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Hargreaves Lansdown investment platform review

We analyse the charges levied by Hargreaves Lansdown and ask whether the fund supermarket provides good value for investors

In this article
What is Hargreaves Lansdown? What accounts and services does Hargreaves Lansdown offer? Is Hargreaves Lansdown good or bad? What do customers say about Hargreaves Lansdown? What are Hargreaves Lansdown's charges?
Who is Hargreaves Lansdown good for? Who is Hargreaves Lansdown expensive for? What is the Hargreaves Lansdown Wealth 50? Get top money-saving tips from Which?

What is Hargreaves Lansdown?

Hargreaves Lansdown is the biggest fund supermarket in the UK, with more than 1 million customers and £86bn worth of their money.

Founded in 1981, Hargreaves Lansdown has grown to become a FTSE 100 company, making it one of the largest listed firms in the UK.

While it doesn't offer the cheapest service on the market, it has built a reputation for first-class customer service, and informative research and information about investments. But is this reputation justified?

What accounts and services does Hargreaves Lansdown offer?

The information below gives an at-glance view of the key things that the accounts and services Hargreaves Lansdown offers. 

Elements marked with a  are offered by Hargreaves Lansdown those marked with a  are not. 

 

 Advisory services

 

Advisory services allow you to access professional investment advice.

 

 Annuities

 

An annuity is an insurance product which allows you to swap your pension savings for a guaranteed regular income that will last for the rest of your life.

 General investment account

 

A general investment account that can hold different types of investments but doesn’t give tax-free benefits like pensions and Isas.

 

 Income drawdown 

 

Income drawdown allows you to take money out of your pension to live on in retirement.

 

 Junior Isa

 

A junior Isa is a tax-free savings account for under 18s.

 

✓ Lifetime Isa

 

A lifetime Isa is a tax-free savings or investment account designed to help people aged 18-39 buy their first home or save for retirement.

 

 Savings accounts

 

A savings account is somewhere you can put your money so it can grow in value.

 

 Sipps

 

A Sipp is a pension where you have complete control over the investments you put your savings into.

 

 Stocks and shares Isa

 

A stocks and shares Isa is a tax-free account that allows you to put your money in a range of investments.

 

✘ Banking services

 

Banking services allow you to operate bank accounts, make transfers and make payments.

Is Hargreaves Lansdown good or bad?

To get an idea of how good or bad Hargreaves Lansdown is, we asked its customers.

Which?'s rating for customer satisfaction is based on feedback from real customers. The score is made up of a customer's overall satisfaction with the brand, and how likely they are to recommend that brand.

Which? members can exclusively read the results of our unique customer satisfaction survey.

Members can log in to read our analysis. If you're not already a Which? member, you can take a one month trial to Which? Money for £1 to get instant access to all our reviews and results.

Aspect of service Star rating
Online tools Logged out padlock
Customer Service Logged out padlock
Investment information Logged out padlock
Investment options Logged out padlock
Value for money Logged out padlock

What do customers say about Hargreaves Lansdown?

We’ve spoken to real-life investors who use Hargreaves Lansdown and this is what some of them had to say:

  • 'The most efficient and responsive customer service I've found from any company, in any industry.'
  • 'They offer reasonably fair charges, functionality and a reliable service, marred by slightly over-enthusiastic marketing and a tendency towards hype.'
  • 'So far our relationship has been very satisfactory in all aspects. We're now concerned because of the far larger fees we'll be charged in future compared with other brokers. We've to decide whether we still think the service is worth the extra.'

Check out our guide on the best and worst investment platforms to see how Hargreaves Lansdown compared.

What are Hargreaves Lansdown's charges?

Annual charges

  • Annual fund charge of 0.45% on funds up to £250,000;
  • 0.25% on the portion of funds between £250,000 and £1m
  • 0.1% on anything between £1m and £2m
  • 0% for anything above that.

Trading charges

  • £5.95 - £11.95 to trade shares and investment trusts online, depending on the frequency of trades
  • Free trading for unit trusts and open-ended investment company funds

We’ve estimated the cost of investing various sums in investment platforms over the course of a year in the table below. The costs assume you only buy funds (shares work out slightly cheaper with some companies), and make four purchases and four sales each year.

Amount invested Annual cost
£100 a month  £3
£5,000  £23
£10,000  £45
£25,000  £113
£50,000  £225
£100,000  £450
£250,000  £1,125
£500,000  £1,750

Source: Analysis by Which? Money correct as of April 2019

Read our comparison of investment platform charges to see how much investing with Hargreaves Lansdown costs for a range of portfolios.

If you're thinking of using Hargreaves Lansdown to take an income from your pension in a drawdown plan, read our comparison of pension drawdown charges

Who is Hargreaves Lansdown good for?

If you're happy to pay for a premium service, Hargreaves Lansdown offers solid core services with bells and whistles that are appreciated by its clients.

For those with smaller portfolios, Hargreaves Lansdown could cost you more than its cheaper rivals, but this might be a relatively small premium if you really value the service.

Who is Hargreaves Lansdown expensive for?

If you have a larger portfolio, Hargreaves Lansdown could prove costly. Its fees are calculated as a percentage of your portfolio value, so you could end up paying thousands of pounds a year more than broker charging a fixed fee in pounds and pence.

However, it's fairly competitive when it comes to share trading. 

What is the Hargreaves Lansdown Wealth 50?

The Hargreaves Lansdown Wealth 50  is a list of 50 funds selected by the HL research team.

It replaces the older Wealth 150 and Wealth 150+ lists which both contain active and passive funds.

While Wealth 50 aims to offer a simpler and more focused list of funds, a number of big names have now been excluded including; Jupiter European, BlackRock Gold & General, Fidelity Special Situations and Legal & General UK 100. 

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