The Moneywise stocks and shares ISA review

Published by Rachel Lacey on 09 July 2013.
Last updated on 09 July 2013

Golden eggs

The best stocks and shares ISA for you will depend on whether you favour funds or shares and how frequently you expect to buy and sell. Regular traders for example should seek out frequency discounts while fund investors should focus on fund discounts, commission rebates and annual or quarterly administration fees, taking care not to pay for services they won’t use.

The size of your portfolio and the amount of money you have to save each month may also dictate your choice.

Here we review some of the best stocks and shares ISAs as well as some of the most prominent, but check out our comparison service for all the details including charges, investment choices and additional services before picking the right choice of you.

Product summary: Access 31 Aberdeen funds with no platform fees or charges.
Moneywise verdict: This is a cheap way of accessing unit trusts from an excellent fund house, but serious investors may benefit from paying a small fee to access a much wider range of funds.

ALLIANCE TRUST SAVINGS - Alliance Stocks and Shares ISA
Product summary: Low quarterly fees and no inactivity penalties for a broad choice of investments.
Moneywise verdict: Cheap access to a wide variety of investments but higher dealing charges will put off regular traders. Watch out for transfer-out penalties too.

Product summary: 2013 investors save £48 annual service charge. No transaction charges but percentage-based fee applies each month.
Moneywise verdict: Percentage-based fee means this account offers better value for money for larger, more active investors. Only offers a limited choice of funds.

BEST INVEST - Stocks and Shares ISA
Product summary: Among the cheapest for dealing charges, no annual fees. Incentives include loyalty bonus and up to £500 towards exit fees.
Moneywise verdict: Low cost for fund and shares investors, but regular traders don’t benefit from additional discounts. Minimum investments are higher than many of its rivals.

Product summary: Low cost access to broad range of funds, but only available from independent financial advisers.
Moneywise verdict: A good value fund platform for people who are paying for investment advice.

Product Summary: Access low, medium and high-risk managed portfolios and only pay management charge. Or select alternative funds from Co-funds platform.
Moneywise verdict: An innovative idea for investors who aren’t confident making their own fund choices.

F&C MANAGEMENT - F&C Investment Trust ISA
Product Summary: Build a portfolio of investment trusts from F&C. Annual and dealing charges apply.
Moneywise verdict: F&C has some quality trusts but the annual fee appears high for a limited range of investments.

Product summary: Access to a broad choice of funds, investment trusts and ETFs but not shares.
Moneywise verdict: Low-cost investing for regular savers who do not want to hold individual shares in their ISA.

HARGREAVES LANSDOWN - Vantage Stocks and Shares ISA
Product Summary: No charges for buying funds, share dealing costs become more competitive the more you trade.
Moneywise verdict: This is a good low-cost all rounder but less frequent share traders could get better value for money elsewhere.

Product summary: Rebates all fund commission back to you and quarterly fee includes free trades.
Moneywise verdict: Higher rebates on fund commissions make this a sensible choice for investors with larger portfolios but quarterly fee could hit those with a buy and hold strategy.

Product Summary: Access 38 Invesco Perpetual unit trusts without paying any platform or dealing charges.
Moneywise verdict: A cheap way of accessing funds from a well-respected manager, but investors may be better off paying a fee to access greater investment choice.

KILLIK AND CO. - Stocks and Shares ISA
Product Summary: Advised service – each client has own broker. Charges are a percentage of the amount you invest.
Moneywise verdict: Many investors will value advice but the charging structure means this ISA will only offer value for money for investors with sizeable portfolios.

Product summary: Fee free access to four Marks & Spencer unit trusts.
Moneywise verdict: Low minimum investments make this an affordable option for smaller investors, but the fund choice is restricted and uninspiring.

NATWEST - Natwest Broker Line Self-Select ISA
Product summary: Run by TD Direct Investing.  No annual fee for accounts of £10,000+ or with four trades in previous year.
Moneywise verdict: Benefits of low – or possibly non-existent – annual fee could be wiped out by above average dealing charges on shares.

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