platforms, this investment account can be created with Bestinvest's selection of ready-made portfolios or if you prefer to take matters into your own hands, you may also choose your own investments.

Bestinvest Junior ISA (JISA)

Just like the Stocks and Shares ISA, the Junior ISA provided by Bestinvest allows you to build your child's portfolio with your choice of investments, or with the platform's ready-made portfolios. Once everything is set up, you will be able to rebalance your child's ISA whenever you wish.

While Bestinvest's Junior ISA is very similar to their Stocks and Shares ISA, there are some key differences:

  • A parent or guardian must create the JISA account, however, anyone may pay into it once it has been opened
  • The money you transfer into the Junior ISA will become your child's, but they won't be able to access it until they are 18
  • The total allowance for a JISA is currently £9,000 (in line with the 2023/2024 tax year), meaning you can deposit up to £9,000 each year without having to pay tax on any profits made

Bestinvest General Investment Account (GIA)

Unlike ISAs or SIPPs, general investment accounts do not offer any tax benefits, regardless of who you choose to open one with. Bestinvest's general investment account allows you to invest as much as you like and enables you to choose between your choice of investments, or from their collection of ready-made portfolios.

As part of opening your general investment account with Bestinvest, you will be entitled to free investment coaching, which will certainly save you from doing your own investment research.

Bestinvest SELF-INVESTED Personal Pensions (SIPP)

Bestinvest's self-invested personal pension account is their most popular product and has even picked up some awards throughout the years. Their pensions account is equipped with complimentary guidance (in case you are confused about anything), several investment strategies, and fantastic value for money.

This account option is mindfully tailored to novice investors as it includes free pension review, via the phone, with Bestinvest's financial advisors so that you can stay on top of your savings growth. This complimentary service also offers investment checks and fee reviews so that you get the most out of your account.

Bestinvest's SIPP accounts are also flexible as they give you the freedom to either select investments yourself, or use a ready-made portfolio.

If you decide to go down the DIY route, you will be pleased to know that this account is among the cheapest in the market because Bestinvest does not require you to pay any fund dealing charges, unlike most competing providers.

Similarly to an ISA, SIPPs offer tax benefits. You will be able to invest up to £40,000 (in accordance with the 2023/2024 tax year) into your combined pensions. You and your employer will also be able to pay into a defined contribution scheme without paying tax on any contributions (so long as payments are within this scheme).

It's important to note that you can't access any money invested into your pensions until you are at least 55, so be sure to only invest what you can afford.

What Stocks Can You Trade With Bestinvest?

Bestinvest boast over 2,000 shares, however, this selection is limited to the London Stock Exchange, meaning you won't be able to trade stock anywhere else. Despite this limitation, you can access shares that are overseas through funds, VCTs, and ETFs.

What Financial Resources Does Bestinvest Provide?

The main reason Bestinvest is advocated as a leading beginner-friendly investment platform is because of its fabulous variety of accommodating tools and informative research. Their ‘Learning' section on their website hosts a multitude of explanatory articles and guides, which are categorised into the following sections:

  • Investments Explained
  • ISAs Explained
  • Pensions Explained
  • Guides

Upon browsing their site, you will also discover a ‘News' section which showcases various up-to-date topics and research insights, such as investing, financial planning, market news, and so forth.

While there is an abundance of educational resources designed to cover all the basics of investing and finance, Bestinvest's platform does not get into the nitty-gritty technical side of investing (such as charts and diagrams), which may hold you back a little if you want to do some DIY investing.

Because the nature of these articles and guides avoids any complex information, we conclusively believe that more well-versed investors may not benefit a great deal from Bestinvest's resources.

Nonetheless, their materials are perfectly suited to newer investors as they are exceedingly easy to digest and are regularly updated to ensure customers receive accurate, up-to-date information.

Bestinvest's Customer Services

Bestinvest offer ‘the extra mile' when it comes to customer service. They allow people to choose Bestinvest Plus, a free bespoke service designed to provide investment ideas and recommendations, advice, and some level of financial planning.

However, it is important to acknowledge that this service does not offer tailored plans in line with your financial history, nor does it involve any investment dealing. Regardless of this, Bestinvest Plus is a wonderful way of getting some initial support (such as ready-made portfolio suggestions) before you begin investing.

In addition to Bestinvest Plus, the platform has a complete FAQ section on its site which is packed with hundreds of questions and answers covering various topics, such as ‘Legal & Protection', ‘Eligibility', ‘Password & Security', and so forth.

If you are unable to find an answer to your enquiry on the FAQ page, you can request a call back from their team via their mobile app and website.

Based on Trustpilot, Bestinvest have a decent rating of 4.4 out of 5 stars, 48% of which are 5-star reviews. Upon browsing the reviews, we noticed that customers are pleased with how knowledgeable and helpful Bestinvest's financial experts are.

The main apparent downside to their customer service is that responses are occasionally delayed and that their team are not always easy to reach.

