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Stocks & Shares ISA accounts are tax-efficient investment accounts. When you invest within a Stocks & Shares ISA, all the capital gains and income generated from your investments are completely tax-free. 

Best stocks & shares ISA platforms compared and reviewed

Use our ISA account comparison to choose the best ISA account by comparing account fees, if they are DIY or managed by experts and what the minimum deposit to get started is. We have ranked, compared and reviewed some of the best stocks and shares ISA accounts in the UK that are regulated by the FCA. All investing carries risk. 

Hargreaves Lansdown: Best DIY stocks and shares ISA 2023

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

Hargreaves Lansdown’s Stocks & Shares ISA offers access to a vast range of investments. Investors have access to domestic and international equities, over 3,000 funds, bonds, and more. Another advantage is that the platform offers plenty of research and investment tools to help you make investment decisions.

Hargreaves Lansdown’s ISA costs 0.45% of the value of your portfolio. However, share account fees are capped at £45 per year. 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.


  • ✔️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 be expensive for large fund portfolios

CMC Invest: Zero commission flexible stocks and shares ISA 

  • Investments: Shares & ETFs
  • Minimum deposit: £0
  • ISA account charge: £10 per month
  • ISA dealing fee: £0

Capital at risk

CMC Invest gives you a flexible stocks and shares ISA that lets you invest in major UK shares, US stocks and ETFs without having to pay commission when you deal. The flexible investment ISA is included in the Plus account, which also includes access to UK mid-cap shares and a USD wallet.

General investment accounts are commission and fee free. ISA accounts cost £10 a month and are included in the Plus plan. For US shares there is a 0.5% conversion fee.


  • ✔️Zero commission
  • ✔️No custody fee for GIAs
  • ✔️Low FX conversion fee of 0.5%


  • ❌No fractional shares
  • ❌No limit or stop orders

CMC Invest’s app gives you access to major stocks, and has a screener to help search for potential investments.

CMC Invest App


Wealthify: Best managed stocks & shares ISA 2023

  • Investments: Pre-made portfolios
  • Minimum deposit: £1
  • ISA account charge: 0.6% annual charge
  • ISA dealing fee: £0

Capital at risk

Wealthify, part of the Aviva Group, lets you invest in an ISA 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.

Wealthify charge an account fee of 0.6% for their ISA. There are also investment costs of on average 0.16% for original plans and 0.7% for ethical plans.

Refer a friend to Wealthify and get a £50 boost in your portfolio if they invest more than £250 and leave it there for six months. Terms apply.


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


  • ❌Cannot trade individual shares or ETFs

Interactive Investor: Excellent fixed-fee stocks and shares ISA account

  • Investments: Shares, ETFs, bonds & funds
  • Minimum deposit: £1
  • ISA account charge: £9.99 per month
  • ISA dealing fee: £3.99 – £5.99

Interactive Investor won the 2022 Good Money Guide award for best stocks and shares ISA account as they offer one of the cheapest investment ISAs that provides access to over 40,000 shares and 3,000 funds, as well as investment trusts, ETFs and bonds. They are a good choice for people that want to take control of what they invest in.

The Interactive Investor’s ISA account is a flat £9.99 per month, this also includes a free Junior ISA to help you save for your children. 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 Investor – Recommend 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.


  • ✔️Pick your own investments or use their model portfolios
  • ✔️£1 minimum deposit makes it easy to get started
  • ✔️Fixed account fee that does not increase with your investments
  • ✔️Joint account options


  • ❌Fixed fee expensive for very small accounts below £1,000

Nutmeg: Best for beginners who want a simple investment ISA

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

Capital at risk

Nutmeg offers off-the-shelf portfolios across its ISA range to suit four different investment styles. Investors can dial the risk up and down within the investment styles to build a tailored portfolio which matches their attitude to risk.

Nutmeg charge 0.75% for their ISA, but this drops 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%.


  • ✔️Simple ISA investment platform for beginners
  • ✔️Regular ISA investing available (repeat orders)
  • ✔️Scaled account fees that reduce as your ISA grows


  • ❌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.

