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We take a look at Hargreaves Lansdown, one of the largest execution-only brokers in the UK. Are they the right broker for you to invest your money with? Read our thorough review of their services as well as read real customer reviews left for the Good Money Guide Awards.

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Hargreaves Lansdown Customer Reviews

Here's what users have to say about them. If you've used them leave a review to vote in our Awards for a chance to win £1,000 in Amazon Vouchers.

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Hargreaves Lansdown
Average rating:  
 7 reviews
by Erik Pattison on Hargreaves Lansdown
Online Platform (out of 5 stars): 3
Customer Service (out of 5 stars): 5
Fees & Pricing (out of 5 stars): 3

Good phone service but has not improved for years. They give far too much time boosting funds (the worst being the Neil Woodford fan posts) because that is where they make money.
The online platform completely fails to deal with index-linked gilts and sometimes quotes prices which are days old or fails to give a value at all. I have been with them for years but I am losing faith,

by L Lagham on Hargreaves Lansdown
Online Platform (out of 5 stars): 2
Customer Service (out of 5 stars): 1
Fees & Pricing (out of 5 stars): 0

Nearly four weeks now after my request to transfer my now-cash-only stocks and shares ISA to another firm, and still no progress from HL... still no responses to my several e-mails and secure messages on the topic when chasing them. I decided to move to another platform because: (a) HL fees are completely unjustifiably high compared with the whole market (b) research articles are generally quite shallow and somewhat trite (c) iPhone App is weak compared with closest competition (d) website is rather dated, somewhat 90's-ish and clunky to use (e) customer service appears to be getting worse and worse [no replies to messages generally - or if so, only days or weeks later].

Add the Woodford saga which will probably sadly continue for quite some time, and it does seem that unfortunately there is no longer much going for this firm - which used to have such a fantastic reputation and which is seems to be going into a sharp decline.

by William Rutherford on Hargreaves Lansdown
Online Platform (out of 5 stars): *****
Customer Service (out of 5 stars): *****
Fees & Pricing (out of 5 stars): ***

If you can bear the fee structure it has an excellent online platform for research


  • Online Platform 5/5

  • Customer Service 5/5

  • Fees & Pricing 3/5

by Jason Farrington on Hargreaves Lansdown
Online Platform (out of 5 stars): 4
Customer Service (out of 5 stars): 5
Fees & Pricing (out of 5 stars): 3

I have had a stocks and shares ISA with Hargreaves Lansdown since April 2016 and it's been a roller-coaster ride but through the highs and lows (for me, more often the lows) Hargreaves Lansdown have provided an excellent service. If I ever have to call them, the phone is answered straight away and my question dealt with professionally and promptly. There are many funds and shares to invest in and the website and mobile app are easy to use and informative. However, I feel their charges for trading are pricey at £11.95.


  • Online Platform 4/5

  • Customer Service 5/5

  • Fees & Pricing 3/5

by Neil on Hargreaves Lansdown


  • Trading Platform 5/5

  • Customer Service 5/5

  • Mobile Apps 5/5

  • Spreads & Pricing 5/5

  • Market Range 5/5

  • Trade Execution Speed 5/5

  • Added Value 5/5


Excellent service but the service change is high for regular traders.

(Trading stocks, indices, commodities and fixed income with Hargreaves Lansdown  for 2-5 years on a weekly basis)
by Fai Hann on Hargreaves Lansdown


  • Trading Platform 5/5

  • Customer Service 5/5

  • Mobile Apps 5/5

  • Spreads & Pricing 3/5: I have found much more lower fees - just look at Vanguard at 0.07% platform fees

  • Market Range 5/5

  • Trade Execution Speed 5/5

  • Added Value 4/5: Would like call up to discuss trade specials with me


A great broker very responsive when having issues with trade platform.

Super website - clear concise and very easy to navigate. Love the mobile app simply cannot live without it. SIMPLY NUMBER 1
Customer service very professional and knowledgeable.
Great in depth level of investments to trade and are very happy to add ETFs from other international stock markets add no extra cost which is AWESOME!

Fees are the 1 BIG let down. I simply cannot afford trading on a daily basis with charges as high as £11.95.

