Sharesies – everything you need to know

Kiwi investment platform Sharesies provides easy to use investing removing the barriers to investing found elsewhere. No minimum investment amount is a key feature that attracts young New Zealanders to the investment platform.

Kiwi company Sharesies has created an almost zero barrier method of investing for New Zealanders. Sharesies has received a number of recent updates, so let’s get into Sharesies – everything you need to know. Since 2016 Sharesies has brought something new to investing for Kiwis. Aimed and marketed primarily at a young demographic, it’s maybe not obvious that the Sharesies approach is available to everyone. Since 2016 Sharesies has grown to over 50,000 New Zealand investors. 2018 saw another iconic Kiwi company Trademe invest $4 million into the company.

Sharesies everything you need to know

  • No minimum investment amount to invest in over 26 Funds
  • No requirement to set up regular investments
  • Monthly fee of $1.50 for balances under $3000, $3 or $30 annual fee for over $3000
  • Very easy to use website and mobile site
  • Clearly written help guides and responsive support
  • Child accounts with 50% discounted fees
  • Pick and build your own investment portfolio or use one of the pre-built auto-invest options
  • Gain a $5 if you sign up via this Sharesies Link

How Sharesies is different

Sharesies has a number of standout features from the competition in New Zealand, the overarching value or mission is ‘Making investment easy. Having an investment portfolio is easy—no matter how much money you have’ and they have put together an easy to use product that removes a number of barriers to those Kiwis who haven’t invested before.

No minimum investment amount or regular payment requirements

Sharesies originally had a $5 minimum investment amount, something unheard of at the time, $200 is the typical one-off minimum investment elsewhere. Not content with this Sharesies now have no minimum buy or sell amount, you can invest as little or as much as you want whenever you want. There is also no requirement to invest regularly. Competing platforms have either significantly higher one-off investment amounts or a monthly investment commitment of at least $50. The only exception to the ‘no minimum’ investment is the optional ‘auto-invest’ feature which has a $5 minimum investment. For ‘auto-invest’ this makes practical sense as auto-invest is splitting your $5 over a number of funds.

Sharesies is easy to use

The Sharesies website and app (actually just a really mobile friendly website) are very easy to use. Language is non-technical and the help guides are clear to read. Topping up your account can be by bank credit/transfer or debit/credit card. No charges for bank credits, but watch out for the usual small charge for card transfers (these are the charges the card company charges).

Once signed-in Sharesies presents you with a shopping list of funds to invest in. The range of funds has increased greatly since Sharesies launched (listed below) and has a pretty good range of New Zealand, Australian and World (Global) options. The ability to invest in individual companies (shares) as well as funds (ETF and MF) is imminent.

Another new feature is auto-invest. Auto-invest allows you to either select from two pre-made investment options which split your investment over many funds or allows you to create a custom DIY option for future use. Auto-invest is a great time saver and splits your risk across many funds. One benefit of looking at auto-invest is for ideas on how you might build your own investment portfolio by picking and choosing from the available funds.

Sharesies fees and costs

Here Sharesies loses out a little to the competition. If your total investment is under $50 then there is no fee. From $50 to $3000 the monthly fee is $1.50, essentially $18 a year. Over $3000 and the monthly fee is $3 or $36 a year. At this $3 per month rate Sharesies offer the option of paying $30 per year instead of the monthly fee. Other providers in New Zealand such as InvestNow charge less, however, they have higher one-off or regular investment commitment. The ease of use of the Sharesies interface is likely worth the few extra dollars and its ease of use makes it easier to invest small amount frequently.

If you’re over 18 you can also start a child account which costs 50% of the usual monthly fee.

Plenty of fund options

Sharesies have added a good range of funds to the platform as they have grown. A Fund is a made up of a range of companies, so you aren’t investing solely in one company. The Funds cover New Zealand, Australian and World funds. A number of socially responsible funds are available too. Some funds pay dividends as well as having fluctuating (hopefully rising) values. As investment is medium to long-term these dividend amounts can help boost your investment along the way.

There are 26 available funds to choose from including ‘low risk’ Bonds through to ‘high risk’ funds. Funds are from AMP Capital, Pathfinder Asset Management and Smartshares. Read a summarised list of the investment funds at the end of this article. The term ‘risk’ should be treated with caution, there is an excellent article at Investopedia that puts ‘risk’ into context

Funds summary

Below is a summary, be sure to read the full description from Sharesies

Lower Risk funds

  • NZ Cash Fund, more for short-term savings—like a ‘rainy-day fund’— than a long-term investment. It includes a diversified range of New Zealand cash and cash equivalents.
  • Global Aggregate Bond Fund, over 3,400 bonds from around the world. This is a very diversified and low-risk fund that invests in government and corporate bonds across the US, Japan, France, U.K, Germany and more. Bonds are loans typically made by investors to governments or corporations. They usually pay a fixed rate of interest with the capital being returned at the maturity of the loan.
  • Global Bond Fund (Lower Risk)—a broad range of global fixed-interest assets. An actively managed fund including bonds issued by the governments of USA, United Kingdom, Japan, France and other countries, as well as bonds issued by other governments, companies and non-government entities.
  • NZ Bond, range of deposits or bonds, including some which are issued or guaranteed by the New Zealand Government. A bond is a loan typically made by investors to corporations or governments.

