I’m still thinking about switching my account to an ISA even though I’m only investing a very small amount each month about £30 to start with. Had pretty much decided to hold off as the monthly fee would cancel out any earnings but now I’m reconsidering to avoid any issues down the line, ‘future proofing’ as you put it.
I’m also doing £30 a month
I’ll have to have a think again on the ISA, but I still feel as if it may be overkill for the first year or two of investing. Happy to hear arguments otherwise though.
Usual caveat applies - tax rules can change in the future…
The £3/month charge. Build up a decent sum in the General Investment Account then sell / buy into an ISA.
Complete newbie to this. What do you recommend doing? Where should I invest my first £100?
Nobody can answer that for you as we can’t give investment advice
Have a look at the introductory wiki and read the blogs there if you want to know more about stocks vs ETFs and other things that could help you decide
Firstly here are some Golden Rules to Investing:
- Diversify - the eggs and baskets analogy!
- Invest for the long term
- Psychology - be prepared for ups and downs!
- Consider your personal risk tolerance - Higher potential returns = higher risk.
- Consider your goal - portfolio growth / income
- In general the earlier you start investing the better - you’ll learn so much when you have actual money involved!
A popular way to start investing is to build up investments in ETF’s. By investing regularly you smooth ups & downs in the market reducing risk. You can read the Key Information Documents for ETF risk levels in the app. If you have a lower risk appetite then you can search for a “Bond ETF”.
I think popular Equity ETF’s would be as below:
- Blackrock MSCI World
- FTSE All World - 3000 global stocks
- S&P500 - Top 500 US
- FTSE100 - Largest UK, which are more Internationally focused
- FTSE250 - Next 250, more UK focused than FTSE100
- Stoxx Europe 600
So I know the obvious answer to this really depends on each individuals personal circumstance. But, for the average millennial - what would you say is a reasonable starting deposit into your Freetrade account?
So many variables, but well… interested to hear peoples thoughts
Hey @PoemofXtasy it really does depend on many factors, pay, commitments ( like rent, insurance ), and high interest debts should be paid off first, also remember to budget for fun/leisure etc as no point having money and being unhappy…
Pushing all that aside though, perhaps a easier way would be to look at how much can you invest per/month? Then try to stick to that.
I agree that the essentials should be paid off first, and probably agree on budgeting for fun/leisure, but it’s worth considering the mustachian perspective that aggressively cutting down on things may make you realize that you can be happy with very little expenditure, and you’ll have a very very happy life if you manage to “retire” in your 30s or 40s, living off your investments.
Since there are no minimums for Freetrade (beyond the price of a single share, until they allow fractional buys), it doesn’t really matter how much you start with. I again agree with saf that you figure out how much you can safely invest per month.
FIRE ( financial independence, retire early ) is cool. However it’s still worth having some structured rewards for achieving goals, even if they’re a cheap, quick trip somewhere nice
Whatever you pick consuming less is good.
Are you trying FIRE? How’s it going?
No, I feel like I learned about all this stuff too late and now this dog is too old to learn new tricks. You can pry my £40/month JustEat budget from my cold dead hands
But I’ll be guiding my child toward this path for sure.
It’s never too late - I only heard about FIRE in my mid-40s and am hoping to retire in my mid-50s and live off my investments. Not extremely early but I’ve enjoyed a good long career and it’s still way before I get paid the state pension. Hopefully, FT will help me achieve my goal with their low-cost investing!
Think of it as a starting committment to save x amount each month. Anything up from £10 is worthwhile if you keep regularly investing month after month. Where you start doesn’t really matter (unless you have lots).
Question numero 2: Say you start off with a General Investment Account and build this up until you get near to the taxable threshold (£11700?). When you get near to the threshold can you then transfer it into an ISA and not pay any tax or do you need to start off in an ISA?
It is probably best to start off in an ISA, so you can grow your money tax-free from the very beginning.
However, let say that you have hit the £20k limit for the year, then that is when I think it would be best to open up a general account elsewhere. The gains on this general account above £11,700 would then be subject to CGT.
What you described is just the reverse approach. Just comes down to personal preference, although most people start off with an ISA I believe for the tax-free wrapper!
If I have misunderstood, and you are asking whether you can transfer a General Account into an ISA, I think you can as long as the value is below your ISA allowance for the year. But I have never done this personally.
Although Freetrade has arranged such “transfer” for the existing customers in December 2018 (which really was a sell-buy transaction that did not cost customers a penny and allowed them to keep same shares’ values), I doubt it will happen again in the future due to its complexity. Also, users did not have an option to choose the account type back then hence they would have otherwise been stuck with a GIA until multiple accounts were implemented.
Therefore, it makes sense for you to start with a GIA with a small portfolio and then gradually sell it and buy within the ISA wrapper once your capital becomes more significant. But that is a very subjective approach, maybe you’d prefer to start off with a long-term “no tax” outlook, hence an immediate ISA will do
As long as you sell GIA shares within your annual allowance, having larger gains will be fine. As long as you keep them unsold beyond that point.
Is it possible on Freetrade for me to simply buy and hold onto a stock and sell at a later date?
For example. Can I buy stock Y and hold onto it for years?