Your stocks and shares ISA questions answered

Our FAQs help explain the ins and outs of a stocks and shares ISA.

Stocks and shares ISA — the basics

What is a stocks and shares ISA?

A stocks and shares ISA (or Investment ISA) is an account that allows you to invest in a wide range of investments such as individual shares, exchange traded funds, bonds and investment trusts.

You can invest up to the current ISA annual allowance with the benefit of not needing to pay tax on your investment gains.

Find out more about our stocks and shares ISA.

Why is an ISA tax efficient?

Unlike regular savings accounts, an ISA is a type of tax wrapper that saves your investments from needing to pay tax on your investment gains.

Who is eligible for a stocks and shares ISA?

To be eligible for a stocks and shares ISA, you must be:

  • Aged 18 or over
  • UK resident for tax purposes

If you are not a UK resident, you can still be eligible if you are a crown employee, or your spouse or civil partner is.

What is the best stocks and shares ISA?

Deciding on the best stocks and shares ISA for you involves careful thought. View our ‘What is the best stocks and shares ISA’ video to explore the different factors you should consider when deciding on which stocks and shares ISA might best suit your needs.

Opening a stocks and shares ISA

How do I open a Fidelity stocks and shares ISA?

Opening a stocks and shares ISA with us can be completed online. Find out more about our ISA and how to open one here.

What is the deadline for opening an ISA in tax year 2018/19?

For this tax year (2018/19) you have until midnight on the 5 April to open an ISA with us by phone or online. Any contributions made after this time will count towards the next tax year's allowance, which means you could lose out.

What is the minimum amount needed to open an ISA?

You can start a regular savings plan from as little as £50. If you're making a lump sum contribution, you can invest from £1,000.

How many ISAs can I have?

You can hold as many stocks and shares ISAs as you like across different providers. However, you can only contribute the current tax year allowance into one stocks and shares ISA with one provider.

Watch our video to find out more about how many ISAs you can have.

Can I contribute to an ISA for someone else?

As a third party, you are allowed to contribute to an ISA for someone else. Using our online application, the individual will have the option to provide your payment details once you have given consent.

Do I have to go through an adviser to invest on your platform?

There is no requirement to invest through an adviser. However, if you are unsure of your personal financial circumstances or need advice, we recommmend that you speak with an authorised financial adviser.

Paying into a stocks and shares ISA

What is the 2018/19 ISA allowance?

The 2018/19 ISA allowance is £20,000, some or all of this can be used to invest in a stocks and shares ISA.

Find out more about the ISA allowance here or view our video on how much you can put into an ISA.

 

How can I pay into a stocks and shares ISA?

You can contribute to your ISA on a regular basis depending on your preference (monthly, quarterly, six monthly or annually) or as a lump sum amount. These options will be available to you during your process of application.

Can I set up a direct debit or regular payment plan?

Yes, you have the option to set the payment frequency to collect monthly, quarterly, bi-annually or annually. Find out more about our ISA and how to open one here.

Do I have to invest straight into investments?

No, if you are unsure where to invest, your money will be held as cash in your account until you are ready. If you are unsure where to invest, speak to an authorised financial adviser. Looking for guidance in where to invest? Explore our expert picks.

Is there an incentive to invest bulk lump sums e.g. over £10,000?

There are no incentives to invest bulk lump sums.

Managing a stocks and shares ISA

Where can I invest my money and how do I choose my investments?

We offer a wide range of funds, investments trusts and Exchange Traded Funds that you can choose from. If you are unsure where to invest, speak to an authorised financial adviser. Find out more about your options.

Can I hold investments from different fund managers within one ISA?

Yes, there is no limit as to how many different investments you can hold in your ISA.

What happens to any income from a stocks and shares ISA?

The income dividends generated from a stocks and shares ISA can either be paid out directly to you or reinvested back into the investment it had come from. However, there are some investment types that will only have the option to reinvest so it is important to understand what your preference is before choosing investments.

What happens to my ISA if I die?

The tax benefits of the ISA will no longer continue.

Once probate is granted, your personal representative(s) can distribute your investments to the beneficiary or beneficiaries.

If eligible, your spouse (or civil partner) may be able to claim and use the remaining allowance of your ISA on your death as an additional allowance.

Find out more.

Can I withdraw money out of a stocks and shares ISA?

Yes, you can withdraw money out of your ISA at any time. But please note that if, during a tax year, you withdraw money from your ISA and then reinvest at a later date, it will count towards your annual ISA allowance. We do not yet offer the flexibility to withdraw and replace money without the replacement money counting towards your ISA allowance.

Transferring a stocks and shares ISA

How do I transfer an ISA?

You can transfer an ISA to us online. The information you provide will be used to contact your existing provider to begin the transfer. Find out more about transferring your ISA.

Can I transfer a stocks and shares ISA from a different provider?

Yes, investments and cash in an ISA can be transferred to us. We'll even cover any exit fees incurred up to a total of £500 per person. Find out more about transferring to us.

Can a stocks and shares ISA be transferred to a cash ISA?

Yes, any investments held will be sold and transferred as cash.

Can you transfer a cash ISA to stocks and shares ISA?

You can transfer the cash within a cash ISA into a stocks and shares ISA where you will get the chance to invest in a wide range of funds, investments trusts and Exhange Traded Funds.

Can I transfer my ISA into a SIPP?

Transferring your ISA into a SIPP is not currently possible, but if you wished to, you can withdraw the value of your ISA and use the proceeds to contribute into a SIPP. Find out more about our SIPP.

What are the Fidelity ISA transfer rules?

Transferring a cash ISA to us

Your ISA will be moved into your Fidelity ISA as cash, which you can then choose to invest how you wish. If you selected cash ISA, but are actually transferring a stocks and shares ISA, this may result in your investments being sold.

Transferring a stocks and shares ISA to us

If we offer the same investments you currently have they will be transferred to Fidelity as they are. Where we do not offer the same ones - those investments will be sold and moved to your Fidelity ISA as cash to preserve the tax benefits. You can then invest that cash how you wish.

When moving an ISA to Fidelity you have to move all the investments held within it, whether it is the current tax year, previous tax years or both.

When can I transfer my ISA?

There are no deadlines when it comes to transferring your ISA, so you can transfer your ISA anytime.

How long does an ISA transfer take?

An ISA transfer can usually take up to six weeks to complete but this can vary depending on the handling times of the fund groups or platforms involved in the process. This will also depend on whether they are processed by post or electronically. Find out more about transferring your ISA.

Can you transfer an ISA to another person?

No, you cannot transfer an ISA to another person.

Fidelity stocks and shares ISA fees and charges

What are the charges and ongoing fees for a Fidelity ISA?

For a Fidelity ISA (and all our other products), if you've got less than £7,500 with us, we charge a flat-rate fee of £45 a year or 0.35% if you have a monthly regular savings plan of £50 or over. If the total value of your investments is between £7,500-£249,999.99, we charge a rate of 0.35%. Find out more about our fees.

How will I be charged?

We calculate the service fee at midnight on the first of every month and include any joint accounts when we're adding up all your investments to work out what service fee rate you pay, ensuring the lowest possible charge. The total value is then divided by 12 to determine the monthly amount that's taken from your individual account, which is deducted around the 15th of the month. We'll take the service fee directly from your cash account, so we recommend always having cash in that account. If you dont have enough, we'll take it from your largest investment in the account. Find out more about our fees.

It’s important to keep in mind that the value of investments can fall as well as rise, so you may get back less than you invest. Tax treatment depends on individual circumstances and all tax rules may change in the future.

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 an authorised financial adviser.