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What is the best stocks and shares ISA?

Understand what you should consider when choosing the best stocks and shares ISA for your personal circumstances.

Emma-Lou Montgomery

Explore more about stocks and shares ISAs, including who is eligible, how to open and pay into one and how much you can invest.

Video transcript - What is the best stocks and shares ISA?

Google “the best stocks & shares ISA” and you’ll be faced with a raft of ISAs from different companies all claiming their ISA is the best.

When you’re looking for a way to invest, a Stocks and Shares ISA can be a tax efficient way. So how do you find the best stocks and shares ISA for you? Well, this depends on a number of things.

First of all, what you have to remember is that what you get back is dependent not just on how much you invest, but also the funds you choose to invest in, their performance over time, and also how much it costs you to invest.

Having a wide choice of investments is key. The best stocks and shares ISAs will give you access to a full range of funds, including investment trusts and exchange traded funds, individual shares and bonds; across different asset classes, and continents. 

So, whether you want to put your money into the UK blue chip companies that make up the FTSE 100 index of leading shares, invest in up-and-coming small cap stocks in the United States, or fancy dabbling in emerging markets or gold, the best stocks and shares ISA will let you do just that.

You also want the option of investing with a variety of fund providers. Some fund supermarkets offer funds from more than 100 providers, so you have a huge range to choose from.

But you need to keep an eye on the fees you pay, when you invest in a stocks and shares ISA. Over time these can take a sizeable bite out of your investment pot, so making sure you get a competitive deal is important. When it comes to the top stocks and shares ISA for you though, it’s not always as simple as plumping for the cheapest one you can find. With a managed fund you get automatic access to the insight of the highly-experienced fund manager. Tapping into that sort of expertise doesn’t come for free, but it can prove to be priceless.

You should also look for a provider who combines a competitive service fee with the support you need. Leading ISA providers will give you plenty of information and guidance to help you manage your investments. This includes tools to help you choose the best funds for you, as well as access to the latest investment news and views. Look for a provider who makes it simple to manage your investments by giving you 24/7 access to your account - whether you’re at home or on the go, with the support of a call centre in case you have any questions.

Important information

The value of investments can go down as well as up, 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.

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