Junior Stocks and Shares ISAs offer better potential returns than cash ISAs as they are investment accounts rather than savings accounts. JISAs let you invest in a tax-efficient wrapper for your children which they can only access at 18. For the 2022/23 tax year, you have until 5th April 2023 to invest up to £9,000 tax-free for each of your children, which they can only access when they reach 18. We have ranked, compared and reviewed some of the best Junior stocks and shares ISA providers and accounts in the UK that are regulated by the FCA. All investing carries risk. This article contains affiliate links which may earn us some form of income if you go on to open an account. 

Our picks of the best Junior Stocks and Shares ISA accounts compared

You can use our comparison of what we think are the best junior stocks and share ISA accounts to compare whether or not you have to make your own investment decision or you get help from an expert, what the minimum deposit is and how much the accounts costs to run.

We have chosen what we think are the best Junior investment ISAs based on:

  • over 7,000 votes in our annual awards
  • our own experiences testing the Junior ISA accounts with real money
  • an in-depth comparison of the features that make them stand out compared to alternative Junior stocks and shares ISAs.
  • interviews with the JISA company CEOs and senior management

Beanstalk: Best Junior Stocks & Shares ISA 2022

  • JISA Investments: Share fund or cash
  • Minimum deposit: £1
  • JISA account charge: 0.5%
  • Dealing fee: £0

Capital at risk

Beanstalk’s Junior ISA won our award for the best JISA in 2022 as they provide a simple yet effective way to invest for your children’s future. Friends and family can also make deposits directly into your child’s account via the app. The investment options are split between cash and the stock market enabling parents to adjust the level of risk they are prepared to take. It’s a good option for parents who want to investment for their children, but don’t want to pick individual invesments.

A Beanstalk Junior investment ISA costs 0.5%. There is also an on going management charge of between 0.12-0.15% charged by the fund managers of the funds held in the ISA.

Pros:

  • ✔️Managed account
  • ✔️£10 minimum deposit
  • ✔️0.5% account fee*

Cons:

  • ❌No individual stocks and shares
  • ❌App only

Interactive Investor: Cheapest self-select JISA

  • Investments: Shares, ETFs, bonds & funds
  • Minimum deposit: £1
  • JISA account charge: £0
  • Dealing fee: £3.99 – £5.99

If you have an investing account with Interactive Investor, you get a free Junior stock and shares ISAs account for your children. You can invest in over 40,000 shares, bonds, funds or pre-built portfolios. So if you are looking for a free self-select JISA it is one of the cheapest and most flexible investment ISAs for children on the market at the moment compared to Hargreaves Lansdown (0.45%) and AJ Bell Youinvest (0.25%). You also get one free trade per month, after that it costs £5.99 per deal, compared to AJ Bell’s £9.95 per share deal or Hargreaves Lansdown’s £5.95.

*II JISAs are free for customers who have already opened an ISA or Trading Account. Dealing commissions are a free trade every month, then UK Shares and Funds, US Shares charged £7.99 or upgrade to a £19.99 “Super Investor” account 2 free monthly trades and deal for £3.99. Regular investing is free.

  • One free trade per month – One buy or sell order is free every month, after that, the cost is between £3.99 and £5.99 depending on what plan you are on.
  • Free investing for your friends and family –  You can give up to five people a free investment account subscription with Interactive Investor’s Friends and Family plan. You pay a single extra fee of £5 a month, and their monthly cost is zero. Each member can invest up to £30,000 in an ISA or a general investing account with free regular investing and no account fees. However, they will still pay normal dealing commissions when they buy and sell investments.
  • Get £200 when you refer a friend to Interactive InvestorRecommend a friend or family member to ii and get a £200 reward. Your friend will get their first year’s service plan for free – saving £120. To qualify, your friend must transfer or fund their account with at least £10,000 in combined cash/investments. However, your friend will not receive the usually monthly free trade.

Pros

  • ✔️Pick your own investments or use their model portfolios
  • ✔️£1 minimum deposit makes it easy to get started
  • ✔️£0 account fee*

Cons

  • ❌You have to pick your own investments
  • ❌Only free if you have an II trading account

Hargreaves Lansdown: Excellent full-service investment platform

  • Investments: Shares, ETFs, bonds & funds
  • Minimum deposit: £1
  • JISA account charge: 0.45%
  • Dealing fee: Shares £5.95 – £11.95, funds £0

Hargreaves Lansdown is one of the largest investment platforms in the UK, but it has a reputation for being expensive. You do get the widest selection of UK and international shares as well as bonds, ETFs, VCTs, gilts and bonds, but this does come at a price. A Junior stocks and shares ISA with HL costs 0.45% of the account value per year, which is capped at £45, so there is essentially no charge for balances above £10,000. There is no charge for buying funds, but share deals cost £5.95 each. Overall it is more expensive than Interactive Investor and AJ Bell Youinvest, but Hargreaves Lansdown have always scored higher in customer satisfaction in our awards surveys.

