It was good news for parents saving for their children’s futures in this years’ Budget on March 11th – with the government doubling the amount parents can put into their junior ISAs (JISAs) and child trust funds.
The government said: “By saving towards their future, families can give children a significant financial asset when they reach adulthood – helping them into further education, training, or work.”
From April 6th, parents will be able to save £9,000 a year into the savings account, more than double the current limit of £4,368. The same limit will also apply to the older child trust funds.
With this option, who should parents turn to for investment advice? Should they use their own financial judgement? Or turn to a professional – an independent financial adviser (IFA) or a fund manager?
“Given the crippling costs of a university education (and the government review of tuition fees being delayed due to Brexit gridlock), plus difficulties getting on the housing ladder, it is no surprise that parents are more cautious with their kid’s cash.”
Data from UK investment platform, interactive investor suggests that whilst many parents enjoy choosing individual stocks and shares for their own ISAs, they are much more inclined to outsource their JISAs to a fund manager.
Whilst on average, almost half (47%) of interactive investor ISA accounts are in direct equities, JISA accounts hold a comparatively modest 19%. Instead, funds are the order of the day, making up 37% of the average JISA portfolio (compared to 23% in the average adult ISA).
The average JISA also has 17% in investment trusts compared to 12% for the average ISA, and parents are twice as likely to invest in ETFs for their child than they are themselves. The average JISA has 10% in exchange traded funds (ETFs) compared to 5% in the average adult ISA.
Moira O’Neill, head of personal finance, at interactive investor says: “Whilst many of our customers are highly engaged investors who prefer to run the main bulk of their accounts themselves, when it comes to their children’s nest eggs it seems they prefer to outsource the stock selection to a fund manager. Fund selections seem to be more conservative in JISAs, too.
O’Neill adds: “Given the crippling costs of a university education (and the government review of tuition fees being delayed due to Brexit gridlock), plus difficulties getting on the housing ladder, it is no surprise that parents are more cautious with their kid’s cash.”