Always remember that investments can go down as well as up in value, so you could get back less than you put in. A rule of thumb is to hang on to your investments for at least five years to give them the best chance of providing the returns you want.

Best Stocks and Shares ISAs

Updated On: May 30, 2023
Best Stocks and Shares ISA UK 2023

Contents:

Best Stocks and Shares ISAs

We’ve compiled a list of the best Stocks and Shares ISAs in the UK. These are our top fifteen Stocks and Shares ISAs for buying, selling and holding a wide variety of instruments, including stocks, shares, bonds, funds, investment trusts, and other investment products.

To make it easy for you to compare the Stocks and Shares ISA platforms, we have divided them into two categories based on the kinds of services they offer:

  1. Self-Select ISAs (Do-It-Yourself Platforms)
  2. Robo Advisors and Managed ISAs (Do-It-For-Me Platforms)

We have also included a column which tells you if a Stocks and Shares ISA is flexible. If your Stocks and Shares ISA is flexible, you can withdraw money and deposit it back in the same tax year without losing your ISA allowance. For example, if you pay £20,000 into a flexible ISA, you can take it all out and pay it back in again within the same tax year. You cannot do this with a non-flexible ISA.

If you withdraw money from a non-flexible ISA, you will lose that portion of your allowance for the tax year. On the bright side, if you’ve cultivated the bad habit of constantly dipping into your savings, non-flexible ISAs can help you become more disciplined. This tax year, the ISA allowance is £20,000.

Here are the best Stocks and Shares ISAs in the UK:

1. Best Self-Select ISAs (Do-It-Yourself Platforms)

Self-Select ISAs give you the freedom to select the specific investments that make up your portfolio. Depending on the provider you choose, you can either select individual shares, bonds, funds, and other investment products and build your portfolio yourself or choose from a range of managed and ready-made portfolios.

Please remember that when you invest, your capital is at risk. ISA and tax rules also apply. 

The ISA providers listed below are authorised and regulated by the UK’s financial watchdog, the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA).

Here are the best Self-Select ISAs in the UK:

Interactive Investor - One free trade per month; 40,000+ Instruments

Interactive Investor
Account Type
DIY & Ready-made
Dealing Fee
£5.99
Annual Platform Fee
£60 - £240
(£4.99 - £19.99/month)
Minimum Deposit
£25
Flexible
Red cross mark indicating no

Interactive Investor is an exceptional choice for those looking for the best Stocks and Shares ISA in the UK. Recently acquired by wealth management giant Abrdn, Interactive Investor is the second-largest investment platform in the UK. It is well known for its fixed charges (as opposed to percentage-based fees like most other investment platforms) and has been providing investment services and financial information since 1995.

If you choose to invest with Interactive Investor, you’ll gain access to over 40,000 investment options, including UK and overseas shares, funds, investment trusts, and ETFs. This is the second-widest choice of UK and international investments offered by an investment platform in the UK. You will also be able to access 17 global exchanges, including exchanges in North America, Europe and Asia Pacific. These include markets such as the FTSE 100, FTSE 250, FTSE All-Share, NASDAQ, Dow Jones and more. In addition to the exchanges above, Interactive Investor offers Japanese, Indian and Chinese shares in the form of ADRs (American Depositary Receipts).

Interactive Investor gives you a free trade every month, which you can use to buy or sell any investment. After that, trades usually cost £5.99. Interactive Investor also offers a free regular investing service that allows you to invest regularly without paying a trading fee each time. The site also has lots of expert ideas, research and insights, which can be helpful when choosing investments. Interactive Investor’s services include a Trading Account, Stocks and Shares ISA, SIPP and Junior ISA. The Interactive Investor Stocks and Shares ISA is not flexible.

Capital at risk.

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Moneybox - 0% Commission on US stocks; Good for beginners

Moneybox
Account Type
DIY & Ready-made
Dealing Fee
£0
(+ 0.45% FX fee on US Stocks)
Annual Platform Fee
0.45%
(Plus £1/month subscription fee)
Minimum Deposit
£1
Flexible
Red cross mark indicating no

Moneybox, a renowned UK investment app, stands as one of the best platforms for investing in a Stocks and Shares ISA. It offers a broad spectrum of investment options like tracker funds, exchange-traded funds (ETFs), exchange-traded commodities (ETCs), and US stocks. Moneybox offers two forms of investing depending on your investing savviness, investing strategy and attitude to risk. Beginner investors or those who prefer a ready-made portfolio can choose from the three ready-made portfolios on offer - Cautious (lower risk), Balanced (medium risk) and Adventurous (higher risk). Advanced or more confident investors can pick from the range of tracker funds, ETFs, ETCs and US stocks available and build their portfolios themselves.

The Moneybox app also empowers you to invest your spare change by rounding up your card transactions to the nearest pound and investing the difference on your behalf. For example, if you spend £2.30 on a snack, Moneybox will invest 70p for you. You can also instruct the app to make weekly or one-off deposits into your investment portfolio as it rounds up your spare change.

You can start investing with Moneybox with as little as £1. Moneybox offers commission-free trading on US stocks. However, fund management fees apply to other types of investments ranging from 0.12% to 0.61% per annum. A currency conversion fee of 0.45% also applies to US stocks. Moneybox’s suite of products includes a Stocks and Shares ISA, Lifetime ISA, Junior ISA, Personal Pension, and General Investment Account. The Moneybox Stocks and Shares ISA is not flexible.

