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Nutmeg review: A data-driven review of performance and services

Now owned by JP Morgan, Nutmeg was the UK’s first and is now the UK’s largest digital wealth manager, providing tailored, managed portfolios while offering vast savings compared to traditional wealth management.

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The following dataset includes the performances of ready-made portfolios/funds offered by investment platforms and may include both actively and passively managed ready-made portfolios/funds. Performance indicated is also net of all fees to 31st January 2024, unless stated otherwise; any tiered fee structure will be disclosed. Ready-made portfolios/funds that include cryptocurrencies or any other securities outside cash and equities are not included in the dataset. The dataset only includes ready-made portfolios/funds which are explicitly advertised by their respective platforms as being for ‘beginners’, and which are exclusively offered by the platform itself. Funds which are managed by other providers and may be identically offered across multiple platforms were not included in this dataset. For example, the Vanguard UK All Share Acc. ETF was offered by Plum, but as it is not directly managed by Plum and customers could reasonably access it on multiple platforms, it was not included for the purposes of this research. Other discretely advertised securities or investments are not included.
Avg. 5-year performance across all Nutmeg ready-made portfolios
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The industry average is the median average of all fund/ready-made portfolio performance figures we collated from 23 investment providers. To see the full dataset, visit X page.
Industry avg.

As with all investing, your capital is at risk. Tax treatments depend on your individual circumstances and may change in the future. The value of your portfolio with Nutmeg can go down as well as up and you may get back less than you invest.

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By Antonia Medlicott

  • Published: April 23, 2024
  • Edited by: Clare West
  • Last Update: 1 month ago
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Antonia's view:

The Verdict

Average Success Rate

23.2%
The following dataset includes the performances of ready-made portfolios/funds offered by investment platforms and may include both actively and passively managed ready-made portfolios/funds. Performance indicated is also net of all fees to 31st January 2024, unless stated otherwise; any tiered fee structure will be disclosed. Ready-made portfolios/funds that include cryptocurrencies or any other securities outside cash and equities are not included in the dataset. The dataset only includes ready-made portfolios/funds which are explicitly advertised by their respective platforms as being for ‘beginners’, and which are exclusively offered by the platform itself. Funds which are managed by other providers and may be identically offered across multiple platforms were not included in this dataset. For example, the Vanguard UK All Share Acc. ETF was offered by Plum, but as it is not directly managed by Plum and customers could reasonably access it on multiple platforms, it was not included for the purposes of this research. Other discretely advertised securities or investments are not included.
info5-year performance across all Nutmeg ready-made portfolios.
27.9%
The industry average is the median average of all fund/ready-made portfolio performance figures we collated from 23 investment providers. To see the full dataset, visit X page.
infoIndustry average
Nutmeg’s medium and high-risk portfolios have outperformed most other robo-advisors on their five-year annualised returns. Although, I believe it's important to point out that they are still comfortably below the industry average.

Nutmeg does offer a Lifetime ISA - a tax-efficient product that I feel is very under-utilised by those saving for a first home. However, it's difficult to recommend this Lifetime ISA over others, as limited investment choice, higher fees, and poor performance don't add up to a gratifying investing experience.

I do have to give Nutmeg recognition for the free access to wealth managers who can help identify your financial goals and advise on the best way to achieve them. If your finances are complex enough to warrant a financial plan, then this is also available, at an additional cost.

My main gripe with Nutmeg is the time it takes for funds to clear in your account (3 working days, where the same action would be instant on other platforms).

If you don’t mind risk and are looking for the top-performing ready-made portfolios for the last five years, then head over to our review of eToro.
arrow-down-orangeRead more
quote

Pros

  • Extremely user-friendly, even for beginners
  • Access to wealth managers
  • Lifetime ISA available
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Cons

  • High entry point of £500
  • 3 business days for funds to appear on your Nutmeg account
  • Limited education
  • Limited to just ETFs
  • Verdict4.0
  • Ready-made Portfolio3.2
  • Fees4.0
  • Trading Platform4.5
  • Research4.0
  • Safety5.0
  • Education3.0
  • Customer Service5.0
  • Alternatives
  • Portfolio View

Antonia's view:

Who do I recommend it for?

