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EZISA

FAQs

Where is EZ ISA?
We’re based in Ramsbottom, UK

'Great website - if only I'd latched onto it a couple of years ago.' Howard H.- saving for his children

What is EZ ISA?

It’s a really easy and efficient way to invest your money.

The term “ISA” stands for Individual Savings Account. EZ ISA, through our investment partners Cofunds and SEI, invests your money in stocks and shares on your behalf, at a risk level of your choice.

We do all the hard work for you, while you benefit from the skills and experience of proven investment experts.

EZ ISA does not provide cash ISAs, as these are readily available and easily accessible. Our aim is to help you diversify your investments and provide you with investment expertise you probably won’t otherwise access.

Our goal is to encourage everyone to start saving for the future and maintain a diversified investment portfolio – and allow everyone to be as actively involved in the process as they are comfortable with.

Who is it for?

As a simple service with low charges and minimum investment levels, EZ ISA is designed to be useful to everyone. Some frequent users are:

The only requirements we have are that you are aged 18 or over, a UK resident and haven’t already invested in a Stocks and Shares ISA this tax year.

Why should I invest through EZ ISA?

Because it marries simple, low-cost, professional investment with personal guidance and help from a friendly expert.

Mark at EZ ISA has chosen to partner with Cofunds as our investment platform and SEI as our recommended investment managers. Together, they provide a level of investment experience not usually available to anyone but the biggest investors. Mark is a Chartered Financial Planner with over 10 years experience, Cofunds has over £45 billion of funds under administration and SEI invests over £150 billion globally.

Best of all, there are no up-front fees or charges and you can take your money out whenever you like.

Can I trust EZ ISA?

It’s very important to be able to trust any investment company you deal with.

EZ ISA is a trustworthy, dependable company with a strong ownership structure and is supported by some of the biggest players in the investment industry – Cofunds and SEI- who each handle billions of pounds.

EZ ISA is a division of 3-S Financial Management, a leading independent wealth management consultancy. 3-S Financial Management holds Chartered Financial Planning Firm status – the gold standard for expertise and integrity awarded by the Personal Finance Society.

We are authorised and fully regulated by the Financial Services Authority (FSA). You can check our authorisation on the FSA website (we have authorisation number 439768).

Where does my money actually go?

EZ ISA never actually holds your money, it’s handled by our authorised partners, Cofunds, for additional security. Through Cofunds, the money is diverted into your selected investment and controlled by your asset manager – such as SEI who is our suggested asset manager.

It is SEI’s responsibility to allocate the money to different asset classes to get the best possible returns for you. These diagrams show how SEI allocate your investment depending on what level of risk you choose:

Lower risk

Medium risk

Higher risk

At any time, you can check how your investment is performing and make additional contributions or withdrawals.

What are the costs and charges?

There absolutely no initial charges for investing through EZ ISA, and we take no commission.

There are however three levels of ongoing charges:

EZ ISA charges 0.5%pa of your investment value.

Cofunds charge 0.29%pa of your investment value.

SEI charge around about 1%pa of your investment value, depending which fund you invest in.

These charges are not the very lowest you can get, but I believe they represent the best value available anywhere.

Because they are ‘pay as you go’ charges there is no commitment from you to keep the services if you are not happy with them.

For full details please see the small print.

Using EZ ISA represents a significant cost saving; if you were to make these investments on an advised basis we would charge 3% initially (2% on sums over £100,000) and 1%pa.

How much should I invest and for how long?

How much you invest and how long you maintain that is investment is entirely up to you.

It is useful to save money automatically every month to help it grow, and it is much easier to save in small, regular amounts rather than large, one-off payments that you will be tempted to spend!

We recommend that you invest money for the longer term in order to get the best results, as investments can fluctuate, especially in the short term. Below is a table demonstrating the effect of compound interest over time – growth on your growth:

Returns After Year: 1 2 5 10 20 50 100
0%pa £1,000 £1,000 £1,000 £1,000 £1,000 £1,000 £1,000 £1,000
4%pa £1,000 £1,040 £1,081 £1,216 £1,480 £2,191 £7,106 £50,504
7%pa £1,000 £1,070 £1,144 £1,402 £1,967 £3,869 £29,457 £867,716
10%pa £1,000 £1,100 1,210 £1,610 £2,593 £6,727 £117,390 £13,780,610

In order to maintain tax-free status on your investment, you can save up to £15,240 per tax year. However you can save as much as you like and it’s just profits on the rest of the investment which will be subject to tax.

