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Jul 2013

AIM Shares to be allowed in ISAs from 5th August 2013

The Treasury announced this week that AIM (Alternative Investment Market) shares will be permitted in ISAs from 5th August 2013. This follows on from the Government's original announcement in December 2012 that such a measure would be considered.

Until now, investment ISAs could only be invested in shares listed on recognised stock exchanges, a definition which excluded AIM shares. AIM (formerly known as the Alternative Investment Market) is the London Stock Exchange's market for smaller, growing companies, and is the most successful growth market in the world, attracting over 3,000 international companies to date (as at 22/07/13).

However, with this widening of consumer choice comes the caveat that investing in AIM shares can carry higher risks than those associated with investing in more established companies. Danny Cox, Head of Financial Planning at Hargreaves Lansdown, points out that: "AIM shares can be very volatile and smaller companies generally are higher-risk than the so-called blue chips. Investors should choose shares or funds that are suitable for their investment approach and objective and not just for the tax benefits."

No news, feature article or comment should be seen as a personal recommendation to invest. Prior to making any decision to invest, you should ensure that you are familiar with the risks associated with a particular product. If you are at all unsure of the suitability of a particular product, both in respect of its objectives and its risk profile, you should seek independent financial advice.

The tax treatment of ISAs depends on the individual circumstances of each client and may be subject to change in the future.

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An ISA is an individual savings account that offers the chance for individuals to earn up to £20,000 tax-free interest.Not only can those who subscribe to an ISA benefit from tax-free interest from savings, but also enjoy the freedom to invest from their ISA and avoid paying tax on their returns.

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