Always remember that investments can go down as well as up in value, so you could get back less than you put in. A rule of thumb is to hang on to your investments for at least five years to give them the best chance of providing the returns you are hoping for.
Below, we compare two of the best investment platforms in the UK - Hargreaves Lansdown and Interactive Investor.
Hargreaves Lansdown gives investors access to thousands of investments and other services, including shares, funds, financial advice and savings, while Interactive Investor offers the choice of over 40,000 investments, including UK and overseas shares, funds and ETFs.
Use the tabs below to learn more about the similarities and differences between Hargreaves Lansdown and Interactive Investor.
Hargreaves Lansdown’s services are designed for investors who are happy making their own investment decisions. It is the UK’s largest investment platform for private investors, offering a broad range of investment tools and services, including ISAs, pensions, savings and investments, as well as a host of research and guidance tools to help you make informed investment decisions.
Its core mission is to build long-term client relationships by becoming a trusted partner and financial champion, ultimately helping you increase your financial security for the future.
If you choose to invest with Hargreaves Lansdown, you’ll gain access to thousands of funds, shares listed on the US, UK, European and Canadian stock exchanges, a range of ETFs, corporate and government bonds, and investment trusts.
Click here to learn more about Hargreaves Lansdown.
With Hargreaves Lansdown, you can invest as follows:
Hargreaves Lansdown Stocks and Shares ISA
Click here to learn more about the Hargreaves Lansdown Stocks and Shares ISA, including charges.
Hargreaves Lansdown Fund and Share Account
Click here for more information on the Hargreaves Lansdown Fund and Share Account, including charges.
Hargreaves Lansdown SIPP
Click here for more information on the Hargreaves Lansdown SIPP, including charges.
Hargreaves Lansdown Lifetime ISA (LISA)
Click here to learn more about the Hargreaves Lansdown Lifetime ISA, including charges.
Hargreaves Lansdown Junior ISA (JISA)
Click here to learn more about the Hargreaves Lansdown Junior ISA, including charges.
Hargreaves Lansdown Active Savings
Hargreaves Lansdown offers an Active Savings service, which saves you the hassle of searching around for the best savings rates and moving your money from one savings account to another to help boost the interest you earn.
Typically, this would involve lots of form filling and lengthy application processes, but with Hargreaves Lansdown, you’ll have access to a broad range of savings products from a range of banks and building societies and can move your money with the click of a button.
Click here to find out more about Hargreaves Lansdown's Active Savings.
Hargreaves Lansdown Master Portfolios
Hargreaves Lansdown’s Master Portfolios are ready-made investment portfolios designed to help kickstart your investment journey. They offer five example portfolios based on your aims and appetite for risk, but each portfolio can be fine-tuned to meet any specific goals you may have.
You can choose from a range of options, including Adventurous, Medium Risk, Conservative, Investing for Children or Investing for Income. Whilst each of the funds in the portfolios are professionally managed, it’s up to you to choose what portfolio best fits your needs. Investments can fall as well as rise in value so you could get back less than you put in.
Click here to learn more about Hargreaves Lansdown’s Master Portfolios, including charges.
Hargreaves Lansdown Financial Advice
Hargreaves Lansdown's Financial Advice service aims to help you gain confidence in your financial planning and decisions. You can make an initial advice query with an advisory help-desk consultant; then, you’ll be matched with an advisor best suited to your needs. They can help you with anything from meeting your goals and boosting your confidence to managing your income and expenditure after you retire. Please note there is a fee for financial advice.
Hargreaves Lansdown’s pension drawdown provides you with a flexible way to access your pension from the age of 55 (57 from 2028). You can usually receive up to 25% of your pension tax-free and upfront but can choose to invest the rest. The process usually starts with your pension provider and allows for greater control over your retirement planning and investment returns. But with drawdown, your pension value and income are not secure, so it could fall or even run out.
Hargreaves Lansdown allows you to compare annuities in one place so that you can maximise your retirement income for the future. You can receive a free annuity quote and begin buying annuities at any time from the age of 55 (57 from 2028) using the money in your pension. It offers a simple way to swap your pension savings for an income that is guaranteed for life. Annuities can’t normally be changed once set up, so it’s important to choose the right option for your circumstances.