Average Success Rate

23.2%
The following dataset includes the performances of ready-made portfolios/funds offered by investment platforms and may include both actively and passively managed ready-made portfolios/funds. Performance indicated is also net of all fees to 31st January 2024, unless stated otherwise; any tiered fee structure will be disclosed. Ready-made portfolios/funds that include cryptocurrencies or any other securities outside cash and equities are not included in the dataset. The dataset only includes ready-made portfolios/funds which are explicitly advertised by their respective platforms as being for ‘beginners’, and which are exclusively offered by the platform itself. Funds which are managed by other providers and may be identically offered across multiple platforms were not included in this dataset. For example, the Vanguard UK All Share Acc. ETF was offered by Plum, but as it is not directly managed by Plum and customers could reasonably access it on multiple platforms, it was not included for the purposes of this research. Other discretely advertised securities or investments are not included.
info5-year performance across all Nutmeg ready-made portfolios.
27.9%
The industry average is the median average of all fund/ready-made portfolio performance figures we collated from 23 investment providers. To see the full dataset, visit X page.
infoIndustry average
arrow-down-orangeRead more
quote

Pros

  • Extremely user-friendly, even for beginners
  • Access to wealth managers
  • Lifetime ISA available
quote

Cons

  • High entry point of £500
  • 3 business days for funds to appear on your Nutmeg account
  • Limited education
  • Limited to just ETFs
  • arrowVerdict
    4.0
  • arrowReady-made Portfolio:
    3.2
  • arrow Fees:
    4.0
  • arrowTrading Platform:
    4.5
  • arrowResearch:
    4.0
  • arrowSafety:
    5.0
  • arrowEducation:
    3.0
  • arrowCustomer Service:
    5.0
  • arrowSocial Trading
  • arrowPortfolio View

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Updates

May 2024 Review published

Who do I recommend Nutmeg for?


This is a good option for investors with limited to no investment experience or knowledge, who still have a medium to high appetite for risk, as those are the portfolios that have historically outperformed competitor robo-advisors.

It’s also an easy option for saving for your first home via the Lifetime ISA.
While there is a simple service available complimentary from a wealth manager, those with more complex financial needs may benefit from the complete financial planning on offer, although this does come at a cost that is comparable to the industry average, and the advice is restricted, which means you will only get matched to Nutmeg’s products.

In addition, if growing your money in a high-performing portfolio is a priority to you, then a robo-advisor would historically not have provided you with the best returns, as illustrated by the comparison of Nutmeg’s portfolio with the industry average.

Account types and assets


Nutmeg offers an excellent range of accounts, with a special mention going to the Lifetime ISA, which not that many platforms offer. All these accounts are available with a starting amount of £500, which is higher than some platforms but on par with Moneyfarm.

General investment account (GIA)
As always, the general investment account (GIA) is an excellent product for anyone who has maxed out their ISA allowance. You still get access to all the investment options at Nutmeg, but where this account stands out from competitor GIAs, is its access to human advisors.

There are a few ways that this can be of value to investors. Firstly, they can help you establish whether you have already taken full advantage of all the tax allowances on offer to you and whether the GIA is your next best option. They also offer advice on Capital Gains Tax, and how the reduction to the allowance will impact you.

Stocks and shares ISA
All the usual ISA tax advantages are available, as well as full access to the Nutmeg ready-made portfolios. The team will help you decide if this is the best product for you and can help with any ISA transfers that you may wish to make.

Read more about ISAs

Junior stocks and shares ISA
This is available to open on behalf of children under the age of 16. You can access all the investment options and expert advice on how best to grow your child's money, taking into account how long they have before they reach the age of 18 and the account is automatically changed to an adult ISA.

Lifetime ISA
This is a stocks and shares Lifetime ISA, a product less common but still the most efficient way to save for a first home. To see how the Nutmeg Lifetime ISA stacks up against all the other providers offering this product, see my Best Lifetime ISA article.

Read more about Lifetime ISAs

Pension
A pension can be one of the most valuable areas to seek human guidance and the Nutmeg pension offers just that. With a free call, the retirement experts can help you identify if this service would be of value to you. It comes at a cost (£575), but the upside of that is the peace of mind you will get knowing you are on track to achieving the retirement you want.

It’s a very tailored service but you should be aware that this is restricted advice. Meaning, that the advisors will only point you towards one of Nutmeg's products, unlike an independent financial advisor, who can point you towards the best product for you from the whole of the market.

