Many people don’t use their ISA allowance because they are confused by it, often thinking it is complex and a lot of hassle. This couldn’t be further from the truth, as an ISA is simply a tax-efficient wrapper for you to place your savings. TQ Invest can make investing in to an Equity ISA simple and low cost by offering substantial discounts and helpful information.

ISAs explained

An ISA is a ‘wrapper’ for your savings and investments. Once your money has the protection of being held in an ISA, it becomes more tax-efficient, so interest or growth can be paid without UK Income Tax or Capital Gains Tax (CGT) deducted. You can’t hold an ISA with or on behalf of someone else.

There are 2 types of ISA:

You can put money into one Cash ISA and one Stocks and Shares ISA each tax year.

Who can open an ISA

You must be:

  • 16 or over for a Cash ISA
  • 18 or over for a Stocks and Shares ISA
  • Resident in the UK
  • A Crown servant (e.g. diplomatic or overseas civil service) or their spouse or civil partner if you don’t live in the UK.

Stocks and Shares ISAs can include:

  • Shares in companies
  • Unit trusts and investment funds
  • Corporate bonds
  • Government bonds

Jargon Buster: ‘Wrapper’

A wrapper is the name given to a product that savings and investments can be placed into to give them favourable tax treatment.

How do ISAs differ from regular savings

An ISA ‘wrapper’ makes your savings and investments more tax-efficient. Without this ‘wrapper’ they are subject to income and Capital Gains Tax. So it makes financial sense to use your ISA allowance every year.

ISAs come in two forms; a Cash ISA and an Equity ISA (or Stocks and Shares ISA). In the past, ISAs have been referred to as mini ISAs or maxi ISAs, and TESSAs and PEPs, which they replaced in 1999.

The current 2016/17 annual allowance enables you to place £15,240 into an ISA. You may choose to split this between a Cash ISA and an Equity ISA, alternatively you can place the full amount into one or the other.

Cash vs Equity ISA

At TQ Invest we can help you invest into an Equity ISA. Typically, you can start a Cash ISA with a bank or building society.

Cash ISAs may be for you if:

  • You have a short-term view on your savings
  • You want to take the least amount of risk with your money
  • You’re aware that interest paid on cash savings may not always keep up with inflation

Equity ISAs may be for you if:

  • You have a medium to long-term view on your savings
  • You’re happy to take a degree of risk in search of greater returns
  • You’re saving for retirement and want investments to supplement your pension income
Fund Switching

It is true that making the right choice of fund when you invest is important, but what might be the best fund now may not necessarily be so in the future.

Successful investing is all about keeping on top of your funds, making sure that they are as good today as they were when you first invested. At TQ Invest, we like to help you keep on top of your funds and help you find out if the fund you have is currently performing.

To help you do this, we produce a list of what we believe are the best funds currently on the market, known as our Hero Funds (formerly our Fund Shortlist).

Switching funds within a platform couldn’t be easier. If you are an existing customer of TQ Invest, and have an online account, simply log-in. Alternatively call the TQ Invest Team, who will be able to switch funds for you over the phone. Remember, TQ Invest do not charge for this service.