The pension platform fees are capped T £200 WHICH BETTER THAN VANGUARD'S!!!!
by Oliver Starr on Hargreaves Lansdown

HL is a great place to start if you're new to trading. You can see your low risk longterm investments like ISAs alongside your fund account. So you have it all in one place. But it's expensive: if you're doing regular trades you'll ramp up your fees in no time. But it's great for your standard ISA funds and the customer service on the phone or email is superb.
Great for granddads, not so great for whippersnappers.

 


  • Trading Platform 3/5: It's a basic, easy to use platform. But the charges are steep: £15 or thereabouts for each trade.

  • Customer Service 5/5

  • Mobile Apps 4/5: It's a good app but not quite modern enough. It does what you need it to.

  • Spreads & Pricing 3/5: This isn't really my neck of the woods.

  • Market Range 4/5: One big glaring omission: cryptocurrencies!

  • Trade Execution Speed 5/5

  • Added Value 5/5


(Trading stocks and commodities with Hargreaves Lansdown for over 5 years on a monthly basis)

About Hargreaves Lansdown

Hargreaves Lansdown are one of the biggest investment providers in the UK. The firm was founded in 1981 by Peter Hargreaves and Stephen Lansdown. From humble beginnings sending out investment letter recommendations from Peter Hargreaves spare room in Bristol, Hargreaves Lansdown now employes over 1,500 people, has over £99billion in client accounts and over 1.2 million clients.

What makes Hargreaves Lansdown different?

Hargreaves Lansdown differs from other stockbrokers like Interactive Investor, Degiro & AJ Bell, because of it's sheer size and breadth. By which we mean Hargreaves Lansdown is a one-stop-shop for pretty much everything you can invest in. The website and online platform offer some of the widest range of investment opportunities on listed markets in the UK and abroad. However, Hargreaves Lansdown does differ from speculative trading firms like IG and ETX Capital as HL tends to focus more on long term capital growth rather than products for short term speculation. You can trade spread bets and CFDs, through HL Markets, however, this is just a white label of the IG trading platform.

Why choose Hargreaves Lansdown and who is it right for?

If you are looking for a platform that offers a very wide range of accounts types and rather than specialising in one thing the act as a fund and share supermarket. Unlike the new breed of free stockbrokers like Freetrade who only offer a very limited range of stocks to invest in as well as account types. With Hargreaves Lansdown, you can pretty much invest in what you like. As a traditional customer service-based business, you can always talk to an expert on the phone (which is rarer and rarer these days) should you need assistance with their services.

Pros and cons of Hargreaves Lansdown

Pros of HLCons of HL
Wide market accessMore expensive than discount brokers
Huge range of fundsNo in house speculative products
Good in house analysisAccount opening is not instant
Live free share and fund pricesYou need to fund your account when you open it

Are there any other benefits of using Hargreaves Lansdown?

The main benefit of Hargreaves Lansdown is that you get what you pay for and if you only want one investment account then HL should be able to cater for most if not all of your investment needs.

That being said, diversification is generally recommended when investing and have two or more investment accounts is considered a good idea. Just in case there is something you cannot do with HL it's worth looking at other stockbrokers in the UK and having a backup account too.

Costs & charges of dealing with Hargreaves Lansdown

It is expensive, yes, but Hargreaves Lansdown is not a discount broker and has never professed to be. However, if you are a regular investor the fees reduce considerable the more active you are.

How does Hargreaves Lansdown charge fees and what are they?

Hargreaves Lansdown makes money and charges fees in two ways:

  1. Commission when a client buys or sells a stock
  2. Fund account charges.

Dealing & trading fees/commissions

When you trade and buy or sell stocks you are charged a flat commission. So it doesn't matter if you are buying £100 worth of stock or £100,000 the cost is the same. So obviously the bigger the investor you are the more cost-efficient it is going to be. Also the more regularly you invest with Hargreaves Lansdown the lower fees will be.

Number of trades in the previous monthCommission charged per deal
0 - 9£11.95
10 - 19£8.95
20+£5.95

Non - Trading Fees

For dealing in funds there is no commission charged for buying or selling, but there is an annual charge for holding funds in your account. The fund charge is dependent on how much you have on account, so the more you invest the lower your fees are.

Value of funds on HL accountHL annual fund holding charge
First £250,0000.45%
Between £250,000 - £1m0.25%
Between £1m - £2m0.10%
Over £2mNo charge

Opening an account at Hargreaves Lansdown

As with most investment providers opening an account with Hargreaves Lansdown is fairly simple. You need to jump through a few more hoops as stockbrokers need to conduct AML (Anti-money Laundering) checks when people start investing. However, it's still a very simple process.

