Invest in a better future for your kids with an ethical Jisa

If you’re looking for a home for your children’s Jisa allowances this year, why not contribute to a better future with The Big Exchange?

The end of the tax year is fast approaching, and with it your last opportunity to put this year’s Isa allowances to good use. If you’ve filled up your own Isa allowance already, you might want to consider building a pot for your children’s future by contributing to a Junior Isa (Jisa) on their behalf. You can put up to £9,000 per tax year into a Jisa. Any money saved or invested in a Jisa is locked away until the child turns 18, at which point they will have complete control of the account (so make sure you start steering them in the right direction early if you have goals in mind for what they should do with the money!)

You can save into a cash Jisa or a stocks and shares Jisa. Cash, of course, is the “safe” option in that it will not drop in value – but at current levels of interest rates, it won’t grow very much either. If you invest the money instead, it will go up and down in value. However, history suggests that over the long run, money invested grows more rapidly than cash held in the bank. Given the relatively lengthy time horizon for most money saved in Jisas (remember that the money doesn’t have to be spent on their 18th birthday – it just rolls into an adult Isa), it certainly makes sense to at least consider the investment option.

But what sorts of investments? We all want a better future, and taking that future into account feels all the more important when investing for our children. This is one reason why investing in ESG funds (those whose managers take account of environmental, social and governance issues when choosing companies) has been steadily growing in popularity, with a particularly strong surge over the past year.

However, this popularity has also gone hand in hand with a rise in concerns about “greenwashing”. That is, the temptation simply to "rebrand” existing funds, or launch new ones, which pay lip service to ESG as a form of marketing, effectively.

So how can you be sure that you are putting your hard-earned money behind fund managers who genuinely put principles at the heart of their investment process, actively seek out firms working for a better world, and engage with corporate managements to make sure they keep their eyes on the ball?

The Big Exchange: a one-stop shop for investing for a better future

That’s where The Big Exchange comes in. The Big Exchange is a fund platform backed by The Big Issue Group with asset management industry partners including Standard Life Aberdeen, Liontrust and Columbia Threadneedle. The Big Exchange has a simple mission: to give people the opportunity to create a better world through their financial choices, and to encourage those in the investment community to increase their own positive impact, by supporting businesses that are working to realise a more balanced, inclusive and sustainable economy.

Before a fund can be eligible for The Big Exchange platform, both the fund and the fund management group itself are carefully vetted for their commitment to investing in companies that make a positive contribution to the UN’s 17 Sustainable Development Goals, which form the basis for ESG investing. In other words, The Big Exchange is a one-stop shop for the investor who cares about what their money is going towards funding.

The platform offers both adult and Junior Isas, plus a general investment account. For those who are keen to get their children involved and engaged with choosing their own funds and investment priorities, the straightforward and focused approach of The Big Exchange is ideal. The platform is easy to navigate and understand.

It’s designed to be clear and approachable for everyday savers, with a minimum of jargon. A “medal” system of gold, silver and bronze fund ratings make it easy to see at a glance how impactful each fund is, and there is a wealth of further information and detail for those who want to probe deeper. While investors can select their own mix of funds, The Big Exchange has also collated three ready-made “bundles” of funds, split into “cautious”, “balanced” and “adventurous”. So if you would rather take a hands-off approach to fund-picking, while feeling confident that you are not investing in any harmful activities, you can just choose the bundle that matches your risk appetite, and start saving right away.

The platform charge is just 0.25% a year, while costs for the specific funds themselves vary. Minimum investment levels come in at £25 for a regular monthly contribution, or £100 for a lump sum. You can also transfer existing Jisas to The Big Exchange. In short, if you want to invest for a better future for your children, while cutting through the “greenwash”, then a Junior Isa with The Big Exchange is an ideal way to go about it.

Find out more at The Big Exchange’s website here.

• Please remember that when investing, making money is not guaranteed and your capital is at risk. The value of your fund can go down as well as up. Tax treatment depends on an individual’s circumstances and may be subject to change.

• The Big Exchange (TBF) Limited is a wholly-owned subsidiary of The Big Exchange Limited. The Big Exchange (TBF) Limited is an Appointed Representative of Resolution Compliance Limited, which is authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority (FRN 574048).

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