Otago Daily Times

New online investing platform to launch


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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