AJ Bell: Cheapest self-select investment ISA

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

Capital at risk

AJ Bell is an award-winning, low-cost online investing platform for the UK DIY investor. You can invest stocks in more than 20 markets, over 2,000 funds, ETFs, and bonds.

AJ Bell charges 0.25% of the value of your portfolio for their ISA. But, 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.

  • Recommend a friend, and you’ll both get £100 gift vouchers – When you recommend a friend to AJ Bell 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.


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


  • ❌High phone dealing charges

AJ Bell’s investment platform is functional and well laid out. Key share and fund information is available to view at the time of execution.

AJ Bell investing platform

Moneyfarm: Best for simple risk-based investment ISAs

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

Capital at risk

Moneyfarm’s ISA invests in ETFs to keep the costs low, so you aren’t paying for active managers. Instead, you are benefiting from tracking a series of diversified indices that are regularly rebalanced. This should mean you get to keep most of your returns rather than paying hefty fees to fund managers.
Moneyfarm’s ISA 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%


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


  • ❌Cannot buy and sell individual shares

IG: Best ISA for US stocks & Smart Portfolios

  • Investments: Shares, ETFs, investment trusts & pre-made portfolios
  • Minimum deposit: £250
  • ISA account charge: £24 per quarter
  • ISA dealing fee: Shares £3 – £8

Capital at risk

IG offer a very cheap way to include US stocks directly in your investment ISA. But, if you prefer not to trade in individual equities you can take advantage of and invest in a range of Smart Portfolios that are selected and managed by BlackRock on IGs behalf.

IG charge £24 per quarter in custody fees for an ISA account. There is zero commission on US share trades and just £3 on UK share trades when you trade three or more times a month. Standard dealing fees are £8 for UK and £10 for US shares. Smart Portfolio fees are 0.5% – capped at £250 per year. Fund management charges are 0.13% and transaction costs are 0.09%.

  • Free US stock investing – There is zero commission on US share trades and just £3 on UK share trades when you trade three or more times a month.


  • ✔️ Low-cost ISA investing account
  • ✔️UK & international shares
  • ✔️Pre-made ISA portfolios


  • ❌Also provides access to high risk investment products

Bestinvest: Best ISA for investment advice and low costs

  • Investments: Shares, ETFs, funds
  • Minimum deposit: £1
  • ISA account charge: 0.2% to 0.4%
  • ISA dealing fee: Shares £4.95, funds £0

Capital at risk

Bestinvest has combined low-cost online ISA 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.

Bestinvest’s ISA costs 0.2% if you invest in a ready-made portfolio, which reduces to 0.1% above £500,000. For other investments like shares and bonds the account fee is 0.4% up to £250k. Dealing commissions £4.95 per online share trade, fund dealing is free.


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


  • ❌No bond investing

Bestinvest’s investment platform is very simple to use and lets you connect with an investment advisor via video chat.

Bestinvest investing platform

Saxo Markets: Best ISA for experienced and professional investors

  • Investments: Shares, ETFs, funds, bonds
  • Minimum deposit: £500
  • ISA account charge: €10 per month or 0.12%
  • ISA dealing fee: Shares 0.1% – 0.05%

Capital at risk

Saxo Markets’ platform lets you invest in more than 11,000 ISA-eligible stocks, ETFs, bonds and commodities, from 60 leading exchanges worldwide.

Saxo Markets charge a custody fee of 0.12% for an ISA. when you buy and sell shares Saxo Markets charges a commission based on a percentage of transaction size. They are very competitive though and UK shares trading commission starts at 0.1% (£100 if you buy £100,000 worth of stock) and drops to 0.05% for more active traders.

  • Platinum – if you have £200,000 or more on account, you can apply for 30% lower transaction and account costs.
  • VIP – For accounts with portfolios over £1m, you get even better pricing, direct connection to experts, 1:1 SaxoStrats access and propriety event invitations.


