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Our view: Hargreaves Lansdown remains one of the best overall investment accounts because of it's approach to customer service, research, investment tools, and market breadth. Read more...

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What Is Hargreaves Lansdown?

Founded in 1981, Hargreaves Lansdown is one of the largest fund management and investment platforms in the UK with 1.64 million clients (as of June 2021) and £135.5bn funds under management. Operating from its Bristol base, it offers a huge range of investment tools, ready-made portfolios, ISAs, SIPPs (pension), cash savings and foreign currency exchange. It also allows clients to get involved in advanced investment products such as spread betting and CFDs. They also offer financial advice with a free initial consultation, research, webinars and guides to investment. The scale and scope of their offering means they offer one of the widest range of choice for investors of all levels.

With a history stretching back 40 decades, HL brings the security, scale and reputation of an established FTSE 100 company.

How does Hargreaves Lansdown work?

Hargreaves Lansdown have successfully adapted their business for the digital world. They’ve produced a fresh look with faster running apps providing a more streamlined and convenient user experience. They’ve made themselves more accessible to a wider range of investors while keeping their reputation as one of the most established names in the business.

98% of clients invest online with Hargreaves Lansdown and over 600,000 clients user their HL app each month.

Investing with Hargreaves Lansdown

Hargreaves Lansdown offers a huge range of investments including:

  • ISA’s: stocks and shares, lifetime, and junior ISAs.
  • Investing: share dealing, fund and share account, ETFs, investment trusts, corporate bonds.
  • Advanced products: High risk and advanced solutions such as contracts for differences and spread betting.

They have a choice of 3,000 funds to invest money into and their fund and the Hargreaves Lansdown share account provides live share prices alongside simple, accessible tools to help you trade on the stock market. It is one of the most comprehensive platforms available.

The Hargreaves Lansdown website is packed full of content and often receives rave reviews for its content. A retention rate of 93% suggests its current clients are pretty happy.

However, in an increasingly competitive marketplace, its rivals are getting stronger. There are also signs that it has struggled to maintain its traditionally excellent customer service during lockdowns. For example, in November it experienced technical issues as its website saw a spike of traffic after positive news on the vaccine.

Hargreaves Lansdown Pricing, Charges & Fees

As the market has become busier and new, low-cost players entered the scene, Hargreaves Lansdown has moved to make its prices more competitive. However, it remains one of the more expensive trading and investing platforms out there.

It charges an annual fee of 0.45% for the first £250,000 invested and 0.25% for investments from £250,000 to £1million. Investments of more than a million are charged as 0.1% with no annual fee on values over £2million.

Its standard share dealing fee of £11.95 is higher than competitors such as AJ Bell and Interactive Investor which charge £9.95 and £7.99 respectively. However, HL lowers its fees as trading volumes increase. If you trade more than 10 or 20 times in a month, you’ll pay £8.95 or £5.95 respectively. It encourages regular use and becomes more affordable, the more active you are on the platform. However, if you then have a quiet month’s trading, you will lose these benefits.

Hargreaves Lansdown is also vulnerable against smaller, agile low-cost online trading platforms such as Trading 212 or Freetrade which offer zero commission. They regularly compare their own low costs against HL’s £11.95 share dealing fee in their marketing material.

Hargreaves Lansdown Share Dealing Account

Hargreaves Lansdown’s share and fund dealing accounts offer a flexible account allowing you to hold, buy or sell all your investments in one place. You can sign up quickly and get trading for just £25 per month. You can choose your own shares or check experts' share ideas and get going. Features such as Active Savings gives you more choice over providers and, theoretically, access to better rates.

Opening an account takes a few minutes. You’ll need a debit card and your national insurance number to sign up. They require your national insurance details because of new regulations to confirm your identity and nationality.
The account is intended to be suitable for investors of all levels and it comes with the backing of extensive free information and education as well as customer support. It has no annual fee for holding shares and ETFs and the £11.95 share dealing fee reduces if you trade more often.

The account is intended to be suitable for investors of all levels and it comes with the backing of extensive free information and education as well as customer support. It has no annual fee for holding shares and ETFs and the £11.95 share dealing fee reduces if you trade more often.

Compare Hargreaves Lansdown to other stockbrokers here

Hargreaves Lansdown Stocks & Shares ISA

Hargreaves Lansdown allows you to choose between a selection of readymade ISAs or to choose your investments yourself. A money back guarantee promises to refund your annual fund account charge if you’re not 100% satisfied after the first 12 months. If using one of their ready-made portfolios, you can choose between funds targeted for growth and those for income. They will invest your money for you according to your goals.

The Hargreaves Lansdown Stocks and Shares ISA allows you to grow your money for the future. However, although it is intended as a long-term option you can withdraw your money at any time. You can also spread your allowance over various other ISA products within the HL umbrella.

