In a nutshell
Bestinvest pairs free expert advice with an easy to use investment platform (a place to buy and sell investments). So, you can get expert guidance, while making your own investments. You can even get personalised investment recommendations for a fee (£295). There’s a good range of investments and the fees are reasonable. A great option for those less confident about investing, or less hands-on.
cracked open 🥥
Bestinvest is pretty popular in the UK, with over 50,000 customers, and well established (over 35 years in fact). It’s part of Evelyn Partners, a large, trusted, wealth management company (which is nearly 200 years old).
Bestinvest provides expert advice, and a simple investment platform (a place to buy and sell investments), so you can make your own investments.
If you do want expert advice, you can get free coaching from fully qualified financial planners, or get a personal investment recommendation for £295. You can also get a ‘health check’ if you’re already investing and want an expert to run through your investments, which is £495.
With the investment platform, there’s a good range of investment options for you to choose from, which include stocks and shares from the UK and US, and investment funds (including ready-made funds managed by Evelyn Partners). We’ll cover the investment options in more detail below.
You’ll also be able to invest within an ISA and a pension, alongside a Junior ISA, and even a Junior SIPP (pension). We’ll cover these in detail below too.
If not, let's run through it in more detail.
Is Bestinvest good for beginners?
Yep! Bestinvest is perfect for beginners.
Firstly, there’s help on hand if you’d like it, from fully qualified financial planners (called coaches). You can speak to them over the phone, and they’ll be able to run through any questions you might have when it comes to investing in general, and guide you to the right investment decisions for yourself.
Secondly, there’s a range of investment options suited to beginners, who prefer a hands-off approach, and these are called ready-made portfolios – they’re investment funds, which are groups of investments managed by experts, and you simply buy shares of the fund.
There’s a range of ready-made portfolios to choose from, all managed by Evelyn Partners (a large, trusted, wealth management company).
Alongside the advice, or without it, you can make your own investments, and the Bestinvest platform (the website or app), has all the relevant information you need to help you make the right decisions.
There’s the historical share price, latest news, financial information (e.g. how much money a company is making), and lots more. This is pretty cool too, you can even see if the ‘insiders’ of a company are buying or selling (the directors of the company). And, there’s also buy or sell recommendations from large stock brokers.
Overall, if you’re not too sure about how to get started investing, Bestinvest is a great option, their experts can guide you to the right decisions for you (and for free).
How Bestinvest works
Bestinvest is a bit different to your typical investment platform or stock broker (places to buy and sell investments).
You can simply buy and sell investments, and there’s a good range, but you can also get advice from experts, either as a free coaching call or personalised advice, just for you (for a fee).
With expert advice and coaching you should be more confident making investment decisions. Bestinvest doesn’t make the investments for you, such as what a financial advisor (also called a wealth manager) would typically do – you’ll still make your own investments with BestInvest.
If you are looking to make your own investments without any advice, it’s still great, but you’ve also got lots of other investment platforms options to choose from. Here’s the best investment platforms to view all the top options.
Bestinvest is available on their website, but also on their mobile app, and very highly rated – with a rating of 4.7 out of 5 on Apple, although 3.7 out of 5 on Google.
This is the free option, and it’s where you simply have a chat with a fully qualified financial planner.
It’s a great idea to do if you’re new to investing, it will build some confidence, but even if you’re experienced you can chat through what your financial goals are and how to achieve them.
Or, you might want to discuss any big decisions, such as setting up a pension and depositing a large sum of money, or even planning retirement early!
You can also run through your current investment strategy and the experts can give you some professional feedback.
Full investment advice
The investment coaches guide you to the right decisions based on your individual circumstances, but if you think you’d like more support and direction, you can opt for personalised advice, which is very similar to using a financial advisor.
They’ll determine your goals and discuss what you want to achieve with your finances in future. Next, they’ll put together a recommendation for certain investments to make to achieve your goals.
This could simply be using a ready-made portfolio (where the experts make the investments), or a range of individual investments.
The cost for this is £295, which is pretty good. The financial advisor won’t be making the investments for you, you’ll still need to use the Bestinvest platform to make the investments.
Portfolio health check
If you have investments already, you can get one of the experts to look through your investments to see if they’re achieving your financial goals. You’ll then get a full report covering each investment and recommendations to either sell them or keep them, and recommendations for new investments to make.
The cost of this is £495, again pretty good. And again, you’ll have to make your own investments on the Bestinvest platform.
General Investment Account (GIA)
This is your standard investing account, with no tax-free benefits, called a General Investment Account (GIA). You can invest as much as you like (and have as many GIA accounts as you like with other investment platforms).
If you make a large amount of profit (over £6,000 per year), you’ll likely have to pay Capital Gains Tax. Other taxes may apply too.
