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Junior Stocks and Shares ISAs help you invest in a tax-efficient wrapper for your children which they can only access at 18. We have ranked, compared and reviewed some of the best FCA-regulated Junior Stocks & Shares ISAs (JISA) in the UK to help you choose the most appropriate account for your investment objectives.

Best Junior Stocks & Shares ISAs 2022

Our picks for the best Junior Stocks & Shares ISAs are based on over 7,000 votes in our annual awards, our own experiences testing the accounts as well as an in-depth comparison of the features that make them stand out compared to alternatives.

Beanstalk JISA

Beanstalk: Best Junior ISA 2022

The Beanstalk Junior ISA won our award for best JISA in 2022 as they provide a simple 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.

Managed or DIY?

Managed

Minimum Deposit:

£10

Account fee*:

0.5%

*The funds invest in also have annual charges deducted directly from the funds themselves of 0.12-0.15%.

Interactive Investor

Interactive Investor: No additional cost for a JISA

Junior ISAs can invest in the full range of II’s ISA eligible securities and can take advantage of IIs pre-selected ranges of funds and thematic investments.

Managed or DIY?

DIY

Minimum Deposit:

£1

Account fee*:

£0

*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.

Hargreaves Lansdown

Hargreaves Lansdown: Excellent full-service investment platform

There are no charges for setting up a Hargreaves Lansdown Junior ISA or for buying or selling funds. You can choose from a range of funds or from one of their ready-made portfolios. These can be managed depending on your specific investment goals. You can invest from as little as £25 per month or a £100 lump sum.

Managed or DIY?

DIY

Minimum Deposit:

£1

Account fee*:

0.45%

*There is no account charge for shares. 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.

AJ Bell Youinvest

AJ Bell Youinvest: Best for low-cost JISA investing

Advantages of AJ Bell Youinvest’s Junior ISA include a wide range of investments – you can invest in shares, funds, and ETFs and low fees – you can buy and sell investments from just £1.50.

Managed or DIY?

DIY

Minimum Deposit:

£500

Account fee*:

0.25%

*Share account fees are capped at £3.50 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

Nutmeg

Nutmeg: Best JISA for simple investment options

Nutmeg’s Junior ISA looks suitable for investors who are willing to take at least a medium level of risk. The JISA is low cost enough not to worry about fees but for those with small sums (less than £5,000) or who are unwilling to take a medium level of risk or above, there may be more suitable alternatives.

Managed or DIY?

Managed

Minimum Deposit:

£500

Account fee*:

0.75%

*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%

Moneyfarm

Moneyfarm: Good for simple risk-based portfolios

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.

Managed or DIY?

Managed

Minimum Deposit:

£500

Account fee*:

0.75%

*Moneyfarm investing 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%
GoHenry JISA

GoHenry: Simple child friendly investing

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

Managed or DIY?

Managed

Minimum Deposit:

£500

Account fee*:

0.45%

*There is also a 0.22% charge that Vanguard adds on top for managing the investment fund.

Bestinvest

Bestinvest: Good for JISA investment advice and low costs

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 large long-term investors.

Managed or DIY?

DIY

Minimum Deposit:

£1

Account fee*:

0.2%

*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. 

What is a Junior Stocks & Shares ISA (JISA)?

The Junior stocks and shares ISA is a tax-efficient vehicle through which family and friends can save money on behalf of a child and do so from the ISA’s inception until the child’s 18 birthday, by which time they could have a nice little nest egg of their own.

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

Junior Stocks & Shares ISAs Explained

As well as the providers mentioned above there are many other companies that offer the Junior stocks and shares ISAs. Many of these will be familiar household names including fund managers such as Fidelity and Vanguard, Legal and General and Standard Life Aberdeen for example.

Stockbrokers such as Hargreaves Lansdown, Charles Stanley, AJ Bell, Interactive Investor and Redmayne Bentley and others also offer Junior Investment ISA accounts. In fact, you can even open a Junior Investment ISA account through the Post Office.

Charges and fees and minimum investment and regular savings amounts can vary between plans and providers so it’s best to do your homework but it’s fair to say that all this competition between providers helps to keep those costs in check.

How does a Junior Stocks & Shares ISA 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.

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.

The amount of money that can be invested in a Junior Investment ISA each year is set by the Chancellor of the Exchequer, however, for the tax year 2019/20 (which runs until April 5th, 2020) the figure is £4368.00.

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.

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

How can I open a Junior Stocks and Shares ISA?

Applying for a Junior Investment ISA is typically done by parents, grandparents or legal guardian on behalf of their child or loved one. The parent or guardian looks after the ISA on behalf of the young person although in truth the day to day admin is largely managed by the ISA provider the application process which can usually be completed online is quite straightforward and involves some simple form filling with information such as names and addresses, national insurance numbers and bank account or debit card details.

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.

Use our comparison to choose the best children’s ISA account for your needs and apply online today.

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 managers to invest in stocks and shares, managed funds, ETFs etc. 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 Scottish Friendly simplifies matters by offering Junior Investment ISA accounts a choice of eight managed funds with varying risk profiles to invest in.

What are the major benefits of using a Junior Stocks and Shares ISA?

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.

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.

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.

What are the risks of using a Junior Stocks & Shares ISA?

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.

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.

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.

Are Junior Stocks & Shares ISAs covered by the FSCS?

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.

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