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AJ Bell Youinvest investment platform review

We analyse the charges levied by AJ Bell Youinvest and ask whether the investment platform provides good value for investors.

In this article
Who is AJ Bell Youinvest? Is AJ Bell good or bad? What do customers say about AJ Bell? What are AJ Bell's charges? Who is AJ Bell good for?
Who is AJ Bell expensive for? What accounts and services does AJ Bell offer? Is your money safe with AJ Bell? Get top money-saving tips from Which?

Who is AJ Bell Youinvest?

Formerly known as Sippdeal, AJ Bell Youinvest is an investment platform offered by AJ Bell that offers stocks and shares Isas and dealing accounts.

It also offers its flagship self-invested personal pension (Sipp) which it claims was the first online Sipp in the UK when it was launched in 2000.

Is AJ Bell good or bad?

To get an idea of how good or bad AJ Bell is, we asked its customers. 

Which?'s rating for customer satisfaction is based on feedback from real customers. We ask investors to rate their current platform for the quality of its online tools, customer service and investment information. We also ask if the available investments meet their needs, is value for money and whether they'd recommend it to someone else.

However, to be named a Which? Recommended Provider (WRP), customer satisfaction alone won't suffice; we also consider platform fees. 

Which? members can exclusively read the results of our unique customer satisfaction survey.

Members can log in to see our review of AJ Bell. If you're not already a member, you can sign up to a one month trial for Which? Money for just £1 to access this review and thousands of others.

Aspect of service Star rating
Online tools Logged out padlock
Customer service Logged out padlock
Investment information Logged out padlock
Available investments meet my needs Logged out padlock
Value for money Logged out padlock

What do customers say about AJ Bell?

  • 'Easy to use. Online tools are useful and clear. Reasonable charges and very helpful on the phone. Overall, a service that i have some faith in.'
  • 'Long standing customer and [have] been happy throughout.'
  • 'It has developed over the years with increased functionality and is a good, low cost option.'

Check out our guide on the best and worst investment platforms to see how AJ Bell compared to Hargreaves Lansdown and other investment platforms.

What are AJ Bell's charges?

Annual charges

  • 0.25% custody charge for shares (including investment trusts, ETFs, gilts and bonds)
  • Shares custody charge capped at £25 per quarter for SIPPs, and £7.50 per quarter for ISAs or Dealing accounts
  • 0.25% custody charge on the first £250,000 of funds (including unit trusts, OEICs and structured products)
  • 0.10% on the value of funds between £250,000 and £1m
  • 0.05% on the value of funds between £1m and £2m
  • No funds custody charge on the value of funds over £2m

Trading charges

  • £4.95 and £9.95 to trade shares and investment trusts online, depending on the frequency
  • £1.50 to trade unit trusts and open-ended investment company funds online

We’ve estimated the cost of investing various sums with AJ Bell Youinvest over the course of a year in the table below. The costs assume you only buy funds (shares work out slightly cheaper with some companies), and make four purchases and four sales each year.

Amount invested Annual cost
£5,000 Logged out detail
£10,000 Logged out detail
£25,000 Logged out detail
£50,000 Logged out detail
£100,000 Logged out detail
£250,000 Logged out detail
£500,000 Logged out detail
£1m Logged out detail

Source: Analysis by Which? Money correct as of April 2020

Read our comparison of investment platform charges to see whether another platform could work out cheaper than AJ Bell for your portfolio.

If you're thinking of using AJ Bell Youinvest to take an income from your pension in a drawdown plan, read our comparison of pension drawdown charges

Who is AJ Bell good for?

AJ Bell Youinvest provides a compelling option for the cost-conscious. AJ Bell Youinvest is likely to be among the cheapest options for small and medium portfolios.

It's also one of the cheapest for large portfolios but lags behind some fixed-fee brokers (see below). 

Who is AJ Bell expensive for?

AJ Bell Youinvest is competitive on charges for those with larger portfolios, but the bigger your pot, the more likely you will be better off with a fixed fee broker such as Interactive Investor, Halifax Share Dealing or The Share Centre.

What accounts and services does AJ Bell offer?

The information below gives an at-glance view of the key things that the accounts and services AJ Bell offers.

Elements marked with a are offered by AJ Bell and those marked with a are not.

 

 Advisory services

 

Advisory services allow you to access professional investment advice.

 

 General investment account

 

A general investment account that can hold different types of investments but doesn’t give tax-free benefits like pensions and Isas.

 

 Income drawdown

 

Income drawdown allows you to take money out of your pension to live on in retirement.

 

 Junior Isa

 

A junior Isa is a tax-free savings account for under 18s.

 

 Lifetime Isa

 

A lifetime Isa is a tax-free savings or investment account designed to help people aged 18-39 buy their first home or save for retirement. 

 

✓ Sipps

 

A Sipp is a pension where you have complete control over the investments you put your savings into.

 Savings account

 

A savings account is somewhere you can put your money so it can grow in value. 

 

 Stocks and shares Isa

 

A stocks and shares Isa is a tax-free account that allows you to put your money in a range of investments.

 

 Annuity

 

An annuity is an insurance product which allows you to swap your pension savings for a guaranteed regular income that will last for the rest of your life. 

 

 Banking Services

 

Banking services allow you to operate bank accounts, make transfers and make payments.

Is your money safe with AJ Bell?

 

If AJ Bell went out of business, you would be compensated by the Financial Services Compensation Scheme (FSCS).

 

The FSCS will cover up to £85,000 of investments per person, per platform. You can claim for free online: there’s no reason to use a claims management company.

 

You won’t be compensated for investments falling in value, or a company in which you hold shares goes bust, unless this poor performance resulted from bad advice given by a regulated Independent Financial Advisor that has since gone bust. 

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