You can learn more about this account on the Bestinvest website¹.
Stocks and Shares ISA
This is everyone’s favourite investing account – there’s no tax to pay (ever!). With a Stocks and Shares ISA, you can invest up to £20,000 per tax year (April 6th to April 5th the following year), and never have to worry about paying tax.
Here’s where to learn more about Bestinvest’s ISA¹.
Personal pension (SIPP)
For retirement saving, you can invest within a self-invested personal pension (SIPP). This means you have full control over your pension investments, while benefiting from the great tax benefits pensions have…
Every time you contribute to your pension, you’ll automatically get a 25% bonus from the Government. And, if you’re a higher rate taxpayer (40%), or additional rate taxpayer (45%), you can claim some of this tax back too (done on a Self Assessment tax return).
However, you won’t be able to withdraw any money until you’re at least 55 (57 from 2028).
Here’s where to learn more about the Bestinvest pension¹.
By the way, we’ve reviewed all the best personal pensions if you’re looking for all the top options.
Nuts About Money tip: if you’re only looking for the experts to handle things, check out PensionBee¹, it’s easy to use and low cost (you can get £50 added to your pension for free too).
Junior ISA and Junior SIPP
If you’ve got kids, you can also set up an ISA or pension (SIPP) in their name too, and build up savings for them long into the future.
With a Junior ISA, you can save and invest up to £9,000 per year, per child, and everything is tax-free. They’ll be able to manage the account at 16, and withdraw cash from 18.
With a Junior SIPP, you can invest up to £2,880 per year, and benefit from a 25% bonus on your contributions. This will turn into a regular pension when they’re 18. They won’t be able to withdraw any cash until they’re at least 57.
Here’s where to learn more about the Bestinvest Junior ISA¹.
There’s also a range of additional accounts, which aren’t found with most other investment platforms. We won’t cover them in detail, but they include bare trusts (for saving for your children), discretionary trusts (to save for future generations), and SASS pensions (pensions for businesses, normally family businesses and groups of company directors).
Range of investments
Bestinvest has a good range of investments, mostly consisting of stocks and shares, and investment funds.
It’s enough for most investors, particularly those investing for the long term – but it’s not the biggest range out there. Most established stock brokers have wider ranges (such as AJ Bell¹, Hargreaves Lansdown¹, and Trading 212¹.
Stocks and shares
There’s a good range of stocks and shares on Bestinvest. Shares are where you own part of a company (a share of a company). They’re traded on stock exchanges around the world, such as the London Stock Exchange (LSE) in the UK.
There’s nearly 1,500 shares in total, which cover the majority of the popular companies across the UK and US.
It’s a good range, but not huge. If you’re looking to invest in a wider range of stocks, such as from across the world, check out AJ Bell¹ – it’s a great broker, with a huge range of options.
There’s also a good range of investment funds, these are groups of lots of different investments all pooled together into a single investment, and managed by experts.
They can consist of a huge range of investment options, for instance, the top 100 companies in the UK (FTSE 100), or the top 500 companies in the US (S&P 500), and even things like green energy companies or electric vehicles.
They can also be bought on stock exchanges, just like shares, and if they are, they’re known as an exchange-traded fund (ETF).
There’s over 1,600 investment funds, and over 330 ETFs.
Ready-made portfolios are also investment funds, but where the experts have a goal for each fund, such as long-term growth, or investing for a regular income. The idea is you can simply invest in the fund and the experts will handle everything else.
All the ready-made portfolios with Bestinvest are managed by Evelyn Partners (the parent company of Bestinvest).
The full range includes:
- Smart ready-made portfolios (low cost options that aim to grow large)
- Expert ready-made portfolios (invested into funds managed by experts)
- Direct ready-made portfolios (invests directly into individual shares)
Investment trusts are similar to a typical investment fund, so it’s a group of lots of different investments, except they are formed as a company itself, with shares that trade on a stock exchange.
There’s nearly 300 investment trusts on Bestinvest.
Best funds list
Bestinvest publishes their ‘best funds’ list regularly, and this is where their experts look at a huge range of investment funds and narrow it down to their favourites. They mostly look at the experts managing the funds and the processes that go into managing the fund itself, rather than how well a fund has performed.
Note: this doesn’t mean the funds are going to perform well in the future.
They also produce the ‘Spot the Dog’ report, which highlights underperforming investment funds over the last 3 years. This also doesn’t mean the funds are going to perform badly in the future, and some do turn around and perform well.
Overall, Bestinvest fees are reasonable, and pretty much in-line with most established stock brokers (their fees are just below).
Bestinvest typically charges a fee to manage your investments, called a service fee (often called an annual management fee), and depending on which investments you buy (such as shares), there could be additional fees too.
