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Review of Nutmeg – Find a Great Robo Advisor in 2019

Last updated & tested: 2019-02-24

Founded in 2011, Nutmeg is a robo advisor that aims to bring investment opportunities to a wider audience. William Todd and Nick Hungerford founded the brokerage to provide an alternative and accessible service with a simple-to-follow fee structure and realistic pricing. Once Nutmeg clients have signed up for an account, they can select the level of guidance that they prefer. This review of Nutmeg found that its fully managed ETF portfolios can serve the needs of most passive investors seeking a financial portfolio.

Highlights
  • UK broker with Financial Conduct Authority regulation
  • User-friendly interface backed up by reliable customer service
  • Excellent for managed portfolios and cost-efficient
  • Price structure for each service is transparent
3.
of 10 Robo Advisor Broker
Nutmeg
Nutmeg experiences
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Risk warning: Capital can be lost. Terms and conditions apply.
Headquarters and regulation

UK (FCA)

Minimum deposit

£ 100

Investment Universe

Shares, Commodities, Real Estate, Bonds, Money Market

Investment Strategy

number of portfolios

Dep. Protection

£50,000

Mobile Trading & Apps

Trading fees

-

Profit Participation

Diversification

Yes

Services & additional benefits

Live
Hotline
E-mail

1. Trading Offer

1) Robo Advisor Trading Offer – A Huge Range of ETFs at Nutmeg

Nutmeg tends to focus on just a few tradable assets to minimise the costs passed on to its clients, but within these, there is a plentiful selection of exchange traded funds (ETFs) to consider. It works with around 1,800 ETFs, putting the emphasis on traditional ones rather than the synthetic versions. These boast a reliable performance and higher liquidity, tracking equities and bonds from emerging and developed markets. There are also a number of bonds available from North America, the UK and emerging markets as well as a few commodities. With no single provider, Nutmeg takes its pick from any holdings, securities and assets that look promising.

For investors interested in a savings plan, there are tax-free ISAs and Lifetime ISAs that can fund a property purchase or retirement fund. Clients have a choice of four different account types: the Standard or Lifetime ISA, the General Investment Account and the Pension. This broker comparison showed a high level of personalisation offered for each account. The Fixed Allocation Portfolios have minimal intervention and the Nutmeg team closely monitors the Fully Managed Portfolios and the Socially Responsible Portfolios, but the focus is on ethics as well as performance.

Trader Rating
Nutmegreview_summary_group_1_image
  • Nutmeg works with 1800 ETFs
  • The broker offers four different account types, from ISAs to general investments and pensions
  • Three separate investment plans with different levels of intervention are available
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Risk warning: Capital can be lost. Terms and conditions apply.
2. Costs

2) Robo Advisor Costs – Transparent Pricing and Low Fees

Nutmeg has a limited number of portfolio options, and this means that it can maintain a very simple pricing structure. Nutmeg stock trading focuses on ETFs because as a liquid asset, they are tradable on the secondary market and are cheaper than mutual funds. There are no fees required to open an account or get your portfolio set up, and you will not face charges for leaving Nutmeg, making a deposit or withdrawing money. For the Lifetime ISA Account, the minimum investment threshold is £100, and for the Standard ISA and the General Investing Accounts, the minimum is £5,000.

You can choose to deposit £500 and make a regular monthly payment of £100 instead. For the Pension Account, the minimum investment is £5,000. The management fees are determined on a percentage basis, and the decided amount will deduct from your balance automatically each month. A fully managed account with a £100, 000 investment will attract fees of 1.05%, but for a fixed allocation account, this drops to 0.75%. If you can afford to invest £200,000, then the annual fee drops to 0.85% for fully managed accounts or 0.65% for fixed allocation accounts.

Trader Rating
Nutmegreview_summary_group_2_image
  • Low minimum deposits for investment accounts
  • The more you invest, the lower the annual fees
  • The price structure is very straightforward
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Risk warning: Capital can be lost. Terms and conditions apply.
3. Account

3) Accounts – Tax-Free Savings and Pensions

Our Nutmeg brokerage review found four account types. Two centres around ISAs and the others on general investments and pensions. The Standard ISA, or individual savings account, allows you to avoid paying tax on your savings. These ISAs come with an annual £20,000 tax-free allowance, and most people can cash out at any time. If you are prepared to wait longer for your investment to pay off, then there is a Lifetime ISA available that also comes with a £20,000 tax-free allowance.

You can also choose to pay in an additional £4,000 each year until you are 50 years of age. The UK Government adds a bonus of 25% on contributions, so you could be in line for a £1,000 windfall each year. The General Investment Account is a more flexible option, and there is no limit to your annual contributions. This account links to a diverse global portfolio, and Nutmeg can give it close attention on your behalf. The Pension Account enables you to combine your investments into one managed portfolio, and you can view how your assets are performing at any time.

