Hargreaves Lansdown Vantage Fund & Share Account Review
Many people dream about dabbling in the stock market from time to time, or of trying to grow their money using funds or bonds. The idea of using your knowledge and instinct to invest your money wisely is certainly very tempting.
Perhaps the biggest reason that more of us don’t ever do this is because of the fear that share dealing or other kinds of investing like this is going to be very complicated or expensive to do. This is where the Hargreaves Lansdown Vantage Fund & Share Account comes in. It is a simple way to invest in shares, funds and investment trusts without any hassles or high costs.
In this Vantage Fund and Share Account Review, we will be looking at what the account has to offer, any trading or investment costs involved and also how you get started with the account and be investing within minutes.
The Vantage Fund and Share Account is described by Hargreaves Lansdown as being a “low cost, flexible investment account”. The idea is that you can invest in a wide number or types of investment in the way that best suits you. It is made even easier with the fact that you can do your dealing online, over the phone or by using a bespoke app for your Android device, iPhone or iPad.
You can choose from an impressive total of more than 2,500 funds, shares, bonds, investment trusts and ETFs with this account. The shares covered are from the UK, US, Canadian and European stock markets. If you are more interested in bonds then there are both corporate and government bonds on offer here.
An important thing to point out just now is that this is a service that is designed for investors who are happy to make their own financial decisions with just some help or guidance. This is not an account where someone else will be making your decisions for you. Instead, it is all about making it easier for you to invest in what you think is best for you, bearing in mind your attitude to risk.
Having said that, it is worth noting that you can carry out free research on share and fund investments on the Hargreaves Lansdown site. You can also use it to pick up some free share tips from respected sources such as Investors Chronicle and Shares Magazine.
There is an impressively long list of benefits associated with the Hargreaves Lansdown Vantage Fund & Share Account. For a start, it is easy to use. If you have always worried about how difficult it could be to buy and sell shares, then you will be re-assured to see how quickly this can be done. In a matter of minutes you can be set up and making your first transactions.
There are a few handy tools that let you do things such as set stop-loss and limit orders. You also get real-time alerts on shares and interactive charts. Your online portfolio is continuously updated to take into account the latest price changes in the market, using the live share prices service that is included for free.
When you consider the benefits on offer with the Fund & Share Account you can see why the platform has won so many awards for the service it provides, notably the ‘Best Direct Share Dealing Provider for 2015′ award from Your Money, as well as the What Investment ‘Best Share Dealing Service’ award for 2012, 2013 and 2014.
This account is useful for both seasoned investors with large portfolios to transfer in, and also anyone who wants to start investing with fairly small amounts of money and with little in the way of extra costs. For a start, it is free to hold shares in it. The charges for investing in funds are also very low.
If you aren’t planning on doing a huge amount of investing then the fact there is no inactivity fee is another plus point to bear in mind. While you can open up a Vantage Fund & Share Account with just £1, when investing in funds the minimum you can start with is just £25 each month for regular investment, or £100 for a lump sum investment into a fund.
Another issue worth bearing in mind is that you can access your cash whenever you want to. It is also good to see that there is a low cost and highly flexible automatic dividend reinvestment service to help you carry on growing the value of your portfolio, as well as no transfer in costs for investors with existing portfolios.
When it comes to share dealing costs, this comes down to the number of deals that you make in a month. If you do this using the online site or the mobile apps then it is your number of transactions in the previous month that matters. If you made up to 9 deals then it will cost you £11.95 in the next month. For 10-19 deals it drops to £8.95 and if you made 20 or more deals in the previous month then you only pay £5.95 per deal in the following month.
In terms of funds, there is no charge for buying in to one and H&L also state that they offer up to a 5.5% saving on any initial charges made by fund managers. As for the annual management fee, this varies according to the amount invested. For example, for up to £250,000 it is only 0.45%. For amounts between £250,000 and £1 million this figures falls to 0.25%. Between £1 and million it is 0.10%. For fund investments over £2 million there is no annual charge.
The Vantage Fund and Share Account from Hargreaves Lansdown is a very useful type of account for anyone who wants to take some of the fear and mystery out of investing. The way the charges and services are set up means that it is equally suitable for newcomers making small investments and for more experienced investors with big sums of money to look after.