Finding the best investment platform that meet all your trading needs can be challenging as a trader.
Hargreaves Lansdown and interactive investor are among the most popular investment platforms in the UK.
Due to their immense popularity, it’s evident that most traders and investors face the dilemma of choosing between them.
I’ve compiled a detailed comparison of the two, giving you my expert opinion on which is best.
Table of Contents
Introduction to Hargreaves Lansdown
Hargreaves Lansdown is an established investment and financial service business with over £100 billion in assets.
The company started in 1981 and has gained immense accolades from top providers of individual savings accounts (ISAs).
The company has cemented its presence as a leading service provider in the investment and financial service industry.
The platform has received several awards in the industry:
- Share Dealing Customer Satisfaction Winner (Finder Awards 2023)
- Best Online Stock Broker (Personal Finance Awards 2022 and 2023)
- Best Investment App (Boring Money Best Buys 2023)
- Best Buy ISA (Boring Money Best Buys 2023)
- Best Buy Lifetime ISA (Boring Money Best Buys 2023)
- Best Buy Pension (Boring Money Best Buys 2023)
Even though the platform has slightly higher fees than its competitors, it offers its clients immense reliability and customer support.
It is a well-established investment platform with an expansive catalogue of investment vehicles.
Read my complete Hargreaves Lansdown review.
Introduction to interactive investor
Interactive investor boasts over 400,000 customers.
The investment platform has won several awards over the years due to its impeccable performance in the industry.
Interactive investor runs several lucrative offers to attract new clients, including £50 Free Trading Credit and interactive investor SIPP Offer. It has operated since 1995 and provides customers with detailed trading and investment tools and resources.
Even though the platform doesn’t offer investment advice, it has capitalised on being an investment execution service provider.
Some of the awards garnered by interactive investor include:
- ADVFN Best Online Stockbroker 2023
- ADVFN Best Stockbroker for International Dealing 2023
- Good Money Guide Best Investment Account 2023
- Investors Chronicle and Financial Times Celebration of Investment Awards 2023 (Best Low-cost SIPP, Shareholder Rights Champion, and Investment Platform of the Year)
Read my complete interactive investor review.
Hargreaves Lansdown offers a myriad of investment and finance services to its clients.
The available products are pensions, savings, and investments.
Products currently provided by this investment platform include:
Stocks & Shares ISAs
Investors enjoy tax-free growth and withdrawals, with UK investors enjoying zero tax on incomes from these accounts.
The minimum investment required for the account is £25 per month, paid through Direct Debit or a £100 lump sum.
Clients can make annual contributions of up to £20,000 per year.
Fund & Share Account
The Fund and Share Account is a low-cost dealing and flexible investment account, providing investors with a simplified trading process.
The minimum investment is £25 per month through Direct Debit or £1.
This account has no maximum investment, and investors enjoy tax-free personal savings allowance, capital gains, dividend allowance, and tax allowance.
UK and EEA investors (investment clubs, trusts, charities and individuals) can open the Fund and Shares Account.
Self-Invested Personal Pension (SIPP)
The SIPP account is a flexible pension plan providing investors with more control over their investments.
Investors under the age of 75 years get 45% tax relief on their contributions, with Scottish customers getting as much as 47% tax relief.
Apart from being tax-free on growth, the account features zero tax on investment returns (interest payments and dividends).
Investors can withdraw up to 25% of their investment tax-free.
The minimum investment on the account is £25 (monthly), contributed through Direct Debit or a £100 lump sum.
Investors can make contributions of up to £40,000 per year. Only UK residents are eligible to open the SIPP account.
The Lifetime ISA account features a 25% government bonus on every contribution and tax-free growth.
Withdrawals are tax-free when one is 60 or purchasing their first home.
Other withdrawals from the account attract a 25% penalty.
The minimum monthly investment is £25, paid through Direct Debit or a lump sum contribution of £100.
The maximum contribution for the Lifetime ISA account is £4,000 per year until age 50. The grants also contribute towards the investor’s £20,000 ISA allowance.
The Active Savings account is a fixed saving option for investors.
The online version gives customers access to various fixed savings options banks and building societies provide.
Investors enjoy up to £1,000 tax-free under the personal savings allowance option.
But generally, the account is taxed as a savings account.
The minimum investment for this account is £1. However, there is no maximum investment. Savings products will have individual limits.
Junior SIPP Account
The self-invested personal pension is ideal for investors who want to save for their kids and help them invest in the future.
