Moneyfarm vs Hargreaves Lansdown – Which Platform Is Better 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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In this head-to-head comparison, I’ll be assessing Moneyfarm vs Hargreaves Lansdown

Moneyfarm is a robo-advisor investment platform and Hargreaves Lansdown recently launched its own ready-made portfolios that you can invest in.

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

As both an experienced investor and a Chartered Accountant, I’m always looking to maximise returns and minimise costs!

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

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Moneyfarm vs Hargreaves Lansdown: At A Glance

Here’s my overview of Moneyfarm 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:

MoneyfarmHargreaves Lansdown
Management Fees / Platform ChargesUp to £10,000: 0.75%
£10,000 – £19,999: 0.70%
£20,000 – £49,999: 0.65%
£50,000 – £99,999: 0.60%
£100,000 – £249,999: 0.45%
£250,000 – £499,999: 0.40%
Over £500,000: 0.35%

When each tier is reached, you pay that % on the entire balance, e.g. with £80k the entire £80k is charged at 0.60%
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
Stocks & Shares ISA: 0.45% (capped at £45)

SIPP: 0.45% (capped at £200)
Fund Fees0.20% (0.21% on SRI / Ethical portfolios)0.04%-1.44%
Minimum Investment£500£1 to open Fund & Share Account (GIA), £100 minimum investment for funds

£100 for ISA & SIPP, unless regularly depositing £25+ per month
ProductsStocks & Shares: ISA, JISA

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 Portfolios74
Ethical Portfolios7N/A
Fixed Allocation Portfolios5N/A
Other Portfolios/FundsN/AHL Select & Wealth Shortlist
DIY PortfolioNoYes
Thematic InvestingYesNo
Share DealingNoYes
FSCS ProtectionYesYes (except funds outside the UK)

Hargreaves Lansdown is a more comprehensive investing platform than Moneyfarm, offering a much wider set of investments. You can invest in shares, funds, bonds, ready-made portfolios and you can also get personal financial advice and currency exchange services.

Furthermore, Hargreaves Lansdown has a wide set of research and tools available for you to use as well offering its own managed funds to invest in. You can also create your own portfolio by picking individual stocks, funds and bonds out of thousands to choose from. This makes it a great platform for more experienced investors.

On the other hand, you’re unable to customise your investment portfolio with Moneyfarm. Moneyfarm is a robo-advisor and its core offering is ready-made portfolios. You cannot buy individual stocks and shares, or get personal financial advice. 

However, it has a wide range of portfolios to choose from based on your risk appetite, including socially responsible portfolios. It also now offers Thematic Investing, which allows you to allocate up to 20% of your portfolio to high-growth sectors. 

This makes Moneyfarm a great platform if you simply want a hands-off approach without picking your own investments. Robo-advisors are a good way of getting exposure to the market with minimal time spent on research which will suit you if you’re a less experienced investor.

Beyond funds and portfolios, Hargreaves Lansdown also offers share dealing. This operates on a fee basis of between £5.95 and £11.95 per transaction, depending on how often you trade.

However, there are plenty of cheaper investing apps out there which offer commission-free stocks and shares trading. They often give out free share promotions for new customers, too.

Although Hargreaves Lansdown has a lower platform fee than Moneyfarm, its fund charges for its ready-made portfolios are significantly higher. More below under Fees.

What is Moneyfarm?

Moneyfarm is one of the UK’s leading robo-advisors, with over 90,000 users and over £2 billion in assets under management. It launched in Italy in 2011 and then in the UK in 2016. 

Rather than individually managing your investments, Moneyfarm provides ready-made portfolios to invest in based on your risk appetite. Generally, this makes robo-advisors a good investment option for you to consider if you don’t want to actively manage your own money.

Moneyfarm was the first robo-advisor I put my money into back in 2017. When I signed up I was placed into the ‘Pioneer’ category, which is risk level 6 out of 7. 

Since late 2017 and up until February 2023 it has returned just under 13% on a money-weighted basis. On a time-weighted basis, it has returned just over 19%. You can read more about the difference between money-weighted and time-weighted returns in my full Moneyfarm review.

What is Hargreaves Lansdown?

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

Hargreaves Lansdown allows you to invest in a huge range of assets including shares, funds and bonds, as well as ready-made portfolios.

