Robo-adviser launches junior Isa

Robo-adviser launches junior Isa

Robo-adviser Wealthify has launched a junior stocks and shares Isa to allow parents to support the financial needs of children moving into adulthood.

The funds in the junior Isa can only be accessed by the child when they turn 18 and the product requires no minimum investment.

Parents can invest in the Isa by direct debit and are expected to choose a level of risk, from cautious to adventurous, with Wealthify managing the investments on the child’s behalf until adulthood.

Article continues after advert

The money deposited into a junior Isa, and any earnings made on the investments, will belong to the named child and cannot be accessed by a parent or guardian.

Michelle Pearce-Burke, chief investment officer and co-founder of Wealthify, said: "There’s an increasing expectation on parents to help their kids financially when they reach adulthood.

"With the cost of higher education and property set to continue rising, parents who plan to help their children with these major life expenses will need to start thinking sooner rather than later where the money will come from.

"Ignoring the issue now could result in an awkward money conversation between parent and child down the line, with parents having to say: ‘sorry, we can’t help’ or resorting to raiding their own investments or retirement savings."

Jane Goodland, corporate affairs director of Quilter, called for financial education in primary schools to help people feel more confident about their financial situation.

Figures on personal and economic well-being published today (February 4) by the Office for National Statistics found people perceived the economy and their personal financial situation will worsen over the next 12 months.

The ONS said this outlook continued the trend of more pessimistic views seen since the beginning of 2018 and reported improvements have levelled off in average happiness, life satisfaction and worthwhile ratings since the end of 2017.

Ms Goodland said: "A bit of pessimism is said to be healthy, but the persistent financial worries plaguing the nation are adversely impacting well-being, figures from the ONS show.

"People have consistently been living beyond their means for years and now fears that they will never be debt free are growing and people believe their economic and personal financial situation will get worse in the coming year."  

Ms Goodland said there is a strong link between mental and financial health, with living in financial stress potentially leading to mental health problems.

She said: "The problem then tends to escalate because dealing those with mental health find it difficult to cope with finances.

"To tackle this vicious circle there needs to be a two-pronged approach that includes mental health education and financial education."

Ms Goodland said behavioural attitudes to money are formed by the age of seven, but claimed two thirds of parents fail to address the issue of money with their children and  there is little financial education in primary schools."