Hi Boring Money Team,
I would like to ask for your advice please, with regard to investing in a Stock & Shares ISA.
To set the scene, my current circumstances are that I’m in my late 30s, have a mortgage, a baby, no outstanding loans or credit cards, three pensions (one current company, one legacy company (i.e. no further investment, company transferred to new scheme but I chose to keep funds where they were), and one personal private pension - although none of these have a massive value sadly), and I have have two Cash ISAs with a cumulative value of around £10k (which I guess is our ‘emergency buffer’). I’m currently able to invest about £100 a month at present (this may go up, but may go down depending on amount of children (!), and unexpected events like car repairs, house maintenance and so on).
I’d like to achieve three things, I guess you could call them “life goals”, which hopefully tie in with investing (perhaps I should’ve asked three separate questions!):
1) Medium term return on investment for between 5-10 years in order to renovate our house, the sooner the better really.
2) Longer term return to help fund our children’s education and help them on the property ladder, 20 years’ time.
3) Retire as soon as possible! But realistically between 60 and 65, so approximately 25 years’ time.
I realise these might be a stretch with a small investment right now, but I thought it was better to aim high rather than low, and be open to compromise!
I considered a LISA in 2018, but after investigating, and speaking to an independent financial advisor, I concluded that I might be better paying off more of the mortgage, or at least having the ability to do that. But perhaps I should reconsider.
In terms of investing with a Stocks and Shares ISA, I’m a little confused about using a platform, and choosing a basket of investments, because as I understand it, these are predetermined. Would you be able to point me in the right direction please? I’m happy to consider anything suitable, a multi-asset fund, ETFs and Trackers. I am open to a bit of risk especially for the long term. I have been hesitant to follow through with these though because having read up on individual funds or growth areas (just as examples, renewable energy and infrastructure, US tech companies etc), I couldn’t work out how I could pick these from a provider’s platform. Although I’m perfectly happy to give a ready-picked product a go as a novice.
Apologies if I’ve overdone the personal details, I hoped I was being thorough.
Any advice would be appreciated. Keep up the good work, I’m impressed with how refreshingly approachable your website is.
Catherine Morgan's Response
Boring Money: Ask - Catherine Morgan answers Nick's question.
Just be aware...
We are not regulated to give personal financial advice - This isn’t full-fat regulated financial advice. Boring Money is a publisher and not regulated by the FCA.
This means we can't help with specific personal circumstances or recommend specific investment products. It also basically means that if we say something daft, you have no recourse to come back and complain.
We’re only allowed to give you a steer or share an opinion or tell you the facts - That said, we promise that our answer to you is an independent unbiased perspective with no commercial gain to make. If you need regulated financial advice, you can find a good adviser via sites such as Unbiased & Vouchedfor.
Got a Question?
I am approaching 75 and have mostly saved into cash - should I open a Stocks and Shares ISA for two years and then cash it in?
I'm looking to start investing and I'm torn between Evestor and Vanguard Lifestrategy. The entry requirements are much higher for Vanguard (£500 upfront and £100/month) while Evestor starts at £1. Is there any benefit of stretching my investment to use the Vanguard fund? Also do you know if I miss a monthly payment, will I be charged?
I am confused about financial services compensation: I have a SIPP and an ISA with AJ Bell Youinvest, and am about to inherit a sizeable sum. I am already over the £85,000 financial services compensation limit. Should I be worried? Should I set up accounts with multiple platforms, to be covered by the compensation scheme?
I am torn between investing in my ISA, and putting money into a personal pension. I know about pension grossing up, and the 25% tax free cash. However I will inevitably pay tax on the 75% which is not tax free. Whereas with the ISA, I don't get the grossing up benefit, but won't pay any tax. What do you think?
I'm thinking of moving into a drawdown SIPP, taking my 25% and leaving the rest invested until I need a regular income in my mid 60s. I am trying to find a financial adviser willing to review my plans, but they all want an ongoing relationship. Where can I find an adviser who will do a one off review? Also I am unsure whether financial investment protection is per fund or per SIPP.
I have an inheritance to invest of £150,000. I am not paying into a pension at the moment but have £125,000 in my pension pot, and have fairly substantial money in Stocks and Shares ISAs. Should I put more into stocks and shares over a 10 year period, add to my pension funds, or invest in bricks and mortar with no mortgage?
If I allow the transfer of my Baillie Gifford Scottish Mortgage Trust ISA, will it just go into a bigger Hargreaves Lansdown ISA pot? Meaning that when Hargreaves Lansdown as a whole falls, my investment is worth less?
