How I’d try and turn £50k in savings into a £1m Stocks and Shares ISA

Thousands of people have reached the million mark in a Stocks and Shares ISA. Is it possible to join them starting with just £50k?

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If I had £50k in savings, I think it’s more than possible to turn it into £1m using a Stocks and Shares ISA. In this article, I’ll explain how I’d do it, along with how many years I think it could take.

First, let me say that I wouldn’t be the first person to pull off something like this. The number of ISA millionaires tripled last year. It’s now over 4,000 people. All of them used this type of account to get to a million.

In fact, a single stock could get there with an even smaller stake. Take Ashtead for instance. It might sound like a fairly boring company, renting out industrial equipment like diggers or scaffolds. But if I’d put £5,000 in it 15 years ago, it would have turned into £1m all by itself. Not too shabby. 

I could go one better with US tech giant Apple. The iPhone maker was another big winner in the last few years. I’d only have needed a £1,500 stake invested in 2003 to make it to the million mark. 

Simple idea

The idea here is simple. And it’s one I’d say most people understand. The stock market, while it has its risks, is a fantastic place for building wealth. It’s easy to see this every time there’s a headline of a company hitting record profits, and I can make it work in my favour by investing this way.

So how do I reach my target? Well, I’ve got £50k in my Stocks and Shares ISA and I want to get it to £1m. I need to choose companies that will grow my money. 

The examples above are particularly good ones but it’s not always like this. I might choose a company like Cineworld instead! The cinema chain racked up so much debt as it expanded, then the pandemic came along at just the wrong time. A £5,000 stake there a few years ago would now be worth, well, nothing at all.

The thing is, even good investors don’t get it right every time. So one cornerstone of my plan would be to diversify. I’d invest in many companies, at least 10-15, so a bad choice or two doesn’t destroy my earnings.

How long could it take?

How long might it take for the £50k to turn into £1m? Well, at a 10% average return each year the table below shows the specifics. Of course, I might not make 10% and could even lose money.

£50k with 10% yearly return
1 year£55,000
5 years£80,526
10 years£129,687
20 years£336,375
30 years£872,470
32 years£1,055,689

I’d look at that 32-year timeframe as a starting point as there are ways I can speed up the process.  I mentioned above how important good stock choices are. That’s one way.

I could also drip-feed extra cash into my ISA as well. That way, I have more money to play with. That’s how people tend to invest, rather than putting in a lump sum then never looking at it again. 

£3,000 a month

If I do make it to a million, I’d have the financial freedom I dream of. I could withdraw 4% for a £40,000 annual second income. Inflation would knock that down a little, but it would still be an amazing income to have each year.

Per month, it’s over £3,000, over triple the State Pension. That would be great security.

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.

John Fieldsend has positions in Apple. The Motley Fool UK has recommended Apple. 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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