Bestinvest App Review

At current, the free Bestinvest app has an impressive rating of 4.9 out of 5 stars on the Apple App Store. Their app boasts an array of purpose-made features which are both convenient and easy-to-use, enabling you to invest on the go, make plans, seek professional advice, and so on. Here are the key things you can do while using the Bestinvest app:

  • Monitor your investments whenever and wherever you like
  • Buy and sell ETFs, shares, and funds
  • Transfer and open a new account
  • Top-up accounts with cash and create automatic monthly contributions
  • Book a free coaching session with Bestinvest's qualified financial advisors
  • Link your accounts to family and friends
  • Use Bestinvest's exclusive smart planning tools (such as the Retirement Goal)

What Are Bestinvest's Fees & Charges?

While Bestinvest does not charge customers a set-up fee, you will be required to make an initial minimum investment of £50 so that you have some cash in your account.

Bestinvest charges their customers based on a tiered fee system which currently begins at 0.2% for ready-made portfolios and goes up to 0.4% for any other investments. Here's how their fees works:

Ready-Made Portfolios:

  • 0.2% on accounts worth between £250,000 and £500,000
  • 0.1% on accounts worth between £500,000 and £1 million
  • No charge on accounts exceeding a value of £1 million

Other Investments:

  • 0.4%* on accounts worth up to £250,000
  • 0.2% on accounts worth between £250,000 and £500,000
  • 0.1% on accounts worth between £500,000 and £1 million
  • No charge on accounts exceeding a value of £1 million

*Bestinvest's SIPP accounts have a minimum service fee of £120 per year

Transparency

In order to unveil any additional fees from this platform, you will have to do some digging on Bestinvest's website. Because their added fees are essentially hidden, their transparency is not so great. Luckily we have done most of the digging for you, here's what we discovered:

  • Depending on which account you open you will have to pay varying fund fees, however, these are far cheaper than competing platforms
  • Although Bestinvest enable you to buy and sell funds for free, you will be obliged to pay £4.95 per share as part of their share dealing fees, when using their investment account product
  • Unlike other leading providers, Bestinvest do not cover any transfer fees from other providers, so always make sure you double check how much it will cost to make a transfer

There's no denying that Bestinvest's lack of transparency negatively impacts the user-experience of this online investment platform, however their tiered price system does work well, and their fees are generally much lower than what other platforms are offering within the market.

Regardless, you should always check and compare the fees of your chosen account against other providers in case you find a better deal elsewhere.

Additional Useful Information

We have compiled some additional information in this section, which may be of use to you, should you choose to invest with Bestinvest.

How To Contact Bestinvest

As mentioned earlier, you can request a call back from Bestinvest if you are in need of their customer services. Alternatively, you can chat to a member of their team via their online support feature, send an email by filling out their email form, or call them on 020 7189 9999.

If your matter is not urgent, we recommend using their callback feature as it will save you from waiting on hold.

How To Open An Account With Bestinvest

Opening an account with Bestinvest is relatively straightforward and can be done via their app or by downloading an application form from their online site. Before you open an account with Bestinvest, you will need your national insurance number nearby, along with your debit card/bank details to fund payments.

How To Transfer Your Investments With Bestinvest

Transferring investments with Bestinvest is uncomplicated. After setting up your Bestinvest account, you will be able to submit your current investment account information to start a transfer, either through the site or via the app. Although this process is easy, it may take some time – 5 to 30 days to be exact (depending on your current provider).

How To Withdraw Money With Bestinvest

When using Bestinvest, you can easily withdraw cash by selecting the ‘Withdraw Cash' tab on their site, and then clicking the ‘Withdraw Cash' button, which then directs you to a section asking for the amount you wish to withdraw and to confirm which bank you want the money to go into.

Bestinvest Review Roundup

Overall, Bestinvest is a mid-sized investment platform that is perfect for beginners because it offers a solid selection of accounts, free coaching, and ready-made portfolios.

The resources, support, products, and tools available across Bestinvest collectively act as the ideal starter pack for people just getting their foot into the world of finance, as they provide all the essential guidance and expertise without overwhelming you with any advanced information.

Their SIPP account is by far their strongest product and is superb for inexperienced investors wanting to get started on their retirement planning. Not only does this option deliver top-notch beginner guidance, but it is also cheaper than most platforms out there.

We highly recommend going for their SIPP account, especially if you are new to investing.

While their customer service team may be tricky to reach at times, and occasionally take long to respond, we think they make up for it with the Bestinvest Plus services which offer a delightful range of helpful advice and recommendations.

As for their transparency, Bestinvest certainly has some improvements to make regarding their communication of fees, however, their charges are extremely competitive and are not going to break the bank.

Overall, the Compare Banks team strongly believe that Bestinvest is a wonderful option for newbies who lack free time and investing knowledge, but may not suffice for more established investors as their platform is relatively simplistic.

Find This Review Helpful? Discover More From Compare Banks…

We sincerely hope you enjoyed reading this review, and feel better informed of who Bestinvest are and what products, services, and resources they provide. If you are currently looking for a new bank or investment platform, our site is the place for you.

At Compare Banks, we have every UK bank in one place so that you can easily compare and review the best options for you, and a section showcasing the best deals on the market right now.

We additionally have loads more articles just like this one, as well as a magnitude of informative guides and the latest news, covering all kinds of topics including business and investing. Seek any help or have feedback, we warmly welcome you to get in touch and fill out our contact form.

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