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Hargreaves: the winners & losers on ‘Wealth 150’

Hargreaves Lansdown analyses record of its influential 'best buy' fund list and reveals where its recommendations have done best and worst.

 
Hargreaves: the winners & losers on ‘Wealth 150’
 

Hargreaves Lansdown has responded to mounting scrutiny of ‘best buy’ fund lists by the City regulator with an assessment of the performance of its influential ‘Wealth 150’ recommendations.

Although ‘Wealth 100’ would be a better name after the number of funds gaining the broker’s approval dwindled to 90 from the 141 it started with in 2003, its list has nonetheless served investors well, if Hargreaves’ figures are to be believed.

According to the company, Wealth 150 funds have on average delivered a 12% higher return over funds that have not passed what it calls its ‘rigorous’ analysis.

In a riposte to the Financial Conduct Authority, which has said funds on ‘best buy’ lists tend not to beat the stock markets in which they invest, the UK’s largest fund supermarket claims its recommendations have returned 6.5% more than their benchmarks and 13.5% more than comparable index-tracking funds.

The investment retailer argues it offers these high quality products at low prices, pointing to the 0.61% annual charges investors pay on Wealth 150 funds compared to the 0.74% they would pay for them elsewhere.

Critics will say the discounts it has negotiated with fund groups don't offset the higher platform charges its customers also have to pay. Hargreaves' Vantage platform charges 0.45% a year compared to 0.2%-0.4% for rivals such as Charles Stanley, Barclays, Fidelity and Tilney Bestinvest.

Hits and misses

A closer look at performance reveals a more mixed picture as well. Mark Dampier, Hargreaves’s head of research, admits ‘we haven’t got everything right’ with the firm’s fund selections underperforming their stock market index in 10 out of 24 sectors.

Hargreaves’ figures show its Wealth 150 picks have done best in the UK, particularly in smaller companies, but have done poorly in global funds and those investing in North America and technology.

On the former, its UK Smaller Companies recommendations have smashed other funds by an average of nearly 47% (see first table) and outperformed their index by over 55%. This testifies to what the company calls ‘the rich nature of this hunting ground’ for skilful stock pickers.

Best Wealth 150 (W150) sectors

  Outperformance of average active W150 fund vs sector Vs index Vs average tracker fund (where relevant)
UK Smaller Companies 46.80% 55.30%  
UK All Companies 23.50% 13.90% 26.80%
UK Equity Income 8.20% 3.30%  
Japan 11.80% 1.30% 13.50%
GBP Strategic Bond 13.50% 8.20%  
Global Emerging Markets 14.20% 3.80%  
Asia Pacific ex Japan 11.60% -2.30% 15.40%
Europe ex-UK 17.60% 13.80% 25.60%

Source: Hargreaves Lansdown

Similarly its choice of funds in the popular UK Equity Income sector have beaten the competition by just over 8% on average and returned more than 3% over the index.

Its choice of funds in the big UK All Companies sector has been more impressive, outpacing their rivals by 23.5% and leaving the FTSE All-Share trailing by 13.9%.

Its fund selections in Europe, global emerging markets and Japan have also done well.

Tracker challenge

Crucially, the broker says its UK All Company recommendations have beaten funds tracking the FTSE All-Share by nearly 27%.

This is an important point for the broker which in recent years has bowed to the massive shift by investors into cheap index-tracking and exchange traded funds (ETFS) by adding 13 of the ‘passive’ funds to the Wealth 150.

Like Citywire, which rates the performance of individual fund managers, Hargreaves' Dampier remains convinced there is a small pool of active stock pickers, such as Neil Woodford, Nick Train and EdenTree's Robin Hepworth, who can beat their index over the long term.

Although Dampier acknowledges tracker funds can be good for first-time investors and anyone looking for an efficient way to access some stock markets, he shows that over time even their small costs can add up significantly.

For example, in the 14 years it has run Wealth 150, the average FTSE All-Share tracker has fallen 28% behind the index as a result of charges, says Hargreaves.

