AJ Bell moves into commission-free retail investing

Salford-based investment giant AJ Bell said on Monday it will launch a new, app-only investment platform which aims “to make investing more straightforward and accessible for retail investors.”

The new service will be called Dodl by AJ Bell and will “compete with the lowest cost investment platforms in the market, with an annual charge of 0.15% and no commission for buying/selling investments.”

AJ Bell said: “Dodl will be an easy to use, jargon free investment app to help people invest for their long-term goals.

“It will offer an Individual Savings Account (ISA), Lifetime ISA, Pension and General Investment Account.

“Customers will be able to set up regular investments and consolidate existing ISAs and Pensions onto the platform.

“People will be able to pay money in to accounts via Apple and Google pay, as well as debit card payments and direct debits.

“Investing needn’t be scary, with Dodl’s friendly monster characters on hand to guide people through the application process, as well as providing information to help people make their investment decisions.

“Dodl will give investors access to a simplified investment range with options to cater for the vast majority of investment risk appetites.

“For those that like to invest in the brands they love, Dodl will feature a range of popular shares in UK listed companies, with US companies being added soon after launch.

“In addition, there will also be a range of ‘themed investments’ which include funds focusing on core areas such as technology, robotics, healthcare and responsible investing.

“The fund range will also consist of the AJ Bell’s low-cost multi-asset funds, which cater for six different risk levels along with AJ Bell’s Responsible Growth fund, for people who want to invest with a responsible focus.

“The Dodl by AJ Bell mobile app will be a new platform for investors that sits alongside AJ Bell’s existing consumer platform AJ Bell Youinvest.”

There will be a single, all-in annual charge of 0.15% of portfolio value for each investment account a Dodl customer has, with a £1 per month minimum per account.

There will be no commissions for buying or selling investments and no tax wrapper charges.

As an example, for £10,000 invested in an ISA the Dodl charge would be £15 a year.

Customers investing in funds will also pay the annual charge of the underlying fund as normal.

AJ Bell is aiming to launch Dodl during the first half of 2022.

AJ Bell CEO Andy Bell said: “Investing doesn’t need to be scary.

“Dodl by AJ Bell is for anyone looking for a low-cost, easy-to-use investment app to help them meet their investment goals such as saving for a house deposit, holidays or retirement.

“The intuitive investment journey and streamlined investment range will appeal particularly to those that are new to investing and want a simple way to manage their investments.

“With a low annual charge of 0.15%, no trading commissions and all the main tax efficient products, Dodl will be amongst the cheapest and best value investment platforms in the market.

“Our friendly monsters will guide people through the investment process with no jargon and introduce them to an investment range that is easy to choose from and caters for the investment needs of the majority of people”