Hargreaves Lansdown Fund and Share Account Review

When investing, your capital is at risk. The value of your investments can go down as well as up and you may get back less than you put in.

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The content of this article is provided for information purposes only and is not intended to be, nor does it constitute, any form of personal advice. Investments in a currency other than sterling are exposed to currency exchange risk. Currency exchange rates are constantly changing, which may affect the value of the investment in sterling terms. You could lose money in sterling even if the stock price rises in the currency of origin. Stocks listed on overseas exchanges may be subject to additional dealing and exchange rate charges, and may have other tax implications, and may not provide the same, or any, regulatory protection as in the UK.

Our bottom line

Hargreaves Lansdown hails itself “the UK’s No.1 investment platform for private investors” and with more than a million clients it’s hard to dispute that. Its online share-dealing account offers a wealth of services, including share dealing, tax-free ISAs and self-invested personal pensions (SIPPs).

I have a dealing account with Hargreaves myself, and I like it. It is clear and functional and easy-to-use. Hargreaves hasn’t felt the need to plague customers with regular fancy upgrades either – for which I give thanks.

The HL website offers a wealth of investor data and exclusive investor analysis and opinion too. Keep in mind though that this is not personal advice and the information is designed for investors who are happy making their own investment decisions. If you’re ever unsure about the suitability of an investment for your own circumstances, please seek independent financial advice.

HL’s Fund and Share account may not be the cheapest for everyone, though.

Top features of a Hargreaves Lansdown share-dealing account

The Hargreaves Lansdown Share Dealing account does exactly what you would expect it to do, allowing you to trade stocks and funds in real time, in a clear and straightforward way.

You can choose from thousands of UK and overseas shares, investment funds and trusts, exchange-traded funds (ETFs), venture capital trusts (VCTs), gilts and bonds, with no limit to the amount you invest.

The HL website also offers a sheer wealth of investment information and expert opinion, to help guide your choice, plus handy extras such as stop loss and limit orders. Do be mindful that any investment information and expert opinion provided on HL’s website is not personal advice and is designed for investors who are happy making their own investment decisions. If you’re unsure about the suitability of an investment for your circumstances, you’ll want to seek out your own independent financial advice.

Hargreaves Lansdowns platform

Hargreaves Lansdown keeps things simple. While some sites are overly complicated and burden users with tricksy upgrades, Hargreaves’ platform has clear, bold graphics that have barely changed since I started using it more than a decade ago (that is not a complaint). I know where I am with this site.

Users can customise the way they display their holdings, in the order they want. You can also create your own watchlist to keep tags on the stocks you are thinking of buying or run a virtual portfolio. The platform is easy to navigate, helping you find your way around its wide range of investment extras.

Hargreaves Lansdown research offerings

Hargreaves Lansdown has the size and scale to produce heaps of its own original research, particularly on FTSE 100 stocks and its Wealth Shortlist portfolio of funds. 

What I also like is that it gives you access to third-party analyst views, including broker tips from ShareCast, to help with your stock selection. Users get a free weekly email containing the latest views and opinion on shares and the market.

Customers can also opt into three daily stock market updates, plus a weekly summary of its latest share insight and investment trust research updates. You can select which stock updates interest you most, to avoid being bombarded.

There’s a huge amount of other information including press round-up, company news, directors’ dealings, sector review, small cap news, IPOs and bond launches, and a financial diary. For most investors, it should be more than enough to keep you busy, but remember, these resources are not intended to be used as an alternative to obtaining independent financial advice if you’re unsure about the suitability of an investment for your circumstances.

Customer service and support

You can open an account online in minutes with your debit card and National Insurance number. After that, you can then view and deal your investments 24/7 online or with the Hargreaves app at www.hl.co.uk/app.

If you’d prefer to speak to a person, then you can call its Bristol-based help desk, which has a range of numbers depending on your query. In my experience, this helpline has been professional and helpful.

Is a Hargreaves Lansdown share dealing account right for you?

This is a good mainstream stocks-and-shares provider that is hard to fault. I’ve seen an analysis that suggests it isn’t the cheapest, but that doesn’t seem to put people off, because of the wealth of research and quality of support Hargreaves Lansdown offers. Always compare for your own trading patterns, though. You might get cheaper dealing costs but remember to compare all fees, including quarterly or inactivity charges.

Remember, whenever you invest — be it directly in shares, ETFs, bonds, tracker funds or managed funds, your capital is put at risk and you may not get back all the money you originally invested. So if you’re ever unsure about the suitability of an investment for your circumstances, please consider obtaining appropriate independent financial advice prior to investing.

Alternatives to consider

If you’re interested in platforms that are great value for frequent and regular investors, and have some excellent research materials for beginners, you should also take a look at: