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Frequently asked questions

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What is a Stocks and Shares ISA?

A Stocks and Shares ISA is a tax efficient way of investing for the future. It allows you to put your money into a number of investment funds. Tax benefits may change in the future.

What is self-investing?

Put simply, self-investing means taking control of your own investments without receiving personal financial advice. To help make this process less daunting, we provide a range of helpful tools and videos so that you can make your own informed investment decisions.

Can I hold a Trading Account and a Stocks and Shares ISA?

Yes, you can hold one or both accounts. You can invest up to your annual ISA allowance in a Stocks and Shares ISA but there's no limit on how much you can invest in a Trading Account.

About us

Chevron downWhat is Standard Life Self Investor?

Standard Life Self Investor provides a secure online investment service for people who want to choose and look after their own investments without receiving personal advice. Our helpful investment information helps you make your own investment decisions.

Chevron downWhat products does Standard Life Self Investor offer?

If you’re an existing customer with Standard Life Self Investor you can use your Stocks and Shares ISA to invest up to £20,000 tax efficiently for the 2017/18 tax year. If you’ve used up your annual ISA allowance but have more money you want to invest you could invest in our Trading Account, although this doesn’t offer the same tax benefits. Tax benefits may change in the future.

If you’re a new customer looking to open a Stocks and Shares ISA or Trading Account (Personal Portfolio), than you can do so with Standard Life Savings.

Don’t forget that the value of your investments can go down as well as up and you could get back less than you invest. There's no minimum investment period but you should consider investing for 5 years or more.

Chevron downWhat is Smart+?

Smart+ is our secure online investment service which allows you to select, view and manage your investments 24/7.

Chevron downWhat is self-investing?

Put simply, self-investing means taking control of your own investments without receiving personal financial advice.

Chevron downHow can I contact you?

You can contact us via phone or email with any questions about our products and service. You can find all of our contact information, including opening times, on our contact us page.

Chevron downWho is Architas?

Architas is part of the AXA Group. It is made up of two companies:

  1. Architas Multi-Manager Limited, which is authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority. They are responsible for creating and managing the funds within the All-in-One funds.
  2. Architas Advisory Services Limited, which is authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority. They select the Favourite funds.

You can find out more about Architas here.

Chevron downWhere can I get financial advice?

We don't offer personal financial advice at Standard Life Self Investor, but if you do need to speak to a financial adviser, you can find one at unbiased.co.uk.

Our Stocks and Shares ISA

Chevron downWhat is a Stocks and Shares ISA?

A Stocks and Shares ISA is a tax efficient way of investing for the future. It allows you to put your money into a number of investment funds. Tax benefits may change in the future.

Chevron downHow much can I invest in a Stocks and Shares ISA?

The maximum you can invest in a Stocks and Shares ISA in the 2017/18 tax year is £20,000. If you're an existing customer of Standard Life Self Investor you can start with a single payment or a transfer of £500 or more, or by setting up regular payments of at least £50 per month. If you hold a Standard Life Self Investor Stocks and Shares ISA, you can make further single payments or transfers of £100 or more. These minimum amounts may change in the future.

We’re no longer open to new customers so if you’d like to open a Stocks and Shares ISA you can do so with Standard Life Savings.

Don’t forget the value of your investments can go down as well as up and you could get back less than you invest. There's no minimum investment period but you should consider investing for 5 years or more.

Chevron downCan I hold a Stocks and Shares ISA with my partner?

No, a Stocks and Shares ISA is an individual account. If your partner wants to open their own personal account they can do so with Standard Life Savings.

Don’t forget the value of your investments can go down as well as up and you could get back less than you invest. There's no minimum investment period but you should consider investing for 5 years or more.

Chevron downCan I open a Cash ISA and a Stocks and Shares ISA in the same year?

Yes, you can open one ISA of each type during the tax year and split your £20,000 any way you wish between your Stocks and Shares ISA and Cash ISA.

Tax benefits may change in the future.

Chevron downWhat are the tax benefits of a Stocks and Shares ISA?

When you invest in a Stocks and Shares ISA, you:

  • Won't pay UK income tax on any income received from your investments
  • Won't pay Capital Gains Tax on any investment growth

Remember, tax benefits may change in the future.

Chevron downWhat can I invest in?

We offer a wide range of investment funds. You can search our full range, or to help you get started our investment experts have put together 2 ways you can narrow down your options:

  1. All-in-One funds
  2. Favourite funds
Chevron downWhat happens to income I earn from my Stocks and Shares ISA?

Some funds pay 'dividends' or 'interest distributions'. You can choose to have any income paid into your Cash Account or your nominated UK bank account. Alternatively, you may choose to invest in an accumulation fund, which means any dividends are automatically reinvested.