Capital at risk.

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InvestEngine - Low cost; 500+ Commission-free ETFs

InvestEngine Logo
Account Type
DIY & Ready-made
Dealing Fee
£0
Annual Platform Fee
0% - 0.25%
Minimum Deposit
£100
Flexible
Red cross mark indicating no

InvestEngine, also a top contender for the best Stocks and Shares ISA in the UK, is a low-cost ETF-only investment platform that provides a choice of managed portfolios tailored to you and commission-free DIY investing to help you build long-term wealth. Users can invest in over 500 exchange-traded funds (ETFs) from leading global asset managers.

With InvestEngine, you can invest in two ways depending on your tolerance for risk and savviness as an investor: beginner investors or those who prefer a ready-made investment portfolio can select from one of the Managed Portfolios on offer, where the team of experts at InvestEngine will take care of the day-to-day investment decisions for you. These portfolios are a selection of ETFs based on your preferences and risk tolerance. Once you’ve selected one, you do not have to do anything else besides monitor the performance of your investments. Advanced or more confident investors can choose from 500+ commission-free ETFs and build their portfolios themselves. InvestEngine also offers fractional investing, which allows you to buy bits and pieces of an ETF with as little as £1. This enhances your ability to build a diversified portfolio even if you have a small amount of money to invest. With the DIY Portfolio, there are no platform fees. All InvestEngine portfolios are free of set-up fees, dealing fees, ISA fees or withdrawal fees.

InvestEngine stands out amongst its competitors as one of the cheapest Stocks and Shares ISAs in the UK because it charges no platform or management fees on its DIY Portfolio and just 0.25% a year on its Managed Portfolio. You can also start investing with as little as £100. InvestEngine’s suite of products includes a Stocks and Shares ISA, Personal Account and Business Account. The InvestEngine Stocks and Shares ISA is not flexible.

Capital at risk.

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AJ Bell - Mid-price range; Lots of research; 15,000+ Instruments

AJ Bell Logo
Account Type
DIY & Ready-made
Dealing Fee (Online)
£1.50 (Funds)
£9.95 - £4.95 (Shares)
Annual Platform Fee
0.25% - 0% (Funds)
0.25% (Shares - max £3.50/month)
Minimum Deposit
£500 lump sum
or £25/month
Flexible
Red cross mark indicating no

AJ Bell is one of the UK’s largest online investment platforms, and its mission is to make investing as easy as possible for anyone. The platform offers thousands of investment options for the DIY investor, including shares, funds, bonds, investment trusts, ETFs, ETCs, and warrants.

There are multiple ways to get started with AJ Bell, depending on your risk tolerance and investing savviness. Beginner investors or those who prefer a ready-made investment portfolio can get a little, or a lot, of help from AJ Bell’s specialists by selecting one of the investment ideas on offer. Investment ideas are diversified ready-made baskets of investments that you can select based on your personal preference and attitude to risk. There are eight total investment ideas, each built by a specialist team, and you can pick the right one for you depending on whether you are seeking to simply grow your money over time or receive an income whilst still growing your money. Expert investors can take advantage of the stock and fund screeners and complex instruments available on AJ Bell and build their portfolios themselves.

AJ Bell charges an annual platform fee ranging from 0.25% to 0% depending on the size of your portfolio. Dealing fees for buying and selling investments online are £1.50 for funds and £9.95 for shares (reducing to £4.95 if there were 10 or more online share deals in the previous month). AJ Bell’s products include a Share Dealing Account, Stocks and Shares ISA, Junior Stocks and Shares ISA, Lifetime ISA, SIPP and Junior SIPP. The AJ Bell Stocks and Shares ISA is not flexible.

Capital at risk.

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Bestinvest - Low cost; Lots of research; 3,000+ Instruments

Bestinvest logo
Account Type
DIY & Ready-made
Dealing Fee
£0 (Funds)
£4.95 (Shares)
Annual Platform Fee
0.4% - 0% (DIY)
0.2% - 0% (Ready-made)
Minimum Deposit
£0
Flexible
Green check mark indicating yes

Bestinvest is a UK low-cost investment platform that allows you to trade or invest in over 3,000 instruments, including shares, funds, ETFs, and investment trusts. With Bestinvest, you can build an investment portfolio in two ways depending on your personal preferences, goals and attitude to risk.

Beginners or those who prefer a ready-made investment can build their portfolio by selecting one of Bestinvest’s ready-made investment portfolios. These off-the-shelf style portfolios are created and managed by the team at Bestinvest and come with a carefully selected and diversified collection of investments. Once you have picked one, you do not need to do anything else. There are three ranges to choose from: Expert, Smart and Direct, depending on whether you want to maximise the returns for the risk you take, focus on cost-efficiency or focus on individual investments. The team at Bestinvest will walk you through the process of selecting a ready-made portfolio. Advanced or more confident investors can choose from a wide range of funds, shares, ETFs and ITs and build their portfolios themselves.

To start building your portfolio with Bestinvest, you can deposit a lump sum or set up a monthly savings plan which allows you to automatically save or invest a set amount into your investment account every month. There are no set-up fees or fund dealing charges with Bestinvest. Bestinvest charges an annual platform fee ranging from 0.40% to 0% for DIY investing and 0.20% to 0% for ready-made investing. The dealing fee for buying and selling shares online is £4.95 per deal. Bestinvest’s suite of products includes a Stocks and Shares ISA, Junior Stocks and Shares ISA, General Investment Account, SIPP and Junior SIPP. The Bestinvest Stocks and Shares ISA is flexible.

Capital at risk.

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Freetrade - Low cost; Commission-free trading; 6,500+ Instruments

Freetrade
Account Type
DIY
Dealing Fee
£0
(+ 0.45% FX fee)
Annual Platform Fee
£60 - £120
(£4.99 - £9.99/month)
Minimum Deposit
£2
Flexible
Red cross mark indicating no

Freetrade is a UK mobile trading app that gives you access to thousands of UK and overseas stocks, ETFs, REITs, and investment trusts covering different sectors and markets worldwide. The Freetrade app can be accessed on iOS, Android and desktop devices and offers a slick and easy-to-use user interface and experience. The app is a great choice for both beginners and experienced investors.

With Freetrade, you can invest in fractional shares of even the most expensive US shares with as little as £2. Depositing, trading and withdrawing on Freetrade are commission-free (other charges may apply). FX rates apply to US stocks at the spot rate + 0.45%. To get the most out of Freetrade, you can choose from three subscription plans. The Basic Plan costs £0.00 per month and allows you to open a General Investment Account (GIA) and trade commission-free. The Standard Plan costs £4.99 per month and allows you to open a Stocks and Shares ISA in addition to your GIA. With the Plus Plan at £9.99 a month, you get a Self-Invested Personal Pension (SIPP) and a Stocks and Shares ISA in addition to your GIA. Dealing on Freetrade is commission-free irrespective of your subscription plan. Freetrade’s suite of products includes a Stocks and Shares ISA, General Investment Account (GIA) and SIPP. The Freetrade Stocks and Shares ISA is not flexible.

Promo: Get a free share worth up to £100 when you open a Freetrade ISA. Terms apply.

Please note: Capital at risk. The value of your investments can go down as well as up, and you may get back less than you invest. ISA rules apply. SIPP eligibility and tax rules apply. Free share terms and conditions apply.

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FinecoBank - Low cost; Multi-currency accounts; 20,000+ Instruments

FinecoBank Logo
Account Type
DIY & Ready-made
Dealing Fee
£0 (Funds)
£2.95 (Shares)
Annual Platform Fee
0.25% (Funds)
0.25% (Shares - max £2.95/month)
Minimum Deposit
£25
Flexible
Red cross mark indicating no

FinecoBank is one of Europe’s largest banks, with 20 years of leadership history in brokerage and over 30 million orders processed every year. Its core mission is to make online trading simple by providing direct access to the markets in just one click. With FinecoBank, you can access 26 global markets and trade over 20,000 financial instruments worldwide on a single account, including UK and overseas shares, ETFs, funds, bonds, CFDs, forex, commodities and options. If you sign up for the FinecoBank Stocks and Shares ISA, you can only trade or invest in cash instruments such as stocks and shares, ETFs, funds, and bonds per the government’s ISA rules.

The FinecoBank ISA is particularly advantageous for beginners and experts who want access to a wide variety of instruments at a reasonably low cost. Users can take advantage of FinecoBank’s multi-currency accounts, which allow you to invest and trade directly in GBP, EUR, USD and 20+ currencies. Multi-currency accounts are especially helpful for buying foreign stocks as they reduce your FX fees. FinecoBank users also enjoy advanced tools, interactive charts and automatic orders via the website, mobile apps, PowerDesk and FinecoX software. PowerDesk and FinecoX are advanced and fully customisable trading platforms with powerful charting, analytics tools, and stock screeners. They also give users access to real-time prices across thousands of products, with live P&L updates and economic data.

FinecoBank charges an annual ISA platform fee of 0.25% (max £2.95 per month). The dealing fee for buying and selling UK and US stocks are £2.95 and $3.95 (£3.29) per deal, respectively. There is no dealing fee for buying and selling funds. FinecoBank’s suite of products includes a Trading Account and Stocks and Shares ISA. The FinecoBank Stocks and Shares ISA is not flexible.

Capital at risk.

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Saxo - Diverse product range; 60,000+ investment options

Saxo logo
Account Type
DIY & Ready-made
Dealing Fee
0.10% (UK Stocks)
$0.02 (US Stocks)
Annual Platform Fee
0.12% - 0.08%
(min €120 (~ £108))
Minimum Deposit
£500
Flexible
Red cross mark indicating no

Saxo Markets is the UK division of Saxo Bank, a large European bank and investment platform that allows you to invest in 60,000+ financial products from stock markets around the world, including London, New York, Hong Kong, and 50+ other global markets. With Saxo Markets, you can invest your ISA allowance in more than 11,000 global stocks, ETFs and bonds.

Saxo Markets allows you to build your stocks and shares ISA portfolio in two ways depending on your investing savviness: beginner investors or those who prefer a ready-made investment portfolio can select from one of the managed portfolios on offer, where Saxo experts navigate the markets and manage your investments on your behalf. One managed portfolio gives you access to thousands of bonds and shares in a single investment. The average cost of this managed portfolio is 0.95% per year (including fund costs). Advanced or more confident investors can choose from the range of financial products on offer and build their portfolios themselves.

The minimum deposit to open a Saxo stocks and shares ISA is £500. There is an annual platform fee ranging from 0.12% to 0.08%, depending on the size of your portfolio. Fund management and share dealing fees also apply. Saxo Markets’ suite of products includes a Trading Account, Stocks and Shares ISA and SIPP. The Saxo Markets Stocks and Shares ISA is not flexible.