Trader Rating
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  • Four account types to suit the needs of individual investors
  • Tax-free ISAs, general investments and a pension
  • The General Investment Account is ideal if you have reached your ISA allowance
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Risk warning: Capital can be lost. Terms and conditions apply.
4. Platform

4) Trading Platform – A Desktop for Passive Investors

As Nutmeg does not offer any self-directed trading opportunities, there is no Nutmeg stock trading platform. Instead, clients get the chance to view and manage their accounts at any time. On the mobile app or desktop version of Nutmeg, clients can pay in cash, withdraw funds, monitor the performance of their investments and speak to their account managers. The mobile app is ideal for people who travel frequently or those who just like to keep an eye on their investments on the go.

IOS
Android

It displays each of your accounts, and from here, you can choose to make deposits but not withdrawals. There are very few research tools at Nutmeg, but this reflects the fact that it manages its client’s accounts. You can read more about the ETFs that appear in its portfolios, but there is no charting or analysis because it would be superfluous. What Nutmeg does provide is a helpful calculator that lets you work out a realistic investment plan for the pension pot that you need.

Trader Rating
Nutmegreview_summary_group_4_image
  • A non-trading site geared toward passive investors who may not have time at their disposal
  • Some useful calculators and a range of financial planning tools
  • One of the best robo advisor apps packed with useful features
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Risk warning: Capital can be lost. Terms and conditions apply.
5. Usability

5) Usability of the Website – Intuitive Navigation and Orderly Design

The website is well-constructed with an open and inviting feel. Everything that visitors or account holders need is clear, and navigation involves making only a few clicks. Information on the four different account types is available when you click on them from the menu bar. For each, there is plenty of clear, relevant and accessible detail on the ways in which that account can be of benefit. You can also learn more about how the accounts work, what the associated fees will be and what the Nutmeg stock trading track record is like. In terms of design, the website sticks to crisp whites and fresh greens with a few grey boxes for emphasis. The overall look is extremely professional and has few areas of white space and no clutter or advertising getting in the way. Anyone who is thinking of opening an investment account is keen to find out more about a company’s credentials. To reassure potential clients, Nutmeg displays its legal information and regulatory status at the bottom of each page.

Trader Rating
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  • Excellent web design with simple navigation
  • Most important features are clear, which makes it simple for traders to continue unhindered
  • Regulatory details presented in the footer of each page
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Risk warning: Capital can be lost. Terms and conditions apply.
6. Support

6) Customer Support – A Professional and Accommodating Team

The Nutmeg team will help you set up an account and provide general guidance on your options. Although a Nutmeg brokerage account will not provide 24-hour support, there are plenty of ways to contact the broker during working hours. The London-based local rate phone number is 020 3598 1515, and there should be someone available to take calls Monday to Thursday from 9 am to 5.30pm and Friday from 9 am to 4 pm. A live chat feature is accessible via the website, and it keeps the same hours as the phone line.

E-Mail
Telephone
Live-Chat
On the spot

Any chat messages sent outside of these hours go to Nutmeg’s email address, [email protected], You can use this address to contact the company at other times, and it aims to reply within 24 hours. Unusually, you can use any of these channels to book yourself an appointment at Nutmeg’s London HQ, which is situated at Unit 201, 2nd Floor Vox Studios, 1-45 Durham Street, London, SE11 5JH. The team is friendly and open with lots of relevant information to share, and during the week, its response times are impressive.

Trader Rating
Nutmegreview_summary_group_6_image
  • Contact options include a landline number, live chat and email
  • No weekend support
  • Personal visits welcomed
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Risk warning: Capital can be lost. Terms and conditions apply.
7. Payment

7) Methods of Payment – No Fees for Withdrawals or Deposits

Nutmeg has a number of options when it comes to making a deposit, depending on how an investor wishes to proceed. In order to make a single payment online, you simply choose the Pay in Now tab and then go to the account that you wish to top up. You can use debit cards or a bank transfer to deposit the money. Once a payment is finalised, it can take up to three days to reach your account, but it may not invest immediately, as Nutmeg has a bi-weekly cycle.

  • banktransfer
  • creditcard

For each account aside from a Lifetime ISA, you can establish a monthly payment schedule with a Direct Debit. You can set this up through the Monthly Payment tab, then choose how to allocate the money between your accounts. To withdraw funds, visit the Payments and Transfers menu, then select Withdraw. If you used a debit card to pay money in, then your cash will go to that card. Otherwise, it can go directly to a bank account. The process may take three to seven days.

