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Self Select ISAs

Manage your own investments
Self select ISAs provide investors with a ISA account in which investment decisions are down to them. They're an option for the more confident investor to consider.
Investment Fund Supermarket ISAs

Vantage Stocks & Shares ISA

from Hargreaves Lansdown

Allows ISA Transfers
  • Protection Scheme: FSCS
  • Fund Choice: 2,500+ Funds
  • Invest From: £25 pm

Why we like it: Shelter up to £20,000 this tax year with the low cost, award-winning ISA. The UK's number 1 platform for private investors. 

Share Dealing ISAs

Youinvest ISA

from AJ Bell

  • Trade From (frequent trader rate): £4.95
  • Trade From (standard trader rate): £9.95

Why we like it: Voted ‘Best ISA Provider 2017’ in the City of London Wealth Management Awards. Place 10 deals or more per month and pay only £4.95 per online deal in the next month. Deal from £1.50 and never pay more than £9.95 per online trade.

Investment Fund Supermarket ISAs

Stocks & Shares ISA

from Fidelity

Allows ISA Transfers
  • Protection Scheme: FSCS
  • Fund Choice: 2,000+ Funds
  • Invest From: £50pm

Why we like it: Invest from as little as £50 a month or with a £1,000 lump sum. Investment choice from over 100 fund providers, giving you access to 2,000+ funds. One low-cost service fee of 0.35%*. Great service – from investment guidance on website through to UK-based phones team. PathFinder, Select 50, Investment Finder - investing tools for beginners to advanced investors. 24/7 access via online Account Management system. Capital at risk.

Important Information: * depending on how much you have invested

What is a self select ISA?

Most people who put money into an investment ISA are happy to allow someone else - a fund manager - to choose their investments for them. For those who are new to investing or are too busy to manage their own investment portfolio, it can be reassuring to hand the day-to-day responsibility for your investments to someone else.

However, some people prefer to manage their own portfolio. For those who are sufficiently risk-aware and are prepared to accept the extra work that comes with managing their own funds, a Self Select ISA can offer real freedom of choice.

How does a self select ISA work?

A self select ISA essentially involves taking your existing ISA allowance and choosing either individual shares or a combination of funds to go in it. You can select from a number of investments, including managed funds such as unit trusts, open-ended investment companies (OEICs) and investment trusts, as well as individual equities, gilts and bonds. However, Alternative Investment Market (AIM) shares cannot be included in a self select ISA.

Advantages a self select ISA…

  • As with a traditional investment ISA, any earnings will be free from capital gains tax. Dividends earned by shares are taxed at 10% but holding them within an ISA means no further tax to pay thereby protecting them from higher and additional rate tax. Any dividend income from shares held within an ISA also do not count towards your dividend allowance. So, if you're a higher rate taxpayer and you want to be in control of your own portfolio, a self select ISA can be a tax-efficient way to achieve this.
  • You can avoid paying fees to managers - if you're interested in managing your own investments, why pay someone else to do it for you? Additionally, hiring a fund manager doesn't always mean you're guaranteed the best returns. A recent study found that over the past three years, at least 100 equity investment funds examined had underperformed more than 10%. To put it in black and white - last year, fund managers invested £9 billion and collected £133 million in fees (thisismoney.co.uk).
  • A wide choice of investments can be held within the ISA wrapper - individual shares, standard unit trusts, investment trusts and exchange traded funds are all permitted. If you pay higher rate tax or above, it makes sense to hold some of your investments as part of your ISA allowance.

Disadvantages of a self select ISA…

  • Choosing a self select ISA doesn't mean fees are history - while you might not be paying for fund managementper se, you are likely to be charged a management fee, the format of which will vary. You might pay a fixed amount per year, or a percentage of your total investment. Whenever you buy or sell shares, you'll also be charged a dealing fee. It's important to factor in all charges before you sign up for a self select ISA - for example, if you don't plan on making many changes to your investments, the dealing fee won't be an issue, but if you want the freedom to buy and sell frequently, this can become costly.
  • If you're a basic rate taxpayer, you won't really gain any tax benefit by investing via a self select ISA. This is because you'll only be paying 10% income tax on your investments anyway, regardless of whether you hold these within an ISA.
  • As with all stocks and shares ISAs, you need to be comfortable with the risk that you might lose money.
  • You need to be aware that, in order to build a diverse portfolio, you need to invest in a variety of investments. Each of these will incur dealing charges as mentioned previously.
  • Investments tend to pay off longer term, so you need to be prepared to tie up your cash for a decent period of time - ideally, at least a few years.

In summary - if you're planning to build a large portfolio of shares and are in the higher-rate tax band, then a self select ISA can offer a good balance of investment freedom and tax efficiency.

Important Risk Information:

This website contains information only and does not constitute advice or a personal recommendation in any way whatsoever. The value of investments and income from them can fall as well as rise and you may not get back the full amount invested. The tax efficiency of ISAs is based on current tax law and there is no guarantee that tax rules will stay the same in the future.

Different types of investment carry different levels of risk and may not be suitable for all investors. Please ensure that you read the Important Risk Information for further details. Prior to making any decision to invest, you should ensure that you are familiar with the risks associated with a particular investment and should read the product literature. If you are in any doubt as to the suitability of a particular investment, both in respect of its objectives and its risk profile, you should seek independent financial advice.

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Stocks & Shares ISAs

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