As a UK resident, you are flooded with excellent investment incentives that people in other countries can only dream of! Not paying a single penny in tax dividends, interests or capital gains can be the difference between retiring in 20 or 25 years.
Fortunately, eToro does have a Stocks and Shares ISA through a partnership with Moneyfarm. Still, there are other platforms that also offer a Stocks and Shares ISA and will explore them in this article. Let’s jump right into it!
What is an ISA, and what are its main benefits?
The acronym ISA stands for Individual Savings Account. It is an unlimited tax-free account in dividends and capital gains, with an annual allowance of £20,000 (the maximum you can invest in a single fiscal year).
This type of account allows you not to pay tax on any dividends and capital gains realised, no matter how big your ISA savings gets over time. As the old saying goes, nothing is certain except death and taxes. Well, with an ISA, you can’t cheat death, but it sure does save a lot of tax.
These are four types of ISAs you will find:
- Cash ISA: pay a rate of tax-free interest. Usually for people that want capital protection and may need the money in the near future;
- Stocks and shares ISA: ideally for investments in the capital markets and long term objectives;
- Lifetime ISA: suitable for someone saving for the first home. The government will also provide a 25% bonus to your contributions, but you can only deposit up to £4,000 each year.
- Innovative Finance ISA: ideal for someone looking for other alternative investments like peer-to-peer loans (also known as P2P Lending), which match up investors (those willing to lend) with borrowers (often businesses).
Does eToro have ISA?
eToro does offer Investment Savings Accounts (ISAs) through a partnership with Moneyfarm.
eToro ISA Alternatives in the UK
All options presented below have Stocks and Shares ISA (some of the other ISA types are also available). Our selection criteria involved fees, platform interface, years in the market and customer support. Here are our top picks:
Founded in 1978, IBKR is one of the world’s most trustworthy brokers worldwide. It offers a Stocks and Shares ISA with a minimum monthly activity fee is £3 (if you generate a £3 in commission per month, no fee is applicable) and no minimum deposit. More on Interactive Brokers ISA here.
💡 Interactive Brokers also launched IBKR GlobalTrader, a modern mobile trading app to trade Stocks, Options and ETFs, ideal for novice investors.
✔️ All the platforms above are authorised and regulated by The Financial Conduct Authority (FCA), and their clients’ accounts are fully protected by the Financial Services Compensation Scheme (FSCS). If something happens to the firm you are using and you cannot receive your investments, FSCS should step in to pay compensation up to £85,000 per investor per account.
eToro ISA alternatives
1# Interactive Brokers
IB at a glance
Founded in 1978 and publicly listed in NASDAQ (ticker: IBKR), Interactive Brokers is a global online broker which surpassed significant financial crises, showing resilience and a rigorous risk management process.
The Stocks and Shares ISA of Interactive Brokers (IBUK ISA) allow you to invest in the global markets for as low as £3/$3 per trade for the UK and most European stocks. The commission is even lower for US stocks: $0.005 per share. Besides, you have access to fractional shares for US stocks (For example, you can buy a fraction of Amazon stock instead of the whole “piece”).
All of this is accessible with a minimum monthly fee of £3, which can be deducted from the transaction fees, so if you have £3 in transaction fees in a single month, you will not pay £3. Additionally, users get one free withdrawal per month. After that, a £7 withdrawal fee is applicable.
Regarding safety, your account is held with IBUK’s US affiliate, Interactive Brokers LLC, regulated by the US SEC and CFTC and a member of the SIPC compensation scheme (up to $500,000 with a cash sub-limit of $250,000). In this case, the protection is higher than the one offered by the FSCS in the UK.
Interactive Brokers also launched IBKR GlobalTrader, a modern mobile trading app to trade Stocks, Options and ETFs, ideal for beginner investors. Some of the features of IBKR GlobalTrader include automatic currency conversions, fractional shares, demo account, and more.
eToro ISA alternatives
Founded in 1995, Interactive Investor is no new kid on the block. It has over 400,000 users with over £55 billion in assets under management. It offers a vast selection of investment options, including trading, SIPP and ISAs.
Your Stocks and Shares ISA starts with a cost of £9.99 per month (“Investor service plan”). You can upgrade to the “Super investor plan” for £19.99 per month for lower trading fees.
Besides, independently of the service plan, it gives you the option to contribute as little as £25 a month with Interactive Investors’ regular investing service. As a plus, there are no trading fees when you deposit this way. So, you can set a direct debit and automatically invest utterly free of charge every month.
