Updated: 23rd December 2021
AJ Bell YouInvest Review
Famous for its pensions, but offering a wide range of other accounts too. Plenty of features to recommend, including fund manager events and access to Shares magazine.
The overall score is calculated as the sum of the individual section scores and then rebased to be out of 5.
What accounts are available?
As you might expect from a leader on pensions, the AJ Bell YouInvest Self Invested Personal Pension (SIPP) is the cornerstone offering, and you can get a Junior SIPP for your offspring or your offspring’s offsprings. They both allow the accumulation of investments up until retirement, and then the drawing down of investments once you retire. As you would expect from a well-established player, there’s an ISA and Junior ISA, although bear in mind these aren’t flexible ISAs so you can’t take out money and pay it back in during the same tax year, without it counting twice against your annual ISA limit.
We upweighted scores for providers who had the basic accounts available - ISA, SIPP and GIA.
What kind of investments can I make?
Full marks for AJ Bell YouInvest here – they offer everything. Whether it is company shares in the UK or abroad, open-ended investment funds, investment trusts or bonds, you can buy, hold and sell them on the platform. This makes it ideal as a one-stop-shop for keeping all your differing investments in one place. To help navigate this enormous choice AJ Bell offer select lists (chosen by their experts), screening and ranking tools, plus they make available their favourite funds. Customers with over £4,000 on the platform also get free access to Shares magazine.
We upweighted scores for providers who made funds, investment trusts, exchange traded funds and UK shares available. Bonds and international shares were less important.
What services do they offer?
Much like Hargreaves Lansdown, AJ Bell has been in the platform game a long time, which means that over the years they have developed a long list of services to support their customers. You can set up instructions to buy investments automatically each month, and also to use the money you receive from dividends to buy more investments of the same type when the dividend is paid. There’s also quite a bit of help for inexperienced investors with free guides available on range of topics including investing for children.
The most important services were monthly investing, and dividend reinvestment, so we upweighted scores for platforms who provided these services.
How much does it cost?
Quality usually comes at a price, but in this case AJ Bell YouInvest is firmly mid-table in the cost stakes. If you own investments listed on a stock exchange like company shares or investment trusts, the platform fee is capped. But for funds there’s no limit, so the more you hold the more you will pay until you get to a multi-million pound holding. Dealing charges are slightly higher than others, but not as expensive as Hargreaves Lansdown.