ISA millionaires

The 28 investment companies that would have made you £1,000,000.

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A total of 28 investment companies would have made investors more than £1 million if they had invested the full annual ISA allowance in the same company each year, according to new research from the Association of Investment Companies (AIC).

Investing the full ISA allowance annually from 1999 to 2023, a total of £286,560, and reinvesting the dividends into one of the five investment companies below would have generated a tax-free pot of over £1,400,000 by 28 February 2023.

  • HgCapital
  • Pacific Horizon
  • Scottish Mortgage
  • Allianz Technology
  • abrdn Asia Focus

Technology is a strong theme for the top five companies. HgCapital, which invests in unquoted software and technology services businesses, returned £1,842,880. Pacific Horizon and Scottish Mortgage, both managed by Baillie Gifford with growth-focused mandates, returned £1,485,165 and £1,480,188 respectively, while Allianz Technology generated £1,454,871. abrdn Asia Focus, which invests in smaller quoted companies in Asian economies excluding Japan, returned £1,435,986.

The top-performing three investment companies – HgCapital, Pacific Horizon and Scottish Mortgage – invest at least part of their portfolio in unquoted companies.

Among the 28 “ISA millionaire” investment companies (see table below), almost half (13) invest in smaller companies. The best performing of these is abrdn Asia Focus from the Asia Pacific Smaller Companies sector. Five of them are from the UK Smaller Companies sector with BlackRock Throgmorton Trust performing best of these, returning £1,219,867 to take ninth place in the table. A further three are from the European Smaller Companies sector, of which the best performing is Montanaro European Smaller Companies with a return of £1,139,408.

The 28 “ISA millionaire” investment companies


Company name

AIC sector

% share price
total return
06/04/99 - 28/02/23

Total ISA
investment value
at 28/02/23


HgCapital Trust

Private Equity




Pacific Horizon

Asia Pacific




Scottish Mortgage





Allianz Technology Trust

Technology & Media




abrdn Asia Focus

Asia Pacific Smaller Companies




Scottish Oriental Smaller Companies

Asia Pacific Smaller Companies




Polar Capital Technology

Technology & Media




BlackRock World Mining

Commodities & Natural Resources




BlackRock Throgmorton Trust

UK Smaller Companies




International Biotechnology

Biotechnology & Healthcare




Worldwide Healthcare

Biotechnology & Healthcare




JPMorgan US Smaller Companies

North American Smaller Companies




Montanaro European Smaller Companies

European Smaller Companies




BlackRock Smaller Companies

UK Smaller Companies




Biotech Growth Trust

Biotechnology & Healthcare




European Smaller Companies

European Smaller Companies




JPMorgan American

North America




Rights & Issues Investment Trust

UK Smaller Companies




JPMorgan Global Growth & Income

Global Equity Income




Fidelity European Trust





JPMorgan European Discovery

European Smaller Companies




Invesco Asia Trust

Asia Pacific Equity Income




Canadian General Investments

North America




Herald Investment Trust

Global Smaller Companies




JPMorgan UK Smaller Companies

UK Smaller Companies




Fidelity Asian Values

Asia Pacific Smaller Companies




Mid Wynd International





Invesco Perpetual UK Smaller

UK Smaller Companies



Source: % share price total return is for a single lump sum invested at the beginning of the period. Total ISA investment value is the total value of an investment on 28/02/2023 if the maximum ISA limit for each year had been invested annually from 1999 to 2023, with the investment being made on 6 April each year.

Annabel Brodie-Smith, Communications Director of the Association of Investment Companies (AIC), said: “It’s been a tough time for investors recently, with the highest inflation for four decades coupled with falling global stock markets and an uncertain outlook.

“At times like this, it’s important for long-term investors to keep their eyes fixed on the horizon. Investment companies have more than 150 years of history, surviving market crashes and crises. Their closed-ended structure means they can hold on to assets during market downturns, rather than being forced to sell them at knockdown prices.

