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(26 Posts)
Luckygirl Fri 08-Jan-16 11:32:46

I am a complete money ignoramus but last year I did invest in the 65+ bonds and also bought ISAs in February.

I have trawled the internet to find out when is the best time to invest in this year's ISAs - am I supposed to do it in February again; or can I do so when I will? And if so, which is the best month to do this in to get the best tax benefit? Do I have to wait till after February?

If any of you money wizards haver an idea about this, I would be very grateful for your thoughts.

Tegan Fri 08-Jan-16 11:56:40

Don't you need to just put the full amount into your ISA if you haven't used your allowance up which means that you will then have a full tax free amount to use up from April?

Anya Fri 08-Jan-16 12:24:38

Yes, they run tax year to tax year and you can invest up to £15,240 per tax year in a cash ISA or an investment ISA or a combination of the two.

I think!

Nonnie Fri 08-Jan-16 12:26:18

The best time is as early in the tax year as you can afford it, the sooner you start the sooner you earn interest. People do it later in the tax year because they know if they don't they lose that year's allowance.

The question you need to ask this year is is it worth doing at all? Definitely is if your non-ISA savings (or other tax free savings) will bring in more than £1000 in interest but if not, I would go for the highest rate you can find as from April you can earn £1000 in interest without paying tax if you are a standard rate tax payer. This is a simplification but the simplest explanation.

If you can afford to save each month many of the best interest rates are on monthly saver accounts.

I am the goto person in the family about financial matters so if you want to be more specific please pm me and I will help.

Anya Fri 08-Jan-16 12:45:45

I agree with Nonnie that they are not always often worth it due to very poor rates of interest.

Alima Fri 08-Jan-16 12:53:22

We gave up with isas years ago. In all honesty we get better returns from PBs.

jinglbellsfrocks Fri 08-Jan-16 13:12:36

Always an Investment ISA. Never a cash one.

You need to get a decent Investment Manager onto it though. Hargreaves Lansdown.

jinglbellsfrocks Fri 08-Jan-16 13:14:40

If you do have cash ISA's you can fill them up at any time of the tax year. But you have to wait till April to start a new one.

M0nica Fri 08-Jan-16 13:50:12

Money put into an ISA earns tax free interest from the day it is opened. So there is no particularly advantagous point in the year to put the money in that will lead to an increased interest within that year. Nonnie is right, the sooner the money is invested the sooner it earns interest, but that applies to any savings, not just ISAs

The ISA year runs, give or take a few days, from April to March.

In the year that runs from April 2015 to March 2016 you can invest up to £15240 in an ISA. You can invest as little or as much as you like, up to that limit, you can pay into it in one lump sum, several lump sums or on a regular monthly basis. The choice is yours.

The money can be invested as cash, or in individual shares or through investment funds, where the fund's managers draw a wide range of investments into one fund with the intention of reducing risks and having a more resilient fund should the fanacial situation get rocky.

Each ISA lasts one year. You cannot add funds to it after the April year end. You have to open a new ISA with a new allowance for the new financial year. However you can move the money in an ISA from one product to another. For example if you saved into a cash ISA with the Nationwide last year and discovered this year that the Halifax paid more interest you could transfer the money in the ISA from the Nationwide to the Halifax.

If you are a non tax payer there is no advantage in saving money in an ISA.

While I agree with Jinglebellfrocks that the best ISA is an investment ISA. You shouldn't invest in the stockmarket in any form unless you have a good sum of money saved in cash form in a bank, building society or similar body and I wouldn't buy investment based products if my savings were less than £20,000 and even then, unless you are very knowledgable I would seek professional advice from a reputable firm of investment advisors, like Hargreaves Lansdowne before buying investing.

Finally never ever buy any financial product, within an ISA or not, that you do not fully understand. It is better to appear stupid and to tell the advisor you do not understand it and will not buy it what you do not understand than pretend to understand and then lose all your money.

All the above is, of course, my personal opinion.

jinglbellsfrocks Fri 08-Jan-16 13:57:50

Haven't you got a son who can handle it? Or a son-in-law might do.

