Compare self select ISAs

You can find a self select ISA that lets you choose the funds you want to invest in and manage the whole investment yourself.

Investment ISAs put your capital at risk, and you may get back less than you originally invested.

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Hargreaves Lansdown Stocks and Shares ISA
You can invest in
Over 3,000 funds
Protection scheme
FSCS
Invest from
£100 lump sum or £25 a month
Kickstart your investing with an award-winning ISA. Choose your own investments with expert research and ideas to help you, or simply pick a ready-made portfolio. Manage via website, app or phone.
Capital at risk.
Eligibility
Permanent UK Resident
Minimum Initial Deposit£100
Minimum Monthly Investment£25
Minimum Lump Sum Stocks & Shares ISA Investment£100

What is a self-select ISA?

A self-select Individual Savings Account (ISA) is a type of tax-free savings pot. You pay no income tax or capital gains tax.

It gives you the freedom to choose and manage your own investments, instead of having a fund manager who does it for you. You'll be completely responsible for the management and monitoring of your investments. So you'll need to feel confident in doing this.

You can invest up to £20,000 into a stocks and shares ISA each tax year as either a lump sum, or added over several payments. This £20,000 allowance can be used all in your stocks and shares ISA, or can be split between different types of ISA as you choose.

How to pick the best self-select ISA

Our self-select ISA table will help you find a product that lets you choose and invest in as many funds as you like, without the need for financial advice. The table breaks down the information you need to choose the right investment. This mini glossary will help you to understand what each section means:

  • Funds: the number of different funds you can choose from to build your stocks and shares ISA

  • Protection scheme: if your money will be protected by a compensation scheme

  • Investment amount: how much you have to pay in to open the account

  • Transfer in fee: what you pay when you transfer an existing ISA into a new account

  • Transfer out fee: what you pay if you transfer your ISA to another account.

How do you invest in a self-select ISA?

To invest, open an account through a broker or with the platform provider you want to invest with. Then choose the funds you want to make up your self-managed stocks and shares ISA.

A broker may specialise in certain funds, and many let you use your ISA wrapper with OEICs or unit trusts. But this does depend on the investment broker you choose.

Make sure you check each platform's fees online before you invest. This will help you find the cheapest way to manage your self-select ISA.

What's a broker?

How do you make tax savings with a self-select ISA?

When your investments grow, and when you receive dividends from your ISA, these are free from capital gains tax and additional income tax. This can be helpful for higher-rate taxpayers and people with lots of money in shares, but less helpful for basic-rate taxpayers.

Everyone now has a £2,000 annual dividend allowance, which means people don't pay tax on the first £2,000 earned from dividends outside of their ISA. After that, you'll pay tax on your dividends based on your income tax band. So, the savings you can make by having an ISA aren't as attractive to everyone as they once were. They're still attractive if you're a higher rate taxpayer earning more than £2,000 a year in dividends.

The tax you'll pay on dividends earnings after your £2,000 annual dividend allowance is:

  • 7.5% if you're a basic-rate taxpayer

  • 32.5% if you're a higher-rate taxpayer

  • 38.1% if you're an additional-rate taxpayer.

When it comes to capital gains tax, each person can currently earn £12,300 of capital gains per year without paying tax. Capital gains is the profit you make from selling shares. It doesn't matter whether the shares are from an ISA or not.

What are the pros and cons of a self-select ISA?

Self-select ISAs, like all ISAs, come with pros and cons. If you're considering opening one, you should think about these carefully before you do.

The pros include:

  • You have control over your investment choices, as you're not handing the job of managing the investments to a fund manager

  • You'll get some tax benefits, especially if you have a large share portfolio, and are a higher rate taxpayer

  • You can amend your investments at any time

  • You'll be covered by the Financial Services Compensation Scheme. This will cover up to £50,000 per person, per institution.

The cons include:

  • They can be high risk. The value of your investment can go up and down, and there's no guarantee that you'll make money. You could even end up with less than what you originally put in. There's less risk with a cash ISA

  • It can be time consuming keeping looking after your investments, checking how they're doing and moving your money if needed. If you're time poor, it might be better to have a fund manager

  • You'll have a £20,000 annual investment limit (across all your ISAs).

What happens if your self-select ISA doesn't perform well?

You don't need to keep your stocks and shares ISA in one place forever. Almost every investment broker allows transfers in and out. This means you can move your money into another investment that you feel will perform better in the future. Or you could move it into one that has cheaper fees compared to what you already have.
Here's more information on self-select ISAs.

Are there different types of self-select ISA available?

Yes, there are. The types of assets that can be held within a self-select ISA include:

  • Individual shares

  • Unit trusts

  • Open-ended investment companies

  • Exchange traded funds

  • Gilts

  • Investment trusts

  • Bonds.

What type of broker should I use?

There are different types - you can get one who will financially advise you, or one that won't.

A broker who financially advises you will suggest which shares you should choose. They'll be knowledgeable about the market and will cost more to hire. However, you don't have to get advice at all. A self-select ISA is designed especially so you can pick the funds to invest in yourself. It's up to you how you want to do it.

A broker who doesn't give financial advice is called an execution-only broker and is cheaper. All they'll do is supply you with the platform you'll use to trade investments. This can be the better option if you're confident in your own knowledge of the market and decisions.

Self select ISA FAQs

You have to be at least 18 years old to make any form of stock market investment.

No, they are designed to let you choose which funds to invest in. If you are unsure which funds to choose, seek advice before investing.

Yes, you can pay in up to £20,000 each tax year in a stocks and shares ISA, cash ISA or innovative finance ISA, or split your allowance between all three.

Up to £20,000 each tax year, less any money you pay into a cash or innovative finance ISA during the same tax year. Find out more about ISAs here.

No, you can only pay into one stocks and shares ISA during each tax year.

About our self select ISAs comparison

Our comparison tables include providers we have commercial arrangements with. The number of listings in our tables can vary depending on the terms of those arrangements, as well as other market developments. They are all from providers regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA).

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We have commercial agreements with some of the companies in this comparison and get paid commission if we help you take out one of their products or services. Find out more here.

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Last updated: 8 February, 2021