The automated financial advice website Nutmeg will be launching an over-the-phone financial advice service for its customers. This is a departure from the company’s traditional operations, which are heavy in automation, as the market looks for a human touch when it comes to financial advice.
Nutmeg is the UK’s largest robo-adviser, with at least £1bn in assets, announced on the 31 of October 2018, that it will be launching the service’s pilot with two financial advisors, which will let customers the chance to receive financial advice over their phones as well as fund recommendations into the Nutmeg range.
As part of the new app’s services, Nutmeg will also be offering portfolio review services, which will cover any investment held outside of Nutmeg, and can also handle asset allocation, and currency exposure, among others.
As mentioned before, this is a shift away from Nutmeg’s current, automated service, which places customers into one of their ready-made fund portfolios based on their evaluated appetite, via their financial advice website and online app. The new mobile service will not cost customers anything, at least for the initial discussion, and will cost £350 for personalized recommendations.
Nutmeg said that they wanted to make financial advice more affordable and accessible, as part of their response to the UK Financial Regulator’s Financial Advice Market Review in 2015, which noted that a lot of UK citizens were lacking in access to financial advice. According to the paper, less than one in ten people have a financial adviser, dropping to 6% in the 35-44 y.o. age range.
But the development by Nutmeg also follows a revelation that many customers often wish to interact with a human being before ceding control of their funds to a robo-adviser.
This also isn’t the first such development, as Nutmeg’s rival, Scalable Capital, launched their own mobile and video appointments with advisers, with the backing of BlackRock. The service has a one-off fee of £200, after finding that a number of clients wanted to talk to human advisers instead of just answering their online questionnaires alone.
In December of 2017, Nutmeg Chief Investment Officer Shaun Port says that customers look for a human adviser for reassurance, and that they could benefit from low-cost, one-off financial advice.