Our guide to Stocks & Shares ISAs

Discover how Stocks & Shares ISAs work, their key benefits, how they differ from a Cash ISA, and why the 5th April is so important.

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What is a Stocks and Shares ISA?

A Stocks & Shares ISA (Individual Savings Account) is a tax-efficient investment account that allows you to place your money into a range of different investments.

These can include shares, investment funds, investment trusts, as well as government and corporate bonds. A Stocks & Shares ISA is a great way to invest while sheltering your assets from tax, they offer the possibility of a higher return than Cash ISAs and you have control over what you invest in and when.

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Cash ISA v Stocks & Shares ISA

Cash ISAs are great for shorter term needs – but because interest rates are low, your money may not be working as hard for you over the long term as it could.

Stocks & Shares ISAs are all about building up your wealth over longer periods – we recommend five years or more. That’s because short term volatility is often expected, but for longer periods the stock market does a much better job of keeping up with inflation – rises in the cost of living.

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Flexible to suit your changing needs

A flexible Stocks & Shares ISA allows you to take money out of your ISA and replace the money back again within the same tax year, giving you to access your money without affecting your annual ISA limit.

Furthermore you can easily transfer and consolidate existing Cash ISAs held with other providers into our Stocks & Shares ISA, or vice versa to suit your changing needs. Simply open an ISA and complete an ISA transfer form to start your investment journey with us.

Tax benefits of a Stocks & Shares ISA

Placing your investments inside an ISA wrapper has 3 tax relief advantages:

  • No capital gains tax (CGT) to pay on profits.
  • No tax on dividend income.
  • No tax on interest or the coupon earned on bonds.

For further information about making the most of the year's tax allowances and exceptions please read our 2020/2021 Tax Year Guide.

Take advantage of your 2020/2021 ISA allowance. Deposit cash now and invest later.


Explanations and guidance to help you get started on your investment journey.

Where to start with a Stocks & Shares ISA?

One of the easiest ways to get started is through one of our Charles Stanley funds, managed by expert managers. You choose a fund for the level of risk you want to take, and we do the rest.

  • 92%

    of survey respondents are satisfied
    with the security of the service

  • 89%

    of survey respondents are satisfied
    with the reliability of the service

*Results from our 2020 Charles Stanley Direct client survey (2,655 responses)

Charles Stanley Direct App

You can access your investments and trade funds on the go.

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  • appstore

Open your Stocks & Shares ISA

Our Charges

  • Platform charge23


    Our maximum platform charge for holding investments is 0.35%. For fund holdings (OEICs and Unit Trusts) the charge can fall as low as 0.05% per annum. For shareholdings the maximum charge is £240 per annum - but if you place 1 or more chargeable trades each month we won’t charge you anything to hold your shares.

    Find out how you could take advantage of our customer loyalty programme.

  • Fund Trading23


    We don’t charge for buying or selling funds.

    Find out how you could take advantage of our customer loyalty programme.

  • Share Trading (Online)23


    Each time you buy or sell a share we charge £11.50.

    Find out how you could take advantage of our customer loyalty programme.

Full breakdown of other charges that may be incurred on our service.

Illustration of charges for both active and passive investments can be found in this document

Investment involves risk. You may get back less than invested.