AJ Bell Dodl review: The app-only investment platform from AJ Bell

6 min Read Published: 08 Jul 2024

What is Dodl?

AJ Bell Dodl* is an app-only platform from investing platform AJ Bell*. It is one of the cheapest platforms on the market, with an annual fee of just 0.15% per account (minimum £1 per month, per account) and no fees for buying or selling funds or shares. It seems to be targeted at young, novice investors due to its simplified approach and stripped back investment choice. This is compounded by the choice of a monster character that guides investors through the sign-up process and helps explain the investment options available.

AJ Bell Dodl has a streamlined range of investments available, with 37 funds and 81 shares, which are traded daily. There are 8 ready-made, risk-rated funds and a range of 29 themed funds. This differentiates it from the main AJ Bell proposition, which has a far broader range of investments available, including day-trading options, which are growing in popularity.

Dodl key features

  • App-only, user friendly and no jargon 
  • Annual charge of 0.15% (minimum £1 per month, per account), no subscription fees and no charge for buying or selling investments
  • ISA, LISA, GIA and pension wrappers
  • Choice of 81 UK & US shares and 37 funds - including 8 AJ Bell multi-asset funds
  • Pays 5.09% interest on uninvested cash held in a Stocks and Shares ISA and Lifetime ISA

How does Dodl work?

To open an account with AJ Bell Dodl*, you first need to download the app and then go through the sign-up process, which requires your full name and email address. Once logged in, users can view the different accounts and select the options that suit them best. The account options available are:

  • Stocks and shares ISA
  • Lifetime ISA
  • Pension
  • General Investment Account

As it stands, there isn't a Junior ISA. If this is a vehicle you are interested in, read our article 'Best Junior Stocks and Shares ISA'.

Once you have chosen your account, you will need to provide some additional information including telephone number, date of birth, address, National Insurance number and bank details. You can either choose to make a lump-sum payment (minimum £100), or arrange a direct debit for a minimum of £25 per month. You can then start building your portfolio from the range of funds and shares available. As there are no fees for buying or selling either funds or shares, you can make changes to your portfolio as often as you like. In terms of fees for using the platform, meanwhile, the cost will be calculated and deducted from your account each month. If there aren't sufficient funds available, you will be notified in advance.

What can you invest in with Dodl?

There are a total of 37 funds you can invest in through Dodl, which includes its own range of 8 funds:

  • AJ Bell Cautious
  • AJ Bell Moderately Cautious
  • AJ Bell Balanced
  • AJ Bell Moderately Adventurous
  • AJ Bell Adventurous
  • AJ Bell Global Growth
  • AJ Bell Responsible Growth
  • AJ Bell Pension Builder Fund

The 29 other themed funds include:

AJ Bell Dodl Theme  Fund 
All-in-one (40%) Vanguard Lifestrategy 40% Shares Fund
All-in-one (60%) Vanguard Lifestrategy 60% Shares Fund
All-in-one (80%) Vanguard Lifestrategy 80% Shares Fund
UK top 100 Vanguard FTSE 100 Index Unit Trust
The home team HSBC Index Tracker Investment Funds - FTSE 250 Index Fund
Across the pond iShares US Equity Index Fund (UK)
On the continent Vanguard FTSE Developed Europe ex UK Equity Index Fund
Going east Fidelity Investment Funds - Index Japan Fund
Be more pacific Vanguard Pacific ex-Japan Stock Index Fund GBP
The global climbers iShares Emerging Markets Index Fund (IE)
On top of the world HSBC Index Tracker Investment Funds - FTSE All World Index Fund
Global Sharia iShares MSCI World Islamic ETF
Chinese Titans HSBC MSCI China ETF
The govt's IOU iShares Gilt Trax Idx
Lending a hand iShares Corporate Bond Index Fund
Hey big lender Vanguard Global Corporate Bond Index Fund £ Hedged
Lending the way iShares Global High Yield Corporate Bond £ Hedged ETF
The worldwide debt HSBC Global Funds ICAV - Global Government Bond Index Fund
Big tech Legal & General Global Technology Index Trust
Robo revolution iShares Automation & Robotics ETF
Going for Gold iShares Physical Gold ETC
The Powerhouse iShares MSCI World Energy Sector ETF
Made of Money Xtrackers MSCI World Financials ETF
Full health Legal & General Global Health and Pharmaceuticals Index Trust
The building blocks Legal & General Global Infrastructure Index Fund
The property tycoon Legal & General Global Real Estate Dividend Index Fund
Socially responsible UK Amundi MSCI UK Socially Responsible Investment index fund
Socially responsible Global iShares MSCI World SRI UCITS ETF
Cash Market Fund Blackrock ICS Sterling Liquidity Premier MMF