A Hargreaves Lansdown JISA costs 0.45%. Shares fees are capped at £45 per year and funds are charged at 0.45% for the first £250,000. There is no charge for buying funds, but shares are charged at £11.95 per deal or £5.95 if you do over 20 deals per month.

 

Pros

  • ✔️Thousands of UK and international shares, bonds & funds
  • ✔️Ready-made portfolios with different levels of risk
  • ✔️Excellent research and analysis
  • ✔️An established and listed company on the LSE.

Can

  • ❌Can be expensive for large fund portfolios

AJ Bell Youinvest: A well-rounded and good-value low-cost JISA investing account

  • Investments: Shares, ETFs, bonds & funds
  • Minimum deposit: £500
  • JISA account charge: 0.25%
  • Dealing fee: Shares £4.95 – £9.95, funds £1.50

AJ Bell Youinvest is one of the cheapest self-select JISAs with account fees of only 2.5%. Fees are capped at £2.50 per month for shares, investment trusts ETFs, gilts and bonds, but there is no cap for holding funds. You also have dealing charges of £1.50 for funds and £9.95 for shares. It is cheaper than Hargreaves Lansdown’s 0.45% and providers a relatively similar service.

AJ Bell charges 0.25% of the value of your for a Junior ISA. Share account fees are capped at £2.50 a month. Dealing costs are £1.50 for funds and £9.95 for shares but drop to £4.95 where there were 10 or more online share deals in the previous month

  • Recommend a friend, and you’ll both get £100 gift vouchers – When you recommend a friend to AJ Bell Youinvest that invests more than £10,000 in a SIPP or ISA, you and your friend can get One4All gift vouchers worth £100.
  • Switch your share dealing account and receive up to £500 to cover exit fees – If you transfer your share dealing general investment account valued at more than £20,000 to AJ Bell they will help cover any exit fees charged by your current provider. They will cover £35 per investment moved and up to £100 for general exit fees, up to an overall maximum of £500 per person.
  • Free subscription to Shares Magazine worth £220
    Get a free subscription to Shares (worth over £220 per year) by maintaining a balance of £4,000 or more across your AJ Bell investing accounts.

Pros: 

  • ✔️Pick your own shares, funds and bonds or use their investing ideas
  • ✔️Low JISA account fees capped at £2.50 a month for shares 
  • ✔️Lots of accounts types

Cons: 

  • ❌High phone dealing charges

Nutmeg: Best JISA for simple investment options

  • Investments: Pre-made portfolios
  • Minimum deposit: £500
  • JISA account charge: 0.75%
  • Dealing fee: £0

Capital at risk

Nutmeg’s Junior ISA is good for parents who do not need such a wide range of investment options from platforms like Hargreaves Lansdown, Interactive Investor and AJ Bell Youinvest as you cannot buy individual stocks or funds. Instead, you invest in pre-made portfolios built up from low-cost ETFs. This is a great way to build a cheap and diverse investment ISA for your children for investors who are willing to take at least a medium level of risk. There are no dealing costs, and the fully managed account costs 0.75% per year.

Nutmeg’s JISA costs 0.75% of the value of your portfolio. Nutmeg account fees drop to 0.35% for balances over £100k. There is an addition charged by the investment fund managers of around 0.2% and the market spread on buying and selling portfolios is on average 0.07%

Pros:

  • ✔️Simple managed JISA
  • ✔️Regular investing available (repeat orders)
  • ✔️Scaled account fees that reduce as your portfolio grows

Cons:

  • ❌Cannot invest in individual shares
  • Collect 2,500 Avios with Nutmeg – New customers who invest in a Nutmeg globally diversified portfolio can collect 2,500 Avios towards your future adventures.

Moneyfarm: Good Junior stocks and shares ISA for simple risk-based portfolios

  • Investments: Pre-made portfolios
  • Minimum deposit: £500
  • JISA account charge: 0.75%
  • Dealing fee: £0

Capital at risk

Moneyfarm smart tech allows you to monitor your JISA’s performance from anywhere, automate your monthly deposits so you’ll never miss an opportunity again, and their team of dedicated investment consultants are on hand to answer any queries you may have via anytime calls, chats, or emails.