The firm explains this is 'because the index return is purely theoretical, based on costless investment, which a tracker cannot match because the charges still do detract from index returns. It is therefore not possible to achieve the index passively.'

Worst Wealth 150 sectors

  Underperformance of average active W150 fund vs sector Vs index Vs average tracker fund (where relevant)
Flexible Investment -13.70% -4.10%  
Global Equity Income -10.90% -6%  
North America -4.50% -8.60% -7.10%
North America Smaller Companies -2.20% -4.30%  
Technology & Telecoms -6.30% -6.50% -26.70%

Source: Hargreaves Lansdown

In contrast to its success on UK domestic funds, Hargreaves has failed in the home of capitalism, North America. Its chosen funds have lagged their sector average, the S&P 500 index and US tracker funds by 4.5%, 8.6% and 7.1% respectively (see second table).

As a result it has not had an active US larger company fund in Wealth 150 in over four years and doubts it ever will. 'The US stock market is the largest and most heavily researched in the world, and this is one of the main reasons we believe we have had difficulty finding active fund managers who consistently outperform.

'We therefore currently prefer a low-cost tracker fund for larger exposure to larger US companies,' it explains.

The knock-on effect of that failure is a poor record in global funds, which invest around half their assets in the US.

It presumably also explains why technology has also been a dismal area for its tips with nearly 27% underperformance against funds tracking the Nasdaq index.

Again, Hargreaves has given up trying and no longer includes a tech fund in the Wealth 150. 'We are increasingly of the opinion that the structure of the market, which is dominated by technology giants such as Facebook and Amazon, makes it difficult for fund managers to add significant value above the index,' it says.

Avoid mediocre funds

The shrinking number of funds on Wealth 150 also reflects big changes in investment. Hargreaves says the UK funds market is polarising between high performance active funds at one end of the spectrum and cheap tracker funds at the other.

'The rump of mediocre funds in the middle will find themselves increasingly squeezed as investors quite rightly become more selective when it comes to getting value for money from their investments,’ it warns.

It suggests the five principles it uses on Wealth 150 will improve investors’ chances of avoiding those unattractive funds:

Look for skilful, not just lucky, fund managers who can demonstrate good stock picking, not just an investment style that is in favour.

Look for a long-term track record: it suggests a seven-year period is usually long enough to test a fund manager.

Follow the manager not the fund: funds are just a legal structure, what drives returns is the manager in charge of your money.

Invest with high conviction and pick a fund manager who you would continue to back even during an extended period of underperformance.

Reduce fund management fees and your costs of investing wherever possible. Possibly a double-edged tip for Hargreaves but not one that anyone will disagree with.

48 comments so far. Why not have your say?

gadgetmind2

Aug 24, 2017 at 08:46

The shrinking number of funds is because they drop under performers, leaving the better ones to provide a nice bit of survivorship bias.

As for "follow the manager" maybe read today's article about Woodford.

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D Green

Aug 24, 2017 at 10:27

As I understand it, these HL figures include all funds that have even been on the Wealth 150 and only include the performance of each fund for the period it was in the Wealth 150. So that should eliminate or at least reduce survivorship bias in these figures.

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D Green

Aug 24, 2017 at 10:28

typo: even = ever

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disappointed customer

Aug 24, 2017 at 14:41

I used to give Hargreaves the benefit of the doubt, viewing them as a quality operation who were entitled to charge a premium because they delivered a quality service.

Recently, however, service has become very much worse. Some staff have become very arrogant and refuse to accept any criticism. And try getting a fair hearing for a complaint!!

Very sadly, this is no longer the customer-focused business it once was. The FCA's platform review is not before time - I look forward to feet being held to the fire...

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Codger

Aug 24, 2017 at 18:13

Do the HL comparisons allow for their annual platform charges and the cost of changing funds when one of the Wealth 150 is dropped?

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Tyrion Lannister

Aug 24, 2017 at 18:15

I've been with HL for 6 years and I have to disagree with "disappointed customer". Their service imo is as good as ever.