Trader Rating
Nutmegreview_summary_group_7_image
  • Funds are payable to any account online thanks to the integrated software
  • Debit cards and bank transfers accepted
  • Choose monthly instalments or a one-off payment
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Risk warning: Capital can be lost. Terms and conditions apply.
8. Offers

8) Additional Offers – Transferring Your ISA to Nutmeg

Our robo advisor comparison notes that Nutmeg offers a basic investing service with no extras. Because the prices remain low, it has no additional offers to tempt new clients. Nutmeg does have an excellent educational area where investors can learn more about how ETFs work and how they can make money. You can also find out about the ways in which Nutmeg invests and how to further your investment goals. People who already have an ISA with another provider can transfer it to Nutmeg, where it will be a Stocks and Shares ISA. You will need to inform your current provider of your wishes, and it may be able to make the transfer electronically.

E-Mail
Courses or Seminars
Education

There will be various steps involved, and the entire process can take between two and four weeks. Nutmeg will contact your current provider during this time to ensure that everything runs smoothly. Once the transfer is complete, Nutmeg will be in touch to let you know and will provide your sign-in details, giving you access to your new account.

Trader Rating
Nutmegreview_summary_group_8_image
  • Informative blog and educational resources for traders who want to be informed
  • It is possible to transfer existing ISAs to Nutmeg
  • The transfer process can take up to four weeks
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Risk warning: Capital can be lost. Terms and conditions apply.
9. Regulation

9) Regulation & Deposit Protection – Full Regulation and Online Security

Nutmeg is based in the UK and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority. This obliges the broker to comply with certain rules around fairness and protection of its clients’ funds. As part of its commitment to customer safety, Nutmeg is one of many brokers that protects its clients by placing their funds in a custodian bank. The company uses a well-known provider called State Street, which maintains £18tn worth of similar assets from financial organisations across the globe. State Street simply holds on to your cash without lending it on or transferring it anywhere.

FCA
Regulatory Authority
£50,000
Dep. Protection

Therefore, if Nutmeg or State Street experience a serious financial problem, then the Financial Services Compensation Scheme will step in if necessary to reimburse clients up to the value of £50,000. This Nutmeg brokerage review found that its website security is also high, and the latest standards are adhered to. These include a two-step verification process to keep accounts safe along with 256-bit TLS encryption. There is also a secure channel for sending or receiving messages, which the broker calls Nutmail. This allows traders easy access to ensure a streamlined service.

Trader Rating
Nutmegreview_summary_group_9_image
  • Financial Conduct Authority regulation
  • Customer funds held by a third-party bank
  • Site protected by encryption software
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Risk warning: Capital can be lost. Terms and conditions apply.
10. Awards

10) Awards – Industry Recognition for Nutmeg’s Work

Nutmeg has won numerous financial awards, including the Your Money Best Stocks and Shares Advisor in both 2015 and 2016. More recently, it was celebrated at the Private Asset Managers (PAM) Awards ceremony in London with two key prizes. The annual PAM /Awards recognises the work of UK private asset managers and the companies that employ them Judging takes place from a panel of industry professionals who research the performance of various managers. In 2018, Nutmeg was the Private Asset Managers’ Digital Wealth Solution winner, but the honours did not stop there.

One of the company’s investment managers, James McManus, was also on the Private Asset Managers’ Top 40 under 40 list. This is a method by which the PAM Awards identifies the younger managers that it feels are ones to watch in the wealth management business. Nutmeg also regularly appears in the UK media, with the company receiving mentions from the Sunday Times, the Financial Times and the BBC, which ran a story on how the company launched. This is a favourite among investors and the media alike.

Trader Rating
Nutmegreview_summary_group_10_image
  • Nutmeg has won many awards for its financial services
  • An award was also won by an individual manager
  • The company receives regular mentions in the UK press
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Risk warning: Capital can be lost. Terms and conditions apply.

Conclusion – Is Nutmeg Good for Your Investing Needs?

If you are looking for a broker with plenty of trading software, charting and tools, then Nutmeg is not going to satisfy your requirements. Instead of trying to compete with larger brokerages, it focuses on delivering a solid robo advisor service with transparent pricing and a simple set-up process. The customer service team is on hand to solve any issues during the week and will provide details on each account when asked. The financial tools on offer are self-explanatory, and the entire website is visually pleasing with an edge of professionalism. The four account packages are affordable, catering for a range of needs and handled by experienced private wealth managers. By avoiding individual bonds or shares and creating ETF-based portfolios, Nutmeg is able to pass on savings. There are few additional fees, and management costs are attractively low. For passive investors seeking a no-frills investment opportunity, Nutmeg is a reliable option.

Strengths

  • The website is well-presented with plenty of detail
  • Choice of four accounts to suit each investor
  • Set-up times are swift
  • Low fees with few additional charges
  • Great customer service with a landline number

Weaknesses

  • No option for active trading
  • Cheaper fees reserved for higher account balances
Test result
Total

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Risk warning: Capital can be lost. Terms and conditions apply.
Nutmeg
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Risk warning: Capital can be lost. Terms and conditions apply.

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