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80% of JISA investors keep kids and young adults ‘in the dark’ over savings

Posted by Adrian Lowcock in Press releases category on 14 Nov 18

London, 5 November 2018

Over four in five (82%) parents and relatives have been investing in JISAs for children or young relatives since they were less than five years of age. However, 80% plan to wait until their recipients are 16 or over before telling them they have money invested, a new survey(1)  by Willis Owen reveals. 

Of those investors waiting until the child is 18, nearly two in five (39%) say this is because they would like to surprise their recipients while over a third (34%) are worried they will not be responsible enough to be informed earlier. Almost a quarter (23%) say they do not want their children to feel spoilt by being made aware of their JISA money before their eighteenth birthday.

Almost half (47%) of all those saving into JISAs hope the money will be used for university or higher education, while 43% would like the funds to contribute towards a deposit for a property. A further 42% would like the money to remain invested while 34% would like it to be used to pay for a car and 22% hope it will cover the cost of travelling the world. 

Adrian Lowcock, Head of Personal Investing, Willis Owen says:

“When a child turns 16, he or she becomes entitled to manage their junior ISA investments and can access the money from their eighteenth birthday. However, our survey suggests that almost half of parents or relatives wait until their children are 18 or over to discuss JISAs invested on their behalf. 

“This statistic sheds light on a very worrying issue; the fact that most people are leaving it too late to have conversations about personal finances with the younger generation. Learning about money and becoming financially aware is a long process, but it should start as early as possible.”

Lowcock adds:

“Most of our financial behaviours and disciplines come from our families so if you want to instil good behaviour you will need to practice what you preach. One technique is to start giving your child small amounts of change when shopping to buy goods, so they are involved in the whole process and understand the value attached to different items and services. Having a piggy bank is another engaging way to help them save for something in the future, but they need to set a goal that is achievable to ensure they appreciate the process and don’t get discouraged along the way.”

*The total number of UK JISAs has risen year on year from 794,000 in 2016-17 to 907,000 in 2017-18. The total amounts subscribed in cash JISAs fell slightly this year from £525-£517m while the total amounts subscribed in stocks and shares JISAs rose slightly this year from £333-£385m.