I recently had a complaint which was stonewalled at first, but by being patient and civil my complaint was raised with the senior client services managers and the complaint was resolved in my favour.

They are just people like you and me, so if you get angry with them they will be defensive. That's no different to any other company.

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disappointed customer

Aug 24, 2017 at 18:27

Is Tyrion Lannister a Hargreaves Lansdown employee, perchance?

If not, perhaps he/she should be!

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Tyrion Lannister

Aug 24, 2017 at 18:44

Because I make a positive comment, it means I'm an employee????

If you want a negative comment about them, they're expensive.

Happy now?

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disappointed customer

Aug 24, 2017 at 18:58

My apologies for my throwaway comment.

And you're right about them being expensive, which is why I have become so disappointed.

I was happy to pay when I felt they were head and shoulders above the market on service.

Now I'm much less convinced. I've had good reports about AJ Bell, and they certainly look keenly priced.

Anyone have any experience of their service/platform?

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andrew moffat

Aug 24, 2017 at 19:15

This article is confusing and not clearly written, I submit, but apologies if I have missed something. Thus:

1 Could the author kindly explain over what time frame these statistics were produced?

2 More important, how is the outperformance measured? For instance, the UK All Companies 'outperformance' is put at 23.50%. The index and sector outperformances are put at 13.90% and 26.80%.

Does this mean that HL outperformed by 23.5%, 13.9% and 26.8% in percentage points? Or does it mean that HL outperformed by these percentages absolutely alongside the averages? To explain (to be clear): if, for sake of argument, the index rose 10% in one year and HL's funds (in a particular sector) rose 12%, then HL would have outperformed by 20%. Or would you have said that HL, in this instance, had outperformed by 2% (ie the difference between 10% and 12%)?

Rgds

AM

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D Green

Aug 24, 2017 at 20:46

The full details are here:

http://www.hl.co.uk/funds/wealth150

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Franco

Aug 24, 2017 at 20:50

I note that HL have been careful not to tell us the index they used for comparing each sector, nor the proportion of funds that overperformed.

The performance of the funds you are selling to ignorant investors can always be made to appear superior to the index, by choosing "the right index".

A good trick is to choose the FTSE All Share for the UK All Co sector, when it is loaded with FTSE 250 shares. The same goes for the UK Smaller Co. sector which is compared against the FTSE Small Cap when it is loaded with the FTSE 250 and that index happened to outperform in that period. There are more tricks in IFA cupboards than FCA have had hot dinners.

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Bob saxton

Aug 24, 2017 at 21:07

I have been with H-L many years and have never had any bad experiences, quite the opposite.I find them invariably polite, knowledgeable and pleasant.

I really like the fact that I can always speak to a human not a recorded message of the, if you want to scratch your head press one, If you want to pick your nose press two variety. I really like the information my portfolio and on any company I am interested in. I can find out what my investments are worth within minutes and can sell or buy similarly. I make my own decisions but find the information from H-l helpful in this.

Bob the electrician.

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andrew moffat

Aug 24, 2017 at 21:31

Thank you, D Green, for that link. I think HL could have made it a little clearer, by way of using an example. However, it appears that their methodology is based upon the period in which their chosen fund has been a constituent of their Wealth 150. In addition: "The Index, Peer Group, and Tracker returns are subtracted from the fund return to give us a figure of outperformance/underperformance per fund."

To me, that sounds as if we are talking about absolute percentages. Therefore, if the index has produced 15% and the HL fund has produced 29% over the years, then the outperformance is 14%. This is the type of example HL should have used.

The article above - on the face of it at least - suggests HL has produced some excellent recommendations. That said, one must take care to consider the time frame: an outperformance of 15% over three years is more impressive than an outperformance of 15% over ten years.

As Franco, above, suggests, it is also worth considering the index used and whether there has been any selectivity.

