2019 ISA Season and Tax-Efficient Investing

The ISA celebrates its 20-year anniversary at a difficult time, with Brexit looming before the end of the tax year. How can you ignore the noise and achieve your long term goals?

James Gard 11 March, 2019 | 8:29AM

neon piggy bank

The Individual Savings Account (ISA) celebrates its 20th birthday this year. Is it many happy returns for savers and investors, or is the ISA regime now so complex it needs a complete overhaul? Brexit uncertainty is certainly leading investors to pull billions from funds, according to the latest research. But the Morningstar view is that people should always look to the long term to achieve their goals, whether that is a comfortable retirement, their first home or paying for education. An ISA is one of the most mainstream products to achieve these goals, but it is not an end in itself.

On Monday we start with the basics: what is an ISA, how much can you put in it, what products you can use, what does “tax-free” actually mean? We break down the various rules of certain products, such as the Lifetime ISA, which isn’t available to those 40 and over.

On Tuesday we ask experts where they think potential investors should put their money.

Wednesday’s spring statement is unlikely to offer any new personal finance news, but it is a good opportunity to look at how the Government incentivises saving, and what it could do differently. Some financial advisers believe the current system is too complex and that the Lifetime ISA is vulnerable to being scrapped. What would they like to see happen in the future?

The overall limit is relatively generous, but saving £20,000 a year is a daunting prospect for most people. On Thursday, we look at innovative ways companies are encouraging people who wouldn’t think of themselves as “investors” to save for their future.

On Friday we widen the net to look at other ways investors can save tax. We look at the Innovative Finance ISA, charitable giving, inheritance tax and investing in EIS and VCT schemes.

Whether you decide to invest or save this year or next, there’s no escaping the end of the tax year on April 5.

Monday - Back to Basics

Confused by the range of products, the jargon or the terms and conditions? New investors, or those in need of a refresher, can start here

ISAs - The Basics 

ISAs - Frequently Asked Questions 

Best Cash ISAs and Savings Accounts

What's the Best Way to Save for Children?

What is a Stock?

What is a Fund?

What is a Bond?

Tuesday - What the Experts Say

Stocks picks for your ISA, and other suggestions from the experts

Top Stock Picks for Your ISA

ISA and Pension Tips From the Experts

Why Self-Discipline is Key to Investing

Wednesday - Brexit, Savings and the Spring Statement

Hammond Promises Brexit Dividend 

Spring Statement Reaction

Spring Statement Overshadowed by Brexit Votes

Investor Views: My ISAs Mix Funds and Stocks

Thursday - The ISA at 20 

The ISA has come a long way in 20 years and technology has transformed the way people, especially the young, save and invest

After 20 Years of the ISA, What Has Changed?

Investor Horizons Expand as Tech Frees Up the ISA

How to Boost Your ISA - Without Really Trying

Friday - Beyond the ISA

Innovative Finance ISAs, charitable giving, inheritance tax and investing in EIS and VCT schemes.

Investors Turn to P2P Lending to Boost Returns

How to Minimise Your IHT Bill

How Investing in Small Companies Brings Tax Benefits

Charitable Giving Can Save You Tax

Can an ISA Solve the Care Crisis?

The information contained within is for educational and informational purposes ONLY. It is not intended nor should it be considered an invitation or inducement to buy or sell a security or securities noted within nor should it be viewed as a communication intended to persuade or incite you to buy or sell security or securities noted within. Any commentary provided is the opinion of the author and should not be considered a personalised recommendation. The information contained within should not be a person's sole basis for making an investment decision. Please contact your financial professional before making an investment decision.

About Author

James Gard  is content editor for Morningstar.co.uk

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