Investing

Fidelity International vs Hargreaves Lansdown: Which is Best?

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Saving for your future is a great idea and there is no shortage of companies that will help you set up an ISA, SIPP, or brokerage account. Hargreaves Lansdown and Fidelity International are both top-tier financial service providers who offer UK savers a wide variety of investment options.

Hargreaves Lansdown and Fidelity International are both large companies that have decades of positive performance to support their reputations. Of the two Hargreaves Lansdown has a smaller amount of assets under management, at more than £80 billion. Fidelity International has over £250 billion under management and dates back to the 1960s.

The last decade has seen a range of new investment options hit the market, and major investment companies like Hargreaves Lansdown and Fidelity International have evolved to compete with mobile-only brokers that offer cut-rate ETFs and automated investments.

Setting up an ISA or SIPP is a very good idea. An ISA is a perfect place to stash some rainy-day funds, and if you have extra income, a SIPP is a great way to invest in your pension with a little bit of help from the UK government.

Hargreaves Lansdown & Fidelity International

If you are looking for an investment company that can grow with you, both Hargreaves Lansdown and Fidelity International fit the bill.

One of the nice things about Hargreaves Lansdown and Fidelity International is that either company can give you great investment options for an ISA, SIPP, brokerage account (taxed as normal), or all three!

It is worth remembering that while both Hargreaves Lansdown and Fidelity International have low barriers to account opening, you will need to have a small amount of money saved up to use either one of the companies.

If this is a challenge for you, just open up a free account at one of the mobile-only retirement platforms, and then transfer it to Hargreaves Lansdown or Fidelity International later on.

The actual fees and account opening minimums are all listed below, and it won’t take long to save up enough to use either one of these companies. Once you have an account, it will be easy to expand into other services they offer if you want to.

Fidelity International—Account Types & Fees

Fidelity International Review

Fidelity International is a global heavyweight in retail investments. It has around £80 billion in client funds under management in the UK, and more than three times that globally. The company offers many of the same types of services that Hargreaves Lansdown does.

Visit Fidelity ISA  Visit Fidelity SIPP

Here are some of the account options that Fidelity International has:

  • Fidelity ISA
    Fidelity International offers UK residents an ISA account that can be opened with as little as £50 being deposited per month. The funds can be invested in a range of assets, including funds, unit trusts, and interest-bearing investments. There is no charge to open an ISA with Fidelity (other than the minimum balance), and other ISAs can be transferred to Fidelity without charge (from Fidelity).
  • Fidelity SIPP
    A Fidelity SIPP will let you put money away every year until you decide to retire (the money can generally be accessed without penalty at age 55). Unlike traditional pension plans, a SIPP allows you to stay in control of how your retirement is invested. Most of the same investment types that would be possible in a Fidelity ISA will be available to Fidelity SIPP accounts, and the fee structure (discussed below) is in-line with the rest of the industry.
  • Fidelity Junior ISA and SIPP
    In addition to ISAs and SIPPs for adults, Fidelity has account options for people under the age of 18. Both ISAs and SIPPs can be opened for people under 18 by an authorized person, and the range of investments that are available are basically the same as the ISAs and SIPPs that an adult can hold.
  • The minimum deposit is the same as an adult ISA at £50 deposited per month. At the moment a Junior ISA can be funded to the tune of £4128 per year, and a Junior SIPP will receive a 20% tax relief up to 0% tax relief for investments up to £2880 (the same as an adult SIPP), which increases the total investment to £3600 on a yearly basis.
  • Fidelity International Trading Account
    If you have already maxed out your tax-efficient retirement savings, or want to have money that can be accessed without penalty at any time, the Fidelity International Trading Account could be a good fit for you. It will allow you to invest directly in numerous ETFs and unit trusts. Any gains will be taxed normally, but you can use the money at any time, and for any reason.
  • Fidelity Pathfinder
    Fidelity Pathfinder is a program that is designed along the lines of an automated investment adviser (‘robo advisor‘). Pathfinder will ask you a number of questions about your investment goals, timeframe, and lifestyle.
  • Once it has done this, Fidelity Pathfinder will recommend investment products that fit your profile. The fees that this service would incur are based on the funds you invest in, and could reach as high as 2%+ per year. Needless to say, there are numerous robos in the marketplace that are far cheaper options.

