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I’d drip-feed £400 a month into a Stocks and Shares ISA to try for a million

Mature friends at a dinner party
Mature friends at a dinner party

Combining the power of pound cost averaging with the advantages of a Stocks and Shares ISA can accelerate the wealth-building process. In fact, slowly and consistently drip-feeding capital into the stock market intelligently can elevate an investment portfolio into the seven-figure territory. Here’s how.

Making a million with a Stocks & Shares ISA

The tax benefits are the biggest advantage of using a Stocks and Shares ISA. While it does limit investors to only putting away £20,000 a year, that’s plenty to work with. In fact, to reach millionaire status in the long run, as little as £4,800 a year, or £400 a month, is sufficient. Let me demonstrate.

Historically, the UK’s leading index – the FTSE 100 – has generated an average annual return of around 8%, including dividends. If an investor were to invest just £400 each month into a low-cost index tracker, their portfolio would hit the £1m threshold in 36 years.

That certainly makes for a nice retirement. But 36 years is a long time to wait. And it may take even longer, given it’s highly likely that stock market crashes and corrections like the one we’re experiencing in 2022 will happen multiple times within this period.

So how can investors accelerate this process? The easy option is to just invest more money. But not everyone is flushed with spare cash, especially with skyrocketing energy bills. Fortunately, there is an alternative option – increase the annual return.

Picking stocks to maximise gains

Instead of tapping into an index fund, investors can choose to pick individual stocks directly. This approach requires a lot more due diligence, emotional discipline, and time investment. But even after identifying a near-perfect profitable, financially stable enterprise, a stock can still be derailed by an unpredictable external force. Just look at what happened to the leading travel shares in 2020.

Diversification is a risk-reduction strategy that can mitigate the impact of a single business failure. And pairing it with pound cost averaging inside a Stocks and Shares ISA can also help to alleviate the adverse effects of stock price volatility during economic instability.

But even after deploying these tactics, individual stock picking is often riskier than buying an index fund. So why do it?

While the risk is greater, so is the potential reward. Individual stock picking opens the door to higher investment returns. And even if an investor can only boost their average annual gain to 10%, that’s enough to wipe out five years from the millionaire waiting time.

However, there is a giant caveat here. As with anything in the world of investing, there’s never a guarantee of success. A poorly selected collection of stocks can quickly destroy wealth rather than create it. And even if a positive return is generated, it might still lag the FTSE 100’s performance.

Nevertheless, it’s a risk I believe is worth taking.

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.

The post I’d drip-feed £400 a month into a Stocks and Shares ISA to try for a million appeared first on The Motley Fool UK.

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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.

Motley Fool UK 2022