Parents and guardians can open this account if their child is a UK resident.
The account features a 20% boost from the government, tax-free growth and zero tax on investment income (interest payments and dividends).
Withdrawals of up to 25% of investment are tax-free; withdrawals higher than that are taxed as income.
The maximum contribution for this account is £3,600 per year (plus £720 tax relief).
The minimum contribution is a lump sum of £100 or a monthly payment of £25 through Direct Debit.
Junior Stocks & Shares ISAs
The Junior ISA account is a tax-efficient and flexible investment account for children who are below 18 years.
Parents and guardians can open the account for their children if the child is a UK resident.
When opening an account, children born from 1st September 2002 to 2nd January 2011 must transfer their Child Trust Fund to a Junior ISA.
The account has tax-free growth, no UK income tax and tax-free withdrawals from 18.
The minimum monthly contribution is £25 via Direct Debit or a lump sum of £100. The maximum contribution is £9,000 (in the 2023/2024 tax year).
Hargreaves Lansdown can adjust the maximum annual contribution based on various factors.
The Cash ISA account offers a simplified way of saving cash on the Hargreaves Lansdown platform.
The account has zero UK tax on withdrawals, interest, and free withdrawals from 18.
The minimum investment is £1 but is subject to changes depending on the saving products the investor selects from the Cash ISA account. However, the maximum annual investment is £20,000.
UK residents are eligible to open the Cash ISA account; investors who are over 18 years can open the HL Cash ISA.
Investors aged 16 can open a Cash ISA account with one of the providers.
Apart from the above primary products, Hargreaves Lansdown also provides its clients with Spread Betting, Venture Capitalist Trusts, and CFD Accounts.
These additional products are more suitable for advanced traders. Traders can access over 4000 funds and are eligible for impressive discounts on the above products.
The funds are handled by experienced Hargreaves Lansdown Fund Managers.
Clients can create a diversified interment portfolio using the various products.
Interactive investor offers various investment products to its customers. Investors have access to the following investment products when they sign up with interactive investor:
Interactive investor has an ongoing offer for new customers who open a trading account. The platform awards them £50 free trading credit.
The trading account features low and flat trading fees. Investors have access to more than 40,000 UK and global stocks, with 24/7 access to their investments via the mobile application.
The platform provides impartial information from analysts. Investors can utilise award-winning newsletters, selected funds, and ready-made portfolios.
Interactive investor offers customers a Joint Trading Account.
The account has all the benefits and features of a trading account, with the main difference being shared ownership.
Both parties can access the account using different passwords, with every party having a private view of the account.
Stock & Shares ISA
The interactive investor ISA account is tax efficient and allows investors to pick their preferred investment options.
Customers can buy individual shares or invest in funds.
They are charged zero tax on incomes and capital gains from their investments.
Interactive investor currently offers investors who open an ISA account before the end of July 2023; the platform awards them £50 free trading credit.
The maximum contribution every tax year is £20,000. Contributions higher than the maximum limit attract a government tax.
Individuals need to be UK residents to open an interactive investor ISA account. If you have an existing ISA account, you can quickly transfer it to interactive investor.
The plans on the ISA account are the Investor Essentials plan (£4.99 per month) and the Investor plan (£9.99 per month).
Interactive investor gives parents and guardians a tax-efficient method of investing in their children’s future.
Parents and guardians open the account for children who are below 18 years. They also take responsibility for managing the child’s funds and making contributions.
However, the child can access the account and funds when they turn 18. The maximum annual contribution for the account is £9,000, and there’s no tax on the investment returns.
Parents and guardians can transfer any existing junior ISA and CTF accounts to the interactive investor Junior ISA account.
The interactive investor SIPP account allows the investor to pick their preferred pension type and where it will be invested.
The platform provides novice investors with Quick-start Funds to help them make more informed pension investment decisions.
On the other hand, experienced investors can pick their preferred investment options from the range of funds and shares.
Customers can also combine their other pension plans into a single SIPP account for easy management of pension plans.
Interactive investor offers flexible retirement options for customers when they are 55 years old.
New customers get the £12.99 a month Pension Builder plan when they open a SIPP account.
The minimum contribution is £25 per month, with zero trading fees. The platform offers free withdrawals for account holders.
Interactive investor gives investors a golden opportunity to hold all their cash in one place.
They pick the best place to get market-leading interest from over 25 UK banks and financial institutions.
Flagstone provides the Cash Savings service. It is not linked to the customer’s ii SIPP, ISA or Trading Accounts.