Fidelity International Website

Fidelity International Fee Structure

Fidelity International has a range of fees that it charges on its investment products, which will generally be added to the base costs listed below. Smaller account probably won’t have much wiggle room with these fees, but larger account holder may be able to bargain with Fidelity International over what fees are charged on their account.

ISA and SIPP Fees:

Accounts that hold less than £7,500 with Fidelity International will be charged 0.35% annually if the account holder has a regular savings plan, or £45 if they don’t. This drops to £25 for Junior ISAs, though the annual percentage is the same. Accounts with between £7,500 and £250,000 are charged 0.35% regardless of a savings plan, and accounts with between £250,000 and £1 million are charged 0.20%. At the £1 million level the fees are dropped, with the exception of the first £1 million.

Fidelity International—The Rundown

Fidelity International has grown to become one of the world’s foremost retail investment companies by delivering solid results regardless of the market. It has a wide range of unit trusts and ETFs that its clients can invest in, and specializes in leveraging Modern Portfolio Theory for its clients.

There are many active and passive funds that Fidelity International clients can choose from, and it has account options for UK savers that want to maximize the amount of money they can set aside on a tax-efficient basis.

One of the only downsides to Fidelity International is that it doesn’t offer a way to buy and sell shares directly, which has become more popular in recent years. That said, it is easy enough to open up a brokerage or ISA account that will allow you to buy and sell shares and still use Fidelity as a place to stack up cash for the long-term.

For more information, Read our Full Review.

Visit Fidelity ISA  Visit Fidelity SIPP


Hargreaves Lansdown—Account Types & Fees

Hargreaves Lansdown Review

There are a number of ISA and SIPP account types that you can invest in with Hargreaves Lansdown. The minimum amount needed to start a retirement account with the company is £100, or a commitment to deposit £25 per month with automatic deposit.

Here are the kinds of accounts you can open with Hargreaves Lansdown, and a little bit of information about what each one can do for you. If you need a short refresher about what ISAs and SIPPs are, just skip to the end of the article for a brief explanation!

Visit Hargreaves Lansdown

  • Hargreaves Lansdown Stocks and Shares ISA
    This account will allow you to save money in a tax-efficient way, and then invest it in a range of products that are tied to the equity markets. There are a range of ETFs and funds that can be bought, and this account will give you a way to keep track of the products you have chosen to invest in.
  • Hargreaves Lansdown Junior ISA
    If you want to start saving for your children’s future, the Hargreaves Lansdown Junior ISA lets you open an account for any child that is under 18 years of age. Once your child reaches 18 years of age, this account will have to be rolled over to an account that is for adults.
  • Hargreaves Lansdown Lifetime ISA (aka LISA)
    The Hargreaves Lansdown LISA account is designed for UK residents who want to take advantage of the UK government’s program that allows them to receive a 25% contribution bonus on savings that are earmarked for the down payment on a first property. The LISA account would make a great next step for parents who set up a Junior ISA and want to help their children save for a home of their own. Hargreaves Lansdown has created a LISA factsheet that will help you understand how this program works, and how to best take advantage of your savings.
  • Hargreaves Investment trusts
    Hargreaves Investment Trusts are listed on the LSE and traded as funds. These trusts are very similar to an ETF and need to be researched before they are bought for your ISA (a good idea, not a requirement). These trusts can be bought with Hargreaves Lansdown’s ISAs, as well as the Vantage SIPP, which will be discussed below.
  • Hargreaves Lansdown Fund and Share Account
    A Hargreaves Lansdown Fund and Share Account will give you the ability to trade in funds and shares from a single account. Both ISAs and SIPPs can use this service and invest directly in publicly traded companies, as well as exchange-traded funds. There are fees associated with trading shares and funds, and they vary depending on what kind of instruments you trade.
  • Hargreaves Lansdown SIPP
    Hargreaves Lansdown has a SIPP program that has been awarded for its excellence. The program will help you find the best ways to save for your retirement or keep track of the investments you have already made. Hargreaves Lansdown can be a one-stop-shop for all of your retirement planning and offers a wide range of options in both debt and equity investments that you control.
  • Hargreaves Lansdown Vantage Stocks and Shares ISA/SIPP
    Hargreaves Lansdown has accounts that allow anyone who is eligible for an ISA or SIPP which will allow them to diversify their assets into stocks and shares. The assets that are invested in these self-directed accounts will be freely invested by the account’s owner and will be subject to the following fees.

