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ISA investors plough more into stocks and shares as interest rate fears set in

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Written by: Adam Lewis
26/08/2016
The amount of money invested into ISA schemes jumped £1bn in the 2015/16 tax year, hitting £80bn according to new statistics from HMRC.

Despite investor confidence falling back to levels last seen in 2008 around the time of the global financial crisis, the amount invested into stocks and shares ISAs hit £21.4m, up from the £17.9m invested in the 2014/15 tax year.

However, maybe reflecting the record low interest rate environment, the amount invested into cash ISAs fell from the £61bn invested in 2014/15 to £58.8m in the last tax year.

According to HMRC at the end of 2015/16 the market value of ISA holdings stood at £518bn, which represents a 7% increase compared with the value at the end of 2014/15.

The amount invested into Junior ISAs meanwhile rose to £921m in the last tax year, up from £582m in 2014/15. However unlike their adult cousins, the preference of savers into these products was cash, which accounted for nearly 60% of the total 738,000 products on offer.

Danny Cox, a chartered financial planner at Hargreaves Lansdown, says the record subscriptions to stocks and shares ISA are a reflection of interest rates being at the lowest of the low. As such, for those happy with the addition risk, he says “equities are pretty well the only game in town for yield, for those happy with the additional risk”.

“Savers and investors still understand the longer term benefits of sheltering their hard earned money from tax,” Cox says. “ISAs remain the saver and investor’s friend and should form the foundations of good, blue-chip portfolio planning.”

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