Review by longtimeinvestor
submitted on 23 January 2015
Likes: Good website and helpful information
Dislikes: Expensive for other than small portfolios
Offer useful views on funds and managers and produce a lot of information. Suggested portfolios for a variety of 'risk', and tools to measure the allocation of portfolio to asset classes; regions; and company size. So you do get something for the charges which at 0.4% overall is a little on the high side; it is less for their SIPP.
Tools will scan your portfolio and suggest how "in balance" it is aginst one of their standard models; you cannot select which that model is, rather it is selected for you. No help to suggest where the imbalance lies and what may be done to remedy.
Good for trading small amounts of unit trusts as the percent fee is on the overall portfolio and changes are no charge.
Helpful if a little brisk on the phone. Can get dividends paid to bank for free but have to manually enter the transfer on their website.
Have used for twenty years, originally just as a discount broker.
Review by BernieB
submitted on 25 May 2010
Likes: Generally clean helpful website with lots of information, including useful assessment of fund manager skills, investment trust ratings and discounts, unit trust fund ratings, Spot the Dog, news updates. Appear to be truely independent.
Dislikes: Email updates earlier in the year required an astronomic IQ / reading age to understand but lately more attuned to Sunday Times levels. Web site security not as tight as H-L in my view.
I run my wife's finances (with her consent) and she has used Bestinvest for years, even when Justin was with them. On the whole advice is very pertinent, reliable and independent. I have previously commented on the excellent Fidelity China IT writeup which was just about the only balanced view available. Because of the way they seem to analyse funds over a minimum time period they sometimes come in late with up and coming funds and fund houses, but they don't speculate "because it feels right." Neptune and SocGen Japan, now GLG, are examples I noticed that I bought in to when I felt the evidence was there and they approved a while later. I find the ability to search on "whether the manager is just being lucky or not" and the manager rankings especially useful. The web site clearly shows your funds, geographical distribution, variance from investment risk plan and provides tools to rebalance the risk. For the standard of advice I think it's one of the most helpful, and includes investment trust recommendations as well. Spot the Dog helps to avoid chronically underperforming funds. I just wish they wouldn't relaunch the website just when I know where everything is. They do a good front end discount when you buy funds and provide a choice of CoFunds and Fidelity supermarkets.
My wife had 5 pension funds which they helpfully transferred into the most appropriate single annuity, again the level of advice was excellent. From memory they only rate one tracker fund. For people investing for the long term, where trackers do well and have very low costs, I personally find this unhelpful.
They do a "free portfolio analysis" if you have over £50K with them, which you are obviously paying for in trail commission. If you have £250K with them (we don't) you don't get any added benefit but they get a lot more trail commission. I found the portfolio analysis frustrating. They sent a form to sign requesting details of my wife's and my own investments held outside Bestinvest. This took a little time, and the forthcoming portfolio analysis then opened with a statement that only funds held within Bestinvest would be considered!!! Why not invent a form to sign that is relevant and doesn't waste the client's time?? The portfolio analysis ignores any funds held elsewhere, plus any Investment Trusts, Shares, ETFs or cash you hold. They don't run a brokerage like H-L so you can't have a stocks and shares account as well. The analysis goes on to give detailed advice, changes and recommended transactions based on what funds you have with them, which have to be taken with a very large pinch of salt since they ignore the rest of your portfolio. Much as I like and respect many aspects of the Bestinvest service, and appreciate that their research has a cost, the lack of added value for a larger portfolio means we are investing elsewhere this year.
Review by thomas
submitted on 21 May 2010
Likes: ISA really good value, buy funds online, helpful staff, top fund pickers
Dislikes: Cant think of any!
I've have been with Bestinvest for a number of years and have been generally very happy. They give really good discounts when buying a ISA on the web, and last time I spoke to them about a fund their staff came across as really knowledgeable.
To me, picking the right fund is top importance, this is also where Bestinvest score as their top funds and research data is spot on, and its independent (not semi independent as I've found elsewhere!).
No rebate of annual charges, but that’s fine with me as research into picking the right fund and their web online service more than makes up for it. All in all, works for me!
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