Medium risk funds

  • NZ Responsible Fund, mostly New Zealand shares. The fund looks for companies that have a sustainable competitive advantage, a good growth outlook, the ability to grow earnings faster than revenue.
  • Global Property Fund, invests in global property companies including traditional office, retail, industrial and residential properties, as well as other property investments like data centres, cell towers and healthcare facilities.
  • NZ Core Fund, a range of large and small companies listed on the New Zealand Stock Exchange (NZX). The NZ Core Fund gives you access to the big brands you know like TradeMe and Spark, plus increased access to smaller companies.
  • Global Water Fund, socially responsible companies (no bottled water companies!) around the world involved in the water industry. The water companies cover a wide range of activities including water treatment, pipe and pump manufacturing, and specialist engineering.
  • NZ Mid Cap, New Zealand’s top growth companies like Chorus, Air New Zealand, and Comvita.
  • NZ Property, the NZ Property Fund invests in property listed on the NZX.
  • NZ Top 50, including the 50 largest companies listed on the New Zealand Stock Exchange (NZX).

Higher risk funds

  • Asia Pacific Fund, companies based across Japan, Australia, Korea, Hong Kong, Singapore and New Zealand.
  • Australian Resources, the top 200 companies in the resources sector that are listed on the Australian Stock Exchange (ASX).
  • Australian Top 20, the top 20 companies listed on the Australian Stock Exchange (ASX).
  • Emerging Markets Fund, companies based in emerging markets around the world. This including Brazil, Taiwan, and South Africa.
  • Emerging Markets Responsible Fund, over 2,500 small, mid, and large companies from emerging markets. Covering a range of different sectors including finance, IT, communications, materials and energy.
  • Europe Fund, companies based in Austria, Belgium, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Ireland, Italy, the Netherlands, Norway, Portugal, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, and the UK.
  • Europe Responsible Fund, over 400 companies across Europe with an ESG investment strategy. Ranging from the U.K, France, Germany, Switzerland, Netherlands, and more. It covers a broad range of sectors including finance, industrial, healthcare, IT, energy and more.
  • Global Automation & Robotics Fund, over 100 companies worldwide working in the area of automation and robotics. This fund invests in companies in both developed and emerging markets, including the USA, Japan, Taiwan, Germany and the UK. With the focus on automation and robotics, this fund is most heavily invested in IT, and also includes industrial automation, communications and healthcare.
  • Global Equities Responsible Fund, diversified global fund, with an ESG strategy (Environmental, Social & Governance). This fund invests in over 1,500 companies, from over 20 developed countries across the world. Over 50% of this fund is invested in the USA.
  • Global Healthcare Innovation Fund, over 70 companies around the world that focus on innovating in healthcare services. This fund invests in companies in both developed and emerging markets, including the USA, South Korea, Japan, Germany, India.
  • Global Responsibility Fund, socially responsible companies around the world. Each company goes through a screening process to make sure they’re socially responsible. This means excluding companies involved in restricted industries such as gambling, tobacco, controversial weapons and thermal coal.
  • Global Shares Index Fund, over 2000 companies around the world, excluding Tobacco companies and controversial weapons such as nuclear weapons, cluster bombs and landmines.
  • Japan Responsible Fund, the Japanese market, investing in over 300 companies with an ESG (Environmental, Social & Governance) investment strategy. This fund covers a range of sectors including industrial, finance, IT, healthcare and more.
  • US 500, the top 500 companies in the United States. This includes companies like Apple, Alphabet, amazon.com, and Facebook.
  • US Responsible Fund, over 550 US companies with an ESG (Environmental, Social & Governance) investment strategy. Excludes investment into thermal coal, oil sands, controversial and nuclear weapons, civilian firearms, tobacco and more.

Again the list above is a summarised list and description, read the full details on the Sharesies site.

If you already use Sharesies or another investment platform or just want to give feedback on this article, Sharesies everything you need to know, please share your thoughts below.

Disclaimer: As usual my articles don’t constitute advice, seek help from a pro and be sure to check the great resources at sorted.org.nz! This is an update from a previous article Sharesies $5 route to Financial Independence

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