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How to start investing

Dealing in shares and funds

Buying shares, as well as funds and other investments, is increasingly easy. Investments can be bought and sold online, through mobile apps, over the phone and by post.

This is done through stockbrokers and fund supermarkets, who usually offer three levels of service:


Execution-only is DIY investing. Investors make their own investment decisions and place instructions with a broker, often online, who will then ‘execute’ those instructions. This way of investing usually has the lowest costs.

You can find out more about Hargreaves Lansdown’s execution-only dealing services here.


An advisory service involves taking advice from a financial expert based upon your personal circumstances, attitude to investment risk and financial goals. Your adviser will suggest investments based on your investment goals and financial position.

Do you need financial advice? We could help with a free no-obligation consultation.

The cost of financial advice will vary based on how much advice you need and the amount of money you have available to invest.

Discretionary management

Discretionary management means leaving the management of your investments to the experts, with all investment decisions being made on your behalf. Discretionary management is suitable for those with larger portfolios and limited time or expertise.

The cost of discretionary management services will depend on how much money you have to invest and the types of investments made.

Different ways to invest money

A common misconception is that you have to have a large sum to start investing. While investing a lump sum is certainly possible, you can also regularly invest smaller sums, known as regular savings.

Regular savings

You can open a Hargreaves Lansdown account with as little as £25 each month through a regular savings plan. Not only is this an affordable route into building an investment portfolio, but it is often the more cautious approach and could be good for an investor not looking to take on too much risk.

By investing little and often, you have the potential to smooth out market fluctuations, as investing monthly can ‘average-out’ the price paid for fund units or shares.

Regular savings calculator

Use our regular savings calculator to see what your investments could be worth.


Lump sum investment

Many people find themselves with a lump sum at some point in their lives. This could be through inheritance, a bonus or cash from the sale of a home.

Lump sum investing doesn’t have to involve a six-figure amount. When investing in funds, Hargreaves Lansdown accounts have a minimum starting lump sum of just £100, and there is no set minimum for investing in shares.

Next steps

Now you’re clear on what an investment is, the different types, your options and how to get going, you’ll need to set up an account to start investing. Find out which Hargreaves Lansdown Vantage account is best for you.

Choosing the right account