  • ✔️ISA investing with direct market access
  • ✔️Excellent ISA investment platform
  • ✔️Low ISA dealing commissions


  • ❌May be too complicated for beginners
  • ❌Subscription fees for live pricing

What is the best stocks and shares ISA in the UK?

We ranked Wealthify as the best stocks and shares ISA account in our 2023 awards as they offer low account fees, good research and a wide range of managed investments.

Methodology: We have chosen what we think are the best stocks and share ISA accounts based on:

  • over 17,000 votes in our annual awards
  • our own experiences testing the ISA accounts with real money
  • an in-depth comparison of the features that make them stand out compared to alternative stocks and shares ISAs.
  • interviews with the ISA account provider CEOs and senior management

The best stocks and shares ISA is one that:

  • Allows you to build an investment portfolio that is in line with your financial goals and risk tolerance.
  • Provides access to the assets you wish to invest in whether that’s shares, funds, investment trusts, exchange-traded funds (ETFs), or bonds.
  • Suits your investment style. Some ISA providers cater to do-it-yourself (DIY) investors and provide all the tools investors need to manage their own portfolios. Other providers, however, offer managed accounts and products.
  • Is easy to use and offers a good level of customer service.
  • Enables you to access your money when you need it.
  • Has competitive fees and charges, so you can get the best rate of return.
  • Is regulated by the UK’s financial regulator, the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA), and provides protection under the Financial Services Compensation Scheme (FSCS).

What is the best self-select stocks and shares ISA account?

Hargreaves Lansdown was ranked as the best self-select investment ISA in 2023 in our awards, as they offer a huge range of investment options backed up by industry-leading customer support and research.

What is the best managed stocks and shares ISA?

Wealthify won best stocks and shares ISAs in our 2023 awards. It’s very simple to use as you just choose an investment style based on your risk tolerance. The platform then builds your plan and manages it for you. You can start investing with just £1. Wealthify won the 2021 Good Money Guide award for best robo advisor.

Wealthify’s Stocks & Shares ISA offers five different investment options. The options are: Cautious, Tentative, Confident, Ambitious, and Adventurous. All of these strategies are constructed with a mix of low-cost passive investments such as ETFs and funds. Investors also have the option to build an ethical portfolio.

One downside to Wealthify is that, like Nutmeg, there are only a few investment options to choose from. There is not a lot of flexibility and you cannot invest in individual shares and funds.

Wealthify charges an annual fee of 0.60% for managing your investments. Other costs can apply, however, Wealthify aims to keep these as low as possible – around 0.16% for original plans and 0.71% for ethical plans.

Generally speaking, beginner investors require platforms that are easy to use, cost-effective, offer access to products that are well suited to beginners such as ready-made portfolios, and are available to those with small amounts of money to invest.

What is the best stocks and shares ISA for beginners?

Nutmeg offer one of the best stocks and shares ISA for beginners and are now owned by JP Morgan. With Nutmeg you choose a goal, timeframe and amount you’d like to invest and then select your desired risk level. The platform shows what kind of investments it will use to build your portfolio, which is then rebalanced over time. There is a more expensive “fully managed” option, where your investments are proactively managed by experts.

What is the cheapest stocks and shares ISA platform?

For larger ISA accounts, Interactive Investor is generally one of the cheapest DIY platforms. It offers a flat-fee structure. Its lowest monthly fee is just £9.99.

Determining the cheapest investment ISA platform is not an easy process. That’s because fees tend to vary depending on the size of your account, the assets you invest in, and the number of trades you make.

Two of the cheapest managed ISA platforms are Nutmeg and Moneybox. Nutmeg charges a fee of 0.45% per year on assets up to £100,000 (0.25% above this) and average investment fund costs of 0.19% per year. Moneybox charges an annual fee of 0.45% along with annual fund provider costs of 0.12% to 0.30%. There is also a £1 monthly subscription fee but this is waived for the first three months.

What are the best ethical & ESG investment ISAs?

Ethical investing is an approach that seeks to generate financial gains while also considering environmental, social, and corporate governance (ESG) factors. It’s sometimes called ‘sustainable investing’, ‘socially responsible investing’, or ‘ESG investing.’