You can start an ISA with as little as £100 or a monthly direct debit of £25 and top up your account at any time. The platform allows you to choose from a selection of ready-made portfolios or choose your own. It has an annual fee of 0.45% although this changes as you invest more. Costs will also depend on the underlying investments as there are other additional charges which may come into force.

A stocks and shares ISA allows you to put a group of investment into one basket wrapped around an ISA product. This tax efficient approach means you can invest up to £20,000 in this tax year with any gains being sheltered from capital gains or income tax. You have until the end of each tax year to invest it or you will lose this allowance. Tax rules change from year to year so there is no way of knowing how they will be treated in the future.

Compare Investment ISAs.

There is no specific advertised interest rate on a Hargreaves Lansdown stocks and shares ISA because stocks and shares ISAs do not work in this way.

Here is everything you need to know about stocks and shares ISAs.

Hargreaves Lansdown Pensions

If you’re planning to start a pension or are closing in on retirement age and want to better understand your options, Hargreaves Lansdown offers a range of self-invested personal pensions products (SIPPs). You can start with a bank transfer or move existing pensions over. You can choose between having your pension managed or taking a more active role in your investments. Using the HL app, you can track your investments any time you like from your mobile device.

Options include:

  • Self-invested personal pension (SIPP): A low-cost way to take control of your pensions.
  • Junior SIPP: Start your child off on the right foot by signing up to a junior pension.
  • Compare annuities: A service which allows you to compare annuities.
  • Pension drawdown: Allows you to control how income is taken from your pension which can affect tax and retirement planning.

You can invest in a wide range of UK and overseas shares with no set up charge and an annual fee of 0.45%. This reduces the more you have in your account. For funds over £250,000 it drops to 0.25. Once over £1million it falls to 0.1% and there is no charge on values over £2 million.

Compare private pensions here.

Compare personal pensions here.

Hargreaves Lansdown SIPP

The Hargreaves Lansdown self-invested personal pension (SIPP) allows you to take complete control of your pension fund. You can set the parameters of what your pension fund invests in, control how much you contribute and when. You’ll still get the same tax advantages as a traditional pension and the government will still give you a boost of 45%.

Hargreaves Lansdown allows you to set up SIPP or transfer other pensions into it. You can either select from one of their ready-made portfolios, pick your own investment or pay a financial advisor to do it for you. Meanwhile you’ll have support on offer from their experts in Bristol when you need it together with plenty of research and educational content. You can control the pension from your desktop computer or via the mobile app.

It costs nothing to set up and you’ll pay an annual fee of 0.45%. This is relatively expensive compare to others, but it does reduce as your pension pot increases.

Compare the HL SIPP offering to other SIPP providers here.

Here is everything you need to know about investing in a SIPP.

Hargreaves Lansdown Junior SIPP

Hargreaves Lansdown’s Junior SIPP is a chance to provide for your children’s future. It provides the same service as their regular SIPP but starts a little earlier. A parent or guardian will need to manage the account. You can choose from a number of ready-made pension funds, control your own investments or have a financial advisor produce one for you.

You can invest up to £3,600 gross per year for any child with up to 20% tax relief. Gifts to a child’s junior SIPP are also often covered by inheritance tax exemptions so may not be included as part of your estate for IHT purposes. The annual charge for holding a SIPP is 0.45%. This is relatively high compared major competitors but reduces as funds rise.

Hargreaves Lansdown Active Savings

Hargreaves Lansdown launched Active savings in 2018 and the service gives them a real point of difference. The Active Savings service promises to quickly and easily pair savers with the best savings rates from any institution. Instead of having to shop around and move money from one savings account to another in order to maximise interest earnings, you will be able to apply with one click through the Active Savings interface to save into an account with a better rate.

The Active Saving Account is a cash service which makes this process much easier. You can access to the best buy fixed term savings products through a single application. You can quickly choose to send your savings to your desired account at a click of a button. The account is automatically opened and your money deposited. After the end of the fixed term, you can then move your money to a new account at the click of a button.

No other provider offers this service and Hargreaves Lansdown plans to extend it to other products such as ISAs

HL does not charge you directly but does charge its banking partners who are offering this service. As a result, the same or similar products on offer from a bank may have different rates through the Active Savings product.

Hargreaves Lansdown Junior ISA

The junior ISA allows you to start saving for your children’s future. You can choose from a range of funds or from one of their ready-made portfolios. These can be managed depending on your specific investment goals. You can invest from as little as £25 per month or a £100 lump sum.

