Hargreaves Lansdown Review
Hargreaves Lansdown provides an extremely thorough and comprehensive selection of investment options and very high-quality research (some of which is created in-house) alongside a user-friendly mobile app. However, pricing is expensive, the charting tools are average and educational resources are only in line with industry standards.
Hargreaves Lansdown pros & cons
- Options to invest across 20 international exchanges in shares, funds, bonds and investment trusts.
- Excellent in-house research on stocks and funds.
- ISA and SIPP accounts are available, alongside ready-made portfolios, in-house funds and advisory services.
- On the expensive side, particularly when compared to FinecoBank, Freetrade, Trading 212 and Capital.com.
- A slightly disappointing charting package, particularly given fees that are on the upper end of the industry spectrum.
- Educational offerings are merely in line with industry standards; again, a little disappointing given the premium fees.
|Offering of Investments|
|Commissions & Fees|
|Platform & Tools|
Commissions & fees
Like many of its competitors, Hargreaves Lansdown has a tiered fee structure that is based on the number of deals placed during the previous calendar month.
For funds, there are no direct trading fees, although there are annual management charges. Hargreaves Lansdown charges some of the highest per-trade fees and custody fees in our industry survey. Regardless of trading stocks or funds, investors are paying a premium. Traders must ask themselves whether or not the high fees justify the excellent research that Hargreaves provides customers.
Per-trade fees: There are per-trade fees for shares, corporate bonds, gilts, and ETFs. The higher-end price is £11.95 per deal, but this falls to as low as £5.95 per deal if 20 or more share deals have been placed in the previous month. Hargreaves Lansdown does not charge for account inactivity. Note: The trading fees outlined are for online trading; phone fees are 1% (£20 minimum, £50 maximum).
Annual fees: Annual management charges are as follows:
- Funds held from £0 - £250,000: 0.45% per annum.
- £250,000 - £1 million: 0.25%.
- £1 million - £2 million: 0.10%.
- Over £2 million: no further charge.
For example, if you have an account with £10,000, you will pay £45 in management charges. For fund and share accounts, there is no custody fee for holding shares. For stocks and shares ISA and SIPP accounts, there is a 0.45% charge (capped at £45 per year). Hargreaves is one of the only brokers to impose custody fees on shares.
Again, these charges are at the higher end compared to other brokers in our survey. Other fees may also be applicable.
Market data: By default, customers receive free, delayed market data for available exchanges. Real-time streaming market data is free for the London Stock Exchange (must activate in account), which is a bonus feature, as most U.K. brokers charge monthly fees for real-time streaming data.
Scenario pricing: When calculating annual share dealing costs, trading frequency and account balance are the two most important factors to consider. Assuming a £30,000 portfolio in traditional, taxable share dealing account, here are five scenarios of how much Hargreaves Lansdown would cost depending on trade frequency:
- 5 deals all year, 5 trades = £59.75 (£11.95 per trade)
- 1 deal per month, 12 trades = £143.4 (£11.95 per trade)
- 3 deals per month, 36 trades = £430.2 (£11.95 per trade)
- 10 deals per month, 120 trades = £1404 (£8.95 - £11.95 per trade)
- 3 fund trades per year, 3 trades = £135 (.45% x £30,000)
Hargreaves Lansdown pricing summary:
|Share Trading: 0-9 Deals/ Month||£11.95|
|Share Trading: 10-19 Deals/ Month||£8.95|
|Share Trading: 20+ Deals/ Month||£5.95|
|Annual Custody Fee: £0 - £250,000||0.45%|
|Annual Custody Fee: £250K-£500K||0.25%|
|Annual Custody Fee: £500,000 - £1m||0.25%|
|Annual Custody Fee: £1m and over||0.10%|
|ETFs - Fee||£11.95|
|Investment Trusts - Fee||£11.95|
|Telephone Dealing Fee||1% £20 minimum|
Mobile trading apps
Hargreaves Lansdown offers its HL mobile app for iPhone, iPad, and Android. The app is robust, offering traders a simple, user-friendly, but still effective way to trade on the go while maintaining most of the broker’s fundamental research.
The most recent in-house research is available for each stock, which given Hargreaves’ enviable offering is truly a bonus for the on-the-go investor who wants a high level of research. It is possible to view company announcements, financials and dividends alongside company news and Hargreaves Lansdown’s own views.
The app also allows traders to view a mobile chart in full-screen mode, a significant feature for technical analysts, and one that is only offered elsewhere by Saxo Markets and IG Group. (See our 2021 picks for Best Mobile Trading Apps.)
Other platforms & tools
Hargreaves Lansdown offers an average trading platform (web-based) and an easy-to-use mobile app. While most traders will be able to get the job done on the Hargreaves web platform, it doesn’t provide the next-level charting offered by Interactive Brokers, Saxo Markets, or IG.
Charting: As far as stock charts go, Hargreaves does a decent job, falling in line with the industry average. Traders have access to 20 charting indicators and can easily add an overlay of an index or other asset. On the plus side, charts can display events, such as broker forecasts, financial results, or dividends, a feature which is not prevalent amongst other brokers in our U.K. survey. However, there is only one drawing tool available, which is very limiting for any analysis, and you cannot open a chart in a separate window to make it bigger. The inability to save studies for an individual chart is also frustrating.
