I grew up in the type of household where money had a bit of a habit of not being there. It was a silly kind of not there, in many ways; it wasn’t the ‘turn off the fridge’ type of poverty we hear more about today than ought to be reported in a UK country. It was the ‘big house, good schools, not quite enough to live the life we would like’ type of short. When you grow up in private school and a big house, it can be tough to accept that you can’t have the perks your peers have. My parents were always very open about money and I used to worry terribly, being unable to work out the difference in my own small head between ‘no spare for extras’ and ‘no money to buy food’.
In this house we got a bit ‘unlucky’ (in amongst a fair bit of luck too) in that we were renting for a ‘short period of six months’ when the housing boom started and then couldn’t buy a house for 5 years, so we missed out on accumulating some of the money in property that many of our peers have. It happens. It makes it all the more important that we try to use what we do have (lucky small inheritance) to sensibly build up something that will keep us safe in the future. Max and I are constantly mindful that we will be 60 and 56 when Bene reaches 18 and so not even at a point where he is through uni before we might well be struggling with the health effects of being older.
Max manages his investments online already and sadly most of our savings have disappeared in the post-Freddie recovery period. Small business ownership does not make for a particularly flush life and both of us have felt recently it would be beneficial to use our cash more creatively, taking some risks but keeping our future safe too.
The people at Nutmeg got in touch to let me know about their new investment scheme, which is managed online and has a low initial investment sum of just £1000 plus £50 a month. One thing we discovered over the last few years was that while Financial Advisors found us interesting when we had good savings, they aren’t much interested in you if you only have a little to work with so a smaller sum to test the water seems ideal. Nutmeg works by asking you a series of questions about your goals for your savings, your preferred levels of risk and how much you want to save and then matches you with sets of investments picked by their team of investors and moderated by a barrage of clever computers. It feels like a best of both words; human intelligence and statistical risk and gain analysis. Your money goes into one of their ten plans and you can withdraw it or change it at any time. What they pride themselves on is transparency and clear information so that you don’t have to be a financial wizard to take part. Take a look at how the portfolios are sketched out and see what you think.
And that really appeals to me; Max manages our shares but it always feels an insane gamble to buy and sell and suss it all out. What little money I have I would love to make more of but I just never know where to start. I’m still recovering from the instant halving in price of the one set of shares I ever purchased! Nutmeg has a range of products, from ISAs to Pensions and it seems an interesting way to manage some financial experimenting.
I particularly like how clear the website is and how concise their message is. This 6 principles of investing page is really helpful and they are absolutely on the ball about explaining clearly that investments are a risk (can go up as well as down, and all that jazz!)
I would say that the idea of using a system like Nutmeg would be ideal for someone like me, with limited knowledge and resources and time for making the decisions myself. I took a bit of time to read about it online and was interested by the positive responses I found to this new form of investment management. I’m still deciding if I’m brave enough to try but, given my last pennies are not going to sustain me into my dotage, I feel a little braver about sending them out into the world to make their fortune than I did before I met Nutmeg.
Disclosure: this post is in association with Nutmeg. All thoughts are my own. I have no financial training and this is not a recommendation to use Nutmeg, only a suggestion to go and look at it and make up your own mind about an interesting new way of investing. If you invest your granny and she turns into a turnip, it is not my fault. Investments can go up and down and all risk is your own etc etc etc.
PS. It has subsequently occurred to me we have a rabbit called Nutmeg. He is not in charge of our finances either.