Nutmeg review

Nutmeg is great for easy investing. But if you have the appetite, you can do what Nutmeg does for less.

Updated . What changed?

Fact checked
Nutmeg

Finder rating ★★★★★

Nutmeg is an app and web-based investment platform that invests on your behalf based on your preferences.

We liked…

  • Simple, clear and easy to understand
  • Useful app and detailed browser options
  • Good for easy, no-hassle investing

But watch out for…

  • Not the cheapest fees on the market
  • Few DIY options (you can’t buy individual shares)
Promoted
Nutmeg stocks and shares ISA

Save and invest with Nutmeg

  • Choose a portfolio that goes with your investment style
  • Get help with your account management
  • Open and transfer your ISA account in minutes

What is Nutmeg?

Nutmeg is an online and app-based investment platform, and it’s the biggest “digital wealth manager” brand in the UK. As a “robo-advisor”, Nutmeg learns a bit about you to then choose investments that are suited to your goals and investment knowledge, and it builds a portfolio for you.

You can choose to invest in its general investment account, or use your annual individual savings account (ISA) allowance.

Nutmeg was founded in 2011 and is the largest digital wealth manager in the UK. It manages over £1.7 billion (sometimes called “assets under management” or “AUM”) for more than 70,000 customers.

Why is it called Nutmeg?

“Hundreds of years ago, nutmeg was incredibly rare and it was the preserve of only the wealthy. Nowadays you can pick up nutmeg in the supermarket – everybody’s got access to it. And it’s the same with what we’re trying to do as a business. We’re trying to bring high quality investment and wealth management to everybody,” Nutmeg CEO Neil Alexander told Finder. You can watch our full interview with him below.

How does Nutmeg work?mobile showing portfolio assets allocation

Nutmeg is risk-based. This means that before you open an account with Nutmeg, you’re asked to do a quiz. The quiz is designed to gauge where you stand on risk, how long you’re looking to invest for and your view on socially responsible or ethical investing. It uses this information to align your portfolio to your investment goals and how much risk you can take on. The final choice is ultimately up to you.

Nutmeg invests for you, using your money. You can make automatic monthly deposits or fund your account with lump sums.

There are 10 investment portfolios that Nutmeg chooses from based on your risk preferences. It’s measured on a scale from 1 to 10, with 1 having the lowest risk and 10 having the highest risk. 1 is made up of basically all government bonds, and 10 is basically all stocks.

Nutmeg’s fund managers balance these portfolios quarterly (unless you opt for the fixed allocation, which is cheaper at 0.45% instead of 0.75%, but has no manager). They’re also backed by some clever algorithmic help.

What is rebalancing a portfolio?

Rebalancing is basically making changes to your portfolio to ensure it still meets your goals. It often involves buying and selling assets in the portfolio to ensure it stays at the target allocation.

Once you’re all set up, you can track how the portfolio is performing on the mobile app or on the desktop web app. The desktop version is better for detail.

What products does Nutmeg offer?

Nutmeg offers 5 products:

  1. Stocks and shares ISA. £20,000 allowance in a tax-free account.
  2. General investment account. A standard taxable investment account.
  3. Lifetime ISA. This is the government scheme which gives you a 25% bonus when saving towards a first home or retiring.
  4. Pension. Instant 25% government top up on net contributions, subject to tax status.
  5. Junior ISA. Start investing for your child and get tax advantages.

Stocks and shares ISA

The main features of Nutmeg’s stocks and shares ISA are:

  • Pay in up to £20,000 this tax year.
  • Tax free returns now and in the future.
  • No set up or exit fees.
  • Aimed at people looking to invest for 3+ years.
  • Can withdraw at any time.
  • Can transfer existing stocks and shares ISAs to Nutmeg.
  • Minimum investment is £500.

If you’re not quite ready to take the investment plunge, Nutmeg will allow you to open this account holding only cash first (basically like a normal savings account) and invest it at a later date.

Once you’re feeling ready you can invest it all at once or just drip feed it in month-by-month.

Nutmeg stocks and shares ISA: our review
In general, Nutmeg’s stocks and shares ISA is good if you’re pretty new to the game and not keen on building a DIY portfolio. It’s definitely a daunting process when you’re just getting started, so the mobile app and ease of use makes it really popular with its customers.
If you’re more experienced, you might be suited with another provider that allows you to choose what goes into your portfolio, like Vanguard, Fidelity or IG.

