Best Stocks and Shares Junior ISA

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Fact Checked.
Updated on
July 24, 2023

In a nutshell

Investing for your kid’s future is one of the best financial decisions you can make for them. With that in mind, here’s the best Stocks and Shares Junior ISAs. The best managed by experts are Moneyfarm and &me. And the best self-managed Junior ISA is AJ Bell.

Nutty

Keen to save and invest for your kids' future? Great decision. Early savings and investments can really pay off later down the line as they grow and grow over time.

When it comes to investing, you’ve got 2 options – either let the experts handle things (highly recommended), or make your own investment decisions (only recommended for experienced investors). We’ll cover the best Junior ISAs for both.

Here’s the best Stocks and Shares Junior ISAs:

Best Stocks and Shares Junior ISAs (expert-managed)

Best Junior ISA

Moneyfarm tops the list – they’ve got a great investment record, low fees and experts on hand to help.
Visit Moneyfarm¹Visit Moneyfarm¹

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Best overall

Moneyfarm

Moneyfarm is one of the best options out there for saving and investing. It's super easy to use – the experts simply take care of everything. And, they're on hand to help you with guidance and any questions too.

They have one of the top performing investment records, and great socially responsible investing options.

The fees are low, and reduce as you save more.

Plus, the customer service is outstanding.

Overall, a fantastic option to save and invest.

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Moneyfarm rated 5 stars
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Up to £750 cashback

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Easy to use

Beanstalk

Beanstalk is a great Junior ISA – it's easy to use, and all works on an app on your phone.

There's simple and easy to understand options, with a choice of two funds and clever tools – perfect to build up your child's savings over time.

It's low cost too, with fees of just 0.50% per year.

Friends and family can contribute too – perfect for birthday and Christmas presents.

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Beanstalk rated 4 stars
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Start with £1

Wealthify

Wealthify makes investing simple. You pick from a few simple options and the experts take care of the rest.

It's perfect for beginners and you can get started from just £1.

The fees are reasonable, however the socially responsible option is on the higher side.

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Wealthify rated 4 stars
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Capital at risk. Tax rules on savings could change in future.

Best Stocks and Shares Junior ISAs (self-managed)

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Best traditional

AJ Bell

AJ Bell is well established, with a good reputation.

It's one of the cheapest traditional stock brokers out there (charging a low annual fee).

There's a huge range of investment options – pretty much every investment out there (including both funds and shares).

The customer service is great too.

Overall, it's one of the best options.

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AJ Bell rated 5 stars
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Solid reputation

Hargreaves Lansdown

If you want a more traditional approach, with a long established history then Hargreaves Lansdown could be for you. It’s a great broker with a huge range of investment options, including expert-managed choices. However, it’s more expensive than other options.

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Hargreaves Lansdown rated 2 stars
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Our criteria for determining the best Stocks & Shares Junior ISAs

There’s quite a range of Stocks & Shares Junior ISAs out there, and we’ve reviewed and compared almost all of them to find the best ones for you (and more importantly, for your kids!). Here’s the criteria we used:

  • Ease of use
  • Expert advice & support
  • Investment performance
  • Costs (fees)
  • Reviews from customers
Best Stocks and Shares Junior ISA

The Junior ISAs we recommend are all with investment platforms (places to save and invest) that we use ourselves here at Nuts About Money, and recommend to our friends and family (and readers).

So, you can feel confident you’re using one of the best out there, whichever option you choose. And for most people we recommend simply letting the experts handle things.

Nuts About Money tip: we’ve also compared the best Stocks and Shares ISAs – if you wanted to double check your own money is with the best ISA provider.

What’s the best Junior ISA for beginners?

If you’re new to saving and investing in general, we recommend using an expert-managed Stocks and Shares Junior ISA – the experts will simply handle everything, all you need to do is add your money and away you go.

They’ll grow your money over time in a safe and sensible way, all suited for long-term growth. So, over the next 18 years or so, your kid’s savings could be worth a small fortune.

Stocks and Shares Junior ISA long-term performance

With that in mind, check out Moneyfarm¹, they’re a great expert-managed option overall, with low fees and a great track record of growing money over time. Plus, there’s experts on hand if you need them. However, you will need to start with a £500 minimum investment.

We also recommend Beanstalk¹ – it's easy to use, low cost, has simple investment options, and some clever tools to help you save. Plus, there's no minimum investment to get started.

Which is the cheapest Junior ISA?

Although we don’t recommend choosing a Junior ISA, or any investment account (e.g. a regular Stocks and Shares ISA, or personal pension), based solely on fees – fees can have a big impact on how much your money grows over time.

Junior ISA fees

Nuts About Money tip: we recommend choosing an investment platform based on a mix of ease of use, expert advice, and investment performance – all tailored to your own preferences.)

So, with that in mind, the cheapest Junior ISA is Beanstalk¹, it's just 0.50% (of your savings) per year. That's very low cost.

One of the best, and second cheapest is Moneyfarm¹ and their ‘fixed-allocation’ investment option, which has total fees of just 0.68% (of your total portfolio per year).

Note: fixed allocation means there’s less involvement from the experts. More involvement is called actively managed (and so slightly higher fees).

Cheapest self-managed Junior ISA

The lowest cost self-managed Junior ISA is AJ Bell¹ – they’re a traditional stock broker (a place to buy and sell investments), and will charge an annual account management fee of 0.25% on investment funds (more on that below), and a share dealing fee of between £1.50 and £9.95 depending on which investments you’d like to buy.