There are also shares in 81 UK & US companies, which is much less choice than with many of its competitors, although there is the possibility it will expand as the platform gains traction.

Dodl fees and charges

AJ Bell Dodl has an annual charge of just 0.15% per account, with a minimum of £1 per month. There is no commission for buying or selling investments. There also isn't a charge for withdrawing cash from your account, with the exception of its Lifetime ISA, which is governed by separate tax rules. Although it is undoubtedly low cost, the requirement to pay a minimum of £1 per month, per account means you only get the 0.15% rate when you invest more than £8,000. If, for example, you had £4,000 in an ISA and Lifetime ISA, you would be required to pay £12 per year for each one.

Dodl is significantly cheaper than the main AJ Bell* investment platform, which charges 0.25% for investments up to £250,000, as well as fees for buying and selling both funds and shares. Generally, it works out cheaper than most other investment platforms, with the notable exception of Vanguard Investor, which charges the same 0.15% annual charge, but without requiring a minimum payment of £1 per month. Vanguard also has a cap of £375 per year, however, it only provides access to its own in-house fund range and doesn't offer investments in shares. There is a breakdown of how Dodl compares to its competitors in the table below:

Comparison of AJ Bell Dodl's fees vs other investment platforms

Investment platform Annual platform charge Monthly subscription
AJ Bell Dodl* 0.15% (minimum £1 per month, per account) n/a
Vanguard 0.15% (up to maximum £375) n/a
Nutmeg 0.45% - 0.75% n/a
Moneybox 0.45% £1
Freetrade* n/a £5.99 (ISA) £11.99 (Pension)

Dodl Pros and Cons


  • Low cost
  • Pays 5.09% interest on uninvested cash held in a Stocks and Shares ISA and Lifetime ISA
  • Easy to use and aimed at new investors
  • Offers a LISA, as well as other wrapper options
  • Can pay by Apple and Google Pay, as well as debit and direct debits


  • Limited investment choice, with only around 81 UK & US shares and 37 funds 
  • A minimum fee of £1 per month, per account applies, meaning you'll need to invest more than £8,000 to ensure you pay the 0.15% management fee
  • As it is app-only, it may not appeal to those who like being able to access their accounts in other ways. It also doesn't offer the wealth of research and fund information provided by more traditional platforms, including parent company, AJ Bell.

AJ Bell Dodl customer reviews

AJ Bell Dodl* is rated as ‘Excellent' on independent review site Trustpilot with a score of 4.6 out of 5.0 from over 180 reviews. Many of the positive reviews state that the app was easy to set up and simple to use. Many also praise the helpful customer support. Some of the negative reviews had previously centred around AJ Bell Dodl only being available to UK residents, however, following feedback from customers, it has changed this policy and now permits applications from non-UK citizens.


Having experienced high levels of growth in its main business, an obvious next step for AJ Bell is to move into the burgeoning app-only platform universe. AJ Bell Dodl* is likely to be a popular option for those who like a pared back and simple approach to investing, without too many bells and whistles. The fact that it is low cost is likely to add substantially to its overall appeal and those not ready to invest can earn 5.09% interest on uninvested cash held in one of its ISAs. However, if you are looking for the cheapest option on the market, there are more cost-effective alternatives. Dodl charges a minimum fee of £1 per month, per account and also doesn't apply a fee cap, meaning those investing less than £8,000 or more than £250,000 may be better off investing with Vanguard Investor.


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