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Where to put you £15,000 ISA allowance

If you’re thinking about your financial future, you may decide that opening an ISA – a tax-free cash ISA or tax-efficient stocks and shares ISA – is the right option for you. Not only can ISAs be opened quickly but with an increased New ISA allowance of £15,000 per individual (rising to £15,240 for the tax year 2015-16) you could potentially reach your savings goals a lot quicker.

The questions is, how should you make the most of this new ISA limit?

Put it all in a cash ISA

Tired of traditional savings accounts tied to the measly Bank of England interest rate of 0.5 per cent? Then putting your £15,000 allowance into a cash ISA could give you better returns. Just like normal savings account there are many different types of ISAs available but the main difference is you won’t pay any tax on the interest earned!

Put it all in a stocks and shares ISA

Placing your £15,000 allowance into a stocks and shares ISA is another option you could take which offers a range of tax advantages. Firstly, you don’t have to pay any capital gains tax on profits made from share price increases. You’ll also pay no tax or interest earned on bonds and income earned from any shares investments will be taxed at just 10 per cent.

Mix and match

New ISA rules mean you can now split the allowance between a cash ISA and a stocks and shares ISA in any way you see fit. It’s completely up to you.

If you want to invest but are not sure where to start, don’t let your lack of knowledge put you off. There are many investment management companies out there that’ll build and manage your investment portfolio for you and help you make sound financial decisions. Let’s take a look at a few of the popular services available.

Nutmeg

As the UK’s first online discretionary management company, Nutmeg, has certainly made a name for themselves within the financial industry. Endorsed by the UK government and supported by many enthusiastic and loyal users, this multi award-winning business takes the stress out of investing by making investments on your behalf.

So, if you’re interested in starting up a stocks and shares ISA all you need to do is answer a few questions about your attitude to risk and they’ll make decisions based on the time of investor you are. Much of the process is automated for speed and simplicity but you also have a team of financial experts constantly watching the markets and adjusting your professional portfolio to help keep it on track and to help you take advantage of the opportunities for good long-term investment gains that they identify on your behalf.

Investors can expect a personalised, professional and tailored approach and with services such as a personal pension due to be rolled out soon, Nutmeg is understandably a first choice for many.

Here’s what some of Nutmeg’s customers had to say:

  • "Nutmeg really called out to me. I felt it could offer a better return on my investment, in a way that suited me." — Darren, business consultant 
  • "Nutmeg have taken away the burden of managing my money. I feel safe. With Nutmeg, I have an expert investment team." — Fergus, chartered accountant 
  • "They give me absolute trust that they're on top of my finances — as much as I would be if I was managing it." — Helen, managing director 
  • "Found the most innovative investment business I have seen in years. Fantastic web interface and investing made simple." — @jonathanwarren_ 

UBS

UBS is a global firm providing a wide range of financial services to over 50 countries. A Swiss company with its headquarters in Zurich, UBS strives to offer the best advice possible believing that the guidance you receive regarding wealth management should be based on an implicit understanding of your individual needs. They work side-by-side each and every customer to understand your long-term personal financial goals, risk tolerance, preferences and needs before pulling together a highly-tailored portfolio.

Investment opportunities are continuously arising and UBS are dedicated to finding the right ones for you, so here are some reviews of the services offered:

  • “For those that are interested, UBS offers a fully functioning and very informative on-line interface of their account.”
  • “Very accurate and lucid” 
  • “UBS is the firm of choice these days. It is winning assets and advisors."

Fidelity

Fidelity is an American, multinational financial services cooperation and one of the largest mutual fund and financial services groups in the world. Founded in 1946, they appeal to those who want to take control of their own portfolio (but require the necessary help and advice to make well-informed decisions) as well as those who want a fully-management investment service. Fidelity offers a range of compelling ISA deals when the traditional ISA season comes round every February-April and have the expertise to make your money work harder.

Here’s what some of their customers had to say:

  • “I have been dealing with Fidelity for over 20 years now. I have never had an unpleasant phone encounter with a rep. They have always "come through", no matter how much time it took, or who they had to consult with, to get the job done. As far as the research goes, it’s great, and the online interface is very easy to use. There have never been any errors made regarding any of my transactions or paperwork. While Fidelity is always "there" for you, they are never intrusive or trying to "sell" me something. I have no complaints!” 
  • “Fidelity is a familiar and well-established name in the online stock trading industry. It offers trades with competitive fees, a customisable and intuitive trading platform and unmatched educational resources.” 
  • “Very low cost for a fund!”

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