How do I choose which fund houses and investments to invest in?

EZ ISA, through our relationship with Cofunds, offers you access to over 1,500 different funds.

This is great if you know what you want to invest in, and you can even switch existing investments into them whenever you choose (subject to a small administration fee). Third party websites like Trustnet are excellent for researching these.

But if you find such an array of choices somewhat daunting, as most people do, our recommended investment managers SEI can manage your investment for you at a risk level of your choice. They have over 100 full-time investment experts who research all these funds and more and come up with a blend that they believe will be suitable for that risk level.

See the investment section for more details.

Why use SEI to manage my investments?

Using SEI to manage your investments is a good option if you are not confident investing yourself.

SEI has been operating since 1969, handles over £100 billion and employs over 2,000 professionals globally. The London office has been helping Britons manage their wealth since 1999.

Their philosophy to investing follows these four principles:

  1. Asset Allocation: strategic asset allocation process to maximise results
  2. Portfolio Construction: diversifying your investment across assets and asset classes
  3. Multiple Specialist Managers: specialist knowledge across each asset class
  4. Continuous Portfolio improvement: ensuring your investment is always working its hardest for you

For more details check out the investment page.

How have the SEI portfolios been doing?

Check out The Investments section for details of the performance.

What do you mean by risk?

Risk refers to one of two things:

  1. The volatility of an investment (how much it goes up and down)
  2. The chance that your investment loses value

The safest investment is generally cash savings, commonly done by the mainstream banks. However the returns on cash are very poor. Interest rates are currently at 0.5%, while inflation is running above 2%. In other words, while your investment balance doesn’t fall, over time it is worth less relative to the goods and services you buy.

Investing in stocks and shares is more risky – and more volatile – than cash: stocks and shares tend to go up more in the good times and down more in the bad. However over the longer term, they can generate vastly superior returns.

When investing through EZ ISA there are three levels of risk you can choose from: lower-risk, medium-risk and higher-risk. The table in the investment section explains the various levels of risk.

The thing to remember is that, over the long term, more volatile investments generally provide better returns.

How do I manage and withdraw money?

EZ ISA allows you to monitor your investment anytime, anywhere. Once you have applied, EZ ISA will provide you with an account which directly links to Cofunds, where you can monitor your funds and make additional contributions.

EZ ISA also allows you to withdraw money whenever you need to. Simply fill out this form and send it to us. Your money will be sent to you by cheque or BACS to your nominated account 5-8 working days after the request has been received.

EZ ISA is working to streamline this process even further, which will soon enable you to withdraw and transfer your money online.

How do I change my address?

Simply fill out this form and send it to us, we’ll take care of the rest.

Can I set up an investment through EZ ISA for someone else?

Unfortunately not – ISAs can only be funded from a bank account in your name, or in joint names.

If you would like an EZ ISA account for someone else, you can refer them to our site where they can set up their own account.

If you want to save up for your children you can just save in your own name and give them the money whenever you like. I believe this is more sensible that using a ‘Junior ISA’, unless you have already used your full ISA allowance yourself.

If you would like to set up a Junior ISA please email Mark.

How do I apply?

It’s easy- check the Applying section for details. You can either complete a simple form or call Mark and set everything up over the phone.

What if I change my mind?

No problem!

With EZ ISA there are no set up costs so you can pull your money out free of charge at any time.

If there have been any investment losses in the meanwhile you will however get back less than you originally invested.

If you change your mind within 14 days you can write directly to Cofunds asking to cancel and they will return your money (minus investment losses) and your ISA allowance won’t be affected. If you withdraw after 14 days your ISA allowance will be affected.

Can I talk to someone about all this?

Absolutely!

Please contact Mark on 0800 9755 328, email him at mark@ez-isa.com or meet up.

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