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Money: SAVE YOURSELF UP TO pounds 350.

Byline: PIPPA CRERAR

TRISH Blake saved almost pounds 300 when she bought her ISA through a discount broker.

And it means she didn't join the people who have wasted more than pounds 500million in charges since ISAs were launched two years ago.

ISAs allow you to invest up to pounds 7,000 a year tax free, but most people don't realise you can pocket up to pounds 350 by using a discount broker.

Last year Trish, 33, who works for the homeless charity Crash, invested pounds 7,000 into a Newton equity ISA through broker Best Invest and saved pounds 280.

"It was my first ISA so I trawled round the firms, spoke to people and looked on the internet," she says. "I settled on Best because they offer advice too." If you buy an equity ISA through a traditional broker, bank or building society between 3 and 5 per cent of your investment is swallowed by the salesman or broker as commission.

By going to a discount broker you get part or even the full amount back.

They are prepared to split the commission with you to boost sales - just like a car dealer offering you a new motor below list price.

Trisha says: "I was aware of discount ISAs. But it took me a while to understand because I glaze over if people get too technical.

"I spent a month mulling things over because I was an investment virgin and found the number of firms overwhelming."

CAPTION(S):

SAVER: Trish Blake
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Title Annotation:Features
Publication:The Mirror (London, England)
Date:Mar 7, 2001
Words:253
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