A further observation: HL is now capable of moving such large amounts of money about, in terms of its recommendations, that it can realistically only recommend the much larger funds. Some smaller funds may be preferable but could not accommodate the type of investment inflows HL could generate and, in some instances, these smaller funds have deliberately restricted their size, to maintain flexibility.

In conclusion, I think the author could have written this article a little more clearly.

I agree with those who say that HL produce a good service, even although their charges are not always the cheapest.

Rgds

AM

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horshamtim

Aug 25, 2017 at 07:16

I am surprised - particularly given Citywire and Gavin Lumsden's support for Investment Trusts - that the obvious point has not been made. HL's list only contains funds - it has always pushed OEICs and Unit Trusts because it pays them to do so. Before RDR they hung on to the commission element in the AMC, and now their profits depend on the 0.45% uncapped charge they place on such fund holdings as part of their platform fee. It is this element that makes them one of the more expensive platforms to use.

The inclusion of some of the funds listed borders on the risible - M & G Recovery anyone? I am old enough to remember when this was worth holding - but that is a long time ago now....

For a more balanced approach Money Observer maintains a list which includes both funds and ITs.

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D Green

Aug 25, 2017 at 08:20

Yes, I'm no HL fan, but on the face of it, these figures suggest that HL has, overall, made good recommendations, both in relation to which funds to include and when to remove them. In other words, they have picked funds that have produced alpha.

It also suggests that in most sectors some careful choosing gives a better than evens chance of beating index funds.

I'm sceptical, because as others have said, the FS industry does have a record of using misleading figures, but so far the only potential flaw I can see is that they might be cherry picking the indexes or even if they are picking the closest index, the actual fund is choosing a portfolio that is much riskier than the index.

One thing I note is that they don't say anything about their average performance being calculated on a time-weighted basis, so, on the face of it, they are giving equal weight to a fund whether it has been in the W150 for the full 14 years or just, say, 1 year. But I can't see why this would bias their analysis in their favour.

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john brace

Aug 25, 2017 at 09:18

Regarding AJ Bell - have recently looked at their SIPP charges, against HL. while they are cheaper , on drawdown, they are quite a lot dearer, so beware.

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Mark Stringer

Aug 25, 2017 at 09:19

Franco,

Couldn't agree more about the IFA's who are akin to estate agents in my opinion. I recall many years ago when the FSA was still in existence before they became the FCA so that the punters might forget via name change how they were repeatedly let down by them. I knew a chap who was going to work for the FSA and he didn't even know the difference between unitised with-profits and traditional with-profits. I gave him a brochure that had been provided by Scottish Widows when I took out a policy with them many,many years back to explain it. It's no wonder the FCA couldn't catch a cold never mind the rogues.

I always find it "funny" how firms are notified of a visit by the regulator so they can hide the skeletons in advance. .I always default to the Mark Twain gem "lies, damned lies and statistics".

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horshamtim

Aug 25, 2017 at 12:20

I accept that some of the funds in their list beat some funds not in their list. Some of them(not all) beat the relevant index. Given that over 75% of active fund managers can't do that, this is an achievement of sorts. As their list is comprised only of open-ended funds, the key question is whether you would have done better in ETFs or Investment Trusts, even if you stick to HL.

On all the evidence, ITs beat OEICs over most asset classes and sectors and most time periods. Where there is a choice - and sometimes there are OEICs and ITs run by the same manager covering the same sector, it usually pays to go with the IT. Because of the uncapped charges HL places on funds held on their platform - while IT etc. total holdings have the charges capped at £45 a year (ISA) and £200 a year (SIPP - this difference is accentuated.

And there are 13 tracker funds in their list - where the HL platform charges more than double the fund costs. Anyone who is holding such tracker funds rather than comparable ETFs on such a platform is going out of their way to be generous to HL shareholders!

While there increasing noises that HL's customer service is not as good as it was, the key point is that if you are regularly needing to telephone to speak to someone, then either they or you are doing something wrong. I have had to make one call in the last two years to one of the two platforms I trade on. Everything else has been sorted out online - and for a lot less than HL would charge me!