Hargreaves Lansdown trading tools:
|Desktop Platform (Windows)||No|
|Charting - Indicators / Studies||20|
|Charting - Drawing Tools||1|
|Charting - Notes||No|
|Charting - Display Corporate Events||Yes|
|Charting - Stock Overlays||Yes|
|Charting - Index Overlays||Yes|
The whole research offering from Hargreaves Lansdown is extremely robust and, it has to be said, impressive, including an enviable wealth of fundamental company data. Standard quote pages have research tabs for charts and performance, news, HL research, broker forecasts, director deals, financials, dividends, company info, and costs.
The broker forecasts and HL research tabs provide analyst ratings and in-house commentary on specific shares, a great plus if you are looking for more in-depth research commentary. The amount of analyst commentary for shares and funds on the Wealth Shortlist is unmatched in our survey. One downside to an otherwise impressive research offering is the removal of broker forecasts data for stocks and ETFs.
The Wealth Shortlist: This list highlights funds that Hargreaves Lansdown considers the best across the leading investment sectors. The aim here is to help investors choose funds in which the fund manager has complete confidence. Each fund in the list features in-house commentary, which is a strong point of attraction for fund investors. Fund objectives include income and/or growth.
HL Research: The HL Research tab contains in-house commentaries, typically discussing recent news and how it affects the share or fund price. In our testing we have found that no other broker provides as much in-house research and commentary as Hargreaves Lansdown.
Market news: Hargreaves Lansdown offers a variety of in-house and third-party market news and stock market reports. The news covers everything from individual companies to director dealings and corporate actions. In addition to market news, Hargreaves Lansdown displays lists of top-traded stocks and a financial diary that tracks important company dates.
Editor's Choice: Users can sign up to receive a weekly Editor's Choice email, which provides commentary on the economy, markets, and investment ideas and financial planning tips. The email is a quick way to get a high-level update of current market events.
No screener: Unlike most brokers, Hargreaves Lansdown does not offer a stock screener.
Hargreaves Lansdown research:
|Research - Shares||No|
|Research - CFDs||No|
|Research - Funds||Yes|
|Fund Research - Research Reports||Yes|
|Research - ETFs||Yes|
|Research - Bonds||Yes|
|Portfolio Allocation Breakdown||Yes|
Offering of investments
Hargreaves Lansdown offers investing in shares, ETFs, bonds, investment trusts, and over 3,000 funds. Shares trading is available on 20 international exchanges. Hargreaves Lansdown offers standard ISA/SIPP accounts, as well as share dealing accounts.
Hargreaves Lansdown is one of a select few U.K. brokers to offer adviser services in addition to standard share dealing.
Portfolio+: Portfolio+ comprises six pre-built portfolios that invest in multiple assets such as bonds and shares across countries, regions, and sectors.
HL Funds: Lastly, Hargreaves Lansdown offers HL Multi-Manager Funds and HL Select Funds. Each of the HL Multi-Manager Funds, nominated by the HL investment team, look to provide broad exposure to a whole sector (high income, U.K. growth, etc.) with a single investment. HL Select Funds are three concentrated portfolios of shares chosen and managed by Hargreaves Lansdown managers.
Hargreaves Lansdown offering:
|Bonds - Corporate||Yes|
|Bonds - Government (Gilts)||Yes|
Overall, Hargreaves Lansdown’s educational guides are of good quality and lay a solid foundation of educational resources to build upon going forward. Beyond the firm’s respectable research platform, several guides and calculators offer educational material. Clients can learn about general topics such as ISAs, SIPPS, share selection, and pensions.
There are several short educational videos to help new investors get started. These videos are informative and illustrative, and we would like to see more of them in the future.
Hargreaves Lansdown education:
|Has Education - Share Trading||Yes|
|Has Education - Funds||Yes|
|Has Education - Retirement||Yes|
|Client Webinars (Archived)||No|
Hargreaves Lansdown is an extremely well-rounded share dealing brokerage. The company offers excellent in-house research, a variety of market research tools, and a simple and straightforward mobile app.
Ultimately, casual investors have to ask themselves whether the research available for shares and funds is enough to justify paying the higher commissions and management fees.
About Hargreaves Lansdown
Bristol-based Hargreaves Lansdown has a 35-year history of helping U.K. investors with investment decisions and execution. With more than £135 billion under management and with over 1.5 million clients, Hargreaves Lansdown can be viewed as a market leader by many measures. The company continues to maintain a 100% U.K. presence and is listed on the FTSE 100 under the stock symbol "HL".
For the 2021 StockBrokers.com U.K. Review, we assessed, rated, and ranked 11 U.K. share dealing platforms over a 10-week time period. Each broker was exhaustively tested on all available platforms and graded on 53 different variables. In total, over 17,000 words of research were produced.
Our rigorous data validation process yields an error rate of less than .001% each year, providing site visitors with quality data they can trust. Our team.
About the Editor
Carolyn Kimball is managing editor for Reink Media and the lead editor for the StockBrokers.com Annual Review. Carolyn has more than 20 years of writing and editing experience at major media outlets including NerdWallet, the Los Angeles Times and the San Jose Mercury News. She specializes in coverage of personal financial products and services, wielding her editing skills to clarify complex (some might say befuddling) topics to help consumers make informed decisions about their money.
About the Author
Steve Miley With 30 years of experience in institutional financial markets, Steve has won multiple awards from Technical Analyst Magazine, including "Best Independent Fixed Income" and "Best FX Research." In addition to his work with StockBrokers.com, Steve is the founder of The Market Chartist, where he provides market research for institutional clients; and is editor-in-chief for FXExplained.co.uk.