Capital at risk.

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Hargreaves Lansdown - Lots of research; 15,000+ Instruments

Hargreaves Lansdown
Account Type
DIY & Ready-made
Dealing Fee (Online)
£0 (Funds)
£11.95 - £5.95 (Shares)
Annual Platform Fee
0.45% - 0% (Funds)
0.45% (Shares - max £45/year)
Minimum Deposit
£100 lump sum or £25/month
Flexible
Red cross mark indicating no

Hargreaves Lansdown is a FTSE 100 company and the largest investment platform in the UK. Its core mission is to build long-term client relationships by becoming a trusted partner and financial champion, ultimately helping you increase your financial security for the future.

If you choose to invest with Hargreaves Lansdown, you will gain access to over 2,500 funds, UK and overseas shares, ETFs, ETCs, investment trusts and more. With Hargreaves Lansdown, you can build your investment portfolio in one of two ways, depending on your investing savviness. Beginner investors or those who prefer a ready-made investment portfolio can build their portfolios by choosing from a range of ready-made options where the team of experts at Hargreaves Lansdown will take care of the day-to-day investment decisions for you. Advanced or more confident investors can choose from a wide range of funds, shares and other investments and build their portfolios themselves.

Hargreaves Lansdown does not charge a platform fee on its Fund and Share Account but charges 0.45% (capped at £45) a year on its ISA and 0.45% (capped at £200) a year on its SIPP. It offers most products, including a Fund and Share Account (GIA), Stocks and Shares ISA, Lifetime ISA, Junior ISA, and SIPP. These services are intended for investors who are happy making their own decisions. The Hargreaves Lansdown Stocks and Shares ISA is not flexible.

Capital at risk. The fees quoted here are not exhaustive. Other charges apply.

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Vanguard - Low cost; 70+ Funds

Vanguard Investor'
Account Type
DIY & Ready-made
Dealing Fee
£0
Annual Platform Fee
0.15%
(max £375/year)

Minimum Deposit
£500 lump sum
or £100/month
Flexible
Green check mark indicating yes

Vanguard is a low-cost investment platform with over 75 own-brand funds, including ETFs, active funds and index funds. Vanguard does not offer stocks and shares but provides a variety of ETFs for those interested in exchange-traded securities.

The Vanguard Stocks and Shares ISA allows you to build an investment portfolio in two ways depending on your investing savviness. If you are a beginner investor or someone who prefers ready-made investments, you can build your portfolio by selecting one of Vanguard’s ready-made investments, which give you access to thousands of bonds and shares in a single investment. Advanced or more confident investors can choose from over 75 individual Vanguard funds and ETFs and build their portfolios themselves.

To open a Vanguard Stocks and Shares ISA, you need at least £100 a month or a lump sum of £500. There is a yearly management fee of 0.15% (capped at £375) per year. Some of the funds on offer have separate charges, so please check these before investing. Vanguard’s suite of products includes a Stocks and Shares ISA, Junior ISA, General Account and SIPP. The Vanguard Stocks and Shares ISA is flexible.

Capital at risk.

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To make sense of the above charges, use our investment platform price comparison table.

2. Best Robo Advisors and Managed ISAs (Do-It-For-Me Platforms)

Robo advisors are technology companies that provide automated financial planning with little or no human supervision. Their products include ready-made investments, fully-managed portfolios, financial advice, and micro-investing services.

Robo advisors are excellent for beginner investors or those who want to avoid the hassle of choosing individual stocks, bonds, ETFs, and other assets and would rather outsource this task to money managers and financial experts.

Please remember that when you invest, your capital is at risk. ISA and tax rules also apply. The robo Stocks and Shares ISAs listed below are authorised and regulated by the UK’s financial watchdog, the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA).

‍Here are the best robo advisors for Stocks and Shares ISAs in the UK:


Moneyfarm - Mid-price range; Offers advice and ESG investments

Moneyfarm Logo
Account Type
Ready-made
Annual Fund Management Fee
0.20%
Annual Platform Fee
0.75% - 0.35%
Minimum Deposit
£500
Flexible
Green check mark indicating yes

Moneyfarm is a UK robo advisor that provides you with a personalised investment plan based on your risk preferences and goals. It also offers one of the best fully-managed stocks and shares ISAs in the UK. With Moneyfarm, you can invest in one of seven risk-rated portfolios recommended to you based on the result of an online assessment. Each portfolio comprises a mix of cost-efficient exchange-traded funds (ETFs) and other passive index trackers. Moneyfarm also offers ethical or ESG investment options for those who want to invest in line with their values.

Moneyfarm’s customers benefit from free and personalised digital financial advice from Moneyfarm’s investment consultants, and you can chat, phone, email, or meet your consultant in person. To get started, you will be asked to complete a short survey so that Moneyfarm can better understand how you approach your finances before matching you to your investment portfolio and consultant.

You can start investing with Moneyfarm with as little as £500. Moneyfarm charges an annual management fee depending on how you choose to invest, ranging from 0.75% to 0.35% on the total value of your portfolio. An annual fund management fee of 0.20% (average) also applies to all portfolios. This is built into the cost of the ETF or tracker fund on any given day, so you will not see fund charges being deducted from your portfolio directly. Moneyfarm’s suite of products includes a Stocks and Shares ISA, Junior ISA, General Investment Account, and Personal Pension. The Moneyfarm Stocks and Shares ISA is flexible.

