SPECIAL GUIDE

Best Stocks and Share ISAs in 2023

Table of Contents

Introduction

Individual Savings Accounts (ISAs) are tax-efficient investment plans designed to help individuals make the most of their financial resources in the United Kingdom. ISAs provide investors with a wide range of investments including equities, bonds, and ETFs.

One of the most popular types of ISAs is a stocks and shares ISA. Stocks and Shares ISAs are long-term investments that can help you save for retirement or significant life events such as buying a house or having children.

With an ISA, you can invest in publicly traded companies, bonds, exchange-traded funds (ETFs), managed funds, and unit trusts that offer some level of capital growth or dividend income over time.

In this guide we’ll look at the top stocks and shares ISAs available in the UK for 2023 considering factors such as fees, investment options, customer service ratings, account features and overall value for money.

We will also take a look at how they compare to other forms of tax-efficient investments such as pensions and Junior ISAs so you can be sure to make an informed decision when choosing your savings plan.

Best Stocks and Shares ISA

A Stocks and Shares ISA (Individual Savings Account) is a flexible tax-efficient way to invest in the stock market and access potentially higher returns.

When you’re looking to choose the best Stocks and Shares ISA in the UK, there are a few important things to consider.

This guide will provide an in-depth review of the best Stocks and Shares ISA currently available in the UK in 2023.

Fidelity

Fidelity is one of the leading stocks and shares ISA providers in the UK, offering a comprehensive range of investments for you to choose from.

Their award-winning Fidelity Pensioner ISA (FPISA) offers up to eight different asset classes and provides unrestricted access to your money, with no fees on early withdrawals, deposits or transfers.

The FPISA also offers a variety of investment options:

  • cash
  • stocks and shares
  • government bonds
  • managed funds
  • exchange-traded funds (ETFs)
  • mutual funds
  • index-linked investments

You can pick a readymade ISA portfolio that caters to your specific goals or create your own tailored portfolio of assets, either manually or with the help of Fidelity’s digital investment tools.

For those who’d prefer more advice and guidance on their investments, Fidelity also offer an Investor Service Plan.

This plan is available exclusively through Fidelity advisors who can take the time to understand your individual needs before providing knowledgeable recommendations as well as checking in as often as you need.

Interactive Investor

Interactive Investor is a popular choice for those seeking an account to invest in stocks and shares.

This platform provides investors with a wide range of stocks and funds to choose from, with ISA offerings available in the form of a Stocks & Shares ISA, or Lifetime ISA.

When investing in a Stocks & Shares ISA with Interactive Investor, you can invest up to £20,000 per year (tax-free).

You can choose from over 3,800 global funds as well as shares listed on the most competitive exchanges.

Additionally, Interactive Investor offers plenty of tools and resources to help you make informed investment decisions without worrying about making beginner mistakes.

For anyone looking for an easy-to-use online platform to invest with via an ISA wrapper, Interactive Investor is highly regarded within the stock trading community.

It’s user friendly platform makes it particularly popular among those who want to take control of their investments without having a large sum of money at their disposal.

Moreover, there are lots of features like regular investing that help people save on costs while building wealth over time

This makes it attractive even for inexperienced investors who want to explore stocks and shares as part of their long-term savings plan.

AJ Bell

AJ Bell is a great choice for those looking for the best stocks and shares ISA in the UK for 2023.

As one of the fastest growing investments platforms, AJ Bell has consistently been awarded five stars from independent financial review sites such as Moneyfacts, Defaqto and Consumer Moneyfacts.

With no charges for setting up an ISA or monthly platform fees (unless you have a stocks and shares ISA with an Investment Account), customers of AJ Bell can keep on top of their savings goals with handy tools such as the AJ Bell Investcentre – a tool to help you explore different investment strategies and compare performance over time.

In terms of investing strategies, customers can choose from:

  • Pre-set model portfolios developed by their carefully selected team of experts.
  • Set up their own portfolio.
  • Manage their money through online guidance tools such as AJ Bell’s ShareView stock tracker feature.

This award-winning investment platform offers a range of additional features to make monitoring your investments easier, including free dividend alerts, tax certificate downloads and email notifications when changes have been made to your portfolio.

Hargreaves Lansdown

Hargreaves Lansdown is a UK brokerage firm that has dominated the Stocks and Shares ISA world since 2009.

The company provides customers with the tools, education, and information they need to choose a wide variety of investments.

It provides access to an extensive range of stocks and shares from over 2,500 investments. Customer service is available through live chat, telephone, or post.

The firm also offers a wide range of funds, including tracker funds and socially responsible investing options.