How to open a Hargreaves Lansdown account

You do need a few extra bits before opening an account so make sure you have the following to hand before you start the process:

  • National Insurance Number
  • Bank account details
  • Debit card details
  • Some money to invest or put on account as cash

You, of course, need all your other personal details, as you would when opening any other sort of account but the four step process is basically:

  1. Agree to the declaration.  This is confirming you are who you say you are and agreeing to risk warnings and terms etc.
  2. Who are you? Submit all your personal information, address, name, date of birth etc.
  3. Deposit some money in your account. This may seem annoying to have to do straight away, but brokers tend to ask people to make initial depsoits so that thier onboarding department is not bombarded with clients who have no intention of investing.
  4. Choose what to invest in. You get the option during the account opening process to invest in either stocks or funds. But you don't have to, you can leave your initial deposit as cash and choose what to invest in later.

How long does it take to open an Hargreaves Lansdown account?

It's not instant, but it is very quick. We applied for an account at 10:04 on a Tuesday morning and the account was open by 10:18. You'll get an email after your account has been approved and can start investing once you logged back in. It was refreshing that this information was not conveyed in an email, rather we were notified that we have an secure message which you have to log into your account to view.

Logging in to your account

Once your account is open you need the following to log in:

  • username
  • password
  • date of birth
  • memorable number

Is there a minimum deposit for Hargreaves Lansdown?

You can open an account with the princely sum of £1.

Funding Methods

How to add money to your Hargreaves Lansdown account

During the account opening process you can, however, deposit more or set up regular deposits from your bank account.
You can add up to £99,999 in a single transaction. For larger deposits, you can do so via bank transfer.

How to withdraw your money from Hargreaves Lansdown

You can withdraw funds direct to your bank account. You do need to validate your banking details before you can withdraw funds from your Hargreaves Lansdown account though. HL will send a validation code by post, which is for security purposes for when you add or change a bank account and to satisfy anti-money laundering requirements.

Trading Platforms & Mobile Apps

Very simple and intuitive. Unlike CFD and spread betting trading platforms, Hargreaves Lansdown is for investing so it's a very simple interface for buying stocks, funds and bonds. You just select the stock you want to buy from the website and click deal now.

What trading platforms does Hargreaves Lansdown offer?

With the in house developed HL trading platform you can choose to buy a number of shares, or a monetarty value of shares without cost included or you can include costs in the transaction value. You also have the option of adding a stop loss to the order or a limit order, which will allow you to limit your potential loss, or take profits if a stock reaches preset levels.

Access Hargreaves Lansdown anywhere, anytime with their mobile app

The HL App is very simple to use and contains a huge amount (but not all) of the research available on the website. The process of buying and selling is the same in that you can choose a share or monetary amount.

There are a couple of quick fire features too like, "sell your entire holding" and access to recently viewd stocks, main movers and their favourite funds.

It's good for browsing and keeping up with the markets when out and about, for more indepth research the website is better.

Can you test Hargreaves Lansdown with a free demo account?

No you cannot get a demo account, if you want to see the functionality of how to buy and sell shares with HL you need to open a full account and go through the account application process. However, HL do show pretty much everything else for free so you can browse the website to see their research offering and stock screeners as well as see live share prices.

Products & services offered by HL

What can you invest in with Hargreaves Lansdown?

A lot basically, we'll breakdown what you can invest in with Hargreaves Lansdown here, as well as the different ways you can do it.

Stocks

You can invest in all UK listed stocks and shares as well as American and international stocks. Hargreaves Lansdown have one of the widest ranges of stocks to invest in. There are FX charges for investing in foreign shares through and you'll be charged between 1% and 0.2% in exchange rate fees when you buy non-GBP shares.

Funds

You can invest in over 2,500 funds with HL. As well as providing a lot of market data around the contents and process of the funds that you can invest in through HL, you can also see curated lists of funds that have specific objectives. It's important to note through that just because HL are highlighting a fund, they are not necessarily recommending it. So always do your own research before buying funds.

ETFs & ETCs

HL offers a huge range of UK and international ETF (Exchange Traded Funds & Exchange-Traded Commodities/Currencies) that you can invest in. ETFs are basically stocks that track indices and ETCs are stocks that track commodities. So they give you an easy option to invest in the FTSE 100 or Gold for example without buying futures.

