Capitalising on investment plans to grow your money is a way to beat the UK inflation rate, and growing the investment in the UK Stock and Shares ISAs is excellent to own a tax-free plan of up to £20,000 in the 2023/2024 UK tax year.
The stock and share ISA is a financial product that allows UK investors to accumulate cash with various stocks and company shares to gain profit on the investment without tax. It’s offered by different financial brokers across the country.
The financial brokers give investors digital exposure to this financial growth plan and serve as the custodians of the investor’s assets. Therefore, it’s pertinent that the financial institution you choose to grow such an investment plan must be reliable, cost-effective, and safe.
Generally, financial institutions offer ready-made stocks and shares ISA or DIY stocks and shares ISA programs. The ready-made plan offers you a range of investments managed by their financial experts according to your risk appetite. In contrast, the DIY plan gives you complete control over your investment, and you can choose which stock, shares, or fund to invest in—however, the ready-made portfolio charges for their extra service.
Whichever investment stocks and shares ISA plan you choose, this guide will provide a list of the best financial platforms with ready-made and DIY ISA products. Proceed on!
Best UK Stocks and Shares ISA Providers for UK Investors
Whether you prefer a ready-made or DIY ISA portfolio, all financial institutions on this list are chosen by our financial experts based on the broker’s trading and platform fee, the number of financial instruments they offer investors, and what investors are saying about them on Trustpilot, a consumer review platform.
All these, together with their regulation with the UK top-tiered Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) for investors’ security, provide our top list of the UK’s best DIY stocks and shares ISA and the UK’s best ready-made stock and shares ISA.
Let’s dive in!
Top Best DIY Stock and Shares ISA Provider
DIY stock and shares ISA portfolio implies that you’re responsible for investing in your portfolio’s financial instrument (stocks, shares, and ETFs). If you have an interest in this type of ISA, here is a list of the top 5 financial brokers you should consider to manage your portfolio:
1. Interactive Brokers
Interactive Brokers is a US-based global giant broker company that has existed for over 45 years. It has extended its base to the UK to offer investors access to more than 150 global markets.
Choosing the Interactive Brokers as your financial platform offers you a free Shares and Stocks ISA, including a Junior Stock and Shares ISA, to access the financial market. With the stock and shares ISA, you can invest in shares, securities issued by companies, recognised UCITS, Depository Receipts, American Depository receipts, and American Depository Shares.
Although Interactive Brokers offers a self-investment (DIY) ISA program, you can also contact the broker to appoint a financial advisor to manage your ISA portfolio. This will charge you extra cost.
Generally, Interactive Broker charges £3 monthly as its minimum activity fee for an ISA portfolio, making it one of the cheapest financial brokers for ISA service fees. Also, it offers one free monthly withdrawal, and any other withdrawal within the same month attracts a £7 withdrawal fee.
Conversely, you can start your Interactive Brokers ISA journey with a minimum of £1, which you can deposit into the account by Bank transfer, Bank Wire, Transfer from Wise balance, and other available options.
With the Interactive Brokers as the custodian of your ISA investment, you can access your account with a wide range of trading platforms, including IBKR mobile platform that is compatible with smartphones and tablets (Android & iOS) and other third-party trading platform like Trader Workstation, Client Portal, GlobalTrader, and Impact.
Overall, Interactive Broker is a financial platform with simple investing, straightforward pricing, and a low-commission model of business that gives you access to over 150 global markets where you can add qualified investments to your ISA portfolio.
Check out our Interactive Broker review for more information
2. Hargreaves Lansdown
Hargreaves Lansdown is a traditional broker platform and a member of the London’s Financial Times Stock Exchange 100 index (FTSE 100), managing about £120 billion in client funds. The financial institution offers one of the best tax-wrapper ISA programs in the country, including the Stock and Shares ISA, Junior ISA, and Lifetime ISA through its proprietary mobile and web trading platform.
The Hargreaves Lansdown stock and shares ISA program offers both the DIY and ready-made investment plan and gives investors access to over 3,000 funds, UK and overseas shares, Investment trusts, bonds, and ETFs. In addition to access to numerous financial instruments, Hargreaves Lansdown provides research tools and wealth lists to aid investors’ decision-making.
Furthermore, Hargreaves Lansdown charges no trading/commission fee but charges 0.45% of your stock and shares ISA portfolio yearly (capped at £45 a year). Also, the minimum deposit to begin your ISA journey with the broker is a lump sum of £100 or £25 monthly for the DIY portfolio and £1,000 for the ready-made package.
Overall, Hargreaves Lansdown is a trusted financial broker for stock and shares ISA investors who want premium service and need adequate research tools and information to make excellent financial decisions.
Other Hargreaves Lansdown stock ISA charges include:
|Value of Funds||Charges|
|On the first £250,000||0.45%|
|On the value between £250,000 and £1 million||0.25%|
|On the Value between £1 million and £2 million||0.1%|
|On a value over £2 million||No charge|
Check out our Hargreaves Lansdown review for more information.
