- Isas are an integral part of financial planning
- Consistency and time are key for wealth creation
In 1999, the speculative fad-based investing of the dotcom bubble was reaching its apex, and Bill Gates’ (then the richest man in the world) net worth topped $100bn thanks to the soaring value of Microsoft (US:MSFT) stock. Tony Blair was presiding over Cool Britannia and Westlife’s ‘I have a dream’ spent four weeks at the top of the UK charts. Brussels popped the champagne as the euro was introduced after many years of preparation.
The UK savings industry, meanwhile, was having a little cultural revolution of its own. In April 1999, Gordon Brown, then UK chancellor, introduced the individual saving account (Isa) to “get Britain saving again”. Isas replaced personal equity plans (Peps) and tax-exempt special savings accounts (Tessas), with the key advantage of enabling people to access their money at any time, while also allowing savings to grow free of income tax, capital gains tax and dividend tax.