Capital at risk.

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Wealthify - Mid-price range; Offers ethical themes; Beginner friendly

Wealthify Logo
Account Type
Ready-made
Annual Fund Management Fee
0.16% - 0.70%
Annual Platform Fee
0.60%
Minimum Deposit
£1
Flexible
Red cross mark indicating no

Wealthify is a UK robo advisor that allows you to choose from five investment plans based on your attitude to risk. These investment plans are named Cautious, Tentative, Confident, Ambitious and Adventurous and allow you to choose a risk level that best suits your needs. If you are conscious about the environment or would simply like to invest in line with your values, Wealthify’s five portfolios are also available as ethical investment plans, so you can stay true to your values while potentially growing your money.

With Wealthify, the minimum investment is £1, and you can withdraw your money anytime. There is an annual platform fee of 0.60%, and fund management fees range from 0.16% to 0.70% per year, depending on your chosen investment theme. Once you complete the signup process, you can start investing with a lump sum of £1, which you can top up as frequently as you want.

Wealthify’s suite of products includes a General Investment Account, Stocks and Shares ISA, Junior ISA and SIPP in both Original and Ethical themes. The Wealthify Stocks and Shares ISA is not flexible.

Capital at risk.

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Netwealth - Mid-price range; High-net-worth clients; Offers advice

Netwealth logo
Account Type
Ready-made
Annual Fund Management Fee
0.30%
Annual Platform Fee
0.65% - 0.35%
Minimum Deposit
£50,000
Flexible
Red cross mark indicating no

Netwealth is a wealth management platform designed for high-net-worth individuals. If you have a relatively large amount of money to invest and are looking for an intimate private wealth manager, Netwealth might be a good option for you. Netwealth’s overarching goal is to help you manage your money cost-effectively while generating a secure income over the medium to long term that may help with important financial events, such as school fees, retirement or elderly care.

When you join Netweath, you get a free initial consultation with a qualified wealth adviser to help you define your objectives and maximise your investment potential. This process informs what combination of risk levels and account types are best suited for you. The adviser will also help you put a financial plan in place and check back in with you regularly. With Netwealth, you can choose from seven ready-made globally diversified portfolios, which aim to maximise the return for your chosen risk level. You also get access to free powerful financial planning tools to help you visualise your potential investment outcome.

The minimum investment amount to become a client of Netwealth is £50,000. This, however, can be made up of different account types and include cash deposits and transfers from other providers. For example, the minimum portfolio size for an ISA is £5,000 and £1,000 for a JISA. There is no dealing fee, but the average annual investment cost comes to about 0.30%. Other charges apply. Visit Netwealth to learn more. The Netwealth Network lets you invite up to seven people, who each benefit from a lower minimum joining deposit of £5,000, lower fees and investment independence. Netwealth’s suite of products includes a Stocks and Shares ISA, Junior Stocks and Shares ISA, General Investment Account and SIPP. The Netweath Stocks and Shares ISA is not flexible.

Capital at risk.

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&me - Mid-price range; Ethical investments; Good for beginners

&me logo
Account Type
Ready-made
Annual Fund Management Fee
0.19% - 0.42%
Annual Platform Fee
0.75% - 0.35%
Minimum Deposit
£500
Flexible
Green check mark indicating yes

&me is a UK investment app created by popular wealth management firm, M&G Wealth. With &me, you can invest in two kinds of ready-made portfolios based on your attitude to risk and personal values. They are Classic and Targeted Portfolios.

The Classic Portfolios are a low-cost passive way to invest, comprising equities, bonds and cash across different regions such as the US and the UK. The Targeted Portfolios are priced slightly higher and invest in a blend of active and passive funds. These Targeted Portfolios are Environmental, Social and Governance (ESG)-compliant and are designed for people who want to know their investments are creating a positive impact on society and the planet while also working to generate competitive returns. Investment experts from M&G Wealth decide which investments to use in both portfolios and how much to invest in each asset class on your behalf based on a range of factors, including the potential to generate long-term returns for investors. &me will also provide you with an investment consultant to help answer your questions and help you feel more confident when investing.

You can start investing with &me with as little as £500. &me charges an annual management fee ranging from 0.75% to 0.35%, depending on the total value of your portfolio. An average annual fund management fee of 0.19% and 0.42% apply to the Classic and Targeted Portfolios, respectively. Other fees apply. &me’s suite of products includes a Stocks and Shares ISA, Junior ISA, Personal Pension, and General Investment Account. The &me Stocks and Shares ISA is flexible.

Promo:
Sign up to &me, invest at least £500 and pay no management fees for 3 months. Terms apply.

Capital at risk.

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Plum - Low cost; Automatic investing; Beginner friendly

Plum Logo
Account Type
DIY
Annual Fund Management Fee
0.39%
Annual Platform Fee
£36 - £120
(£2.99 - £9.99/month)
Minimum Deposit
£1
Flexible
Red cross mark indicating no

Plum is a UK money management and investment app that helps you manage your money and build an investment portfolio. With Plum, you can invest in up to 21 funds and over 3,000 UK and overseas stocks. Plum also offers ethical or ESG investment options for those who want to invest in line with their values.

The Plum app empowers you to invest your spare change by rounding up your card transactions to the nearest pound and investing the difference on your behalf. For example, if you spend £1.20 on a snack, Plum will invest 80p for you. The app also calculates how much you can afford to set aside and invests it automatically once a week.

