Boring Money's best buys

Stocks and Shares ISAs

Our independent team of experts review the market for what we think are the best products. Our criteria are listed below. And we don’t take any money from providers for any links, click throughs, ratings or reviews. You can read about how we do make money here.

Criteria

  • Reputable brands/established brands unless otherwise noted
  • Decent costs/value. Less than 1.3% all-in for an investment portfolio.
  • Good online journey
  • Decent customer service
  • Supporting help and research with the investments/ready-made portfolios available

Virgin Money Stocks and Shares ISA

This is as easy as investing gets in 2016. There are 5 ready-made solutions and you pick the one which sounds like it maps your ‘risk profile’ the most.

The charges are OK – 1% a year all-in for these simple ‘passive’ portfolios. This is the vanilla ice cream option for the stocks and shares ISA world. Read on if you’re after double choc chip with sprinkles.

Best for: beginners wanting a low cost option

Visit their site

Nutmeg Stocks and Shares ISA

Really nice easy-to-use website which is intuitive and to the point. Not as cheap as they like to make out by the time you add in the underlying cost of all investments, but at about 1% all-in it’s OK value given that you’re getting ongoing monitoring and tweaking too.

You can choose between 10 different ready-made portfolios and it is pretty straightforward. A nice digital option which will suit busy people on-the-go.

Best for: beginners wanting a low cost option

Visit their site

Charles Stanley Direct Stocks and Shares ISA

Charles Stanley Direct is the new-ish online offer from the posh boys. And it’s the cheapest way of investing for those with less than £50,000 to invest. Could be a bit overwhelming for less confident investors. There is lots of choice and research available. Just could make some people’s heads spin.

Suits investors who know their way around the markets and are prepared to lose the slicker, more established DIY investor service of Hargreaves for a much keener price. Our research suggests their ready-made portfolios are strong performers.  Expect to pay about 1% all-in for an ‘active’ portfolio – this is great value.

Best for: those who are confident and wanting a low cost option

Visit their site

AJ Bell Youinvest Stocks and Shares ISA

AJ Bell Youinvest is a fairly priced good option for people with some levels of comfort around investing. Will confuse the less confident. Website a bit less slick than some. Very strong on pensions. Decent research and updates.  Helpful DIY portfolios for those who want someone else to do the heavy lifting and who have more than £5k to get going with.

Suits investors with £50k+ and those who know an ETF from a fund. Good drawdown pension option.

Expect to pay about £140 a year in admin fees for a £50,000 ISA portfolio – or about 1% – 1.1% all-in for an all-in option.

Best for: those who are confident and wanting a low cost option

Visit their site

James Hay Modular iPlan ISA

This is a bit of a strange inclusion. This service is built for and mostly used by IFAs for their clients – it’s a well-known credible brand in the industry and was owned by Abbey/Santander ages ago. Online investors can access it directly. Don’t expect bells or whistles or a fancy digital experience or ready-made portfolios. But at 0.18% for the admin fee this is a very cheap and functional way to manage your ISA.

Best for people who know their way around the world of investments who want to pay rock bottom.

Best for: those who are confident and wanting a low cost option

Visit their site

Fidelity Stocks and Shares ISA

A safe, solid global player which has recently improved its online journey for investors. It’s still really a funds-only option. Don’t bother if you have shares. With an ISA and pension admin fee of 0.35% a year, you’ll probably pay about 1.1% a year all-in. Which is fair value. Google their Pathfinder range if you need help in picking the investments to sit inside your ISA or DIY SIPP.

A good all-rounder option with a recently improved online experience. Feels secure and reliable.

Best for: those who are confident and wanting a mid range cost option

Visit their site

Hargreaves Lansdown Stocks and Shares ISA

The biggest and most established of them all, Hargreaves looks after about £60bn of investors’ money. Providing a one-stop shop for shares, funds, Junior ISAs, ISAs, pensions and (coming soon) cash, these guys know their stuff. It can baffle newer investors and feels a bit old-school and stuffy. At 0.45% for min, plus investment charges, expect to pay about 1.2% all-in.  If you’re happy to pay for good service, it’s still fair value. Just not the cheapest.

Best for: those who are confident and wanting a mid range cost option

Visit their site

Sign up to our e-newsletter

Holly's blog offers helpful tips, thoughtful ideas and her latest news and events.

Important stuff!

Holly and the team have worked in the finance industry for many years but we are not regulated to give you personal financial advice, nor are we regulated by the industry watchdog (although we do talk to them a lot). For every story on this site about a good investment, or something which went up by 10% or made someone £200, we could share a story about a bad investment, something which fell by 10% or lost someone £200. Nothing’s certain when investing so if you’re really unsure, or dealing with complicated stuff like working out what to do with a pension when you retire, we’d really suggest you get some financial advice. Here are some tips on  how to pick a good financial adviser. Or check out Unbiased or VouchedFor. Just remember, commission has been banned now so advisers need to be very clear with you about what you are paying them and when.