The company’s range of ‘no fuss’ DIY investments could provide investors with greater control over their portfolios than the average investor may get from other providers.

Additionally, Hargreaves Lansdown allows customers to consolidate their self-invested pensions into one easy-to-manage account for free.

With all these features combined, Hargreaves Lansdown is one of the best Stocks and Shares ISAs available in the UK in 2023.

Vanguard

Vanguard is a global firm which has been providing British investors with a range of investment options for over 30 years.

One of the world’s largest fund providers, Vanguard offer a range of low cost and tax-efficient stocks and shares ISAs, often considered to be amongst the best in the market.

These include Vanguard’s Lifestrategy 40-60 Portfolio Fund (previously known as Balanced Portfolio ISA) and its recently introduced Vanguard Personal Pension Plan.

Both products offer investors access to a number of passively managed investment options which are built around highly diversified portfolios.

They are considered to be savvy options for investors wishing to gain exposure to diversified markets at relatively low cost.

Vanguard Lifestrategy funds can provide an unparalleled source of returns and provide access to some of the best known indexes in the world such as S&P 500 index, FTSE All World index, FTSE 100 index and an assortment of global fixed income investments.

The funds also have a strong reputation for offering consistent growth over time while minimising risk.

Other benefits include no contribution limits and no fund restrictions on when proceeds can be withdrawn.

Investment trusts may also feature in your portfolio depending on what products you choose with Vanguard.

These are actively managed portfolios composed mainly of company shares listed on public exchanges, with costs subject to active management (as well as charges).

A Vanguard Personal Pension account gives individuals access to these trusts as part of their overall portfolio construction plan enabling them to build up their retirement pot before drawdown age.

AJ Bell Youinvest

AJ Bell Youinvest is one of the most popular Stocks and Shares ISA providers in the UK.

They offer a selection of funds, stocks and shares and ETFs that you can use to build your investment portfolio.

You can even buy and sell shares through their online platform. While AJ Bell charge a fee for their services, the fees are lower than those of many other providers.

They offer tax-free investing opportunities, with no capital gains taxed on investments held within an ISA wrapper until you withdraw them.

Additionally, all dividends which you receive from investments held within an ISA are also tax-free – giving you a great way to save money on your investments over time.

This provider offers a range of research tools to help make your investment decisions easier, including stock information and live pricing of shares.

They also provide phone support from experts in case you have any questions or need advice about any investments that you’re considering making.

Overall, AJ Bell Youinvest is one of the best Stocks and Shares ISAs for people looking for:

  • Regular access to their funds
  • Low cost trading fees
  • Excellent research tools to help make informed decisions about investing in stocks and shares.

Charles Stanley Direct

Charles Stanley Direct is an online broker offering investors in the UK a platform to access both stocks and shares ISA accounts.

This trading platform is provided by Charles Stanley, one of the oldest and most established financial services companies in the country.

They offer investors the ability to easily invest their money into stocks, ETFs, and mutual funds, as well as access to corporate bonds and gilts.

Charles Stanley Direct offers a range of added extras for its clients’ investments including live charting tools, customisable investment portfolios and bond ratings from Standard & Poor’s.

Through this platform you will be able to track your investments over time, access in-depth research into market trends and view financial data from around the world.

Charles Stanley Direct is a great choice for investors who want a flexible solution that allows them to choose from thousands of stocks without having to pay exorbitant dealing charges or transaction fees.

The online trading platform also offers educational resources such as tutorials and investing seminars designed for all levels – from beginners through to experienced investors.

Finally, it can be reassuring that you are protected under the Financial Services Compensation Scheme (FSCS) while investing with Charles Stanley direct – giving you peace of mind when investing your hard earned money in stocks and shares ISA accounts.

The Share Centre

The Share Centre is one of the UK’s leading Stocks and Shares ISA providers, offering easy to use online portals with a wide range of investment options.

The Share Centre provides access to over 2,500 companies on the London Stock Exchange in addition to a wide range of funds, bonds and investment trusts.

They offer both actively managed investing as well as passive investing through tracker funds or indexes.

The Share Centre also offers free basic services such as portfolio tools, performance information and a watchlist for investors who make less than six transactions per year.

The TraderPro software for more frequent traders gives clients access to advanced charts and real-time market data which can help them make more informed decisions about their investments.

They also offer research from global experts and comprehensive customer support including telephone service from 8am-7pm Monday through Friday and livechat support seven days a week.

