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interactive investor vs Hargreaves Lansdown

Which one of these platforms is suitable for your investing needs?

interactive investor and Hargreaves Lansdown are both established investment platforms – they’re pretty similar and would both be suitable for beginners.

One of the biggest differences between interactive investor and other investment platforms is its slightly different approach to pricing, which we detail below.

interactive investor vs Hargreaves Lansdown: Vital statistics

interactive investor Trading AccountHargreaves Lansdown
Finder score★★★★★★★★★★
Customer satisfaction survey★★★★★★★★★★
Stocks and shares ISA available?
FSCS protected?
Costs score★★★★★★★★★★
Keep in mindCapital at riskCapital at risk
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These providers have some key similarities – mainly that they both let you invest in an individual savings account (ISA), which means you can use your ISA allowance to make your profits tax free. The allowance is £20,000 in the 2024/2025 tax year.

Both providers are protected by the Financial Services Compensation Scheme (FSCS), which means that if the provider were to go bust, your deposits are covered by up to £85,000. This doesn’t protect your losses if you choose the wrong investments and you lose money.

Hargreaves Lansdown scored better when it comes to costs, but they’re quite hard to compare, which we’ll get to later on.

In our customer satisfaction survey Hargreaves Lansdown customers said that it’s customer service was good and that they got prompt responses to questions. Some customers felt that the pricing was good, while others found that it wasn’t quite as well priced as its competitors.

Hargreaves Lansdown customers find its platform easy to use and love the research on the site that helps you choose investments.

interactive investor customers find that it has good pricing – but some customers found that the pricing structure didn’t work for them. Its customers think that the platform is easy to use and has good customer service.

Round 1: Products

interactive investor Trading AccountHargreaves Lansdown
Stocks and shares ISA
Lifetime ISA (LISA)
Pension (SIPP)
Keep in mindCapital at riskCapital at risk
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When it comes to products, these providers come close. Both providers let you invest in an ISA and a private pension. Hargreaves Lansdown also lets you invest in a lifetime ISA (LISA). This lets you save up to £4,000 per year for your first home or for retirement. The government contributes £1,000 for every £4,000 invested.

  • Winner: Hargreaves Lansdown

Round 2: Exchanges

interactive investor Trading AccountHargreaves Lansdown
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 mindCapital at riskCapital at risk
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Of some of the largest stock exchanges in the world, Hargreaves Lansdown has the most stock exchanges that you can invest in.

  • Winner: Hargreaves Lansdown

Round 3: Financial instruments

interactive investor Trading AccountHargreaves Lansdown
Financial instruments score★★★★★★★★★★
Shares
ETFs
Bonds
Funds
Keep in mindCapital at riskCapital at risk
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Both Hargreaves Lansdown and interactive investor let you invest in shares, exchange traded funds (ETFs), bonds and funds.

  • Winner: Tie

Round 4: Portfolios

interactive investor Trading AccountHargreaves Lansdown
Portfolios rating★★★★★★★★★★
Risk assessment quiz
Number of portfolios on offer56
Ethical portfolios on offer
Managed portfolios on offer
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For those who want to invest in ready made portfolios, both providers have this option. Neither provider has a quiz to help you choose a portfolio that suits your risk profile. Hargreaves Lansdown has slightly more portfolios at 6, against interactive investor’s 5, but interactive investor has ethical choices.

Both providers offer managed portfolios.

  • Winner: interactive investor

Round 5: Costs

interactive investor Trading AccountHargreaves Lansdown
Costs score★★★★★★★★★★
Minimum deposit£1£1
Standard trading fee£3.99£11.95
Best trading fee£3.99£5.95
Foreign exchange fee1.5%1%
Keep in mindCapital at riskCapital at risk
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Hargreaves Lansdown charges based on how much you invest, while interactive investor charges a flat monthly fee.

Hargreaves Lansdown charges 0.45% on investments up to £250,000, 0.25% on investments between £250,000 and £1 million, 0.1% on investments between £1 million and £2 million and investments over £2 million are free.

interactive investor has a flat fee for using all of its services. (An additional fee applies if you want to add the self-invested personal pension.) Its most basic plan “Investor” costs £9.99 per month.

The costs of these providers are pretty hard to compare as they have completely different pricing structures. If you were to invest £100,000 with Hargreaves Lansdown, you’d pay £450 per year in providers fees, while you’d spend just £120 with interactive investor.

However, for investments of just £1,000, you’d spend only £4.50 in a year, against £120 with interactive investor.

  • Winner:The winner of this one depends entirely on how much you’re investing. If you have less than £26,650 to invest, Hargreaves Lansdown would be cheaper. If you’ve got more than that, interactive investor is cheaper. This is based solely on provider charges, not trading fees.

Round 6: Features

interactive investor Trading AccountHargreaves Lansdown
Features rating★★★★★★★★★★
Desktop or web access
iPhone app
Android app
In-app news and research
In-app top-up
Keep in mindCapital at riskCapital at risk
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Both of these providers have desktop or web access as well as both iOS and Android apps – meaning you can view your investments from anywhere.

The mobile apps both have in-app top-ups and research.

  • Winner: Tie

Round 7: Learning resources

interactive investor Trading AccountHargreaves Lansdown
Resources rating★★★★★★★★★★
Guides
Videos and walkthroughs
Demo account
In-depth learning tools
Keep in mindCapital at riskCapital at risk
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Both of these providers have great learning resources available – you can access guides on everything each provider offers and a selection of videos or walkthroughs. You can also try out both providers with their demo accounts – great to learn about investing or try out a new provider.

  • Winner: Tie

Overall winner: Is interactive investor better than Hargreaves Lansdown?

These platforms are, on the face of it, very similar. As you can see above, it works out cheaper to go with Hargreaves Lansdown, but if you plan to open several different trading accounts (such as a JISA, an ISA and a general investment account), then you may end up spending less with interactive investor.

These are both quite good platforms for beginners. interactive investor has some educational tools that can help you learn more about investing and get to grips with it.

All investing should be regarded as longer term. The value of your investments can go up and down, and you may get back less than you invest. Past performance is no guarantee of future results. If you’re not sure which investments are right for you, please seek out a financial adviser. Capital at risk.

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