Nutmeg general investment account

The main features of Nutmeg’s general investment account are:

  • Minimum investment is £500.
  • No maximum investment.
  • No set up or exit fees.
  • Aimed at people looking to invest for 3+ years.
  • Can withdraw at any time.
  • Choose from a range of investment styles and risk levels.

Same as above, you can also open this account but just hold it as cash to begin with.

This account would probably only be worth using if you’d already used up you stocks and shares ISA allowance.

Nutmeg Lifetime ISA

Lifetime ISAs are a government-backed account which allows you to get a 25% government bonus. That means for every £4 you invest, get a £1 bonus – up to £1,000 a year.

The money can be used for your first home (up to a value of £450,000) or you can withdraw the money tax-free after you turn 60.

The other big benefit of Lifetime ISAs is the tax saving. You can contribute up to £4,000 a year without paying any tax on future returns.

Read our guide to Lifetime ISAs to find out more, as they’re not necessarily right for everybody.

The main features of Nutmeg’s Lifetime ISA are:

  • £100 minimum to get started.
  • Aimed at people looking to invest for 3+ years.
  • You have to be a UK tax resident between 18 and 39.

Nutmeg Personal Pension

The main features of Nutmeg’s pension are:

  • A diverse portfolio.
  • You can leave it untouched, with automatic personal and employer contributions.
  • Instant 25% tax relief top up on all of your personal contributions.
  • Consolidate other pensions into one place.
  • See what’s in your pension at any time 24/7.

To open a Nutmeg personal pension you have to fit a few criteria:

  • You must be a UK resident for tax purposes.
  • You must be over 18 and under 75 years old.
  • Requires a minimum starting deposit of £500.

Paying into your Nutmeg personal pension

To pay into your Nutmeg pension you’ve got three options:

  1. Set up personal pension contributions.
  2. Get your employers to pay into your pension.
  3. Transfer an existing policy from another provider.

Nutmeg Junior ISA (JISA)

The main features of Nutmeg’s Junior ISA are:

  • Pay in up to £4,368 in the 2019/2020 tax year (£9000 in the 2020/2021 tax year).
  • Tax free returns now and in the future.
  • A parent or guardian can set up a JISA with Nutmeg.
  • Your child will be the owner of the assets.
  • Your child can access the money after they turn 18.
  • No set up or exit fees.
  • Only available for under 16s.
  • Minimum investment is £100.

You’ll need to answer a few questions about yourself, risk assessment, personal details etc. before you can open the Junior ISA.

Nutmeg fees and charges

Annual ETFs with Nutmeg cost 0.17% for fixed allocation investing, 0.19% for fully managed investing, and 0.33% for the socially conscious investing, which is pretty high. Nutmeg then also estimates the average market spread to be 0.07%.

Investment valueFixed allocationFully managedSocially responsible managed
Nutmeg fee on up to £100,0000.45%0.75%0.75%
Nutmeg fee beyond £100,0000.25%0.35%0.35%
Investment fund costsAvg 0.17%Avg 0.19%Avg 0.32%
Effect of market spreadAvg 0.06%Avg 0.06%Avg 0.06%

Setting up an account

First things first, Nutmeg will ask you to choose an account type to start with. (You can check out what those are in a bit more detail below).

Then, you’ll be asked questions to find out about what sort of risks you’re willing to take and how you feel about social and environmental issues related to investing.

You enter your starting amount, and how much you want to contribute each month.

Before you’re ready to create an account and set up your payment details, Nutmeg will show you a rough projection of how much it expects your portfolio to be worth after your given time period.

Nutmeg portfolio projection screenshot

In this example, we chose a time frame of 20 years, a starting amount of £2,000 and £300 invested each month for that time.

Nutmeg predicts that this portfolio would be worth around £118,000 by 2040.

What does Nutmeg invest in?

This depends on how much risk you’re willing to take.

Nutmeg’s riskiest portfolios will be invested in almost 100% equities (stocks and shares), and with an emphasis on US, UK, Asian (China and Japan) and European markets.

Nutmeg’s more cautious portfolios invest more in bonds such as UK Government Gilts.

See a breakdown of Nutmeg investments for a medium risk profile

Click show more to see the allocations of investments Nutmeg makes for a medium risk profile. (This is at the time of writing, so their allocations will likely have been adjusted by the time you read this. It’s just an indication).

How does Nutmeg invest?

Nutmeg has three investment styles to choose from:

  1. Fixed allocation. These portfolios try to perform without intervention. They are reviewed once a year to make sure they still match your risk level. Other than that, they’ll be untouched.
  2. Fully managed. These portfolios, on the other hand, are actively managed by Nutmeg’s team. They will make strategic adjustments on your behalf, aiming to protect you against losses and boost returns.
  3. Socially responsible. These portfolios are also managed, but they’re also made with social responsibility in mind. The Nutmeg team will make strategic tweaks, but with a balanced view between performance and ethics.

