Hargreaves Lansdown Review (HL): The Waitrose Of The Investing World

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I always think of Hargreaves Lansdown as the Waitrose of the investing world. Yes, it may be a bit pricier sometimes, but I think it’s just a nicer, safer place to shop for stocks.

Is Hargreaves Lansdown good for investing?

Hargreaves Lansdown Review
Hargreaves Lansdown

Name: Hargreaves Lansdown

Description: Hargreaves Lansdown is one of the largest investment platforms in the UK. They offer investing, savings, ISAs and SIPP account to over 1.8 million clients with 142bn in assets under management. The company was founded by Peter Hargreaves and Stephen Lansdown in 1981 and is now listed on the London Stock Exchange.

Is Hargreaves Lansdown a good broker?

Yes, Hargreaves Lansdown is one of our best-rated stock brokers and investment platforms. HL offers access to a huge range of investment types, through a wide range of general and tax-efficient accounts and is suitable for almost all types of investors.

Pros

  • Wide range of investments
  • Most investment account types
  • Excellent research and analysis

Cons

  • There are cheaper options for fund investing
  • Limited portfolio hedging tools
  • Pricing
    (4)
  • Market Access
    (5)
  • Online Platform
    (5)
  • Customer Service
    (5)
  • Research & Analysis
    (5)
Overall
4.8
Comments Rating 3.72 (1304 reviews)

Richard’s Review

I’ve spoken to the founder of Hargreaves Lansdown, Peter Hargreaves a few times. First when I interviewed him over the phone and then a few follow-ups after that via email. I have to say that he’s to the point, detailed, charismatic and clearly has a huge amount of passion for the business.

Of course, Peter Hargreaves no longer runs the business, but for this review, I interviewed the then  CEO Chris Hill, but the mentality of HL doesn’t seem to have changed. Hargreaves Lansdown is still one of the best investment platforms out there. Its research, market data, and market range are unrivaled. There are cheaper “free stockbrokers” out there, but your choice of investment is limited, customer service is basically a chatbot and many are still raising funds and running at a loss. Sure people complain that HL can sometimes be expensive, but in finance, you get what you pay for.

Founded in 1981, Hargreaves Lansdown is one of the largest fund management and investment platforms in the UK with 1.8 million clients and £142bn 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. They also offer financial advice with a free initial consultation, research, webinars and guides to investment. The scale and scope of their offering mean they offer one of the widest range of choices for investors of all levels.

For those that are more risk averse HL Active Savings offers access to some of the highest-paying savings accounts.

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

In the Good Money Guide Awards, HL is a regular winner and in 2022 won the award for “best stockbroker”, “best investing app” and “best SIPP account”. 100% of those who took the 2022 survey said they used HL for longer-term investing, with only 33% saying they also made short-term speculative investments on the platform.

Hargreaves Lansdown Video Review

Watch as we test the Hargreaves Lansdown investing platform and app. In our video review and test we buy and sell some Hargreaves Lansdown shares (LON:HL) and demonstrate some of the stock broker’s features.

Hargreaves Lansdown Facts & Figures

⬜ Public Company✔️
👉 Number Active Clients1,800,000
💰 Minimum Deposit£1
💸 Client Funds£142 billion
📅 Founded1981
Account Costs
👉 Investment Account
0%
👉 SIPP
0.45%
👉 Stocks & Shares ISA
0.45%
👉 Junior ISA
0%
👉 Lifetime ISA
0%
Dealing Costs
👉 UK Shares
£11.95
👉 US Stocks
£11.95
👉 ETFs
£11.95
👉 Bonds
£11.95
👉 Funds£0

Hargreaves Lansdown FAQs

Yes, we rate Hargreaves Lansdown as one of the safest share dealing accounts in the UK because they are well established, listed on the London Stock Exchange, and regulated by the FCA. Hargreaves Lansdown is also a profitable company with millions of private and corporate customers.

As an FCA-regulated stock broker, if Hargreaves Lansdown were to go bust, client cash on account would be protected by the FSCS scheme. Client investments are held in nominee accounts on CREST and can be transferred to another FCA-regulated investment platform.

Yes, Hargreaves Lansdown is considered one of the more expensive trading apps, as they charge a commission per share deal as opposed to commission-free investing apps like Freetrade, CMC Invest or Dodl, where it is free. Hargreaves Lansdown is also very expensive for holding funds on account as there is no cap on their fund account charge. Whereas, AJ Bell fund fees are capped and Interactive Investor charges a flat monthly subscription.

Hargreaves Lansdown is a public company listed on the London Stock Exchange meaning anyone can buy shares. But only around 25% of HL shares are traded on the LSE as 75% of the company is still owned by the founders Peter Hargreaves, and Stephen Lansdown and employees. You can see the breakdown of Hargreaves Lansdown shareholders in our HL share price performance section.