If you are going to pay for advice that will point you towards a Nutmeg pension, then it's important to know that the pension you are matched with will perform well. Whilst the Nutmeg pension has performed better in the last year, the 3 and 5 year returns are very disappointing, which makes it difficult for me to recommend this platform for retirement savings. We would need to see some greater consistency for that to happen.

If you need more information about retirement, Nutmeg has a useful webinar available which will provide you with an overview of everything you need to know.

Read more about SIPPs

Portfolio performance
Below, I have compared Nutmeg's portfolio performance against those of other robo-advisors to provide you with a like-for-like comparison. They have performed well for medium to high-risk investors. However, I must point out that, when compared to the ready-made portfolios from across the whole of the market, these are less favourable results. For more information about the whole of the market, please see our full, ready-made portfolio analysis.

Lowest risk portfolio for cautious investors – 5-year average 10.8%

Medium risk portfolio for confident investors looking for a balanced portfolio – 5-year average 22.8%

High-risk portfolio for adventurous investors – 5-year average 44.4%

It is worth noting that these figures do not include any data from InvestEngine, the newest and lowest-cost platform to enter the robo-advisor space. This is because InvestEngine has failed to provide us with any historical data relating to the performance of their funds. In addition, while Moneybox offers ready-made funds, they do not risk match you with a portfolio; the onus is on the investor to pick their own portfolio and in this way, they are not considered a traditional robo-advisor. However, I have included them as a high-returning alternative. Check out my Moneybox review here.

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Fully Managed
With ten risk levels to choose from, the fully managed option is provided for investors who would like the peace of mind of knowing that their investments are being constantly monitored and adjusted by industry professionals. You will be allocated a portfolio that consists of exchange-traded funds (ETFs).

NutmegTotalPortfolio copy

Fixed Allocation
These portfolios will cost you less as they are designed to require human intervention just once a year. There are five risk levels to choose from here, with each portfolio consisting of ETFs again.

Fully Managed vs Fixed Allocation
You will pay slightly more to access fully managed portfolios on any platform so it's important to establish whether the returns suggest this is worth the extra cost.

Our analysis comparing like-for-like risk portfolios in both categories suggested that fixed allocation portfolios actually outperformed fully managed portfolios at Nutmeg. So unless they can produce evidence to contradict this, I would stick with fixed allocation.

Socially responsible investing (SRI)
If investing in line with your principles is important to you, then the SRI portfolios are designed to include companies that consider the risks that come from environmental, social, and governance factors. You can still choose from 10 risk levels to match your appetite and historically, these portfolios have performed in line with their non-SRI counterparts.

Read more about ETFs

Thematic Investing
If you are comfortable assuming some level of risk (level 5 and above), then Thematic Investing allows you to gain exposure to emerging trends or themes that could be about to shape our future, and therefore offer greater opportunity for growth. This can include themes such as AI, clean energy, and healthcare.

The way this works is that the thematic theme you have chosen will represent a total of 10% – 20% of your total portfolio, depending on your level of risk, with the remaining portfolio being actively managed.

If you are in any doubt about whether this option is right for you, then the Nutmeg team is on hand to advise.

John Choong, Senior Research Analyst on Thematic Investing
Thematic investing sounds like a good method for investors who don’t want to miss out on ‘the next big thing’. However, it’s worth noting that investing 10-20% of your portfolio in supposed ‘riskier’ assets could result in hefty losses. This may end up more than offsetting any gains made from the rest of your portfolio, as there’s no telling what sort of investments the Nutmeg team may make, whether it’s cash-generative companies, SPACs, or even potential scams.

Additionally, it should be worth noting that not every ‘theme’ has generated meaningful returns over the past decade either. The hype over blockchain technology, NFTs, and crypto might’ve resulted in extremely lucrative gains for some. However, many have also lost huge chunks of their money as a result of a lack of fundamental analysis, such as downside risk assessment, prior to investing.

Therefore, I’d advise potential investors who are thinking of getting into thematic investing to enquire about the sorts of investments the Nutmeg team plans to venture into before signing up for them.

Smart Alpha
The final option for investors is the Smart Alpha Portfolios, which are managed by JP Morgan Asset Management. These have been available since 2020, so no long-term portfolio performance is available, but Nutmeg promotes these portfolios as being managed in a way that can glean greater returns, while also including ESG factors.

