In this comparison, I’ll be assessing Plum vs Nutmeg, two of the leading digital investment platforms in the UK.
I’ll be putting Plum and Nutmeg head-to-head on a number of metrics to see which comes out on top. This includes products, portfolio performance, ethical offerings and, of course, fees.
Most people want to get the best possible return on their money for the least cost. As an experienced investor and a Chartered Accountant, I know how important it is to balance costs against returns!
Both Plum and Nutmeg are good options for beginner investors. Plum is more suited to younger investors looking to automate savings and investing, and are confident in picking their own investments. Nutmeg is better for those who want a hands-off approach by investing in ready-made portfolios.
Read on for our full Plum vs Nutmeg comparison, or use the links below to jump straight to a particular section.
- Plum vs Nutmeg: At A Glance
- Plum vs Nutmeg: Fees
- Plum vs Nutmeg: Products
- Plum vs Nutmeg: Portfolios
- Plum vs Nutmeg: Ethical Portfolios
- Plum vs Nutmeg: Performance
- Plum vs Nutmeg: Research, Tools & Advice
- Plum vs Nutmeg: Which Has The Better App?
- Plum vs Nutmeg: Is My Money Safe?
- Plum vs Nutmeg: Pros & Cons
- Plum vs Nutmeg: Final Verdict
You can read my in-depth reviews of each platform here:
Plum vs Nutmeg: At A Glance
Here’s my overview of Plum vs Nutmeg in case you don’t want to read the whole comparison.
The table below looks at the key features compared against each other.
|Management Fees||£2.99 per month Plum Pro (or higher) subscription required to invest in funds, first month free|
0.45% platform fee
No monthly fee or platform charge to invest in individual stocks, transaction fees apply
SIPP Fees: 0.45% platform fee
|Up to £100,000 – 0.75%|
Over £100,000 – 0.35%
|Fund Fees||0.06%-1.06% (Average 0.45%)||0.20% (0.30% for Socially Responsible)|
|Minimum Investment||£1||£500 for Stocks & Shares ISA, GIA & Pension|
£100 for JISA and LISA
|Products||Pocket Savings Accounts|
Stocks & Shares ISA
GIA, SIPP (Pension)
Plum debit card
|Stocks & Shares: ISA, JISA, LISA|
GIA, SIPP (Pension)
Regulated personal financial advice
|Risk-Based Ethical Portfolios||No||10|
|Fixed Allocation Portfolios||No||5|
|Smart Alpha Portfolios||No||5|
|Number Of Funds (excl. Ethical)||18||N/A – cannot invest in individual funds|
|Ethical Funds||3||N/A – cannot invest in individual funds|
|Trade Individual Stocks & Shares||Yes (1,200 to choose from with Plum Basic, Pro & Ultra; 3,000 with Premium)||No|
|Index / Passive Funds||Yes||No|
|Money Management Features||Yes||No|
The key difference between Plum and Nutmeg is that Nutmeg is a robo-advisor that offers ready-made investment portfolios for you to invest in. Plum, on the other hand, is a savings and investing app that allows you to invest in individual funds and commission-free stocks & shares.
If you know how you want to invest and what you want to invest in, whether that’s buying shares in particular companies or picking funds to put your money in, then Plum is the better choice for you. When investing, your capital is at risk.
However, if you want a more hands-off approach to investing then you may prefer Nutmeg for its extensive range of ready-made, balanced portfolios to choose from. You simply choose a risk level based on your preferences and Nutmeg invests for you.
Beyond investing, Plum is also a great money management and savings app. It has lots of tools and features to make it easier for you to automate your savings and investments. You can also open savings accounts with Plum, whereas Nutmeg only offers investment accounts.
Nutmeg also provides regulated individual financial advice. This will be useful if you want an expert to assess your individual circumstances and advise you on how to achieve your financial goals. Plum does not offer financial advice.
What is Plum?