Chevron downHow long should I keep my money invested in a Stocks and Shares ISA?

A Stocks and Shares ISA should be viewed as a medium to long-term investment, which means you should be prepared to keep your money invested for at least 5 years, although there is no minimum term.

Chevron downDo I need to apply for a new Stocks and Shares ISA each tax year?

If you pay by Direct Debit and don't set an end date, your Stocks and Shares ISA and regular payments will continue automatically. If you pay by single payments you can simply make a payment into your Stocks and Shares ISA in the new tax year. However, if you don't make any payments into your Stocks and Shares ISA during a whole tax year, you'll need to reapply for a Stocks and Shares ISA before you can invest again.

As Standard Life Self Investor is closed to new customers you’ll have to open an account with Standard Life Savings.

Don’t forget the value of your investments can go down as well as up and you could get back less than you invest. There's no minimum investment period but you should consider investing for 5 years or more.

Chevron downWill I receive a Stocks and Shares ISA statement?

We'll provide you with a statement twice a year in May and November. We'll email you to let you know when these statements are available in the 'My Documents' section of your Smart+ account.

Chevron downWhat happens to my Stocks and Shares ISA if I move abroad?

You must tell us if you're no longer a UK resident. You can keep your existing Stocks and Shares ISA but can't make any further contributions. Your nominated bank account must be a UK bank account.

Chevron downCan I hold a Trading Account and a Stocks and Shares ISA?

Yes, you can hold one or both accounts. You can invest up to your annual ISA allowance in a Stocks and Shares ISA but there's no limit on how much you can invest in a Trading Account.

Opening and managing your account

Chevron downHow do I apply for a Standard Life Self Investor account?

Standard Life Self Investor is for existing customers only. If you’re a new customer looking to open a Stocks and Shares ISA, visit Standard Life Savings. If you've already got an account with Standard Life Self Investor, log in to your account to choose or manage your investments.

Don’t forget the value of your investments can go down as well as up and you could get back less than you invest. There's no minimum investment period but you should consider investing for 5 years or more.

Chevron downWhat is a Cash Account?

When you hold a Stocks and Shares ISA or Trading Account with Standard Life Self Investor, you’ll also automatically have a Cash Account. You can use this Cash Account to hold money in until you're ready to invest in one of our products or to move money from your Trading Account into your Stocks and Shares ISA.

You can withdraw cash held in your Cash Account at any time. The Cash account shouldn't be confused with cash that can be held within your Stocks and Shares ISA or Trading Account. You won't earn any interest on cash in your Cash Account.

Chevron downHow do I change my personal details?

Log in to Smart+ and select 'Personal details' from the top menu. You can update your email address, contact numbers and address. For security, you can't change your name or date of birth online. To change these, please call us on 0800 1522 522. Calls may be recorded for service and security reasons.

Chevron downWhere can I find documents for my Standard Life Self Investor accounts?

Log in to Smart+ and select 'My Documents' from the top menu to see your personal account documents, or select 'Literature' to see documents about the Standard Life Self Investor service, accounts and charges.

Chevron downHow do I cancel my application for a Standard Life Self Investor account?

You can cancel your application for a Stocks and Shares ISA or Trading Account within 30 days of us receiving your first payment, Direct Debit instruction or transfer instructions. If you cancel within 30 days before any payment has been invested, you'll receive a full refund. Any regular payments that you invest during this period will be repaid in full. However, any single payment or transfers in that have already been invested will be refunded to you, minus any fall in the market value of the investment. Please see the Key Features document for each account for full details.

Chevron downHow do I close a Standard Life Self Investor account or service?

To close your Stocks and Shares ISA, Trading Account or Cash Account, you'll need to transfer your account(s) to another provider or withdraw the full balance to your chosen UK bank account and then tell us to close the account.

Using your account

Chevron downWhat is the Smart+ service?

Smart+ is our secure online investment service, which allows you to select, view and manage your investments 24/7.

Chevron downHow do I pay money into my Standard Life Self Investor account?

You can pay in an initial payment of £500 or more and £100 or more for subsequent payments. Login to your account and select 'Single payment' from the top menu, and then choose which account you want to make a payment into.

Or you can set up a regular monthly payment of £50 or more by selecting 'regular payments' and setting up a regular Direct Debit into your account.

