Best Stocks and Shares ISA 2024

There are probably a million of these Best ISA videos out on YouTube right now but this one is different.

Well not that different probably, but it is specifically for those of us using the Metronome portfolio – having a portion allocated to dividend income and a portion allocated to Index fund/ETFs.

If you are not sure what the Metronome portfolio is then its best to read this

the metronome portfolio

But just to remind you, The Metronome Portfolio consists of three parts with four foundational legs:

Foundation: 4 pillars or ‘legs’ of having an Income, setting up an Emergency Fund, making sure you have relevant investing Knowledge and maintaining Emotional Balance.

Base: Represents the dividend component, focusing on minimum viable lifestyle, dividend portfolios, and strategic transitions.

Middle: Acts as an overflow area for extra funds, stress-free and tax-optimized, using ETFs for medium to long-term goals.

Tip: The high-risk, high-reward section, limited to 3-5% of the total portfolio, for thrill-seekers exploring risky plays like hyper-growth stocks and cryptocurrencies.

Now the Foundation or the legs aren’t relevant to finding an ISA so we won’t cover that in this video.

The Tip covers the types of investments that, generally speaking aren’t permitted within an ISA so we won’t cover that bit in this video.

So that leaves the dividend portfolio in the Base and the ETF portfolio in the Middle.

But first…

Why would you use an ISA anyway?

A Stocks and Shares Individual Savings Account (ISA) serves as an effective tax shelter for UK retail investors, offering compelling advantages.

This tax-efficient investment vehicle allows investors to shield both gains and income from income tax and capital gains tax. Particularly beneficial for those focused on dividend income or capital appreciation, the ISA provides a streamlined reporting process, reducing administrative burdens as you don’t need to fill in your taxes for investments within the Tax shelter.

 Its flexibility enables a diverse range of investment options, fostering portfolio diversification across asset classes, sectors, and regions.

Moreover, the ISA’s tax efficiency makes it an appealing choice for long-term growth, retirement planning, and estate management, providing a simplified and flexible approach to optimizing investment returns while minimizing tax liabilities.

A pretty compelling choice to go with the ISA over a general investment account

And you get £20,000 each tax year to deposit into your ISA. This represents the maximum contribution an individual can make to their ISAs within a single tax year, encompassing various types of ISAs such as Cash, Stocks and Shares, Innovative Finance, and Lifetime ISAs.

The allowance is tied to the tax year, running from April 6th to April 5th of the following year. Importantly, any portion of the £20,000 allowance not utilized within this period cannot be carried forward, adhering to a “use it or lose it” principle. As a new tax year begins on April 6th, the ISA allowance resets, providing individuals with a fresh £20,000 allowance for that year.

So it’s definitely worth choosing the right ISAs for your investments.

And finally, for this video, we are basing it on the fact that from April 2024, people are able to subscribe to multiple Isas of the same type every year and to partially transfer Isa funds between different providers. Which was announced by Chancellor Jeremy Hunt in the Autumn Statement.

So luckily for us, we can have multiple ISAs!

Which ones should we choose?

Before we get to that, we need to agree on…

The Criteria

The criteria I look for in an investment platform can essentially be condensed to the following:

  • Fees
  • Usability
  • Investing Options
  • Upward Trend

Maybe in that order or maybe some slight variation, but to be honest they are all pretty important.

Fees

This is the simplest one, we want the fees to be basically as transparent as possible and as low as possible. In my opinion its ok to pay for a trade as long as its clear exactly how much you are paying but in an ideal world we wouldn’t pay for it. This criteria meant that providers such as Hargreaves Lansdown and AJ Bell etc were ruled out as they are almost prohibitively expensive especially compared to competitors nowadays.

Usability

It should be easy to use, you should know what each button does and how to manage your portfolio. For this reason I have ruled out IBKR which is an otherwise fine broker and relatively cheap to use but many people, especially beginner investors say that it is quite difficult to understand how it all works.

Investing Options

I think we should be able to freely invest in a range of stocks, ETFs and across multiple countries’ stock markets. I don’t think it is a huge ask or criteria to judge an investment broker by. For this reason, I have ruled out Vanguard.

Upward Trend

This is one is one I have been thinking about recently. It should help avoid the type of brokers that are just essentially “resting on their laurels” or have a strong brand but aren’t really innovating. I eliminated FreeTrade here as I believe it has gone in the opposite direction to where we might want or expect it to over the past few years.

So who are the winners?

For the Base (Dividend/Income part of the portfolio)

You will probably have already guessed which I will go with for this one as it’s the investment app I recommend in general for most users, and have done so for some time now it’s Trading 212.

If we go through the criteria:

Fees

Trading 212’s fee structure is designed for cost-effective investing. Trading commissions and custody fees are entirely free. The FX fee, capped at 0.15%, applies to currency conversions, using the live interbank rate without additional costs, even on weekends.