Moneyfarm junior stocks and shares ISA account fees are scaled between 0.75% for accounts between £500 and £50,000, then above £100k are 0.45% to 0.35%. Average investment fund fees are 0.2% and the average market spread when buying and selling is 0.10%

Pros:

  • ✔️Risk-based JISA portfolios
  • ✔️ Low-cost investing
  • ✔️Easy-to-use

Cons:

  • ❌Cannot buy and sell individual shares

GoHenry: Simple child friendly investment ISA

  • Investments: Pre-made portfolios
  • Minimum deposit: £1
  • JISA account charge: 0.45%
  • Dealing fee: £0

Capital at risk

GoHenry’s Junior ISA is an add-on to the pocket money app where your children can get a customised pre-paid debit card for spending their weekly allowance. When you invest in the GoHenry Junior ISA you are buying Vanguards LifeStrategy 60% Equity Accumulation Fund, which contains a mixture of stocks and bond

GoHenry’s JISA costs 0.45% and there is also a 0.22% charge that Vanguard adds on top for managing the investment fund.

Pros:

  • ✔️Integrated with pocked money app
  • ✔️Low account fee of 0.45%

Cons:

  • ❌High minimum deposit
  • ❌Only one fund to invest in

Bestinvest: Good for JISA investment advice and low costs

  • Investments: Shares, ETFs, funds & bonds
  • Minimum deposit: £1
  • JISA account charge: 0.2% to 0.45%
  • Dealing fee: Shares £4.95, funds £0

Capital at risk

Bestinvest has combined low-cost online investing and share dealing with personalised expert advice to help clients choose the right investments for their portfolio. A good choice for parents that want to pick their own investments with a bit of advice.

0.2% account fee is for holding ready-made portfolios. above £500,000 it reduces to 0.1%. For other investments, the account fee is 0.4% up to £250k. Dealing commissions £4.95 per online share trade, fund dealing is free.

Pros:

  • ✔️Expert advice from professionals
  • ✔️Low minimum deposit of £1
  • ✔️Very low account fees from 0.2%

Cons:

  • ❌No US shares

Wealthify: Invest in a Junior stocks and shares ISA from just £1

  • Investments: Pre-made portfolios
  • Minimum deposit: £1
  • JISA account charge: 0.6%
  • Dealing fee: £0

Capital at risk

Wealthify, part of the Aviva Group, lets you invest in either an original portfolio of investments from the UK and overseas or choose an ethical investment plan made from a blend of environmentally and socially responsible investments.

It costs 0.6% to start investing with Wealthify, which is one of the cheapest robo-advisor general investment account fees. There are also investment costs of on average 0.16% for original plans and 0.7% for ethical plans. 

  • £25 when you refer a friend – You can get a unique link when you have a funded Wealthify account to use to recommend them to friends. To get the £25 cashback, your friend needs to invest at least £250 for three months.

Pros:

  • ✔️Managed portfolios
  • ✔️Low minimum deposit of £1
  • ✔️Low account fee of 0.6%

Cons: 

  • ❌Cannot trade individual shares or ETFs

How do Junior Stocks & Shares ISA (JISA) work?

The Junior Investment ISA is based on the same principle as its adult peers that is it is a government-sponsored tax-free savings vehicle, within which up to a predetermined sum of money can be invested and not be subject to either income or capital gains taxes while it remains in the shelter.

It is important to note that, unlike an adult investment ISA, you can only have one Junior Investment ISA account rather than multiple plans with different providers however you can transfer funds between providers.

ISAs or Individual Savings Accounts were introduced by the government to encourage long-term saving and the Junior ISAs were an extension of those goals.

What can you invest in through a Junior Stocks & Shares ISA?

Unlike the Cash ISA, the Junior Investment ISA has a lot more freedom to invest and indeed it’s specifically designed to allow parents to invest in

  • stocks and shares
  • managed funds
  • ETFs
  • bonds
  • gilts
  • pre-made portfolios

The full list of instruments you can invest in on behalf of your child or loved one will vary from provider to provider and so it is definitely worth checking out what is and isn’t permissible with a particular manager before you apply for a Junior Investment ISA. In order to ensure the type of investments you have in mind are covered by that provider.