The Share Centre has been recognised for making stocks & shares ISAs easier for self-driven investors and has won numerous awards including Best Directly Held Investment Platform at the 21st Century Financial Education Awards in 2020, Best European Broker from TechRound Magazine in 2021, and Best Self-Selected Stocks and Shares ISA at the Moneywise Customer Service Awards in 2023.

This shows their commitment to providing quality services that are tailored specifically to each investor’s needs.

Barclays Stockbrokers

Barclays Stockbrokers provides access to a range of investments including individual stocks, funds, exchange traded funds (ETFs) and derivatives.

With the Barclays Best Stocks and Shares ISA, customers have access to a ready-made portfolio which is managed by experienced investment professionals.

This portfolio includes over 3,000 shares in the UK, Europe and America as well as UK investment trusts and ETFs.

Barclays is a well-recognised name in finance and has been helping investors for over 300 years.

As a result of its strong reputation in the sector, investors can have peace of mind that their financial interests will be well looked after when investing through Barclays.

The ISA account comes with extensive customer support including tax specialist advice and an initial consultation with one of Barclays’ dedicated account managers.

The Barclays Best Stocks and Shares ISA has no initial fee charges so you can get started straight away – all subsequent fees are clearly shown within your account area so that you are always aware of how much money you’re paying.

Barclays takes transparency extremely seriously which means that customers get to know what they’re paying for in every purchase – this ensures that customers feel secure when investing with Barclay stocks & shares as well as satisfied knowing that they are getting best value for money.

Barclays offers competitive rates on all its investments accounts; therefore making it beneficial for both new and seasoned investors alike who value competitive prices as part of the process of investing.

Investors can benefit from professional mentorship from top advisors throughout their journey; ensuring the best possible return from each stock & share purchase.

Conclusion

When it comes to finding the best Stocks and Shares ISA in the UK for 2023, there is no one-size-fits-all solution.

Each individual’s financial situation is unique and requires an in-depth look at factors such as investment goals, risk tolerance and fees.

The right broker should provide customers with a range of options that meet their needs.

Doing some research into the Fees & Charges of different brokers can give you a good indication of which might offer greater value for money.

It is also worth considering any extra features you may wish to take advantage of, such as special offers, discounts or loyalty schemes.

Be sure to evaluate all of these criteria before making your final decision on the best Stocks and Shares ISA in the UK for 2023.

Frequently Asked Questions

1. How many Stocks and Shares ISAs can I open in one year?

You can only open one Stocks and Shares ISA in one tax year, but you can open a new Stocks and Shares ISA with a different provider each tax year if you want to. The tax year starts on the 6th of April and ends on the 5th of April the following year.

2. Can I pay into two different ISAs in the same year?

Yes. You can choose to save or invest in one type of ISA or split your ISA allowance across some or all the other types in any tax year.

Example: You could save £8,000 in a cash ISA, £5,000 in a Stocks and Shares ISA, £3,000 in an Innovative Finance ISA and £4,000 in a Lifetime ISA in one tax year.

3. Do you pay tax on Stocks and Shares ISA?

No, you do not pay tax on a Stocks and Shares ISA. Every tax year, you can invest up to the ISA limit (£20,000 in 2021/22) in a Stocks and Shares ISA completely tax-free. Any profit you make when selling investments in your ISA is free of Capital Gains Tax. Any dividends received on shares within an ISA will also remain tax-free.

4. How do I invest in a Stocks and Shares ISA?

You can buy a Stocks and Shares ISA from investment providers such as banks, building societies, stockbrokers, fund supermarkets, robo advisors, and other financial institutions. Use our best Stocks and Shares ISA list above to get you started.

Once your ISA is open, you will be able to invest up to £20,000 in a wide variety of assets such as individual stocks and shares, corporate and government bonds, and funds.

5. What type of investments are held in a Stocks and Shares ISA?

When you open a Stocks and Shares ISA, you can invest up to £20,000 in a variety of assets, including: 

  1. Individual stocks and shares
  2. Unit trusts
  3. Investment trusts
  4. Corporate bonds
  5. Government bonds and gilts
  6. Funds
  7. Exchange-traded funds (ETFs)
  8. Open-Ended Investment Companies (OEICs)

6. Can I buy and sell shares within an ISA?

Yes, you can buy and sell shares within a Stocks and Shares ISA or a Lifetime ISA. It’s worth remembering that when you buy shares within an ISA, it counts towards your £20,000 ISA allowance.

7. Which is the best Stocks and Shares ISA in the UK?

Here are some of the best Stocks and Shares ISAs in the UK:

  1. FinecoBank – Low cost; 20,000+ investment options
  2. Interactive Investor – One free trade per month; 40,000+ instruments
  3. Bestinvest – Low cost; lots of investment options and research
  4. AJ Bell – Mid-price range; lots of investment options
  5. Hargreaves Lansdown – Lots of investment options, research and tips
  6. InvestEngine – Low cost; 500+ commission-free ETFs
  7. Vanguard – Low cost; 70+ funds

8. Can I split my ISA allowance between two providers?

Yes, you can have a Stocks and Shares ISA with one provider and Cash ISA with a different provider, for example. You cannot split your Stocks and Shares ISA between two providers.

9. Can I withdraw money from a Stocks and Shares ISA?

Yes. You can withdraw money from a Stocks and Shares ISA at any time by simply selling your investments. There is no minimum length of time you need to hold your Stocks and Shares ISA for. If you do withdraw money from your ISA and then reinvest it at a later date during a tax year, it will count towards your annual ISA allowance.

10. How do I choose a Stocks and Shares ISA?

  1. Decide if you want a Self-Select ISA or a Ready-Made ISA.
  2. Shop around to make sure you find an ISA that suits you. Use our best Stocks and Shares ISA tables above as a starting point.
  3. Compare the range of investments each provider offers.
  4. Use our Stocks and Shares ISA charges calculator to estimate your fees.
  5. Check that the provider you choose is regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA). All the providers we list on Koody are regulated by the FCA.
  6. Beware of investment scams. Way too many people have lost money to investment scams in the last couple of years. If something seems too good to be true, it probably is. Use the FCA’s ScamSmart website to help you spot the red flags.

11. How many ISAs can you have?

There are four types of ISAs which you can put money into each tax year – a Cash ISA, a Stocks and Shares ISA, a Lifetime ISA or an Innovative Finance ISA.

12. Can a Stocks and Shares ISA be transferred to a cash ISA?

Yes, you can transfer a Stocks and Shares ISA to a cash ISA. However, if your Cash ISA provider is different from your current Stocks and Shares ISA provider, you’ll need to inform your Cash ISA provider of the transfer. Do not simply withdraw the money, as doing so will cost you all the tax-free benefits.

‍The same applies to transferring Stocks and Shares ISA from one provider to another. If you plan to keep your future tax benefits intact, you have to arrange for a transfer rather than selling and reinvesting.

13. What happens if you exceed your ISA allowance?

If you have exhausted your £20,000 ISA allowance for the current tax year, you can invest the rest of your money using a general investment account (GIA). You should be able to open a GIA with most ISA providers. GIAs are not entirely tax-free like ISAs, but they come with some generous tax benefits:

  1. Capital Gains Tax (CGT) Allowance: CGT is the tax you pay on the gains you make from selling shares, a second home, or jewellery. This tax year, you can make £12,300 of gains tax-free. Once you have used up your CGT allowance, you will have to pay tax at 10% for basic-rate taxpayers and 20% for higher-rate and additional-rate taxpayers.
  1. Dividend Allowance: This tax year, the first £2,000 you receive in dividend is tax-free. After which, you will have to pay tax at 7.5%, 32.5% and 38.1% for basic-rate, higher-rate and additional-rate taxpayers, respectively.
  2. Personal Savings Allowance‍: Your personal savings allowance includes your normal savings interest in a bank and other forms of interest. If you invest in corporate bonds outside your Stocks and Shares ISA, you’ll enjoy tax-benefits as follows: 
  • Basic-rate (20%) taxpayers can earn up to £1,000 interest tax-free.
  • Higher-rate (40%) taxpayers can earn up to £500 interest tax-free.
  • Additional-rate (45%) taxpayers have no tax-free allowance.

14. What is the best Stocks and Shares ISA for beginners?

Here are some of the best Stocks and Shares ISAs for beginners:

  1. InvestEngine – Low cost; 500+ commission-free ETFs
  2. Moneybox – 0% Commission on US stocks; good for beginners
  3. Wealthify – Mid-price range; offers ethical themes; beginner friendly
  4. Interactive Investor – One free trade per month; 40,000+ instruments
  5. Moneyfarm – Mid-price range; offers advice and ESG investments
  6. Freetrade – Low cost; commission-free trading; beginner friendly
  7. Plum – Low cost; automatic investing; beginner friendly

Conclusion

Now that you‘re armed with the knowledge of the best stocks and share ISAs in 2023, it‘s time to put your newfound knowledge to work. Take the time to research each of the options available to you, and make sure that you choose the best option for your financial goals. With the right strategy in place, you can ensure that your investments will be a success in 2023 and beyond. Happy investing!

 

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