More Brits are investing through stocks and shares ISAs

The number of British adults choosing to invest through a stocks and shares ISA has increased by a fifth (22%) in the past year.

According to the figures, released today by Standard Life, the biggest increase has occurred among the over 55 age group which has shown a 45% increase year on year.

However, a quarter of those who don’t invest through an ISA (27%) say they choose not to because they believe investing in the stock market is too risky.

While over 55s lead the way in stocks and shares ISAs, the 35-44 year olds are a close second, showing a 43% year on year increase. This is compared to a 13% rise among those aged 25-34.

Julie Hutchinson, family finance expert at Standard Life, commented on the findings:

“The Budget has heralded the dawn of a New ISA, giving people a much larger tax efficient ISA limit from 1 July this year and making it much easier to move funds between cash ISAs and stocks and shares ISAs. The NISA really will become a useful home for your savings – whether you are saving for now, or investing for the future.

“So it’s encouraging to see more people becoming switched on to the potential of investing through an ISA, particularly those 55 and over. With interest on cash savings still relatively low, investing in the stock market is a good option for those willing to take on investment risk. It could be right for you if you’re aiming to outperform interest from the high street banks and generate more growth and income in return for taking more risk. Although past performance is not a guide to the future, you only have to compare the returns from the FTSE All-Share over the last 5 years to average cash savings growth to see the potential upside of stocks and shares investment.”