£100 a month to invest? I’d go for a Stocks and Shares ISA in 2023

Investing £100 with a Stocks and Shares ISA may seem like a risky idea in 2023. After all, 2022 was quite the downward rollercoaster ride, and fears of a recession are still lurking. Yet despite all this uncertainty, many high-quality businesses are managing to eke out growth and improved earnings.

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Happy young female stock-picker in a cafe

With valuations depressed, patient investors could be immensely rewarded in the long run. So is now the perfect time to buy?

Capitalising on a stock market recovery

Since its inception, the stock market has had a perfect track record of recovering from even the most severe market declines. And that’s a trend which has continued in 2023. The FTSE 100 has already made a comeback reaching new record highs, while the FTSE 250 is up more than 22% since October.

But while the window of opportunity seems to be closing, there are still plenty of bargain stocks to buy today. And by setting up a regular investment plan, now could be the perfect time to begin steadily building a top-notch Stocks and Shares ISA.

While picking individual stocks opens the door to market-beating returns, this path requires a lot of discipline and research that not everyone is capable of, or willing to do. Fortunately, there is the alternative of simply investing in a low-cost index fund that will replicate the stock market’s performance.

Historically, the FTSE 250 has delivered average returns of around 10.6% a year. And even if an individual can only spare £100 a month for investments, compounded over 30 years, this translates to an extra £257,000 in the retirement fund.

Investing can be risky

While many businesses look undervalued today, there continues to be the risk of further volatility ahead. Economic conditions seem to be improving, with inflation on the decline. But a recession is still on the table. And should the worse come to pass, investment portfolios could be in for a significant beating in the short term.

The good news is some of this risk can be mitigated by drip-feeding capital into the markets every month. That way, if valuations continue to drop, investors have money at hand to take advantage. But what about the long term?

Over long periods, the stock market is arguably one of the world’s greatest wealth-building devices when used intelligently. However, it’s important to note that future performance is fairly difficult to predict. And there’s never a guarantee that past results will repeat themselves. As such, investors could end up with more or considerably less than £257k in their Stocks and Shares ISA by 2053.

In either scenario, leveraging the tax benefits of an ISA will help maximise any returns generated. After all, it eliminates capital gains tax and dividend tax from the equations. And since the capital gains and dividend allowance for both is about to be slashed in half come April, ISAs are becoming increasingly powerful investing tools.

Please note that tax treatment depends on the individual circumstances of each client and may be subject to change in future. The content in this article is provided for information purposes only. It is not intended to be, neither does it constitute, any form of tax advice. Readers are responsible for carrying out their own due diligence and for obtaining professional advice before making any investment decisions.

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Views expressed on the companies mentioned in this article are those of the writer and therefore may differ from the official recommendations we make in our subscription services such as Share Advisor, Hidden Winners and Pro. Here at The Motley Fool we believe that considering a diverse range of insights makes us better investors.