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Hargreaves Lansdown vs Trading 212

Find out what we thought when we compared two of the biggest share trading platforms in the UK.

Hargreaves Lansdown and Trading 212 both let you buy shares and exchange traded funds (ETFs) on various stock exchanges. Trading 212 is commission free, so you won’t pay commission when you buy or sell investments. Hargreaves Lansdown charges £11.95 commission per trade, however in exchange for this you’ll get additional tools, research and features. Find out what we thought when we compared Hargreaves Lansdown and Trading 212 on the investments offered, fees and features.

Hargreaves Lansdown vs eToro: Vital stats

Hargreaves Lansdown Fund and Share AccountTrading212
Finder rating★★★★★★★★★★
Customer satisfaction rating★★★★★★★★★★
Stocks and shares ISA available?
FSCS protected?
Costs rating★★★★★★★★★★
Keep in mind76% of retail CFD accounts lose money84% of retail CFD accounts lose money
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Both Hargreaves Lansdown and Trading 212 scored 5 stars out of 5 in our trading app analysis, which looked at more than 80 (and counting) features and fees of trading platforms. Hargreaves Lansdown was the winner in our 2022 customer satisfaction survey, with 93% of its customers that said they would recommend it.

One major benefit of both providers is that you can invest in an individual savings account (ISA), which means that you can invest up to £20,000 in the 2021/2022 without having to pay tax on your profits. Your allowance is reset each year.

As it’s commission free, Trading 212 scores better for fees compared with Hargreaves Lansdown.

Both providers are covered by the Financial Services Compensation Scheme (FSCS), which means that your deposits are protected by up to £85,000 if your platform were to go bust.

Round 1: Stock exchanges

Hargreaves Lansdown Fund and Share AccountTrading212
Exchanges covered score★★★★★★★★★★
UK - London Stock Exchange
US - NASDAQ
US - New York Stock Exchange
Canada - Toronto Stock Exchange
Japan - Japan Exchange Group
Euronext
Germany - Deutsche Börse
Keep in mind76% of retail CFD accounts lose money84% of retail CFD accounts lose money
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You can trade on most of the main stock exchanges with both Hargreaves Lansdown and Trading 212. Essentially, you can virtually trade any stock that you can name, unless it’s on the Japan Exchange Group, as neither platform offers this.

  • Winner: Tie

Round 2: Financial instruments

Hargreaves Lansdown Fund and Share AccountTrading212
Financial instruments score★★★★★★★★★★
Shares
ETFs
Bonds
Funds
Keep in mind76% of retail CFD accounts lose money84% of retail CFD accounts lose money
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With both Hargreaves Lansdown and Trading 212, you’re able to invest in company shares and exchange-traded funds (ETFs), which are collections of investments that are traded on stock exchanges. Hargreaves Lansdown also offers bonds and funds, which Trading 212 does not offer. This makes Hargreaves Lansdown a firm winner, however if you’re not interested in bonds or funds and you’d like to invest in fractional shares, Trading 212 may be better for you.

  • Winner: Hargreaves Lansdown

Round 3: Fees

Hargreaves Lansdown Fund and Share AccountTrading212
Costs rating★★★★★★★★★★
Platform fees£0No fees
Minimum deposit£1
Standard trading fee£11.95£0
Best trading fee£0
Foreign exchange fee1%0.15%
Keep in mind76% of retail CFD accounts lose money84% of retail CFD accounts lose money
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Trading 212 doesn’t charge any commission to buy or sell shares, but you’ll face a foreign exchange fee of 0.15%. Meanwhile, Hargreaves Lansdown charges a commission of £11.95 per trade, which can be reduced to £5.95 if you make regular trades. The foreign exchange fee is 1% with Hargreaves Lansdown, so Trading 212 works out cheaper on both counts.

What does this mean?

Say you wanted to buy 5 shares in a company with a share price of $25, which is about £20.39 in GBP.

Assuming you carry out the transaction in one trade, you’d pay £11.95 in commission with Hargreaves Lansdown, plus £1.02 in foreign exchange fees.

With Trading 212, you’d pay around 15p in foreign exchange fees.

Hargreaves Lansdown would cost approximately £12.97 and Trading 212 would cost approximately 15p.

  • Winner: Trading 212

Round 4: Mobile and web features

Hargreaves Lansdown Fund and Share AccountTrading212
Features rating★★★★★★★★★★
iPhone app
Android app
Desktop/web app
Notifications
Watch lists
Community or forums
Keep in mind76% of retail CFD accounts lose money84% of retail CFD accounts lose money
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The main benefit of Trading 212 over Hargreaves Lansdown is that it has social features — there’s a community where you can ask other investors questions and you can share your “pies” (portfolios of stocks), which other users can copy. There aren’t any social features with Hargreaves Lansdown.

Both Hargreaves Lansdown and Trading 212 offer most of the features you’d expect from a share trading platform, including mobile apps and share price notifications. Both Hargreaves Lansdown and Trading 212 have desktop trading and great charting tools.

  • Winner: Trading 212

Round 5: Learning resources

Hargreaves Lansdown Fund and Share AccountTrading212
Resources rating★★★★★★★★★★
Guides
Videos and walkthroughs
Demo account
In-depth learning tools
Keep in mind76% of retail CFD accounts lose money84% of retail CFD accounts lose money
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The best way for beginner investors to learn about how to invest is using a provider’s learning resources. Both Hargreaves Lansdown and Trading 212 have excellent resources available, including demo accounts, guides and videos. Trading 212 has an excellent set of videos on its YouTube account that teach investors how to get started, and all about the different features available on the platform.

  • Winner: Trading 212

Our verdict: Is Hargreaves Lansdown better than Trading 212?

While these platforms have a lot of the same features, stocks and tools available, Trading 212 comes out significantly cheaper per trade compared with Hargreaves Lansdown, which is a huge aspect of investing, so we’d say that Trading 212 is better than Hargreaves Lansdown. This is just a snapshot, as Hargreaves Lansdown is very comprehensive and has additional trading accounts available, but on the whole, we don’t think it’s worth the additional commission.

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