Chevron downHow do I move money between my accounts?

If you want to move money from your Trading Account into your Stocks and Shares ISA, you'll need to sell your investments and transfer the cash into your Cash Account. You can then move the money into your Stocks and Shares ISA.

You'll be out of the market until the transfer is complete. You won't lose out if the market falls but your money won't be subject to any income or growth if the market rises in this period.

Chevron downCan I pay into my account from another person's bank account?

No, for security reasons you can only pay into your Stocks and Shares ISA or Trading Account using a bank account or debit card in your name.

Chevron downHow do I change or cancel a regular payment?

Log in to your account and select 'Regular payments' from the top menu. You can then set up, change or cancel a regular payment.

Chevron downHow do I make a withdrawal?

If you have cash available in your account, you can make a withdrawal by following these steps:

  1. Log in to your account
  2. Select 'My details' then 'Bank details' from the top menu and enter your bank account details
  3. Select 'Manage portfolio' and 'Withdrawals' from the top menu - the minimum withdrawal is £100, and withdrawals by BACS are free

The money will be paid into your chosen bank account within 3-5 days. If you don't have cash in your account you'll need to sell your funds first before you can withdraw your money.

Chevron downCan I make a same day withdrawal?

You can request a same day withdrawal by CHAPS by calling us before 11.30am on 0800 1522 522. A £25 charge will be taken from the amount you withdraw.

Our charges

Chevron downWhat are the charges?

You'll pay charges to us and to the fund managers when you invest through Standard Life Self Investor.

Our account charge covers the cost of providing the Standard Life Self Investor service and carrying out investment transactions on your behalf.

Fund manager charges cover the cost of the fund manager setting up and managing the funds you have chosen to invest in.

To find out more about our charges please visit our charges page.

Chevron downHow do I pay the charges?

Charges are collected from your account(s) every month. Other things to consider include:

  • Our Account Charge is collected from your account(s) every month.
  • Charges for same day withdrawals by CHAPS will be taken from the money you withdraw.
  • Failed Direct Debit/returned cheque charges will be taken from cash held in your Standard Life Self Investor account. If there isn't enough cash available we'll sell units using the auto-cash process that is explained in the terms and conditions of each account.
  • Fund manager charges will either be taken by the fund manager directly from your initial investment or will be included in the unit price. This means you don't need to pay these charges separately.
Chevron downWhen do I pay the account charge?

We'll start collecting the Standard Life Self Investor account charge one month after the date you first make a payment or transfer to us. So, if you make your first payment on 16 February, your monthly charge will be collected each month from 16 March onwards. If charges are due on 29, 30 or 31 of a month that doesn't include these dates, the charges will be taken on the last day of that month.

Chevron downHow do I receive interest on any cash held in my Stocks and Shares ISA or Trading Account?

You'll receive a variable gross rate of interest on any cash held in your Stocks and Shares ISA or Trading Account and this will be paid into your ISA or Trading Account on the last working day of each month. Please see our interest rates page for the current rate.

Transferring to us

Chevron downWhat can I transfer in to a Stocks and Shares ISA?

You can transfer:

  • A Stocks and Shares ISA from a different provider for the current tax year. You can only transfer these in full.
  • Any Stocks and Shares ISAs from previous years from different providers. You can transfer the full amount or just part of these.
  • Cash ISAs from the current tax year must be transferred in full. For previous tax years you can transfer some of your cash or the full amount.

If you wish to transfer part of an ISA from another provider please call our transfer team on 0800 1522 522. Your investments can be re-registered in an ISA with us as long as we offer the same funds in the same share class, and your existing ISA plan manager supports this. If not, your existing ISA plan manager will sell the investments and transfer as cash. The minimum amount you can transfer to us is £500, with further transfers requiring a minimum of £100. If you transfer as cash you'll be out of the market until the transfer is complete. You won't lose out if the market falls but your money won't be subject to any income or growth if the market rises in this period. Once the transfer is complete you'll need to choose your funds to invest in. If you're transferring funds you'll remain invested during the transfer. You'll be unable to switch or sell these funds while the market falls or rises during this time.

Chevron downWhat can I transfer into a Trading Account?

You can re-register investments from General Investment Accounts, Trading Accounts, Fund Trading and Dealing accounts into our Trading Account as long as we offer the same funds in the same share class, and your existing provider supports this.

If you re-register at least one fund to our Trading Account, you can also transfer any other funds you hold that aren't available from Standard Life Self Investor as cash.

