Should I get a Junior ISA with a robo adviser, or invest via an investment trust?

20 July 2021

Question by Rick

Hi. I am looking for a Junior ISA for my son and can't decide between a robo investor like Wealthify, or investing via Interactive Investor with an investment trust for my son's Junior ISA. I want to invest ethically and am happy to research investment trusts myself. The fees seem similar and both have fund managers. What would you do?

Answered by Boring Money

Making fund selections
If you’re happy making the selection yourself, and it sounds like you are, then I would suggest fund choice will be the important factor in deciding which way to go.

You mention that costs are similar, so it comes down to whether you feel the ‘robo’ option adds any value.

Investment Trusts
Investment trusts can work well for long-term investment, but there are two added complications to consider: leverage and the fact that they can run at a ‘premium’ or ‘discount’ to ‘net asset value’.

I would suggest that unless your son is within five years of turning 18 – and therefore having access to the money – then a global portfolio makes sense.

Just bear in mind that most research suggests the best ‘anxiety-adjusted’ return, is found in a diversified basket of shares and fixed interest, and only some funds will offer that.

Investing ethically
As for the ethical side of things, your own research should reveal which funds cover the areas you feel are important.

There is definitely a wide range of ‘shades of green’ available.

Finally, it’s worth keeping in mind that the Junior ISA is a ‘locked box’, except for in extreme circumstances, until the child turns 18. Not even you can access it for your son’s benefit e.g. his education.

Answered by

Boring Money