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Where last-minute ISA investors are putting their money

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There’s just over a week to go until the end of the tax year on 5 April. That means you don’t have long to use your ISA allowance for this year.

Remember, you can put up to £20,000 into an ISA each tax year but you can’t roll any unused allowance over – so use it or lose it.

To give an indication of what last minute ISA investors are doing with their money, Hargreaves Lansdown, the UK’s largest investment platform, has revealed the most popular ISA investments amongst its clients so far in March.

One noticeable trend is that the proportion of stocks and shares ISA contributions being left in cash for more than a week, pending an investment decision, has almost doubled in the 2019 calendar year-to-date.

“These are stocks and shares ISAs, so this isn’t a long-term decision to hold cash. Rather it’s using the flexible rules of an investment ISA to secure this year’s allowance, without committing to the market just yet,” said Laith Khalaf, senior analyst at Hargreaves.

“Given the continuing political drama, it’s understandable investors are holding cash for the moment, perhaps waiting for a bit more clarity on Brexit, or simply looking to drip feed their ISA allowance into the market gradually.”

Most popular active ISA funds (in alphabetical order)

Last minute ISA investors are putting money to work with some tried and tested names, running funds from across the globe.

Artemis Income, Jupiter Asian Income, Newton Global Income and Royal London Sterling Extra Yield Bond are all funds which focus on producing an income for investors, albeit from different areas of the market.

Here’s the full list of the most popular actively managed ISA funds:

Artemis Income
Baillie Gifford American
Fundsmith Equity
JPMorgan Emerging Markets
Jupiter Asian Income
LF Lindsell Train UK Equity
Lindsell Train Global Equity
Newton Global Income
Rathbone Global Opportunities
Royal London Sterling Extra Yield Bond

Most popular FTSE 100 shares

Again, income remains a theme within the most popular individual shares bought by DIY investors, with all of the top ten shares offering a relatively high dividend yield. Several of these companies, like Lloyds and Persimmon, are plugged into the domestic economy, which shows that some investors are happy to take a long-term view on the UK’s prospects, beyond the current round of Brexit negotiations. Here’s the list:

Aviva plc
Lloyds Banking Group plc
Legal & General Group plc
BAE Systems plc
Vodafone Group plc
Smith (DS)
Royal Dutch Shell Plc B Shares
BP Plc
International Consolidated Airlines Group SA
Persimmon plc

Most popular investment trusts (in alphabetical order)

There are lots of tried and trusted names in the list of popular investment trusts too, and again a number of income-producing trusts such as City of London and Edinburgh finding favour with investors.

City of London Investment Trust
Edinburgh Investment Trust plc
Fidelity China Special Situations PLC
Finsbury Growth & Income Trust plc
Lindsell Train Investment Trust plc
Merchants Trust plc
Murray International Trust plc
Scottish Mortgage Investment Trust
Smithson Investment Trust Plc
The Renewables Infrastructure Group Limited

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