“Our research shows that despite recent market falls, 28 investment companies would have returned more than £1 million for ISA savers who invested their entire allowance each year since 1999. Of course, it’s important to spread your risk, as no-one knows which will be the best-performing investment companies in the future. Having a diversified portfolio which meets your needs is the key to success, and if in doubt, investors should speak to a financial adviser.”


    “At times like this, it’s important for long-term investors to keep their eyes fixed on the horizon. Investment companies have more than 150 years of history, surviving market crashes and crises. Their closed-ended structure means they can hold on to assets during market downturns, rather than being forced to sell them at knockdown prices.

    Annabel Brodie-Smith, Communications Director of the Association of Investment Companies (AIC)


    Comments from the top three performers

    Jim Strang, Chairman of HgCapital Trust, said: “HgCapital Trust provides shareholders with a unique listed access point to the investment portfolio of Hg. The performance the trust has delivered over the years has come from the continual refinement and focus on a clear investment model implemented by Hg, targeting software and technology services businesses.

    “The companies that form HgCapital Trust’s portfolio have benefitted from strong secular tailwinds as they enable their end customers to be more efficient and to scale faster. They also typically benefit from strong recurring revenue streams, high margins and operate in fragmented markets, which allows growth to be accelerated further via M&A. Simply put, rather than striving to do different things, Hg strives to do the same thing better, every time.”

    Roderick Snell, Manager of Pacific Horizon, said: “Pacific Horizon seeks the best and fastest-growing companies in Asia, embracing growth in all its forms; this approach has been a hallmark of Baillie Gifford’s stewardship of the company over the past 30 years. Today, holdings range from rapidly growing technology companies to more cyclical growth. The portfolio reflects our excitement about materials which are crucial commodities for any green transition, in particular our copper and nickel producers and commodity-oriented economies such as Indonesia. Additionally, we remain most excited about the long-term prospects for India, though recently have found valuations in China of some high-quality growth businesses very compelling.

    “Asian governments now look like the prudent stewards of the global economy, while much of the Western world grapples with the consequences of their experiments with negative real interest rates. On the ground, fundamentals continue to improve, with the inexorable rise of the Asian middle class and ever-more innovative companies coming to public markets. Despite some recent and obvious headwinds, Asia looks very well placed for the foreseeable future.”

    Stewart Heggie, Commercial Director at Scottish Mortgage, said: “If there is one thing that unites everyone in investment management, I suspect it is taking delight in viewing the benefits derived from long-term compounding of returns. The last year has been challenging for Scottish Mortgage. I would caution against drawing any meaningful conclusions from this recent fall. The trust was founded to provide capital to businesses with big opportunities but restricted access to funding following the market panic of 1907. It is important at times of stress to remember this founding story: corporate potential has little to do with the cycles of greed and fear in stock markets.

    “We aim to identify, own, and support the world’s most exceptional growth companies and have the broadest opportunity set, spanning both public and private. Currently, the reasons to be optimistic are plentiful. Extraordinary progress is being made across the companies in our portfolio, that are helping to build the future of our economy.”


    - ENDS -

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    Notes to editors

    1. The Association of Investment Companies (AIC) represents a broad range of closed-ended investment companies, incorporating investment trusts and other closed-ended investment companies and VCTs. The AIC’s members believe that the industry is best served if it is united and speaks with one voice. The AIC’s vision is for closed-ended investment companies to be considered by every investor. The AIC has 349 members and the industry has total assets of approximately £268 billion.
    2. For more information about the AIC and investment companies, visit the AIC’s website.
    3. Disclaimer: The information contained in this press release does not constitute investment advice or personal recommendation and it is not an invitation or inducement to engage in investment activity. You should seek independent financial and, if appropriate, legal advice as to the suitability of any investment decision. Past performance is not a guide to future performance.  The value of investment company shares, and the income from them, can fall as well as rise.  You may not get back the full amount invested and, in some cases, nothing at all.
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