Whatever your future plans it goes without saying that they will be a lot easier to achieve when there is money set aside for them. It is easy to get caught up the daily work-live-spend cycle to think about setting anything aside for the future, especially when there are so many options and so much to think about. Let’s face it, sometimes finances are complicated – and who has the time to deal with extra complications anyway?
It was over a decade ago that we resolved to get a hold of our finances as much as we could and I remember feeling overwhelmed at the information overload of learning about stocks, shares, investments and so on. I hadn’t thought of the fees we would need to consider, the terms we would need to learn and the long and the short of how investing worked. It all seemed terribly complicated when all we wanted to do was to save money and make it work for us the best way we could.
Recently, I came across Nutmeg, a company which makes investing easier regardless of your experience.
Launched in 2011 with the aim of making investing less complicated and more accessible for everyone, Nutmeg has certainly streamlined the way investing works compared to how things were when we began almost a decade before. Don’t let its youth put you off though – with strong shareholders backing it Nutmeg is highly unlikely to disappear into the nether taking your hard-saved money with it!
Through Nutmeg you can get your savings and investments up and running in just ten minutes, whether you’re looking at saving in general, maximising your ISA allowance or you want to start topping up your pension.
The interface is so simple to use. The platform is easy to navigate and the instructions are clear and jargon-free. Signing up is straightforward: complete your details, let them know what your savings goals are and when you’ll need your cash, and tell them how much you want to contribute. You will then state how much risk you are willing to take with your money – there is a sliding scale taking you from ‘cautious’ through to ‘balanced’ and, if you’re not averse to risk, all the way to ‘aggressive’.
Nutmeg will then produce an instant breakdown of how your cash will be invested across their ten funds which range across the ten risk groups covering the range from cautious to aggressive. You can be sure that their investment strategy will take into account your personal goals and circumstances according to the information you have provided. If at any time your circumstances or plans change simply update the information and Nutmeg will automatically adjust your investments to suit. Your investments will be diversified across their funds in order to balance them as well as they can be according to your plans and profile.
Apart from the speed at which your account can be up and running there are a number of advantages to Nutmeg’s services which I find appealing:
Once you have opened your account and got it started you don’t have to do anything else at all. All your investments will be completely managed by the Nutmeg investment team. If your circumstances change, all you have to do is log in and update your profile or plans in the platform. Then, once more, you leave the team to deal with getting the most for your money while you deal with other things.
Ease of use
I know that I have mentioned this already but a clean, simple platform is much easier to use than something with too much detail. It is easy to navigate and simple for non-investors to understand so you are reassured that yes, it really is that simple and yes, you do know what they mean.
There is a lot of help and jargon-busting information on the site which answer a lot of questions you may have. If you still need help or need to talk to someone you can do so by phone, email or through their web chat service.
Low minimum investments
You can open your savings or ISA account with a minimum of £1000 to get you started. Funds are bought in £1000 increments so if you have one account say for your planned trip of a lifetime and another for your firstborn’s uni fund, you’ll need at least £1000 in each. If your investment is less than £5000 you will also need to make monthly deposits of at least £50 in order to build your funds up.
Low fees/No fees
When you look into investing you will often notice how many fees are taken off for this, that or the other – all of which can cut into your savings significantly. Nutmeg’s management fees fall between 0.3% and 1% depending on your investment amount. There are no set up fees, no inactivity fees, no exit fees and no commission.
Nutmeg might manage your investments for you but you remain in control. You can add, withdraw or transfer your money at any time. It’s your money, not Nutmeg’s, and they know it.
In my opinion, if you’re looking to save for your future plans it makes sense to protect your cash from the tax-man by keeping it in an ISA. Why pay tax on your savings if you don’t have to? This year’s ISA allowance is £15,000 rising to £15,240 in 2015-2016 so whether you are thinking about investing for the first time or transferring your existing investments it is well worth looking into Nutmeg’s services. Always remember though that investing is a gamble, no matter how small. Your investments may go down as well as up and bear in mind that past performance is not an indicator of future performance.
Want to find out more? Pop over to the Nutmeg site and try out their free, complete, interactive portfolio to see how it works.
This video explains more: