Best Junior Isa Investment Company 2015

Cash savings accounts work well for people who cannot entertain any risk to their money or for people who are saving for a short timeframe – but the rates of interest they pay are particularly low at present. For longer-term savers who wish to see their cash grow to a sizeable pot that gives their offspring more options, a stockmarket-linked product can be more suitable.

Anything equity-related carries risk, of course, meaning you could see some volatility in the years you contribute to this type of investment. But if you are investing for the long term or have at least a 10-year time horizon, you should have plenty of time to ride out any volatility in the stockmarket.

Investment companies (also known as investment trusts) are a great way of investing for children because they tend to have lower charges than unit trusts. According to the Association of Investment Companies, paying £50 a month into the average investment company would typically earn a child £27,734 over 18 years. By comparison, the same sum invested in our winning cash account would earn the child just £12,684.

Many investment trust companies run Junior Isa schemes, which allow parents to invest on their children's behalf across a range of trusts (and often funds too) at affordable levels, whether you're investing small monthly or a small lump sum.

We asked experts from four Accredited Financial Planning Firms to help us judge this and the following award: Keri Carter of Broadway Financial Planning; Jamie Donald from Donald Asset Management; Gareth Rees of GEM & Co. Financial Services; and Gordon Wilson from Carbon Financial Partners.

The winner in this category is the JPMorgan Asset Management Junior Isa, which offers access to more than 70 JPM trusts and funds on minimum investments of either a £100 lump sum or £50 a month. Our panel of judges liked its low charging structure, which Rees said "allows long-term investors to keep more of their returns".

Jamie Donald added: "It's very competitively charged with an excellent low lump sum investment amount option from only £100." However, he added: "While the plan provides access to a pretty decent array of JPMorgan funds, you are unable to access any other provider's investments so this would limit your future flexibility."

Fidelity's New Junior Isa is runner-up in this category. It offers access to hundreds of funds from 75 different managers, with minimum contributions of £50 a month or a £500 lump sum.

Donald said: "A fine array of investment funds from multiple different companies allows the investor flexibility for the future. Its website is also easy to navigate and the fund selection tools relatively easy to understand. With the company's strength in the market, this is a plan you can be confident in for the longer term."

Best Junior Isa Investment Company 2015

Winner: JPMorgan Junior Isa
Choice of funds: Over 70 JPMorgan trusts and funds
Minimum investment: £50 a month or £100 lump sum
Contact: 0800 020 40 20
Highly commended: Fidelity New Junior Isa

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