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Mar 2020

What Should I Look for in a Stocks and Shares ISA? 5 Things to Consider

What Should I Look for in a Stocks and Shares ISA? 5 Things to Consider

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". 

Are you a first-time investor looking to make use of your remaining ISA allowance for this tax year before the deadline on April 6th 2020?

If you’ve never done this before, you need to look at the options before investing your hard-earned cash into a Stocks and Shares ISA, to make sure you’re getting the best deal having considered all the options.

With that in mind, we’re here to give you a helping hand. Here is our list of top five things to consider before opening a new Investment ISA:

1 Don’t just pick the cheapest option you can see

Now, costs are important – this decision is unlikely to be changed year-after-year. But the cheapest advertised rate might not be the cheapest option overall (or the best one for you). Hidden costs can mean you actually end up paying more with some of the options which look cheaper at first glance.

For a modest portfolio managed on the most popular platforms, the costs can include:

  • Annual account charges ranging from zero to £100 a year.
  • Annual fund charges from zero to 0.45% of portfolio value.
  • Plus charges each time you make a trade, which could be from £1 to £12.50 per transaction.

BUT… some of the more expensive platforms are rated highly by investors for ease of use and good customer support. So don't write these off for slightly higher rates! 

2 Where do you want to put your money?

You don’t necessarily have to choose the exact ISA you want but you can choose your platform – but, not all platform offer all the different kinds of funds. If you are very passionate about certain issues, such as Climate Change or other ethical concerns, you might find it useful to know you can open ISAs which are specifically targeted at funds which align with your values.

Know your priorities, check your platforms and do your research to make an informed decision.

Some examples of ISAs with specific purposes are:

We've recently done some in-depth blogs on Ethical Investments and Property ISAs - so if you want to know more you should start there. 

3 What kinds of tools and research opportunities do platforms offer?

Being able to easily research, use and monitor their finances is often one of the biggest factors by which other customers will judge a platform. So, do some research into reviews and what different platforms offer in terms of support.

Some people are willing to pay that little bit more in account fees for a platform which offers user-friendly functions such as in-app optimisation and easy access to information.

 4 How much are you investing?

The amount of money you’re looking to funnel into an investment is a really important consideration when choosing where to put it. Look at the fee structures and thresholds for the providers – as some offer reduced fee charges for those with more sizeable investment portfolios.

Some investors with larger pots of cash (eg. £50K plus) might want to be on the lookout for platforms that specifically charge flat-rate fees.

5 What added costs (and potential savings) am I looking at?

When it comes to choosing a platform, you need to know if they’ll be any hidden costs. In addition to annual management charges, you should be looking for…

  • Any dealing charges (which vary depending on the level of trading)
  • Any dividend reinvestment fees
  • Transfer charges
  • Exit fees.

You should also look out for any potential extra savings – such as discounts or bonuses for adding your money monthly rather than in one lump sum. 

 Read our best rates on Stocks and Shares ISAs. 

Selected ISAs

Stocks & Shares ISA

from Wealthify

ISA Option
Allows ISA Transfers
Regular Savings
  • Protection Scheme: FSCS
  • Fund Choice: Choose your risk profile and have an investment Plan built and managed for you
  • Invest From: No minimum

Why we like it: Choose your level of risk from cautious to adventurous and have a plan expertly created and managed for you. Create multiple plans with different risk levels, Ethical plans also available. Invest as little or much as you like, add regular payments and top up whenever you like. Withdraw money or transfer out without notice or penalty fees. Wealthify app lets you check how your Plan is performing, manage your transactions and provide investment news and insights. Simple annual management charge of 0.6%

Stocks & Shares ISA

from Moneyfarm

ISA Option
Allows ISA Transfers
Regular Savings
  • Protection Scheme: FSCS
  • Fund Choice: Choose your risk profile and have it matched to an investment portfolio expertly built and managed
  • Invest From: £1,500

Why we like it: Answer questions about your goals, financial situation and attitude to risk, and Moneyfarm will recommend the right ISA portfolio for you, built and managed by experts to help your money grow. You’ll always be invested in a portfolio that’s suitable for you, and you can manage this through the Advice Centre. See what you’re invested in, how you’re performing and how much you’re paying anywhere and any time with the Moneyfarm app. Add money to your ISA by setting up a direct debit, investing a lump-sum, or by transferring old ISAs for free

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

Latest News

Our Top Picks for Technology Stocks and Shares ISAs

19th January 2021

The tech industry has been booming for the past fifteen years; and it seems to be a rollercoaster that only goes up. The tech bubble has yet to burst, with companies coming out with more and more technological developments and consumer demand is certainly not slowing down. So, for the tech-savvy investor who wants to put their pennies behind this strong growing industry, we’ve put together our top three picks for Technology Stocks and Shares ISAs. 

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