Fixed allocation

  • Regularly rebalanced
  • 5 risk levels to choose
  • Proactively managed
  • Socially responsible focus

Fully managed

  • Regularly rebalanced
  • 10 risk levels to choose
  • Proactively managed
  • Socially responsible focus

Socially responsible

  • Regularly rebalanced
  • 10 risk levels to choose
  • Proactively managed
  • Socially responsible focus

All of Nutmeg’s portfolios are diversified. This simply means your money is invested in lots of things – different assets, countries, industry and sectors.

The benefit of this is that the risk is spread. If one of your investments is doing badly, your overall portfolio will be less affected. Not only does diversification spread risk, it spreads the opportunity for things to perform well and bring you higher returns.

Nutmeg and ETFs

If you’re looking through Nutmeg’s website you’re going to read a lot about ETFs.

Nutmeg prefers to use exchange-traded funds (ETFs) when building portfolios. In short, this is because ETFs are easy to trade, low cost, and track the movement of markets with a good level of accuracy.

ETFs hold assets (like stocks and bonds) and usually track an index like the FTSE 100 or the Dow Jones.

You can find out more in our in depth ETF guide.

Nutmeg portfolio performance over 5 years

If you’re wondering whether Nutmeg is a good investment, below you can see the returns for each of Nutmeg’s 10 risk portfolios, either over the past five years, or the eight years since Nutmeg started investing in 2012.

The “competitors” data is based on data published by the Asset Risk Consultants (ARC). The data includes results from providers such as Barclays, Coutts, JP Morgan and others.

PortfolioNutmeg over 5 yearsCompetitor over 5 yearsNutmeg over 8 yearsCompetitor over 8 years
1 (least risk)0.9%2.6%7.1%3.8%
26.1%2.6%20.3%3.8%
39.2%14.6%28.1%28.4%
414.0%14.6%36.5%28.4%
517.7%22.7%44.0%44.8%
621.3%22.7%49.7%44.8%
729.1%32.0%61.1%61.6%
833.7%32.0%70.1%61.6%
938.3%38.3%79.6%75.1%
10 (most risk)42.7%38.8%84.8%75.1%

Is Nutmeg safe?

Yes. Nutmeg is regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) and by the Financial Services Compensation Scheme (FSCS). So if Nutmeg goes bust, you will get back up to £85,000 of your money. (Although your money is still at risk when you invest. You can’t claim back money if your investment pot goes down!)

Nutmeg also keep your investments in a separate account for added security, and will never lend your assets to third parties. The separate account is managed by Nutmeg’s “custodian bank”, which is State Street – one of the world’s biggest custodians.

Nutmeg CEO interview

The Nutmeg app

The Nutmeg app is super clear and easy to use. We couldn’t find anything to complain about here. You can manage everything from your pocket, and the web browser is well-made too.

Nutmeg contact information

There are several ways to get in touch with Nutmeg:

  • Nutmail. This is Nutmeg’s secure inbox, where you can send any questions you may have about your account.
  • Email. support@nutmeg.com
  • Chat. You can use Nutmeg’s live chat from Monday to Thursday 09:00-17:00 and Friday 09:00-16:00. Outside of these times, you can leave a message and Nutmeg’s team will get back to you.
  • Call.020 3598 1515
  • Write a letter.
    • Nutmeg
    • Unit 201 – 2nd Floor Vox Studios
    • 1-45 Durham Street
    • London
    • SE11 5JH
  • Visit the office. Call Nutmeg on 020 3598 1515, and you can arrange a face-to-face meeting.

Nutmeg customer reviews

Nutmeg has mostly positive reviews from customers across the board, with 4-5 stars out of 5 on customer review sites. It’s rated as “Great” on Trustpilot, based on more than 700 reviews.

Customers seem to love how easy Nutmeg is to use and how it cuts through industry jargon. The negative reviews are focused more on customer service, saying the company can be slow to respond to emails.

Our verdict

The main appeal with Nutmeg is its simplicity. Nutmeg does what many investment platforms do. It takes away all the hassle investing and makes it clear. You can manage it all from your phone or laptop, and the flexibility is there for you to tweak your strategy or withdraw funds pretty much whenever you want.

For those out there who love the detail when it comes to investing, you may realise that there are ways to do what Nutmeg does yourself, for cheaper. Likewise, if you’re looking to stock pick – you can’t do that here as Nutmeg doesn’t offer it.

