A GIA is a General Investment Account, an investment fund designed to give the holder the chance to invest in wide variety of different fields outside of tax wrappers. This type of account is available for all UK residents over the age of 18. By opening a GIA you will be able invest in a diversified range of funds, shares, bonds, investment trusts and ETFs. Also, contrary to what happens when you own a regular pension fund, a GIA will let you to withdraw your money at any time with no restrictions. You will also be able to transfer capital from another existing account. By choosing a General Investment Account you won’t have any particular tax benefits for your investments as you would have had by opening an ISA, but you will have to pay contribution depending on your tax situation. Usually, a GIA is an investment account suited for people who already own an ISA and already exceeded the maximum amount that can be deposited in. Also, people under the age of 55 that don’t want to wait for their retirement age to access their money will benefit from opening a GIA. Let’s have a closer look on this matter.
What are the benefits of a General Investment Account?
First-time investors who want to start their new economic journey usually tend to open a General Investment Account, because it will give them the freedom to access their money at any time and to invest in many different fields. Although a GIA is a very affordable type of investment account for new investors, it is really important to take into account the market volatility, the swings and fluctuations of which could be unpredictable. Having a good investment plan is in fact essential to minimize any risk. For this reason, if you are willing to open a GIA you might want to get more information and maybe you might seek for a financial advice from a professional, for example you can check Moneyfarm’s investment strategy.
GIA or ISA? What type of account you should open
Many first-time investors struggle to understand the difference between a GIA and an ISA. These two financial accounts are very different from each other. As already mentioned, a GIA is a General Investment Account that can be opened by any UK resident over the age of 18 and that allows the account holder to invest in many different fields. A GIA account come with no restriction on the amount of money you deposit in a year and it allows you to withdraw your capital at any time. You will also have to pay contributions according to your tax situation. An ISA is an Individual Savings Account specifically designed to invest in many different fields in a tax efficient way. The savings in your account will always be protected from tax. However, this fund comes with a restriction on the amount of money you can deposit in a year: the ISA’s allowance currently amounts to £20.000 per year. So, which account should you open? GIAs and ISAs are financial accounts that cater to the needs of different categories of people. If you want to open an account to hold your savings without paying any tax on it, and ISA might be the right choice for you. This way, you’ll be able to invest in many different areas but you’ll be forced to deposit a maximum amount of £20.000 per year. If you want to start investing without any restriction on the amount you can deposit, then a GIA might be a better option for you. Whichever type of account you’ll choose, always remember that when it comes to investing, you’re giving your money the chance to grow but you’re also putting it at risk.