Freetrade is a financial broker that runs a freemium business model with its zero-commission system on all trades. Established in 2016, Freetrade Limited rose to one of the country’s best financial institutions, and its stocks and shares ISA program is one of the reasons.
The Freetrade stock and shares ISA portfolio offers UK investors access to over 6,000 stocks, shares, and other securities in the UK, US, and other EEA nations. With the broker’s mobile trading app, you can perform any financial operations you wish.
Although the financial platform charges no commission/trading fee, the stock and shares ISA program is part of its tiered pricing plan. To access the Freetrade ISA portfolio, subscribe to its Standard or Plus plan, which costs £5.99 and £11.99 monthly, respectively. (Check our Freetrade Review Guide to understand the pricing plan better).
With Freetrade stock and shares ISA, you can invest in fractional shares of the most expensive US shares with at least £2.
Therefore, if you’re looking for a low-cost stocks and shares ISA provider with a user-friendly mobile app, Freetrade Limited is your best bet.
Other Freetrade Stock and Shares ISA charges include:
|Charges||Standard Plan||Plus Plan|
|Overseas share dealings||Exchange rate +0.59%||Exchange rate +0.39%|
|Transfer in (Deposit)||Free||Free|
|Transfer out (Withdrawal) – UK stock or cash||Free||Free|
|Transfer Out – US stock||£17 per holding||£17 per holding|
Check out our Freetrade review for more information.
4. AJ Bell
AJ Bell is an award-winning financial company, and a member of the FTSE 250 that offers UK investors access to various ISA programs, including the Stock and Shares ISA and Junior ISA, at low cost. This financial institution offers both the DIY and ready-made ISA portfolio system.
With the AJ Bell stocks and shares ISA, you have a wide choice of financial options, including over 2,000 funds and shares, 450+ investment trusts, and a wide range of ETFs across 25 markets.
With the AJ Bells stocks and shares ISA, you will be charged 0.25% of your portfolio as an annual charge capped at £3.5 monthly, and you can buy financial instruments with as little as £1.5.
Furthermore, you can manage your ISA portfolio through the AJ Bells mobile app, which is compatible with Android and iOS devices.
Overall, AJ Bells is one of the most versatile ISA providers in the UK with its low-cost trading fee and excellent financial investment magazine.
5. Interactive Investor
Interactive Investor is a subsidiary of the giant investment company Abrdn and one of the largest investment platforms in the UK, established in 1995. It gives access to ISA, including stock and shares ISA, Bed and ISA, Junior ISA, and Ethical ISA.
It offers UK investors over 40,000 shares and 3,000 funds, investment trusts, ETFs, and bonds in the UK, and intentional investments. It’s present the FTSE 100, FTSE 25O, FTSE All-shares, and NASDAQ global markets.
Interactive Investor stocks and shares ISA is available on the Investor Essentials plan, Investor Plan, and Super Investor plan, which cost £4.99, £11.99, and £19.99, respectively monthly. The top two pricing plan offers one and two trade fee monthly.
In addition, the financial institution offers five ready-made portfolios, along with a ‘Super 60’ list of selected funds for investors. However, it doesn’t offer any financial advisory service; instead, it provides a well-explanatory fund and share research.
You can manage your Interactive Investor stocks and shares ISA through their proprietary mobile app with a minimum of £25 for monthly investing.
Overall, the Interactive Investor broker ISA is an exceptional portfolio for anyone with an extensive portfolio because of its flat rate charges instead of the popular percentage-based system.
Top Ready-made Stocks and Shares ISA Provider
Financial companies also provide ready-made stocks and shares ISA portfolio that contains selected diversified investment plans. A statutory financial advisor or a robo-adviser manages this portfolio. The financial expert or the robot selects the portfolio composition based on your risk appetite.
Let’s consider the top best ready-made/robo-adviser stocks and shares ISA provider in the UK.
Wealthify is a UK-based financial company associated with the Aviva group. It lets you invest in the ready-made original investment portfolio or the ethical investment plan built by environmentally and socially responsible organisations. In summary, invest in your way and let’s choose and manage your investment for you.
The Wealthify Investment ISA is a correspondence of the stock and shares ISA that allows users to grow their money through investment without Capital Gain Tax.
With Wealthify, you can begin your stock and shares ISA journey with £1 with a zero deposit fee and withdraw your money anytime. The financial platform ISA annual charges are never more than 0.6%. There is also an investment cost of 0.26% for the Original plan and 0.7% for the Ethical Plan.
Overall, Wealthify is a preformed portfolio that offers various ISA programs for beginner investors and helps manage the account to yield profit.
Bestinvest is a financial investment and coaching company owned by Evelyn Partners and based in London. It offers one of the country’s low-cost online ISAs and shares dealing with personalised expert advice.
The financial platform offers 15 ready-made portfolios to provide an effortless way to invest in a range of investments curated by its experts and allows you to choose your investment. With these, you have over 1,600 funds, UK shares, Investment trusts, and ETFs.