Plum was founded in 2017 as a chatbot, but has changed significantly since then. It’s now a comprehensive personal finance app that enables you to save, spend, earn and invest all in one place.
It comes with AI-driven money management features designed to help you to save and invest automatically, based on your needs and circumstances.
Plum is geared towards younger people and those new to investing, and now has over 1 million users.
Check out my in-depth Plum investment review for more.
What is Nutmeg?
Nutmeg is a robo-advisor investment platform, founded in 2011. It offers a wide range of ready-made investment portfolios backed by algorithms that observe the market and seek to optimise performance over time.
JP Morgan Chase acquired Nutmeg in 2021. Nutmeg claims to be the largest digital wealth manager in the UK with over 150,000 clients. It markets itself as a transparent and jargon-free way of investing.
Like other robo-advisors, it invests primarily in Exchange Traded Funds (ETFs), which keeps its costs relatively low, and allows you to invest based on the level of risk you prefer.
Unlike other robo-advisors, Nutmeg offers personalised financial advice which will benefit you if you want guidance on your investing journey.
Check out my in-depth Nutmeg review for more.
Plum vs Nutmeg: Fees
Let’s look in more detail at the all-important costs for Nutmeg vs Plum.
Nutmeg has a simple fee structure – it charges 0.75% on investments up to £100k. Any portion above £100k is charged at 0.35%.
Plum investment charges a 0.45% platform fee for any amount invested but requires a subscription to at least Plum Pro at £2.99 per month. You can buy individual stocks and shares without needing a subscription, though:
|Plum Basic||Plum Pro||Nutmeg|
|Subscription Fee||FREE||£2.99 per month, first month free||FREE|
|Platform / Management Fees||N/A – cannot invest in funds with Plum Basic||0.45%||Up to £100k: 0.75%|
Over £100k: 0.35%
|Fixed Allocation Fees||N/A||N/A||Up to £100k: 0.45%|
Over £100k: 0.25%
|Fund Fees||0.45% average||0.45% average||0.21% plus 0.07% market spread|
|Ethical / Socially Responsible Fund Fees||0.17%-0.88%||0.17%-0.88%||0.30% plus 0.07% market spread|
|Smart Alpha Fund Fees||N/A||N/A||0.30% plus 0.07% market spread|
|Individual Stocks & Shares||Commission-free but 0.45% currency conversion charge for US shares||Commission-free but 0.45% currency conversion charge for US shares||N/A|
|Regulated Financial Advice||N/A||N/A||£575 + VAT|
Investing in funds with Plum is much more expensive than investing in Nutmeg’s portfolios at lower amounts. This is because to invest in funds with Plum, you need at least a Plum Pro subscription which costs £2.99 per month.
Taking into account that your first month is free, Plum is more expensive than Nutmeg if investing up to £11,000 for one year. Below £11,000, Nutmeg is cheaper. Above £11,000, Plum is cheaper.
However, after your first year you will pay a full 12 months at £2.99 per month. This means that Plum is more expensive than Nutmeg if investing up to £12,000 after your first free month. Above £12,000, Plum is cheaper.
Nutmeg becomes lower cost vs Plum again at very high investment amounts, around £425,000 or more. This is because the portion of investments over £100k are charged at the lower rate of 0.35%.
You can buy and sell individual stocks and shares without needing a subscription or paying a platform fee with Plum. However, Plum charges a 0.45% currency conversion fee for exchanging GBP into USD on each transaction when purchasing or selling US shares.
Plum vs Nutmeg: Products
Plum and Nutmeg both offer Stocks and Shares ISAs, General Investment Accounts (GIAs), and Self-Invested Personal Pensions (SIPPs).
Nutmeg also offers a Stocks & Shares Junior ISA (JISA), a tax-free way of investing for your children. It also offers a Stocks & Shares Lifetime ISA (LISA), which is a tax efficient way of saving for buying your first home or for retirement.
So if you want to open either a JISA or LISA you will prefer Nutmeg over Plum.
