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New to DIY investing?

Here we get you started by walking through a few basics and introducing you to the Alliance Trust Savings platform.

Are you new to DIY investing?

Are you thinking about starting to invest, or do you want some information about different investment options? The following information will help to get you started and support you in your investing goals.

If you’re not sure what to do, you should speak to a Financial Adviser.

Important information

Please remember the value of your investments can go down as well as up. You may get back less than you originally invested.

Alliance Trust Savings does not give advice. You need to ensure you understand the risks and commitments before investing. If you are unsure you should consult a Financial Adviser before investing.

Laws and tax rules may change in the future without notice. The information here is our understanding in April 2018. This information takes no account of your personal circumstances which may have an impact on tax treatment.

A quick checklist to begin

1. What’s your plan?

Before investing ask yourself a few simple questions: Why are you investing? How much can you afford to invest? And be realistic; investing is usually something you’d do in the hopes of growing your savings in the medium to longer term (5 to 10 years). So if you’re saving for something in the short term – say Christmas or a holiday that’s coming soon - you might be better off with a straightforward savings account.

How much do you need to invest to meet your goals?
Use our interactive tools to find out

2. How much risk can you take?

What you’re investing for, your age, your income and other sources of wealth and whether you have dependants to consider are all things likely to have an impact on the amount of risk you are willing and able to take. Investing always involves risk but you can manage this in different ways. For example by spreading your money across different investments with different levels of risk and by making regular investments over time rather than committing all your money in one go.

Different investments have different levels of risk
Research the different types to learn more

3. Are you making the most of your tax allowances?

ISA and SIPP accounts are tax-advantaged ways to invest. Your investments grow free of income tax and capital gains tax as long as you stick to certain allowances.

You can’t usually take money out of a SIPP until you are 55, so that isn’t for everyone. But it generally makes sense to use up your ISA allowance each year before investing through IDA.

Learn about ISA tax advantages
Learn about SIPP tax advantages

4. Research, research, research

Before you make any decisions about how to invest, do your research. This is essential to understand how much risk might be involved with an investment, what the charges might be, how you might expect it to perform (remembering that past performance is not a guide to future performance) and what sort of income it might pay you.
Visit our Investing Hub

It’s packed with resources to teach you more and help you find the right investment to meet your goals.

5. Keep a close eye on things

Be sure to review your investments against your plan, and ask yourself if you’re still on track (our interactive calculators can help with this). By reviewing regularly and taking action when you need to, you should reduce the chances of any nasty shocks.

You might want to consider setting aside a regular time to check the progress of your investments. And if you’re making regular payments into your Account, think about increasing those each year in line with inflation.

Managing your investments online and in one place through a service like Alliance Trust Savings makes it easy to keep a close eye on things. You can also trade quickly and efficiently this way. Including in real time for listed securities.
Learn more about our platform
Why invest through Alliance Trust Savings?

6. If you’re unsure, get advice

DIY investing isn’t for everyone. If you’re not confident and don't know what you are doing you might want to get help from a Financial Fdviser instead. And even if you are confident, there might still be times when you need advice. For example on complex investment and pension decisions or tax issues.
Find a Financial Adviser

About the Alliance Trust Savings platform

Our platform is intuitive and easy to use, but if you have any issues or prefer to talk to someone it’s backed by our friendly Customer Services team. Based in Dundee and just a phone call away on 01382 573737 (from 8am to 5pm, Monday to Friday).

When you sign-up we’ll send you a Personal ID and password. It’s faster and cheaper to trade online (£9.99 a trade compared to £50 by phone or post). And after 5 years you’ll benefit from a Loyalty Discount for online and telephone trading (read our Charges Guide for the details).

Calls may be recorded for training and security purposes.

Find out what you can do online   View platform demos Read our platform guide

Research different account types

Before you choose any of the products below make sure you understand its aims and risks. You should ensure you have read the Key Facts document and - if you are investing in funds - the relevant Fund Factsheet and fund Key Investor Information Document (KIID)/Key Information Document (KID) beforehand. These are available through our Investment Selector.

Individual Savings Account (ISA)

Invest up to £20,000 in the 2018/19 tax year. Your savings grow free of income and capital gains tax.

find out more   Apply now

Investment Dealing Account (IDA)

No tax advantages. But no investment limits either. Includes real time online trading in listed securities.

find out more   Apply now

Self-Invested Personal Pension (SIPP)

An account for your longer term future. Offers full flexibility for when you access your pension savings.

find out more   Apply now

Junior ISA Account

Give your child a start by investing up to £4,260 in 2018/19. They get access from age 18.

find out more   Apply now

First Steps IDA

No tax advantages. But no investment limits either. Keep control over when your child gets access.

find out more   Apply now

Child SIPP

Start tax-advantaged savings for your child’s much longer term future. Up to £3,600 a year (gross).

find out more   Apply now

Extensive investments to choose

Browse investments

Our Investment Selector is powered by Morningstar, a leading provider of investment research. Use it to:

  • Check what you can access through your Account (over 4,000 investments to choose from)

  • Find out about the risks and charges for each investment (which are on top of the charges you pay us for your Account)

  • Review past performance for investments although remember that past performance is not a guide to future performance

Expert insights with



IPOs for ATS clients

Visit our IPO Hub for all the latest IPO and Share Offer announcements.

Investment news

The place for all the latest Alliance Trust Savings news, press releases and commentaries.


Get investment tips and ideas

Expert research, tools, ideas and information to help you in making your investment decisions.

Our 20 most popular funds

This list is based on the gross inflows in each fund by Alliance Trust Savings customers, via our online trading platform.

Alliance Trust Savings Limited is a subsidiary of Alliance Trust PLC and is registered in Scotland No. SC 98767, registered office, PO Box 164, 8 West Marketgait, Dundee DD1 9YP; is authorised by the Prudential Regulation Authority and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority and the Prudential Regulation Authority, firm reference number 116115. Alliance Trust Savings gives no financial or investment advice.