Non-residents welcome for a change
Here's another one for Brits, especially ones who are planning to move back to the UK at some point or just want to diversify their holdings a bit across currencies, countries, and companies.
Nutmeg is a UK robo-advisor that is fairly unique in that they are willing to do business with non-UK residents.
You do need a UK bank account, and you will be required to submit your Japanese tax info (My Number), but I was able to open an account last month and so far everything has been pretty smooth.
Nutmeg offers two services for non-residents: a traditional robo service and a cheaper fixed portfolio service. They also have ISA accounts, pensions, etc. but as non-residents we are not eligible for these.
The traditional robo service seems fairly normal, although they do boast about how their team 'adapts to an ever-changing world' (which actually seems like a bit of a downside to me as this is trying to predict the future). Basically I don't really see how this service is worth the extra cost.
The fixed portfolio service gives you most of the benefits (diversification, rebalancing, reinvesting dividends) for a much lower fee. This option seems clearly superior.
However, unlike THEO in Japan, neither seems to offer tax-loss harvesting, which means you might end up with a hefty capital gains tax bill in the future.
I actually applied for a Nutmeg account last year, but didn't finish opening it and hadn't funded it. The initial application is your standard online risk test, where they ask you questions to figure out your financial situation and attitude to risk. The questions were less annoying than some I've had in Japan -I'm looking at you, Raku Wrap.
A couple of weeks ago, I went back and finished the application (basically gave them my address and Japanese tax info). This was very quick and painless.
I funded the account with an initial 500 GBP (the minimum), then arranged a standing order of an extra 100 GBP per month, basically to experiment with the platform. I chose the fixed portfolio service, and changed my allocation to the 'adventurous' level. It's basically all in equities.
The interface and website are pretty good, easy to understand and without too many options. My one complaint is that the site is a bit slow sometimes, but it's not a huge problem and doesn't affect the user experience too much.
There are two important caveats before you invest in Nutmeg from Japan.
Nutmeg is a relatively new company, which looks good but is basically unproven. I would recommend not committing a large amount of your investments to them.
Also, I have been told that having investment accounts like Nutmeg in the UK could result in you being determined resident for tax purposes (this was from a lawyer in the Middle East). Now, I don't quite see it myself, and I'm pretty sure they wouldn't bother with non-high wealth individuals, but it is something you may want to keep in mind, particularly if you are wealthier or have more of the 'ties' than I do.
So if you are eligible to open a Nutmeg account it could be a way to diversify your investments or invest in the UK.
Anyone else trying Nutmeg? How are you finding the service so far?