If you prefer to invest with a big, safe, global player, then Fidelity Personal Investing fits the bill nicely. Fidelity Personal Investing is the UK-based DIY investment platform owned by US fund management giant, Fidelity, which manages trillions in its home market as well as £517bn globally.
Fidelity is one of the oldest DIY platforms in the UK market and is second only to Hargreaves Lansdown in terms of market longevity and staying power. Nonetheless, its website is fresh, modern and simple to use with clearly signposted ways to select investments.
Something for everyone
Whether you’re new to investing or a seasoned investor, there’s a solution for everyone. Seasoned investors can pick from an extensive list of investments, but for newbies or those who are overwhelmed by too much choice, Fidelity has whittled down thousands of funds into its Select 50 recommended fund list; a more manageable list that has been put together by Fidelity’s expert team of fund analysts and is made up of both Fidelity and third-party funds.
But if even the thought of choosing funds from a list of 50 is too much, or you’re just starting out with investing, Fidelity also offers two dead simple choices. The first is Easy Invest — a one-fund, cost-conscious option for ISA investing to help you take your first investing steps. You are invested in its Fidelity Index World fund, a passive index tracker with exceptionally low fees.
The second option is the ready-made Fidelity Select 50 Balanced fund, which invests in funds taken from the Select 50 list. This type of fund is called a fund of funds or a multi-asset or multi-manager fund. Fees are higher as you’re paying for the fund as well as the underlying funds it invests in, but it’s a good way of getting broad exposure to Fidelity’s expert picks.
The Fidelity Select 50 fund is a one-stop-shop, but you can also find more suitable multi-asset funds through the Navigator. You essentially tell the Navigator what you want out of your investments (growth or income), how you want your money managed (best of breed or low cost), choose your attitude to risk from five options, and it recommends a Fidelity multi-asset fund.
Socially responsible investing
With the COP26 conference going on in Glasgow, climate change and a sustainable future for the platform are at the forefront of our minds. There’s been a buzz around helping to improve the world through investing — making your money work harder for you and for the world — and there are now funds that invest sustainably or invest according to Environmental, Social & Governance (ESG) principles (find out more about sustainable investing here.)
Fidelity has beefed up its support for consumers who want to invest and improve the world with some top-notch education including articles, features and simple videos that explain topics and clarify the jargon. It follows this up with interviews with key fund managers who run these investments. Fidelity has done a great job putting these resources together.
It’s easy to open an ISA and all you need is your national insurance number, debit card details (for a single payment) or bank details (if you’re planning to set up a regular savings plan). The minimum to get started is just £25pm.
The Junior ISA guidance is especially helpful with a section on reasons for using it and what to consider. We also like the ISA calculator as it shows what your ISA could be worth in five or 10 years if you invested a certain amount on a specific growth rate — a great way to manage your expectations and plan ahead.
Fidelity also provides regular updates on the markets, which you can opt into if you want. Overall, the website is clearly laid out, intuitive and easy to navigate from account opening through to reviewing your investments.
For investors who prefer to use their mobile devices, there is also an app. In addition to the usual aspects like secure access, ability to check a valuation, buy/switch/sell, it allows you to link family member accounts (making it simple and easy to manage the family finances).
Investors can often be left bamboozled when it comes to working out the costs of using a platform. However, Fidelity does ok here.
Charges are transparent, pretty straightforward, and easy to find on the website. But while the headline figures are one thing, there is a little bit of unpicking that needs to be done to work out your actual costs (use our calculator to help).
Customers pay an annual service fee that varies depending on the size of your investment. If you have less than £7,500 to invest, your fee will be 0.35% if you have a regular savings plan or £45 a year if you don’t. This makes it relatively pricey for smaller ISA portfolios.
Anything above £7,500, but less than £250,000 (a big spread!) is charged a service fee of 0.35%. The price then drops to 0.20% for accounts over £250k up to £1m. Fidelity stops charging at £1m so that means the most any customer would pay is £2000 per annum.
There are some variations and exceptions. For example, exchange-traded instruments (such as exchange-traded funds (ETFs) or stocks) have a service fee cap of £45pa, and there is no service fee for these when held in the Fidelity Investment Account. Likewise, Fidelity doesn’t charge a service fee for Junior ISA or Junior SIPP accounts.
A great all-rounder
In summary, Fidelity is an excellent all-rounder. Easy to use and navigate, with a fab array of resources and guidance for all types of investors. The huge investment selection is huge but Fidelity has made it accessible through lists and navigation tools. Charges are clear and straightforward. With its credentials of being a global (and socially conscious) fund house, Fidelity is a solid mainstay of the consumer platform market and well worth a look.