Nutmeg vs Hargreaves Lansdown – Which Platform Is Right For You?

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The Generation Money Guarantee

At Generation Money our purpose is to help you make better financial decisions. All of our articles are independently written and/or edited by finance professionals and adhere to strict editorial guidelines. This post may contain links which, if clicked, could result in a payment to the site. These links never impact our editorial policy and all rankings and product recommendations remain unbiased. For more details, read how this site is financed.

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Nutmeg vs Hargreaves Lansdown logos

For this head-to-head review, I’ll be comparing Nutmeg vs Hargreaves Lansdown, two of the UK’s leading investment platforms.

I’ll be assessing Nutmeg and Hargreaves Lansdown against a range of metrics to see which comes out on top. This includes portfolio performance, ethical offerings, products and, of course, fees.

As an experienced investor and a Chartered Accountant, I’m always looking for the best possible return for the lowest effective cost!

Overall, Hargreaves Lansdown is the more comprehensive investment platform, with a much wider range of investment options. Nutmeg is a good choice for beginner investors looking to invest in ready-made portfolios, which are cheaper than Hargreaves Lansdown’s.

Before getting into the detail, Hargreaves Lansdown is currently offering casback of between £50 – £1,000 when you transfer accounts worth £4,000 or more in total into the HL Stocks and Shares ISA or HL Fund and Share Account. You will need to register for the cashback offer and apply to transfer by 16 March 2023 to qualify.

You can also register now for a three month extension to this offer if you’re not yet ready to move your investments. View full terms on the Hargreaves Lansdown website. If you transfer away within a year your cashback may be reclaimed.

Read on for my full Nutmeg vs Hargreaves Lansdown comparison, or use the links below to jump straight to a particular section.

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Nutmeg vs Hargreaves Lansdown: At A Glance

Here’s my overview of Nutmeg vs Hargreaves Lansdown in case you don’t want to read the whole comparison. 

The table below looks at the key features compared against each other.

NutmegHargreaves Lansdown
Management Fees / Platform ChargesUp to £100,000 – 0.75%
Over £100,000 – 0.35%
Holding funds:
Up to £250,000: 0.45%
£250,000 – £1m: 0.25%
£1m – £2m: 0.10%
£2m+: 0%

Holding shares:
Fund & Share Account: no charge
Stocks & Shares ISA: 0.45% (capped at £45)

SIPP: 0.45% (capped at £200)
Fund Fees0.2% (0.3% for Socially Responsible)0.04%-1.44%
Minimum Investment£500 for Stocks & Shares ISA, GIA & Pension

£100 for JISA and LISA
£1 to open Fund & Share Account (GIA), £100 minimum investment for funds

£100 for ISA & SIPP, unless regularly depositing £25+ per month
ProductsStocks & Shares: ISA, JISA, LISA

GIA

SIPP (Pension)

Regulated Personal Financial Advice
Stocks & Shares: ISA, JISA, LISA

Fund & Share Account / GIA

SIPP (Pension), Junior SIPP

Cash ISA, Active Savings

Personal Financial Advice

Foreign Currency Exchange
Ready-Made Portfolios104
Ethical Portfolios10N/A
Fixed Allocation Portfolios5N/A
Other Portfolios/Funds5 Smart Alpha PortfoliosHL Select & Wealth Shortlist
DIY PortfolioNoYes
Share DealingNoYes
FSCS ProtectionYesYes (except some funds outside the UK)

Hargreaves Lansdown is a more comprehensive investing platform than Nutmeg, and will likely be preferred by more experienced investors. You’re able to invest in shares, funds, bonds, ready-made portfolios and you can also get personal financial advice and currency exchange services. 

In addition, Hargreaves Lansdown has lots of research and tools available for you to use as well offering its own managed funds to invest in. You can also create your own portfolio by picking individual stocks, funds and bonds out of thousands to choose from. You’re unable to customise your investment portfolio with Nutmeg.

However, Hargreaves Lansdown’s share dealing operates on a fee basis of between £5.95 and £11.95 per transaction, depending on how often you trade.

There are plenty of commission-free stocks and shares investment apps around that work out cheaper for share dealing. They often give out free share promotions for new customers, too.