However, Plum offers a much wider range of products than just investment accounts. With Plum, you can create different savings ‘pockets’ for different purposes. The interest rate you get will depend on your Plum subscription (March-23):
- Plum Basic: 2.20%
- Plum Pro: 2.45%
- Plum Ultra: 2.45%
- Plum Premium: 2.90%
You can also buy and sell individual stocks with Plum, which you can’t do with Nutmeg. Plum offers a huge choice of stocks to invest in too. You’re able to buy fractional shares and to get started with just £1.
With Plum you can also get a pre-loaded debit card to use for spending, similar to digital banks. If you want a spending card to go alongside your savings and investing, then you may prefer Plum as Nutmeg does not offer a card.
However, one service that Nutmeg offers but Plum doesn’t is personalised financial advice. For a fee of £575 plus VAT, you can speak to a professional, regulated financial advisor who will go through your financial needs and goals with you.
If you’re an inexperienced investor, or think that you would like the guidance of a professional, you may prefer Nutmeg vs Plum.
Plum vs Nutmeg: Portfolios
Nutmeg’s fully managed offering has 10 portfolios to choose from, each with a different risk level. Although Nutmeg doesn’t have the product range of Plum, it does offer far more investment portfolio options:
- 10 fully managed portfolios
- 10 ethical fully managed portfolios
- 5 fixed allocation portfolios
- 5 Smart Alpha portfolios
The core Nutmeg portfolios are its fully managed options, which are arranged from 1-10 based on risk. Each also has an ethical option.
Nutmeg’s fixed allocation portfolios are lower-cost as they are only rebalanced once per year, so are not actively managed. As Nutmeg is owned by JP Morgan, it also offers Smart Alpha portfolios.
These have been put together with expertise and knowledge 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 benefits of Nutmeg vs Plum, as Nutmeg has a deep pool of investment expertise behind it with its association with JP Morgan.
Plum doesn’t offer ready-made portfolios to invest in. Instead it allows you to create your own investment portfolio. You can choose from a range of mutual funds to build your own portfolio. You can also invest in 3,000 different stocks on top of the funds.
These range from index trackers that follow the S&P500 and the FTSE100 to funds put together based on themes, such as biotech or real estate. So, if you’re a more experienced or confident investor you may prefer Plum vs Nutmeg for this reason. When investing, your capital is at risk.
Overall though, Nutmeg has a far more extensive choice of ready-made portfolios for you to choose from, catering for a wide range of risk levels.
Both Nutmeg and Plum offer ethical/socially responsible investing options. Read on for more on ethical investing.
Plum vs Nutmeg: Ethical Portfolios
Ethical, or Environmental, Social and Governance (ESG) investing, is considered a big factor among younger investors, which is who Plum and Nutmeg target as users.
Both Plum and Nutmeg offer ethical options for you to invest in. Generally, ethical funds are put together by professional fund managers with the caveat that the companies and industries in these ETFs must comply with socially responsible investment criteria, as defined by the fund provider.
Nutmeg has 10 ethical options, mirroring its 10 fully managed portfolios. These are perfect if you’re a beginner investor who wants to ensure that your money is being put into ethically compliant funds.
Plum doesn’t offer ready-made ethical portfolios, but you can choose from its range of ethical funds. It has only 3 to choose from at the time of writing (Feb-23), so it doesn’t match the wider range of portfolios on offer with Nutmeg.
ESG fund costs tend to be higher across the market. Nutmeg charges a fund fee of 0.30% on ethical options, compared to 0.21% for its actively managed portfolios.
Plum’s ethical fund charges range from 0.17% to 0.88% for its 3 ESG funds. Which is cheaper out of Plum vs Nutmeg will depend on which funds you want to invest in with Plum. When investing, your capital is at risk.