Once money gets into the investments sphere, I haven't got a clue.

Anya Fri 08-Jan-16 14:59:18

Oh course men are so much better at handling money hmm

jinglbellsfrocks Fri 08-Jan-16 15:10:39

Depends on the man doesn't it? And the woman.

I think you have to have a flair for, and a keen interest in, the stock market to be able to know what's going on. It's not for the casually interested. Or the faint hearted. Some women have those attributes. Some men do. Whatever.

jinglbellsfrocks Fri 08-Jan-16 15:13:28

I wonder what the ratio of men:women is inside the London Stock Exchange.

NanaandGrampy Fri 08-Jan-16 15:19:23

The ratio Jingl is 85% of traders are men .According to the article I read though women actually make better traders as they are better in a crisis and less emotional apparently.

Anya Fri 08-Jan-16 15:25:34

Wouldn't trust my SiL with a piggy my DiL....

Nonnie Fri 08-Jan-16 15:57:57

The thing that seems to have been missed is that any kind of investment ISA could go down as well as up so you do need to be aware of that. Historically investments do better in the long term but you do need to know there is a risk. If you had bought one earlier this year you could be worse off now with the downturn but the chances are things will improve in the longer term.

I think the general advice would be to have at least 6 months income in cash savings in case of emergencies.

jinglbellsfrocks Fri 08-Jan-16 16:25:23

Which you rather be doing:

1. Reading a book.

2. Eating a doughnut.

3. Gransnetting.

3. Studying the Stock Exchange.

Honest answers only please.

jinglbellsfrocks Fri 08-Jan-16 16:25:47

4 !!!

Luckygirl Fri 08-Jan-16 17:00:55

Last year was the first time I got ISAs (or indeed bonds - in the form of the over 65 ones) and I am getting the feeling from what has been said that they only "last a year" - does that mean I have to take all the money out and do something else with it? - I naively thought that you could leave it there for good and go on getting tax free interest, so that year by year you could buy new ISAs and thus finish up with more money each year earning tax free interest. Have I misunderstood this?

I am so tempted to go back to having it all in either premium bonds or the PO online saver where it was before. At least I know where it is and what is going on, even if I lose a bit of interest in tax. The easier the better I say!

Bellanonna Fri 08-Jan-16 17:13:14

You just renew it each year LG. They write and ask you whether you want to reinvest it when the year is up. Quite straightforward. The only thing that might change is the interest rate.

Nonnie Sat 09-Jan-16 10:19:18

Bella I don't think it is quite that simple. It depends upon the individual terms of the ISA. If you have signed up for, say, a four year fixed rate one they won't write to ask you each year if you want to reinvest it. In fact, although I believe all savings institutions are supposed to advise you when a special rate is ending, that did not happen with us and Barclays Bank so it is always advisable to make a note of when any special rate is ending or you could end up with next to no interest at all.

Nelliemoser Sat 09-Jan-16 11:01:29

luckygirl If they are in a now matured fixed term ISA they stay as an ISA (tax free) but the interest you were getting often goes down to a pitiful interest rate of about 0.5%.

At which time it is best to transfer your ISA to wherever you can find the next best ISA rate which will allow you to "transfer in" your existing funds.

If the funds are all ready in a "ISA" you can transfer them about even if you intend to put new money into a new ISA. (As far as I know) do check it out for yourself.

Says she who must get off her butt and find a new home for a recently matured fixed term ISA.

jinglbellsfrocks Sat 09-Jan-16 11:43:23

Whatever you do, be careful not to take the money out of 'Isa-land' when transferring. Get the appropriate forms from new supplier. Do not have the money put in your current account between times.

Sorry if teaching granny to suck eggs!

annsixty Sat 09-Jan-16 11:47:56

I thought the Government bonds of last year were not tax free and non tax payers had too reclaim tax. I a!so think I have read recently that the one year ones will not be renewed /available again but I'm not sure of that.

annsixty Sat 09-Jan-16 11:49:17

To not too!!