On the other hand, Nutmeg offers ready-made portfolios and regulated financial advice but you cannot buy individual stocks and shares. Its core offering is its robo-advisor investment service, where it offers a wide range of portfolios to choose from based on your risk appetite.

This makes Nutmeg a great platform if you’re a less experienced investor, or if you simply want a hands-off approach. Nutmeg also has the widest range of ready-made portfolios to choose from out of the leading robo-advisors, including Smart Alpha portfolios in collaboration with JP Morgan.

Although Hargreaves Lansdown has a lower platform fee than Nutmeg, its fund charges for its ready-made portfolios are significantly higher. More below under Fees.

What is Nutmeg?

Nutmeg is a robo-advisor investment platform offering ready-made portfolios for customers to invest in. Founded in 2011, they were one of the pioneers of hands-off investing based on your risk appetite.

In 2021 Nutmeg was acquired by JP Morgan Chase, so it’s backed by one of the world’s largest financial institutions. 

It’s now one of the largest digital wealth managers in the UK and has over 150,000 clients. It markets itself as a transparent and jargon-free way of investing.

What is Hargreaves Lansdown?

Established in 1981, Hargreaves Lansdown is one of the largest retail investment platforms in the UK. 

Hargreaves Lansdown allows you to invest in a huge range of assets including shares, funds and bonds.

It styles itself as the UK’s No.1 investment platform for private investors, and has over 1.6 million investors managing £135.5bn in investments.

Nutmeg vs Hargreaves Lansdown: Fees

Let’s look in more detail at the all-important costs for Hargreaves Lansdown vs Nutmeg.

Nutmeg has a simple platform fee structure. It charges 0.75% on all investments up to £100,000 and 0.35% on any portion above £100,000.

Hargreaves Lansdown has a tiered fee structure based on how much you have invested: 

NutmegHargreaves Lansdown
Platform FeesUp to £100k: 0.75%
Over £100k: 0.35%
Excludes fund fees
Holding funds (excluding fund fees):
Up to £250,000: 0.45%
£250,000 – £1m: 0.25%
£1m – £2m: 0.10%
£2m+: 0%

Holding shares:
Fund & Share Account: no charge

Stocks & Shares ISA: 0.45% (capped at £45)

SIPP: 0.45% (capped at £200)
Actively Managed Portfolio Management FeesPlatform fees above apply, no separate management fees0.92%-0.99% 
Includes fund fees, but platform fees above apply on top
Fixed Allocation Management FeesUp to £100k: 0.45%
Over £100k: 0.25%
N/A
Fund Fees0.21% plus 0.07% market spread0.04%-1.44%
Ethical / Socially Responsible Fund Fees0.30% plus 0.07% market spread0.04%-1.44%
Smart Alpha Fund Fees0.30% plus 0.07% market spreadN/A
Individual Stocks & Shares / Share DealingN/AFee based on number of deals in prior month:
0 – 9: £11.95
10 – 20: £8.95
20+: £5.95

FX charge also applies on overseas shares
Regulated Financial Advice£575 plus VATInvestment advice: 
Up to £1m: 1%
£1m+: 0%

Financial Planning:
Up to £200k: 2%
£200k – 1m+: 1%
Over £1m: 0%

Both subject to min. charge of £495 for advice over the phone, £1,495 for in-person. VAT in addition

The main comparison on fees when looking at Nutmeg vs Hargreaves Lansdown is their platform charges and actively managed fund fees. 

Ignoring fund fees for a moment, Nutmeg has higher platform charges up to £100k of 0.75% vs 0.45% with Hargreaves Lansdown. Between £100k and £250k, Hargreaves Lansdown has higher platform charges of 0.45% vs Nutmeg’s 0.35%. Above £250k, Hargreaves Lansdown becomes cheaper again with a fee of 0.25%.

However, the average fund costs for Nutmeg’s actively managed portfolios are 0.28% (including spread). This is significantly lower than Hargreaves Lansdown’s actively managed fund fees of between 0.92-0.99%. Overall, actively managed portfolios are therefore cheaper with Nutmeg for all investment amounts than with Hargreaves Lansdown.

For example, £100k in an actively managed Nutmeg portfolio would cost £1,030 per year including fund fees and spread. With £100k in Hargreaves Lansdown’s cheapest actively managed portfolio, it would cost £1,370.

On the other hand, Hargreaves Lansdown allows you to pick your own investments from a wide range of investment trusts, ETFs and mutual funds. Many of these come with much lower fund fees than Hargreaves Lansdown’s actively managed portfolio fund fees. 

In this way, if you’re confident in picking your own investments, you can build your own portfolio through low-cost ETFs with Hargreaves Lansdown. 

For example, with £100k invested in Vanguard’s FTSE100 index tracker which has fund costs of 0.06%, you would pay a net charge of 0.51%. This beats Nutmeg’s platform charge of 0.75%. 

It’s important to note that this is not an investment recommendation, but an example to demonstrate the lower cost of index funds available through Hargreaves Lansdown.

For share dealing, Hargreaves Lansdown charges a dealing fee on each transaction you make. The fee depends on how many transactions you’ve made in the prior month, as shown in the table above. 

For Stocks & Shares ISAs, Hargreaves Lansdown charges a 0.45% annual fee, but this is capped at £45. There are no charges for holding shares in a Fund & Share Account, but platform fees apply if holding funds in a Fund & Share Account.

Alongside ready-made portfolios, Nutmeg also offers regulated financial advice for a flat fee of £575 plus VAT. 

This compares to a minimum charge of £495 plus VAT when getting financial advice through Hargreaves Lansdown. However, the charge is levied as a percentage of the amount of capital you want advice on, so it could be much higher. Nutmeg’s fee is a flat fee regardless of how much capital you have.

Nutmeg vs Hargreaves Lansdown: Products

Very few alternatives to Hargreaves Lansdown can match the range of products and investment options it has available. It offers over 3,000 shares, funds, bonds, investment trusts and ETFs to invest in. This makes it a great choice if you’re an experienced investor.

Hargreaves Lansdown also offers a range of accounts, including Stocks & Shares ISA, JISA and LISA, as well as a Fund & Share Account (General Investment Account, or GIA). Furthermore, you can open a SIPP (Pension), Junior SIPP, Cash ISA and Active Savings accounts.

Nutmeg also offers a good range of investment accounts, including a Stocks & Shares ISA, JISA and LISA, as well as a GIA and a SIPP (Pension).

Unlike Hargreaves Lansdown, Nutmeg does not offer any savings products. 

That being said, simplicity may be better for beginner investors just getting started. So if you’re new to investing, Nutmeg’s streamlined offering of ready-made portfolios may appeal to you more.

Both Nutmeg and Hargreaves Lansdown offer regulated financial advice. The cost of advice with each provider is outlined above under Fees.

Nutmeg vs Hargreaves Lansdown: Portfolios

Nutmeg’s fully managed offering has 10 portfolios to choose from, each also with a different risk level where 1 is the lowest risk and 10 the highest. 

Although Nutmeg doesn’t have the product range of Hargreaves Lansdown, it offers much more ready-made investment portfolio options.

This includes 5 low-cost fixed allocation portfolios you can invest in. Rather than being actively managed, these portfolios are rebalanced once per year and so they have lower management fees. They’re a good way of getting low-cost exposure to the market, so they may suit a beginner investor. 

In addition, as Nutmeg is owned by JP Morgan, it also offers Smart Alpha portfolios which have been put together with expertise from JP Morgan Asset Management. Historically, these portfolios have shown higher returns than Nutmeg’s standard fully managed portfolios.

This is perhaps one of the main appeals of Nutmeg vs Hargreaves Lansdown’s ready-made portfolios, as Nutmeg has a deep pool of investment expertise behind it with its association with JP Morgan.

Hargreaves Lansdown offers 4 ready-made portfolios to choose from: Adventurous, Moderately Adventurous, Balanced and Cautious. You can also customise these portfolios or create your own portfolio entirely. 

These are actively managed funds rather than passive funds, run by Hargreaves Lansdown fund managers. However, they cost significantly more than Nutmeg’s ready-made portfolios, as outlined above.

Furthermore, Hargreaves Lansdown offers ‘HL Select’ portfolios which are also managed by Hargreaves Lansdown fund managers. There’s also its Wealth Shortlist, which is a list of funds picked by Hargreaves Lansdown which you can choose to invest in.

