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&#39Public need advice before buying an Isa&#39

Nearly three-quarters of consumers believe professional advice is needed before buying an Isa, according to research for Threadneedle.

The research also found more than half of consumers are confused by the tax-free investment.

Threadneedle&#39s Isa Opinion survey of 1,000 British adults reveals 55 per cent do not know the difference between mini and maxi Isas.

The research, carried out by ICM Research, shows awareness of Isas is high, with 74 per cent of respondents knowing about the existence of the products, but 37 per cent believe Isas are too complicated.

However, the survey found Isas are popular with 35 per cent of respondents already investing in the product and a further 30 per cent intending to buy an Isa in the next year.

Threadneedle says the survey confirms its belief that investors need advice to prevent the misbuying of Isas.

The company also believes Isas would be even more popular if investors were allowed to hold both a mini and maxi Isa.

Retail managing director David Sachon says: “We are delighted to see how popular they are among the investing public but the findings confirm what we have always believed – that investors need advice. The Chancellor would win a lot of friends by asking the Inland Revenue to declare an amnesty for those investors who have taken out a mini and maxi Isas in error.

“As long as the amount involved is less than £7,000, it would help the popularity of the product if both Isas were allowed to stand.”

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