Nutmeg Review – are they the right investment for you?

22 min Read Published: 06 Jun 2022

Nutmeg investment reviewNutmeg Investment review

This is an independent Nutmeg* review. I suggest that you read it in full including my analysis of Nutmeg's charges and performance. If you wish to jump to a particular part of this review then you can do so via the hyperlinks below.

The short answer is that I feel Nutmeg investments may be suitable for some readers (read full review) and I, therefore, secured an exclusive offer for Money to the Masses readers that means Nutmeg will waive its management fees for the first 12 months*. (Terms and Conditions apply). So on a £20,000 investment that is a saving of £150 based on the fully managed, socially responsible and smart alpha portfolios. That makes it not only the cheapest way to invest via Nutmeg but it is also the best offer in the market of any robo-advice firm or investment platform.

In the interests of transparency, Nutmeg has agreed to pay a small fee for new customers acquired via the asterisked links in this article. However editorial independence is paramount to and in no way is this review or my views ever influenced by 3rd parties. I have included a link to Nutmeg at the foot of this article which you can use and will not receive any payment from your referral.

How does Nutmeg Investment Management work?

  • Nutmeg launched in the UK in 2011 and offers investors a cheaper alternative to normal wealth management services by focussing on ETFs and tracker funds that carry lower charges
  • Nutmeg is a low-cost online investment platform that will manage your investment portfolio according to your risk profile. Investors can choose from any of the 10 investment portfolios available, each with a mix of investment assets. This service is called the Nutmeg Fully Managed Portfolios*
  • Additionally, Nutmeg offers a range of 10 fully managed socially responsible investment portfolios designed for investors who prefer to invest ethically
  • Alternatively, investors can choose to invest via the Nutmeg Fixed Allocation Portfolios*. Unlike the fully managed portfolios, the fixed allocation portfolios do not dynamically alter in response to prevailing market conditions. As a result the Fixed Allocation Portfolios are cheaper than the Nutmeg Fully Managed Portfolios
  • In November 2020, Nutmeg announced the launch of 5 'smart alpha' portfolios in collaboration with J.P. Morgan Asset Management. The portfolios are designed to maximise returns using Nutmeg's digital and technology expertise together with the additional insight and research that J.P. Morgan Asset Management can provide
  • Nutmeg offers a Stocks & Shares ISA that can provide a simple low-cost method of investing, tailored to your personal risk profile and fully managed by a team of investment professionals. It also offers a Junior ISA, Lifetime ISA as well as a Nutmeg pension product*
  • Nutmeg has also recently launched a personal advice service providing restricted advice for its customers (see below)

How does Nutmeg manage its portfolios?

Nutmeg fully managed portfolios

  • Nutmeg provides a choice of 10 managed portfolios each with a different mix of investment assets
  • The portfolios range in risk from level 1 to 10
  • Each portfolio is invested in many different types of assets, countries and industry sectors, this diversifies the risk and improves the chances of having money invested in the best places to provide higher returns
  • Nutmeg regularly reviews the investments in your portfolio to make sure that your money is still invested in the places that best fit your personal investment goals and risk profile
  • Nutmeg prefers to invest in exchange-traded funds which are designed to track the movement of various market indices
  • It is a way of getting exposure to a pool of investments without having to purchase each one individually. Also, the costs involved with ETFs are low and they are easy to trade

Nutmeg fixed allocation portfolios

  • Nutmeg's fixed allocation portfolios are Nutmeg's attempt to target those investors who want a cheap multi-asset tracker fund portfolio but with minimal additional costs applied for the benefit of having it managed by Nutmeg's investment team
  • There are 5 set portfolios to choose from ranging in risk level (cautious, steady, balanced, growth, adventurous)
  • As the name suggests the portfolio allocations are fixed, however, they are reviewed annually by Nutmeg's investment team.
  • To maintain the percentage exposure the portfolio is automatically rebalanced
  • The fixed asset allocation portfolios are clearly aimed at those investors who want a very low-cost hands-off way of investing in a diversified tracker portfolio
  • Because the asset allocation is fixed the cost of the service is lower than Nutmeg's managed service as shown in the next section
  • Nutmeg has recently added the fixed allocation portfolios to its pension product

Nutmeg socially responsible portfolios

  • Nutmeg provides a choice of 10 managed socially responsible portfolios, each is weighted towards companies that have made a commitment to social responsibility
  • The portfolios range in risk from 'cautious' through to 'aggressive'
  • Each portfolio is invested in many different types of assets, countries and industry sectors, this diversifies the risk and improves the chances of having money invested in the best places to provide higher returns
  • Nutmeg regularly reviews the investments in your portfolio to make sure that your money is invested with a view balanced between performance and ethics
  • The portfolio fee starts at 0.75%, the same as Nutmeg's fully managed portfolios, however, the underlying fund charges are higher, averaging around 0.28% compared to average charges of 0.20% on Nutmeg's fully managed portfolios