Overall, Hargreaves Lansdown offers a far greater choice of portfolios to invest in than Nutmeg which is great for the more confident investor. But Nutmeg’s ready-made portfolios are cheaper, and it has a simpler range of options which is perfect for a beginner investor.

Nutmeg vs Hargreaves Lansdown: Ethical Portfolios

Investors increasingly want to know where their money is going to ensure that their investments align with their values. So it’s no surprise that most investment platforms offer a range of Socially Responsible Investing (SRI) options.

Nutmeg has an ethical option for each of its 10 risk-based actively managed portfolios. This is a good option if you’re a beginner investor, or short on time, and want to ensure your investments are socially responsible. Nutmeg’s ethical funds have slightly higher fund fees than the regular actively managed funds.

By contrast, Hargreaves Lansdown doesn’t offer any ready-made ethical portfolios. However, it operates what it calls a “responsible investment” strategy over the funds it manages and picks. 

Furthermore, ethical – or ESG – funds created by the likes of L&G, Blackrock and Vanguard are available to invest in through Hargreaves Lansdown’s platform. This allows you to build your own ethical portfolio, which will suit a more experienced investor.

Nutmeg vs Hargreaves Lansdown: Performance

Hargreaves Lansdown’s ready-made portfolios are a new addition to its platform, so they don’t have historical performance (as of March-23) to compare against. This makes a direct comparison to Nutmeg difficult.

To get a sense of the past returns with other funds available at Hargreaves Lansdown, you can view their investor factsheets and research on their website.

For Nutmeg, we can look at how its lowest risk, medium risk and highest risk fully managed and Smart Alpha portfolios performed for 2022:

2022 PerformanceNutmeg Fully Managed ReturnNutmeg Smart Alpha Return
Nutmeg Risk Level 1 / Smart Alpha 1-5.4%-11.6%
Nutmeg Risk Level 6 / Smart Alpha 3-12.6%-10.4%
Nutmeg Risk Level 10 / Smart Alpha 5-9.6%-9.5%

Overall, 2022 was not a good time for investors. Energy prices, a cost-of-living crisis and high inflation, particularly in Western economies, caused widespread volatility in many major stock markets.

For context, the S&P500 in the US lost 18% during 2022 and the pan-European Stoxx 600 lost 12.5%. The UK’s FTSE100 fared slightly better, posting a modest 0.9% return for 2022. 

On the face of it, Nutmeg performed better or equal in each of its portfolios compared to passive index investing in the S&P500 or Stoxx 600 in 2022. However, this is not a scientific analysis and past performance is not a reliable indicator of future performance.

But this does highlight one of the advantages of actively managed funds over passive funds. Actively managed funds can be rebalanced during a downturn, whereas passive index funds usually continue to buy the market.

Nutmeg vs Hargreaves Lansdown: Research, Tools and Advice

As a robo-advisor, Nutmeg is intended for those who want a hands-off method of investing their money. As a result, it doesn’t offer too much in the way of tools and research compared to broader platforms, including Hargreaves Lansdown.

That being said, Nutmeg offers some useful tools such as calculators for pensions, compound returns, ISAs and self-employed tax on its website

On the other hand, Hargreaves Lansdown offers a range of tools, research and guides on its website and in its app. An experienced or more confident investor will probably prefer using the tools on offer with Hargreaves Lansdown vs Nutmeg.

Hargreaves Lansdown and Nutmeg both offer personalised financial advice from a regulated professional. If you have a more complex financial situation, or simply want the advice of a professional, this could be a good option for you. Fees for each provider are outlined above.

Nutmeg vs Hargreaves Lansdown: Which Has The Better App?

Nutmeg’s app has a clear interface and is easy to navigate. On the home screen you can clearly see your investments, including how they’ve performed over time.

You can also contact support through the app using Nutmeg’s chat feature. This is useful if you have any questions or if something goes wrong as you can be quickly connected to customer service.

Nutmeg’s app is useful for checking your investments but it doesn’t offer too much else. With Hargreaves Lansdown you get a more comprehensive investment platform in its app.

You can access research and investment tools directly in the app, as well as viewing all of your portfolios.

Nutmeg vs Hargreaves Lansdown: Is My Money Safe?

