Revealed! The UK is home to more than 2,000 ISA millionaires

Based on figures released by HMRC, this article reveals details about millionaire ISA holders and how you could join their ranks.

The content of this article was relevant at the time of publishing. Circumstances change continuously and caution should therefore be exercised when relying upon any content contained within this article.

The letters ISA (Individual Savings Account) on dice on stacks of gold coins on a white background.

Image source: Getty Images

Whether you are thinking of opening an ISA or you already have one, I’m sure you’ll find this exciting. Thanks to previously undisclosed data, we now know that there are more than 2,000 ISA millionaires in the UK with an average holding of around £1.4 million. Moreover, £6.2 million was the average size of the top 60 pots. InvestingReviews.co.uk released the figures after filling numerous freedom of information requests (FOI) to HMRC.  

If you are just about to start your ISA journey, the next section is for you. However, if you are one of the aforementioned ISA millionaires or you already know the nitty-gritty aspects of the ISA world, please feel free to skip it. 

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So, let’s look at the basics first.

[top_pitch]

What is an ISA?

‘ISA’ stands for ‘individual savings account’. And with an ISA, unlike other saving accounts, you will not pay a penny in tax on any earnings while your money sits in the account. This means you can save tax-free into a savings or investment account of your choice. And before you ask the question, let me make it clear: it’s all perfectly legal. Rest assured that as long as you follow the rules, you will be in HMRC’s good books. 

So, ISAs have been around for a while now. To be precise, they’ve been on the banking scene since 1987, when they were launched with an allowance of just £2,400. In 2003, Lord Lee of Trafford was revealed as the first ISA millionaire. Ever since then, people have been asking themselves two key questions:

  1. How many more ISA millionaires there are?
  2. How long it will take me to get into the ISA million club?

[middle_pitch]

Just how rich are the ISA millionaires? 

The total holdings of the ISA millionaires club are believed to be around £2.8 billion, according to HMRC data. Remember when I said that while your money is in your ISA, you will not pay a penny in tax? Jackpot!  Assuming an average annual return of 7%, these canny investors would bring home more than £200 million in tax-free earnings. And I’m saying investors as analysts at InvestingReviews.co.uk believe that they are all Stock and Shares ISA holders. 

The largest proportion of the group falls within the ‘under £2 million’ bracket. They make up around 93% (1,870) of all UK ISA millionaires, with an average pot of £1.27 million. There are 80 investors with an average pot size of £2.37 million that fall in the ‘£2 million plus’ bracket, while 60 occupy the ‘£3 million plus’ bracket. An interesting fact about this last group is that their pots average a staggering £6.2 million. This means that some of the investors in this group must have significantly bigger pots.

It’s also worth noting that even though the figures have only just been released, the HMRC data reflects the value of ISA pots in 2019. 

How long will take you to join the club?

Let’s assume that you start today and you max out your £20,000 annual ISA allowance. With a consistent yearly return of 7%, you could expect to enter the first bracket in around 22 years. According to InvestingReviews.co.uk, however, to be in the top tier with a £6 million pot, you are likely looking at 44 years in total, or at least 34 years for that £3 million pot. 

Does that sound like a long shot to you? You can use a simple compound interested calculator to estimate the time that will take you to hit your first million based on the money you currently save.

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