Deposits through bank transfers are free, while deposits via Cards, Google Pay, Apple Pay, etc., are free up to £2000 cumulative, with a 0.7% fee beyond that. Withdrawals are always free, offering flexibility for users managing their investment funds.

Obviously a very cheap way to invest, and incredibly hard to beat this fee structure.

Usability

Incredibly easy to use, it has help guides for anything remotely complex and customer service has come along well since I started using the investment platform so you can ask them in the chat if you get stuck on anything anyway.

Investing options

Over 13,000 global Stocks & ETFs on the platform, from a whole load of different stock markets from different countries. To be honest I actually think there might be too many and its not always clear which listing you are buying of a certain stock, but its definitely hard to argue that there aren’t a lot of investing options!

Upward Trend

Trading 212 is definitely on an upward trend, it is launching a whole debit card next month and offers a very competitive rate of interest on uninvested cash. It seems like it ships something new every couple of months or so.

It also has the pie feature which can be a great way to organise your dividend income portfolio so it’s basically a perfect fit for the base of the Metronome.

Another great thing about opening a new ISA with Trading212 this coming tax year is that they are offering cashback on deposits:

If you are eligible to participate, 1% cashback will be allocated to your Invest account for each deposit that you make in the ISA during the 2024/2025 tax year.

You should meet the below criteria:

  • You’re opening a Trading 212 ISA for the first time; 
  • You’re a UK resident aged 18 or above; 
  • The ISA is activated between January 29, 2024 and April 30, 2024; 
  • You have an active Trading 212 Invest account. 



On top of that, I asked Trading 212 if they could give me a unique code that you guys can simply type into the promo code section. (Capital at Risk)



So if you’ve opened a new account recently, or are planning to open an account, here it is: “DIVEXP” (Short for The Dividend Experiment).

So, you have 10 days from opening your account to type this in and receive shares worth up to £100. I also get something as this is my custom code, so this helps you support the channel too.

Now let’s see which candidate takes the title for the Middle of the Metronome portfolio.

For The Middle (ETF part of the portfolio)

The best option for ETF investing in the UK, in my opinion, is InvestEngine, let’s go through the criteria to see why.

Fees

InvestEngine stands out with its transparent fee policy, as there are zero ISA account fees for users. The only expenses incurred are associated with the chosen portfolio type.

Opting for the commission-free DIY portfolio service means that users only pay the costs related to the exchange-traded funds (ETFs) they choose to invest in (which you would pay on any platform anyway.

For those who prefer the convenience of Managed portfolios, there is a 0.25% annual charge for investment management, in addition to the applicable ETF costs. This straightforward fee structure provides clarity and flexibility for investors using InvestEngine’s services.

Usability

Super easy to use as there aren’t many ways you can go wrong here. You can build your own portfolio and customize it how you would like. On top of that, there are great features like the look-through which lets you see how much you are exposed to sectors, geographical regions or even individual stocks.

Investing options

InvestEngine only offers ETFs, but that’s exactly what we want for this part of the portfolio so that’s not a limitation here. They offer investors a diverse range with a selection of over 600 Exchange-Traded Funds (ETFs). These ETFs provide a low-cost solution for tracking and investing in a broad spectrum of markets, including stocks, bonds, and commodities. The extensive choice allows investors to build diversified portfolios tailored to their preferences and risk tolerance.

Upward Trend

Another investment platform that is on the up. They have launched SIPPS and Business accounts, and established important partnerships with major ETF providers like J.P Morgan, WisdomTree and Xtrackers (DWS), with more in the works. It’s not the biggest investment platform but its growing at a fast rate.

Overall, although it only allows for ETF investing it is pretty great for doing just that and is an ideal pick for an ISA for the middle of the metronome.

Another great benefit to using InvestEngine is that they are offering a cashback bonus to anyone opening a new ISA this year with the more you add, the more substantial the bonus.

Of course, to get to the highest tier it would require transferring your previous ISAs to InvestEngine


Just like Trading 212, there is a sign-up offer for new users too, on top of the cashback value so you can get two bonuses just for being a new sign-up this time of year.

So Top-up or transfer to InvestEngine by 30/04/24 and receive a bonus of up to £2,500 (Capital at risk, Ts&Cs apply)

Plus you can Get a Welcome Bonus of up to £50 when you invest at least £100 with InvestEngine (Ts&Cs apply).

Conclusion

Now do you have to go out and use these brokers for your ISA?

No of course not, you have your own requirements and your own preferences on which investing style suits you, these are just two ideas that are essentially perfect fits for the two parts of the Metronome portfolio and are most likely what I will be using when we can use multiple ISAs in the same tax year.