HL ETF and ETC screener

There is a decent ETF and ETC screener where you can search for ETFs and ETCs based on what they invest in or the manager that runs them. You can also search by keyword for specific types of ETFs and ETCs.

HL also rather handily publish a list of their most popular ETFs and ETCs from the previous week. As of 5th May 2020 here are the most popular ETFs are:

  • WisdomTree Physical Gold (GBP)
  • Vanguard Funds plc S&P 500 UCITS ETF USD(GBP)
  • iShares plc FTSE UK Dividend
  • Vanguard Funds plc FTSE 100 UCITS ETF GBP
  • iShares Physical Metals plc Physical Gold ETC
  • Vanguard Funds plc FTSE 250 UCITS ETF
  • WisdomTree Physical Gold
  • iShares plc FTSE 250
  • XBT Provider AB Bitcoin Tracker EUR

Cryptocurrency

You can't invest in cryptocurrency with Hargreaves Lansdown directly, but you can invest in crypto ETFs, for example, the XBT Provider AB Bitcoin Tracker EUR which is highlighted above as one of their current most popular ETFs.

Investment Trusts & REITs

Investment trusts differ from traditional funds in that they are publicly listed as companies on the London Stock Exchange, and can be bought and sold like shares rather than having to buy into them and hold.

Hargreaves Lansdown offer over 300 investment trusts and Real Estate Investment Trusts. For more information on these types of products, you can read our guides on REITs and investment trusts.

Corporate Bonds & Gilts

You can buy bonds & invest in hundreds of, corporate GBP bonds, UK gilts, UK index-linked gilts and (PIBS Permanent Interest Bearing Shares). Income from bonds can either be retained in your account, paid out directly to you or re-invested automatically.

Some bonds can be bought online with Hargreaves Lansdown, but in reality, the market for dealing in bonds is still done over the phone as there is often not enough liquidity online to fulfill orders.

Hargreaves Lansdown offers bonds traded on an exchange. Some bonds will have a high minimum investment as some are generally only for sophisticated investors. If you wanted to invest small amounts of money in bonds with high minimum deal sizes WiseAlpha offers fractionalised bond dealing through their bond market place.

Wealth Management

HL do offer a wealth management service through their advisory help deak. The Hargreaves Lansdown wealth management team can arrange a call to discuss what products and services would best suit your needs. You can compare to Wealth Management firms like 7IM, JM FINN, Parters Wealth Management, with our wealth management finder.

Spread Betting and CFDs

For HL clients that want to take a bit more, risk HL has partnered with IG to offer spread betting and CFDs through HL Markets. However, HL Markets is really just a white label of the IG trading platform, so if you want to trade higher risk speculative products you would be better off going direct to IG to trade forex, rather than using the HL branded service. It's generally sensible to try and deal direct, rather than through a middle man.

Currency Transfers:

If you need to send funds abroad Hargreaves Lansdown offer an international money transfer service. As with all currency brokers, you will certainly get better rates than through your bank, but it's always sensible to compare currency quotes from multiple currency brokers to ensure you are getting the best rate.

How can you invest with Hargreaves Lansdown

General stock and fund account

The general share dealing service allows you to invest in the majority of markets and asset classes. It's important to note that this is a standard dealing account for investments that fall outside your tax-free investment allowances and you don't get any of the tax benefits you do with SIPPs and ISAs.

  • UK and international shares
  • Investment trusts
  • Exchange-Traded Funds
  • Bonds
  • IPOs

Children's Investment Accounts

Hargreaves Lansdown is one of the few stockbrokers to offer children's investment accounts. It's never too early to get started investing for your family's future and investment education is often forgotten about and left till the last minute. It's a theme that resonates in most of our CEO interviews, particularly from wealth managers, that people should start investing for their offspring as soon as possible.

HL offer the below children's investment account types:

  • Junior Investment ISA - Invest up to £9,000 in the 2020/2021 tax year
  • Junior SIPP - Get 20% tax relief - a £3,600 contribution only costs £2,880
  • Junior Investment Account - No investment limits or access restrictions

ISAs from Hargreaves Lansdown

HL offer three types of ISA, a stocks and shares ISA and a Lifetime ISA and the Junior ISA.

Investment ISAs

You can invest as little as £100 or £25 per month in the HL stocks & shares (investment) ISA costs 0.45% a year on the balance of the ISA. You can invest in 2,500 funds, shares, investment trusts, bonds, ETFs & ETCs on a self-directed basis.