Interactive investor currently has the following interest rates under the Cash Savings account.
Additionally, the platform offers bonds, stocks, ETFs, and funds. But the bonds and funds are only available in the UK market.
Customers can access the European, Australian, North American, and Asian stock exchanges.
However, access to the Asian and North American stock exchanges is limited to some stocks and companies.
Hargreaves Lansdown offers its customers an expansive catalogue of investment products compared to interactive investor.
Investment products like LISA and Junior SIPP aren’t available on the interactive investor platform.
Hargreaves Lansdown charges fees that vary depending on the type of transaction.
Here’s a breakdown of the fees:
- EFTs charge: £11.95
- Cost per trade: £11.95
- Bonds charge: £11.95
- Annual custody charge: £0.45%
- Investment trusts charge: £11.95
- Phone fee: From £20 to £50
- Frequent trader: £5.95
The Junior ISAs and holding shares are free.
Interactive investor charges a monthly fee for all the accounts held by its clients.
Currently, interactive investor has four payment plans for their customers based on their investment needs and goals.
- Investor Essentials: £4.99
- Investor: £9.99
- Pension Builder: £12.99
- Super investor: £19.99
The platform also has underlying fund charges which are based on your current investment plan.
Both Hargreaves Lansdown and interactive investor charge various fees to their clients.
Hargreaves Lansdown charges a certain percentage of the amount invested, and interactive investor charges a £4.99 monthly fee.
Each platform features a straightforward fee structure.
Hargreaves Lansdown offers investors the Junior ISAs and holding shares, which don’t attract charges, unlike interactive investor, where all accounts have a monthly fee.
Platform & Mobile App
Hargreaves Lansdown provides investment services via its online platform, website and mobile application.
The website is user-friendly, with abundant menu bars to navigate to the key sections of the platform.
New customers enjoy a speedy and straightforward website and mobile application registration process.
The mobile application has the same capabilities as the website. Customers can make similar transactions using mobile applications and web versions.
The app is compatible with iOS and Android devices. The customer review rating of Hargreaves Lansdown is 4.1/5 on Trustpilot with 8,000 reviews.
The interactive investor online platform also features a shade of blue like the Hargreaves Lansdown platform.
Customers can easily navigate the platform via the web and mobile applications.
The website and mobile application offer a speedy and straightforward registration process.
The mobile application is compatible with iOS and Android devices, giving users the same functionality and advantages the website version provides. interactive investor has a 4.7/5 rating on Trustpilot with over 22,000 reviews.
The two services offer easy-to-navigate platforms.
The mobile applications provide the same benefits and features as the web versions.
Interactive investor offers a better user experience based on its higher customer ratings on Trustpilot.
Services & Features
- Wealth shortlist
- Invest in shares and funds
- Retirement service
- Share dealing
- Fund dealing
- Currency Service
- Financial advice
- Investment trusts
- Foreign currency exchange
- Ready-made portfolios
- CFDS and spread betting
Hargreaves Lansdown services are more targeted at novice investors making the platform very user-friendly for inexperienced traders and investors.
The platform also has a resource centre with great educational content guiding clients on how to use various products.
- Company account
- Model portfolios
- Pension trading account
- Quick start funds
Interactive investor also offers research tools that include charting and watch lists.
These research tools are great for beginners and intermediate traders, but experienced investors may find them a little too basic.
The platform also provides a knowledge centre that includes plenty of learning resources for beginner investors.
Both platforms offer learning resources and research tools, as well as plenty of features.
They are both ideal for beginner traders.
However, expert traders tend to prefer Hargreaves Lansdown compared to interactive investor due to the more advanced research tools that are available.
Hargreaves Lansdown offers a minimum investment on all its products.
The minimum investment varies from one financial product to another.
Currently, customers at Hargreaves Lansdown are expected to adhere to the following investment limit:
- HL portfolio a minimum of £1000
- Fund and Share account a minimum of £1
- SIPP and ISAP accounts a minimum of £100 (or a monthly minimum of £25 for a regular account)
The different minimum investment limits offer customers the flexibility of picking a financial product that meets their investment limit.
When using the interactive investor, the minimum investment is £25.
While interactive investor has a universal minimum investment of £25 (monthly), Hargreaves Lansdown offers various investment limits for its clients based on the products.
The flexibility in minimum investments makes it easy for investors to pick their preferred investment product.
