Tilney Smith & Williamson  

Bestinvest relaunch to add ‘bite-sized’ advice

Bestinvest relaunch to add ‘bite-sized’ advice
Photo by Ann H from Pexels

Bestinvest will offer “bite-sized” advice packages as part of its relaunch to better cater to self-directed investors.

The investment platform will offer two on-demand advice services with one-off fees. Oliver Plant, who heads up Bestinvest's new digital proposition, said on a call today (January 25) that these packages will be delivered by the platform’s own investment advisers.

For more complex or specialist cases, Bestinvest - which is owned by Tilney, Smith & Williamson - will refer clients to its parent, which manages £56bn of assets.

The first package, priced at £295, will offer Bestinvest clients help with their investment goals and show them how to invest their cash - be that in one of the firm’s new ready-made portfolios, or in more general asset allocation.

The second package, priced at £495, will offer clients already invested in assets a portfolio health check which will show them what to sell, hold or buy. 

Other features include five new ready-made ‘Smart Portfolios’, free investment coaching with a qualified financial planner, goal-setting and tracking tools, and portfolio projection and simulation tools.

Asked how the company would avoid muddying the waters between paid-for regulated advice and free investment coaching, Plant said: “[Coaching] isn’t a personalised investment recommendation.”

Rather than tailoring to the client like financial advice does, Bestinvest’s coaching will focus on communicating general best practices and will be delivered by financial planners.

The investment coaching, which will be “free and unlimited”, does include a digital fact find to help clients manage their cash-flow.

On the advice packages, Plant said there is “no cap per se” on how much of an adviser’s time a client will get for each one-off fee. “What they won’t have is an ongoing service as their portfolio evolves,” he said.

Bestinvest's outgoing and incoming logos

Simonetta Rigo, Tilney Smith & Williamson's marketing head, said the platform and Tilney were already “pro-actively referring customers” between their businesses prior to the relaunch, which “gives confidence” in the offering.

She said BestInvest was "not fit for purpose" because it did not provide the range of support investors needed.

The majority of changes will go live in the “early in new tax year”, with Smart Portfolios available from February 1, according to the firm. 

These ready-made portfolios, which take on a “robo-fashion” approach according to Plant, invest predominantly in low-cost ETFs, with a quarter invested in factor funds.

Clients will be able to drill down into their portfolios and simulate changes, much like a robo-adviser service.

The total cost of investing in the Smart Portfolios – including an account fee of 0.20 per cent – comes to 0.54-0.57 per cent per annum, which the platform argued is “significantly cheaper than most robo-advisers”.

“We want to be a one-stop shop for all their [our clients’] investing needs and then continue on their journey if they want to take advice, either from the BestInvest side or from the wider group,” said Plant.