For example, Hargreaves Lansdown offers Junior Investment ISA accounts access to 3000 funds, UK and Overseas shares and a range of investment trusts and ETFs. Whilst Nutmeg is more suitable for those not confident enough to pick their own investments by offering Junior Investment ISA accounts a choice of pre-built managed funds with varying risk profiles to invest in.

Benefits of opening a Junior Stocks and Shares ISA account

  • Tax free-profits – The main benefit of Junior Investment ISA is undoubtedly the tax-free shelter it provides for savings. Long term capital growth could see the money invested into Junior Investment ISA appreciate over the lifetime of the account which can run to 18 years. With regular investment and the right market, a Junior Investment ISA could grow very nicely indeed, if it’s invested correctly and all those gains will be made free of taxes. Something that would be very difficult to achieve outside of the vehicle.
  • Money when they need it – What’s more, the Junior Investment ISA is specifically designed to allow minors to save money for a time in their life when they may need a lump sum perhaps to help towards university tuition fees, to fund driving lessons or the purchase of the car. The funds invested grow inside the tax-free shelter and can’t be accessed until the child’s 18 birthday and remain beyond temptations reach until then.
  • Better potential returns – The Junior Investment ISA provides much more flexibility than its savings counterpart, meaning the funds invested in the ISA can be optimised for long-term capital growth which is likely to be the investment strategy most applicable for a minor investing for the future.

Risks of investing in a Junior Stocks & Shares ISA

  • Poor performance – The main risk in using Junior Investment ISA is the market risk of the investments within it. Stock and shares and associated funds can rise as well as fall in value and if financial markets take a turn for the worse then it’s possible that you could lose money rather than grow it for your children.
  • Account fees – Unlike cash ISAs yo have to pay a fee to hold you investments. That said risk and reward are two sides of the same coin and regular saving for the longer term has been shown to be an effective way to grow our money and a well-diversified strategy can often outperform cash on deposit, which is usually seen as the risk-free alternative to stock market investment and saving.
  • Money locked away – The other consideration is that money invested in a Junior Investment ISA is locked away for the full term of the plan that is until the 18th birthday of the beneficiary. So, you won’t be able to dip into those funds on a rainy day and top them up later, as they are completely ring-fenced from you.

Junior Stocks & Shares ISA FAQ:

In our 2022 awards we ranked Beanstalk as the best junior stocks and shares ISA.

Use our JISA comparison to choose the best children’s ISA account for your needs and apply online today. These are the steps to open a junior stocks and shares ISA account.

  1. Junior Investment ISA can be opened by parents, grandparents or legal guardians on behalf of their child or loved one.
  2. Once you have chosen a JISA provider you then need to complete the online account opening forms with information such as names and addresses, national insurance numbers and bank account or debit card details.
  3. Manage the ISA. You will have to decide if you want to pick your own investment or go with a managed provider.
  4. Parents and guardians can add a lump sum to the Junior Investment ISA of up to the tax-free allowance.  Or they can opt to make an initial deposit and then monthly savings thereafter minimum contribution levels may vary between Junior ISA providers.

However, parents decide to fund the Junior Investment ISA the key point is that no more than the tax-free allowance can be invested within a given tax year.

With a junior cash ISA money is held in a savings account and you receive interest. With a Junior stocks and shares ISA your money is invested in the stock market. This can result in better returns, but also comes with risk and you may get less back than you put in if the market underperforms.

Yes. The FSCS or Financial Services Compensation Scheme was set up by parliament and is funded by the financial services industry and it can compensate eligible investors in the event of fraud or insolvency. Under current legislation, the scheme can payout up to £85,000 for savings accounts and £50,000 on investment accounts. A Junior Investment ISA would fall into the latter category, so in the event of the provider of the ISA or the custodian of the assets becoming insolvent, the FSCS would step in.

The implicit guarantee provided by the fund and the tax-free benefits of the shelter certainly helps to make the Junior Stocks and shares ISA an attractive proposition when considering investment for the next generation.

It’s important to remember that past performance is not an indication of how well a stock and shares ISA account will do in the future. One way to ensure you get the right performance for you is by using a DIY JISA where you pick and choose exactly what investments you want for your children.

Or, view our comparison of Junior stocks and shares ISA accounts and visit the providers to see their individual performance.

Money can be invested in a Junior Investment ISA for a maximum of 18 years during which time it has the potential to compound and grow.

Money invested in a Junior Investment ISA cannot be withdrawn until the child’s 18th birthday when it reverts to the child.