When you open a Fund and Share Account with Hargreaves Lansdown, you'll get access to thousands of investment options, including UK and overseas shares, exchange-traded funds, investment trusts, bonds and more. You can also buy and sell shares through any Hargreaves Lansdown account such as an ISA or SIPP.
Opening an account takes just a few minutes and usually involves completing a short online form with your personal details. Once you have an account, trading is easy. Simply log in, select your shares, get a live price directly from the market and trade.
You can track your investments and create virtual portfolios with Hargreaves Lansdown's free watchlist feature, available on both website and mobile apps. Investments can fall as well as rise in value so you could get back less than you put in.
Click here to learn more about the Hargreaves Lansdown Fund and Share account.
With Hargreaves Lansdown, charges vary depending on how you choose to invest.
Platform Fee: 0.45% (on the first £250,000); 0.25% (on the value between £250,000 and £1m); 0.1% (on the value between £1m and £2m); No charge (on the value over £2m)
Dealing Fee: No charge
Shares (including UK and overseas shares, Investment Trusts, ETFs, VCTs, gilts and bonds):
Platform Fee: 0.45% (capped at £45 per year in the ISA and £200 per year in the SIPP) - free in the Fund and Share Account.
Dealing Fee (online): £11.95 per deal reducing to £8.95 if 10 - 19 deals the previous month and further reducing to £5.95 if 20+ deals the previous month
Regular Investments: £1.50 per deal
Other charges may apply - visit HL’s website for more information on the various charges.
With Hargreaves Lansdown, you are charged fees per account as opposed to the combined amount you have invested across the platform. For ISAs, SIPP and Fund accounts, this fee is 0.45% for investments up to £250,000 for funds.
Your fees decrease as your investments increase, and there are no charges on the portion of investments exceeding £2 million. For shares the charge is 0.45%, capped at £45 per year for ISAs and £200 per year for SIPPs. It’s free to hold shares in the HL Fund and Share Account.
Visit HL’s website for more information on the various charges when using Hargreaves Lansdown’s services.
Hargreaves Lansdown's wide range of investment services, financial advice and master portfolios means the platform is both beginner-friendly and suitable for the more advanced investor.
There are several resources for beginners to read and refer to before making important investment decisions, and a Financial Advice Service to help you kickstart your investment journey and boost your confidence when managing your finances.
Hargreaves Lansdown investors are also covered by the Financial Services Compensation Scheme (FSCS) protection, which means that your assets are protected up to £85,000 per person.
This means you can get your money back if Hargreaves Lansdown were to go bust. Keep in mind that the FSCS does not cover losses arising from the performance of any of your investments.
Yes, Hargreaves Lansdown is authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA). Have a look at its permissions on the FCA Register.
Offers vary - please check their website for details of any current offers.
Interactive Investor is the UK’s leading flat-fee investment platform, providing award-winning investment services and financial information since 1995.
Its key mission is to give DIY investors the tools and support they need to make informed investment decisions.
With Interactive Investor, you can open a range of investment accounts, including a Stocks and Shares ISA, General Trading Account, and Self Invested Personal Pension (SIPP).
If you choose to invest with Interactive Investor, you’ll gain access to the largest number of UK investment options in the market. You can invest in over 40,000 equities across the world's leading exchanges in multiple currencies, and the widest range of funds, investment trusts, and exchange-traded funds (ETFs).
For more information, visit Interactive Investor.
With Interactive Investor, you can invest as follows:
Stocks and Shares ISA
Click here to learn more about the Interactive Investor Stocks and Shares ISA.
Click here to learn more about the Interactive Investor Junior ISA.
Self-Invested Personal Pension (SIPP)
Special offer: Open a SIPP and pay no monthly fee for 6 months. Terms apply.
Click here for more information on the Interactive Investor SIPP.
Click here for more information on the Interactive Investor Trading Account.
Quick Start Funds
Quick Start Funds is designed to make investing easy through ready-made portfolios. You can choose from six competitively charged funds provided by investment firms Vanguard and BMO, depending on your risk appetite.
This includes three passively managed funds (Vanguard) that aim to return the market's performance over time, and three actively managed funds (BMO) that aim to deliver better returns than the market.
Click here to find out more about Quick Start Funds and what one might be right for you.
Interactive Investor has five model portfolios to help you reach your investment goals. This includes growth and income options, as well as an ethical portfolio.
