How to invest £20k in a Stocks & Shares ISA before the deadline

The 5 April Stocks and Shares ISA deadline is fast approaching but what is the best strategy for investing the £20k annual allowance before time runs out?

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When investing, your capital is at risk. The value of your investments can go down as well as up and you may get back less than you put in.

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The Stocks and Shares ISA deadline is just over a week away as the 2023/2024 tax year is set to start. With this new tax year comes reduced capital gains and dividend allowances for regular investing accounts. And that makes the tax benefits of investing through an ISA even more powerful.

Unfortunately, the £20,000 annual allowance doesn’t roll over. So, those that don’t use it will lose it.

The good news is investors aren’t pressured to decide which stocks or funds to buy quickly since they just need to deposit money rather than invest it before 5 April. But with the stock market offering such incredible bargains today, capitalising on discounted stocks sooner rather than later may be a lucrative decision in the long run.

With that in mind, let’s explore how investors could allocate their £20k annual ISA allowance.

Growth vs income

Growth stocks have lost a lot of love lately. With interest rates rising to combat inflation, many of these businesses have seen their valuation premiums evaporate.

Income stocks are becoming increasingly popular as investors become more interested in profitable over rapid revenue expansion companies. Sure, they usually don’t offer much growth potential. But with positive earnings and reliable dividends being put into the pocket of shareholders, this stability sounds far more attractive than the extreme volatility experienced in 2022.

Does that mean income stocks are better for a Stocks and Shares ISA? Not necessarily.

Just because a business is unprofitable doesn’t mean it’s doomed to fail. Ultimately, what matters is cash flow. Unprofitable operations that generate positive cash flows can last a long time without external financing like debt. And historically, growth stocks have delivered superior returns during stock market recoveries.

So, which type of stock is the best buy within an ISA today? The answer ultimately depends on the personal circumstances of the investor.

Growth stocks can potentially deliver explosive long-term gains but come with added risk and volatility. Meanwhile, while typically more stable and established, income stocks may fail to meet long-term performance expectations. Of course, there’s nothing stopping investors from having a blend of both.

Please note that tax treatment depends on the individual circumstances of each client and may be subject to change in future. The content in this article is provided for information purposes only. It is not intended to be, neither does it constitute, any form of tax advice. Readers are responsible for carrying out their own due diligence and for obtaining professional advice before making any investment decisions.

Balancing risk in a Stocks and Shares ISA

There is no such thing as a risk-free investment. Even bank deposits carry a small level of risk, as some customers were recently reminded of in the ongoing banking situation. That’s why risk management plays a vital role in building a successful portfolio regardless of which types of stocks an investor decides to buy.

Managing risk can get pretty complicated, especially when venturing into the world of financial derivatives. But fortunately, there are some really simple strategies available to investors that pack quite a punch. The most commonly recommended (and for good reason) is diversification.

Investing in high-quality businesses across multiple industries, geographies, and economies can drastically reduce a portfolio’s risk profile. That’s because if one position suffers an industry-specific disruption, the rest of the investments can often offset any short-term or even long-term decline.

Should you invest, the value of your investment may rise or fall and your capital is at risk. Before investing, your individual circumstances should be assessed. Consider taking independent financial advice.

Views expressed on the companies mentioned in this article are those of the writer and therefore may differ from the official recommendations we make in our subscription services such as Share Advisor, Hidden Winners and Pro. Here at The Motley Fool we believe that considering a diverse range of insights makes us better investors.

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