What does it take to become an ISA millionaire?

5 min | 05 February 2024

The Chase team

If you think becoming an ISA millionaire is out of reach, don’t discount the idea just yet. Here are some ways that successful investors have used their annual allowances to their advantage, leading to a big boost in the value of their ISA wealth.

Individual savings accounts, or ISAs, are a popular and generally straightforward choice when it comes to saving and investing your money in a tax-efficient wrapper, where you wouldn't need to pay any tax on gains. The two main types are cash ISAs and stocks and shares ISAs (also known as an investment ISA), which lets you invest in shares, funds, investment trusts and bonds.

A stocks and shares ISA isn't suitable for everybody. They can do well but if you're not comfortable with risk, or if you have a shorter-term goal then a cash ISA is likely a better alternative, even if you consider that inflation can erode it's value.

The annual ISA allowance is £20,000 for the current tax year. It may sound like a long way off £1 million, but depending on your age, if you’re able to maximise your allowance each year, a stocks and shares ISA could reach a million in time for your retirement years.

Here’s an example. If your investment ISA achieved a rate of growth every year of 5%, and if you invested £20,000 each year into it, your ISA would be worth over £1 million in 25 years (as long as you didn't withdraw anything in that time.) More realistically, if you were to invest half that and were able to start earlier (say, 10 years earlier) you could still potentially hit very near the magic million.

There are already around 4,000 ISA millionaires in the UK, taking an average of 22 years to get there.So, how did they do it? Starting early is important, as is being consistent with your contributions. Here are some other important things to think about.

Max out on your contributions

Even if you don’t have enough spare cash to contribute the maximum allowance every year, starting early will help to maximise what you are able to put into your investment ISA. Over time, the snowball effect of cumulative growth could make a real difference to your overall amount. History shows that investing in shares, bonds and other assets is one of the best ways to build wealth over the long term, although past performance is not a reliable indicator of future results.

Be committed and patient

If you think about those existing ISA millionaires, it took just over 20 years for most of them to get there. So being patient and playing the long game is key when it comes to building up your ISA, as is being disciplined about it. Over those years, the investors will have experienced the ups and downs of the markets that inevitably come with investing – but they stuck to their plans and reaped the rewards.

Spread your risks

You already know it’s not a good idea to keep all your eggs in one basket. The same is true when it comes to investing. One of the most straightforward ways to spread your risks is by putting your money into a fund that comprises a range of different investments. This could be a passive fund that tracks the performance of an index like the FTSE 100 or an active fund that’s managed by a team of professional investors. They’ll do all the hard work for you (for a fee) and adapt the mixture of investments to the evolving environment.

Contribute regularly

You could set up a smaller monthly payment if that’s a better fit for you than a large annual lump sum. This approach could also take the pressure off trying to time the markets, which even the professionals know is very difficult. With a regular contribution plan, your money will get to work without you having to follow the financial news and worry about whether you’re doing the right thing at the right time.

When it comes to investing in an ISA, there’s a lot to think about. If you’re not confident about making your own decisions, then it’s a good idea to get some professional advice. The right decisions today could pay off for you in the long term, and you never know, you might one day join that exclusive 'millionaires club'.

Introducing Nutmeg

Introducing Nutmeg, the digital wealth manager that's part of the Chase family. You can now open an account with Nutmeg (Opens in new window) and keep an eye on your investments from the Chase app – so you can see everything in one place.

Disclaimer: As with all investing, your capital is at risk. The value of your portfolio can go down as well as up and you may get back less than you invest

The Hub is intended as a knowledge portal to provide information on a range of topics, including financial products and lifestyle management. ISA rules and savings limits are subject to change by the UK government. This article provides general information on current position. These articles are not tax or financial advice. Tax treatment depends on your individual circumstances and may be subject to change in the future. Readers are responsible for their own tax affairs and should obtain advice if they are unclear as to their tax position. Articles may reference products and services which Chase UK does not currently offer. For full details on the products and services Chase (Opens in new window) and Nutmeg (Opens in new window) do offer, please refer to their websites.

Nutmeg is authorised and regulated by the FCA in relation to certain investment services and restricted advice only. Chase is a trading name of J.P. Morgan Europe Limited. Nutmeg and J.P. Morgan Europe Limited are J.P. Morgan companies. Products provided by Nutmeg are not guaranteed by Chase. Before applying, you should consider if a Nutmeg account and its features are suitable for you and your investment needs.

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