How do I complete an ISA transfer?

Concept of green plant grow on British Pound currency note.

Ask the expert at Smith & Pinching about ISA transfers - Credit: Getty Images/iStockphoto

I have a number of ISA accounts containing both Cash and Stocks & Shares ISAs that I have built up over the years, totalling about £150,000. I’m concerned that some of them have poor interest rates or performance but I’ve used all my allowance this year so can’t take the money out to put it into new ISAs. What should I do?

Jeremy Woodruff, Director and Chartered Financial Planner with Smith & Pinching

Jeremy Woodruff, Director and Chartered Financial Planner with Smith & Pinching - Credit: Smith & Pinching

Jeremy Woodruff of Smith & Pinching responds:

The good news is that you can move your ISA savings and investments from one ISA to another without using up your current year’s allowance – but you must do it using a proper ISA transfer rather than withdrawing the money then reinvesting it. You can get the necessary transfer forms from your chosen new provider.

Not every ISA provider will allow transfers in, so do check this when selecting your new ISA company. Remember that when you compare ISA offers, you should ensure that you are comparing like for like in terms of the rates on offer, any fixed terms and the fees involved.

It would be a good idea to review your investments as a whole at this point to make sure that you are on the right track to achieve your investment objectives. Getting the right mix of Cash and Stocks & Shares ISAs is an important first step for your investment strategy, but there are other considerations, such as whether or not you are saving enough in your pensions to meet your retirement targets, and whether you are taking the right level of risk for you and your circumstances.

Cash ISAs provide low risk returns, but interest rates are still struggling and your savings won’t keep pace with inflation, so will effectively lose money in real terms. On the other hand, Stocks & Shares ISAs have the potential for greater growth but are vulnerable to market changes – you could lose money if markets fall. It’s a tricky balance to build a portfolio that gives you both returns and security, so regular advice should make all the difference.

Investments are a movable feast, and it is really important to keep them under review on a regular basis and to make changes to your portfolio when needed. I strongly recommend that you take advice from a Chartered Financial Planner – the highest designation for financial advisers in the UK – so that you can optimise your savings and investments.

Any opinions expressed in this article do not constitute advice. The value of an investment and the income from it could go down as well as up. The return at the end of the investment period is not guaranteed and you may get back less than you originally invested.

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