Nutmeg smart alpha portfolios

  • Nutmeg provides a choice of 5 'smart alpha' portfolios where asset allocation is set and adapted by a combination of specialists at J.P. Morgan Asset Management and Nutmeg's own in-house investment team
  • There are 5 portfolios to choose from ranging in risk level
  • Each portfolio is invested in many different types of assets, countries and industry sectors, this diversifies the risk and improves the chances of having money invested in the best places to provide higher returns
  • J.P. Morgan Asset Management and Nutmeg's own in-house investment team regularly review the investments in each portfolio to ensure sure that they are aligned with your long term goals
  • The portfolio fee starts at 0.75%, the same as Nutmeg's fully managed portfolios, however, the underlying fund charges are slightly higher, averaging around 0.23%
  • Nutmeg believes that asset allocation is the single most important decision facing every investor and so by using J.P. Morgan Asset Management’s market insights and analysis, 'smart alpha' portfolio's can benefit from tactical adjustments made over time.

Nutmeg personal financial advice

  • In November 2018 Nutmeg introduced a new low-cost personalised planning and advice service
  • There are two options where you can either elect to receive general support and guidance or personalised planning and advice
  • Nutmeg's general support and guidance is provided by an in-house support team and can help you to understand your investments in more detail, including your risk level. Any guidance you receive is free, however, it will only be in relation to Nutmeg products
  • Nutmeg's personalised planning and advice service costs £575 (including VAT where applicable) and offers cashflow planning and regulated investment and pension advice. The advice you will receive is described by Nutmeg as "fully regulated, restricted financial advice".

What are Nutmeg’s fees?

Nutmeg's fees depend on the amount of your overall investment as shown below. Nutmeg reduced its fees in early 2017 to those stated below in an attempt to undercut their competition, which they do if you invest a large sum or opt for a fixed allocation portfolio. However, Nutmeg will run your money free of their platform fee for the first year via this exclusive offer* making it even more cost-effective and the cheapest way to invest with Nutmeg.

Investment amount Nutmeg managed, smart alpha & socially responsible portfolio fee Competitor managed portfolio fee
Nutmeg Fixed Asset Allocation portfolio fee
Up to £100,000 0.75% 0.70% 0.45%
Over £100,000 0.35% 0.50% 0.25%

In addition to the charges listed above there are underlying fund charges plus a market spread which covers the trading costs involved in making investments on your behalf. The latest figures can be found on Nutmeg's fees page*. The figures in the table above are just Nutmeg's charge for running your money. These figures do not take into account our exclusive offer* where Nutmeg will waive its management fees for the first 12 months. Terms and Conditions apply.

Nutmeg’s portfolio performance

The chart below shows the performance of each of the 10 Nutmeg managed investment portfolios from September 2012 to 30th April 2022 (the most recent data available at the time of writing) compared against an index of competitors for each of the risk levels. Past performance is not a reliable indicator of future performance. I've colour-coded the rows red where Nutmeg's performance appears to lag its competitors and green where it outperforms.

Portfolio Nutmeg performance: September 2012 - April 2022 Competitor performance: September 2012 - April 2022
1 4.5% N/A
2 19.6% N/A
3 30.1% 33.2%
4 40.7% 33.2%
5 52.2% 53.7%
6 62.1% 53.7%
7 80.4% 75.0%
8 96.3% 75.0%
9 113.8% 94.0%
10 125.1% 94.0%

There are a couple of things to point out about the performance figures. Firstly they use an assumption of the average costs incurred by a Nutmeg customer. Also the data which Nutmeg uses as indicative of its competitors is based on data provided by a firm known as Asset Risk Consulting (ARC). ARC take anonymised client return data from wealth managers across the industry and then uses it to benchmark managers such as Nutmeg. You can see from the table above that ARC only has 5 portfolios versus Nutmeg's 10 which makes direct comparison difficult. But the takeaway is that Nutmeg's investment performance excels if you opt for one of its high-risk profiles. In fact, later in this review I discuss Nutmeg's performance versus their biggest robo-advice competitors, Wealthify and Moneyfarm. You can check the latest performance data on the Nutmeg site*. There is also data available on the Nutmeg fixed asset allocation models.

Who should consider Nutmeg investments?

