Dodl by AJ Bell: Review

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Saving and investing for the future is as important as ever for young people- whether that’s buying a first property, saving for retirement, or investing for the future. It’s critical that we look after our finances, and that means looking after ourselves now, but also putting down financial foundations for the years to come.

Investing now as a young person can have huge benefits on your future investment portfolio, due to compounding interest over time. And if you’ve looked into investing before and felt overwhelmed? This is where Dodl by AJ Bell comes in, their easy-to-use app will help make the whole process feel simple.

What is Dodl?

Dodl is an app-based investment platform by AJ Bell (AJ Bell is one of the UK’s largest and most highly regarded investment platforms). As the name suggests, Dodl was created to help make investing easy to understand, and simple to do. The app was created with young people in mind, who are keen to take a lead on understanding their finances, and making the best financial choices for themselves.

How do you use Dodl?

Dodl works in a simple way- the investment options are not overwhelming, and the language is digestible and relatable. You can sign up to Dodl in a matter of minutes (for free!), choose an account, and add cash to it.

The range of investments available on Dodl are straightforward and streamlined, meaning that you are not overwhelmed by options. In fact, there are just three different ranges of investments to choose from- AJ Bell Funds, themed investments, and shares. Dodl doesn’t offer investing advice, so you need to be comfortable choosing your own investments.

Although Dodl doesn’t provide investing advice, you can learn about investing in the dedicated Dodl Learn Centre within the app. You can find out everything you’ve always wanted to know about investing, so that you can grow your knowledge and feel comfortable and confident as a more experienced investor.

How can you invest with Dodl?

There are several different ways to invest with Dodl. When you sign up, you’ll have a choice of four accounts – Investment ISA, Lifetime ISA, Pension, or General Investment Account (GIA). A Lifetime ISA can help you to save for your first home, and/or your retirement, a pension can help you save for retirement, an Investment ISA offers a tax efficient way of investing (up to £20k per year), and a General Investment Account is a way to hold investments outside of tax wrappers (e.g. ISAs or Pension).

A ‘wrapper’ (e.g. ISA or Pension), is a way of structuring investment portfolios in a tax efficient way. In a wrapper, your investment returns and interest earned are effectively shielded from tax.

Pension, ISA and lifetime ISA rules apply and can change in future.


Type of investment account Usage and benefits
Investment ISA ISA stands for Individual Savings Account, and an Investment ISA is a tax efficient ‘wrapper’ where you can buy, hold, and sell investments.
Lifetime ISA Use a Lifetime ISA (LISA) to save for your first home or for retirement. The government will give you a bonus worth 25% of what you pay in, up to a set limit of £4,000, every tax year. You can only open a lifetime ISA if you’re age 18-39. And you can only pay into it up to age 50.

* If you withdraw cash from your Lifetime ISA for any reason other than your first home purchase or retirement, you’ll have to pay the 25% government withdrawal charge. That means you could get back less than you paid in.

Pension A pension is a tax-efficient way to put money aside during your working years, to provide income for when you retire. You can normally access this from the age of 55 (rising to 57 from 2028).
General Investment Account (GIA) Unlike a pension or ISA, a GIA is not tax free, however a GIA does not have a limit to how much you can put in.


What are the benefits of Dodl?

A  benefit of the Dodl app is that it is so user-friendly. Dodl have made a commitment to reducing complicated investment jargon and confusing acronyms so that you can invest with ease.

Another benefit of Dodl is that the Dodl Learn Centre has been specifically created to build your investing knowledge as you go. If you’re feeling hesitant about starting to invest, unsure of how you want to invest, or feel that you’ve got some knowledge gaps that you’d like to fill, the Dodl Learn Centre is a great place to start.

You can invest with a lump sum of £100 (or more), or with a minimum monthly investment of £25. This is beneficial because with other investment companies, you may be required to invest £100 per month with their plans. Sometimes this can feel like too much of a commitment if money is tight.

With a minimum monthly investment of £25, you can set up a direct debit and then gradually increase this amount over time, if you wish to, as your investing confidence grows.

What are the fees for using Dodl?

Dodl by AJ Bell is what is considered to be a low-cost investment platform when compared with many other providers. Dodl charge an annual charge of 0.15% per account, a minimum of £1 per month (per account), and no subscription fees or fees for buying and selling investments.

There is no fee from Dodl for withdrawing cash from your account. However, there are additional factors to consider if you wish to withdraw money from an ISA or a pension. For example, you cannot take money out of your pension before the age of 55. Additionally, if you withdraw money from your ISA, you may not be able to pay it back in if you’ve maxed out your allowance for the tax year.

If you withdraw cash from your Lifetime ISA for any reason other than your first home purchase or retirement, you’ll have to pay the 25% government withdrawal charge. That means you could get back less than you paid in.

How is Dodl different to other investment platforms?

Dodl by AJ Bell is an entirely app-based platform, which differentiates it from many other investment companies. It’s straightforward and simple, built for those who are just getting started on their investment journey. You can get signed up in minutes, straight from your phone. Other investment platforms may take a more traditional approach, and use lots of jargon, which can be difficult to understand if you do not have a background in finance.

Dodl has lower charges than many other investment platforms. This is an important factor to consider when you start investing, because a lower fee can make a huge difference to your investment portfolio over time. The lower the fee, the more money you can keep for yourself!

If you’ve enjoyed this Dodl review, and you’d like to find out more, download Dodl in the App Store today.

Always remember, investing involves risk- you could lose money as well as make it. Some investments need to be held for the long term. ISA, LISA and pension rules apply. How you are taxed depends on individual circumstances, and rules can change.

If you withdraw cash from your Lifetime ISA for any reason other than your first home purchase or retirement, you’ll have to pay the 25% government withdrawal charge. That means you could get back less than you paid in.

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