Two investment providers that offer ethical ISAs include:

  • Nutmeg. With Nutmeg, you invest ethically by selecting its ‘Socially Responsible’ plan for your ISA. Its Socially Responsible portfolios are tilted towards companies and bond issuers that have high ESG standards.
  • Wealthify. With Wealthify, you can invest ethically by selecting its ‘Ethical’ plan. Wealthify has joined forces with best-in-class ethical fund providers to create a range of five ethical plans that let you invest in organisations committed to having a positive impact on society and the environment.

It’s also possible to build your own ethical ISA through a DIY platform. Providers such as Hargreaves Lansdown, AJ Bell , and Interactive Investor all offer a wide range of ethical funds and ETFs that can be purchased for an ISA.

What is the best stocks and shares ISA for dividend investing?

Hargreaves Lansdown is the best stocks and shares ISA for dividend investing as they have the most data, research and tools for buying and comparing high dividend yielding shares.. Hargreaves Lansdown is the largest investment platform in the UK. Through its investment platform, investors can gain access to a vast range of domestic and international dividend-paying stocks as well as a wide range of dividend-paying funds. You can find UK dividend-paying funds by filtering funds for ‘UK Equity Income’ funds.

Dividends are cash payments that some companies pay to their shareholders out of their profits. When you invest in dividend-paying securities within an ISA, all your dividend income is tax-free.

There are two main ways to collect dividends within an ISA. You can either invest in dividend-paying shares or invest in dividend-paying funds. Three top platforms that offer a wide range of dividend-paying shares and funds for ISA investors include:

Further reading:  what is dividend investing and how does it works.

What is the best stocks and shares ISA for children?

We recently awarded Beanstalk App, the best stocks and shares ISA for children for their Junior ISA product. A junior ISA is a tax-efficient investment account that is available to those in the UK aged under 18. With this type of ISA, family and friends can save money on behalf of a child. Junior ISAs currently have an annual allowance of £9,000.

Note: Consider your children’s needs carefully before you open an account for them.

Further reading: Compare the top children’s ISA accounts here.

What investment ISA is best for over 50s?

If you are over 50 you should be taking less risk with your ISA investments, as providers say that investments ISAs are best left for five years so there is still plenty of time to make potential investment gains before retiring.

Those looking for a managed ISA may want to consider the products offered by Nutmeg and Wealthify. Both of these providers offer a range of lower-risk investment plans that may be suitable for those over 50.

Those looking for a self-managed ISA may want to consider the ISAs offered by Hargreaves Lansdown and AJ Bell . Both of these providers offer access to a range of stocks and funds that may be suitable for those over 50.

If your goal is to generate dividend income within your ISA, a self-managed ISA may be your best option. With this type of ISA, you can build a portfolio of income-generating investments. All income within the ISA will be tax-free.

Stocks & Shares ISA FAQ:

When choosing an investment ISA platforms, there are a number of things to consider including:

  • The range of investment options each platform offers. Some ISA providers offer more investment options than others. For example, some offer access to a wide range of investments including domestic and international shares, investment trusts, funds, ETFs, and bonds. Others, however, only offer access to certain asset classes or products.
  • The fee structure of each platform. Every ISA provider has a different fee structure. This needs to be considered carefully because fees and charges can have a large impact on investment returns over time. Fees and charges to consider include annual custody charges, entry and exit fees, trading commissions, and FX charges. Some ISA providers offer fee calculators that allow you to compare fees. These can be useful when comparing platforms.
  • DIY or self-select. Some ISAs are designed for DIY investors. Others are designed for beginner investors or those who don’t want the hassle of managing their own investment portfolio.
  • The research and investment tools offered by each platform. Some ISA providers offer a range of features designed to help you make investment decisions. Others, however, just offer basic trading and investing services.
  • The user-friendliness and reliability of each ISA platform. Ideally, you want a platform that is well laid out, easy to use, and can be accessed via an app so that you can monitor your account and place trades on the go. You also want a platform that is reliable and always available.
  • The customer service levels of each ISA provider. Some investment providers are better than others when it comes to providing support. Service and support can be important, particularly if you are new to investing.
  • The type of ISA. Some ISAs are known as ‘flexible ISAs.’ A flexible ISA enables you to make a withdrawal and put the money back into the account in the same year without impacting your ISA allowance.

