Holly's Blog: ISAs and featureless investors

11 July, 2017

Not long left until the climax of months of debate and divide, anger and despair. Yes it’s the end of the tax year – in 2 weeks – and time to make those ISA and pension decisions.

It is also the time of year when anyone who writes about these things finds a wee touch of ISA fatigue seep into their bones!

So – mes amis – in an arguably lazy desire to avoid re-writing the wheel, the following links will give you a good heads-up of what I think are decent ISA picks this year.

Good ISA picks

This piece I wrote in last week’s Mail on Sunday (https://www.mailonsunday.co.uk/money/investing/article-6816977/My-tried-tested-guide-Isa-minefield-Holly-Mackay-puts-money-line.html?dm_t=0,0,0,0,0) shares my views on good ISA options for eco warriors, confident traders, those on the lookout for Junior ISAs, and those who aren’t that interested. And a final category of enthusiastic investors who arguably need saving from themselves!

The logic with that last point is that a little knowledge can be a dangerous thing. I see more and more people reluctantly conclude that by the time they have dabbled, and traded, and paid transaction fees, and given in to greed, buying that speculative mining share (hello Uncle A!) – they would have been better off handing it all over to a low-cost manager and finding another hobby instead!

And here’s my bit in Wednesday’s ISA supplement from The Times (https://www.thetimes.co.uk/edition/isa-guide-2019/the-best-online-investment-providers-for-2019-p6209tt2d?dm_t=0,0,0,0,0) (behind a paywall sorry to non-subscribers). The 7 providers mentioned here are the winners of our 2019 Best Buys awards – you can see what we and 1000s of other investors have to say here (https://www.boringmoney.co.uk/isas-pensions/isas-pensions/).

Don’t forget pensions (https://www.boringmoney.co.uk/learn/investing-guides/product-guides/private-pension/) too. As a general rule we all have up to a chunky £40,000 a year we can put into a pension. And we get Government top-ups. And – for higher tax rate payers – there’s also the sweetener of being able to reduce your next tax bill too. If there’s no spare cash this year then could you move any existing shares or funds into a pension wrapper? Nice freebie top-ups and a tax-free environment BUT don’t forget that you won’t be able to access money in a pension until you’re 55 (rising to 57 from 2028).

If that’s interesting then Google "Hargreaves Lansdown Bed and SIPP" (https://www.google.com/search?source=hp&ei=_buUXM_xFtKblwTi5p_QAQ&q=hargreaves+lansdown+bed+and+sipp&btnK=Google+Search&oq=hargreaves+lansdown+bed+and+sipp&gs_l=psy-ab.3..0i22i30.20.11907..12159...1.0..0.150.2221.30j2......0....1..gws-wiz.......35i39j0i67j0i131i67j0j0i131j0i10j0i20i263.dyWWAR4tvH4&dm_t=0,0,0,0,0) (I kid you not!) for more info and details on how this all works.

What does an investor look like?

The pictures in this week’s image were drawn by three 20-somethings in a focus group and filming day we ran this week. I was asking people who were cash savers – and didn’t invest – why not? There’s a huge perception that investing is for people who are somehow smarter, richer, savvier and just more ‘together’ than most of us feel.

It's half funny, half horrifying that the people drawn are quite literally featureless! In suits and ties. Clutching bags full of dollars. I love the fact that the green one is ‘holding the keys to his Mercedes.’ Hhmmm. Bit of a branding issue for the investment industry methinks