Investing in stocks and shares Isas offer the possibility of higher returns than cash Isas, but you must be willing to take some risks with your savings in order to take advantage of those potential returns.

What exactly is an ISA for stocks and shares?

The difference between a cash Isa and a stocks and shares Isa is that the former is simply a tax-free savings account, while the latter is a tax-free investment account that gives you access to a wide variety of investment options.

Individual shares, investment funds, investment trusts, as well as bonds and gilts, are all examples of these types of financial instruments.

Therefore, in contrast to cash Isas, you should only invest if you are willing to take the risk that the value of your investments can fall as well as rise over the course of their tenure.

 

What is the maximum amount that can be put into an ISA for stocks and shares in 2022-23?

You have the ability to put up to £20,000 into an Isa during the tax year 2022-2023, which begins on April 6th, 2022 and ends on April 5th, 2023.

The Isa contribution limit for this year is the same as it was for the 2021–2022 tax year.

It is possible to divide your Isa allowance among a number of distinct ‘wrappers’ for an Isa, including the following:

The same thing as stocks and shares: cash isas Innovative finance using the Isas Isas Lifetime Isas

If you already have Isa accounts, the money in those accounts will not count toward your new Isa allowance.

Transferring funds from an existing cash Isa or an existing stocks and shares Isa into a new stocks and shares Isa won’t count against your annual contribution limit. You are only permitted to open one of each type of Isa per calendar year. For example, you can only have one cash Isa, one stocks and shares Isa, etc.

In addition, you are only permitted to make contributions to one Isa of each type. For example, if you have two stocks and shares Isas, you can only make contributions to one of them.

Which stocks and shares Individual Savings Account should I choose?

Investing in stocks and shares Isas can be opened at a number of financial institutions, including banks, as well as on dozens of online investment platforms.

When choosing a stocks and shares Isa, you should think about the range of investments offered by the provider, the quality of its customer service, and the costs that you will be responsible for paying.

More than one thousand customers of investment platforms that provide Isas for stocks and shares are polled in each annual survey conducted by Which?

We inquire about everything, from customer service to investment information and value for money, from the customers who have previously dealt with us.

In addition to this, we investigate the costs of various providers for varying sizes of portfolios. After that, we choose Which? Recommended Providers based on a combination of the scores given by previous customers and the fees they charge.

How much does it cost to open an Isa for stocks and shares?

A stocks and shares Isa will typically require you to pay a fee in order to maintain it, in contrast to a cash Isa.

We analysed the following leading providers’ stocks and shares ISAs to determine their average annual fees:

What you hold £25,000 portfolio £250,000 portfolio
Investment funds £85 £611
Stocks, ETFs or investment trusts £109 £265

Stocks and shares Isas don’t usually cost any more than general investment accounts.

You’ll pay two sets of charges: those set by the investment platforms or financial adviser and, if you’re buying funds, those levied by individual fund managers.

Fees matter, because they apply whether or not your investments perform well, as our graph demonstrates:

 

Some investment platforms levy a flat fee, while others charge a commission for each trade, and others still levy a combination of all three of these types of fees.

There are also fees that must be paid to transfer your stocks and shares ISA to another provider when using certain platforms.

For your convenience, we have compared the fees charged by the leading investment platforms across eight distinct portfolio sizes. This will allow you to select the platform that offers the lowest fees.

What are the benefits, from a tax perspective, of investing in stocks and shares through an Isa?

If you are a taxpayer who pays at the higher or additional rate, investing in stocks and shares through an Isa may provide you with significant tax advantages.

Is it safe to invest in stocks and shares through an ISA?

There is always the possibility that you could lose the money you invest; any investment that claims to be “guaranteed” or “risk-free” is probably a scam.

It’s possible that a cash Isa, lifetime cash Isa, or savings account would be a better option for you if you’d rather not take any chances with your money.