When comparing ISA providers, the key is to think about what you’re looking for from the provider. This will help you find the right ISA for you. Are you looking for a sophisticated product designed for advanced investors? Or are you looking for a basic, low-cost ISA product?

Opening a Stocks and Shares ISA is typically a straightforward process. With most providers, you can open one online through the provider’s website or app.

To open a Stocks & Shares ISA, you will need to provide the ISA provider with:

  • Your full name
  • Your date of birth
  • Your address for the last three years
  • Your phone number and email address
  • Your National Insurance number
  • Your nationality (ISAs are only open to UK residents)
  • Some proof of identification

You’ll also need to set up an online account. This will involve creating a login username and a password for your account.

Usually, the whole account opening process only takes a few minutes. Once your ISA is set up, you can add money to the account via your debit card. As soon as the money is in your account, you can begin investing.

Money held in a stocks and shares ISA can grow free from income tax. If you sell investments and make a profit, you do not have to pay capital gains tax.

You can invest up to £20,000 across all your ISAs each tax year.

You can invest your stocks and shares ISA money into shares, investment trusts, open-ended investment companies (OEICs), unit trusts, government bonds and corporate bonds.

Self-select ISAs give you complete control over choosing your investments, monitoring their performance and rebalancing your portfolio.

Any dividends you receive on shares held within an ISA are tax-free.


Investments held in a stocks and shares ISA are covered up to £85,000 if the platform or broker enters default. You aren’t covered for any losses you make as a result of your investments performing poorly.


Unless you invest through a managed ISA, where experts choose and monitor your portfolio, you have sole responsibility for your ISA making money.

Investments held in a stocks and shares ISA are covered up to £85,000 if the platform or broker enters default. You aren’t covered for any losses you make as a result of your investments performing poorly.

You can own multiple stocks and shares ISAs, but you’re only allowed to pay into one of them in each tax year.

The maximum contribution limit for each financial year is £20,000. This £20,000 can be split as you like between one investment ISA and one cash ISA.

You can keep both cash  and stocks and shares ISA accounts open from previous financial years alongside your new ISAs but you will only be able to pay into one of each type in the current financial year.

Old ISA account interest rates and charges and fees can change. So it is worth checking the terms and conditions of each account you have open carefully so you don’t end up paying more or earning less in interest.

There are many different approaches to investment, but a popular method of reducing risk is to drip feed money into an ISA over the course of a year. This ensures that the investor is protected against drops in the value of the equities. For example, if £5,000 is invested in a fund in March and it drops in value by 20%, then the investor will be left with £4,000. A drip feeder would buy £2,500 in March, which would be worth £2,000 in April, and could then buy a further £2,500 at the lower price. This would leave the investor with £4,500 and a larger stake in the fund than the non-drip feeding example.

By logging into your ISA account you can view the performance of each underlying investment and the overall performance of your portfolio. Some providers offer charts showing how your portfolio has performed over time.

No – as with any investment, you could end up with less money than you originally invested.

Investing within a Stocks & Shares ISA involves risk. However, there are a number of ways you can reduce the investment risk within your ISA.

One way is to invest in lower-risk investments. These kinds of investments are available on both managed and DIY ISA platforms. Wealthify, for example, offers a ‘Cautious’ plan. Meanwhile, Hargreaves Lansdown offers access to many lower-risk funds.

Another way to reduce investment risk is to diversify your portfolio so that it contains a mix of different assets. This will help reduce overall portfolio risk.

It’s worth noting that if your ISA provider is regulated by the FCA, you will be covered by the Financial Services Compensation Scheme (FSCS) if the provider fails (up to £85,000). The FSCS does not cover regular investment losses, however.

