AJ Bell SIPP Review

by | Jan 9, 2024 | SIPP Reviews

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In our comprehensive AJ Bell SIPP Review, we take a closer look at the platform’s features, fees, and performance. AJ Bell is an investment platform that offers a range of products and services, including their popular SIPP (Self-invested personal pension) platform. With over £73.8 billion in assets under management and a history dating back to 1995, AJ Bell is one of the leading online investment platforms in the UK.

Key Takeaways:

  • AJ Bell offers a range of investment products, including ISAs and SIPPs, allowing investors to invest in unit trusts, shares, investment trusts, and ETFs.
  • The AJ Bell SIPP was the first online SIPP available in the UK, providing investors with tax-relief and the ability to make regular investments from as little as £25 per month.
  • The platform offers a wide range of investment options, including over 2,000 funds, shares from 24 markets, investment trusts, and ETFs.
  • AJ Bell’s fees and charges for their SIPP platform include a custody charge for shares and funds, as well as trading charges for online trades.
  • Customer reviews of AJ Bell’s SIPP platform are generally positive, with users praising the platform’s ease of use and comprehensive range of investment options.
  • While AJ Bell is a popular choice for many investors, it’s important to consider whether it is the right fit for your individual needs and investment goals. We also explore alternative options for investors to consider.

While you’re here, read our SIPP provider comparison guide that includes a comparison of the rest of the SIPP market more broadly.

Who is AJ Bell?

Founded in 1995, AJ Bell is a leading investment platform in the UK, known for its innovative solutions and impressive track record. With over £73.8 billion in assets under management and around 469,000 customers, AJ Bell is a prominent player in the online investment industry. The company has approximately 900 employees and is listed on the London Stock Exchange.

AJ Bell’s online investment service, AJ Bell Youinvest, was launched in 2000 and was the first online SIPP provider in the UK, administering TD Direct’s self-invested personal pension (SIPP) until it was acquired by Interactive Investor in 2017. Since its inception, AJ Bell has continuously evolved and expanded its product offering to meet the needs of its growing customer base.

What sets AJ Bell apart is its commitment to providing a comprehensive range of investment products and services. The platform offers various accounts, including Stocks & Shares ISAs, Junior ISAs, Lifetime ISAs, Self-Invested Personal Pensions (SIPPs), and General Investment Accounts. This diverse range of accounts allows investors to choose the option that best suits their investment goals and preferences.

AWARDS AND RECOGNITION

AJ Bell has received numerous accolades and industry recognition for its services. In fact, it has been rated the ‘Best investment platform’ by Which? members for three consecutive years, from 2019 to 2021. This recognition highlights AJ Bell’s commitment to delivering exceptional value and service to its customers.

In addition to this prestigious accolade, AJ Bell has won several other awards in recent years. For example, it was named the ‘Self Select ISA provider of the year’ at the 2022 ADVFN International Financial Awards. These achievements demonstrate AJ Bell’s dedication to excellence and its position as a leader in the investment platform industry.

Overall, AJ Bell’s strong reputation, extensive product range, and commitment to customer satisfaction make it a compelling choice for investors in the UK.

AJ Bell’s Products and Services

AJ Bell is a leading investment platform that provides a comprehensive range of investment products and services to cater to the diverse needs and goals of investors. Whether you’re looking to save for retirement, invest in stocks and shares, or save for your child’s future, AJ Bell has a variety of options to choose from.

AJ Bell ISA

The AJ Bell ISA offers an online Stocks & Shares ISA with low costs and a wide range of investment options. You can invest in shares, unit trusts, investment trusts, and ETFs through this tax-efficient account. With contributions of up to £20,000 per year (2024/25), you have the flexibility to build your investment portfolio according to your investment goals. The AJ Bell ISA has been recognized as the ‘Self Select ISA provider of the year’ at the 2022 ADVFN International Financial Awards.

AJ Bell SIPP

The AJ Bell SIPP (Self-Invested Personal Pension) was the first online SIPP available in the UK. It allows you to invest up to £40,000 per year and receive tax relief in line with current pension legislation. With the AJ Bell SIPP, you have the freedom to choose from a wide range of investment options, including funds, shares, investment trusts, and ETFs. Regular investments can be made from as little as £25 per month. The AJ Bell SIPP has won numerous awards and was recently awarded the title of ‘Best SIPP provider 2021′ at the City of London wealth management awards.