Bestinvest charges ISA account fees for its ready-made portfolios ranging from 0.2% for investments up to £500,000, 0.1% for investments above £500,000, and no charge on investments above £1 million. Also, it charges a share dealing fee of £4.95 per trade.
You can manage your investments through the Bestinvest proprietary mobile app, compatible with Android and iOS devices. The minimum deposit for investment for Bestinvest ISA is £50.
The Moneyfarm stocks and shares ISA provides one of the most efficient ways to grow your wealth and gain profit without incurring tax. Its ready-made expert-censored portfolio provides a personalised portfolio based on your risk preference.
With the Moneyfarm ISA ready-made service, you can invest in one of its seven risk-rated portfolios recommended by their financial experts. Also, with the financial broker as your investment manager, you can access financial advice curated by Moneyfram investment consultants.
Moneyfarm ISA ready-made portfolios charge an annual account fee of 0.75% for account value between £500 and £50,000, 0.45% from £100,000, 0.35% from £250k, and 0.35% from £500k with a minimum deposit of £500.
4. Fidelity International
Fidelity International is a US-based giant financial broker authorised in the UK to provide investors with ready-made stocks and shares ISA portfolio. The broker charges no trading fee for funds and no tiered-level pricing plan (you pay a flat rate to access all portfolio investments the broker offers). However, it charges a relatively high share dealings fee.
The financial broker offers a ready-made ISA portfolio and a ‘Select 50’ list of selected funds, ETFs, and investment trusts according to your risk appetite.
You can manage your Fidelity stocks and shares ISA online through its proprietary mobile app.
What is Stocks and Shares ISA
The stocks and shares Individual Saving Account (ISA) is a tax wrapper and investment system that allows you to invest in wide range of financial instruments. The financial instruments perform according to the market occurrence, and you do not pay any Capital Gain Tax (CGT) when the investments yield profit.
With the stock and shares ISA, you can invest in different investments ranging from investment funds, individual stocks and shares, corporate and government bonds, exchange-traded funds and OEICs (Open Ended Investment Companies).
Furthermore, the amount you can deposit in your stock and shares ISA account depends on the ISA limit for the tax year by the UK government, with each tax year spanning from April 6 – April 5 of the following year. In the 2023/24 tax year, you can deposit up to £20,000 in your ISA investment plan. You can split this into different ISAs like stock and shares ISA, Lifetime ISA, and Cash ISA.
In addition, the profit from the financial assets you invested in the stock and shares ISA can either be withdrawn, reinvested back into the portfolio to purchase more assets, or held in your account. But if your total investment exceeds the ISA limit for the tax year, the amount outside the limit will be taxed.
Stocks and Shares Need-to-Knows
- A stock and shares ISA gives you the potential of more return on your savings than any other form of ISA (e.g. Lifetime ISA, Cash ISA, and others). However, there is a potential risk to the value of your investment portfolio. The value of your portfolio may go up or down depending on the market trend and the value of the financial instrument in the portfolio.
- A stocks and shares ISA investment portfolio should be seen as a medium to long-term investment plan. That is, you should be able to invest for about 5 years before you expect a sizeable profit from the portfolio. Therefore, you shouldn’t invest in the ISA with the funds you will need urgently.
- All income from your stocks and shares ISA and other types of ISA are tax-free (Capital Gain Tax & Dividend Tax).
- The UK tax year starts on April 6 of the current year and ends on April 5 of the following year. The ISA limit for the year is determined by the UK government.
- Every tax year, you can have multiple types of ISA, but you can only invest in one of a particular type in a tax year. For example, let’s say you own one or more of a stocks and shares ISA, Lifetime ISA, Junior ISA, and Cash ISA. You can only invest in one of each type in the tax year. You cannot get a tax-free investment in two different stocks and shares ISA or any other type.
- It’s best you build an emergency fund before you start a stocks and shares ISA portfolio. This helps avoid the need to dip into your ISA portfolio when you need urgent funds.
- You can invest in the stocks and shares ISA with a lump sum of funds or as you have within the tax year.
- You can pay up to £20,000 into ISAs in the UK 2023/2024 tax year.
FAQs About Stocks and Shares ISA
Can I pay into multiple ISAs?
You can own as many ISAs as you want with any UK ISA broker, but you can only pay into one type of ISA each tax year. That is, you can only pay into one Cash ISA, one Stock and Shares ISA, and one of the other types each tax year and all the investments in all the ISA you invest in a tax year sum up for the tax year limit.
Are Stock and Shares ISA covered by the Financial Services Compensation Scheme (FSCS)?
Yes, ISA portfolios, including the stocks and shares ISA, are covered BY FCSC. Implying that in an unfortunate case of financial institution bankruptcy, you’re covered up to £85,000
What happens if I exceed the ISA limit in a tax year?
If your ISA contribution within a tax year exceeds the year’s limit, you will not receive any tax advantage over the excess amount.