Hargreaves Lansdown Website

ISA / SIPP Fees:

Hargreaves Lansdown will charge 0.45% per year on the initial £250,000 that is deposited in one of their ISAs. If the amount on deposit is between £250,000 and £1 million, the rate drops to 0.25%. For accounts over £1 million, the rate Hargreaves Lansdown charges falls to 0.1%, and at the £2 million level, there is no fee to invest your ISA with the company.

Depending on the kind of financial instruments you choose to invest in, there could be additional fees. Some funds and trading activities will incur costs, which will be added to the above-listed fees. There is no charge to open an ISA or SIPP with Hargreaves Lansdown, and old funds can be transferred to the company without additional charges.

Hargreaves Lansdown Annuities and Savings Products

In addition to offering funds and shares, Hargreaves Lansdown can help you sort through annuities and savings products from third-parties. Annuities aren’t as popular as they once were, but they may make sense for some retired persons. Hargreaves Lansdown can also help you to sort through the numerous savings products that are easy to invest in, and gain a risk-free return on your capital.

Hargreaves Lansdown—The Rundown

Hargreaves Lansdown is a solid choice for anyone who wants to deal with a top-tier investment firm that has a wide range of products and services.

Like many investment firms, Hargreaves Lansdown is competing in an economy where investors have many more options at lower rates. This has driven the fees that larger investment companies like Hargreaves Lansdown can charge lower, and today, the fees at the company are very competitive.

Recently Hargreaves Lansdown eliminated an ‘exit fee’ that had been a point of contention, which had charged investors when they moved money outside of the company. Now it is totally free to both enter and exit the Hargreaves Lansdown family of funds and services, regardless of where the money is coming from or going.

Overall, Hargreaves Lansdown is a good investment company for anyone who wants to set money aside for the future, and have loads of options for investing it.

For more information, Read our Full Review.

Visit Hargreaves Lansdown


What are ISAs and SIPPs?

As promised, here is a (very) brief explanation of what an Individual Savings Account (ISA) and a Self Invested Personal Pension (SIPP) are:

ISA

An ISA is a tax-efficient way to set money aside for your retirement or a number of other things. Qualified UK residents can set aside up to £20,000 on an annual basis, and withdraw that money tax-free, as long as it is used for an approved reason.

Related posts about ISAs:

SIPP

A SIPP is an account that is to be used specifically for your retirement. Qualified UK residents can save as much as £40,000 on a yearly basis, and the UK government will add an additional 20% to whatever is saved. The money can’t be touched until you are 55, and will be taxed when it is taken out of the SIPP (with the exception of a one-time lump sum payment at 55, which can be up to 25% of the account).

Related posts about SIPPs:

Which Company is a Better Choice for Me?

It is impossible to make general statements about how well either Fidelity International or Hargreaves Lansdown would work for your individual investment needs. Both companies have a great track record of riding out market turbulence, and both offer a huge variety of investment options.

One of the biggest things that both platforms lack is a deep automated investment platform, which have become extremely popular. Both have a version of a robo advisory service, but if you are looking for top-tier automated investment, you might want to look at another company. We go into more detail about robo advisors here.

On the other hand, Fidelity International and Hargreaves Lansdown offer a huge range of funds and savings options, and both have a range of options when it comes to how you interact with the company. If you don’t like the idea of being stuck with a mobile app to manage your retirement, these companies are great options.

Of course, the electronic and mobile interfaces that Fidelity International and Hargreaves Lansdown have created are great and totally fine for a younger person who can’t stand waiting on the phone to talk to a human. So far as creditworthiness goes, it is hard to find better companies in the retail investment market.

If you are considering setting up an ISA or SIPP, both Fidelity International & Hargreaves Lansdown are worth your consideration. Either one will be able to give you a huge range of investment options and make sure you have easy access to both high and low-risk investments.

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Nicholas Say grew up in Ann Arbor, Michigan with a father that would read him the Wall St. Journal along side of other bed-time fare. He has traveled extensively, and been lucky enough to study a changing global economy in person. Nicholas spent many years in the Southern Cone of South America, sometimes in the middle of the countryside where livestock starts its journey to all points of the globe. Today he is thoroughly bemused with the stance that Central Banks have taken in the wake of the 2008 meltdown. There is no telling what will come out of the global financial system next, but he is glad that he lives somewhere that gold can be bought and sold readily! nick@moneycheck.com


Editorial Disclaimer: Opinions expressed here are the author’s alone, not those of any bank or credit card issuer and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any of these entities.


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