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

Moneyfarm vs Hargreaves Lansdown: Fees

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

Moneyfarm has a tiered management fee structure which depends on how much you have invested with them.

Hargreaves Lansdown also has a tiered fee structure based on how much you have invested and the type of investments you hold with them: 

MoneyfarmHargreaves Lansdown
Platform FeesNo platform fee, management fees below applyHolding funds (excluding fund fees):
Up to £250,000: 0.45%
£250,000 – £1m: 0.25%
£1m – £2m: 0.10%
£2m+: 0%

Holding shares:
Fund & Share Account: no charge
Stocks & Shares ISA: 0.45% (capped at £45)

SIPP: 0.45% (capped at £200)
Actively Managed Portfolio Management FeesUp to £10,000: 0.75%
£10,000 – £19,999: 0.70%
£20,000 – £49,999: 0.65%
£50,000 – £99,999: 0.60%
£100,000 – £249,999: 0.45%
£250,000 – £499,999: 0.40%
Over £500,000: 0.35%

When each tier is reached, you pay that percentage on the entire balance, e.g. with £80k the entire £80k is charged at 0.60%
0.92%-0.99% 

Includes fund fees, but platform fees above apply on top
Fixed Allocation Management Fees£500 – £100k: 0.45%
£100k – £250k: 0.35%
£250k – £500k: 0.30%
£500k+: 0.25%
N/A
Fund Fees0.20% + 0.09% market spread0.04%-1.44%
Ethical / Socially Responsible Fund Fees0.21% + 0.09% market spread0.04%-1.44%
Thematic Fund Fees0.40-45%N/A
Individual Stocks & Shares / Share DealingN/AFee 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

The main comparison on fees when looking at Moneyfarm vs Hargreaves Lansdown is between their total charges for actively managed portfolios. 

For actively managed portfolios, Hargreaves Lansdown charges between 0.92-0.99%. This is on top of platform charges of up to 0.45% depending on the value of your investment.

Moneyfarm’s management fees range from to 0.35% to 0.75% depending on how much you invest with them. However, the average fund costs for Moneyfarm’s actively managed portfolios are 0.28% (including spread). This is significantly lower than Hargreaves Lansdown’s actively managed fund fees of between 0.92-0.99%.

Overall, actively managed ready-made portfolios are therefore cheaper with Moneyfarm for all investment amounts than with Hargreaves Lansdown.

For example, £100k in an actively managed Moneyfarm portfolio would cost £740 per year including fund fees and spread. With £100k in Hargreaves Lansdown’s cheapest actively managed portfolio, it would cost £1,370.

On the other hand, Hargreaves Lansdown allows you to pick your own investments from a wide range of investment trusts, ETFs and mutual funds. Many of these come with much lower fund fees than Hargreaves Lansdown’s actively managed portfolio fund fees. 

Therefore, if you’re confident in picking your own investments you can build your own portfolio through low-cost ETFs with Hargreaves Lansdown.

For example, with £100k invested in Vanguard’s FTSE100 index tracker which has fund costs of 0.06%, you would pay a net charge of 0.51%. This beats Moneyfarm’s platform charge of 0.74%. 

It’s important to note that this is not an investment recommendation, but an example to demonstrate the lower cost of index funds available through Hargreaves Lansdown compared to ready-made actively managed portfolios.

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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. With Moneyfarm you cannot buy individual shares or funds.

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.

Hargreaves Lansdown also offers regulated financial advice with a minimum charge of £495 plus VAT when getting financial advice through Hargreaves Lansdown. However, the charge is levied as a percentage on the amount of capital you want advice on, so it could be much higher. 

Moneyfarm does not offer personalised financial advice, however you can speak to an investment consultant.

Moneyfarm vs Hargreaves Lansdown: Products

Very few alternatives to Hargreaves Lansdown can match its range of products and investment options. You can invest in over 3,000 shares, funds, bonds, investment trusts and ETFs. This makes it a better choice compared to Moneyfarm if you’re an experienced investor.

Hargreaves Lansdown also offers a wider range of accounts than Moneyfarm, 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.

Moneyfarm has a more limited range of investment accounts, including a Stocks & Shares ISA and JISA, as well as a GIA and a SIPP (Pension). Unlike Hargreaves Lansdown, Moneyfarm does not offer any savings products. 

That being said, fewer options may be better for beginner investors. So if you’re new to investing, Moneyfarm’s streamlined offering of ready-made portfolios may appeal to you more.

Hargreaves Lansdown also offers regulated financial advice. If you have a more complex financial situation then you may prefer Hargreaves Lansdown for its advice service.

Moneyfarm vs Hargreaves Lansdown: Portfolios

Moneyfarm’s fully managed offering has 7 portfolios to choose from, each with a different risk level where 1 is the lowest risk and 7 the highest. I’m invested in Portfolio 6.

Although Moneyfarm doesn’t have the product range of Hargreaves Lansdown, it offers much more ready-made investment portfolio options.

This includes 5 low-cost fixed allocation portfolios you can invest in on top of the 7 main portfolios. Rather than being actively managed, these portfolios are rebalanced once per year and so they have lower management fees. 

They’re a good way of getting low-cost exposure to the market, so they may suit a beginner investor. Returns may be lower than in actively managed portfolios, as fixed allocation portfolios are less reactive to economic events.

Hargreaves Lansdown offers 4 ready-made portfolios to choose from: Adventurous, Moderately Adventurous, Balanced and Cautious. You can also customise these portfolios or create your own portfolio entirely. 

Like Moneyfarm’s, these are actively managed funds rather than passive funds. They’re run by Hargreaves Lansdown fund managers and, as outlined above, they cost significantly more than Moneyfarm’s ready-made portfolios.

In addition, Hargreaves Lansdown offers ‘HL Select’ portfolios which you can invest in and are also managed by Hargreaves Lansdown fund managers. There’s also the Wealth Shortlist, which is a list of funds picked by Hargreaves Lansdown based on various criteria.

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

Moneyfarm vs Hargreaves Lansdown: Ethical Portfolios

Moneyfarm has an ethical option for each of its 7 risk-based actively managed portfolios. This is a good option if you don’t have time to do your own research and want to ensure your investments are socially responsible.

Ethical funds at Moneyfarm have very slightly higher fund fees than the regular actively managed funds, but the difference is only 0.01%.

By contrast, Hargreaves Lansdown doesn’t offer any ready-made ethical portfolios. It does, however, operate what it calls a “responsible investment” strategy over the funds it manages and picks. 

Furthermore, ethical – or ESG – funds created by the likes of L&G and Vanguard are available to invest in through Hargreaves Lansdown’s platform. This allows you to build your own ethical portfolio, which will suit a more experienced investor.

Moneyfarm vs Hargreaves Lansdown: Performance

Hargreaves Lansdown’s ready-made portfolios are a new addition to its platform, so they don’t have historical performance (as of March-23) to compare against. This makes a direct comparison to Moneyfarm difficult.

To get a sense of the past returns with other funds available at Hargreaves Lansdown, you can view their investor factsheets and research on Hargreaves Lansdown’s website.

For Moneyfarm, we can look at how its lowest risk, medium risk and highest risk actively managed portfolios performed for 2019 – the last full year before the covid pandemic – and 2022:

Moneyfarm’s Performance20192022
Moneyfarm Risk Level 12.9%-7.5%
Moneyfarm Risk Level 611.7%-7.4%
Moneyfarm Risk Level 1019.8%-10.1%

It should be noted that overall 2022 was not a good time for stock market investors, which is why I included 2019 in the table too. Energy price rises, a cost-of-living crisis and high inflation, particularly in Western economies, contributed to negative sentiment 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 return of 0.9% for 2022, in part due to its weighting towards oil, gas and commodity companies.

On the face of it, Moneyfarm 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.

Yet, 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 usually continue to buy the market.

Moneyfarm vs Hargreaves Lansdown: Research, Tools and Advice

As a robo-advisor, Moneyfarm is intended for those who want a hands-off method of investing their money. As a result, it doesn’t offer a great deal in the way of tools and research compared to Hargreaves Lansdown.

That being said, Moneyfarm offers some basic useful tools such as a pensions calculator on its website. It also regularly updates its blog which often discusses the latest market news and investment strategies of its fund managers. 

On the other hand, Hargreaves Lansdown offers a much wider range of tools, research and guides on its website and in its app. An experienced or more confident investor will probably prefer using the tools on offer with Hargreaves Lansdown vs Moneyfarm.

You can also set up price alerts so that you’re informed of when a stock hits a certain level that you may be interested in. Hargreaves Lansdown has a free investing guide which you can download here:

Hargreaves Lansdown investment guide

Hargreaves Lansdown offers personalised 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. Fees are outlined above.

Moneyfarm vs Hargreaves Lansdown: Which Has The Better App?

Moneyfarm’s app has a clear interface and is easy to navigate. On the home screen you can clearly see your investments, including how they’ve performed over time.

You can also contact support through the app using Moneyfarm’s chat feature. This is useful if you have any questions or if something goes wrong as you can be quickly connected to customer service.

Moneyfarm’s app is useful for checking your investments and reading their blog but it doesn’t offer too much else. With Hargreaves Lansdown you get a more comprehensive investment platform in its app.

You can access research and investment tools directly in the app, as well as viewing all of your portfolios and watchlists and, of course, make investments.

Moneyfarm vs Hargreaves Lansdown: Is My Money Safe?

Both Moneyfarm 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. You can also complain to the Financial Ombudsman Service if you have a dispute that you’re unable to resolve directly with them.

However, you should be aware that some funds available through Hargreaves Lansdown are located outside of the UK and therefore may not be covered by FSCS protection. You should check the information available, including the Key Investor Information Document, before investing.

Both Moneyfarm and Hargreaves Lansdown use sophisticated encryption to keep your data safe.

Both Hargreaves Lansdown and Moneyfarm segregate client money from their own using custodian accounts held with secure 3rd parties. These also fall under FSCS protection.

Moneyfarm vs Hargreaves Lansdown: Pros & Cons

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

Moneyfarm Pros & Cons

Moneyfarm Pros

  • Lower fund charges on ready-made portfolios vs Hargreaves Lansdown
  • More extensive range of ready-made portfolios compared to Hargreaves Lansdown
  • Low-cost fixed allocation portfolios
  • Range of 7 ready-made ethical portfolios to choose from
  • Thematic Investing allows you to get exposure to high-growth sectors
  • Clear and easy-to-use app
  • Regular market updates through its website and in the app
  • Portfolios generally performed well vs major US and European stock indices in 2022, although underperformed the UK’s FTSE100. Past performance is not a reliable indicator of future performance, though

Moneyfarm Cons

  • On the flip side, it tends to be a more expensive option compared to investing in individual ETFs and index funds, which you can do with Hargreaves Lansdown
  • Higher minimum investment of £500 compared to Hargreaves Lansdown for Stocks & Shares ISA, GIA and Pension
  • Unable to invest in individual stocks and funds or to customise your portfolio (other than through Thematic Investing)
  • Lack of wider products (e.g. savings accounts) and features vs Hargreaves Lansdown

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
  • Able to invest in bonds
  • Caters to wide range of users with an extensive mix of ready-made, actively managed and passive portfolios
  • Lots of investment research and useful tools, good for experienced investors
  • Lower platform charges than Moneyfarm, which makes investing cheaper if you’re investing in low-cost ETFs
  • Active Savings account brings together the best savings rates from a range of providers
  • Offers regulated personal financial advice

Hargreaves Lansdown Cons

  • Much higher fund costs for its ready-made portfolios vs Moneyfarm’s
  • Huge range of investment options may overwhelm beginner investors
  • Personalised financial advice can be expensive if you have a large amount of assets

Moneyfarm vs Hargreaves Lansdown: Final Verdict

Moneyfarm offers a straightforward, hands-off way to invest and is well suited for younger users and those new to investing. You simply decide on an appropriate risk level and Moneyfarm will allocate your money into a portfolio based on your risk preferences.

In addition, its ready-made portfolios are lower cost than Hargreaves Lansdown’s and have shown decent returns in recent years. However, past performance is not a reliable indicator of future performance.

On the other hand, Moneyfarm is limited in its investment options beyond ready-made portfolios. For example, you cannot invest in individual stocks, ETFs or index funds through its platform. Whilst you can include Thematic Investments in up to 20% of your portfolio, you’re otherwise unable to customise it.

By contrast, Hargreaves Lansdown is the better choice for more experienced investors, and those who are confident in picking their own investments. It has a huge range of funds, bonds, ETFs and shares to invest in. 

On top of this, it has 4 recently launched ready-made portfolios to invest in, and lots of research and tools to help you on your investment journey. You can also put your money into savings accounts through Hargreaves Lansdown’s Active Savings.

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