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RippedOff

Aug 25, 2017 at 13:45

So who is one to believe, Hargreaves or FCA - a no brainer. And, they dropped nearly 1 in 3 of best buys.

They used to be less expensive but I dropped them because of their appalling service.

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Sinic

Aug 26, 2017 at 10:02

I have used HL for well over twenty years and am entirely satisfied with a service which remains the best in the industry. As for pricing the 0.45% represents the highest fee you will be required to pay on self select investments. I paid less than 0.27% in the last year, because I have around 50% of my portfolio in ITs and direct stocks which are capped at £45 per account per annum.

Incidentally I have never worked for them so this type of banal throwaway comment is baseless.

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John Bowers

Aug 26, 2017 at 10:38

Who really needs these best buy charts anyway. I have never used them although I have been with HL for years. Once I have made a choice, I sometimes check what the HL view is of the fund but it rarely influences my choice. Far better to use Trustnet and Morningstar to check long term performance. The former particularly enables you to break down into any sector of the market of funds and ITs and gives risk assessments, charges, premiums/discounts etc. Both give an excellent free service.

In defence of HL's high charges, they do give customers a "loyalty bonus" on funds held. I do not know if this is true of any other platform?

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King Lodos

Aug 27, 2017 at 18:38

I think Wealth 150 does a good job of steering you towards large, run well, IFA-favourite funds .. Unfortunately, beating indexes often necessitates finding small, off-the-radar funds which IFAs aren't putting everyone into.

I think where HL does even better is with their recommended portfolios .. The number of people who don't think beyond just investing in stocks – I think that's where a selection of quality active or passive funds, with a sensible asset allocation, will almost guarantee a satisfactory result.

Beating indexes is for hedge funds and traders – and I don't think should be conflated too much with optimal personal or retirement investing

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Rob Walker

Aug 28, 2017 at 11:26

I suspect that part of the appeal of some HL-chosen funds is based on their appeal to the customer (ie. an easy proposition to sell as an attractive investment) rather than what might give the best returns.

Their best recommendation to me has been Royal London Sterling Bonds that has returned over 6% pa and appreciated over 50% in 7 years. Every year we were told this is the year of reckoning for corporate bonds and every year they have done better and better.

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Mark Stringer

Aug 28, 2017 at 11:49

King Lodos, the vast majority of what passes for an IFA doesn't have the resources to do indepth research and the umbrella groups they pay to belong to simply organises the attendance at well marketed fund managers seminars which obviously is only going to sell the wonders of their funds.

I can't imagine many being able to go "off message" and recommend funds outside of the "recommendations letter" parameters or as it is sometimes known "the cover your arse letter".

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Mark Stringer

Aug 28, 2017 at 12:02

Rob Walker,

Some years ago I thought that my investment into Foreign & Colonial and Gartmore was radical, but I am sure I could have done so much better had I understood IT's better.

I use HL along with mainly direct share investment which works for me. Horses for courses as I have recently bought into some funds.

I personally like the clean and easy website of HL. Almost never had a problem and have not winced at the charges so far.

I do wonder sometimes after reading some of the comments on hear that perhaps I am missing out, but for me I am not tempted by the "grass being greener".

If I make a decent profit after charges including stamp duty I'm happy, but good luck to those who pay less.

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Franco

Aug 28, 2017 at 12:06

I hope the funds that HL removed from the Wealth list during the period of the test, they counted as underperformers, because good performers are never removed.

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Rob Walker

Aug 28, 2017 at 12:32

Mark Stringer...I would agree. I am impressed by the HL help desk where I usually get a straight and clear answer from the first personI speak to. No press option 1/2/3 etc.There are many strengths in the HL offering and, I suspect, we only know how good they are when we try another service.

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D Green

Aug 28, 2017 at 12:55

Franco, judging by their explanation of their methodology, they counted all funds that have ever been on the W150, for the period they were on it. So this appears to be a measure of whether funds that they picked did outperform (on average) and also whether, on average, they correctly judged when to remove funds from the list.