Hargreaves Lansdown customer support is reachable through the following means, in case you run into some problems:
- Phone: 0117 900 9000 (telephone numbers are available based on the various products offered by Hargreaves Lansdown, availability is from Monday to Friday: 08:00 to 17:00, Saturday: 09:30 to 12.30 pm)
- Online messaging
Social media platforms:
- Facebook (https://www.facebook.com/hargreaveslansdowninvest/ )
- Twitter (https://twitter.com/HLInvest )
- LinkedIn (https://www.linkedin.com/company/hargreaves-lansdown/ )
Customers can get in touch with interactive investor customer support via the following:
- Phone: 0345 607 6001/ +44 113 346 2309
- Instant messaging
- Mail messaging
Social media platforms:
- Twitter (https://twitter.com/ii_couk)
- Facebook (https://www.facebook.com/weareii)
- LinkedIn (https://www.linkedin.com/company/interactive-investor/ ).
Customer support is available from 07:45 am to 5:30 pm GMT.
The two platforms offer impeccable customer support service.
The customer support teams are reachable via phone, online messaging, and social media platforms.
Unfortunately, Hargreaves Lansdown and interactive investor lack a live chat option, and the phones only operate on specific hours and days.
The interactive investor customer support team has more hours when it comes to handling phone inquiries.
According to customer reviews on Trustpilot, Hargreaves Lansdown has a rating of 4.1/5 from 8,000 customer reviews. Interactive investor, on the other hand, has a 4.7/5 rating from 20,000 customer reviews.
Pros of Both Platforms
- An expansive provision of financial and investment services
- Clients are provided with advisory services
- Ideal for novice traders and investors
- Well-researched resources and tools for investors
- Suitable for high-net investors
- It has a simple and speedy registration process
- The platform has received several awards due to its effectiveness
- It features an expansive collection of shares dealing with investment options
- The payment process is speedy and simple
- The trading platform is user-friendly
- Impressive phone customer service
Cons of Both Platforms
- There are many fees associated with the platform
- Few international trading options
- It lacks a robo-advisory service
- It lacks a live chat feature
- The analytics and charting tools are basic
- The investment product portfolio is limited
- Customers pay monthly account fees
Hargreaves Lansdown & interactive investor Alternatives
If you find that neither Hargreaves Lansdown nor interactive investor are the right platform for you, here are some alternatives to consider.
AJ Bell is an investment platform with low fund fees and minimum contributions on regular investments as low as £25 monthly. Products available on the platform include Stock and Shares ISA, SIPP, Lifetime ISA, Junior ISA, Dealing and Junior SIPP accounts. Read my complete AJ Bell review.
Barclays Smart Investor
The Barclays Smart Investor is an investment platform provided by Barclays Bank. The platform has zero trading, withdrawal and inactivity fees. However, customers get to pay low fund, bond and stock fees. Due to the solid background and impressive customer service associated with Barclays Bank, users feel like it’s a secure way to invest.
New customers opening an account at Freetrade with a minimum investment of £50 get free shares worth £10-100. You can get more free shares by referring family and friends to the investment application. The Freetrade app is user-friendly and features biometric authentication for added security.
Investment products available on the platform include SIPP, General Investing Account, Freetrade Plus, and Stocks and Shares ISA. There is no minimum investment on the platform. Read my complete Freetrade review.
Interactive investor vs Hargreaves Lansdown – Final Thoughts
Deciding which of the two platforms is best ultimately comes down to your specific investment needs.
To help you assess which is best for you, here’s a summary of my comparative analysis of interactive investor vs Hargreaves Lansdown.
- Hargreaves Lansdown services are more targeted toward investors of all experience levels. Interactive investor is more suited for beginner and intermediate investors.
- Hargreaves Lansdown offers its customers an expansive catalogue of investment products compared to interactive investor investment products like LISA and Junior SIPP aren’t available on the interactive investor platform.
- While interactive investor has a universal minimum investment of £25 (monthly), Hargreaves Lansdown offers various investment limits for its clients based on the products.
- Both Hargreaves Lansdown and interactive investor charge various fees to their clients. Hargreaves Lansdown charges a certain percentage of the amount invested, and interactive investor charges a £4.99 monthly fee.
- According to customer reviews on Trustpilot, Hargreaves Lansdown has a rating of 4.2/5 from 8,000 customer reviews. Interactive investor, on the other hand, has a 4.7/5 rating from 22,000 customer reviews.
Hopefully, my comparative review of the two platforms has given you some insight into the one that’s best for you.