Without any significant historical data, it would be difficult to recommend these portfolios, given their slightly higher price. They are comprised mainly of JP Morgan ETFs with a small holding of cash.

Robo Advisory services
When you sign up for Nutmeg, you will instantly be taken to a questionnaire, which will help the platform establish an investment style that is right for you as well as how much you can afford to invest. You will also receive potential outcomes and a complete breakdown of costs. This is a nice level of transparency that you don’t always encounter.

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John Choong

Senior Equity Analyst
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Nutmeg’s list of portfolios is one of the most extensive amongst its peers, offering ten ready-made funds. Although the platform’s more conservative funds underperform their peers over the longer term, it’s worth noting that investors who tend to invest in these types of funds would rather limit their downside risks than see upside potential, which Nutmeg has delivered on. When looking at its performance in a year when the market is lacklustre, such as 2022, Nutmeg’s most conservative fund (-5.4%) outperformed the industry average (-8.7%) by 3.3%.

On the flip side, Nutmeg’s more balanced and adventurous portfolios boast quite decent returns too. In fact, on average, both funds beat the industry average over the short, medium, and long term and by quite a healthy margin.

Nonetheless, it’s still worth noting that Nutmeg still underperforms one of its competitors in Moneybox across all risk types and time horizons. This indicates that there may be better options out there if investors are adamant on investing in ready-made funds.

Trading Platform


Nutmeg provides an excellent user experience, with a clear, easy-to-navigate interface and plenty of options for managing your account.

Web platform

NutmegDashboard copy

I found the web platform to be more user-friendly than the mobile app, despite their similarities. It’s easy to move funds between pots, although you will be waiting 3 working days for transactions to finalise, which is a long time for a robo advisor.

Mobile app

NutmegPortfolios copy

The Nutmeg app is clean and easy to navigate, although I have encountered complaints from other reviewers that it has taken on more of a corporate feel since the acquisition by JP Morgan.

Fees


I have worked out the actual cost (there are percentage costs below) for various-sized pots to give you a complete picture of how Nutmeg compares to other robo advisors and the sorts of costs you can expect to incur when you hold your investments with them.

As you can see, Nutmeg is coming out at a comparatively low cost in the robo-advisor space. If you consider the performance of their portfolios, then this makes for a compelling argument for Nutmeg to sit at the top of this platform category.

In terms of what you will be charged as a percentage, here’s a full breakdown of fees, including fund costs and market spread:

Please note: all published fees are correct at the time of publication. However, we suggest checking Nutmeg's website for the most up-to-date figures.

Research & Tools


There are several tools and guides available. It’s not a comprehensive offering such as you would find at a traditional investment platform, but for a robo-advisor, where you can access help with your investment decisions, it feels adequate.

Tools include:

  • Self Employed Tax Calculator
  • Compound Returns Calculator
  • ISA Calculator
  • Pension Calculator
  • Capital Gains Tax Calculator
  • Nutmeg Investment App Download

Guides include:

  • New to investing
  • Wills, Life insurance and Mortgages
  • Investment Jargon Busting
  • A guide to ETFs
  • How to transfer an ISA
  • Guide to ethical investing

This platform is so easy to use that investors with no experience looking to grow their wealth can tap into the actively managed portfolios and leave everything to experts.

If, as an investor, you get to the point where you would like more tools and research available, then it’s probably time to cash out and move to another platform that offers more of a hands-on experience. AJ Bell and Freetrade are both cost-effective solutions for intermediate investors.

Safety


All investing comes with the risk of losing some, or even all, of your money, although this is less likely with a fully diversified portfolio. However, what investors need to know is how safe their money is on the platform in question, and what would happen in the event of the platform going bust (this is a legitimate concern as platforms go bust more than you may think).

Nutmeg is one of the more secure options, largely due to its ownership by investment giant JP Morgan, which gives it great financial backing.

All appropriate levels of authorisation are in place via the Financial Conduct Authority and client funds are covered up to the value of £85,000 as part of their membership with the Financial Services Compensation Scheme.

Account Security
Accounts are fully secure, with memorable information and biometric authorisation.

Education


Nutmeg has a dedicated section for education called Nutmegonomics. Sadly, this is limited to articles and blog posts, with a lack of any interactive experiences such as webinars, videos, or questionnaires.

