Investing in an ISA can be the simplest and most effective way of protecting some of your savings from the tax man. Most people consider an ISA to be a tax-free wrapper that’s specifically for cash, but there are other options available. A cash fund is a risk-free option, but if you’re comfortable with risk and would like the chance to grow your funds then you might instead choose a stocks and shares ISA. From there you have two further options; you can manage your portfolio of investments, taking an active approach, or you can allow someone else to manage your investments on your behalf.
A self invested ISA is the one that offers the most control. You might also have heard it called a self select ISA. You can put your money into investment trusts, exchange traded funds, standard unit trusts and shares, with any resulting income protected from capital gains tax.
The self invested ISA isn’t for everyone. Whilst dividends are taxed at a low rate of 10%, this is only a benefit for higher rate taxpayers that would usually pay a 32.5% rate. In addition, you’ll potentially be subject to a variety of fees from normal dealing fees to an ISA fee, potential inactivity fees and dividend reinvestment fees. You might be charged fees for transferring stocks, and may be charged when you choose to close the ISA.
Investors should take time to weigh up the benefits alongside the costs, bearing in mind that each investment service provider will have their own fees. The tax-efficient ISA can provide you with a profit on your investments, but only if you’re not spending it all on additional costs.
Before you put your funds into a self invested ISA, you should be sure that you can afford to leave the money alone for at least five years. You should also consider which broker or provider you wish to work with, bearing in mind the costs involved.
If you’re not confident selecting your own investments, and keeping control of your funds, then a managed stocks and shares ISA will be the best approach. If you’re happy to go ahead with a self invested ISA, then you should be prepared to pay a selection of fees to brokers. Dealer fees are often charged for each transaction, so that the amount you pay is directly linked to how often you buy and sell. Bear in mind that if you don’t buy and sell often enough, then the inactivity fees will come into play. A good broker will provide a reliable platform that allows you to see your investments, and their values, at a glance. The platform should also provide access for you to buy and sell with ease.
Best Price Financial Services provides the Cofunds platform for investors. You can get an instant portfolio evaluation, and you’re able to buy and sell with minimal fees. You’ll have complete control over your ISA investments, with the potential to maximise your tax-free profits. For simplicity, you can also choose a pre-selected Best Price Funds list that will help you get started and will provide a platform from which you can adjust your self invested ISA.