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Reviews for Hargreaves Lansdown
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Service: Discount Broker
Product: Vantage Fund Account
Review by hdeakin299
submitted on 29 April 2015
Likes: Good range of active funds and equity investments :Good informative website : Could fit well into the pantheon of platforms :Very prolific with fund information : Good range of collective investments available with discounts for active funds
Dislikes: Platform charges are not the cheapest :Value of discount sometimes hard to assess :
This review will focus on a possible role for active funds with higher charges than some other investment alternatives.My "ad hoc" collection of "bits and pieces" that I hold under the HL platform did OK last calendar year so I have no immediate plans to tidy it up . Conceptually it does need a tidy up but I don't want to tidy up and lose money so I am taking my time about any possible tidying.About 4 or 5 years ago I threw out a file I had on active funds as I felt they were too expensive . Since then the charging structures for platform investments has changed . And the cost distinctions between active funds and the rest is not quite as clear as it once was.But if I wanted to reintroduce active funds back into my portfolio what are the relevant criteria to use to select the ones to use?
1)Geography : recently I have seen financial articles that indicate that active funds do better (as against passives) in some continents (Europe for instance) : so geography plays a part.
2) Charges : Nowadays I have no idea as to how I am doing in relation to the half of one percent maximum charge target/goal I once used to cover both platform and investment charges : with this target in mind anything "overall" (both platform and investment) that charged less than half of one per cent was good and anything over this was bad . I suspect charges have gone up since those days so I have had to relax a bit in this regard and be a bit more flexible.But still I would like average charges across the board to come in around this figure and I expect this will be a constraint on the way I use so called smart trackers because most of these will come in above this figure when both platform and investment charges are added together.
3) Uniqueness and non replicability
So this gives me 3 criteria to use? The idea is to use these to make a sieve or "STRAIN" ! . This "strain" idea was originally to be a kind of "cheesecloth" strainer which sieved out and strained any active funds that charged more than the equivalent ETFs and Investment trusts and the idea was to end up with "a kind of " "essence of active" high performers which justified their higher charges by excellent performance and by always exceeding the returns of any nearly equivalent ETFs and Investment trusts : the drawback to this approach was that it "boiled down to" "taking a punt" on what was likely to excel. The main aim of the "sieve" was to find any investments that were not available elsewhere (active funds have an advantage here as there are loads of them) and if there was any doubt to "waive through" any that had very reasonable charges. I was a hard subject to implement but I decided that I would at least think about it ,and if eventually I implemented it , it would probably be the HL platform that I used .
But a least 2 things got in the way of this approach . Firstly my existing "bits and pieces" that I had with the HL platform did OK so there was little incentive for me to change things . And secondly it was quite hard to get this "sieve" working properly as the information just did not seem to be at hand. But recently the financial press coverage has been kind and I am beginning to get a better idea of what "essence of active" should look like.Maybe by next year , and in time for next years ISA allowance , I will be ready to make my move but it could take longer!
Ali Hussain in last weeks Sunday Times gave me a few ideas in an article called "Long term investors should look for the small wonders" . So over the next year or so I will be gathering up ideas along these lines. I am in no hurry as this approach can be implemented gradually .And , of course , I have to allow myself plenty of time for this : so I know I can "take the strain" !
Service: Pension (SIPP)
Product: Vantage SIPP
Review by hp9investments
submitted on 15 February 2015
Likes: £200 cap in holding shares and ETFs
Dislikes: Expensive to hold funds
If you have more than £40k in your SIPP, HL is very competive to hold shares and ETFs because of the £200 annual fee cap. However, the opposite is true if you hold open funds or unit trusts.
Service: Discount Broker
Product: Vantage Fund Account
Review by hamlet
submitted on 03 June 2014
Likes: Plenty of useful info. on site & in lit.
Dislikes: Become too big for its boots & bad for the customer !
I've used HL for 14+ years & slowly switched all family investments into their hands for online convenience but boy do I now regret it !
They have become slower & slower in dealing with transactions that are not a simple buy/sell instruction to the point that now instructions given online are not acknowledged but, if you are lucky, acted on after phone calls & secure message enquiries.On the phone I was told it is not their policy to acknowledge instructions & if I wanted to take it any further to write to complain.
When they failed to tell me of the progress of ISA transfers from another broker to them I had to phone again after a month had passed to be told it was the fault of the other broker & I should be patient for another month ! 2 weeks later I checked with the broker who currently had the ISA & was told they had sent all the necessary info to HL 6wks earlier but had heard nothing back from them.
I wrote a formal letter of complaint to their Senior Clients Service Manager as advised on their website & literature where they boast "Most emails answered within 4 hours, most letters within 24 hours".Three weeks & one further phone call later, I am still waiting for any kind of response !
Despite this abysmal service I face a penalty transfer fee of £25 per stock if I want to escape them & move to a more responsible broker !
Once they have got their claws into you all they are interested in is selling you more stock.