Hargreaves Lansdown has introduced an individual savings account (Isa) that allows investors to manage their own portfolios.
The vantage Isa follows a pick and mix approach that allows investors to choose different types of funds, including offshore funds, from any management groups they want.
Some stocks and shares Isas limit the fund range to their own stable and a few selected external fund managers. The vantage Isa gives investors access to unit trusts, open-ended investment companies, offshore funds and investment trusts. Investors can also hold shares, gilts and corporate bonds in their portfolios.
Hargreaves Lansdown monitors the funds and over 150 individual stocks and this research is available to investors. When a fund manager changes, a fund is restructured or the fund management group is going through major changes, Hargreaves Lansdown issues an alert to investors in the vantage Isa. This enables investors to consider changing their investments if various factors could affect the fund's performance.
Skandia's multisa is a similar product in that it also allows investors unlimited choice of funds. However, it is not as diverse as the Hargreaves Lansdown Isa as it does not allow investors to mix funds with shares, corporate bonds and gilts.
Investors who want to take responsibility for their own portfolio could find this Isa of interest. But first time investors could be left feeling overwhelmed and confused by the choices available to them.