ISA investments such as shares, funds, ETFs, and investment trusts are constantly fluctuating in value. So, it’s not unusual to see the value of your ISA fall in the short term. Stocks & Shares ISA investments should be viewed as long-term investments (5+ years). History shows that, over the long term, assets such as shares, funds, and ETFs tend to provide healthy, inflation-beating returns.

Historically, shares have delivered excellent long-term returns for investors. Over the long run, UK shares have returned around 5% per year in real terms (i.e. above inflation) according to the Barclays Equity Gilt study. That compares to around 1.3% for UK government bonds and around 0.7% for cash. US shares have performed even better. Since 1926, the main US stock market index, the S&P 500, has returned about 10% per year.

It’s important to understand, however, that not every stock has performed this well. To obtain these kinds of returns from the stock market, you need to own a whole portfolio of shares. It’s also important to understand that shares do not rise in a straight line. In the short term, share prices move up and down. To generate good returns from shares, you generally need to invest for the long term.

When choosing shares to invest in, there are a number of things to consider including:

  • The company’s growth prospects. Companies that grow substantially over time tend to be good investments.
  • The company’s level of profitability. Companies that are highly profitable tend to be good investments over the long run. Companies that are not profitable are generally higher-risk from an investment point of view.
  • The company’s balance sheet. Companies that have weak balance sheets tend to be higher-risk investments.
  • The company’s dividend track record. Companies that consistently increase their dividend payouts tend to be good long-term investments.
  • The company’s valuation. Companies that have very high valuations tend to be higher-risk investments.

It’s important to think about your financial goals and risk tolerance when choosing stocks for your ISA. If your risk tolerance is low, it’s sensible to invest in lower-risk, dividend-paying shares. If your risk tolerance is high, you may want to allocate some capital to higher-growth shares. It’s important to remember that, in investing, risk is directly related to return. The higher the potential return on offer, the higher the risk.

You can sell and rebuy shares in an ISA, normally without affecting your annual ISA allowance. However, you do need to check with your ISA provider to ensure that this is definitely the case.

Further reading: How to buy shares.

There are two main ways to improve the performance of your Stocks & Shares ISA.

The first way is to invest in better underlying investments. This is easier said than done, however. No one knows how an investment will perform in the future and past performance is not an indicator of future performance. That said, if you have a managed ISA and it has consistently underperformed other managed ISA products in the past, it may be worth transferring the ISA to another provider.

The second way is to reduce fees. Over time, fees can have a large negative impact on investment returns. It’s important to ensure that the fees you are paying are reasonable.

You can own multiple Stocks & Shares ISAs, however, you can only pay into one Stocks & Shares ISA per tax year. The annual allowance is £20,000.

You are allowed to pay into a Stocks & Shares ISA and a Lifetime ISA in the same tax year as long as you don’t pay in more than £20,000 in total.

Yes. Transferring old Stocks & Shares ISAs into a new account can be a smart move. When your accounts are consolidated, it’s easier to manage your money.

Generally speaking, transferring an old ISA to a new account is a straightforward process. Usually, it’s simply a matter of applying for a transfer with your new provider. They will contact the old provider and begin the transfer. Once the transfer is complete, you can invest the money in your new ISA. Usually, the process is completed within a few weeks.

Those wishing to transfer an ISA should be aware of the following:

  • Transfers can be made as cash or stock.
  • Transferring an ISA does not count towards your ISA allowance.
  • You can transfer an ISA as many times as you like.
  • Some providers charge exit fees (sometimes per stock transferred). It’s worth checking this before you execute a transfer.
  • You cannot transfer your ISA to an ISA owned by someone else.

If you wish to execute a partial transfer, you should speak to your providers to see if this is possible. Not all ISA providers allow partial transfers.

You do not need to transfer a Junior ISA into an adult Stocks & Shares ISA. This should be done automatically by the provider.

Fund performance is constantly changing. This means that the best-performing funds today may not be the best-performing funds next week or next month.

