Hargreaves Lansdown Stocks and Shares ISA Review
The idea of investing in stocks and shares remains as appealing as ever, while ISA plans are popular for their tax-efficient approach.
This means that many people see a Stocks and Shares ISA as offering them the best of both worlds. You get to try and earn big in the stock market but you do it in a simple and flexible way that is tax-efficient.
Among the Stocks and Shares ISAs worth looking at right now is the one from Hargreaves Lansdown, so what is it all about and is it worth investing in? This is what we’ll be discussing in this Hargreaves Lansdown Stocks and Shares ISA review.
The first thing you will want to understand is what an ISA really is. This is really a fairly simple concept to be honest, although not everyone fully understands it. To start with, the name comes from the term ‘Individual Savings Account’. This has proved to be a hugely popular type of savings account since being introduced, largely due to the tax efficiency and the simplicity.
A common mistake that people make is to think that the ISA is the investment itself. This isn’t quite right, as it is more like a wrapper that is used to house the investment. This is why you will come across different types of ISAs.
You may already know that Cash ISAs are available. This is a straightforward type of savings account with tax benefits, while a Stocks and Shares ISA is more about investing and trying to take advantage of share price gains.
Easy to Manage
One of the first things that stands out about the Hargreaves Lansdown Stocks and Shares ISA is that it is so easy to manage. This is great news for all those people who would love to try and earn on the stock market but who don’t know how to do so. The fear of getting caught up in paperwork and not knowing what to do is definitely one of the reasons that many people decide not to buy shares.
You can get started in a matter of minutes online and – if it works for you – choose from a selection of 6 different pre-built portfolios. These are each designed with different risk levels and investment goals in mind. Otherwise, you could create your own ISA based upon your own wants and needs. If you decide to create your own ISA, then you will find all of the help and investment tools you might need on the Hargreaves Lansdown website, including a handy free ISA guide.
Once that is done, the day to day running of the ready-made ISA portfolios of funds is handled by the fund manager. You can keep track of it easily enough but you won’t be expected to make big decisions about buying and selling shares. The fund managers will buy and sell in order to keep the investment moving in the right direction and nicely balanced.
Who Is It Right For?
The flexibility of this investment vehicle means that it is right for a lot of people to try. Whether it is your first time investing in the stock market or whether you are already a seasoned investor, there is a lot to like about this product.
For a start, you get to choose from a wide range of options when getting started. For example, if you like you can choose your own shares or investment trusts to put money into. You could also look at bonds or ETFs, as well funds from top performing fund managers.
This means that you get to choose the approach you feel happiest with but don’t need to be a financial expert.
How Much Can You Invest in an ISA?
In this tax year – from 06 April 2015 to the 05 of April 2016 – individuals are allowed to invest up to £15,240 in ISAs. You can choose to invest this in either a Stocks & Shares ISA (like the one we are reviewing here), a Cash ISA, or a mix of the two. As long as you stay within the £15,240 threshold, then your investment/savings will be free from tax.
It’s important to remember here that the deadline for making ISA contributions for the current tax year is midnight on the 5th April. Once missed, the opportunity to utilise your tax-free allowance for this year is gone, your allowance will not roll over to the next year. With this in mind then, be sure to take advantage of the tax-free savings on offer by investing or saving your cash in the current tax year, so that you can make the most of next year’s ISA allowance too!
Other Points to Bear in Mind
Another important point to mention is that with the Hargreaves Lansdown ISA, you can get hold of your money at any time. This isn’t always possible with investments of this type but it is with the Vantage Stocks and Shares ISA, as it’s otherwise known.
To get started, you can fund the ISA with either a minimum lump sum of £100 or else a monthly direct debit set up to invest at least £25 each month. The ready-made portfolios need a minimum investment of £1,000. After that, it is an easy process to go in and top up your account anytime if you want to invest something extra.
When you get a dividend or any other income paid out then you have the choice of reinvesting it or having it paid to you. It is possible to set up your account so that the option you choose is carried out automatically each time.
ISAs are a great way of investing wisely and this one adds the extra attraction of stock marketing investing, which a lot of people are very interested in these days.
The range of investment options and the flexibility on offer are definitely strong points in its favour. If you are looking for a tax-efficient investment method with the chance for some share dealing then the Hargreaves Lansdown Stocks & Shares ISA is well worth taking a look at.