The minimum amount you can transfer to us is £500, with further transfers requiring a minimum of £100.

If you transfer as cash you'll be out of the market until the transfer is complete. You won't lose out if the market falls but your money won't be subject to any income or growth if the market rises in this period. Once the transfer is complete you'll need to choose your funds to invest in.

If you're transferring funds you'll remain invested during the transfer. You'll be unable to switch or sell these funds while the market falls or rises during this time.

Chevron downHow do I transfer other investments I have to Standard Life Self Investor?

First decide whether you want to transfer to our Stocks and Shares ISA or Trading Account, then call us on 0800 1522 522 and let one of our dedicated team help you get started with your online transfer. Or if you prefer you can set it up yourself online by following the steps below:

1) Log in to Standard Life Self Investor and choose which account you want to transfer into - a Stocks and Shares ISA or Trading Account

2) Complete the online application and then print, sign, date and return the transfer form to us. Please include your sort code if transferring a Cash ISA from a bank.

3) We'll arrange the transfer for you so you won't need to do anything. We'll ask your existing provider to transfer your account as cash and/or your investments to Standard Life Self Investor

If you transfer as cash you'll be out of the market until the transfer is complete. You won't lose out if the market falls but your money won't be subject to any income or growth if the market rises in this period.

If you're transferring funds you'll remain invested during the transfer. You'll be unable to switch or sell these funds while the market falls or rises during this time.

Chevron downHow long will it take to transfer my investments to Standard Life Self Investor?

It can take up to 30 days to complete the transfer or re-registration from receipt of your signed transfer form, depending on how quickly your existing provider takes to complete the request.

You can track the progress of your transfer by logging in to your account with Standard Life Self Investor and selecting 'Transfer status' from 'Transactions' in the menu.

We'll notify you when the transfer is complete.

Chevron downHow much does it cost to transfer my investment from Standard Life Self Investor to another provider

Nothing, we don't charge anything to transfer your investments out.

Chevron downDo I need to cash in my existing ISA in order to transfer?

No you don't. There's no need to cash in your investments as we'll manage the transfer process with your existing provider. As part of this you can re-register investment funds in our Stocks and Shares ISA or Trading Account as long as we offer the same funds in the same share class, and your existing plan manager supports this.

Chevron downCan I transfer any investments I have that are not in an ISA into a Stocks and Shares ISA?

No, we only allow transfers of investments from an existing ISA into a Stocks and Shares ISA. However, you can transfer them into a Standard Life Self Investor Trading Account.

Chevron downWhat does re-register mean?

All fund providers have a register of all investment holders in the fund. This means the register will be changed to show Standard Life Self Investor has taken over the administration of them.

Chevron downWhat if I change my mind about transferring?

You have a 30 day period from the time we receive your signed transfer form in which you may cancel.

If you change your mind once the transfer is in progress, you can cancel it providing your existing plan manager will accept the transfer back. If not, you may need to find a new provider.

Chevron downWhat happens if my current provider doesn't support re-registering my investments?

We'll ask your current provider to sell your investments and transfer them to us as cash. This means you'll be out of the market for the time it takes to complete the transfer and you won't benefit from any rise in value of investments during this period.

Our Trading Account

Chevron downWhat is a Trading Account?

A Trading Account is commonly known as a General Investment Account (GIA). Our Trading Account gives you access to our full range of investment funds. Unlike a Stocks and Shares ISA, there's no maximum limit to how much you can invest, making it a useful option for people who want to invest more than their 2017/18 ISA allowance of £20,000.

Income tax will apply to any income you may get from your investments and when you sell your fund you may need to pay Capital Gains Tax on any profits made if over your annual Capital Gains Tax allowance.

Chevron downHow much can I invest in a Standard Life Self Investor Trading Account?

When you first opened your Trading Account you had to invest a minimum of £500 by single payment or transfer, or choose to make regular payments of at least £50 a month.

You can make single payments or transfers of £100 or more. There's no maximum amount you can invest, though these amounts may change in the future.

Chevron downCan I hold a Trading Account and a Stocks and Shares ISA?

If you already hold a Smart+ Trading Account or Stocks and Shares ISA you can add another account so you hold both accounts. You can invest up to your annual ISA allowance in a Stocks and Shares ISA but there's no limit on how much you can invest in a Trading Account.

If you don’t hold an account with Standard Life Self Investor you can open a Stocks and Shares ISA or Trading Account (Personal Portfolio) with Standard Life Savings.

Don’t forget the value of your investments can go down as well as up and you could get back less than you invest. There's no minimum investment period but you should consider investing for 5 years or more.