Identifying the best-performing funds is generally an easy process, however. For example, if you want to find the best-performing funds on Hargreaves Lansdown, simply navigate to the ‘Funds’ page and then filter funds by a ‘Sector’ so that you’re comparing the performance of similar funds. Then hit ‘Search.’ Once the list of funds is generated, you can sort them by discrete performance or cumulative performance. If you sort the funds by cumulative performance, you can find the best-performing funds over 3 months, 6 months, 1 year, 3 years, and 5 years.

It’s important to remember when picking shares to invest in that past performance is not an indicator of future performance. So, a fund that has performed well in the past may not necessarily perform well in the future.

Here’s how to buy shares so you can get the best value investment options for your money.

With most Stocks & Shares ISAs, if you withdraw money and then put it back into the ISA in the same tax year, it will count towards your annual allowance. However, some ISAs allow you to take money out and pay it back into the account in the same tax year without affecting your annual ISA allowance. These are known as ‘flexible ISAs.’

Withdrawing money from a Stocks & Shares ISA is typically a straightforward process. Usually, it’s just a matter of logging in to your account and selecting ‘withdrawal.’ It’s worth noting, however, that your investments will have to be sold before you can withdraw your money. This process can take several days.

If you die, money and investments held within your Stocks & Shares ISA will be passed on to your beneficiaries.

After your death, your Stocks & Shares ISA will retain its tax benefits until one of the following things happens:

  • The administration of your estate is completed
  • The Stocks & Shares ISA is closed by your estate executor

If neither of these things happen within three years and one day of your death, your ISA provider will close your account.

In your will, you can leave your ISA to whoever you like. If you have a spouse or civil partner, they can inherit your ISA’s tax-free status as a one-off boost to their own ISA allowance.

You can own multiple stocks and shares ISAs, but you’re only allowed to pay into one of them each tax year.

There is an annual limit on how much money you can put into ISAs, which for the 2020/21 tax year is £20,000. This limit is split across all types of ISAs, so you could invest your whole £20,000 in a stocks and shares ISA or split it between a cash ISA and a stocks and shares ISA.

You can keep old ISA accounts from previous financial years open and continue to earn tax-free returns.

You can transfer ISAs from previous years into your new account, as long as your ISA provider allows ISA transfers.

This will consolidate your investments and keep everything in one place.

Yes. Most Stocks & Shares ISAs are suited to long-term investing. The best ISAs for long-term investing, however, are those that offer the combination of a wide range of investment options and competitive fees. Over the long term, fees can have a large negative impact on investment returns so it’s important to find a provider that offers low fees.

A key advantage of Stocks & Shares ISAs is that they allow you to withdraw your money at any time. Generally speaking, it’s usually quite easy to access money that has been saved in an ISA although you may have to sell your investments first and this can take a few days.

Those looking to make regular withdrawals from their Stocks & Shares ISA may want to consider a ‘flexible ISA.’ This type of ISA enables you to withdraw money and then put it back into the ISA in the same tax year without impacting your ISA allowance. Most providers do not offer flexible Stocks & Shares ISAs

Stocks & Shares ISAs have been around in their current form since 2008. Before this, they were known as ‘Maxi ISAs.’ Prior to 1999, they were known as ‘Personal Equity Plans’ (PEPs).

Yes. Nutmeg won our award for the best investment ISA to help buy a house with their Lifetime ISA. The main advantage of Nutmeg’s Lifetime ISA is that you can build an investment portfolio very easily. When you sign up to Nutmeg, they ask about your goals and risk appetite. They then use this information to build a portfolio for you. One downside to Nutmeg’s Lifetime ISA is that investment options are quite limited.

A Lifetime ISA is a tax-efficient investment account designed to help people save for retirement or purchase their first home. It is open to those aged 18-39. The annual allowance is £4,000.

The main advantage of the Lifetime ISA is that contributions into the account come with a 25% bonus while you’re under the age of 50. The disadvantage of this ISA is that there are penalties for withdrawing money before you turn 60 or buy your first property. You can compare all Lifetime Investment ISAs here.

This article contains affiliate links which may earn us some form of income if you go on to open an account. However, if you would rather visit the stocks and shares ISA provide via a non-affiliate link, you can view the product pages directly here: