Moneybox vs Hargreaves Lansdown – Which Is The Better Investment Platform For You?

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At Generation Money our purpose is to help you make better financial decisions. All of our articles are independently written and/or edited by finance professionals and adhere to strict editorial guidelines. This post may contain links which, if clicked, could result in a payment to the site. These links never impact our editorial policy and all rankings and product recommendations remain unbiased. For more details, read how this site is financed.

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Moneybox logo vs Hargreaves Lansdown logo

In this head-to-head, I’ll be comparing Moneybox vs Hargreaves Lansdown, two leading investment platforms in the UK.

I’ll be comparing Moneybox and Hargreaves Lansdown against a number of metrics to see which comes out on top. This includes portfolio performance, ethical offerings, products and, of course, fees.

Most people want to get the best possible return on their money for the least cost. As an experienced investor and a Chartered Accountant, I know how important it is to balance costs against returns!

Hargreaves Lansdown is the more comprehensive investment platform, with a wider range of products and investment options. Moneybox is a good choice for beginner investors looking to invest in a ready-made portfolio.

Before getting into it, Hargreaves Lansdown is currently offering casback of between £50 – £1,000 when you transfer accounts worth £4,000 or more in total into the HL Stocks and Shares ISA or HL Fund and Share Account. You will need to register for the cashback offer and apply to transfer by 16 March 2023 to qualify.

You can also register now for a three month extension to this offer if you’re not yet ready to move your investments. View full terms on the Hargreaves Lansdown website. If you transfer away within a year your cashback may be reclaimed.

Read on for my full Moneybox vs Hargreaves Lansdown comparison, or use the links below to jump straight to a particular section.

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Moneybox vs Hargreaves Lansdown: At A Glance

Here’s my overview of Moneybox vs Hargreaves Lansdown in case you don’t want to read the whole comparison. 

The table below looks at the key features compared against each other.

MoneyboxHargreaves Lansdown
Management Fees / Platform Charges£1 per month subscription fee, free for your first 3 months

0.45% platform fee

SIPP Fees:
Up to £100k: 0.45%
Over £100k: 0.15%
No monthly subscription fee for a SIPP or purchasing shares
Holding funds:
Up to £250,000: 0.45%
£250,000 – £1m: 0.25%
£1m – £2m: 0.10%
£2m+: 0%

Holding shares:
Fund & Share Account: no charge but dealing fees apply
Stocks & Shares ISA: 0.45% (capped at £45 per year)

SIPP: 0.45% (capped at £200 per year)
Fund Fees0.12%-0.58%0.04%-1.44%
Minimum Investment£1£1 to open Fund & Share Account (GIA), £100 minimum investment for funds

£100 for ISA & SIPP, unless regularly depositing £25+ per month
ProductsSimple Saver & Notice savings accounts

Cash ISA, Cash LISA

Stocks & Shares ISA, Stocks & Shares LISA

General Investment Account (GIA), SIPP (Pension)
Stocks & Shares: ISA, JISA, LISA

Fund & Share Account / GIA

SIPP (Pension), Junior SIPP

Cash ISA, Active Savings

Personal Financial Advice

Foreign Currency Exchange
Ready-Made Portfolios34
Ethical Portfolios3N/A
DIY PortfolioYesYes
Share DealingYesYes
FSCS ProtectionYes (except funds outside the UK)Yes (except funds outside the UK)

Hargreaves Lansdown is by far the more comprehensive investing platform than Moneybox, and is better for more experienced investors. It offers the ability to invest in shares, funds, bonds, ready-made portfolios and also offers personal financial advice and currency exchange services. 

There are also has lots of research and tools available for you to use, as well offering its own managed funds to invest in. However, its share dealing operates on a fee basis. You will be charged between £5.95 and £11.95 per transaction, depending on how often you trade. 

On the other hand, Moneybox is better for younger and less experienced investors. It’s app-only, and makes use of a wide range of money management features to automate savings and investing for you.

Alongside ready-made portfolios and a selection of 24 funds to invest in, Moneybox also offers commission-free stocks and shares trading. The drawback with Moneybox vs Hargreaves Lansdown is that Moneybox offers only a small number of available companies and funds to invest in. 

What is Moneybox?

Moneybox is a personal finance and investing app that was founded in 2016. Its aim was to allow more people to access wealth building and financial planning services and knowledge.

In 2023 it now has more than half a million users and offers a wide range of personal finance and investing features.

This includes a robo-advisor investment offering as well as savings accounts and home buying services.

What is Hargreaves Lansdown?

Established in 1981, Hargreaves Lansdown is one of the largest retail investment platforms in the UK. 

It styles itself as the UK’s No.1 investment platform for private investors with over 1.6 million investors and managing £135.5bn in investments.

Moneybox vs Hargreaves Lansdown: Fees

Let’s look in more detail at the all-important costs for Moneybox vs Hargreaves Lansdown.

Moneybox has a simple fee structure – it charges 0.45% on all investments (except for over £100k in a SIPP), no matter how much you have invested. There’s also a £1 per month subscription fee, but this is waived for your first 3 months. 

Hargreaves Lansdown has a tiered fee structure based on how much you have invested: 

MoneyboxHargreaves Lansdown
Subscription Fee£1 per month, first 3 months free

No monthly fee for SIPP
No subscription fees
Platform Fees0.45%

0.15% if investing more than £100k in a SIPP
Holding funds:
Up to £250,000: 0.45%
£250,000 – £1m: 0.25%
£1m – £2m: 0.10%
£2m+: 0%

Holding shares:
Fund & Share Account: no charge, but dealing fees apply
Stocks & Shares ISA: 0.45% (capped at £45 per year)

SIPP: 0.45% (capped at £200 per year)
Actively Managed Portfolio Management Fees0.45%

0.15% if investing more than £100k in a SIPP
0.92%-0.99% 
Platform fees above apply on top
Fund Fees0.12%-0.58%0.04%-1.44%
Ethical / Socially Responsible Fund Fees0.12%-0.58%0.04%-1.44%
Individual Stocks & Shares / Share DealingCommission-free but 0.45% currency conversion charge for US sharesFee based on number of deals in prior month:
0 – 9: £11.95
10 – 20: £8.95
20+: £5.95
FX charge also applies on overseas shares
Regulated Financial AdviceN/AInvestment advice: 
Up to £1m: 1%
£1m+: 0%

Financial Planning:
Up to £200k: 2%
£200k – £1m+: 1%
Over £1m: 0%

Both subject to min. charge of £495 for advice over the phone, £1,495 for in-person. VAT in addition

Before getting into their respective platform charges, the key differences between Moneybox vs Hargreaves Lansdown on cost is between their ready-made portfolios and share dealing.

Moneybox offers 3 ready-made portfolios which have average fund charges of 0.12%-0.58%, which is significantly cheaper than Hargreaves Lansdown, where they range from 0.92%-0.99%.

So if you’re a beginner investor looking for a low-cost ready-made portfolio, you’ll prefer Moneybox.

For share dealing, Hargreaves Lansdown charges a dealing fee on each transaction you make. The fee depends on how many transactions you’ve made in the prior month, as shown in the table above. 

On the other hand, buying stocks and shares with Moneybox is commission and fee-free. The main issue is that currently Moneybox only has 20 stocks available in its app, vs thousands available with Hargreaves Lansdown. Both platforms charge an FX fee when trading in overseas shares.

Because Moneybox’s subscription fee is fixed at £1 per month, or £12 per year, it means that the more you invest the lower the fee becomes in percentage terms. When investing small amounts, the £1 per month fee can eat into your account balance.

For example, over 12 months the £12 annual fee with £1,000 invested works out to a charge of 1.2%. Added to Moneybox’s platform charge of 0.45%, this is a total fee (before fund costs) of 1.65%.

However, if you invest £10,000 for a year the £12 subscription fee equates to a charge of 0.12%, which comes to a total of 0.57% when combined with the platform fee. If your Moneybox account balance is zero, you won’t get charged any fees.

By contrast, Hargreaves Lansdown charges fees based on the amount you have invested, as seen in the table above. It’s a tiered charge so that any balance within the tiers is charged at the rate of that tier. For example, £300k of investments is charged 0.45% on the first £250k and 0.25% on the remaining £50k.

For Stocks & Shares ISAs, Hargreaves Lansdown charges a 0.45% annual fee, but this is capped at £45. There are no charges for holding shares in a Fund & Share Account, but platform fees apply if holding funds in a Fund & Share Account.

Moneybox vs Hargreaves Lansdown: Products

Very few platforms can match the range of products and investment options available with Hargreaves Lansdown. It offers over 3,000 shares, funds, bonds, investment trusts and ETFs to invest in. This makes it the better choice if you’re an experienced investor.

Hargreaves Lansdown also offers a range of accounts, including Stocks & Shares ISA, JISA and LISA, as well as a Fund & Share Account (General Investment Account, or GIA). Furthermore, you can open a SIPP (Pension), Junior SIPP, Cash ISA and Active Savings accounts.

On top of this, you can also purchase Personal Financial Advice if you want a professional to guide you through your investment and financial planning options. Hargreaves Lansdown also offers an FX service.

Moneybox also offers a good range of savings and investment accounts, including a Cash LISA which may appeal to you if you’re looking to buy a home soon. However, it does not match the range on offer with Hargreaves Lansdown. 

That being said, simplicity may be better for beginner investors just getting started. So if you’re new to investing, Moneybox’s streamlined offering may appeal to you.

Moneybox vs Hargreaves Lansdown: Portfolios

Moneybox offers 3 portfolios to choose from, each with differing risk levels: Cautious, Balanced and Adventurous. You’re also able to customise these portfolios, or create your own investment portfolio. 

You can do this by choosing from a range of 24 mutual funds, including index tracker funds. This makes Moneybox a good option if you’re a more confident investor but don’t want to be overwhelmed with choice.

On the other hand, Hargreaves Lansdown offers a huge range of portfolio options. This includes 4 ready-made portfolios to choose from: Adventurous, Moderately Adventurous, Balanced and Cautious. 

These are actively managed funds rather than passive funds, run by Hargreaves Lansdown fund managers. However, they cost significantly more than Monebox’s ready-made portfolios.

Furthermore, Hargreaves Lansdown offers HL Select portfolios which are also managed by Hargreaves Lansdown fund managers. There’s also its Wealth Shortlist, which is a list of funds picked by Hargreaves Lansdown based on various criteria, which you can choose to invest in.

Overall, Hargreaves Lansdown offers a far greater choice of portfolios to invest in than Moneybox. But Moneybox’s ready-made portfolios are cheaper, and it has a simpler range of options which is perfect for a beginner investor.

Moneybox vs Hargreaves Lansdown: Ethical Portfolios

Investors increasingly want to know which companies and industries their money is going into to ensure that they align with their values. So it’s no surprise that many investment platforms now offer a range of Socially Responsible Investing (SRI) options.

Moneybox has an SRI option for each of its 3 portfolios: Cautious, Balanced and Adventurous. You can customise your ethical portfolio with Moneybox in the same way as with its regular funds. This will suit you if you’re a beginner investor, or short on time and simply want to ensure your investments are socially responsible. 

By contrast, Hargreaves Lansdown doesn’t offer any ready-made SRI portfolios. However, it operates what it calls a “responsible investment” strategy over the funds it manages and picks. As part of its huge range of funds to invest in, it includes ethical – or ESG – funds created by the likes of L&G, Blackrock and Vanguard. This allows you to build your own ethical portfolio.

Moneybox vs Hargreaves Lansdown: Performance

Given that Moneybox has only 3 ready-made portfolios compared to the huge range that Hargreaves Lansdown offers, a direct comparison of performance is difficult. 

Hargreaves Lansdown’s ready-made portfolios are also quite new, so they don’t have historical performance (as of Feb-23) to compare against. To get a sense of the past returns with other funds available at Hargreaves Lansdown, you can view their investor factsheets and research on their website.

For Moneybox, let’s look at how its 3 portfolios performed for 2022 and in 2019 – the last full-year prior to the covid pandemic:

Moneybox Performance20192022
Moneybox Cautious7.6%-5.3%
Moneybox Balanced18%-8.6%
Moneybox Adventurous20.5%-9.2%

It’s important to note that 2022 was not a good time for investors. Energy prices, a cost-of-living crisis and high inflation, particularly in Western economies, caused widespread volatility in many major stock markets.

For context, the S&P500 in the US lost 18% during 2022 and the pan-European Stoxx 600 lost 12.5%. The UK’s FTSE100 fared slightly better, posting a modest 0.9% return for 2022. 

On the face of it, Moneybox performed better in each of its portfolios compared to passive index investing in the S&P500 or Stoxx 600 in 2022. However, this is not a scientific analysis and past performance is not a reliable indicator of future performance.

However, this does highlight one of the advantages of actively managed funds over passive funds. Actively managed funds can be rebalanced during a downturn, whereas passive index funds tend to continue to buy the market.

Moneybox vs Hargreaves Lansdown: Research, Tools and Advice

For picking your own investments, Hargreaves Lansdown offers a range of tools, research and guides on its website and in its app. An experienced, or confident investor, will probably prefer using the tools on offer, as they’re more extensive than those provided by Moneybox.

You can download Hargreaves Lansdown’s free investing guide here:

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With Hargreaves Lansdown you can also buy personal financial advice from a regulated professional. If you have a more complex financial situation, or simply want the advice of a professional, this could be a good option for you. Moneybox does not offer financial advice.

However, Moneybox is more than just an investment app as it also offers a range of money management and automation features. The Moneybox app has savings goals and round-up features which can help to automate your investing. This is one of the main reasons that it’s well-suited for newer investors. 

In addition, Moneybox has home-buying tools and mortgage advice. This goes beyond a typical investing platform, so if you want a more well-rounded personal finance app then you may prefer Moneybox.

Moneybox vs Hargreaves Lansdown: Which Has The Better App?

Another key difference with Hargreaves Lansdown vs Moneybox is that Moneybox is app-only, whereas you can log in online to your Hargreaves Lansdown account.

With Moneybox you get more comprehensive personal finance features with its app, some of which you may be familiar with from digital banking apps. This includes round-up spending, savings goals, budgeting and automated investing features.

The app itself is also very user-friendly and will be easy to navigate for most users.

On the other hand, with Hargreaves Lansdown’s app is a more comprehensive investment app. You can access research and investment tools directly in the app, as well as viewing all of your portfolios.

Moneybox vs Hargreaves Lansdown: Is My Money Safe?

Both Moneybox and Hargreaves Lansdown are regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) and have Financial Services Compensation Scheme (FSCS) protection.

This means that if either company were to go bust, your money would be protected up to the value of £85,000 by the regulator. 

It should be noted that some of the funds offered by both Moneybox and Hargreaves Lansdown are located outside of the UK and therefore are not covered by FSCS protection. For example, the Global Shares ESG fund available with Moneybox is based in Ireland.

Both Moneybox and Hargreaves Lansdown use sophisticated encryption to keep your data safe. Moneybox says that it uses bank-level encryption. 

The savings accounts offered by Moneybox are held with a range of different banks. Both Hargreaves Lansdown and Moneybox segregate client money from their own using custodian accounts held with secure 3rd parties. These also fall under FSCS protection.

Moneybox vs Hargreaves Lansdown: Pros & Cons

To summarise my comparison of Moneybox vs Hargreaves Lansdown, I’ve outlined below what I believe are the main pros and cons of each investment platform.

Moneybox Pros & Cons

Moneybox Pros

  • Very low initial investment – get started from just £1
  • 3 risk-based ready-made portfolios suitable for beginner investors
  • 3 ready-made ethical portfolios suitable for hands-free ethical investing
  • Low platform fee of 0.15% if investing over £100k in a pension (SIPP)
  • Good range of products for beginner investors to choose from, including savings and LISAs
  • Customisable portfolios
  • Home-buying features, including mortgage broker
  • More comprehensive personal finance app
  • Access to commission free US stocks and shares trading with a Stocks & Shares ISA
  • Better 2022 performance in its ready-made portfolios vs some major index funds, but past performance is not a guarantee of future performance

Moneybox Cons

  • Fixed monthly subscription fee of £1 per month, regardless of investment size (unless your account balance is zero), making small investments costly
  • Lack of more sophisticated investing tools and research
  • Much smaller range of funds to choose from vs Hargreaves Lansdown 
  • Much smaller range of stocks and shares to trade vs Hargreaves Lansdown
  • Does not offer regulated financial advice
  • App-only, so you can only access your account through your phone

Hargreaves Lansdown Pros & Cons

Hargreaves Lansdown Pros

  • Massive range of funds to invest in, great for confident investors
  • Huge range of stocks and shares to trade
  • Caters to wide range of users with an extensive mix of ready-made, actively managed and passive portfolios
  • Extensive investment research and useful tools, good for experienced investors
  • Offers regulated personal financial advice, good for those seeking guidance with their investments
  • Active Savings account brings together the best savings rates from a range of providers
  • Log in to your account online and through the app

Hargreaves Lansdown Cons

  • Higher fund costs for its ready-made portfolios vs Moneybox’s
  • Huge range of investment options may overwhelm beginner investors
  • Higher minimum investment for its ready-made portfolios and its SIPP (£100)

Moneybox vs Hargreaves Lansdown: Final Verdict

Hargreaves Lansdown is the best choice for more experienced investors, and those who want to pick their own investments. This is because it has a huge range of funds, bonds, ETFs and shares to invest in. 

If you want guidance from a professional, then you’ll also prefer Hargreaves Lansdown as it offers regulated financial advice. 

On the other hand, Moneybox is probably best suited for younger users and those new to investing. Its range of personal finance and automation features will appeal to you if you want a hands-off approach. 

In addition, its ready-made portfolios are lower cost than Hargreaves Lansdown’s and have shown good returns in recent years. However, it is currently limited in its share dealing and wider fund investment options.

Reminder: Hargreaves Lansdown is currently offering casback of between £50 – £1,000 when you transfer accounts worth £4,000 or more in total into the HL Stocks and Shares ISA or HL Fund and Share Account. You will need to register for the cashback offer and apply to transfer by 16 March 2023 to qualify.

You can also register now for a three month extension to this offer if you’re not yet ready to move your investments. View full terms on the Hargreaves Lansdown website. If you transfer away within a year your cashback may be reclaimed.

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