Both Nutmeg and Hargreaves Lansdown are regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) and have Financial Services Compensation Scheme (FSCS) protection.

This means that if either company were to go bust, your money would be protected up to the value of £85,000 by the regulator. 

It should be noted that some of the funds available through Hargreaves Lansdown are located outside of the UK and therefore may not be covered by FSCS protection. You should check the information available, including the Key Investor Information Document, before investing.

Both Nutmeg and Hargreaves Lansdown use sophisticated encryption to keep your data safe.

Both Hargreaves Lansdown and Nutmeg segregate client money from their own using custodian accounts held with secure 3rd parties. These also fall under FSCS protection.

Nutmeg vs Hargreaves Lansdown: Pros & Cons

To summarise my comparison of Nutmeg vs Hargreaves Lansdown, I’ve outlined below what I believe are the main pros and cons of each investment platform.

Nutmeg Pros & Cons

Nutmeg Pros

  • Lower fund charges on ready-made portfolios vs Hargreaves Lansdown
  • Extensive range of ready-made portfolios compared to Hargreaves Lansdown
  • Low-cost fixed allocation portfolios
  • Access to Smart Alpha portfolios put together with JP Morgan Asset Management
  • Flat fee for personalised finance advice instead of fee based on percentage of your assets
  • Clear and easy-to-use app
  • Regular market updates through its website and in the app
  • Backed by JP Morgan, one the largest financial institutions in the world
  • Portfolios generally performed well in 2022 vs major US and European stock indices, although underperformed the UK’s FTSE100. Past performance is not a reliable indicator of future performance

Nutmeg Cons

  • On the flip side, it’s a more expensive option compared to investing in many individual ETFs which you can do with Hargreaves Lansdown
  • Higher minimum investment of £500 compared to Hargreaves Lansdown for Stocks & Shares ISA, GIA and Pension
  • Unable to invest in individual stocks and funds or to customise your portfolio
  • Lack of wider products (e.g. savings accounts) and features vs Hargreaves Lansdown

Hargreaves Lansdown Pros & Cons

Hargreaves Lansdown Pros

  • Massive range of funds to invest in, great for confident investors
  • Huge range of stocks and shares to trade
  • Able to invest in bonds
  • Caters to a wide range of users with an extensive mix of ready-made, actively managed and passive portfolios
  • Lots of investment research and useful tools, good for experienced investors
  • Lower platform charges than Nutmeg, which makes investing cheaper if you’re investing in low-cost ETFs
  • Active Savings account brings together the best savings rates from a range of providers
  • Great app which provides market analysis and insight

Hargreaves Lansdown Cons

  • Higher fund costs for its ready-made portfolios vs Nutmeg’s
  • Huge range of investment options may overwhelm beginner investors
  • Personalised financial advice can be more expensive than Nutmeg’s if you have a large amount in assets

Nutmeg vs Hargreaves Lansdown: Final Verdict

Nutmeg offers a relatively simple, hands-off way to invest and is probably best suited for younger users and those new to investing. You can simply decide on a risk level and Nutmeg will allocate your money into an appropriate portfolio.

In addition, its ready-made portfolios are lower cost than Hargreaves Lansdown’s and have shown good returns in recent years. However, past performance is not a reliable indicator of future performance.

On the other hand, Nutmeg is limited in its investment options. Beyond ready-made portfolios, you cannot invest in anything else through its platforms. You’re also unable to customise your portfolio.

By contrast, Hargreaves Lansdown is the better choice for more experienced investors and those who want to pick their own investments. It has a huge range of funds, bonds, ETFs and shares to invest in. 

On top of this, it has 4 ready-made portfolios and lots of research and tools to help you in your investment journey. You can also put your money into savings accounts through Hargreaves Lansdown’s Active Savings.

Reminder: Hargreaves Lansdown is currently offering casback of between £50 – £1,000 when you transfer accounts worth £4,000 or more in total into the HL Stocks and Shares ISA or HL Fund and Share Account. You will need to register for the cashback offer and apply to transfer by 16 March 2023 to qualify.

You can also register now for a three month extension to this offer if you’re not yet ready to move your investments. View full terms on the Hargreaves Lansdown website. If you transfer away within a year your cashback may be reclaimed.

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