Interactive Investor

Junior ISA fear fails to come to pass

Four in ten 18-year-olds put in more than they take out of their Junior ISA within the first month of accessing the account, new interactive investor analysis reveals.

2nd April 2024 10:36

by Myron Jobson from interactive investor

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  • Net contributions to matured JISAs on ii averages £1,193 within the first month
  • Average net withdrawal equates to just 2.5% of the average value of a JISA on ii of £20,202 at maturity 
  • ii data shows that young adults do not make wholesale changes to the investment strategy – but there are some notable tweaks

Almost four-in-ten 18-year-olds with a matured Junior ISA (JISA) put in more than they took out within the first month of accessing the account, dispelling fears among parents that they will squander the money, new analysis by interactive investor (ii) reveals.

Analysis of JISA accounts on ii which matured when the accountholders turned 18 - at which point it is converted to an adult ISA – since April 2021 found that 39% of 18-year-olds contributed £1,193 on average to the account within the first month of gaining access to the funds. This figure is net of any withdrawals made.

This is more than the 31% of new adults who made withdrawals (net of contributions), averaging £512, from their JISA within the first month. This number equates to just 2.5% of the average value of a JISA on ii of £20,202 at maturity.

Meanwhile, three in 10 (30%) made no withdrawals or contributions to their JISA over the period. The percentage of 18-year-olds who left their JISA funds untouched falls to 12% after a year of having access to the account.

Over the 12-month period, 46% contributed an average of £7,012 - net of withdrawals. Conversely, 42% made withdrawals (net of contributions) averaging £6,728 – which might have been used to fund university costs, a gap year or the purchase of a car, for example.

The contribution/withdrawal split remains largely unchanged after two years, but the values increase – mainly because they factor in contributions/withdrawals made in year one. £9,798 is the average net withdrawal made across two years, which is slightly higher than the average net contribution made over the period (£9,442).

Survey of parents

The research challenges fears highlighted in a recent ii survey involving a sample of 500 parents by ii. 

Of the 30% who said they haven’t told, or plan to tell, their child that they have a Junior ISA (JISA) before they’re 18, almost half (13%) said they fear their child would spend it all when they are able to withdraw funds from the account at the age of 18.

Another 12% thought doing so would be inappropriate and 5% said they think their child finds matters related to money and finance boring.

Myron Jobson, Senior Personal Finance Analyst, interactive investor, says: “Our data shows that fears held by some parents of their child squandering the cash they’ve amassed to give them a financial leg-up when they reach adulthood through diligent investing and saving are perhaps overblown – although there will always be exceptions.

“Far from splashing the cash, the largest percentage of our 18-year-old customers with a matured JISA have chosen to make further contributions to the pot – a sign that they are putting what they’ve learnt about investing in their formative years into practice. The additional cash might have come from monetary gifts from family members, inheritance or even saved up pocket money.

“Some have opted to take a bit off the top of their JISA funds, which may have been used to help fund the cost of expenditure like the living costs at university. However, equally, the funds may have been used to fund a holiday - which isn’t necessarily the wrong decision as spending decisions are often a balance between essential and quality of life expenditure.

“The moral of the story is children may be more responsible than perhaps parents give them credit for. The adult child might have an emotional attachment to the funds held in their JISA, viewing them as a symbol of a hard work which makes them reluctant to spend the money.

“Whatever the reason, the importance of financial education can’t be understated. Teaching children about money before they gain access to their JISA sets a solid foundation for their financial future, equipping them with essential skills and knowledge to make sound financial decisions throughout their lives.”

Average net inflow/outflow from JISA – after first month of access

Average value







No Action



Average net inflow/outflow from JISA – after first year of access

Average value

Inflow (put more £ into account)



Outflow (take money out)



No Action



Average net inflow/outflow from JISA – after two years of access

Average value

Inflow (put more £ into account)



Outflow (take money out)



No Action



Source: interactive investor. Note that the values in year 2 are the value across the full time period not additional values taken in year 2. For example, £9,798 is the average withdrawn across 2 years not withdrawn in year 2.

JISAs and matured JISAs portfolio comparison

The average portfolio makeup of adult ISAs that have matured from JISA since April 2021 is similar to the average JISA portfolio, with some notable difference. 

Matured ISAs have a higher weighting to equities, accounting for 21% of the average portfolio versus 17% for the average JISA. Matured ISA also notably have a higher weighting to investment trusts (19% versus 16% for JISAs), and a lower exposure to funds (38% versus 41% for funds) and exchange-traded products (12% versus 15% for JISAs).

Average asset split of ii JISAs that have matured since April 2021 vs ii JISAs


Average JISA

Average matured JISA (now adult ISA)













Investment trusts






Source: interactive investor

Myron Jobson says: “Our data shows that young adults do not make wholesale changes to the investment strategy their parents or guardians have devised when they gain access to their JISA. 

“Some holders of matured JISA may have made their own investments decision when they were legally allowed to at the age of 16. In any case, there is evidence of modest personalisation, which could pave a way for an investment strategy that better aligns to their financial realities and goals in adulthood. The split of assets suggest that the importance of diversification is not lost on this cohort.” 

Top five most-held investments (by number of customers holding) among matured JISA and JISA accounts


Matured JISA



Scottish Mortgage Ord (LSE:SMT)

Scottish Mortgage Ord (LSE:SMT)


Fundsmith Equity

Fundsmith Equity


Rathbone Multi-Asset Strategic Growth

Vanguard LifeStrategy 80% Equity


Vanguard LifeStrategy 80% Equity

Vanguard LifeStrategy 100% Equity


Lloyds Banking Group (LSE:LLOY)

Lloyds Banking Group (LSE:LLOY)

Source: interactive investor

These articles are provided for information purposes only.  Occasionally, an opinion about whether to buy or sell a specific investment may be provided by third parties.  The content is not intended to be a personal recommendation to buy or sell any financial instrument or product, or to adopt any investment strategy as it is not provided based on an assessment of your investing knowledge and experience, your financial situation or your investment objectives. The value of your investments, and the income derived from them, may go down as well as up. You may not get back all the money that you invest. The investments referred to in this article may not be suitable for all investors, and if in doubt, an investor should seek advice from a qualified investment adviser.

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Please remember, investment value can go up or down and you could get back less than you invest. If you’re in any doubt about the suitability of a stocks & shares ISA, you should seek independent financial advice. The tax treatment of this product depends on your individual circumstances and may change in future. If you are uncertain about the tax treatment of the product you should contact HMRC or seek independent tax advice.

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