Fidelity and PensionBee join Boring Money’s Best Buys in 2020

27 February;

Boring Money has completed its annual analysis of the UK’s DIY investing market, announcing the winners of its Best Buy ratings. Six providers were awarded a Best Buy rating for ISAs and 5 for pensions.

The winners of the Boring Money 2020 Best Buys ratings are:

These ratings are awarded from a unique blend of customer reviews and in-depth reviews by Boring Money of the secure sites and online experience, based on the test accounts held at over 30 investment platforms and robo advisers. Factors include costs and charges, call centre answer times, service, communications sent, investment research, the website experience, quality of any app and also the ratings and reviews from over 2,500 consumers.

Holly Mackay, CEO of Boring Money comments:

Customer ratings and reviews form a large part of these awards – 30% of the score comes from the end user. This is the purest way of gauging the customer experience and including the value question alongside the more frequently analysed price issue.

Reasons why these providers won:

AJ Bell Youinvest       

  • Customer recommend score of 76%
  • Strong on charges; a decent all-rounder; customer feedback generally good

Fidelity                                   

  • Customer recommend score of 59%
  • Well rated by BM testers; decent costs for smaller accounts; customer feedback a little weaker than others but clear and notable recent improvements

Hargreaves Lansdown          

  • Customer recommend score of 77%
  • Despite poor press in 2019 the service and website continue to be largely well-rated by customers; website and app well-rated by BM testers; scored poorly on costs

Nutmeg                     

  • Customer recommend score of 82%
  • Scored generally well with customers; fixed allocation portfolio decent on costs; a little weaker on service in the customer reviews

PensionBee               

  • Customer recommend score of 100%
  • Very strong customer ratings; decent on costs; clear and easy to navigate

Vanguard                  

  • Customer recommend score of 80%
  • Strong on costs; solid if not remarkable customer ratings

Wealthify                  

  • Customer recommend score of 85%
  • Good all-rounder; decent on charges; very strong on front-end ratings with BM testers

Mackay concludes,

This year we noted many improved websites and more functional apps I particular. Costs remain an important focus but reader reviews remind us that this is not the sole concern for most investors who also value service, clear English and ease of use.

Online Investing Report 2020

This flagship report is a must-have for any group offering a direct to consumer investment platform, planning a launch or interested in understanding more about the non-advised distribution channel.

A must-have resource for anyone wanting to understand the current DIY investing landscape, consumer behaviours and sentiment, emerging investment trends and future forecasts.

ENDS

Notes to Editors: 

1. Best Buys for beginner investors and sustainable investors

New secondary awards have also been introduced to help investors narrow their options. These are ‘Best for Beginner Investors’ and ‘Best for Sustainable Investors’.

Customers are naturally using these filters to help them identify the best providers. 26% of filter uses on the Best Buy tables hosted on Boring Money are for beginners and 12% for sustainable investing.

The winners are:

 

2. Reasons why these providers won:

Best for Beginner Investors

AJ Bell Youinvest            

  • Customer recommend score of 76%
  • Decent costs for smaller accounts in their passive multi-assets funds; guidance not quite as intuitive as others

Fidelity                               

  • Customer recommend score of 59%
  • Decent pricing in ready-made options for novice investors; good BM tester scores

Moneybox         

  • Customer recommend score of 100%
  • Ease of use; gamification; simplicity; charges not as competitive as others and Value is its weakest customer ranking

Nutmeg                              

  • Customer recommend score of 82%
  • Strong BM tester scores for novices; good customer ranking for website

PensionBee                      

  • Customer recommend score of 100%
  • Strong customer rankings; decent charges for ‘ready-made’ options

Vanguard                           

  • Customer recommend score of 80%
  • Low costs for smaller accounts; good customer rankings

Wealthify                          

  • Customer recommend score of 85%
  • Clarity of UX and online journey; simple to use for novices

 

Best for Sustainable Investors

Charles Stanley Direct  

  • Customer recommend score of 85%
  • Platform fees are waived on socially responsible investments until July 2020; there is a clear link from the homepage; this leads to a newly created and narrow shortlist of 7 SRI funds

Interactive Investor       

  • Customer recommend score of 70%
  • This platform has invested time in helping investors to understand the nuances of different shades of ESG investing – there are lists of funds along with a new ‘Ethical Growth’ portfolio

Nutmeg                              

  • Customer recommend score of 82%
  • One of the first platforms or robo advisers to spend a lot of time really thinking about the detail of this; also makes it very easy for current investors to swap from a mainstream Nutmeg portfolio into the Socially Responsible equivalent; MSCI rankings make this more than just skin-deep

PensionBee                      

  • Customer recommend score of 100%
  • Have a clear option for a ‘Future World’ plan which is clearly presented to customers – this Legal & General managed fund focusses on a move to a lower carbon economy