Plum vs Nutmeg: Performance
Given that nutmeg offers ready-made portfolios but Plum doesn’t, a direct comparison of performance isn’t possible
Below is how Nutmeg’s lowest, medium and highest risk actively managed and Smart Alpha portfolios performed for 2022:
|2022 Performance||Nutmeg Fully Managed Return|
|Nutmeg Risk Level 1||-5.4%|
|Nutmeg Risk Level 6||-12.6%|
|Nutmeg Risk Level 10||-9.6%|
|2022 Performance||Nutmeg Smart Alpha Return|
|Nutmeg Risk Level 1||-11.6%|
|Nutmeg Risk Level 3||-10.4%|
|Nutmeg Risk Level 5||-9.5%|
It should be noted that 2022 was not a good time for stock market investors. Energy prices, a cost-of-living crisis, high inflation and rising interest rates, particularly in Western economies, caused sell-offs 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 better, posting a 0.9% return for 2022.
With that in mind, Nutmeg’s Smart Alpha returns on its 1, 3 and 5 portfolios outperformed the S&P500 and the European Stoxx 600 for 2022. Nutmeg’s fully managed 1, 5, and 10 portfolios also performed better than the S&P500 in 2022.
This highlights that simple index fund investing does not always deliver a higher return than actively managed funds. This is because during a downturn, passive index fund investors continue to buy the market as prices fall. Instead, actively managed portfolios are able to rebalance accordingly.
For example, if you’d invested in an index fund tracking the S&P500 in 2022, you’d have lost 18% (including dividends) compared to a loss of 9.5% in Nutmeg’s Smart Alpha 5 portfolio. However, this is not a scientific analysis and past performance is not a reliable indicator of future performance.
But this is a potential advantage of actively managed portfolios, or robo-advisors, over passive index investing. So, if you prefer to invest in a ready-made actively managed portfolio you will prefer Nutmeg, as Plum doesn’t offer them.
With Plum you must pick from its range of funds. Each ETF that Plum allows you to invest in has its performance history clearly visible in the Plum app. Which ETFs you invest in if building your own investment portfolio is your own decision.
Plum vs Nutmeg: Research, Tools and Advice
Nutmeg is a robo-advisor so it doesn’t have the level of research options and tools that more traditional investment platforms have.
However, Nutmeg offers a range of tools such as calculators for pensions, compound returns, ISAs and self-employed tax. It also has a range of investing guides on its website as well as breakdowns of the past performance of its portfolios.
You can also get personal financial advice from a regulated professional advisor through Nutmeg. It costs £575 plus VAT and you will get a bespoke financial plan for your individual circumstances and goals. If you have more complex financial needs, or simply want professional guidance, Nutmeg is a good option for you.
Although it also doesn’t have a huge amount of investing tools compared to some trading platforms, Plum investment offers more personal finance features.
The Plum app has a range of money management tools, including a round-up feature which can help to automate your investing, as well as:
- Round-up savings
- Automated saving / investing
- Saving pockets / pots
- Payday saving / boost
- Rainy days rule (Plum Pro / Ultra / Premium)
- Adjustable savings moods
- Goals (Plum Pro / Ultra / Premium)
- Money Maxmiser (Plum Premium)
- Spending card (Plum Ultra / Premium)
- Cashback on spending
- Bill switching
So if you want a more well-rounded personal finance app then you will prefer Plum vs Nutmeg.
Overall Plum is better for automating and controlling your monthly savings and investment contributions. Nutmeg is better if you want tailored financial advice.
Plum vs Nutmeg: Which Has The Better App?
Plum is an app-only platform which means you should be comfortable with not having the option to log in via their website. With Nutmeg you can log in via its website as well as the app.
Nutmeg’s app has a clean, simple interface and is easy to navigate. On the home screen you can clearly see your investments and portfolios, 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.
Although Nutmeg’s app is useful for checking your investments it doesn’t offer much beyond that.
With Plum you get a much more comprehensive personal finance app. Once you’ve linked your bank account to Plum, you can use a range of money management features, some of which you may be familiar with from digital banking apps.