  • Nutmeg has a minimum initial investment of £500 (or £100 for a Junior ISA or Lifetime ISA)
  • Nutmeg is a suitable investment solution for anybody who wants a low-cost way to invest in the stock markets but does not have the time or expertise to make their own investment choices
  • Also the analysis of their performance data would suggest those willing to take a medium level of investment risk may be particularly suitable
  • In my view an ideal client would be someone who is happy to take a medium level of risk, keep their money invested for the long term and who doesn't have the time or expertise to run their investments but realises the importance of controlling costs. Although there are better performing alternatives as explained in the next section
  • Nutmeg offers a new restricted personal financial advice service that may be attractive to those that are wanting to take advice, but want to do so at low-cost

Nutmeg alternatives

Nutmeg* is the most well-established brand in the UK when it comes to managed tracker portfolios. Since it launched in 2011 it has become one of a growing band of robo-adviser propositions which have come to the market. One such robo-advice proposition, and one of Nutmeg's biggest competitors is Wealthify. Another major competitor is Moneyfarm. I compare Wealthify's charges and performance against Nutmeg's and Moneyfarm's in my Wealthify review.

If you would rather pick your investment funds yourself, rather than have someone run it for you, then as an alternative to Nutmeg you could use a fund platform such as Hargreaves Lansdown or Vanguard Investor. Read our full Hargreaves Lansdown review and Vanguard review for more information. The former is the market leader and offers the widest range of funds which can be held in their ISA, Lifetime ISA or Vantage SIPP. While Vanguard provides one of the cheapest ways to build a bespoke portfolio of tracker funds. If you like the idea of picking your own funds using a fund platform like Hargreaves Lansdown but don't know where to start then have a look at our 80-20 Investor service which empowers DIY investors to make their own investment decisions.

How safe is a Nutmeg investment?

There has been a lot of press coverage over the fact that Nutmeg has yet to make a profit as a company and it was reported in October 2021 that it had made losses of £15.1m in the 2020 calendar year, down from £21.2million the previous year. As with most robo-advice propositions, their business model only becomes profitable once they hit £1billion to £1.5billion AUM (assets under management). As strange as it may sound, early-stage losses are to be anticipated and encouragement can be taken from recent results that state that revenue increased by 37% to £12.7m and client numbers grew by 38%. In June 2021 it was announced that Nutmeg was to be acquired by American investment bank JPMorgan Chase with the bank keen to support the innovative work that Nutmeg has achieved in retail wealth management. Nutmeg holds clients' investments with a 'custodian bank', this is a specialised financial institution responsible for safeguarding a firm's, or individual's, financial assets. Clients' assets are therefore separate from Nutmeg assets so should not be affected if the company failed in the future. You can find out more information in Nutmeg's FAQs*. Additionally, Nutmeg is a member of the UK Financial Services Compensation Scheme (FSCS) which ensured that in the unlikely event of a failure of Nutmeg, coupled with a failure to safeguard customer assets or some other failure (such as negligent advice), the value of customer assets held with Nutmeg may be protected by the FSCS up to the limit of £85,000.

What are customers' views regarding Nutmeg's service?

Nutmeg is rated as 'Excellent' on independent review site Trustpilot and scores 4.1 out of 5.0 from over 1,200 reviews. Below are a collection of reviews from online sources including Trustpilot.

  • 'The easiest way to invest in stock, shares, bonds and without needing to spend years researching or learning the ropes yourself' - John B
  • 'Although my portfolio has not done well I have checked it against others from industry figures and it has actually done marginally better. These are horrible conditions and Nutmeg is performing as I would expect according to my risk levels' - Nick
  • 'Best thing I ever did transferring my pension to Nutmeg, it has never performed so well. I would highly recommend' - Hilary B
  • 'I can only comment on the setting up process as it's such a recent investment but I found the site easy to use and clear about costs' - Rachel
  • 'Been with Nutmeg over a year now and have got substantially better returns than I did when trying to trade myself' - James


If you are looking for a low-cost stock market investment service then take a look at Nutmeg. It remains one of the cheapest online investment services especially if you are looking for someone to manage your portfolio and make tactical decisions. It is even more cost-effective if you take advantage of the exclusive offer whereby Nutmeg waives its management fees in the first year* (Terms and Conditions apply). On a £20,000 investment that would save you £150!

With Nutmeg you can build an example portfolio in just a couple of minutes so that you can easily see the projected value and costs over your chosen investment timeframe. Nutmeg also provides an additional advice service if customers require it. Overall Nutmeg gives simple easy access to investing within a Stocks and Shares ISA*, Lifetime ISA* or a pension* with a track record of providing competitive returns over time.

It is important to note that as with all investing, your capital is at risk. The value of your portfolio with Nutmeg can go down as well as up and you may get back less than you invest. Past performance is not a reliable indicator of future performance. Tax treatment depends on your individual circumstances and may change in the future.


*Nutmeg has agreed to pay a small fee for new customers acquired via the asterisked links in this article which helps us keep free to use. But as you can clearly see this has in no way influenced this independent and balanced review of the product. Please use the following link if you would prefer that does not receive any payment for your referral - Nutmeg