A new platform aiming to help savers start investing in shares has attracted 3500 customers in eight weeks.
Sharesies, the Wellington online investment platform began taking money in June, and now has more than $1 million in assets under management.
While one investor has deposited $49,000, others have deposited as little as $2, with the average amount of $285 for each customers.
“What we’re excited about is creating the new ‘typical investor’. Instead of 1 person with $1 million, it can now be 1 million people with $1,” chief executive Brooke Anderson said.
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Customers are equally split along gender lines, the company said, but most are young, with 80 per cent of the investors under 40.
Investors with Sharesies currently allocate their money to one of six NZX Smartshares portfolios, although the company said it planned to add ethical and sustainable investment options in the coming months.
“Providing a selected range of investment options, so people can choose what to invest in based on their individual beliefs, goals and behaviours is really important to us,” Anderson said.
The company’s founders hope to aim to enable members of the so-called “generation rent” – those who cannot afford to buy a home – to invest in the sharemarket.
Citing research that while most Kiwis would like to invest in shares, most do not do so because they don’t know how, are overwhelmed by the jargon of investment or do not have the money financial institutions require.
Co-founder Leighton Roberts said giving New Zealanders another way to save their money in amounts they can afford might challenge what they typically define as investing: owning a home.
“In New Zealand we have a housing market worth $1 trillion, and a share market cap of $150 billion. This is the opposite in other countries,” Roberts said.
Co-founder Sonya Williams said as people were given more investment options, they may shift away from property.
“After eight weeks we’ve shown that if you create an accessible platform like Sharesies, that helps people feel good about doing long term things with their money, they will,” Williams said.
“We’re excited about the impact this can have on financial literacy in New Zealand.”
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