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william barnes

Aug 28, 2017 at 12:59

HL I find them very efficient and there telephone service excellent.Their 200£ max for sips and 45£ max for isas (when investing in equities and IT's) and 11.95£ online dealing fee very reasonable

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BazzaH

Aug 28, 2017 at 14:01

For funds they do seem expensive with 0.45% I understand Halifax don't charge anything. Also for foreign currency shares they charge 1.5%, which does not compare favourably. Think their service has gone downhill recently, had a problem with Bed&ISA investment, which took 4 days to process which cost me quite a bit of money. I now have more foreign shares so I will be considering opening an account next year with another broker. Another niggle recently is the share prices displayed are often incorrect, such as highest risers/fallers at close, most Aim shares, indicting they have not moved even though they show the latest price. So something wrong with their systems.

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BazzaH

Aug 28, 2017 at 14:01

For funds they do seem expensive with 0.45% I understand Halifax don't charge anything. Also for foreign currency shares they charge 1.5%, which does not compare favourably. Think their service has gone downhill recently, had a problem with Bed&ISA investment, which took 4 days to process which cost me quite a bit of money. I now have more foreign shares so I will be considering opening an account next year with another broker. Another niggle recently is the share prices displayed are often incorrect, such as highest risers/fallers at close, most Aim shares, indicting they have not moved even though they show the latest price. So something wrong with their systems.

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Trev DIYer

Aug 28, 2017 at 14:52

HL's £200 max for shares in a SIPP is not reasonable in my view, especially when it's only £45 in an ISA. AJ Bell's max is £100 SIPP, £30 ISA and their fund charges are lower too. If you want lower fees it's best to do a comparison through the Compare Fund Platforms website.

I'm using iWeb, Best Invest and Charles Stanley for the investments of various members of my family. It depends on whether you're contributing monthly or lump sum and whether it's ISA, SIPP or S&S, as well as the total amount involved. I find these three platforms easy to use. Research can be done anywhere, including HL, but I stopped looking at the W150 years ago!

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john brace

Aug 28, 2017 at 17:25

A JBell are much more expensive than HL for SIPP drawdown - horses for courses

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john vandermark

Aug 28, 2017 at 22:25

Saving a few quid here or there is not the same as getting the best - very rarely ever is!

I have been a long time investor with HL, and their platform plus service are second to none - that really matters to me.

John.

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Trev DIYer

Aug 29, 2017 at 14:12

I've had no problems buying/selling/holding funds/shares on Charles Stanley, Best Invest, iWeb, Interactive Investor and AJ Bell. I rarely use any of these sites or HL for research. I can't think what HL could add to my experience, so I certainly wouldn't pay more for the privilege.

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horshamtim

Aug 29, 2017 at 17:43

I agree with Trev DIYer. All the published tables in Investors Chronicle and elsewhere show how expensive HL is if you are investing in funds - anything above £50k and you are paying over the odds. Despite one of the above comments that HL is good value for drawdown - again the charts in this weeks Money Observer refute that claim.

Despite asking why all the HL fans think it gives good value for its higher costs - the best I've had back so far is that they are nice on the phone when you call them. The platforms that I use don't need me to call them.......

HL make money out of encouraging the use of open-ended funds, which is why their list does not include better performing investment trusts etc. If that was not enough they now sell their HL multi-manager funds at an average OCF of 1.42% a year (plus of course the 0.45% platform fee) - this is more expensive than buying the underlying funds even on HL, let alone one of the others!

If you like trackers and are never aiming to beat the relevant index (not sure I completely agree with KL on that one) then one of the Vanguard Life Strategy funds with whatever level of equities you want knocks out at an OCF of 0.22% - or less than half the cost of HL's platform charge.

As for research -we can all access HL's anyway, and the ATS platform gives free access to premium Morningstar services, worth £159 a year.

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Tyrion Lannister

Aug 29, 2017 at 18:11

Trev DIYer, horshamtim

HL's value for money really depends on how often you trade open ended funds.

