Started in 2017, Tilney Bestinvest or simply Bestinvest is an online investment and brokerage company that is headquartered in London, UK and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA). The Tilney BestInvest stock and ETF brokerage firm is part of the Tilney Group and presently services over 100,000 clients from 300 offices.
BestInvest offers trading in over 2,500 funds, shares, investment trusts and exchange traded funds (ETFs) when selecting investments. The broker also promotes a wide range of additional investment opportunities, including Individual Savings Accounts (ISAs) and Self-Invested Personal Pensions (SIPPs). Clients can also benefit from using the company’s research material and online tools.
To aid its clients, the company features an online investment screener, which can be used to search among the best-rated ETF assets. Bestinvest also provides four different types of ready-made portfolios for clients, who can then choose the level of risk to suit their personal preferences. Upon request, the company can also provide restricted advice for a fee as part of its other services.
If you are interested in how we review Bestinvest, then read further in this Bestinvest UK review to determine if the broker fulfils your trading needs for stocks and ETFs and if it makes sense to open a trading account with Bestinvest today.
Note that this is not a Bestinvest CFD review, a Bestinvest cryptocurrency review or a Bestinvest forex review since the broker does not currently offer those trading products to clients.
- Offers plenty of investment choices.
- Provides good fund research.
- Expert advisors supported.
- You can choose ready-made portfolios or ETFs.
- Four types of investment account.
- No demo account for traders to practice with.
- Limited training available.
- Fewer ETFs than other brokers.
What can you trade?
Bestinvest Stock Review
When it comes to stock trading, clients of Bestinvest can deal in hundreds of shares pooled from some of the major stock exchanges. Since the company is based in the UK, Bestinvest offers a large pool of shares from the FTSE100 you can deal in.
Some of the foreign exchanges that BestInvest connects to are: the Euronext Stock exchanges in Brussels, Paris and Amsterdam, the Frankfurt Stock Exchange, the Hong Kong Stock Exchange, the Tokyo Stock Exchange, NASDAQ and the NYSE.
In addition, investors can select one of four ready-made investment portfolios, available at four risk levels:
- Aggressive growth – more adventurous and higher-risk investments.
- Growth – designed to grow investments.
- Defensive – lower-risk investments for more cautious investors.
- Income – designed to provide an income from investments.
The investment team at Bestinvest manages these investment portfolios to reflect the company’s market views and what they consider to be the best investment ideas.
Furthermore, BestInvest offers clients the opportunity to operate corporate custody accounts. The broker also allows for transfer of accounts both within the BestInvest system and also from external sources to BestInvest.
Bestinvest ETF Review
When it comes to ETF trading, Bestinvest provides access 216 ETFs, which is a decent selection for an ETF broker. ETFs are the primary set of funds that are traded on BestInvest, and they can be traded using both ISA accounts and SIPP accounts.
A few ETFs even provide exposure to the spot metals market, including gold, silver and other precious metals. BestInvest offers several other types of funds that include Investment Funds and Rated Funds. These funds are a bit different from the ETFs that are offered on BestInvest.
Furthermore, all of the ETFs listed at Bestinvest are traded on a discount basis, and ETFs can be traded with several savings plans that start from £0 per month. BestInvest also does not stipulate a minimum balance for any of its investment accounts.
Keep in mind though that discounted ETF trading only applies to trades done using the broker’s web-based platforms and mobile app, but not to voice trading for which an extra charge is incurred.
What did our traders think after reviewing the key criteria?
For the Online Investment Service offered by Bestinvest there is a tiered fee structure, with a fee of 0.4% (0.3% for SIPPs) charged for accounts up to £250,000, 0.2% for accounts between £250,000 to £1 million, and no charge for accounts over £1 million in size.
Furthermore, buying and selling funds electronically is free at Bestinvest, while share dealing costs £7.50 per trade. Voice trading incurs a £75 fee. There are also no extra charges for placing limit orders or inactivity.
