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Become an ISA millionaire in just 4 steps without winning the National Lottery

Hundreds of Britons have become millionaires by investing in Stocks and Shares ISAs, and their numbers are swelling all the time.

Big money

Becoming an ISA millionaire may seem like a tall order. But it can be done, if you give it long enough, and without a lottery win to help you on your way. You have to use as much of your £20,000 tax-free ISA allowance as possible and it will really help if you are young, because that way you have more time to build your wealth. The sooner you start, the better your chance of hitting that million.

The table below, courtesy of fund platform AJ Bell, shows that a 22-year-old could make a million by investing just £78 a month. They will have to be patient, though. They will need to invest that sum every month for 43 years, until age 65.

If they delay just three years until 25 that rises to £105 a month, an extra £27 more. Every year of delay ups the pressure, so don’t hang around. If you don’t start until age 35 you will have to pay in a far higher £296 a month.

Starting age

Initial monthly sum

Total value at 65

22

£78

£1,009,523

25

£105

£1,006,490

30

£174

£1,001,806

35

£296

£1,001,233

The table assumes you increase contributions each year in line with the government’s long-term inflation target of 2% and invest £4,000 a year in the lifetime ISA, which attracts a maximum £1,000 government bonus, then in a standard Stocks and Shares ISA for the rest of your allowance.

The figures also assume a high long-term growth rate of 11% a year (minus 1% charges), which is equal to the average total return of the MSCI World Index over the past 40 years. Under a less optimistic projection of 6% a year (again, minus 1% charges), our 22-year-old would have to pay into £249 a month, and I doubt many can afford that.

Starting age

Initial monthly sum

Total value at 65

22

£249

£1,002,509

25

£311

£1,001,668

30

£464

£1,000,209

35

£696

£1,001,221

You may never make a million from your ISA but you can still get rich trying, or at least richer than you otherwise would have been. Here’s AJ Bell’s four-step programme:

Step 1. Start early

Your early contributions are most valuable because they have longest to grow. The key is to get started, even with relatively small sums. If you’re young, time is on your side.

Step 2. Invest more as earnings grow

Don’t keep paying the same amount in every month, make sure it rises as your earnings do. Also use any bonuses and other windfalls such as an inheritance to top up your pot. At least aim to pay in an extra 2% every year, ideally more.

Step 3. Get government help

The lifetime ISA is open to those aged 18-39 and gives you £1 for every £4 you invest yourself. If you invest the maximum £4,000, you get £1,000 free money a year.

Step 4. Take a few risks

You will never make a million by leaving money in cash earning 1% a year, the stock market is the place to build long-term wealth. The following investments could help you get there. If you’re in your 50s and have no savings, here are three things you can do to get retirement ready.

The only thing you can’t afford to do… is nothing.

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Harvey Jones has no position in any of the shares mentioned. The Motley Fool UK has no position in any of the shares mentioned. 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.