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Working Lunch Tuesday, 1 April, 2003, 12:59 GMT 13:59 UK
ISA sales near all time low
Adam ISA graphic
Adam byline

The tax year ends on April 5th. So you've got until then to open an ISA in this tax year.

There are two main types of ISA - cash and shares. But investors are hardly falling over themselves to make their tax free investment.

Slow take-up

With the stock market falling like crazy sales of share ISAs are going at a snail's pace.

ISA facts
63% of investors have not used their ISA allowance
In 2000 sales of share ISAs were worth 228 million
In 2002 sales of share ISAs had fallen to 93.2million

Assoc. of Investment Trust Companies

Sales of share ISAs have more than halved in three years.

That's not good for the industry but in the face of falling share prices it's a predictable and cautious response by investors.

Why put money in the stock market when it is losing money. It's been better to keep it in the bank.

But if you do have money being invested in a Maxi share ISA in the hope of an upturn, here's a quick thought for investors who indeed need to act quickly.

Direct Debit warning

If you've got a direct debit transferring a regular sum into your ISA, then any money going in after April 5th, will automatically open a new ISA in the new tax year.

That's fine, if that is your intention. But you must stop the debit now if you want to avoid opening a new ISA without knowing it.

But if your mind is made up and you want to steer clear of stock market-based investments, there are some good deals about with the much less risky cash ISAs. They're basically like bank accounts where you don't pay tax.

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31 Mar 03 | Business

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