Ready to invest, or a pro investor already looking to change platforms? Let’s take a look at eToro and Hargreaves Lansdown.
First of all, there’s some key differences to highlight. eToro is a trading platform, which offers a huge range of investment options, to suit all types of traders (such as stocks, currencies and crypto), and these would be traded regularly. Plus, a huge range of tools to help you trade.
Hargreaves Lansdown is a stock broker. They buy and sell stocks and funds (groups of stocks) for you, and normally with a longer time-frame, not regular trading.
If you’re in a hurry, we’ve rated eToro 5 stars, and Hargreaves Lansdown is rated 2 stars. There’s a pretty clear winner! eToro is also much cheaper. Here’s where to get started with eToro¹.
Let’s dive into the details.
eToro vs Hargreaves Lansdown
First, let’s quickly run through both platforms, so we’re on the same page.
eToro is a very popular trading platform. It’s great for beginners all the way to experienced professionals.
It’s got pretty much everything you’d want to trade, that’s stocks and shares (small portions of the ownership of a company), funds such as ETFs (groups of shares combined together), currencies, commodities (things like gold and silver), and cryptocurrencies.
What’s great about eToro too, and the only place to do this in the UK, is the social trading – that’s where you can view and interact with other traders, and see their trades. You can learn from them and even copy their trades!
It’s also commission free (although not completely fee free). Making it one of the lowest cost platforms out there.
You can also trade with leverage (borrowed money), and trade the price of assets going down (shorting), as well as going up of course.
In general, it’s a well-rounded and great trading platform. You can learn more with our eToro review.
Hargreaves Lansdown is a traditional stock broker (a place to buy and sell stocks directly, rather than trading the price). It’s very well established and has a solid reputation.
You can buy traditional investments such as stocks, shares and funds, and the range of these is pretty broad.
Cost wise, you’ll pay an account fee, which is a percentage based on the total of your investments, and then a fee to buy and sell (more of fees later).
You can learn more with our Hargreaves Lansdown review.
eToro vs Hargreaves Lansdown: costs
You may have guessed it already. eToro is vastly cheaper, and we’re not talking pennies.
eToro is commission free, that means no fees to buy and sell investments, and there’s no account fees (which are fees just to open and have an account).
In fact, the only fees you might end up paying is a foreign exchange fee, to convert Pounds to Dollars. As eToro is worldwide, it runs on Dollars, even if you’re in the UK. This is 0.50%. And if you want to withdraw cash from your account, you’ll pay $5.
With eToro, if you are trading CFDs (Contract For Differences), which is trading the price of an asset rather than buying the asset itself (for instance, you want to trade the price going down),
You’ll also pay spread fees, which are small hidden fees added to the price when you buy or sell. These are pretty common when trading and quite low. It changes per asset, so check the eToro website¹ for more details. You cannot trade CFDs with Hargreaves Lansdown.
With Hargreaves Lansdown, you’ll first pay an account fee, which starts at 0.45% of your investments per year (and reduces the more you have invested), that’s if you are holding funds (a group of shares). If you are holding just shares themselves, it’s no charge.
However, you’ll then pay a fee to buy and sell investments. This starts at £11.95 and reduces to £5.95 if you make over 20 deals per month.
Overall, you’re really looking at trading for almost zero cost, or trading with one of the most expensive brokers out there. There’s not much comparison.
eToro vs Hargreaves Lansdown: Stocks & Shares ISA
Now here’s where it flips the other way! Hargreaves Lansdown wins this easily as eToro doesn’t offer a Stocks & Shares ISA.
It’s a great way to invest for long-term growth. A common strategy is to let the experts manage your ISA, with an expert-managed investment platform, such as Moneyfarm¹ or InvestEngine¹ (here’s the best investment platforms), and then use a self-managed platform, such as eToro (not so much Hargreaves Lansdown because of the fees), to make your own investments within a General Investment Account (a standard account).
This is because you can only pay into 1 Stocks & Shares ISA per tax year (April 6th to April 5th the following year). You can invest up to £20,000 per year within an ISA too (technically across all of your ISAs, such as a Cash ISA and Lifetime ISA, if you have them. Here’s where to learn more about ISAs).
Winner: Hargreaves Lansdown
eToro vs Hargreaves Lansdown: investment options
There’s some key differences here. eToro is a trading platform, and that means it offers a massive range of investment options, to suit all types of traders. There’s a huge range of stocks and funds (group of stocks), along with currencies, commodities (like silver and gold), and cryptocurrencies. It’s got pretty much everything you’d ever want to trade.
Hargreaves Lansdown on the other hand, is a traditional stock broker. They offer stocks and funds (such as exchange-traded funds), and that’s pretty much all they do. However, the range of stocks and funds on offer is big. One of the largest for a broker.
Both platforms cover UK, US and European stocks, plus lots more.
Overall though, if it's the range of investments you are after, eToro wins hands down.
eToro vs Hargreaves Lansdown: customer reviews
Let’s take a look at what customers think of both. The best way to do that is look at their reviews on the popular review website, Trustpilot.
eToro has an excellent score of 4.3 out of 5, and a massive 17,000 reviews. Not bad at all. Customers love eToro.
Lot’s of the reviews are about the commission free trading, great platform experience and the ability to trade and follow other traders.
When it comes to Hargreaves Lansdown, they also have an excellent score of 4.3 out of 5. That’s from over 6,500 reviews, so pretty popular too.
Lot’s of the reviews mention the great customer service, and how easy it was to set up an account and the ISA option.
So, they’re pretty similar in terms of rating, well exactly the same!
Winner: it’s a draw!
The overall winner
And there we have it, eToro vs Hargreaves Lansdown.
Who wins then? Well it’s got to be eToro.
eToro is considerably cheaper, you can’t really get much cheaper than commission-free! And on the other hand, Hargreaves Lansdown is one of the most expensive brokers out there.
And when it comes to the range of investments, eToro has lots more. It’s got stocks, funds, currencies, crypto and commodities (like gold), whereas Hargreaves Lansdown just has stocks and funds.
If you do want a Stocks & Shares ISA, then Hargreaves wins, but there’s lots of options of there for Stocks & Shares ISAs, and in most cases we recommend using an expert-managed investment platform, such as Moneyfarm¹ or InvestEngine¹ for your ISA – why not just let the experts grow your money over time?
You can then use a General Investment Account for your own investments and regular trading (if you are looking to trade frequently that is).
With customer reviews, they’re pretty much on par, but eToro is quite a bit more popular.
That’s it! eToro wins. If you’re keen to get started or learn more, check out the eToro website¹.