How do people get rich from stocks by taking advantage of the Lifetime ISA

The Original Article was written HERE.

The recent launch of the Lifetime ISA on 6th April 2017 can incentivise savings and encourage you to set aside £4,000 per year.

(P.S. For those readers that live outside the UK, an ISA or individual savings account is a tax-free way to top-up your savings.)

Here are a few incentives you need to know:

1. You can open a Lifetime ISA between the age of 18 to 39;

2. There are two specific purposes for it: one is to help towards your home deposit, or towards your retirement;

3. At the end of each year, the government will contribute a 25% bonus, that’s £1,000 free money. The amount paid is based on your contribution, which doesn’t include interest, dividends and capital gains;

4. That is why the maximum government bonus is £32,000 if you start at 18 and continued to make contribution till you are 50.

However, there is a 25% penalty for early withdrawals. Unless you are 60 years or over. Or, use it towards your first property purchase. Also, there is no penalty if you die!

(P.S. The Lifetime ISA scheme is like every other savings scheme and are subject to change in the future.)

Before We Start

You may ask yourself the following questions:

What is the difference between putting your money in cash or opining for shares?

How much would I end up after 10 years or 20 years, if I make the full contribution?

What happens if the market crashes in one year, how would this affect my overall returns?

And much more.

The post below will try to answer all these questions and more by providing accurate analysis, with tables and charts.

P.S. Please remember these results excludes fees.

Focusing on investing in Stock and Shares in Lifetime ISA

The FTSE 100 has an average return of 6.52%, since inception in 1984.

That is a rise from 1,000 points to the current level of 7,564 points (as of 02/06/2017).

10 Year Period

Using a ten-year timeframe and assuming the FTSE 100 will deliver a 6.52% return. How much would your saving pot be worth?

Your initial costs that you invested is £40,000 (£4,000 X 10), but the capital gains and government contribution would have added an extra £27,551.2 on top of your initial contribution.

This gives you a total return of 68.9%.

Here is a table analysis of your £4,000 contribution:

But, hang on, am I forgetting something here?

Before you mention dividends, I haven’t forgotten about it!

The reason for this separation is to spot the difference in return if dividends weren’t paid out.

The average dividend yield for the FTSE 100 is 2.92% (1984–2014 data).This takes the average FTSE 100 return of 9.44%.

Applying this, you would be rewarded an extra £37,921.30, which takes your total pot to £77,921.30, giving you a return of 94.8%.

Here is a table analysis of your £4,000 contribution with dividends added:

20 Year Period

But, what if we stretch it out further to 20 years. How would that grow your returns?

Extending it would mean doubling your contribution to £80k. And the extra reward is £125,287.90 and takes your total savings to £205,287.90.

That’s a return of 156.6%.

Here is a table analysis of your £4,000 contribution for twenty years:

Upping the Contribution

That is all good and dandy. But, are we not forgetting something here?

The rise in the costs of living would eat away our purchasing power, meaning a chocolate bar costing 60 pence today, could cost you 90 pence in 20 years’ time.

So, shouldn’t the government be increasing the level of contribution that we could contribute?

Let’s say the government has decided to upped the maximum contribution to £6,000 in the beginning of year 11, but has decided to keep their contribution the same.

So, how would this affect your total savings pot after twenty years?

That extra £20k in contribution would earn you an extra £24,340, giving you a total of £249,627.96.

Leaving you with a return of 149.6%, but that is lower than 156.6%. This is because of the higher personal contribution coming from your end at £100,000.

Here is a table analysis of your £4,000 contribution, which rises to £6,000 by year 11:

The Stock Market Will Crash some point in the Next 20 Years

We have been in a bull market for roughly eight years. Therefore, at some point in the future, there will be another bear market correction.

So, let us assume the stock market crashes by 40% in year 8. And, afterwards, it resumes back to the average rate of return. This is for simplicity reasons.

The reality is a lot different because when markets crash, a rebound can happen which leads to extraordinary gains for one year!

Again, how would a 40% crash in Year 8 affect your saving pot by the end of year 20?

Well, you would have lost £34,292.40, as your total pot is down to £215,235.56 which means a return of 115.2%.

Here is a table analysis that adds in the effect of a 40% stock market crash in Year 8:

That is a more realistic result than the 149.6% because the stock market does correct itself after a long period of appreciation.

N.B.: Remember, in this analysis, the £6,000 contribution comes into effect at the end of year 10.

How does the stock market compare to the savings rate?

Right now, the best ISA saving rate is at 1.8% tax-free. But, will this be the case over the next twenty years?

Some people would say yes because the national debt has been rising at a record pace which means an interest rate increase would increase the cost of servicing this debt.

The UK National Debt is projected to come in at £1.73 trillion by the end of 2017. Compared that to 2005, when the National Debt was at £0.5 trillion or in 2011 when it breaches the £1 trillion Pound mark.

However, during this period the UK 10 year gilts have fallen from 4.7% in 2005 to 1%. Lower gilts rate means lower servicing costs.

But, others will point to a gradual rise in interest rate because there is a bubble brewing in the property market, where prices are sky-high.

To satisfy both sides of the arguments, let’s say in the next 20 years the average saving rate is 2.75%.

That rate of return will produce a smaller pot, but how much smaller?

For those “safety first” individuals, your total pot comes to £150,960.10 or 50.96% gain from £100k.

Here is a table analysis that assumes the saving rate averaged 2.75% in twenty years:

That’s £64,000 less, if we assume a stock market crash of 40% for one year. Or, £99,000 less if there is no crash in the stock market.

P.S. The saving rate is for illustrative purposes.

Can You Time the Stock Market?

The reason I am asking the question is that some analysts believe the market are overbought, stating that valuation is above historical averages. While others continue to be bullish.

Take a look at this historical FTSE 100 Index over 20 years.

If you invest back in 1998, when the FTSE 100 trades around 4,300ish points, your capital gains would be less when you bought at the lows in 2009 at 3,460 points. So, does this mean you should time your investment in the stock market?

But, then again how would you know if the FTSE 100 is over or undervalued at any given time?

One way of assessing it is to use the CAPE ratio (which was devised to measure over or undervaluation of stocks by Robert Shiller). The higher the ratio, the more overvalued the stock market become.

John Kingham does a great job in drawing up this rainbow chart of FTSE 100 with the CAPE ratio, here:

What it shows is the bubble and depression area of the FTSE 100, based on the top end and bottom end of the rainbow. In hindsight, you could put your contribution into cash between 2000–2002. Afterwards, move back into stocks, up till 2008. Stay in cash for one year, and then move back into stocks, a year later and remain fully invested.

Hindsight is a wonderful thing, but the reality is you would stay invested in 2000 when the CAPE ratio is at 28–32 times. Unless you understand market valuation or know what to look for.

Then, again, would you have sold during 2008’s financial crisis when the CAPE ratio was at 20 times? Unless you understand derivatives and banking, then you probably wouldn’t.

Now, as the FTSE 100 makes new highs, the CAPE ratio is trading close to 16 times. Will you stay invested or would you sell?

The realistic answer is you don’t know because there are too many variables at play!

Hope this explains how the Lifetime ISA works and the difference between investing fully in the stock market or in cash.

If you like this post, then please share with your young friends and family who wants to put excess money aside for the future.

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Thanks again for reading!


This post is in no way endorsing you to invest in a Lifetime ISA or in the stock market. The post aims are to inform and set financial projection that is based on the long-term returns from the stock market.