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A total of 28 investment companies would have made investors millionaires if they had invested the full annual ISA allowance in the same company each year, according to new data from the Association of Investment Companies (AIC).

Investing the full ISA allowance annually from 1999 to 2020, a total of £246,560, and reinvesting the dividends into one of the eight investment companies below would have generated a tax-free pot of over £1,500,000 by 31 January 2021.

Thirteen investment company sectors feature in our list of 28 ISA millionaire investment companies (below) with the UK Smaller Companies sector featuring most often. Half of the ISA millionaires list (14 companies) are from the smaller companies sectors.

Annabel Brodie-Smith, Communications Director of the Association of Investment Companies (AIC), said: “Twenty-eight investment companies would have made investors millionaires if they had invested the ISA limit in the same company each year, with many companies returning far more than £1 million. The investment companies come from a wide range of sectors which demonstrates the benefits of the investment company structure for delivering strong returns over the long term.”

It’s worth highlighting that half of the investment companies that have made investors ISA millionaires are in the smaller companies sectors. Their closed-ended structure makes investment companies particularly suitable for investing in harder-to-sell assets like smaller or unquoted companies.

“Whilst it’s always fun to dream of becoming an ISA millionaire and have that ‘what if’ moment, it’s important not to put all your eggs in one basket. No-one can tell which will be the best-performing investments in future and it’s important to have a diversified portfolio which suits your long-term needs,” Brodie-Smith added.


Scottish Mortgage tops the list with a total of £2,541,100, more than ten times the original investment.

Among the leading investment companies were:

  • Scottish Mortgage
  • Biotech Growth
  • Allianz Technology
  • Pacific Horizon
  • JPMorgan China Growth & Income
  • Edinburgh Worldwide
  • Polar Capital Technology
  • HgCapital Trust

“Our aim is to provide long-term capital appreciation to shareholders, at low cost,” said Tom Slater, Joint Manager at Scottish Mortgage. “We are bottom-up, actual investors who look for transformational growth companies which enjoy sustainable competitive advantages that play out over many years. Consequently, rather than allocating funds on a different regional basis, investments are chosen based on our best ideas on a global basis. Over the last decade our portfolio has combined investments in both public and private companies, at a cost that provides real value to shareholders. Competition for capital within the portfolio is higher than ever which will enable us to deliver strong investment returns to savers in the years ahead.”

Among the other leaders are Biotech Growth Trust managed by Geoffrey Hsu and the Alliance Technology Trust managed by Walter Price. Biotech Growth Trust focuses on investing in biotech innovation over the long term with a global mandate, while the Allianz Technology Trust has earned plaudits for its ability to capture the massive growth in the tech industry which we have experienced since 1999.

Other investment companies which ranked high on the list from the AIC include BlackRock Throgmorton Trust and Baillie Gifford Shin Nippon.

Investment company ISA millionaires

Investment companyAIC sector% share price total return 06/04/1999 to 31/01/2021Total at
31/01/2021
Scottish MortgageGlobal2,249£2,541,100
Biotech GrowthBiotechnology & Healthcare2,321£1,901,581
Allianz Technology TrustTechnology & Media1,713£1,837,161
Pacific HorizonAsia Pacific3,348£1,778,352
JPMorgan China Growth & IncomeCountry Specialist: Asia Pacific – ex Japan2,561£1,767,284
Edinburgh WorldwideGlobal Smaller Companies958£1,574,323
Polar Capital TechnologyTechnology & Media1,314£1,553,346
HgCapital TrustPrivate Equity2,605£1,552,220
BlackRock Throgmorton TrustUK Smaller Companies1,490£1,363,990
Baillie Gifford Shin NipponJapanese Smaller Companies1,286£1,331,163
Worldwide HealthcareBiotechnology & Healthcare2,315£1,311,467
BlackRock Smaller CompaniesUK Smaller Companies1,311£1,256,713
International BiotechnologyBiotechnology & Healthcare2,044£1,246,089
Oryx International GrowthUK Smaller Companies988£1,243,074
Montanaro European Smaller CompaniesEuropean Smaller Companies1,111£1,208,138
Aberdeen Standard Asia FocusAsia Pacific Smaller Companies3,123£1,198,211
HeraldGlobal Smaller Companies970£1,136,097
Schroder AsiaPacificAsia Pacific1,531£1,113,545
JPMorgan Smaller CompaniesUK Smaller Companies1,327£1,110,979
JPMorgan Emerging MarketsGlobal Emerging Markets1,608£1,104,132
Standard Life UK Smaller CompaniesUK Smaller Companies693£1,101,928
MonksGlobal909£1,071,649
Rights & Issues Investment TrustUK Smaller Companies1,549£1,051,067
Aberdeen New DawnAsia Pacific1,983£1,049,646
Scottish Oriental Smaller CompaniesAsia Pacific Smaller Companies2,839£1,043,496
JPMorgan European Smaller CompaniesEuropean Smaller Companies1,687£1,040,997
Invesco AsiaAsia Pacific1,045£1,027,966
JPMorgan US Smaller CompaniesNorth American Smaller Companies1,216£1,009,865

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Please note this article does not constitute investment advice. Investors are encouraged to do their own research beforehand or consult a professional advisor.

Stuart Fieldhouse

Stuart Fieldhouse

Stuart Fieldhouse has spent 25 years in journalism and marketing, including as a wealth management editor for the Financial Times group, covering capital markets and international private banking, and as an investment banking correspondent for Euromoney in Hong Kong. He was the founder editor of The Hedge Fund Journal.

Stuart has worked at CMC Markets, supporting the re-launch of its global financial spread betting and CFD trading platforms. He is also the author of two books on trading, published by Financial Times Pearson. Based in The Armchair Trader’s London office, Stuart continues to advise fund managers, private banks, family offices and other financial institutions.

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