Nutmegonomics copy

Articles are separated into three main topics, including

  • Financial planning
  • Retirement
  • Investing

It is worth keeping in mind that Nutmeg does offer human financial advice, and they are quick to say that this is available at any time to those who need it. However, in terms of furthering your education in investing, this is fairly limited.

There is a lot more content available on YouTube, where Nutmeg has regular updates from their investment desk, the factors affecting things like inflation, and what to expect from your portfolio. These are much more helpful than anything available on the website. However, given the lack of control that Nutmeg investors have over their investments, this could be redundant for many.

Customer Service


Excellent. Instant. Helpful. Everything you could want from customer service. The live chat is easy to access and you can expect immediate responses (or at least that was my experience).
I gave Nutmeg customer service the task of changing my original investment choice from the high-interest pot to the Level 10 portfolio. Claire pulled up my account in moments and advised me on how to make this happen.
Nutmeg has a ‘Great’ score of 3.8 from 1,856 reviews on Trustpilot.

Opening and closing an account


As you would expect from this type of service, the account opening process is extremely quick and easy. Have your National Insurance Number to hand.

**Note – It takes 3 business days for funds to appear in your account at Nutmeg. This is significantly slower than at other platforms I have tested, most of which can facilitate instant deposits.

In the interest of giving my account time to demonstrate the functionality of the investment process, I have yet to withdraw my funds from Nutmeg. Therefore, I will return to the platform at a later date in order to document that process. In the meantime, I suggest you look at reviews on Trustpilot that mention withdrawals.

Awards


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Nutmeg vs InvestEngine


Costs: InvestEngine won’t be beaten on cost. If low cost is your primary concern, then you should stick with InvestEngine.

Accounts: Nutmeg has a Junior ISA and a Lifetime ISA that are not available at InvestEngine. Although InvestEngine does have a business account that is available to limited companies and partnerships.

Investments: Both of these platforms are limited to ETFs; however, at InvestEngine, you can put a DIY together from your own choice of funds, whereas Nutmeg is restricted to ready-made portfolios.

Performance: InvestEngine is still too new to have any meaningful historical data, whereas Nutmeg has performed well compared to other robo-advisors, while still remaining under the industry average.

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Nutmeg vs Moneyfarm


Costs: Which of these is more cost-effective will depend on whether you are seeking an actively managed or passively managed investment strategy. Nutmeg is certainly more cost-effective for actively managed pots, whereas Moneyfarm is slightly cheaper for passively managed pots.

Accounts: Nutmeg has the Lifetime ISA, so if you are saving for your first home, this is an obvious choice.

Investments: Both of these robo-advisors offer ready-made portfolios; however, only Moneyfarm has branched out to include direct share access.

Performance: In our analysis, Nutmeg’s portfolios have outperformed Moneyfarm’s for all three risk levels, with especially strong returns for medium and high-risk investors.

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Nutmeg vs Wealthify


Costs: While there is not a significant difference, Nutmeg is slightly cheaper than Wealthify, regardless of the size of your investment pot.

Accounts: Nutmeg has a Lifetime ISA on offer, which instantly makes this a better choice for investors saving for their first home. In addition, Nutmeg feels like a better option for pension savings, with access to human advisors at an additional cost.

Investments: Both of these platforms offer ready-made portfolios with socially responsible options. However, Nutmeg also offers thematic investing.

Performance: Nutmeg has performed better for the last 5 years on their medium and high-risk portfolios. However, this changes for cautious investors, who would have seen slightly better returns at Wealthify.

FAQs

If you are looking for a robo-advisor then this would probably be my top pick, although this is only due to the lack of historical data on the performance of the InvestEngine ready-made portfolios.

Yes, Nutmeg is owned by JP Morgan, the world's largest bank by market capitalisation. This makes it financially secure, in addition to the high levels of regulation.

Ask the insiders


Have a question about Nutmeg that we haven't covered? Ask it here and we will get back to you as soon as possible!

This review is the result of my first-hand experience as an account holder at Nutmeg and in no way represents financial advice.

If you’re looking for the best robo advisor, then head to my review of all the leading robo advisors, where I dissect each one and pitch them directly against each other to establish which one is offering the best service and, most importantly, which one would have made your money grow the most in the last 5 years, taking into account portfolio performance and fees.