There are no charges for setting up a Hargreaves Lansdown junior ISA or for buying or selling funds. They do charge an annual fee of 0.45% to hold funds and shares and £5.95 per deal with online share dealing. You can invest in a wide range of investments including funds, shares and bonds. You can also hold cash so you can secure the tax break now and choose investments later.
The rules for Junior ISAs are slightly different than seniors. They have to be opened by a parent or guardian and your child can only access it once they turn 18, after which they can continue saving or withdraw the money. It’s a good way to get a head start with university or perhaps put down towards a deposit for a house. There is a maximum limit on Junior ISA investments of up to £9,000 in a single tax year.

Here is everything you need to know about junior ISAs.

Compare all Junior ISA accounts here

Hargreaves Lansdown IPOs

Initial public offerings (IPOs) are raised when a company decides to float on the stock market. It’s a signal that the business is moving forward to the next stage and is often an opportunity to get involved with an exciting company with a bright future. Hargreaves Lansdown offers the chance to get involved with IPOs alongside other investments. You can access the latest share offers through their website. If you have heard of one which they have not covered for any reason, you can also let them know about it.

You can apply through their ISAs, Junior ISAs, SIPP or their regular share and trading account. It is free to apply for an IPO through HL. You will pay a dealing charge when you sell and an annual charge of 0.45%

Hargreaves Lansdown International Investing

You can buy UK, US and international shares in stock markets across Europe. It’s quick, simple and as easy to buy a stock on the Vienna stock exchange as it is on the NASDAQ. You do not need to purchase the shares in the native currency they will automatically change currencies for you. However, before you start dealing with international shares you will need to complete a W-8BEN form which entitles you to tax savings on any dividends you earn.

It is a relatively comprehensive service, but restricts you to shares across Europe, UK, US and Canadian markets. There will be a trading fee when you sell shares and you will have to pay an FX charge on international share purchases. This is 1% for the first £5,000 shares, 0.75% for the next £5,000, 0.5% for the next £10,000 and 0.25% over £25,000.

Hargreaves Lansdown Markets (Spread Betting & CFDs)

Spread betting and contracts for differences are some of the riskier products you can buy. They are suitable for people who understand the market and are capable of accepting a high degree of risk. To access them you have to go to the HL Markets website managed by their partner IG Markets.

CFDs are leveraged products which means they only require you to deposit a small amount of the total cost of the position. It allows you to take more aggressive options but can also enhance your risk. As they remind you at the top of the page 68% of investors lose money through this option.

You can also choose to go direct with IG Markets. They require a lower minimum deposit of £0 compared to $200 and offer better support including a live chat.

Hargreaves Lansdown Special Offers

From time to time, Hargreaves Lansdown runs special offers and promotions. They also provide lower fees for larger fund amounts which encourages more trading activity. For those interested in upgrading to their financial advice service there is a £200 discount available as a thank you for being an existing customer. You can get in touch for a free initial consultation and you’ll only be charged once you decide to use the service through them.

In addition, they occasionally offer short term promotions such as cash back or bonuses for people who transfer products into HL.

You can find IPO prospectus for various investment types and IPO offerings to download via the Hargreaves Lansdown website.

Hargreaves Lansdown Master Portfolios

Master portfolios are an innovative way to build your confidence with investing. You can choose from five example portfolios which have been selected from their Wealth Shortlist by their analysts for their long-term performance. You can then tinker with the portfolios by adjusting the percentage invested in each fun according to your own preferences.

The funds are professionally managed but responsibility lies with you. They serve as a starting point from where you can develop your own approach to investment.

You can select from several different styles including, high risk adventurous funds, medium risk and low risk, or conservative, funds. You may also choose products which provide long term investments for children or are designed to provide you with an income.

Hargreaves Lansdown Portfolio Plus Review

Sometimes it’s best to leave things to the experts. That’s what their portfolio plus service offers it allows you have their experts choose your investments for you. It’s a good blend of simplicity as well as performance as you’re benefitting directly from the skills and experience of their investments.

You can choose whether you’re looking to invest for income or growth, and the level of risk you’re comfortable with. In total, there are six ready-made portfolios all of which are managed on a daily basis. It’s a straightforward, effective option and comes with no extra cost. You’ll pay the regular management fee of £11.95 when you sell and their service charges starting from 0.45%. You can track investments online or via their app.

The service is relatively expensive compared to other brokers. However, you’re paying for the reputation and experience of their managers, plus the high diversity of the underlying funds.

Hargreaves Lansdown’s “The Wealth Shortlist”

The Wealth Shortlist is a specially selected group of funds chosen by Hargreaves Lansdown’s analysts for their performance and diversity. They are intended to serve as a starting block to help users develop their own balanced portfolios. To use it you will need a certain amount of knowledge about how to choose funds which fit your investment goals and maintain a diverse mi of investments. For those who are less experienced there are ready made portfolios available.