Or, if you can't decide what to invest in Hargreaves Lansdown have ready-made portfolios matched to your investment objectives and risk appetite for you to choose from. Annual fees are the same at 0.45%, however, you need to start investing with a minimum of £1,000.

Lifetime ISAs

The HL lifetime ISA enables you to get a boost on your first home. For more information on Lifetime ISAs read our Lifetime ISA guide.

Junior ISAs

As above, they also offer a Junior ISA

Pensions from Hargreaves Lansdown

If you want to manage the investment in your own pension Hargreaves Lansdown have a few options for pension investing. There are tax advantages and your employer can match some of your contributions but it's important to remember that when you invest in a pension you don't get access to the money until you are at least 55.

SIPPs from Hargreaves Lansdown

There is no charge to set up a HL SIPP, but there is an annual cost of holding the SIPP which is based on the overall value of the SIPP account. Charges are capped at £200 per year and are tiered as:

Value of funds in HL SIPPHL SIPP Annual Fee
On the first £250,0000.45%
On the value between £250,000 -£1m0.25%
On the value between £1m - £2m0.10%
On the value over £2mNo charge
Junior SIPPs

As above HL offer a Junior SIPP where you can help save your children's retirement and get them used to invest as early as possible.

Annuities

For Annuities Hargreaves Lansdown provides a comparison service of leading annuity providers for you to buy your pension protection.

Pension Drawdowns

HL also provides an application service for pension drawdowns where you can access lump sums in your pension early.

Added Value From Hargreaves Lansdown

Added value from any broker is really what sets Hargreaves Lansdown from the array of discount investment platforms out there. Most stock brokers provide the same account types to the same investments so here's a quick run down of how HL differs from brokers like IG, AJ Bell & Interactive Brokers.

Research

Hargreaves Lansdown have one of the best research hubs that private investors can access for free. There are of course better services out there if you are prepared to pay for them like Investors Intelligence of Futurestechs. But, their website provides some great resources for picking and choosing what to invest in such as:

  • Live share prices
  • Charts
  • Stock fundamentals
  • Fund factsheets
  • Stock, fund & ETF screeners
  • Analyst recommendations on stocks
  • Featured lists of popular funds, stocks & ETFs
  • Model portfolios
  • Newsfeeds from inhouse analysts and third parties like Reuters

Education

Hargreaves Lansdown have some very well written guides on all the products they offer. They also have tools and calculators for yields, foreign exchange and pension products.

HL also produces regular newsletters looking at the most topical investment products. In fact, the entire business was built on Peter Hargreaves skill at direct marketing newsletters so it's no surprise to see that this still forms one of the best ways HL communicates with it's clients.

Customer Service

The great differentiator in the brokerage world at the moment. Some customers absolutely value customer service above all other things. Whilst the new bread of smaller millennial investors may be happy to just get on with it online, HL's commitment to providing first-class customer service is what keeps their customers on board.

How do I contact Hargreaves Lansdown?

  • Email: Through the form on their website
  • Phone: 0117 900 9000
  • Physical Address: Hargreaves Lansdown, One College Square South, Anchor Road, Bristol, BS1 5HL.
  • Social Media:
    • Linkedin: https://www.linkedin.com/company/hargreaves-lansdown/
    • Twitter: https://twitter.com/HLInvest
    • Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/hargreaveslansdowninvest/

Regulatory Status & Safety of Funds

Are Hargreaves Lansdown regulated?

Hargreaves Lansdown are regulated by the FCA in a few different capacities:

  • Hargreaves Lansdown Asset Management Limited, which is authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority and is a member firm of the London Stock Exchange (LSE) (FCA Register number 115248, see FCA register for registration details) and registered in England and Wales No 1896481.
  • Hargreaves Lansdown Advisory Services Limited, is authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA Register number 189627, see FCA register for registration details) and registered in England and Wales No 3509545.
  • Hargreaves Lansdown Fund Managers Limited, is authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA Register number 166016, see FCA register for registration details) and registered in England and Wales No 2707155.

What happens to my money if Hargreaves Lansdown go bust?

As HL is a regulated business client accounts are protected by the FSCS. If Hargreaves Lansdown were to go bust investors will be able to claim under the Financial Services Compensation Scheme (FSCS), which can pay up to £85,000 to each investor.

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