What's an Individual Savings Account (ISA)?

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Andrew Goldman

Andrew Goldman has been writing for over 20 years and investing for the past 10 years. He currently writes about personal finance and investing for Wealthsimple. Andrew's past work has been published in The New York Times Magazine, Bloomberg Businessweek, New York Magazine and Wired. Television appearances include NBC's Today show as well as Fox News. Andrew holds a Bachelor of Arts (English) from the University of Texas. He and his wife Robin live in Westport, Connecticut with their two boys and a Bedlington terrier. In his spare time, he hosts “The Originals" podcast.

So, what is it exactly? An ISA is a type of account for holding cash and investments, and one of the most popular accounts for UK tax payers, as you do not have to pay any UK income tax or UK capital gains tax on the growth. At Wealthsimple we will choose the investments for you.

What are the pros? Like we said, no tax on the growth.

If you have an existing ISA you can transfer it into your Wealthsimple ISA easily and free of charge.

If you need to access your funds you can at any time with the money appearing back in your bank account within 10 working days.

Is there anything to be careful about? You have to be a UK tax payer of 18 years of age and not have taken out another Stocks and Shares ISA this year. You can have both a Cash ISA and Stocks and Shares ISA in the same tax year. You can only invest up to the annual limit set by the government each year - this year its £20,000.

If you are looking to save for your pension or a house purchase it would be wise to check if other accounts may be more suitable, such as a Help-to-Buy ISA.

Otherwise this is where most investors should start.

Last Updated 14 November 2017

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