The best stocks and shares ISA for you will depend on whether you favour funds or shares and how frequently you expect to buy and sell. Regular traders for example should seek out frequency discounts while fund investors should focus on fund discounts, commission rebates and annual or quarterly administration fees, taking care not to pay for services they won’t use. The size of your portfolio and the amount of money you have to save each month may also dictate your choice. Here we review some of the best stocks and shares ISAs as well as some of the most prominent, but check out our comparison service for all the details including charges, investment choices and additional services before picking the right choice of you.ABERDEEN UNIT TRUST MANAGERS - Aberdeen ISAProduct summary: Access 31 Aberdeen funds with no platform fees or charges.Moneywise verdict: This is a cheap way of accessing unit trusts from an excellent fund house, but serious investors may benefit from paying a small fee to access a much wider range of funds.ALLIANCE TRUST SAVINGS - Alliance Stocks and Shares ISAProduct summary: Low quarterly fees and no inactivity penalties for a broad choice of investments.Moneywise verdict: Cheap access to a wide variety of investments but higher dealing charges will put off regular traders. Watch out for transfer-out penalties too.AXA SELF INVESTOR - Smart + ISAProduct summary: 2013 investors save £48 annual service charge. No transaction charges but percentage-based fee applies each month.Moneywise verdict: Percentage-based fee means this account offers better value for money for larger, more active investors. Only offers a limited choice of funds.BEST INVEST - Stocks and Shares ISAProduct summary: Among the cheapest for dealing charges, no annual fees. Incentives include loyalty bonus and up to £500 towards exit fees.Moneywise verdict: Low cost for fund and shares investors, but regular traders don’t benefit from additional discounts. Minimum investments are higher than many of its rivals.CO-FUNDSProduct summary: Low cost access to broad range of funds, but only available from independent financial advisers.Moneywise verdict: A good value fund platform for people who are paying for investment advice.EZ ISAProduct Summary: Access low, medium and high-risk managed portfolios and only pay management charge. Or select alternative funds from Co-funds platform.Moneywise verdict: An innovative idea for investors who aren’t confident making their own fund choices.F&C MANAGEMENT - F&C Investment Trust ISAProduct Summary: Build a portfolio of investment trusts from F&C. Annual and dealing charges apply.Moneywise verdict: F&C has some quality trusts but the annual fee appears high for a limited range of investments.FIDELITY WORLDWIDE INVESTMENT - Funds Network ISAProduct summary: Access to a broad choice of funds, investment trusts and ETFs but not shares.Moneywise verdict: Low-cost investing for regular savers who do not want to hold individual shares in their ISA.HARGREAVES LANSDOWN - Vantage Stocks and Shares ISAProduct Summary: No charges for buying funds, share dealing costs become more competitive the more you trade.Moneywise verdict: This is a good low-cost all rounder but less frequent share traders could get better value for money elsewhere.INTERACTIVE INVESTOR - ISAProduct summary: Rebates all fund commission back to you and quarterly fee includes free trades.Moneywise verdict: Higher rebates on fund commissions make this a sensible choice for investors with larger portfolios but quarterly fee could hit those with a buy and hold strategy.INVESCO PERPETUAL - ISAProduct Summary: Access 38 Invesco Perpetual unit trusts without paying any platform or dealing charges.Moneywise verdict: A cheap way of accessing funds from a well-respected manager, but investors may be better off paying a fee to access greater investment choice.KILLIK AND CO. - Stocks and Shares ISAProduct Summary: Advised service – each client has own broker. Charges are a percentage of the amount you invest.Moneywise verdict: Many investors will value advice but the charging structure means this ISA will only offer value for money for investors with sizeable portfolios.M&S BANK - M&S ISAProduct summary: Fee free access to four Marks & Spencer unit trusts.Moneywise verdict: Low minimum investments make this an affordable option for smaller investors, but the fund choice is restricted and uninspiring.NATWEST - Natwest Broker Line Self-Select ISAProduct summary: Run by TD Direct Investing. No annual fee for accounts of £10,000+ or with four trades in previous year.Moneywise verdict: Benefits of low – or possibly non-existent – annual fee could be wiped out by above average dealing charges on shares.
This article was originally published in our sister magazine Moneywise, which ceased publication in August 2020.
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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