Hargreaves Lansdown Blue logo on white background

The Hargreaves Lansdown ISA and LISA come from the UK’s largest investment platform for private investors. However, as we all know, size isn’t everything. We unpick Hargreaves Lansdown to see if bigger really is better and ultimately, does it provide value for money?

Who is Hargreaves Lansdown?

Hargreaves Lansdown (HL) is the biggest “investment supermarket” in the UK.

  • £85 billion of investor’s money
  • Over 1 million clients
  • One of the most well-known investment platforms in the UK
  • Established for 35 years

What is an “Investment Supermarket”? Put simply, Hargreaves Lansdown offers private investors access to the greatest range of stocks and funds available. By comparison, the Vanguard Investor platform only offers Vanguard funds.

What does Hargreaves Lansdown offer?

Hargreaves Lansdown offers a wide range of products for you to pick from, including:

Whilst these are the generally popular options, and of these ISAs are most favoured, other types of accounts are available.

HL offers clients access to one of the widest ranges of investment vehicles and funds on the market.

Once you’ve opened an account with HL, you’ll be able to invest in companies, funds, investment trusts, bonds and gilts, depending on the account you have chosen.

Whilst most LISAs on the market are cash only, Hargreaves Lansdown is one of the few providers to offer a Stocks and Shares LISA.

Want more? Check out our s Ultimate Guide to ISAs

Hargreaves Lansdown Platform

The platform has been designed to be simple and easy to use.

Hargreaves Lansdown account page on webpage and mobile app

The account section shows all of your accounts on one page, with a nice summary of how each account is performing and then lets you drill into each account for more detail.

Within each account, you can perform various actions such as buy or sell stocks and shares, set up monthly investments or add additional money.

The platform is one of the easiest to use and deals with most admin functions within a few clicks.

Hargreaves Lansdown Mobile App

Hargreaves Lansdown mobile app
Not my account unfortunately!

The mobile app allows you to see all your accounts in one place, as well as buy and sell stocks and shares.

Hargreaves Lansdown has invested time and money into making the app simple an easy to use. Fingerprint bio-metrics are used to login and you can jump into the detail for any of your accounts easily.

The only downside, however, is the ease in which that ‘I’ll just check how my investments are doing‘ itch can be scratched from your phone. Constantly logging in is a bad habit to get in to and doesn’t really help the ‘set and forget’ mentality needed for successful long-term investing.

Research tools

If you are unsure of what to invest in or are looking for inspiration, then Hargreaves Lansdown offers a range of news, tools and calculators.

You can also subscribe to email updates with general industry insight.

At Eat.Sleep.Money we are big fans of passive index trackers and personally invest in the LifeStrategy series of funds from Vanguard. If you are looking for a diversified all in one fund to invest in then this article may interest you.

Customer Service

Hargreaves Lansdown has one of the best reputations for customer service in the game. Whilst the platform itself is easy to use with tonnes of information, if you do need to call them you’ll get through to the team based in Bristol. Calls on average are answered within 21 seconds according to the website.

As an account holder with HL, I have personally only had to call once or twice over the past few years and my call has always been answered quickly and dealt with efficiently.

Hargreaves Lansdown holds a plethora of impressive awards, including Best Direct SIPP Provider and Best Stocks & Shares LISA Provider in 2018.

Platform Charges

HL has a tiered charging system based on the amount invested in each account. For most investors, a charge of 0.45% is applied to each account with a value under £250,000. The more coin you put their way, the less the fees become.

Value of Funds£0-250k£250k-1 million1-2 million2 million +
Charge0.45%0.25%0.1%no charge

Hargreaves Lansdown ISA

The Stocks and Shares ISA allows you to invest in individual companies or funds, all within a tax-free wrapper. Hargreaves Lansdown compares this to a shopping basket (the ISA) where you get to choose the investments you put in your basket (the stocks & funds).

The ISA can be opened in a matter of minutes (using this form) and you can set up regular monthly direct debits.

Hargreaves Lansdown LISA

Hargreaves Lansdown is one of the few providers to offer a Stocks & Shares LISA. If you are unsure of what a LISA is and if it is suitable for you here is an article with all you need to know.

Other providers only offer a Cash LISA, where the return on your money is at a fixed percentage. A Hargreaves Lansdown Stocks & Shares LISA, on the other hand, allows you to invest in companies, stocks and funds as you see fit.

Again, the whole thing can be set up incredibly quickly (using this form).

AJ Bell and Nutmeg also provide a Stocks & Shares LISA

Is a Lifetime ISA (LISA) better for you than a pension or an ISA? Plus all you need to know about Lifetime ISAs.

Withdrawing from a LISA before 60 will incur a 25% penalty.