Additional charges include an Online Investment Service Fee of 0.4% of the invested balance and an Ongoing Fund Charge of 0.67%. This means you will pay a fee of 1.07% of the investment total on all invested amounts.
Bestinvest charges no fee for cash withdrawals via a BACS transfer that takes 3-5 business days working days to reach your bank account. Faster payments via CHAPS cost £35 and can be arranged for upon request.
In general, fees charged by Bestinvest will be reserved from your account starting on the 20th of each month, and they are collected on the 25th of the month whereupon they will show up among your transactions.
Bestinvest provides plenty of investment options for their clients, and ISAs provide an easy and tax-free way to save. The amount of money clients can invest in an ISA is determined by the UK government, and it was set at £20,000 in the 2018/19 tax year. You can open up an ISA account here using a website form.
Investors can split ISAs between a Cash ISA and a Stocks and Shares ISA, or they can invest in either one. There is also a Junior ISA allowance for children of £4,260 in the 2018/19 tax year. If a Bestinvest client invests their £20,000 allowance in a Stocks and Shares ISA, then any resulting gains will be tax-free.
UK investors can also elect to open a SIPP that lets them choose whether to get the help of a professional advisor or to make their investment decisions independently. A SIPP is described by the Pensions Advisory Service as an individual contract between a pension provider and a client. You can also open a SIPP for a child.
In general, SIPPs provide you with wider investment options than those usually available for group and individual personal pensions. A range of assets generally available for SIPP investment include:
- Unlisted shares.
- Quoted UK and overseas stocks and shares.
- Property and land insurance bonds, excluding most residential property.
- Collective investments, such as open-ended investment companies (OEICs) and unit trusts.
- Investment trusts.
Bestinvest clients can make use of a SIPP as a low cost personal pension, yet one that attracts the same tax benefits as other types. A thorough Bestinvest review reveals that clients can manage their SIPP account online 24/7.
Investors can also use a SIPP if they want to purchase investments and need a loan to do so, although not all SIPPs will permit individuals to invest in the entire range of allowable investments. Bestinvest clients pay a service fee at just 0.3% per year, and those who opt to purchase a ready-made portfolio have no setup fees to pay for their account and they also enjoy free fund dealing.
Bestinvest does not currently allow clients to open a demo account, although there is no minimum deposit amount to open a live account. Also, the broker’s website and the Bestinvest reviews posted elsewhere do not indicate that the broker currently offers an Islamic-type investment account, although it does have an Islamic ETF.
Bestinvest’s primary trading platform is web-based. From the homepage of its website, Bestinvest customers can log in to head to the My Accounts sections of its website. Once there, they can explore overviews of their investments, check investment performance and transfer their investments.
The broker also offers a mobile trading platform app called MyTilney that you can get into once you open an account. MyTilney gives clients mobile access to their accounts, so they can manage their investment portfolio when on the move. The screenshot of MyTilney below shows the app’s login screen.
Recent transactions and current portfolio values can be tracked via MyTilney, and the app has an interactive portfolio tool to compare investment performance with goals. Many online Bestinvest reviews seem impressed with the features of this app.
Secure messaging is available so that Bestinvest clients and their relationship managers can send or receive information about sensitive data. A document store allows clients to download tax valuations as well as the most up to date valuations statements. The Chief Investment Officer also keeps the broker’s app up to date with interesting or important news in the Tilney Insights section.
In addition, Bestinvest has a mobile iPad app that lets users access handy guides, investment ideas, investment team insights and online summaries of their investment service.
Bestinvest’s website is aimed at investors. The helpful menu system at the top means you should have little difficulty browsing around it to get the information you require.
The website has these tab options: Our service, Pensions and Retirement, ISAs, Investment research, Investment guides, News and Events. This provides a good sense of the organisation of the broker’s website, and the pull down menu associated with each tab provides more detailed navigation information.
