Vanguard vs Hargreaves Lansdown: How do their key features compare?

3 min Read Published: 09 Feb 2024

Vanguard versus Hargreaves LansdownVanguard Investor and Hargreaves Lansdown* are two of the most popular investment platforms in the UK. In this article, we compare what they offer to investors.

If you are trying to decide which is better to invest your money with, we examine the key features, including the products and services that Vanguard and Hargreaves Lansdown offer.

Vanguard vs Hargreaves Lansdown - which is better?

Vanguard Hargreaves Lansdown 
Services LifeStrategy funds

Target Retirement funds

Personal financial advice for retirement planning

Invest in funds and shares

Wealth Shortlist

Ready-made portfolios

Foreign currency exchange

Spread betting and CFDs

Products ISA, General Investment Account, Junior ISA, SIPP

Managed Stocks & Shares ISA

Active Savings

Cash ISA

Fund and share account

ISA, General Investment Account, Lifetime ISA, Junior ISA, SIPP, Junior SIPP

Minimum investment £500 or £100 monthly investment £100 for an ISA or SIPP (or a regular £25 per month)

£1 for a fund and share account

Platform fees 0.15% annual account fee (capped at £375 for accounts over £250,000)

Managed Stocks & Shares ISA - 0.45% which includes a 0.15% annual account fee and a 0.30% management fee (capped at £1,125 per year)

£0-£250,000 - 0.45%

£250,000-£1m - 0.25%

£1m-£2m - 0.10%

Over £2m - 0%

No charge for Junior ISAs

Customer reviews (Trustpilot) 4.1/5.0 4.1/5.0

Vanguard vs Hargreaves Lansdown - services

Vanguard Investor is principally a way for investors to access Vanguard funds. As such, it has a choice of "build-your-own" portfolios or its popular LifeStrategy range. While it also has options for retirement planning, including its Target Retirement funds, as well as some guides and market commentary, it has a more pared back offering than many of the other platforms.

Hargreaves Lansdown, in contrast, is the largest investment platform in the UK and is characterised by the amount of choice it offers to customers, with a wide range of products and services for beginners through to seasoned investors. It facilitates direct investments in funds and shares, has model ready-made options and also has foreign currency exchange. This is against the backdrop of it being a financial advisory firm, with a wealth of research tools and resources.

Vanguard vs Hargreaves Lansdown - products

Hargreaves Lansdown has a wider array of products available than Vanguard. While both platforms offer stocks and shares ISAs, GIAs, JISAs and SIPPs, Hargreaves Lansdown also has savings accounts, a cash ISA, a fund and share account, a Junior SIPP and a LISA. Indeed, even Vanguard's SIPP is relatively new, having been launched in February 2020.

It is worth remembering too that the products in the Vanguard range can only hold Vanguard funds within them, unlike Hargreaves Lansdown's, which can be populated by funds from many different providers.

Vanguard vs Hargreaves Lansdown - minimum investment

For those looking to try one of the platforms without tying up a large sum of money at the outset, Hargreaves Lansdown has a minimum investment of just £1 for its fund and shares account, or £100 for its ISA or SIPP, although this goes down to £25 if it is a monthly investment. Vanguard, meanwhile, requires a minimum investment of £500 as a lump sum, or £100 for a monthly investment.

Vanguard vs Hargreaves Lansdown - fees

Vanguard has exceptionally low fees compared with other investment platforms, charging a platform fee of just 0.15%, which is capped at £375 for investors with accounts worth more than £250,000. This is hard to beat and, indeed, a third of the cost of Hargreaves Lansdown for pots up to £250,000. However, while this is undoubtedly attractive to investors, some will see a difference in the value for money offered by Hargreaves Lansdown, which, although it charges more, offers a wider range of investments, as well as a wealth of tools and services. Another reason to consider Hargreaves Lansdown is that it recently scrapped all fees for its Junior ISA.

For those looking to solely invest in Vanguard funds, using Vanguard Investor makes sense if you are investing up to £96,000. If you are investing more than that amount, it can actually work out cheaper to invest with Interactive Investor*, which we explain in more detail in our article "Vanguard Investor UK review - is it the best in the market?"

Vanguard vs Hargreaves Lansdown - customer reviews

Both Vanguard and Hargreaves Lansdown perform well on independent customer review site Trustpilot, both securing rankings of 4.1 out of 5.0, respectively. 61% of respondents classified Vanguard as "Excellent", with 59% of reviewers putting Hargreaves Lansdown into that category. Hargreaves Lansdown received praise for its efficiency and good customer service, while Vanguard got plaudits for its low fees.

Summary - Vanguard vs Hargreaves Lansdown

If you are specifically interested in investing in passive funds, Vanguard's ever-popular LifeStrategy range may well be appealing. If this is the case, if you're investing less than £96,000, investing through Vanguard Investor will work out to be the cheapest option. If, however, you are looking to invest more widely and value choice, Hargreaves Lansdown is an attractive option, with a great variety of products and services.

For more in depth analysis of each platform, read our Vanguard review and Hargreaves Lansdown review.



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