In this Hargreaves Lansdown review, we will take a closer look at the various services the platform offers to UK investors.
Opening an ISA with Hargreaves Lansdown
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. I now have full control over my SIPP investments.
Find out more about opening a SIPP with Hargreaves Lansdown.
Master Portfolio Builder
In chapter four of Stop Saving Start Investing, I wrote 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 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 has some useful tools to analyse investments in their Portfolio Analysis section.
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 its own over the last five years…
X-Ray Analysis Tool
The X-Ray Analysis Tool is another useful feature. At any point in time, you can ‘look-through’ the funds you are invested in and see in more detail what stocks you own. I’ve included two screenshots (again from my SIPP) below…
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
- Good customer service (they 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.
- Mobile app.
- 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 fund units, which isn’t the case for some other investment platforms in the UK.
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.