AJ Bell Junior ISA

The AJ Bell Junior ISA is designed to help parents or guardians save for a child’s future. With contributions of up to £9,000 per year (2024/25), the money invested is ring-fenced until the child reaches the age of 18. At that point, the child gains access to the funds to support their aspirations, whether it’s further education, buying a home, or starting a business.

AJ Bell Lifetime ISA

The AJ Bell Lifetime ISA is available to individuals aged 18 to 39 who are saving for their first home or retirement. Contributions of up to £4,000 per year (2024/25) can be made, and the UK government provides a 25% bonus on investments. The funds can be withdrawn at any time to purchase a first home or from the age of 60 to fund retirement. The AJ Bell Lifetime ISA was awarded the ‘Your Money Awards Best Online Lifetime Stocks and Shares ISA Provider of the year award’ in 2019.

In addition to these accounts, AJ Bell also offers a range of other products and services, including the AJ Bell Junior SIPP, AJ Bell Dealing Account, AJ Bell Platinum SIPP, AJ Bell Platinum SSAS, and AJ Bell Cash Savings Hub. These products cater to specific investment needs and provide options for co-directors and partners in a business, as well as the ability to borrow money and lend to a limited company for trade purposes.

If AJ Bell doesn’t meet your specific investment needs, there are alternative options available in the market. It’s always a good idea to compare different investment platforms and consider factors such as fees, investment options, customer service, and user experience before making a decision.

Note:

The information provided in this section is based on AJ Bell’s products and services and may be subject to change. It’s recommended to visit AJ Bell’s official website for the most up-to-date and accurate information.

ProductKey Features
AJ Bell ISA– Online Stocks & Shares ISA with low costs- Range of investment options including shares, unit trusts, investment trusts, and ETFs- Contributions of up to £20,000 per year (2024/25)- Regular investments from £25 per month- Winner of the ‘Self Select ISA provider of the year’ at the 2022 ADVFN International Financial Awards
AJ Bell SIPP– First online SIPP available in the UK- Investments of up to £40,000 per year with tax relief- Wide range of investment options including funds, shares, investment trusts, and ETFs- Regular investments from £25 per month- Winner of the ‘Best SIPP provider 2021′ at the City of London wealth management awards
AJ Bell Junior ISA– Tax-efficient savings account for children- Contributions of up to £9,000 per year (2024/25)- Funds invested are ring-fenced until the child reaches 18
AJ Bell Lifetime ISA– Available to individuals aged 18 to 39- Contributions of up to £4,000 per year (2024/25)- Government bonus of 25% on investments- Withdrawals for first home purchase or retirement from age 60- Winner of the ‘Your Money Awards Best Online Lifetime Stocks and Shares ISA Provider of the year award’ in 2019
AJ Bell Dealing Account– Low-cost online trading account- No limit on the amount that can be invested- Easy withdrawal of funds
AJ Bell Platinum SIPP– Bespoke SIPP service for co-directors and partners in a business- Wider range of investment choices, including UK commercial land & property- Leasing options for commercial land or property to member’s company or third party
AJ Bell Platinum SSAS– Similar to the Platinum SIPP but includes the ability to borrow money and lend to a limited company on commercial terms for trade purposes
AJ Bell Cash Savings Hub– Cash savings platform for finding the best interest rates- Standalone service offering a range of savings accounts- Locking money away for a specific period with competitive interest rates

Investment Options with AJ Bell

With AJ Bell, investors have a multitude of options when it comes to building their investment portfolio, from a wide range of funds to individual shares and more. AJ Bell offers a comprehensive selection of investment options to suit different investor preferences and risk profiles.

AJ Bell Funds

AJ Bell offers a range of low-cost, passive funds for investors who prefer a hands-off approach to investing. These funds are managed by AJ Bell’s investment specialists and offer options for growth, income, and responsible growth.

The AJ Bell Growth Fund provides investors with the opportunity for long-term growth through a balanced mix of shares and bonds. The fund is available in various risk options, from cautious to adventurous, allowing investors to choose the level of risk that aligns with their investment goals.

The AJ Bell Responsible Growth Fund focuses on companies with a commitment to the environment and society. It aims to achieve maximum returns while prioritizing responsible investing principles. This fund is suitable for investors who want to align their investments with their values.

The AJ Bell Income Fund is designed to provide investors with a consistent income of 4% per year. The fund is made up of a combination of shares and bonds and carries a moderate risk level.

AJ Bell Favourite Funds

AJ Bell has curated a list of favourite funds to help investors make informed investment decisions. These funds have been carefully selected based on their performance, affordability, and consistency compared to benchmarks and peers. The list covers a wide range of fund types, sectors, and investment goals, providing investors with a diverse selection to choose from.