Just 5 per month and and I'm at breakeven with ATS. However, I trade considerably more than that as I like to drip feed into funds, this makes HL considerably cheaper in my case.

It all depends on individual circumstances.

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Trev DIYer

Aug 29, 2017 at 19:13

Tyrion. In An ISA, for eg, you could pay 44% less at Charles Stanley. 0.25% instead of 0.45%! No charge for trading funds.

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Tyrion Lannister

Aug 29, 2017 at 19:36

Trev DIYer, I was using ATS as my example because horshamtim referred to them.

Charles Stanley do, though, have other niggling charges thrown in as well as a higher dealing charge for equities.

My main point was that which platform is best and/or cheapest depends on individual circumstances.

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Hank Elvis Dobbs (texan)

Sep 02, 2017 at 20:13

should have bought CAY....Then..up 70% since I tipped them..x

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Anonymous 1 needed this 'off the record'

Sep 22, 2017 at 08:06

As investors we are becoming more demanding , a long time HL clients, the figures on the 150 wealth , are may be correct , not all funds are the same may be Hl can publish the funds up and down % , during a period , individual funds ?

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Northener

Sep 22, 2017 at 08:06

As investors we are becoming more demanding , a long time HL clients, the figures on the 150 wealth , are may be correct , not all funds are the same may be Hl can publish the funds up and down % , during a period , individual funds ?

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colin overton

Oct 08, 2017 at 19:18

The Wealth 150 is a mixture of reasonable performers (as others have said a place to start if you're inexperienced or lack time) and UTs where HL offer discounts. For those who like passive investments, HL offers cheap trackers. I thought of leaving HL some years ago but spoke to them before I did and was offered a better deal. So I stayed. They offer good service and a wide range of investments. They're not the cheapest but are easy to use, easy to see the value of your investments and in my experience a one-stop investment platform. If they don't suit you leave.

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citymoke

Oct 08, 2017 at 22:10

Talking about HL - I was discussing with an acquaintance a few weeks ago about stocks/shares/investments of which he knew nothing about. He'd made his money by investing in buying and selling commercial land (for fishing purposes). So he'd built up a large sum of money which was stuck in a building society somewhere and was wondering what he could do with it. So I talked to him about investments for about an hour trying to explain what a share was and what unit trusts were and what a platform was etc. and suggested that he visited the HL site where things are explained more fully. A few days ago we met up again and I asked him what he thought of his perusal of the HL website.

He said that it was far too complicated to understand and would just stick to what he knows! It was at that point that I said to him that Martin Lewis' suggestion of having investments and money management taught in the school curriculum might be a good idea, to which he agreed!

Methinks that there are many more people out there who have the same view as he does - ie. I don't understand any of it, so I won't get involved!

Sad really.

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Mark Stringer

Oct 08, 2017 at 22:52

citymoke, yes, completely agree money management should be taught at school level as should civics and the basics of our legal structure from Parliament to local authorities. It would certainly help so many who can’t manage their finances.

But some people simply don’t understand the concept when risk is introduced.

The mechanics are easy it is the risk/fear that makes them glaze over in my experience.

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Tyrion Lannister

Oct 08, 2017 at 22:57

Mark Stringer, in my experience, there are very few people who have a good grasp of the concept of risk.

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horshamtim

Oct 11, 2017 at 09:53

Mark, Tyrion - absolutely right, although in my dotage I still run professional training courses and even educated intelligent people struggle with this. Apart from the well publicised cognitive biases that affect retail investors, the evidence suggests a key issue for many is whether the risk is chosen or imposed - with the former usually being downplayed. I always remember the 20-a-day smoker who was insistent that the new mobile phone mast was a greater risk to her and her children! In some of my talks I ask the audience to put a list of risks in the right order in terms of probability. I never get a correct answer! It usually causes some consternation that you are more likely to be killed by a lightning strike in the next 12 months than win the lottery....

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OBR: stamp duty cut will drive house prices higher

by Michelle McGagh on Nov 24, 2017 at 07:00

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