Important information: The value of investments and the income from them, can go down as well as up, so you may get back less than you invest.

It’s March, Spring has sprung, the birds are singing, the end of lockdown is in sight and it’s time to shake off the winter/lockdown blues and start looking ahead.

After a year, the like of which we have never seen before - and certainly never want to see again - it really is time to seize the day and start planning for tomorrow.

And the first step is to lock in this year’s tax-efficient allowances and give your savings and investments an even better chance to grow.

We each have a £20,000 ISA allowance, which enables us to save and invest and keep all the rewards for ourselves. But you don’t need £20,000 to get started. With a Fidelity Stocks & Shares ISA and a regular savings plan you can save as little as £25 a month into a range of investments. Keeping it within your ISA means that you’ll benefit from all the tax advantages too.

Invested regularly, that sort of sum can soon build into a decent nest egg - and if you have been fortunate enough to find you have a little more spare cash, with so many areas of our normal lives having been put on hold for the past year - then this is a prime time to invest those savings for the future and turn the negatives into a positive for you and your family.

If you haven’t opened an ISA yet you can do that online in a matter of minutes. You don’t even need to rush to decide exactly how to invest. Pop your cash into your ISA and you can then choose when you’re ready. We also have plenty of tips and suggestions for you - from Tom’s Picks for 2021 to the Fidelity Select 50 Balanced Fund and our Investment Finder, a powerful tool that lets you search and filter the thousands of investments on offer.

With the ability to do all this at the click of a mouse, setting up your financial future could not be easier. You can even now submit the Bed & ISA form via your online account, instead of having to post it, making it quicker and easier to move money from your Investment Account to your ISA.

Just go to the ‘Documents & Messages’ section of your online account. From here you can also move money from your Investment Account to your Cash Management Account and then pop that into your ISA. It really couldn’t be easier.

And that’s good news, because with the Easter bank holiday and the 2020/21 tax year end falling on the same weekend this year, you can do all this without having to worry about last posting dates - and yet still get all your investments in place before the Easter Monday, 5 April, deadline.

The best way to make sure you beat the tax year-end deadline is to do everything online. At Fidelity you can open this year’s ISA any time of day or night on any device you prefer, giving you plenty of time to get the job done. All you need do is fill in a few personal details, so we know who you are, including your National Insurance number and payment details.

If you’ve already got a Fidelity ISA it’s even easier. Just log in and add cash.

Unfortunately, because of the pandemic, Fidelity’s offices and London Investor Centre are still closed to in-person applications, which means that doing it all online is the smarter, safer, swifter option.

Don’t worry, you can still speak to us though if you need to. Our UK & Ireland-based teams are available on 0333 300 3350 with extended opening hours over the Easter weekend.

That’s your ISA sorted, but don’t forget your SIPP too.

The same tax year-end deadline is looming when it comes to any additional contributions you make, so it’s time to get moving. You now have the option to make ad-hoc contributions to your SIPP online from your employer or a third-party payer, such as your spouse, and you can manage payment of these contributions into your SIPP simply and easily within your account. This can save you time and avoids the reliance on paper forms. Go to ‘Manage investments’ in your account and simply ‘Add cash’.

I think it is fair to say that 2020 was a write-off and 2021 has not had the best of starts. But, with a glimmer of light starting to shine at the end of the proverbial tunnel, the end of the tax-year is a good reminder that it is now time to start looking ahead and securing your financial future, today.

Important information

Investors should note that the views expressed may no longer be current and may have already been acted upon. Tax treatment depends on individual circumstances and all tax rules may change in the future. Withdrawals from a pension product will not be possible until you reach age 55. Select 50 is not a personal recommendation to buy or sell a fund. This information is not a personal recommendation for any particular investment. If you are unsure about the suitability of an investment you should speak to a Fidelity adviser or an authorised financial adviser of your choice.

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