Individual Shares

In addition to funds, AJ Bell offers investors the opportunity to invest in individual shares. Investors can access shares from 24 markets, allowing them to build a global portfolio. AJ Bell provides research and tools to help investors make informed decisions about which shares to invest in.

Investment Trusts

AJ Bell also offers investment trusts, which are collective investment vehicles listed on the stock exchange. These trusts pool investors’ money to invest in a diversified portfolio of assets. Investment trusts can provide investors with exposure to a range of sectors and asset classes and may offer the potential for long-term capital growth.

Exchange-Traded Funds (ETFs)

Investors can also choose from a range of exchange-traded funds (ETFs) on the AJ Bell platform. ETFs are investment funds that trade on the stock exchange like shares. They aim to track the performance of a specific index or sector and offer investors the opportunity to diversify their portfolio with low-cost, transparent investments.

Overall, AJ Bell provides investors with a wide range of investment options, from funds and individual shares to investment trusts and ETFs. Whether investors prefer a hands-off approach or want to build a custom portfolio, AJ Bell has options to suit different investment strategies and goals.

Fees and Charges on the AJ Bell SIPP

It’s important to understand the fees and charges associated with the AJ Bell SIPP to make informed decisions about your investments. Here is a breakdown of the fees and charges you can expect:

Custody Charges

AJ Bell charges a custody fee for holding your investments within the SIPP. For shares, investment trusts, ETFs, gilts, and bonds, the custody fee is 0.25% of the value of your holdings, up to a maximum of £10 per month.

For funds, including unit trusts, open-ended investment companies (OEICs), and structured products, the custody fee is also 0.25% of the value of your holdings, but with a tiered structure:

  • 0.25% on the first £250,000
  • 0.10% on the value between £250,000 and £500,000
  • No custody fee on the value of funds over £500,000

Trading Charges

AJ Bell charges a trading fee for buying and selling investments within the SIPP. Here are the trading charges:

  • £9.95 to trade shares and investment trusts online
  • £4.95 to trade shares and investment trusts online if you made more than 10 share deals in the previous month
  • £1.50 to trade unit trusts and OEIC funds online

Foreign Exchange Charges

If you trade in international currencies, AJ Bell charges a foreign exchange fee. The fee structure is as follows:

  • 0.75% on the first £10,000
  • 0.50% on the next £10,000
  • 0.25% for value over £20,000

It’s important to note that these fees and charges may be subject to change, so always check AJ Bell’s website for the most up-to-date information.

Overall, AJ Bell’s fees and charges are competitive within the industry, and the platform offers a range of investment options to suit different investor needs. However, it’s always a good idea to compare fees and charges with other providers to ensure you’re getting the best value for your money.

SIPP Provider Fees Calculator

If you know roughly what assets your SIPP portfolio is going to consist of, you can enter the values into our SIPP fees calculator below to get a rough estimate of the annual fees each SIPP provider would charge you based on their fee structures.

It’s split between funds and equities because some providers charge different amounts for each asset class (this is worked into the calculator).

Note: The ongoing fees for your SIPP are only one type of SIPP charge, so are not the only factor to consider (although it is the most significant charge you’ll pay). Also, you should think about other SIPP features and benefits including customer service, and the user experience of the platform.

AJ Bell SIPP Review – Performance and Customer Reviews

We delve into the performance of the AJ Bell SIPP and provide insights from customer reviews to give you a comprehensive picture of the platform.

Performance of AJ Bell SIPP

When it comes to the performance of the AJ Bell SIPP, it’s important to consider various factors. One key aspect is the range of investment options available on the platform. AJ Bell offers a wide selection of funds, shares, investment trusts, and ETFs, providing investors with ample opportunities to diversify their portfolios.

The performance of these investment options can vary, as they are subject to market fluctuations. However, AJ Bell has received positive ratings and recognition for its investment platform. It has been rated the ‘Best investment platform’ by Which? members for three consecutive years (2019, 2020, and 2021), highlighting its strong performance and customer satisfaction.

Customer Reviews of AJ Bell SIPP

Customer reviews play a crucial role in evaluating the overall satisfaction and experience of using the AJ Bell SIPP. Here are some insights from AJ Bell customers:

  • “Website is easy to use, regular communication on the performance of my chosen funds, and lots of investment info is provided including webinars, podcasts, and newsletters.”
  • “They make it very easy to invest by providing a small number of pre-packaged, risk-based options for those (like me) who don’t really know what they’re doing. They give enough information that’s simple enough for me to understand what’s happening with my money.”
  • “They provide me exactly what I need, although I am conscious that I could use a cheaper platform.”