Yes, Hargreaves Lansdown offers access to a huge range of UK-listed Government and corporate bonds that you can invest in to build an income-generating portfolio. We actually used Hargreaves Lansdown to demonstrate buying Retail Charity bonds when we reviewed them.

No, you cannot buy commodities directly on Hargreaves Lansdown directly, to do that you need a commodities broker. But, you can invest in commodities on HL through a commodity ETF which is listed on the stock exchange like the Legal & General Longer Dated All commodities UCITS ETF (CMFP).

No, you cannot buy fractional shares on Hargreaves Lansdown, you can only buy whole shares, ETFs and units of funds. If you want to invest in small slices of company shares or want to invest in monetary amounts rather than shares you can compare the best brokers for fractional shares investing here.

No, you cannot trade options on Hargreaves Lansdown. I view this as quite a significant disadvantage because options are a great way to hedge your long-term investment portfolio against potential short-term stock market falls. If you want to trade or invest with options you can compare the best options brokers here.

No, you cannot buy or invest in gold directly on Hargreaves Lansdown, to do that you need a gold trading platform. But, you can get exposure to gold and invest in a gold ETF that tracks the price of the gold and can be bought and sold on the Hargreaves Lansdown platform just like shares for example, SPDR Gold Trust, iShares Gold Trust or Aberdeen Standard Physical Gold Shares ETF.

No, you cannot short stocks or go short on the Hargreaves Lansdown platform. But if you think that the Hargreaves Lansdown share price will go down it is possible to short Hargreaves Lansdown shares with a short-selling broker using CFDs, options or financial spread betting. However, if you want to go short the overall stock market to hedge your portfolio held at Hargreaves Lansdown you can buy an inverse ETF (which goes up when the market goes down) like

Absolutely not! Hargreaves Lansdown is a traditional stock brokerage and is most suitable for those investing in the long term. Cryptocurrency is a very high-risk product and not apprapriate to hold alongside ISA or SIPP accounts. Having said that, the SEC has recently approved a Bitcoin ETF, which can be bought and sold on the stock market, so some UK investors may be able to buy cryptocurrency on HL if they pass the sophisticated investor threshold.

1,304 thoughts on “Hargreaves Lansdown Review (HL): The Waitrose Of The Investing World”

  1. GMG Awards Voter: [118255237495]
    • (5)
      Pricing
    • (3)
      Market Access
    • (4)
      Online Platform
    • (3)
      Customer Service
    • (4)
      Research & Analysis

    Pros

    • first one i joined

    Cons

    • more user friendly
  2. GMG Awards Voter: [118255046942]
    • (4)
      Pricing
    • (5)
      Market Access
    • (4)
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    Pros

    • Reliable service

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    • Reduce fees for trades
  3. GMG Awards Voter: [118254580563]
    • (4)
      Pricing
    • (5)
      Market Access
    • (5)
      Online Platform
    • (5)
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      Research & Analysis

    Pros

    • The ease of the website

    Cons

    • Give ability to create your own reports using (eg) Crystal Reports
  4. GMG Awards Voter: [118254115899]
    • (3)
      Pricing
    • (4)
      Market Access
    • (4)
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      Research & Analysis

    Pros

    • Being able to access all the time and deal at my convenience

    Cons

    • Lower fees
  5. GMG Awards Voter: [118254043309]
    • (4)
      Pricing
    • (4)
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    Pros

    • Nothing in particular

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    • Provide more analysis about companies.
  6. GMG Awards Voter: [118253936333]
    • (4)
      Pricing
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    Pros

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  7. GMG Awards Voter: [118253935148]
    • (4)
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      Research & Analysis

    Pros

    • Good platform & app

    Cons

    • More phone support
  8. GMG Awards Voter: [118253931548]
    • (4)
      Pricing
    • (5)
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    Pros

    • Reliability

    Cons

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  9. GMG Awards Voter: [118253900534]
    • (3)
      Pricing
    • (4)
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    • (4)
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      Research & Analysis

    Pros

    • Ease of use

    Cons

    • reintroduce bare trust accounts for children
  10. GMG Awards Voter: [118253888368]
    • (4)
      Pricing
    • (3)
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    Pros

    • Ease of use

    Cons

    • Divest from Fossil Fuel backing companies
  11. GMG Awards Voter: [118253632379]
    • (4)
      Pricing
    • (5)
      Market Access
    • (4)
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    Pros

    • Good range of easy-to-use facilities

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    • Portfolio and Watchlist management capabilities
  12. GMG Awards Voter: [118253584213]
    • (4)
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    Pros

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