With Hargreaves Lansdown being the largest and Interactive Investor the second largest investment platform in the UK, it is common for investors to be weighing up which is the better option out of the two. In this article, we look at the individual features that make each platform so popular and help you decide which may suit your specific investment needs.
We've also included details of reader offers, including a promotion from Interactive Investor where new customers can get between £100 and £3,000 cashback* when they transfer more than £10,000 into an Interactive Investor SIPP before 30th September 2023. Terms apply. Capital at risk.
Interactive Investor vs Hargreaves Lansdown - which is better?
|Interactive Investor||Hargreaves Lansdown|
Pension trading account
Quick Start funds
|Invest in funds and shares
Foreign currency exchange
Spread betting and CFDs
|Products||ISA, General Investment Account, Junior ISA, SIPP
Fund and share account
ISA, General Investment Account, Lifetime ISA, Junior ISA, SIPP, Junior SIPP
|Minimum investment||£25 per month||£1,000 for HL Portfolio+
£1 for a fund and share account
£100 for an ISA or SIPP (or a regular £25 per month)
|Platform fees||£4.99 per month (Investor essentials)
£11.99 per month (Investor)
£12.99 per month (Pension Builder)
£19.99 per month (Super Investor)
Additional underlying fund charges
|£0-£250,000 - 0.45%
£250,000-£1m - 0.25%
£1m-£2m - 0.10%
Over £2m - 0%
Additional underlying fund charges
No charge for Junior ISAs
No charge for holding shares
|Customer reviews (Trustpilot)||4.7/5.0||4.1/5.0|
|Money to the Masses offer||Between £100 and £3,000 cashback* Terms apply. Capital at risk||n/a|
Interactive Investor vs Hargreaves Lansdown - services
Both Interactive Investor and Hargreaves Lansdown have a good range of services available to investors, although Hargreaves Lansdown is arguably more targeted specifically at beginners, with a useful range of guides, as well as its Wealth Shortlist and Ready-Made portfolios. Having said that, Interactive Investor also offers model portfolios, as well as the rarer option of a Company Account, which allows limited companies to trade.
Interactive Investor vs Hargreaves - products
Hargreaves Lansdown has a full range of savings and investment products available, including both cash and stocks and shares ISAs, GIAs, LISAs, JISAs, SIPPs and Junior SIPPs. It also has a fund and share account, as well as a variety of savings accounts. For Interactive Investor, meanwhile, while it has a trading account, ISA, GIA, JISA and SIPP, it doesn't offer a Junior SIPP or LISA.
If you are specifically interested in a LISA, you may find our article "Lifetime ISAs explained - are they the best way to save?" useful.
Interactive Investor vs Hargreaves Lansdown - minimum investment
Interactive Investor doesn't have a minimum lump-sum investment requirement in order to open an account, although if you want to make a regular monthly payment, you need to put in at least £25 per month. In contrast, Hargreaves Lansdown has different minimum investments depending on the type of account, ranging from £1 for a fund and share account to £100 for ISAs and SIPPs (or £25 per month).
Interactive Investor vs Hargreaves Lansdown - fees
Interactive Investor and Hargreaves Lansdown structure their fees differently from one another, with Interactive Investor charging a flat monthly fee, starting at £4.99, while Hargreaves Lansdown charges a percentage of the amount invested. For Hargreaves Lansdown, this operates on a sliding scale, starting at 0.45% for investments up to £250,000 and going to 0.10% for investment pots between £1m-£2m (there is no charge on amounts over £2m). Another big difference between the two is Hargreaves Lansdown doesn't charge for switches for unit trusts, while Interactive Investor does (£3.99), although one free trade per month is included if investors choose the £11.99 plan. Those signed up to the £19.99 service plan with Interactive Investor get 2 free trades per month.
In order to decide between the two, you need to consider whether you are likely to be making a large enough investment to warrant the minimum £4.99 charge with Interactive Investor and if you are likely to be making a lot of changes to your portfolio, which will result in further charges.
Interactive Investor vs Hargreaves Lansdown - customer reviews
According to independent customer review site Trustpilot, both Interactive Investor and Hargreaves Lansdown are highly rated by the majority of reviewers. Indeed, Interactive Investor scored 4.7 out of 5.0 stars based on around 23,000 reviews, while Hargreaves Lansdown scored 4.1 out of 5.0 based on approximately 8,300 reviews. Of those, 81% of Interactive Investor's reviewers categorised the company as "Excellent", with 59% of Hargreaves Lansdown's reviewers stating the same. They both generally scored well for customer service, as well as the level of choice available.
Summary: Interactive Investor vs Hargreaves Lansdown
The key differences between Interactive Investor* and Hargreaves Lansdown* boil down to investment choice, usability and cost. If you are looking for the widest possible range of investment types, including more esoteric options, Interactive Investor will probably be more appealing. However, Hargreaves Lansdown has built an impressive reputation for its customer service and the support it gives to individuals on their investment journeys, including a wealth of research tools and guides. Where cost is a key consideration, you are likely to pay less in fees and charges with Hargreaves Lansdown for portfolios up to around £50,000, while Interactive Investor is well suited to those with larger pots who aren't looking to make many changes to their portfolios over the course of the average year.
If a link has an * beside it this means that it is an affiliated link. If you go via the link Money to the Masses may receive a small fee which helps keep Money to the Masses free to use. But as you can clearly see this has in no way influenced this independent and balanced review of the product. The following link can be used if you do not wish to help Money to the Masses - Hargreaves Lansdown, Interactive Investor