The relaunched platform will offer a new hybrid investment service combining digital tools with a human touch for the millions of Brits with no ongoing relationship with an advisor.
Bestinvest, Tilney Smith & Williamson’s UK investment and financial planning group, is re-launching with new features to cater for millions who are off the wealth management industry’s radar.
The platform, which will combine DIY investing, free coaching, affordable advice, low-cost ready-made portfolios and digital tools, will transform into a hybrid digital service through combining online goal-planning and analytical tools with a “human touch,” the company said. It aims to bridge the gap between existing online services for self-directed investors and traditional financial advice aimed at wealthier people.
Savers will be able to access help from qualified professionals through free investment coaching and choose affordable fixed-price advice packages. The company has also launched a range of very low-cost, ready-made Smart portfolios, with improved resources for DIY investors selecting and managing their own investments.
A third of the UK’s adult population, some 15.7 million, have investments but lack confidence in investment knowledge, according to the Boring Money Advice Report 2021, while a Platforum survey suggests that only 8 per cent of adults have an ongoing relationship with a financial advisor, Bestinvest said in a press release.
It is these investors it is targetting with personalised advice services, such as a review of existing investments or a recommendation for an appropriate portfolio, from its investment advisors for one-off fees ranging between £295 ($398) and £495.
"The new Bestinvest will provide the best of both worlds: the benefits of a modern, digital service with a human touch through the ability to speak to a qualified investment coach. It will provide them with the extensive investment choice of a DIY platform but also the option to choose a managed portfolio with highly competitive fees, versus a robo-advisor,” Simonetta Rigo, group chief marketing officer of Tilney Smith & Williamson, said.
For more complex or specialist cases, Bestinvest will refer clients to its parent Tilney Smith & Williamson, which manages £56 billion of assets.
The five Smart portfolios, designed as ready-made investment options to suit various risk profiles, will be invested in passive investment funds but actively managed by Tilney Smith & Williamson’s investment team. The total cost, including a reduced account fee of 0.20 per cent, ranging from 0.54 to 0.57 per cent per annum, will mean that an investment of £10,000 in the Smart portfolios will attract fees of around £55 a year all in, “significantly cheaper than most robo-advisors,” Bestinvest said.
The company is also slashing share trading costs by a third, from £7.50 per online share trade to £4.95, irrespective of transaction size, from 1 February, making it the “lowest share dealing fee among the major UK online investment platforms,” it said. The company does not charge dealing fees on funds purchases, sales or switches.
Share-trading fees will be slashed to less than £5. Most of the new offers will be available early in the new tax year, with Smart portfolios available from 1 February, according to the firm.