These reviews highlight the user-friendly nature of the AJ Bell platform, the availability of educational resources, and the overall satisfaction of customers. It’s important to note that individual experiences may vary, and it’s always advisable to conduct thorough research and consider personal investment goals before making a decision.

Ratings and Recognition

AJ Bell has been highly recognized within the investment platform industry. It has received the ‘Best SIPP provider 2021’ award at the City of London wealth management awards, solidifying its position as a leading SIPP provider. Additionally, AJ Bell has consistently achieved high ratings and positive customer reviews, further reinforcing its reputation as a reliable and customer-friendly platform.

It’s important to consider these ratings and customer reviews in conjunction with your own investment needs and preferences when assessing the suitability of AJ Bell as a SIPP provider.

AJ Bell Alternatives: Exploring Your Options

AJ Bell may be the ideal investment platform for certain individuals, but it’s important to evaluate your own needs and explore alternative options before making a decision. Here, we will discuss some potential alternatives to AJ Bell that you may want to consider:

1. Hargreaves Lansdown

Hargreaves Lansdown is one of the UK’s largest investment platforms, with a wide range of products and services to suit different investors. They offer ISAs, SIPPs, and general investment accounts, as well as a variety of investment options including funds, shares, investment trusts, and ETFs. Hargreaves Lansdown is known for its comprehensive research and educational resources, which can be beneficial for those who want to make informed investment decisions.

2. Interactive Investor

Interactive Investor is another popular investment platform in the UK, offering a range of accounts and investment options. They provide ISAs, SIPPs, and general investment accounts, along with a variety of funds, shares, investment trusts, and ETFs. Interactive Investor is known for its competitive pricing, making it an attractive choice for cost-conscious investors.

3. Vanguard

Vanguard is a well-known investment management company that offers a range of funds and investment products. They are known for their low-cost index funds and ETFs, making them a popular choice for passive investors. Vanguard also offers ISAs and general investment accounts, providing a simple and straightforward investment experience.

4. Nutmeg

Nutmeg is a digital investment manager that offers managed portfolios tailored to your risk tolerance and investment goals. They provide ISAs, general investment accounts, and pensions, and their portfolios are diversified across a range of asset classes. Nutmeg offers a user-friendly platform and takes care of the investment decisions for you, making it a suitable option for those who prefer a hands-off approach.

These are just a few examples of alternative investment platforms to consider alongside AJ Bell. It’s important to carefully evaluate each platform’s features, fees, and investment options to determine which one aligns with your investment goals and preferences. Remember to consider your own risk tolerance, investment horizon, and financial situation when making your decision.

FAQ

Q: What is AJ Bell?

A: AJ Bell is an investment platform that provides a range of products and services, including ISAs, SIPPs, and dealing accounts. They have a strong presence in the UK market and have received several awards for their platform.

Q: What investment options are available with AJ Bell?

A: AJ Bell offers a wide range of investment options, including funds, shares, investment trusts, and ETFs. They have over 2,000 funds to choose from, as well as a selection of passive funds and their own favorite funds list.

Q: What are the fees and charges on the AJ Bell SIPP?

A: The fees and charges on the AJ Bell SIPP include a custody charge of 0.25% for shares and the first £250,000 of funds, trading charges of £9.95 for shares and investment trusts, and foreign exchange charges for international currencies. There are no account set up fees, inactivity fees, holding fees, or withdrawal fees.

Q: How does AJ Bell perform and what do customers say about them?

A: AJ Bell has received positive ratings and reviews from customers, with many praising their user-friendly platform and the range of investment options available. They have also performed well in various industry awards and have been recognized as a top performer in the investment platform space.

Q: Is AJ Bell the right choice for me?

A: Whether AJ Bell is the right choice for you depends on your individual investment needs and preferences. They offer a range of products and services that cater to different types of investors. It’s a good idea to compare AJ Bell with other investment platforms to see which one best meets your requirements.

About The Author

Sam Hodgson

Sam Hodgson

Head of Digital

Sam is our Head of Digital, overseeing all of our editorial and marketing strategies.

He has over a decade of pension industry experience, previously working & writing for the likes of HSBC and Hargreaves Lansdown.

His goal is to empower “non-financey” people to have confidence in making their own financial decisions, particularly on pensions and retirement planning.

Contact: sam@sippadvice.co.uk

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