Otago Daily Times

New on­line in­vest­ing plat­form to launch

- TAMSYN PARKER

AUCK­LAND: In­vestors will soon have an­other on­line in­vest­ment su­per­mar­ket to choose from.

Flint Wealth, a joint ven­ture be­tween fund man­ager Har­bour As­set Man­age­ment, Trus­tees Ex­ecu­tors and Aus­tralian re­search firm Re­search IP, will soft launch in the next few weeks be­fore its full launch in early De­cem­ber.

It will go head­to­head with Share­sies and In­vestNow, which al­ready of­fer re­tail in­vestors the chance to in­vest di­rectly into funds, term de­posits and shares.

Those plat­forms have had a mas­sive boost in new cus­tomers this year as Covid­19 drove peo­ple on­line and fall­ing in­ter­est rates at the bank forced in­vestors to look else­where for bet­ter re­turns.

Flint Wealth client en­gage­ment man­ager Stu­art Auld said its tar­get mar­ket was peo­ple aged 25 to 50.

‘‘We are not tar­get­ing the very young ones . . . the Share­sies type, what we are do­ing is tar­get­ing peo­ple who have a lit­tle bit of money to in­vest.

‘‘They prob­a­bly go with brand and recog­ni­tion; a lot of them are keen to do it on­line. And it has been re­in­forced even fur­ther with Covid where peo­ple want to do things at arm’s length.’’

The in­vest­ment plat­form would ini­tially of­fer man­aged funds from 10 New Zealand fund man­agers, and there were plans to add a sec­ond tranche of a fur­ther 10.

It would then look to ex­pand to of­fer­ing Aus­tralian unit trusts and term de­posits and even­tu­ally shares, Mr Auld said.

It would have a min­i­mum in­vest­ment of $250 and would not charge any fees for its ba­sic of­fer­ing. That is sim­i­lar to In­vestNow, which has a min­i­mum of $50 for reg­u­lar in­vest­ment and $250 for a one­off.

Share­sies has a dif­fer­ent charg­ing model, us­ing sub­scrip­tion fees. In­vest­ments less than $50 are free; for in­vest­ments of be­tween $50 to $3000 it is $1.50 a month, and for in­vest­ments of more than $3000 it is $3 a month.

It also charges a trans­ac­tion fee for buy­ing and sell­ing shares in com­pa­nies based on the dol­lar value of the trade: 0.5% is charged on or­ders up to $3000, and 0.1% for amounts of more than $3000.

‘‘We wel­come com­pe­ti­tion as the more play­ers there are in the re­tail in­vest­ing space, the more drive there is for us to pro­vide the best prod­uct for our in­vestors which ul­ti­mately gives Ki­wis the best pos­si­ble ac­cess to the stock mar­ket,’’ a Share­sies spokesman said.

Mr Auld said Flint was con­sid­er­ing charg­ing a fee in the fu­ture for a pre­mium ser­vice which could in­clude ac­cess to in­vest­ment re­ports or re­search re­ports on man­aged funds.

It would earn com­mis­sion from the fund man­agers who used the site to mar­ket their funds.

It was more a com­peti­tor for In­vestNow than Share­sies, he said.

‘‘We are not try­ing to com­pete with Share­sies, they have a dif­fer­ent de­mo­graphic, and they tend to be peo­ple who want to put $50 in, see if it goes up and then take it out. What we are look­ing at is much longer­term in­vestors. And as well as hav­ing a very big dig­i­tal mar­ket­ing pro­gramme, which is what Share­sies, In­vestnow and Hatch do, we also be­lieve there is a role for a phys­i­cal pres­ence as well.’’

In the same way share­bro­kers had road­shows where they trav­elled the coun­try talk­ing about in­vest­ments, it planned to hold road­shows for the fund man­agers.

‘‘We plan to have, whether it is dig­i­tally or phys­i­cally, those events where a fund man­ager can speak to a group of in­ter­ested in­vestors . . . We also are quite pre­pared to pro­mote fund man­agers that come on board.’’

Mr Auld be­lieved there was enough de­mand for all of the plat­forms, although there were plans to take Flint over­seas in the fu­ture as well.

Flint would also launch a ser­vice for fi­nan­cial ad­vis­ers next year.

In­vestNow founder An­thony Ed­monds was not wor­ried about an­other new en­trant and said his busi­ness had ben­e­fited from the launch of new plat­forms, which had in­creased peo­ple’s knowl­edge about and in­ter­est in in­vest­ments.

‘‘Lots of peo­ple come to In­vestNow look­ing for our man­aged funds or Ki­wiSaver scheme be­cause they have seen Share­sies ad­ver­tis­ing trad­ing di­rect shares on TV,’’ Mr Ed­monds said. — The New Zealand Herald

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