Although you can find online stock brokers and investment platforms cheaper than this, they don’t offer Junior ISAs.

What is a Junior ISA?

If you’re not 100% sure what a Junior ISA is, let’s run through it.

A Junior ISA, or JISA, is an awesome savings account for your children’s future. You’re able to save completely tax-free, and all in their name. You can open it when they’re any age, and they’ll get the money when they turn 18.

Junior ISA timeline

If you’ve got your own Stocks and Shares ISA, you’ll be familiar as they’re very similar, just in your child’s name instead of yours. 

There are limits however, you can only pay into one Junior ISA and save up to £9,000 per tax year, per child, called a Junior ISA allowance, which is completely separate from your own annual ISA allowance (£20,000).

Junior ISA allowance

You may have heard the phrase child trust fund before, and child trust funds were a previous government scheme, almost exactly the same, and now replaced with a Junior ISA.

Note: a tax year runs from April 6th to April 5th the following year. And an ISA stands for ‘Individual Savings Account’.

By saving and investing tax-free, you won’t have to worry about paying Capital Gain Tax, Income Tax, or Dividend Tax – which means your money can grow a lot more over the years (and there’s less admin too!).

Junior ISA no tax

And if you weren't aware, there’s actually 2 types of Junior ISAs, a Stocks and Shares Junior ISA, and a Cash Junior ISA. (We’ve got a guide to Junior ISAs if you want to learn more.)

Stocks and Shares Junior ISA

This is where you can choose to invest your money in things like stocks and shares, investment funds, bonds and property (we’ll cover all of these below), with the intention your money will grow over time (and with the experts help, it typically grows a lot!).

Note: these are also often phrased as a Junior Stocks and Shares ISA, a Junior investment ISA, or children's Stocks and Shares ISA.

Cash Junior ISA

A Cash Junior ISA is where you simply save cash in exchange for interest. And the interest you receive is tax-free. There's no ups and downs over the years but your money (sorry, your kids money) probably won't grow as much over time.

Types of investments

Stocks and Shares (equities)

These are where you own part of a company, you own a ‘share’ of a company. Shares are bought and sold on stock exchanges across the world, for instance the London Stock Exchange (LSE) in the UK.

Stocks and Shares

The total of all the shares amount to the total value of the company, and this value and the value of the individual shares can change over time, often due to the performance of the business (e.g. profit), and the stock market in general.

Shares can also pay its profits out to shareholders, which are called dividends.

Investment funds

An investment fund, also called a mutual fund, is a collection of lots of different investments all pooled into one single investment. These make investing much easier and cheaper, as you only need to buy a share of an investment fund rather than all the individual investments – so you can build a well diversified investment portfolio very easily (a wide range of investments for long-term growth).

Investment fund

You can have lots of different types of investments, for instance, the top 100 companies in the UK (called the FTSE 100), or a group of similar companies all in the same industry, such as green energy or electric vehicles.

Investment funds can also be traded on stock exchanges, and if so, they are called exchange-traded funds (ETFs) – and are super popular!

Bonds

Bonds are essentially loans to large businesses (corporate loans) and governments, in return for interest payments. Typically, these are seen as lower risk than stocks and shares (equities).

Property

You can also invest in property, normally as part of an investment fund, and this is typically commercial property such as shops and offices which pay a rental income.

Is it safe to invest in a Junior ISA?

Yep! It’s perfectly safe to save and invest within a Stocks and Shares Junior ISA.

Every ISA provider has to be authorised by the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA), who are the people responsible for making sure your money is well looked after and financial firms are treating you fairly.

Financial Conduct Authority (FCA)

You can check if a company is authorised by the FCA by checking the FCA register.

This also means your money is protected by the Financial Services Compensation Scheme (FSCS). This means you could be compensated up to £85,000 should your ISA provider go out of business – although unlikely.

Financial Services Compensation Scheme (FSCS)

In fact, your money will actually be held with investments with large banks, separate to your ISA provider. All in your name, and can only be returned to you.

However, this doesn’t mean you can’t lose money, and your investments can go down in value. It’s a sensible idea to grow your money with responsible investment strategies over time, such as letting the experts handle things.

Let’s recap the best Junior ISAs

There we have it for Stocks and Shares Junior ISAs. We hope that made things clear, and made Junior ISAs understandable. They really are a great opportunity to build a large amount of money for your children over time, all completely tax-free.

By the time they’re 18, they’ll have a head start in life – and could continue investing to build their wealth over time.

As mentioned (a few times!), we don’t recommend making your own investments unless you know what you’re doing. It’s often best to leave it to the experts, but the choice is yours!

Recap: the best Stocks and Shares Junior ISA providers

The best expert-managed Stocks and Shares Junior ISAs are:

  • Moneyfarm
  • Beanstalk
  • Wealthify

The best self-managed Stocks and Shares Junior ISAs are:

  • AJ Bell
  • Hargreaves Lansdown

Thanks for reading, and all the best for your children's financial future! They’ll really thank you later down the line.

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Best Junior ISA

Moneyfarm tops the list – they’ve got a great investment record, low fees and experts on hand to help.
Visit Moneyfarm¹Visit Moneyfarm¹

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This article has been fact checked

This article was written by the team at Nuts About Money, and fact-checked by 2 independent reviewers. You’re in safe hands.

Best Junior ISA

Moneyfarm tops the list – they’ve got a great investment record, low fees and experts on hand to help.

Visit Moneyfarm¹Visit Moneyfarm¹

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