This includes round-up spending, savings goals and budgeting and automated investing features, as outlined above. You can also browse individual US stocks and shares if you have a Stocks & Shares ISA with Plum.
The Plum app is easy to navigate. On the home screen, your total savings and investments with Plum are clearly visible. You can also access Plum’s various features easily from here. There’s also has an in-app chat feature to connect to customer service.
Plum vs Nutmeg: Is My Money Safe?
Both Plum and Nutmeg are regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) and have Financial Services Compensation Scheme (FSCS) protection with all of their savings and investment accounts.
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.
However, money in your primary account with Plum is not covered by FSCS protection. Thi is the account that your bank transfers will land in. Instead it falls under the rules in place for e-money institutions, which your primary Plum accounts falls under.
As an e-money institution, Plum must still follow clear FCA safeguarding rules to keep your money safe, including that it is separately stored from its own funds.
Both Nutmeg and Plum say that they use sophisticated encryption to keep your data safe.
Nutmeg is owned by JP Morgan, one of the largest financial institutions in the world. You may get more peace of mind knowing that your investments with Nutmeg have the backing of a large, experienced investment company.
Plum vs Nutmeg: Pros & Cons
To summarise my Plum vs Nutmeg comparison, I’ve outlined below what the main pros and cons of each investment platform are:
Plum Pros & Cons
- No monthly fee to invest in individual stock and shares
- Huge choice of stocks and shares, with up to 3,000 to invest in
- Build your own investment portfolio, with 21 funds to choose from (29 including pensions)
- Start investing from just £1
- Wide range of savings and money management tools
- Plum debit card allows you to spend, similar to a bank card
- Bill switching service covering energy bills, credit cards and broadband
- Intuitive and easy-to-use app
- Lots of savings and investing guides for beginners
- Lower cost investing than Nutmeg’s actively managed portfolios if you have more than £12k to invest
- On the flip side, it’s a more expensive option compared to Nutmeg if investing under £11k, due to the minimum £2.99 a month subscription fee for investing in funds
- No ready-made actively managed, or robo, funds
- Lacks the investment research and tools of other investing platforms
- Only 3 ethical funds
- Does not offer personal financial advice
Nutmeg Pros & Cons
- Lower cost investing vs Plum if you invest under £11k, or more than c.£425k
- No monthly subscription fee
- Extensive range of ready-made portfolios
- Low-cost fixed allocation portfolios
- Access to Smart Alpha portfolios put together with JP Morgan Asset Management
- Offers a Stocks & Shares JISA and LISA
- Personal regulated finance advice for your individual needs
- Intuitive 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
- Log in via the app or online
- On the flip side, it’s a more expensive option compared to Plum if you have more than £11k to invest
- Unable to customise your portfolio
- Unable to invest in individual stocks and shares
- No cash savings accounts, unlike Plum
- No money management or automated investment tools
Plum vs Nutmeg: Final Verdict
Both Plum and Nutmeg are great platforms for beginner investors.
Plum is better if you want to build your own investment portfolio by picking the funds you want to put your money into. Plum offers both passive index funds as well as funds based around themes, such as healthcare.
In addition, if you want to buy individual stocks and shares then you’ll prefer Plum as it has up to 3,000 to choose from. Nutmeg does not offer the option to buy shares. You can also invest in cryptocurrencies with Plum, so you’re able to build a more diverse portfolio of investments.
With the Plum app, you’ll also have access to a host of money management tools and automation features, as well as savings accounts. Overall, Plum offers a wider range of personal finance features and savings and investment options.
On the other hand, Nutmeg is better for those who want a hands-off approach to investing as it offers ready-made portfolios. It’s also a good option if you think you’ll want personalised financial advice, as Nutmeg also offers this.
There’s also more in the way of tax-efficient investment accounts with Nutmeg vs Plum, as with Nutmeg you can open a JISA and a LISA. Plum does not currently offer JISAs or LISAs.