What is a structured tracker ISA?
A structured tracker ISA is designed to offer some of the benefits of both a standard cash ISA and a stocks and shares ISA. The idea is that the return you earn is linked to the performance of the stock market as a whole, rather than to individual stocks and shares. As with any ISA, you do not pay tax on the interest you earn.
Because the performance of the stock market as a whole tends to be more predictable than that of individual stocks, you are likely to be limiting your risk by investing your savings in this way. You also save the hassle of trying to cherry pick stocks you think are likely to perform well, or paying someone to do this for you.
This approach does mean you are less likely to see the kind of really big returns you might receive if you were to invest in really well chosen individual stocks and shares. However, for people who prefer a slow and steady return, rather than a risky, but potentially high reward approach to investing, a structured tracker ISA can be a good option.
How structured tracker ISAs work
Putting your money into structured tracker ISA will normally mean agreeing to lock your savings away for a set period, often 3 to 6 years. The return you earn will then be linked to the FTSE 100 index or an equivalent.
The exactly level of return you see will be based on how the relevant index is performing on the end date of your deposit term (or at agreed intervals between) relative to how it was performing on the day your deposit term started.
It is important to bear in mind that with this type of investment, if the index has moved down by the time your product ends, you will either earn no return or potentially even lose some of your original capital. This will depend on the type of product you choose and its exact terms.
Types of structured tracker ISA
There are two basic types of structured tracker ISA you can choose from:
Structured deposits – These tend to pay slightly lower returns, but your original deposit is protected even if the linked index moves down. With structured deposits, you earn a return if the index moves up and none if it moves down. This is a good option if you want to limit your risk.
Structured investments – These usually pay a higher level of return but are more risky. If the value of the tracked index goes down, you may lose some of your original deposit. This is best for those who want to see higher returns and can afford to risk their deposit.
Compare structured tracker ISAs
Knowing which type ISA will offer the best match for your personal finances and investment goals can be difficult, especially with so many different providers offers such a range of different products. Our ISA comparison tool at the top of the page makes things easier, allowing you to quickly and simply compare the features of leading products from across the market.