I am thinking of setting up a SIPP to diversify my investments and spread the risk. I'm nervous about doing my own investments, so I don't really know where to begin. Are there SIPPs which do it for you? Or if not, should I continue investing in my previous workplace pension?
I can't decide between getting a Junior ISA with a robo investor like Wealthify, or investing via Interactive Investor with an investment trust for my son's JISA. I want to invest ethically and am happy to research investment trusts myself. The fees seem similar and both have fund managers. What should I do?
I have a small pension which I have not drawn on yet, and I am seriously thinking about cashing it in, as I’m worried Brexit will mean substantial losses. Would I be better off just leaving it where it is?
My son has a savings plan with Witan Jump that is now being closed and transferred to Hargreaves Lansdown. However, Hargreaves informs me that I cannot transfer all the money (£26,000) into a Junior ISA account, because it's more than the £20,000 yearly ISA allowance. I would like to keep the remaining money invested, but would appreciate some advice as to how I could invest it for my son.
I have opened my first Stocks and Shares ISA, and have a company pension on the new standard 5%/3% contributions. I have enough easy access savings to cover emergencies so I was wondering what would be a next good step, add to S&S ISA or open a SIPP for retirement?
My husband and I are new to investing and would like to make a minimum 10 years investment in Stocks and Shares ISAs, plus an ongoing £500 each a month. We're really keen on investing in ESG funds/companies only. To 'diversify', would it be better if one of us uses a robo-adviser and the other a traditional platform? For one to go active and the other passive approach? One higher risk than the other?
I work for my company which funds my SIPP directly. I will be receiving compensation in the coming months - is it possible to pay SIPP contributions from the compensation payment? If pension significant contributions are not possible, what might we consider when looking for a tax efficient home for the compensation?
I have an ISA with Investec Click and Invest which is closing down, and I have to find somewhere else to invest the money. Which are some providers of a similar nature? I am considering either medium risk or high risk accounts.
I have been putting £50/month for each of my two children into a pension with Hargreaves Lansdown. In light of the costs of investing highlighted on this website, should I move to somewhere with lower charges, or stay-put? Alternatively, would I be better to put money into a Lifetime ISA for each of them instead?
We were very sad to learn recently that Investec's Click and Invest was to be closed. We'd prefer to keep our ISA with a managed service, such as the one offered by Click and Invest, but will consider the DIY option if that proves to be the best on offer. Which platforms are well regarded ISA providers? I'd rather not go with a digital start-up offering, but a more established player.
I’m in my 30s and live in London. I have savings in cash but I’ve never tried any ISAs, stocks etc. before. I am looking for some suggestions as to the types of products I should use to begin investing. Instinct is telling me to keep 50% of my savings in a safe investment, 30% in a medium risk investment, 10% in higher risk, and keep 10% for emergencies. I’m making nothing keeping the cash in the bank!
Baillie Gifford is closing down its Investment Trust ISA and I am being forced to move elsewhere. Do I need to use an Investment Trust for my ISA? What is the most tax-efficient way to access Baillie Gifford's Scottish Mortgage where the majority of Investment Trust ISA was held?
I currently have a Stocks & Shares ISA and a Junior ISA with Wealthsimple. I am considering changing these to Vanguard, but I am unsure if transferring across providers is a simple process. Also can you only pay into one of each type of ISA per year?
I'm 52 and want to retire at 55. I have a mortgage, but the interest rate is very low, and a Stock & Shares ISA into which I invest each month. The performance of the Stocks & Shares ISA has been mixed, and I'm nervous about Brexit/Trump/China. Should I pay off my mortgage or keep paying into the Stocks & Shares ISA?
We have just retired to France. Our pensions cover our expenses but we also have £230k which we would like to invest for a monthly income. Could you please explain the low-risk options we might want to consider?
I have just received a letter from JP Morgan saying that they will no longer offer ISA accounts from the end of September 2019. I have an ISA with them and seem to have a choice of transferring the ISA to another company "as is" or liquidating and reinvesting. Any thoughts?
I'm a 30 year old woman earning a reasonable salary with a low cost lifestyle. I have saved almost £8,000 and want to start investing. I like the idea of using a robo-investor like Wealthify, but I'm not sure if it's better to start with a Stocks and Shares ISA instead? Should I go with a Stocks and Shares ISA or a Robo Advisor, or both?
I am a British/Irish citizen living in Malta and have between £5k-£10k to invest for 5 years. Clearly, ISAs are out as there is a requirement to be a UK resident. I am happy to accept a medium level of risk, and would appreciate some info on where to put this to maximise returns.