As the names suggest, the growth portfolios focus on helping you grow your money over a more extended period of time, the income portfolios are designed for those looking to draw a regular income from their investments, and the ethical portfolio demonstrates how you can align your principles and values to your investments
Click here to learn more about Interactive Investor Model Portfolios.
Free Research Account
When you open a free research account with Interactive Investor, you gain access to additional insights, watchlists, a virtual portfolio and email updates.
Ethical Investing: ACE & ACE 40
For those who prefer to invest ethically, Interactive Investor have created three ethical investment styles called ‘ACE’. These represent ‘Avoid’, ‘Considers’ and ‘Embraces’ - each containing carefully selected funds that take into account strict environmental and social governance criteria.
Interactive Investor also offers a useful resource called ACE 40 - a list of over 140 ethical investment options to help you identify the environmentally and socially responsible funds, trusts and ETFs that best reflect your values.
An Interactive Investor Company Account gives you the option to trade in the name of a UK limited company. You can invest in funds, ETFs, investment trusts, and both UK and international equities.
Pension Trading Account
Use your Interactive Investor Pension Trading Account to buy a range of shares, funds, ETFs and investment trusts. You can set the account up to link with an existing SIPP or SSAS run by your preferred pension provider.
It can then be used to manage your pension, but your provider will handle any queries relating to paying contributions or updating your details as normal.
ii Super 60
The ii Super 60 is Interactive Investor’s rated list of quality investment options, sorted into asset groups and investment categories.
With a range of active and passive funds, ETFs and investment trusts, it’s a great tool to track the market environment and find exactly what assets are best suited to your investment needs.
When you sign up to an Interactive Investor trading account, you gain access to over 40,000 investments, including UK and overseas shares, funds, investment trusts, and ETFs. You can invest through an ISA, SIPP and more, with access to a free research account for additional insights.
The trading account offers a history of documents and transactions relating to your investments, to give you a clearer view of your personal investment history. There is also an option to create watchlists as part of a Virtual Portfolio so that you can track a portfolio of shares, ETFs, investment trusts and more.
In essence, the platform allows you to manage all of your investment needs in one place via the web, tablet or app.
Click here to learn more.
Interactive Investor has three subscription plans to choose from:
Investor Plan (£9.99 per month): All the basics. This plan gives you access to a trading account, ISA, and as many Junior ISAs as you have children. It also comes with one free trade (funds or shares), free regular investing, and for an extra £10, you can add a SIPP. Additional trades are £5.99 per trade.
Pension Builder (£12.99 per month): A simple, low-cost SIPP. This plan gives you access to a Self-Invested Personal Pension (SIPP) and the same full range of investment options as the Investor plan. The plan also comes with free regular investing, but there is no free trade. Trades are £5.99 per trade.
Super Investor (£19.99 per month): Lowest trading fees. This plan gives you access to a trading account, ISA, and as many Junior ISAs as you have children. It also comes with two free trades (funds or shares), free regular investing, and free Friends and Family (which allows you to invite others to invest through your plan without paying a monthly fee). Additional trades are £5.99 per trade, and for an extra £10, you can add a SIPP.
Regular Investing Service: No charge
Click here for a more detailed breakdown of rates and charges.
Interactive Investor offers a simple and transparent flat-fee that starts at £9.99 and increases depending on what additional features you wish to use. It doesn’t charge percentage-based fees like other investment platforms do, which means you can keep more of your investments as they grow. There are also no leaving or joining fees, making the process of moving your money quick and easy.
Click here for a more detailed breakdown of rates and charges.
Interactive Investor’s platform is designed to give DIY investors, including beginners and experts, the tools and support to make informed investment decisions.
It aims to provide useful financial information to help simplify the investment process and offers a wide range of investment options so that you can choose what’s best for you.
Interactive Investor offers its customers Financial Services Compensation Scheme (FSCS) protection, which means that your assets are protected up to £85,000 per person.
This means you can get your money back if Interactive Investor were to go bust. Keep in mind that the FSCS does not cover losses arising from the performance of any of your investments.
Yes, Interactive Investor is authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA). Have a look at their permissions on the FCA Register.
Every month, we'll send you The Plug - a curation of the best personal finance content in the UK. We share real-life stories, how-to guides, top personal finance news, popular community questions, and tips to help you stay on top of your money.