My Favourite Online Investment Platform
I can only recommend what I use myself because I know the platform inside out. I’ve used Hargreaves Lansdown for many years for all my investing, and I’m very impressed with how they operate.
On this page, I’ll provide you with my Hargreaves Lansdown review, and show you some of their coolest features that can help with your investing.
Opening an ISA with Hargeaves Lansdown
As I explain in my book, investing through an ISA (Investment Savings Account) is like wrapping all your investments up in a sheet of ‘tax proof wrapping paper’. Regardless of how large your investments grow within the wrapper, you will never be taxed.
This is a good deal, and Hargreaves make investing through an ISA very easy to do. They offer a wide range of investments and have a relatively low fee (0.45 % of your total ISA investment each year) for using the service.
Find out more about opening an ISA with Hargreaves Lansdown.
Opening a SIPP with Hargreaves Lansdown
I’ve worked a few different jobs in my career so far, and each time my employer provided me with some kind of pension. Each time I started a new job, I let Hargreaves Lansdown know and they consolidated my different pensions into one place. It’s all pretty straight forward. I now have full control over which funds I have in my SIPP.
Find out more about opening a SIPP with Hargreaves Lansdown.
Master Portfolio Builder
In chapter four of my book, I talk about the ‘Fund of Funds Investment Strategy’ (or ‘FOF’ for short). A FOF is your own fund made up of other funds. For the FOF strategy, you can invest in three to five different funds, rather than pick your own stocks. Each fund is made up of different types of stocks.
Through the Master Portfolio Builder, Hargreaves Lansdown chooses your funds for you. You just need to enter:
- Your preferred investment style: for example, ‘adventurous,’ ‘conservative’ or ‘regular income’:
- How much you want to invest each month.
Wealth 150 Funds list
The Wealth 150+ is made of up what HL considers to be the best funds around.
Per their website, Wealth 150+ funds “offer the ultimate combination of first-class performance potential and low management charges. In many cases, these low charges are exclusive to HL clients.”
You can read HL’s research on these funds and then hand pick between three and five funds for your FOF portfolio.
Portfolio Analysis Tools
HL have some excellent tools to analyse how your investments are doing in their ‘Portfolio Analysis section’, which you can access once you have an account with them.
I use this tool for two things:
- To compare the past performance of the different funds I’m invested in
- To perform an X-Ray analysis on my funds to see in more detail what stocks i’m invested in
Fund Performance Comparison Tool
Below is a screenshot from the Portfolio Analysis tool using my own SIPP with HL. As you can see, it compares how well each fund has done on it’s own over the last five years…
X-Ray Analysis Tool
The X-Ray Analysis Tool has got to be one of my favourite features of the HL platform. At any point in time, I can ‘look-through’ the funds I’m invested in and see in more detail what stocks I own. I’ve included two screenshots (again from my SIPP) below…
So there you have it! In the interest of full disclosure, I’ve chosen these funds to suit my situation. As always, please do your own due diligence when choosing your investments.
Other HL Features
Here’s a list of some other appealing features of HL:
- Excellent customer service (they are open on Saturdays as well as weekdays)
- Quality investment research, which they provide by email and on their website
- Intuitive and easy to use investment platform
- Low cost ISA and SIPP services
- Great app for mobile investing
- Free fund dealing service
Hargreaves Lansdown Summary
HL has won a number of awards for its services and is easily one of the best all in one investment platforms in the UK. This is due mostly to its wide selection of investments, quality research and easy to use interface.
Due to its large size, HL is able to get discounted rates from Fund Managers. HL is then able to pass these discounts on to its clients. It’s also free to buy and sell funds, which isn’t the case for some other investment platforms. With this in mind, it’s fair to say that HL is the UK’s most cost efficient fund investing platform.
Trading fees for share dealing on the other hand are about the same, if not low, against most other providers. So, if you’re a share investor driven purely by low trading costs then there may be other platforms that offer a cheaper service. But again, cheapest does not mean best.
The range of shares that can you can buy and sell through HL is second to none. And it is more for this reason than for low share dealing costs that I’d also recommend HL to share investors.