Hargreaves Lansdown ISA & LISA Charges

Working out how much your ISA will cost in fees can be complex, depending on what you plan to purchase. We’ve summarised the main charges below but we recommend reading the Hargreaves Lansdown website for yourself.

Hargreaves Lansdown charges an account fee that is levied for using their service. Charges are deducted monthly from your account. This is based on the value of your investments at the end of the month.

The rate varies depending on how much you have invested and there are different rates for funds and shares:

If you have invested in any funds, the value of the funds will be charged as below:

Value of Funds£0-250k£250k-1 million1-2 million2 million +
Charge0.45%0.25%0.1%no charge

If you have invested in any shares, the value of the shares will be charged as below:

Value of sharesless than £10kGreater than 10k
Charge 0.45%capped @ £45 per year

Shares include UK and overseas shares, investment trusts, exchange-traded funds (ETFs), gilts and bonds.

If you have invested in funds and shares the two figures will need to be added together to get your annual charge. We are not finished yet!

There are no charges for buying and selling funds. However, there is a charge for buying and selling shares, which varies depending on how many deals you make within the month:

Number of deals in previous monthCharge per deal
0-9£11.95
10-19£8.95
20+£5.95

The Government also charges stamp duty when buying shares, which is excluded from the table above but for UK shares the rate is currently 0.5%.

Additional charges also apply if you deal via the phone and not on the mobile app or website.

More info from can be found on Hargreaves Lansdown’s website here

If you are looking at a low-cost ISA and have under £60k to invest, you might like our Vanguard review here.

Are there cheaper alternatives?

AJ Bell offers a LISA with an annual charge of 0.25% per share or fund. That’s almost 50% lower than Hargreaves Lansdown.

However, when you look a little closer, they have a dealing fee of £1.50 per fund and a similar charge as Hargreaves Landsdown for buying and selling shares. So, while the headline rate looks better, it actually depends on how many funds you plan to buy each month.

For example, if you invest monthly and purchase one fund per month, you would rack up £18 worth of dealing fees. Buy 2 funds per month for diversification and those charges go up to £36. If you were investing £50 into two separate funds you would be incurring 3% of charges straight off the bat! You would not have with Hargreaves Lansdown. But, then there is the higher platform fee.

Our advice is to work out what you plan to invest in and how frequently so you can work out which platform is suitable for you. Personal finance is actually personal to you.

Hargreaves Lansdown vs the competition

£10,000 Portfolio example buying 12 funds per year

LISA ProviderHLAJ BellNutmeg
Platform Charge£45£25£75
Dealing fees£0£18£0
Total cost£45£43£75

£50,000 Portfolio example buying 12 funds per year

LISA ProviderHLAJ BellNutmeg
Platform Charge£225£125£375
Dealing fees£0£18£0
Total cost£225£143£375

(These examples use Nutmeg’s fully managed portfolio charges. There is a fixed allocation portfolio that offers a platform fee of 0.45%, which would look the same as Hargreaves Lansdown).

In these examples, HL is competitive at the smaller end of the portfolio value (depending on your definition of ‘smaller’) but come in around the middle of the pack as this increases.

And that’s worth bearing in mind because as soon as your portfolio starts growing, a lower platform fee can make a significant difference.

ISA & LISA Transfers

You can transfer your existing Cash ISA or Stocks & Shares ISA to Hargreaves Lansdown for free. HL only offers a Stocks & Shares ISA, however, so Cash ISA transfers get converted.

There are two options when transferring a Stocks & Shares ISA:

  1. Transfer as is: Keep your current investments and migrate them to HL. Crucially, this keeps you in the market. During the transfer, you will NOT be able to buy or sell investments. Hargreaves Lansdown advises this can take six weeks. However, in our experience, they have gone through in around 2 weeks.
  2. Sell Investments, then transfer: If you choose this option, HL will instruct your current provider to sell all your investments and transfer the cash. But you will be out of the market during the transfer. Once transferred though, you can invest how you choose.

Click here for the official page on transferring ISAs to HL.

If you want to transfer out of Hargreaves Lansdown, then there is a fee of £25 plus £25 per stock.

More info from can be found on Hargreaves Lansdown’s website here

Hargreaves Lansdown is the largest platform in the UK for good reason – it takes the faff out of investing and makes it easy. But, this convenience comes at a price the bigger your investment becomes. If you don’t mind putting in a bit more research, time and effort then there are cheaper alternatives out there, which could just make all the difference as your wealth grows.

EatSleepMoney.co.uk does not offer financial advice and is intended for reference/information only. Remember, you should always carry out your own research and/or take specific professional advice before choosing any financial products or services or undertaking any business or financial venture. Investments may go up as well as down and you may get back less than you put in.

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Hargreaves Lansdown ISA & LISA Review

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