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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.

Share Dealing ISAs

Share Dealing ISA

from AJ Bell

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

Why we like it: Voted ‘Best Execution Only Broker 2020’ in the ADVFN International financial 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. AJ Bell is one of the UK’s largest online investment platforms with £48.3 billion in assets under administration for 262,000 customers.

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.

Share Dealing ISA

from IG

Allows ISA Transfers
  • Trade From (frequent trader rate): £3.00
  • Trade From (standard trader rate): £8.00

Why we like it: Pay zero commission on US share trades, and just £3 on UK share trades, when you trade three or more times a month with IG. No admin or transfer fees. Custody fee of £24 per quarter, charged if you hold share dealing or ISA assets at the end of the quarter.

Important information: 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.

Share Dealing ISA

from Interactive Investor

  • Trade From (frequent trader rate): £7.99 (Investor Plan: Flat fee of £9.99pm with one free trade)


Why we like it: ii offer a fixed fee service which is ideal for frequent traders. For £19.99 pm (Super Investor Plan) as well as one free trade, you can trade at £3.99 and for US trades at £4.99. Alternatively for £9.99 pm (Investor Plan) get one free trade and trade at £7.99. Over 40,000 UK & global stocks to choose from across 17 stock exchanges. Invest directly in shares, ETFs, funds, investment trusts & more. Trade using iOS or Android Apps. Get award winning Quotestream, Level 2 streaming prices and real estate portfolio management for a low fixed price of £20 +VAT pm.

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.

Share Dealing ISA

from Hargreaves Lansdown

  • Trade From (frequent trader rate): £5.95 per trade - 20 trades + pm
  • Trade From (standard trader rate): £11.95 per trade

Why we like it: Online share dealing at £11.95 per deal, or as low as £5.95 per deal for active traders. For regular savings, pay just £1.50 per deal. You can also trade shares by phone or post.

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.

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.

Three funds for a Stocks and Shares ISA

Stocks and Shares ISAs are a popular way for people to invest for their future.

If you’re looking for inspiration on where to invest your ISA this tax year, take a look at our latest investment ideas.

Download your copy to discover three funds, including:

  • A total return fund
  • A global income fund
  • A responsible investing fund

Click here to get your FREE guide from Hargreaves Lansdown »

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

5 Considerations for Your Next Investment ISA

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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