There will also be fees within the investment funds themselves, which are taken from the fund directly (it's kind of a hidden fee that all investment funds charge). Expect higher fees with more actively managed funds, such as ready-made portfolios.
This is an annual fee, based on the total amount of money you have invested. It varies depending on the investment itself.
Ready-made portfolio funds and US shares
Other investment funds and UK shares
Note: if you are investing within a pension (SIPP), there will be a minimum fee of £10 per month.
Nuts About Money tip: if you are looking for experts to handle everything, check out PensionBee¹, it’s easy to use, and lower cost overall.
To make investments that trade on a stock exchange, such as shares and exchange-traded funds (but not regular investment funds), you’ll also pay a share dealing fee. You’ll pay a fixed £4.95 per deal (e.g. buy an investment).
Although this doesn’t apply to US shares (as you are paying an annual service fee (above), and you’ll pay a foreign exchange fee (below).
This is about average for a dealing fee. They typically range from £3.99 to £11.95 depending on the platform, although there are modern platforms that are commission free (such as eToro¹ and Trading 212¹).
Foreign exchange fees
As your account is in Pounds (GBP), if you want to buy US shares, which are priced in Dollars (USD), you’ll need to convert your Pounds into Dollars. Bestinvest will do this automatically for you when you buy the US shares, but there will be a fee of 0.95%.
That’s fairly high these days, although not the highest out there (Interactive Investor is 1.5%). A typical fee is around 0.50%. If you’re looking to make lots of investments in US shares, you could consider Trading 212¹, where the fee is just 0.15%.
The customer support is excellent.
On top of being able to speak to experts about your investments, there’s also a great support team that you can speak to over the phone, from 7:45am to 6pm during the week (and 8pm on Thursdays), and even on Saturday (up to 1:30pm).
You can request a callback too, that suits your schedule.
Or, you can chat online via live-chat (on their website and app), and you can also email in any questions you have, and they’ll get back to you pretty quickly.
There’s also a big help centre with pretty much every question you’d want to ask answered.
Is Bestinvest safe?
Yes, it’s safe to use Bestinvest. It’s authorised by the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA), who are the people who make sure financial services companies are looking after you and your money.
That means your money is also protected by the Financial Services Compensation Scheme (FSCS), which protects you up to £85,000, should Bestinvest go out of business (highly unlikely).
Although, you’ll have even more protection, as your money will be held in the investments themselves, which are typically held with large investment companies and banks, and held in your name, and can only be returned to you.
Bestinvest customer reviews
Bestinvest gets great reviews from customers. On the popular reviews website, Trustpilot, it’s got an excellent rating of 4.3 out of 5, from nearly 1,000 reviews.
That’s especially good in financial services, where companies often get very bad low scores as they don’t tend to look after their customers very well. It seems like the great service from Bestinvest is really coming through in the reviews.
Bestinvest has also won a range of awards, over 30 in fact, for a range of services, but particularly being easy to use for beginners, and their customer service.
Bestinvest pros and cons
Here’s a quick recap and the pros and cons of Bestinvest:
- Free expert advice
- Personalised investment advice (with a fee)
- Great for beginners and those less experienced
- Good range of investment options
- Excellent customer service
- Only UK and US stocks
- Only ready-made portfolios funds from Evelyn Partners
- Fairly high foreign exchange fee
We’re fans of Bestinvest, it’s very well established, trustworthy and has a good history of serving customers well.
What’s really great about Bestinvest is the expert advice you can get from fully qualified experts, and for free.
You often don’t get this with investment platforms, you’d typically have to speak to a financial advisor or wealth manager separately, who would typically look after your investments too.
With Bestinvest, you can get expert advice, while still making your own investments, using the platform and investments the experts understand.
You can also pay a fee to get in-depth advice on your particular investments if you’re already investing, or would like personalised recommendations based on your individual circumstances.
The investment platform itself is pretty easy to use, and has a good range of investment options, although it’s not a huge range. The ready-made portfolios are great, and if you’re looking for a simple way of investing, these could be for you.
There’s also a wide range of account options, including an ISA, pension and Junior ISA (even a Junior SIPP).
The fees are reasonable, and in-line with most traditional stock brokers. They’re a bit on the high side compared to modern brokers (such as Trading 212¹), but modern brokers don’t tend to offer a pension or expert advice.
Overall, it’s pretty great, and it’s a big 4 stars from us. If you’re looking for expert advice, alongside making your own investments, Bestinvest is likely your best option.
If you’re looking for experts to simply handle the investments for you, check out Moneyfarm¹ and PensionBee¹, they’re easy to use, low cost and have a great track record of investing. Or check out all the best investment platforms.