I've a Cash ISA with about £80k in it, so I'm considering moving £50k into a Stocks & Shares ISA. I'm 73, retired, married, a house-owner and would like to utilise my savings better. What would you recommend?
I am a beginner investor and would like to invest in a "socially responsible" Stocks & Shares ISA. I have looked into the Nutmeg and Wealthify funds. Is there information about any other such providers on your website? And do you have any advice about how to compare the "socially responsible" criteria on the different funds?
I have a young boy who will be turning 4 this month. He is British. I want to save some money for this innocent boy, for when he comes of age, but I live in Uganda and I am not in touch with his mum. Can I open a Junior ISA for him?
I am 52 with money languishing in a low savings account. Now I'm neurotic about entering into Stocks and Shares, due to seeing how many investors have exited the stock market thanks to Brexit, and with companies going bust etc. But I need to make my money work for me as my pension pot is low. Can I put the money into an Instant Access ISA and drip feed this into a Stocks and Shares ISA?
I'm in my very early 20s, and earning well. I have no debts or dependants. I have a Stocks and Shares ISA, and am weighing up the pros and cons of a General Investment Account vs a Private Pension. What should I keep in mind?
I've got a Stock and Shares ISA with Moneybox. I recently invested a lump sum with them, and I'm making regular weekly investments. When I invested, the share price was quite high. Should I have drip fed money into the account rather than depositing a lump sum?
Our 16 year old son has inherited a significant sum. He wants to go to Drama School and pursue a career in acting, which we know means he is likely to be low paid/short of cash. I wondered how best to help him organise his savings/investments to help fund him through drama school/the early years, whilst trying to discourage him from simply dipping into his capital?
I intend to retire in autumn, aged 60 and would like to leave my son and grandson as comfortable as possible when I'm gone. I have talked with several IFAs, but given my risk adverse nature, their fees seem to eat up most of the benefit they offer. Do IFAs normally bring sufficient benefit to low risk strategies, to make it worthwhile? Or am I better off cautiously investing myself, and saving the fees?
I am self employed (40) with no private pension, earning £50,000 a year. I have savings and can make a lump sum investment. I know nothing about Stocks or Shares. What is the best way forward for pension and tax reduction? Desperate Anna
When I retired in 2018, I considered consolidating my pensions for income drawdown. Recently I spoke to an advisers aligned to the investment philosophy of Albion Strategic Consulting, but was scared off again. I understand the basics, but am now totally unsettled as to the direction I should take and if, at such a critical stage, I should invest in an IFA on a regular basis.
For the last 9 months I've drip fed just over £10,000 into a Moneyfarm Investment ISA... it has been a very volatile year as you know. Moneyfarm seem to have done a good job of protecting my capital... however I haven't really made much in the way of gains... If I wanted, would I be able to transfer the whole lot to another platform where the fees are lower? I know you're not allowed to give regulated advice - but I'm uncertain if I should transfer the whole lot in one go, or drip feed.
I recently received an inheritance and it is currently sat in Premium Bonds. I'm looking to hopefully use the money to put down on a house in the next couple of years, but I'm currently going through a divorce which does affect my ability at the moment to get on the housing market. Is there any way I can make my money work harder for me, yet still ensure I have access to it in a couple of years?
I am in my mid 20s & earning a regular salary. I have decent savings and am toying with the idea of Wahed Invest (I am looking for shariah compliant funds). I am also dabbling with the idea of property. If I have no financial commitments (living at home for next 2 yrs), is it worth using 90% of my savings for a house deposit for buy-to-let purposes? I am thinking this would reduce my loan to value?
I have about £100 monthly extra I want to invest, but I am not sure if my ISAs represent good value. I thought I could put the money in a higher risk investment, as it is money I can invest over 5-10 years, and had thought Nutmeg might be a good option as I have little investment experience. Am I right in thinking I can only contribute to one Stocks & Shares ISA at a time in my name? I could just put more money into my existing ISAs. What do you think?
I am 47 and I would now like to open an investment ISA for growth for at least 10 years. I am tempted by the Vanguard LifeStrategy 80 due to the low fees and strong reputation. I would also consider investing in a couple of other Vanguard funds as well. Would this be advisable or relatively unnecessary, if I'm already investing in the LifeStrategy fund? I have also been looking with interest at Nutmeg, Wealthify, IG and AJ Bell Youinvest. Is there any provider that would stand above the others as most suitable in my circumstances?