It is important to remember with these shortlists that this is not investment advice. They have been selected to fit a number of objectives and risk profiles. Some will offer high risk/high return while others will offer a safer option.

There are no additional fees over the regular options. Charges involve a management fee for selling stocks and an annual fee starting from 0.45%. This reduces on a sliding scale once funds reach higher values.

Hargreaves Lansdown Simply Invest

A quick, simple and hassle-free way to invest with a tracker fund. These track the movements of a fund and offer one of the simpler approaches to investment around. They have chosen the Legal & General UK index fund which spreads investment across 650 UK companies of varying sizes. This is one of the lowest cost ways to invest and requires relatively little intervention from you. It comes with a fund charge of 0.04% and the annual charge of 0.45%. For an investment of £1,000, you would be paying just £4.90.

This is a longer form of investment. Hargreaves Lansdown recommends holding money in the fund for at least five years to benefit from the long-term gains of the stock market. This is a good service for first time investors. However, the annual fee makes it a little more expensive than some of the newer players on the scene who offer zero commission for first time investors.

Hargreaves Lansdown Foreign Exchange Currency Service

If you’re already a client of Hargreaves Lansdown, you can take advantage of their currency transfer fees. These offer highly competitive rates in more than 40 currencies in over 120 countries. It offers competitive rates and no transfer fees making it a more attractive option than you’ll get with many other currency services. However, it struggles to beat low-cost currency transfer services such as Wise.

However, you do benefit from a host of features such as:

  • Forward contracts: which allow you to fix an exchange rate for future transfers. This can be particularly useful at a time of volatile foreign currency exchange. This gives you the benefit of knowing how much you’ll pay although you may miss out if rates rise. Find out more about currency forwards here.
  • Monthly transfers: Automate regular currency transfers.
  • Exchange rate alerts: If you have a specific exchange rate in mind, this option can provide alerts when one becomes available.
  • Market monitoring: They can also monitor the markets and alert you if a specific exchange rate becomes available.

Compare currency brokers.

Hargreaves Lansdown ETFs

Exchange-traded funds (ETFs) and Exchange Traded Commodities (ETC) are funds traded on a stock exchange which track the performance of an index such as the FTSE 100. They replicate performance by holding every investment within that index in proportion. Alternatively, partially replicated ETFs only hold some of the investments in the index.

Hargreaves Lansdown offers a huge range of ETFs tailored to various investment strategies. They are free to hold with charges coming through a sliding annual charge depending on how many trades you make. For those making less than ten trades it will be £11.95, between 10 and 19 trades it is £8.95 and for more than 20 trades it is £5.95.

Hargreaves Lansdown offer some of the more expensive fees of comparable providers. However, they rely on their dominant market position, reputation and expertise to attract those looking for a premium service. However, there is a growing number of low-cost trading options such as Freetrade, or Trading 212 which offer zero commission. They are more limited than HL but offer an extremely accessible and low-cost way to get started.

Compare all ETF accounts here

Hargreaves Lansdown Funds

Funds offer an easy way to invest. With more than 3000 to choose from there should be something to suit any investment objective. Each of these are tailored according to a different risk profile, goal. Which one you choose will depend on what you want to achieve. There are some which offer income, others that help you develop a retirement income. These, they say, have pre-set filters which pay a monthly income and have shown a historic yield of more than 4%. They also have tracker funds that follow an established index.

When choosing your fund, you can use the Wealth Shortlist which is a collection of funds they have researched and chosen for their long-term performance. They also have ready-made funds which you can use as a starting block. You’ll pay no fee for setting up the fund and a sliding scale of annual fees depending on how much is in your fund.

You can choose funds from Hargreaves Lansdown from options like; managed funds, sustainable funds, recommended funds and more.

These run as follows:

  • £0 to £25000: 0.45%
  • £250,000 to £1million: 0.25%
  • Between £1million and £2million: 0.1%.
  • Over £2million: No charge

Other providers have lower fees, but HL rests on its reputation, scale and expertise.

Hargreaves Lansdown Ethical Investing Funds

Responsible investing has grown in popularity in recent years. As it moves more into the mainstream, responsible investors are benefitting from more choice which makes it easier to achieve performance levels on a par, or better, than most other funds.

However, responsible investment comes in many forms. Some are passive and avoid investing in certain toxic industries such as oil and gas or weapons, while others are more active. These might involve supporting those companies which are making a positive contribution to society or are contributing towards Paris Climate Accord agreements.

Their wealth shortlist includes some of the leading responsible investment funds on the market. These differ in terms of performance and approach, so it’s a good idea to research each one to check it aligns with your beliefs. As with their other funds, Hargreaves Lansdown charges annual fees on a scale depending on the size of your fund.

Here is everything you need to know about ESG investing

Compare ethical investing accounts here.

 

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