The Share Centre            

  • Customer recommend score of 80%
  • Nominated for their clear content and easy categorisation of funds into several different Responsible Investment themes

Wealthify                          

  • Customer recommend score of 85%
  • Their Ethical plans offer investors a clear path to investing their money into “a blend of environmentally and socially responsible investments” – easy and simple to navigate

 

3. Boring Money is an independent research and content business which provides information, tips and Best Buys to consumers. The business conducts regular research with industry providers and consumers and looks at the developing DIY investment market from both the customer and provider perspective. Boring Money holds test accounts with 30 providers and also holds regular focus groups and interviews with consumers to ensure regular input and feedback from the user perspective.

Founder Holly Mackay has worked in the investment industry for 20 years and is supported by a team of 15 researchers, analysts and marketing execs. Boring Money is not regulated to give personal financial advice, nor is it regulated by the industry watchdog.

 

4. Our overall Best Buys awards are evaluated based upon:

  • Consumer ratings – 30% (Value 9%; Service 12%; Website 9%)
  • Cost – 25%
  • Boring Money testers – back and front end – 18%
  • Holly’s view as account holder – 15%
  • Size/Longevity/Stability – 6%
  • Service and call centres – 6%

Reviews from consumers make up 30% of the score (Value 9%; Service 12%; Website 9%). Additional weighting is applied to more recent reviews. Our overall Best Buy ratings are only given to those providers with at least 40 ratings from customers

Cost is scored based on the type of proposition offered and makes up 25% of the score. 18% is allocated to a Buy and Hold type investor which we model across 4 different account sizes: £10,000, £50,000, £100,000 and £250,000 – and take an average of the results. 7% is allocated to a Beginner Investor cost score which is the combination of the platform or administration fee and the platform’s in-house ‘ready-made’ option, portfolio or multi-asset fund

Each provider is rated by members of the Boring Money team based on website testing, assessing its ease of use, functionality, service, communications and content. This contributes to 18% of the score

As the account holder who receives all the ongoing communications, and who trades, manages lost passwords, retrieves tax statements and experiences other secure site functions, Holly rates each provider on their overall service, functionality, content and help. This contributes to 15% of the score

Consumers are nervous of change and this can be a transient market. Providers are scored according to size and stability based on the size of the platform, ownership and longevity in the market, which makes up 6% of the score

Providers are rated according to their call centre opening times and access to client service with tests undertaken to score providers for their call centre answer times - this contributes to 6% of the score

 

5. ISA and Pension Best Buys: These providers gained a total score of 3.8 or more out of 5 based on the cited criteria and have a minimum of 40 customer reviews to ensure an adequate customer voice.

 

6. Best Buys for Beginner Investors: we amended the inputs to our scoring accordingly. The buy and hold investor cost scenarios were not used and 25% of the score was allocated to Beginner Investor cost scenarios modelled to reflect smaller balances which use the in-house ready-made options.

We also adjusted the considerations for our internal testing, and focussed more heavily on guidance, clarity of language and available support.

Finally, we removed the minimum number of customer reviews required as beginner investors tend to be the least confident about the validity of their opinions and less likely to engage/leave reviews.

 

7. Best Buys for Sustainable Investors: These Best Buys are given to providers who have an overall Boring Money score of 3.5 or above, a customer recommend score of 70% or above and a simple, guided buy journey to a narrow range of sustainable investments or sustainable portfolios.

 

8. Full findings on the UK online investor market, and additional detail on the scoring of each individual Best Buy winner, are now available in Boring Money’s new UK report, ‘Online Investing 2020: Runners and Riders’, released on 26th

The report combines data from market providers, a nationally representative consumer survey of 6,000 UK adults, a follow-up survey with platform customers, and Boring Money’s secure site test accounts, this is the most comprehensive report available in the UK today. Please contact mikhail@boringmoney.co.uk for more information.


  

For media enquires please contact:

Please contact Holly Mackay for any follow-up details or with questions.

Holly Mackay, Boring Money

holly@boringmoney.co.uk

07984 609 827

 

About Boring Money:

(www.boringmoney.co.uk)

Boring Money is an independent research and content business which provides information, tips and Best Buys to consumers. The business conducts regular research with industry providers and consumers and looks at the developing DIY investment market from both the customer and provider perspective. Boring Money holds test accounts with over 25 providers and also holds regular focus groups and interviews with consumers to ensure regular input and feedback from the user perspective.

Founder Holly Mackay has worked in the investment industry for 20 years and is supported by a team of 10 researchers, analysts and marketing execs. Boring Money is not regulated to give personal financial advice, nor is it regulated by the industry watchdog.

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