If my son increases his pension contribution, I have read it may affect the amount he can borrow on a mortgage. Is this correct? Should he take a SIPP out as well? Is there any advantage in maxing out his managed Nutmeg Lifetime ISA in the next financial year?
I am 65 and still working. I have a workplace pension, which was closed and replaced with a retirement saver pension. I contribute to this via salary sacrifice. I also have a personal pension serviced by an IFA. Should I move my personal pension fund to a SIPP provider at this late stage of my life? I would like to consolidate the workplace retirement saver and personal pension fund together and manage it myself.
I’m 36 years old, earn £85k, and have about £40k savings in the bank, mainly in an old ISA that I’ve done nothing with. I have a five year old daughter and would like to put my savings somewhere clever so they start to do something useful by the time she starts at an independent secondary school and fees go through the roof. Any bright ideas please?
Trying to get a bit more pro-active with my pension. If my money had been in an online managed fund like Nutmeg for example, is it reasonable to assume that as the markets fell last year the funds would have been managed in real(ish) time to limit the damage? If so, is it therefore a no-brainer to transfer my pension to an online managed pension or is it not quite as simple as that?
I recently came across your blog and it has been a great introduction to learning about my personal finances. I was wondering if you could recommend any additional resources (websites, books, online help) for beginners and that are tailored to the UK market. I am in my early 20's and I'm looking to further my knowledge of money, and foster a greater relationship with it. In addition to that, I'd like to know your opinions on how the possible outcomes of Brexit will affect the market and potential personal finance investments.
Hello, I really enjoy your website and find it useful and concise. My question is, what is meant by long term savings? I am 54, so what should I consider to be an appropriate time frame for any investment I make, that could supply the best results?
I have an old pension and they have written to me saying that they are going to enhance my pension if I transfer it out. The company is also offering free independent advice. I have £117,000 in the pension at the moment, which would give me £6400 a year at 65. I am 61 in April and would like to finish work at that point. I am not sure how much extra they will give me. Have you any ideas or suggestions to help me decide? Thanks.
From my retirement I received a lump sum of money and a monthly pension. I have £100,000 that I do not need for the foreseeable future... One of my main concerns with Financial Advisers are their costs... All I want is simply to see this money grow to its potential, sensibly and above inflation... Therefore my next thoughts are Stocks and Shares ISAs... My only concerns here are the current Brexit problems - I saw the FTSE drop this past week. I cannot find any information out there to assist with my decision making if this is certainly a good time to invest... I am aware that I can place £20,000 for this year. Come April 2019 I place another £20,000 and so on until the £100,000 has been utilised. Do I have to place it into the same fund or can I choose another different fund with a different company?... Please can you help to ease some of this burden, which has proved an awful part of my retirement and made me frightened to spend any money.
I often find that my monthly salary is spent on things I don't need or just saved up; without accumulating much. So what can I do with my money to make money? I am not expecting you to tell me where and when to invest but simply what to read, and I guess I really would like to know how you became an expert, where did you start? I feel like investment is something so big I can barely even touch it, and I would greatly appreciate any words of advice you could share with me.
I'm the sole carer for my chronically ill and elderly mum, as well as a full-time police officer. I have no other family apart from her. Due to mum's condition, and the fact that I'm exhausted performing both roles, the only option is to go part-time, as mum won't accept help from anyone else. To allow me to go part-time, I will need about £25,000 until March 2020 when I will be retiring. I’m confident of getting another job shortly thereafter. In January 2021, I will receive a commutation lump sum of about £50,000. I have a sizeable fund portfolio under an ISA wrapper with Hargreaves Lansdown. That is doing very well, so I don't really want to sell any of these funds and 'lend myself money' from that. My ideal funding solution would be a bond-type IOU agreement, where 'someone' lends me the money. Are you aware of a peer-to-peer site that could assist? Thanks
I am 35 and working part time on a reasonable salary. I've recently taken out a Stocks & Shares ISA with Wealthify (from reading the recommendations on Boring Money) where I pay in £40 per month. However, I'm wondering if I should be doing more? Should I be diversifying and using more than just Wealthify? Or is it better to increase the amount into Wealthify?
I am 25 and starting to seriously financially plan out my future. I would really welcome a 'sense check' on my thinking as well as some help on which investment choices to make. My goals are: To invest for 15 years - my risk appetite is very high (i.e. I could afford to lose all my money). Goal 1 - More Important: To have an investment pot of £1,500,000. Goal 2 - Less Important: To be mortgage free. My plan is: 1) Open an annual Stocks and Shares ISA each of the next 15 years. 2) Open Share trading/dealing account. 3) Reduce my mortgage term to 6 years by 2025. I appreciate the above is a lot to go though, but I'd welcome any help and guidance.