You can start investing with Plum with as little as £1. Plum charges a monthly subscription fee ranging from £2.99 to £9.99 per month; you get the first month free. Stock trading on Plum is commission-free (other charges may apply). FX rates also apply to US stocks at the spot rate + 0.45%. The average annual fund management fee across all funds offered is 0.39%. Plum’s suite of products includes a Stocks and Shares ISA, General Investment Account and Personal Pension. The Plum Stocks and Shares ISA is not flexible.

Capital at risk.

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To make sense of the charges above, use our robo advisor price comparison table.

What Is a Stocks and Shares ISA?

A Stocks and Shares ISA is a tax-free investment account in the UK that adults aged 18 and above can use to buy, sell, and hold investments such as shares, bonds, and funds. This tax year, you can invest up to £20,000 in one Stocks and Shares ISA or split it between a Stocks and Shares ISA and other ISAs.

A Stocks and Shares ISA is also called an Investment ISA.

How Do Stocks and Shares ISAs Work?

You can open a Stocks and Shares ISA with investment platforms such as banks, building societies, stockbrokers, fund supermarkets, robo advisors, and other financial institutions.

Once your ISA is open, you can invest up to £20,000 in a wide variety of assets, including individual stocks and shares, corporate and government bonds, and funds.

Depending on the Stocks and Shares ISA platform you choose, you will have the option to either select and manage the individual assets that make up your portfolio (Self-Select ISAs) or choose from a range of ready-made portfolios (robo advisors and managed ISAs).

You get a new ISA allowance at the beginning of each tax year. The tax year starts on the 6th of April and ends on the 5th of April the following year. Any unused allowance expires at the end of the tax year, and you cannot carry it forward. This tax year, the ISA allowance is £20,000.

When you are ready to invest, you can choose between making a lump sum investment and/or making regular or ad hoc contributions throughout the tax year.

Here are a few examples of the types of assets that can be held within a Stocks and Shares ISA:

  1. Individual Stocks and Shares: A share is a unit of ownership in a public company. When you buy a share, you own a small unit of a public company. For example, if you buy a share in Apple Inc., you will become a part-owner of Apple. If Apple performs well, you will benefit from its success. If it does not, you may lose some money. Shares are also called equities or stocks.

  2. Corporate Bonds: When you invest in a corporate bond, you are lending money to a company in return for interest.

  3. Government Bonds: When you invest in a government bond or gilt, you are lending money to a government in return for interest.
  4. Funds: Instead of buying individual stocks and shares, bonds, or other assets directly, you can invest in a fund. A fund pools money from you and other investors, and a specialist fund manager invests it in a variety of assets, including shares, bonds, real estate, and commodities (gold, oil, agriculture). Most people, including experienced investors, use funds when investing. Examples of funds include index funds, active funds and exchange-traded funds (ETFs).

How to Invest in a Stocks and Shares ISA

To invest in a Stocks and Shares ISA, you need to open an investment account with an investment platform or stockbroker such as Interactive Investor, InvestEngine, or AJ Bell. Once your account is open and funded, you need to research investment products, choose your investments, invest regularly and monitor your portfolio.

Here is a breakdown of how to invest in Stocks and Shares ISAs in the UK:

  1. Open an Account With an Investment Platform: An investment platform or stockbroker allows you to buy, sell and hold a wide variety of investments, including stocks, funds, bonds and ETFs.

  2. Verify Your Details and Fund Your Account: Once you’ve opened your account, you need to verify your personal details and fund your account. Depending on the platform you choose, you might have to submit your national insurance number or upload a copy of a valid means of identification.

  3. Research Stocks, Index Funds, and ETFs: Before investing in any stock market product, it is crucial to research the products you want to invest in. The most common investments for a Stocks and Shares ISA are index funds, ETFs, bonds, individual stocks and shares, commodities and investment trusts. For investors of all levels, we have put together two guides to help speed up your research process: Best UK Index Funds and Best UK ETFs.

  4. Create an Investment Strategy: A sound investment strategy defines your ideal investment, desired profit, acceptable loss and risk management strategies. You also need to consider the duration of your investment and your current age.

    For most investors, there are two ways to start investing. You can either pick individual stocks or funds and build your portfolio yourself (Self-Select ISA) or outsource this task to a money manager (Robo Advisors and Managed Portfolios).

    If you decide to self-select, there are also two ways to do this. You can either research the markets and invest in individual stocks and funds directly or create an index fund investing strategy. We highly recommend the index fund investing strategy for beginner investors looking to open a Stocks and Shares ISA in the UK.

    When investing in index funds and ETFs, most people create their own version of Bogleheads’ three-fund portfolio, while others simply invest in one “set-and-forget” index fund or ETF that tracks the whole world.

  1. Consider Fees Carefully: Since you do not pay taxes on a Stocks and Shares ISA, fees and losses are what you need to worry about. Be sure to shop around for the best fees for you before committing to any investment platform. We go into detail on Stocks and Shares ISA fees below.

  2. Choose Your Investments: When you are ready to invest, you need to choose your desired investment products. Simply enter the name of the fund or the ticker symbol of the stock or ETF into the search bar of your preferred investment platform’s desktop or mobile app. Once you locate the product, you may buy as many units as you want.

  3. Invest Regularly: It is important to keep on investing small amounts into your portfolio regularly. Investing small amounts regularly is known as “drip-feeding” into your investment pot and can sometimes be better than investing a huge lump sum once.