Chevron downCan I transfer an existing Trading Account or investments to a Standard Life Self Investor Trading Account?

Yes, you can re-register the investments held with another provider into a Standard Life Self Investor Trading Account, as long as the same funds are available from Standard Life Self Investor and your existing provider allows re-registration. We don't accept full cash transfers, but if you re-register at least one fund into your Trading Account you can also transfer any other funds you hold that aren't available from us as cash.

Your existing provider may charge for this and you'll be out of the market until the transfer is complete. You won't lose out if the market falls but your money won't be subject to any income or growth if the market rises in this period. Also, you may incur a loss or trigger a Capital Gains Tax liability, depending on the loss or gain since purchase.

If you're transferring funds you'll remain invested during the transfer. You'll be unable to switch or sell these funds while the market falls or rises during this time.

Choosing funds

Chevron downWhat is a fund?

An investment fund is a collection of investments, overseen by a fund manager. The money you invest is combined with money from other investors and used to buy a range of assets like equities (shares), bonds and commercial property.

As the value of a fund's assets changes over time, the unit or share price fluctuates and the value of your investment will rise or fall.

Chevron downWhat funds does Standard Life Self Investor offer?

We offer a wide range of funds. You can search our full range or, to help you get started, our investment experts have put together 2 options.

  1. All-in-One funds
  2. Favourite funds
Chevron downHow do I know which funds to choose?

We don't provide advice on which funds to choose, but our investment experts have put together 2 ways to help you get started. Before investing in any fund, it's important to read the Fund factsheet and Key Investor Information Document (KIID), which tell you about the fund's objectives, risks, charges and other essential information. If you need any personal financial advice you should speak to a financial adviser. If you don't have one you can find one at unbiased.co.uk

Chevron downIs there a minimum or maximum I can invest in a single fund?

No, there's no minimum amount you can invest in a single fund. You can invest up to your maximum annual ISA allowance of £20,000 for the 2017/18 tax year in one or more funds within a Stocks and Shares ISA. There's no maximum amount that you can invest in a single fund within a Trading Account.

Chevron downCan I change my funds after I've opened a Standard Life Self Investor account?

Yes, you can buy, sell and switch funds by logging in to your account and selecting 'Manage portfolio' from the top menu. There's no charge from us for these transactions. There could be a delay imposed by the fund manager.

Chevron downWhat is a switch?

A switch is when you sell one fund and reinvest the money in another fund or funds within the same account. If you sell a fund as part of a switch, the proceeds will automatically be reinvested in the fund you're switching to.

However, the reinvestment will only take place when the sale has been confirmed, usually 1 working day later. This means you'll be out of the market for the time it takes to receive the confirmation and won't benefit, or lose, from a change in the fund price(s) of the fund(s) that you're switching to.

Depending on your personal circumstances if you’re switching funds within a Trading Account you could be liable for Capital Gains Tax.

Chevron downWhat happens when I sell a fund?

When you sell a fund, you can withdraw the money from the sale to your chosen UK bank account or leave the cash in your account until you decide which other fund(s) you want to invest in. You'll be out of the market and won't benefit from any rise in the value of investments during this period.

A variable interest rate will be applied to any cash in your Stocks and Shares ISA or Trading Account. Please see our interest rates page for the current rates.

Chevron downWill you let me know if a fund is removed from the Favourite funds list?

Yes we'll notify you if a fund you've invested in is removed from the Favourite funds. Removal of a fund from the Favourite funds is not a recommendation to sell the fund. You can keep your existing investment in the fund and continue to invest in it, or switch to another fund of your choice if you prefer.

Chevron downI've received a Corporate action - what do I do?

A Corporate action is issued when a fund manager makes a change to a fund. This typically happens if they want to merge it with another fund or if they want to change a fund’s investment objective. If this happens we'll email you and let you know if you need to do anything.

Chevron downWhat are 'clean', rebate free funds?

With a 'clean', rebate free fund you'll pay a straightforward, transparent annual management charge which will be wholly retained by the fund manager. This compares to a rebate based fund, where you'll pay an annual management charge which includes an element of adviser or platform rebate that can be wholly or partially credited to you as a cash discount.

The main benefit for customers is that a 'clean' fund charging structure is more transparent, with the complexity of rebates removed. Although 'clean' funds may be cheaper than their rebate based counterparts, there are some 'clean' funds that will be more expensive.

You’ll find more information on clean funds in your Charges Information Document, which you can find in your Smart+ document library.