Nutmeg does what it says on the tin. It offers a credible way to invest in your future, with diverse and global access. The charges are relatively low, although not the lowest, and the app and desktop experience are clear and make you feel informed. The biggest hurdle for many investors is getting started, and Nutmeg is as good a choice as any for getting going.

Stocks and shares ISA comparison

Table: sorted by promoted deals first
Data indicated here is updated regularly
Name Product Minimum deposit Maximum annual fee Price per trade Brand description
Hargreaves Lansdown stocks and shares ISA
£100
0.45%
£11.95
Hargreaves Lansdown is the UK's biggest wealth manager. It's got everything you'll need, from beginners to experienced investors. Capital at risk.
Interactive Investor stocks and shares ISA
£100 or £25 a month
£119.88
£7.99
Interactive Investor offers everything most investors need. Its flat fees makes it pricey for small portfolios, but cheap for big ones. Capital at risk.
Saxo Markets stocks and shares ISA
No minimum deposit requirement
0.12%
£8.00
Saxo Markets offers a wide access to a range of stocks, ETFs and funds. Capital at risk.
AJ Bell stocks and shares ISA
£500
0.25%
£9.95
AJ Bell is a good all-rounder for people who to choose between shares, funds, ISAs and pensions. Capital at risk.
Fidelity stocks and shares ISA
£1000 or a regular savings plan from £50
0.35%
£10.00
Fidelity is another good all-rounder, offering a good package at a decent price. Not suited for trading shares. Capital at risk.
Nutmeg stocks and shares ISA
£100
0.75%
£0
Nutmeg offers three types of portfolios. Choose the one that goes with your investment style. Capital at risk.
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Compare up to 4 providers

Data indicated here is updated regularly
Name Product Minimum investment Choose from Annual fee Brand description
PensionBee Pension
No minimum
7 funds
0.5% - 0.95%
Pension Bee is a newbie in the pension market. It helps consolidate your pension plans into one place. Capital at risk.
Hargreaves Lansdown Pension
£100
2,500 funds
0-0.45%
Hargreaves Lansdown is the UK's biggest wealth manager. It's got three different retirement options. Capital at risk.
Interactive Investor Pension
£25/month
Over 2,500 funds
£10/month
interactive investor is a flat-fee platform, which makes it cost effective for larger portfolios. Capital at risk.
Saxo Markets Pension
Saxo Markets Pension
£10
Over 11,000 funds
No annual fee
Saxo Markets gives flexibility and control over your investment strategy. Capital at risk.
AJ Bell Pension
£1,000
Over 2,000 funds
0.05-0.25%
AJ Bell has two different pension options, a self managed pension and one that is managed for you. Capital at risk.
Moneybox Pension
£1
3 funds
0.15% - 0.45% charged monthly
Manage your money with an easy-to-use Moneybox app. Capital at risk.
Moneyfarm Pension
Moneyfarm Pension
0.35%-0.75%
7 funds
£1,500 (initial investment)
Moneyfarm has pensions that are matched against your risk appetite, goals and planned retirement date. Capital at risk.
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Data indicated here is updated regularly
Name Product Price per trade Frequent trader rate Platform fees Brand description
Fineco
£2.95
£2.95
Zero platform fee
Fineco Bank is good for share traders and investors looking for a complete platform and wide offer. Your first 50 trades are free with Fineco, until 30/09/2020. T&Cs apply. Capital at risk.
IG
0% commission on US shares, and £3 on UK shares
From £5
£0 - £24 per quarter
IG is good for experienced traders, and offers learning resources for beginners, all with wide access to shares, ETFs and funds. Capital at risk.
Hargreaves Lansdown Fund & Share Account
£11.95
£5.95
Transfer out fee
Hargreaves Lansdown is the UK's biggest wealth manager, with the depth of features you'd expect from an established platform. Capital at risk.
eToro Free Stocks
0% commission, no markup, no ticket fee, no management fee
N/A
Withdrawal fee & GDP to USD deposit conversion
eToro is good for social trading - letting you mirror the portfolios of other traders. Capital at risk. 0% commission but other fees may apply.
Interactive Investor
From £7.99 on the Investor Service Plan
From £7.99 on the Investor Service Plan
No transfer fees or exit fees. £9.99 a month on the Investor Service Plan
Capital at risk.
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Compare up to 4 providers

All investing should be regarded as longer term. The value of your investments can go up and down, and you may get back less than you invest. Capital is at risk.

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