    When you invest this way, you tend to get the average return of the market instead of a very high or low return. This investment strategy is often called dollar-cost averaging or pound-cost averaging.

    Additionally, most Stocks and Shares ISA providers will allow you to set up a direct debit to automate the investment process by moving money from your current account to your investment account regularly, usually at least once a month.

  1. Monitor Your Portfolio: Once you find your rhythm, remember to keep an eye on your investments and rebalance your portfolio when necessary. Even if you invest via a Robo Advisor or Managed ISA, you should still keep an eye on your portfolio.

How to Become an ISA Millionaire

To become an ISA millionaire, you need to contribute the maximum ISA allowance of £20,000 annually for at least 25 years and achieve a 5% average growth rate that compounds yearly.

To reach ISA millionaire status in 10 years, you must contribute the maximum allowance each year and achieve a 30% average growth rate that compounds yearly.

At a 10% growth rate compounded annually, you’ll become an ISA millionaire in 18 years, while a 20% growth rate will get you there in 13 years.

It follows from the above that to achieve ISA millionaire status, one must start contributing to an ISA as early as possible and identify sound savings and investment opportunities, such as investing in the stock market via a Stocks and Shares ISA to help you reach your goals faster.

You should also invest often to take advantage of pound-cost averaging, reinvest your dividends to benefit from compound interest and stay consistent, patient and disciplined even when the market takes a hit.

Stocks and Shares ISA Fees

The cost of your Stocks and Shares ISA depends on a number of factors, including the platform you choose, the type of investments you hold and the total value of your investments.

Here is a breakdown of some of the fees you might pay when investing in a Stocks and Shares ISA in the UK:

  1. Annual Platform Fee: The platform fee, also known as a custody fee, is charged by the investment provider or fund supermarket providing a platform for you to invest. It is usually expressed as a percentage of the total value of your portfolio or a fixed fee. Pro Tip: Fixed fees tend to work out cheaper for people investing high amounts, whereas percentage-based fees tend to be less expensive for those with little to invest.

  2. Trading Fee: The trading fee, also known as a dealing fee or brokerage commission, is the fee for buying and selling funds, shares or other types of investments. Most platforms do not charge a dealing fee for buying and selling funds, but the ones that do usually charge an amount ranging from £0.01 to £25.‍‍ Many platforms also offer commission-free trading or 0% commission on stocks, which enables you to buy stocks and shares without paying a dealing fee.

  3. Annual Fund Management Fee: The fund management fee, also known as an ongoing charges figure (OCF) or total expense ratio (TER), is the fee paid directly to the fund manager responsible for managing your fund. When you invest in funds, you typically select a few funds to invest in. If you selected three different funds, for example, you would have to pay a fund management fee for each fund.
  4. Foreign Exchange (FX) Fee: The FX fee, also called a currency conversion fee, is the fee for buying and selling overseas investments denominated in a foreign currency, such as US shares. It is usually charged as a percentage of your trade value and is typically below 1%.

  5. Stamp Duty: When you purchase UK shares electronically, you will pay a 0.5% Stamp Duty Reserve Tax (SDRT). If you purchase UK shares using a stock transfer form, you will pay Stamp Duty if the transaction is over £1,000. Stamp Duty on Irish registered stocks is 1%. You do not pay Stamp Duty on AIM stocks or Exchange-Traded Funds (ETFs).

  6. ‍Market Spread: The market spread, also known as transaction cost, is the difference between the buy and sell prices of an asset like an ETF or a stock.

  7. Transfer-Out Fee: The transfer-out fee, also known as an exit fee, is the fee you pay for moving your investments from one Stocks and Shares ISA provider to another. Not all platforms charge an exit fee, but those that do typically charge per fund or holding.
  8. Advice Fee: A financial advice fee is only paid if you opt-in for financial advice.


Frequently Asked Questions

1. How many Stocks and Shares ISAs can I open in one year?

You can only open one Stocks and Shares ISA in a tax year, but you can open a new Stocks and Shares ISA with a different provider each tax year if you want to. The tax year starts on the 6th of April and ends on the 5th of April the following year.

2. Can I pay into two different ISAs in the same year?

Yes, you can pay into two different ISAs in the same tax year. There are four types of ISAs that you can put money into each tax year: Cash ISA, Stocks and Shares ISA, Lifetime ISA and Innovative Finance ISA. There is also an ISA for children called a Junior ISA.

For example, using your £20,000 ISA allowance, you could save £8,000 in a Cash ISA, £5,000 in a Stocks and Shares ISA, £3,000 in an Innovative Finance ISA and £4,000 in a Lifetime ISA in one tax year.


3. Is it worth getting a Stocks and Shares ISA?

Yes, It is most certainly worth getting a Stocks and Shares ISA if you live in the UK and are looking to invest your money in the stock market.

A Stocks and Shares ISA is an excellent way to shield the gains from your investments from the tax collector. When you invest with a Stocks and Shares ISA, any profits you make from selling your investments are free of Capital Gains Tax. Similarly, dividends received on shares within an ISA are also tax-free. 

Since you do not pay taxes and all your gains are yours to keep, you also stand to benefit more from compound interest than if you had simply invested via a general investment account or any other non-ISA investment account. This means your investments grow quickly, and you can reach your goals faster.

It also means that you can take on more risks when you are younger. For example, if you went for a high-risk product that had a bad year and significantly reduced the size of your portfolio, you can rest knowing that you might be able to make that money back faster in future investments because you will not have to pay tax. If you had to pay taxes, it might take longer to recoup those losses and get your portfolio back to the desired level.

