What is a general investment account?
A general investment account – also known as a GIA – is a flexible savings account which allows an individual to hold a variety of investments, aside from an ISA or pension fund.
There is no limit on how much you can invest in a general investment account, but you do not receive the same tax benefits as you do with an ISA or pension.
If you have reached your maximum annual ISA savings allowance, a general investment account can be used to invest further funds.
You can invest in shares, funds, investment trusts and exchange traded funds (ETFs) with a GIA.
Is a general investment account right for me?
This user-friendly account that gives you the freedom to invest as much as you want, unrestrained by tax-related restrictions – and you can withdraw your money whenever you want.
If you want to invest an unlimited amount and you’ve used up your annual ISA allowance, a general investment account is ideal. However, the value of your investments can go down as well as up.
You can withdraw funds from you GIA at any time, rather than having to wait until you reach the age of 55 as with a pension. You can also cash in your GIA at any time, as there is no fixed minimum period over which it must be held.
You are also liable to pay income tax and capital gains tax on any funds you hold in a general investment account, so it is not the most tax efficient choice. If you pay a basic rate of tax, any dividends you receive from a GIA have a non-refundable tax credit. If you pay a higher rate of tax, you may be liable for a higher rate.
You must be aged 18 or over to open a general investment account.