With time running out for those looking to put away this year's maximum ISA allowance of £20,000, the Association of Investment Companies (AIC) has taken a look at what someone could have earned if they'd invested the maximum ISA allowance every year since ISAs were first introduced in 1999.
Without any interest, they would now have a pot of £186,560 simply from saving the maximum every year. If someone had invested a lump sum in the average investment company through a stocks & shares ISA every year, they would now have a pot of £436,894. This means a whopping £250,334 gained in interest over less than 20 years!
If they had added some money every month to reach the yearly total, they would still have an impressive £414,941 – still more than double their own money and only 5% less than if they'd made lump sum investments. Annabel Brodie-Smith, communications director of the AIC, commented: "Lump sum investment company ISA investments tend to outperform regular monthly investing because there is more money invested and working away from day one.
"However, regular investment may be more suitable for investors who do not want to worry about the right time to invest. Regular investing allows investors to buy more shares when prices are low and less shares when prices are high, which helps smooth out the highs and lows of markets."
Of course, investing in the stock market does come with certain risks. There's no way to guarantee that you'll be able to achieve the average investment performance, and you might even end up with less than you put in if you (or your investment manager) invest your funds in the wrong places.
That said, there's no reason not to consider an investment ISA if you're comfortable with the risk. As you can see, the end-result could be quite lucrative – as long as you invest your money in the right fund and for at least five years. So, why not have a look at our stocks & shares ISAs page?
Information is correct as of the date of publication (shown at the top of this article). Any products featured may be withdrawn by their provider or changed at any time.