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A reader has asked: Is it a good time to convert my stocks and shares ISA into cash?

The problem with investing is that it is quite boring. So boring in fact that the less you think about it the better you do. Playing the peaks and troughs of the market with your long term investments is a sure-fire way to build up a raft of unnecessary fees and charges that could outweigh any potential performance benefit.

If you are considering converting your investment ISA to cash because you think the market is about to crash read our guide to predicting a market crash and what you can do about it. In it we highlight some ways to hedge your portfolio against a market downturn without realising any investments and incurring fees.

The main point to consider here is that the market can go up as well as down so if you have reached a goal it may be worth taking your chips off the table. It’s very easy to protect yourself from losing money in the stock market (by simply not having any money in it), but it can take a long time to make more money. Although if you are prone to FOMO (fear of missing out) you may kick yourself if the market rises. Interest rates for savings accounts are so woefully low at the moment, you won’t see much joy there either.

To get an answer to this you will really need to talk to a wealth manager or an IFA. The question is very broad and does not take into account your personal circumstances or investment objectives.

There will always be a black swan event around the corner that knocks the market, how you handle that is dependent on your risk appetite and who you have advising you. For an interesting anecdote on this read my interview with Steven Sussman, the JM Finn CEO.

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