ISAs: Your Questions Answered

Fri 17 Feb 2017

By Brian Dennehy

Access Level | public

Portfolio building



If you haven’t opened an ISA yet there’s no time like the present!  

Click HERE to go START your ISA journey...


Click HERE to see our Intelligent ISAs

Still have questions after reading? Drop us an email.

When were ISAs introduced?

ISAs were introduced in 1999 and have grown in popularity ever since.  HM Revenue & Customs state that at the end of 2015-16 the market value of Adult ISA holdings stood at £518 billion..

Who can open an ISA?

You must be a UK resident for tax purposes, and over the age of 16, to open a Cash ISA, or over 18 to open a Stocks and Shares ISA.  

If you open an ISA and then move abroad, you cannot add any new money to that ISA.  However, you are able to keep the existing investment open and continue to enjoy the tax benefits on that investment.

Can I change my mind if my investment provider underperforms?

Yes – you are able to transfer your ISA to a different manager at any time. This is particularly easy if you have a “self-select” ISA, where you can change investment managers without switching ISA providers. 

Nevertheless, you should always bear in mind – particularly with bonds, property or equity investments – that this should be a long-term decision.  Moving can add costs.

How would I transfer an ISA to another provider?

In order to transfer the money and retain the tax benefits, you must complete a ‘transfer request’ with your new provider, who will then contact the existing provider on your behalf and arrange to take charge of the proceeds for you.

You must not close one ISA and then reinvest the proceeds in another, as this is deemed to be a withdrawal.  Once you withdraw, you lose all tax benefits on the money and cannot reinvest, except where the amount falls below your current tax year’s unused allowance.

How do I monitor performance?

You’re in the right place!  For growth, we use a process called Dynamic Fund Selection to monitor fund performance (for more on investing for income click HERE).  This is a type of momentum investing that looks at recent performance and has a proven track record of providing outstanding performance.  You can see our research on Dynamic Fund Selection HERE.  

It’s important that you have a well-thought out investment plan in place before you start investing.  Investors with a goal in mind and a series of steps set out to enable them to reach their goal will be able to act in a rational, rather than emotional, way.  The Cheshire Cat explained this 

As the Cheshire cat told Alice in Wonderland: if you don’t know where you’re going any road will get you there.  

What happens if I open two ISA accounts in the same tax year by mistake? 

If this happens, the assets in the second ISA will become fully taxable. You are not able to nominate the second ISA as the preferred account for the tax year in question – so make sure you are happy with the provider you have chosen before you make your move. 

Do note that, if you pay into an ISA via regular savings, the first payment on or after 6 April automatically opens an account for the new tax year. If you wish to stop payments into an existing account and move to a new one, make sure you provide instructions to the provider and your bank well in advance or you will either be stuck with it for another year or have to go through the lengthy ‘transfer’ process to put things right.


Click HERE to go START your ISA journey...

  • Are you an investor searching for growth?  Take a look at our Dynamic Fund Selection research here.
  • Are you looking for income?  Read about investing for income here.



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