The website also has a Help & Support button at the upper right of its Home page that you can use to find additional important information about the broker, such as its payment options, forms, fees and transfer methods. Additional helpful links can be found on the website’s footer menu.
Bestinvest reviews generally state that clients receive courteous responses from customer support. The broker has the basic forms of customer support channels investors are used to, which include email, telephone, online form, live chat and a callback request form.
The broker’s Live Chat service is available for 12 hours each day from Monday through Friday. No snail mail or fax communication options are available.
In addition, the broker’s website has numerous informative articles and a helpful FAQ that contains commonly-requested information. The image below shows a portion of the broker’s Help & Support page on its website. This page should give you a decent idea of what help choices are available for those who deal through Bestinvest.
When it comes to depositing funds to Bestinvest, several options are available to users. The main option involves logging into your account on the main website where you will find the ‘Cash’ tab. You can then press the ‘Add Money’ button. At that point, several payment options are available for you to choose from.
Alternatively, you can add money to your account at Bestinvest via a traditional bank wire transfer instead of using the online portal. Usually, bank transfers get credited to accounts on the next business day, depending on where funds are coming from. Bestinvest asks that users call them on the phone when making wire transfers to ensure that the process goes smoothly.
Bestinvest offers expert investment research, market analysis and news reports on its website’s Investment research tab. It also has a Spot the Dog guide that helps you identify what the underperforming funds in your portfolio are.
The BestInvest Investment Selector is a helpful tool that lets an investor research ETFs and other fund assets. You can either choose the multi-asset portfolio consisting of a selection of ETFs picked by BestInvest, or you can choose funds yourself.
In addition, BestInvest’s Multi-Asset Portfolio Management tool features robo-advice that presents four aggression ETF portfolio management levels for BestInvest investors. These are Aggressive Growth, Growth, Defensive and Income risk levels, in descending order of aggression. These portfolios can be invested in using all the account types provided you make a minimum investment of £500.
Bestinvest also has some social media accounts you can follow under its and its parent group name of Tilney, although they are not especially active. The broker’s Tilney Group Facebook Page presently has over 1,700 followers, its BestinvestTV YouTube channel has just 241 subscribers, and its Twitter account has over 4,700 followers.
Regulation and Deposit Protection
Due to its headquarters in the UK, Bestinvest is regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) and the broker is part of Tilney Investment Management Services Limited. Since it is presently in the European Union, the broker currently needs to operate under the Markets in Financial Instruments Directive II, although that is subject to change post-Brexit. This means Bestinvest must segregate its funds from its clients’ money, which gives you added safety in case it experiences financial troubles.
Furthermore, Bestinvest does not hold any of its client money or assets itself. Client funds are instead held by a “nominee company” called SEI, and are ring-fenced from SEI’s own assets according to FCA rules. SEI holds client funds in “client money” bank accounts that are established with the status of statutory trusts. Bestinvest is also covered by the UK Financial Services Compensation Scheme (FSCS). If Bestinvest defaults, then eligible clients may be compensated up to £50,000.
Bestinvest is a reputable broker with long investment experience that seems especially well-suited to assist with the management of smaller portfolios for clients who do not have much investment experience. The broker has therefore received generally favourable Bestinvest reviews and awards throughout its operational history.
In terms of its awards, the broker was presented with the prestigious Best Direct SIPP Provider 2017 award by YourMoney.com. Bestinvest has also picked up similar awards from other sources, in addition to honours for Best Fund Platform and Best SIPP for Beginners.
Furthermore, in a public vote award, BestInvest won the Best Stocks & Shares ISA Provider 2017 from Shares Awards. The broker also won an award in 2017 for the Best Fund Platform from COLWMA.
Looking further back over its history, BestInvest has won a series of awards dating back to 2011 in different categories.
CFDs are complex instruments and come with a high risk of losing money rapidly due to leverage. 75% of retail investor accounts lose money when trading CFDs with this provider. You should consider whether you understand how CFDs work, and whether you can afford to take the high risk of losing your money.