If you are worried about losing money from your investments or think the stock market is too risky, consider opening a Cash ISA, which is also tax-free. Unlike a Stocks and Shares ISA, a Cash ISA is a standard savings account without any exposure to the stock markets. You will also enjoy the benefits of compound interest, although it might be slower than if you invested in the stock market.

4. What type of investments are held in a Stocks and Shares ISA?

When you open a Stocks and Shares ISA, you can invest up to £20,000 in a variety of assets, including: 

  1. Individual stocks and shares
  2. Index and active funds
  3. Exchange-traded funds (ETFs)
  4. Investment trusts
  5. Corporate bonds
  6. Government bonds and gilts
  7. Open-Ended Investment Companies (OEICs)

5. Which ISA is best for stocks and shares?

Here are the best Stocks and Shares ISAs in the UK:

  1. Interactive Investor - One free trade per month; 40,000+ Instruments
  2. Moneybox - 0% Commission on US stocks; Good for beginners
  3. InvestEngine - Low cost; 500+ Commission-free ETFs
  4. AJ Bell - Mid-price range; Lots of research; 15,000+ Instruments
  5. Bestinvest - Low cost; Lots of research; 3,000+ Instruments
  6. Freetrade - Low cost; Commission-free trading; 6,500+ Instruments
  7. Moneyfarm - Mid-price range; Offers advice and ESG investments
  8. Wealthify - Mid-price range; Offers ethical themes; Beginner friendly
  9. Hargreaves Lansdown - Lots of research; 15,000+ Instruments
  10. Vanguard - Low cost; 70+ Funds


6. Can I split my ISA allowance between two providers?

Yes, you can split your ISA allowance between two providers. For example, you can have a Stocks and Shares ISA with one provider and Cash ISA with a different provider. You cannot split your Stocks and Shares ISA allowance between two providers.

7. Can I withdraw money from a Stocks and Shares ISA?

Yes, you can withdraw money from a Stocks and Shares ISA at any time by simply selling your investments and withdrawing the cash. There is no minimum length of time you need to hold your Stocks and Shares ISA for.

However, if you withdraw money from your ISA and reinvest it later in the same tax year, it will count towards your annual ISA allowance, except if your ISA is flexible. With a flexible Stocks and Shares ISA, you can withdraw money and deposit it back in the same tax year without losing your ISA allowance.


8. How do I choose a Stocks and Shares ISA?

To choose a Stocks and Shares ISA, you need to:

  1. Decide if you want a Self-Select ISA or a Ready-Made ISA.
  2. Shop around to make sure you find an ISA that suits you. Use our best Stocks and Shares ISA tables above as a starting point.
  3. Compare the range of investments each provider offers.
  4. Use our Stocks and Shares ISA charges calculator to estimate your fees.
  5. Check that the provider you choose is regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA). All the providers we list on Koody are regulated by the FCA.
  6. Beware of investment scams. Many people have lost money to investment scams in the last few years. If something seems too good to be true, it probably is. Use the FCA’s ScamSmart website to help you spot the red flags.


9. What happens if you exceed your ISA allowance?

If you have exhausted your £20,000 ISA allowance for the current tax year, you can invest the rest of your money using a general investment account (GIA). You should be able to open a GIA with most ISA providers. GIAs are not entirely tax-free like ISAs, but they come with some generous tax benefits:

  1. Capital Gains Tax (CGT) Allowance: CGT is the tax you pay on the gains you make from selling shares, a second home, or jewellery. This tax year, you can make £12,300 of gains tax-free. Once you have used up your CGT allowance, you will have to pay tax at 10% for basic-rate taxpayers and 20% for higher-rate and additional-rate taxpayers.

  2. Dividend Allowance: This tax year, the first £2,000 you receive in dividends is tax-free. After which, you will have to pay tax at 7.5%, 32.5% and 38.1% for basic-rate, higher-rate and additional-rate taxpayers, respectively.
  3. Personal Savings Allowance‍: Your personal savings allowance includes your normal savings interest in a bank and other forms of interest. If you invest in corporate bonds outside your Stocks and Shares ISA, you will enjoy tax benefits as follows:
  • ~~Basic-rate (20%) taxpayers can earn up to £1,000 interest tax-free.
  • ~~Higher-rate (40%) taxpayers can earn up to £500 interest tax-free.
  • ~~Additional-rate (45%) taxpayers have no tax-free allowance.

10. What is the best Stocks and Shares ISA for beginners?

The best Stocks and Shares ISAs for beginners in the UK are Moneybox, InvestEngine and Wealthify.

All three platforms are designed with beginners in mind and offer a slick and easy-to-use mobile experience available on Android and iOS devices. They also provide ready-made portfolios, which are diverse baskets of investments prepared by money managers and financial experts tailored to your personal preferences and attitude to risk. Ready-made portfolios are especially good for beginners or those who need help putting together an investment portfolio.

In addition to the above, Moneybox and InvestEngine offer fractional investing into a Stocks and Shares ISA, which allows you to buy and sell bits and pieces of a stock or ETF. With fractional investing, you can invest in expensive stocks like Apple ($AAPL), which typically costs over £150, with as little as £2 because you are buying a fraction of the stock instead of the whole. 

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Credits

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  2. MoneyHelper
  3. The Lang Cat

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