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29th
Dec 2020
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What Do I Need To Open An ISA

What Do I Need To Open An ISA

Individual Savings Accounts are a well-known tax-efficient investment option. So how exactly do you go about getting one?

Individual Savings Accounts are a well-known tax-efficient investment option. So how exactly do you go about getting one?

Decide how much you can invest

Your first decision is to decide how much you want to commit to the ISA. You can make regular monthly contributions, a single contribution, or a combination of the two.

Unless you want to take out a cash ISA – where interest rates are very low at present – then your investment will be exposed to the stock market, where its value can fall as well as rise. This means that you shouldn’t invest all of your available funds in the ISA, and you need to think carefully about what level of investment loss you can tolerate. If you are in any doubt, you might want to seek professional advice.

Decide where you want to invest

Then, you need to decide which form (s) of ISA you want to use, and with which provider (s), taking advice if necessary.

The various types of ISAs open to you include:

  • Cash
  • Stocks & shares
  • Lifetime (only available to under 40s)
  • Innovative Finance
  • Junior

In each tax year, you can invest a total of £20,000 across cash, stocks & shares, lifetime and innovative finance. You can choose to split the £20,000 between these four types, or between just two or three, or you can choose to put the whole £20,000 in one type of ISA, such as stocks and shares ISA. The only exception here is the lifetime ISA, where personal contributions are restricted to £4,000 per year, so the remaining £16,000 would need to be invested in other forms of ISA.

In addition to this £20,000, you can invest up to £9,000 in a Junior ISA – these are opened by parents and guardians in the names of their children, after which anyone can make contributions on the child’s behalf.

Have the necessary information to hand

As with any financial product, there will be an application form where you will need to enter your personal details. Many of these details will be easy to complete, but make sure you have your National Insurance number to hand, together with details of the bank account from which you would like your ISA funds to be taken.

Have any necessary documentation to hand

The provider and/or your adviser will carry out some form of identity verification. This may be carried out electronically and you might not be aware of this. Alternatively, you might be asked to provide a document such as a passport or driving licence to prove your identity and a utility or council tax bill to prove your address.

Ways to open an ISA

Depending on the provider, there may be many different ways to open an ISA:

  • In person, perhaps in a branch of a bank or building society
  • By phone
  • At a meeting with a financial adviser, with the adviser completing the necessary formalities on your behalf after the meeting
  • By post
  • Online
  • Via a mobile app

If you apply electronically, you are likely to be asked to set up a username and password. Your password needs to be something you can remember, but also something that other people aren’t likely to guess. 

Investment Fund Supermarket ISAs

Stocks & Shares ISA

from Fidelity

ISA Option
Allows ISA Transfers
Regular Savings
  • Protection Scheme: FSCS
  • Fund Choice: Choose from over 4,000 investment options, including one of the widest fund ranges in the UK, plus shares, investment trusts and exchange-traded funds. There’s also expert guidance to help with your investment decisions, which includes a selection of tools and insights from Fidelity’s experts. Capital at risk. Tax and ISA rules apply.
  • Invest From: £25 through regular savings or £1,000 lump sum

Why we like it: Fidelity has lots of investment options, plus an extensive range of guidance tools to help you decide what to invest in. Their award-winning ISA is easy to start and offers great value, their a typical service fee of just 0.35%. Other ongoing charges apply. On top of that, everything is backed by Fidelity’s 50 years of investment experience.

Important: The value of investments can go down as well as up so you may get back less than you invest. This information is not a personal recommendation for any particular investment. If you are unsure about the suitability of an investment you should speak to an authorised financial adviser.

Tax treatment depends on individual circumstances and all tax rules may change in the future.

Stocks & Shares ISA

from Interactive Investor

ISA Option
Allows ISA Transfers
Regular Savings
  • Protection Scheme: FSCS
  • Fund Choice: Access 40,000+ UK, US and international shares on 17 global exchanges. Choose from over 3,000 funds or select a ready made portfolio. Investment trusts, ETFs, Bonds & Gilts. Option to invest in 6 low cost funds selected by experts to get you started. Capital at risk. Tax & ISA rules apply
  • Invest From: £25 a month or any lump sum

Why we like it: An award-winning ISA that gives you complete control. The second largest platform in the UK with the widest choice of investment options in the market including funds, investment trusts, ETF’s and more. Strong ethical investment proposition with more than 140 investment options. Open online in less than 10 minutes. Access to expert independent ideas and analysis. Low cost fees and trading.

Important: The value of your investments can rise as well as fall. You may get back less than you invested. If you’re unsure, we recommend you ask for independent advice.

Stocks & Shares ISA

from Hargreaves Lansdown

ISA Option
Allows ISA Transfers
Regular Savings
  • Protection Scheme: FSCS
  • Fund Choice: Choose from over 2,500 funds, shares, investment trusts and more to build your portfolio. UK and overseas shares. Corporate and government bonds. Exchange Traded Funds (ETFs). Ready-made portfolios to suit your goals and attitude to risk from £1,000. Expert research to help make your decisions. Investment trusts and much more. Capital at risk.Tax & ISA rules apply
  • Invest From: £25 pm or from £100 lump sum

Why we like it: Choose your own funds or alternatively a ready made portfolio. Market-beating savings and discounts of up to 5.5%. No charge to buy and sell funds. Low, tiered annual charges for holding funds, with a maximum of just 0.45% per annum. Free fund updates and analysis from experienced research team. Invest with a financially secure, FTSE 100 company.

Important: The value of your investments can rise as well as fall. You may get back less than you invested. If you’re unsure, we recommend you ask for independent advice.

Junior ISAs

Junior Stocks & Shares ISA

from Interactive Investor

Regular Savings
  • Investment Options: Choose from more than 40,000 UK and global investment options for your child's ISA.

Why we like it: ii offer a flat fee service which over time could save you money compared to platform providers who charge on the value of investments held. ii offer ready made funds including their ethical funds which allows you to invest in line with your principles covering environmental, social and governance factors.

Important: The value of your investments can rise as well as fall. You may get back less than you invested. If you’re unsure, we recommend you ask for independent advice.

Important Risk Information:

The value of investments can go down in value as well as up, so you could get back less than you invest. It is therefore important that you understand the risks and commitments. This website aims to provide information to help you make your own informed decisions. It does not provide personal advice based on your circumstances. If you are unsure of how suitable an investment is for you, please seek personal advice.

High Income ISAs

High income ISA ideas:

ISAs Products

Cash ISAs

Fixed Rate & Instant Access ISAs:

Cash ISAs: 

Stocks & Shares ISAs

Types of Stocks and Shares ISA include: 

Stocks and Shares ISAs

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15th March 2021

You've decided to invest your savings into a Stocks and Shares ISA. You'll be using your tax-free ISA allowance for this year before the deadline, while also investing your money for your future. But what do you need to consider before opening an account? We've put together a list of our top five considerations for you to think about before you click "apply". 

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