The recent Metro article which Holly participated in has really inspired me and made me think that investing in shares is something which I would like to do. Unfortunately I am completely thrown about where to start. I would be grateful for any advice you could pass my way. Realistically, I would only have about 2k to invest, so any tips would be gratefully received.
My wife and I have recently separated. The equity in the house is going to be split 50/50. We don't have any other meaningful assets. We have agreed to co-parent the children equally. My wife is requesting that I pay child maintenance, child care and school expenses. A CMS document states that shared child care results in no child maintenance payments. However, I do agree with the child care and school expenses payments. Our daughter has Autism Spectrum Disorder, so my wife gets a Disability Living Allowance for her and also works full time. If I don't pay the child maintenance, child care and school expenses, my wife is threatening to claim spousal maintenance, and take half my pension. Should I pay the £350/month or take my chances in court?
Any advice for two young people trying to get themselves a home? My girlfriend and I are saving for a house together. Currently house prices in our area are a ridiculous £300k. The max we can get from banks is about £220k, meaning somehow saving up a whopping £80k deposit. This would take us about 8 years (and house prices are increasing faster than we're saving!) That's not to mention solicitors fees, stamp duty, the cost of moving, furnishing the house, white goods, and any repairs or renovations. It all just seems impossible!!
I have cash saved in ISAs and savings accounts - probably a 30% deposit on a property - first time buyer. I am at least 12 months away from getting a permanent job, so at least 12 months away from buying a property. What can I do with the cash in the meantime? Best just to leave it in cash for now, or invest a portion in stocks and shares ISAs?
I am 73 and cautious. There are two areas that your advice would be helpful..what if you just spend thousands on buying the gold standard footsie companies like shell and the rest and keep them for five years and then cash them in ?
I'm nearly 30 and looking to open a private ready made pension, and also an investment ISA for retirement funds or towards a property, but very unsure what risk level to choose (low to medium, or medium to high)? Any comments or advice welcome.
My wife needs to set up a SIPP with a good value, low cost, low maintenance underlying investment portfolio. We want a good mobile app from a well respected provider. Where can we see the options and directly compare historic returns so we can make a decision?
I was considering applying for Individual protection 2016, which I understand would give me an LTA of £1,021,390.
However, following the inflation rise of the Lifetime Allowance, it seems the LTA is now at £1,030,000. It now seems pointless applying for Individual protection 2016.
Have I got this right?
Hi, I've got an old D.B. pension, approximate value £12k. I would like to invest & top up each month. Who would you recommend? Also I would like to make an investment, & don't know where to start?
My question is about my wife's pension valuation in a divorce situation.
She is on a final salary scheme working for a national charity organisation. I feel the CETV value is too low and certainly does not take into account the inbuilt benefits such as guranteed final salary, life insurance.
I am very lucky to have just received a gift which I want to invest for our retirement. My husband and I aim to retire in around five years. We have 11 more years of school fees to fund, then hopefully university fees for two after that. I've put together a plan for us - can you have a look and see if it makes sense?
We have four grandchildren (2 English living in UK, and 2 Irish living in Eire). We have decided to start savings plans for their futures. Their ages are 18yrs, 11yrs, 8yrs and 4yrs respectively. My age is 75yrs, and my wife is a little older. What should we do, please?
My mother is 84 and has around £35,000 in cash, realised when she moved to a smaller house. She would like to invest it and draw income that would be slightly higher than the natural yield - say around £2,000. What is the best vehicle for that please?
I have a delightful 12 year old daughter and she has just opened her first bank account. I am dreadful with money but I would like to know what I should teach her so that she does not pick up my bad financial habits. Do you have some top tips of things to teach our children so they are wise and responsible with money please?
Is getting more money on a Mortgage a good way to raise some cash? I have a tiny tiny mortgage on a London property and could do with £50k to spend on other stuff. Would I be better to get the money by remortgaging or borrowing?
I use H&L and although they are a bit 'plumy' on the phone I quite like their website and the costs are OK. So I was thinking of H&L for [my son]. I would be telling him to open these two funds and regularly invest and forget about them for 10 years!
What are the changes with pension annuities? My mother in law has asked as her retirement is looming. I've read in the press it's changing but it all feels confusing. I just need some simple clear advice. Thanks