Plus, you are allowed to open a Junior ISA, a Bed and ISA and even an Ethical ISA for more socially responsible investments (their moat: grow your money without sacrificing your values).
eToro ISA alternatives
3# Hargreaves Lansdown
HL at a glance
Hargreaves Lansdown (HL) is one of the biggest UK platforms for individual investors. It serves more than 1.5 million clients with a combined total of £120 billion in Assets Under Management. It is also listed in the FTSE 100 index, the most significant UK stock index.
A Stocks and Shares ISA in HL will not charge more than 0.45% per year. Within the “Shares” part (UK and overseas shares, investment trusts, exchange-traded funds, VCTs, gilts and bonds), you will be charged an annual fee of 0.45% per year, capped at £45. By holding “Funds”, you will still be charged 0.45% on the first £250,000, but it decreased afterwards to 0.25%, 0.10% and 0.00% for amounts over £250,000, £1m and £2m, respectively. Apart from that, dealing costs applied will be up to £11.95 per trade.
You can open your Stocks and Shares in two ways:
- “Do-it-yourself”: You managed your account, and you have access to +2,500 financial instruments with a minimum deposit of £100 and monthly reinvestment as little as £25 per month.
- “Ready-made Portfolios”: A team of investment professionals will manage your money according to your goals and risk tolerance. It requires a minimum of £1,000 to open an account.
eToro ISA alternatives
Founded by Jack Bogle in 1975, Vanguard is one of the world’s most respected asset management firms. It was designed with a long-term mindset. It does not incentivise short-term trading and ensures their interests align with yours.
Vanguard offers a Stocks and Shares ISA for a low account fee of 0.15% per year, and the transaction fees for buying or selling ETFs are fixed at £7.50 per trade. You can invest through their LifeStrategy Funds or build your own portfolio with more than 70 Vanguard products (some only accessible through their platform).
You can start investing in Vanguard with a lump sum of £500 or invest from as little as £100 per month.
Which broker should I choose for my ISA?
This is the kind of question we cannot answer to a general audience. The best broker for you will depend on your personal preferences. Are the fees the most relevant point for you? Do you value the platform interface? Or is customer support your number one priority?
The wide range of options brings a competitive landscape to the savings/investment area, which you, as an investor, can benefit from. Explore the brokers mentioned before and decide for yourself!
Other FAQs about ISAs
Who can open an ISA?
Any resident in the UK with 18+ years old can open a Stocks and Shares or Innovative Finance ISA. For Cash ISA, you only need to be 16 or older, and for Lifetime ISA, you must be at least, 18 or over but under 40 years old.
Can I withdraw money from a Stocks and Shares ISA?
Yes, you can withdraw money from it. Still, you need to know if your ISA is flexible or non-flexible. Any money withdrawal will not affect your annual allowance in a flexible ISA. For example, if you invest the full £20,000 of annual allowance in a single year and decide to withdraw £5,000 for whatever reason, you can put the £5,000 back into your ISA within the same fiscal year. However, within a non-flexible ISA, you would lose those £5,000 of the annual allowance, so you could not put back the £5,000 (you would need to wait for the following fiscal year).
Does DEGIRO have an ISA?
Does Capital.com have an ISA?
No, Capital.com also doesn’t have an ISA.
What fees can I find in an ISA?
The fees directly associated with each provider can be management fees (some providers like Interactive Brokers do not charge this fee), dealing costs (when trading inside the ISA), and ISA transfer fees.
What’s the financial/tax year for ISAs?
The tax year runs from 6 April to 5 April of the following year.
Is the £20,000 ISA annual allowance carried forward?
No, it is not. If you do not make the most out of your ISA allowance before the end of the tax year, it will be gone. You cannot carry forward part of your ISA allowance from one year to the next. So it may make sense to maximise the amount of money you deposit in your ISA each year.
Can I have more than one Stocks and Shares ISA?
Yes, you can. However, you can only fund one Stocks and Shares ISA each tax year.
Can I hold cash in my Shares and Stocks ISA?
Yes, you may hold cash in your Shares and Stocks ISA for whatever reason (while you wait for better investment opportunities, for example, or to pay charges).
Can I transfer existing ISAs?
Yes, you can transfer your ISA from one provider to another at any time.
Do the ISA constraints differ from provider to provider?
No! An ISA has a set of rules that no provider can change: the annual allowance, tax benefits and control over your account. The differentiation between providers comes only in fees, customer support, easiness of use and other features specifically related to each company.