Following the Chancellor’s tinkering with Individual Savings Account (ISA) rules in November 2023 savers will, from 6 April 2024, be able to pay into more than one of each type of ISA annually.

This effectively means that savers can search out the providers which deliver the highest returns, ultimately making the market more competitive. For anyone over the age of 18, you can save a maximum of £20,000 per annum across the ISA products listed below:

  • Cash ISAs
  • Stocks and Shares ISAs
  • Innovative Finance ISAs
  • Lifetime ISAs

For those under the age of 18, the rules are slightly different and include access to Junior ISA’s.

So with more ISA options available, here’s 3 golden rules to consider when looking at investing money into a stocks and shares ISA.

Embarking on an investment journey can be both thrilling and daunting. To gauge whether it’s the opportune time for you to personally invest and determine the optimal level of contribution, consider these rules as guiding indicators to ensure you’re on the right track!

Rule 1: Never be a Forced Seller

The name says it all – avoid being in a position where you MUST sell your investments. Picture this: the early days of the Covid pandemic in 2020. Global markets took a hit, with the FTSE 100 plummeting by approximately 33%. If you were forced to sell during this market low, you’d have sold at a significant discount. Treat your investments like any other valuable possession – with care and strategic planning.

How to avoid being a forced seller:

  • Emergency Fund: Build a financial cushion covering three to six months of living expenses before you start investing. This buffer allows you to weather unexpected expenses without resorting to panic selling.
  • Realistic Investment Goals: Set clear, achievable investment goals. Only invest money you can afford to tie up for the necessary duration, preventing impulsive decisions during market downturns.
  • Effective Daily Finances: Managing your everyday finances efficiently enables you to gauge your investment capacity and ensures a consistent investment approach.
Rule 2: Be Sufficiently Diversified

Diversification is the key to a resilient investment portfolio. Instead of putting all your eggs in one basket, spread your investments across a variety of countries, asset classes, and businesses. Diversification offers numerous benefits:

  • Risk Reduction: Spreading investments across different asset classes reduces risk. When one class falters, others may perform better, minimising the impact of losses.
  • Volatility Smoothing: Various asset classes have different volatility levels. Holding a mix can smooth out portfolio ups and downs, providing a more stable investment experience.
  • Preservation of Capital: Diversification safeguards your capital by reducing the risk of significant losses in any single investment.
Rule 3: Allow Time for Recovery

Emotion and money often go hand in hand. To make rational investment decisions, remove emotion from the equation. Invest for the long term – a minimum of five years, but ideally much longer. This rule helps you stay calm during market fluctuations and facilitates comfortable decision-making.

  • Long-Term Investing: Hold onto your investments for many years, allowing them to potentially grow in value. Avoid short-term, speculative trading that could force hasty selling at a loss.
  • Market Volatility: Financial markets are volatile. The ups and down are normal, but giving your investments time to recover allows them to potentially rebound from such setbacks.
  • Peace of Mind: Constantly reacting to short-term market movements can be draining. Allowing time for recovery provides peace of mind, eliminating the need for constant monitoring and changes to your portfolio.

In conclusion, mastering these three golden rules sets the stage for a successful and emotionally balanced investment journey. Remember, investing is a marathon, not a sprint – embrace these rules, stay disciplined, and watch your investments (potentially) thrive over time.

To discuss any of the issues raised in this article, please contact your adviser, or call us directly on 0161 819 1311. Further information on ISAs can also be found at

Personal circumstances differ and not all of this information is applicable to every client and/or their business, this information is general in nature and should not be relied upon without seeking specific professional financial advice.

The Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) does not regulate tax advice, estate planning, trusts or will writing.

The content in this article is for your general information and use only and is not intended to address your particular requirements. Articles should not be relied upon in their entirety and shall not be deemed to be, or constitute, advice.

Although endeavours have been made to provide accurate and timely information, there can be no guarantee that such information is accurate as of the date it is received or that it will continue to be accurate in the future. No individual or company should act upon such information without receiving appropriate professional advice after a thorough examination of their particular situation. We cannot accept responsibility for any loss as a result of acts or omissions taken in respect of any articles.

Thresholds, percentage rates and tax legislation may change in subsequent finance acts. Levels and bases of, and reliefs from, taxation are subject to change and their value depends on the individual circumstances of the investor. The value of your investments can go down as well as up and you may get back less than you invested. Past performance is not a reliable indicator of future results.

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