Sharesies review: NZ, US and Aussie share trading made easy
If you’re looking for a simple way to dive into buying shares, check out what you can do with Sharesies.
Sharesies offers three types of investment opportunities with no minimum investment – you decide how much you want to invest, even if that’s as little as 1c.
Sharesies is not only for adults, as you can set up an account for a child for them to learn about investing and potentially grow their savings.
What can I invest in with Sharesies?
There are three types of investment you can make through Sharesies:
- Companies – Like the look of a2 Milk? Think Amazon shares are on the up? You can buy shares in companies listed on New Zealand, US and Australian exchanges.
- Exchange-traded funds (ETF) – an ETF is a fund made up of a number of companies. For example, through a single ETF you can invest in the top 50 companies in New Zealand, or the largest 500 American companies. Just like stocks, ETFs are listed and traded on stock exchanges.
- Managed funds – Managed funds are similar to ETFs in that they are an investment in a group of companies, rather than just one. However, managed funds are not listed on stock exchanges. Sharesies offers a number of managed funds, including Smartshares, Pie Funds, Macquarie, Pathfinder and TAHITO.
In total you have access to more than 8,000 companies and funds across New Zealand, Australia and the US.
Can I automate my investments with Sharesies?
Sharesies offers an auto-invest feature which can make following a chosen investment strategy easier.
It works like this:
- Choose what you want to invest in. Either pick your own investments (known as a “DIY order”), or pick from one of Sharesies’ pre-made orders.
- Choose how much you want to invest and at what frequency. For example, you could choose to invest $100 at the same time every month.
- Set a start date and make sure you have the amount available in your wallet. As long as you have the funds available in your wallet, your scheduled investment will take place automatically.
Note: Currently it is only possible to invest in NZ funds with auto-invest. US and Australia funds aren’t available with this feature.
Available auto-invest pre-made orders
- Responsible order. This is a diversified portfolio suitable for people with the environment and social responsibility in mind. It includes exposure to the Pathfinder Global Responsibility Fund, the Pathfinder Global Property Fund, the Pathfinder Global Water Fund and Macquarie Ethical Leaders NZ Shares Fund.
- Global order. This portfolio has exposure to NZ top 50, the 500 biggest US companies, plus Europe, Asia and emerging economies.
- Kids order. Only available on a Kid’s Account, this portfolio focuses on responsible investing and involves exposure to the Pathfinder Global Responsibility Fund, the Macquarie All Country Global Shares Index Fund, the Pathfinder Global Water Fund and the Smartshares NZ Core Equity Trust.
How much does it cost?
Sharesies no longer charges monthly or annual subscription fees (previously $30 per year) when you sign up for an account.
While creating an account is free, there are other charges that you’ll need to consider:
- Transaction fees: When you buy and sell companies, a small transaction fee (also known as a brokerage fee) will apply. This fee is 0.5% for orders up to $3,000, plus 0.1% for amounts over that.
- Management fees: ETFs and managed funds have a built-in management fee, and you may also be charged a buy or sell fee. It is worthwhile looking into what fees may apply as they can differ fund to fund.
- Exchange fees: As you can only trade on US and Australian markets with currencies from those countries, your NZD must be converted which involves a fee of 0.4%. This fee is charged when converting NZ to US or Australian dollars, as well as the other way.
Does Sharesies have a mobile app?
Yes, Sharesies have just launched their mobile app. The Sharesies app is available in the New Zealand App Store and Google Play Store and can typically be downloaded on compatible iOS or Android devices.
What’s it like to use Sharesies?
Is Sharesies safe?
Sharesies looks after your money and your investments in what is called a custodial system. It is not able to do anything with the money unless you give the instruction to do so. This is a legal requirement and the system is audited every year.
The money that you put into Sharesies is held in Sharesies Nominee Limited, a different company to the one that runs the site (Sharesies Limited), and under the CSN of New Zealand Depository Nominee Limited.
Sharesies is a Registered Financial Services Provider under the Financial Service Providers (Registration and Dispute Resolution) Act 2008 and its Financial Service Provider registration number is FSP550746.
It’s important to remember that there is risk involved in investing and it is possible to lose some or all of the money you invest.
How to sign up
To sign up, simply click on the “Go to site” button at the top of this page and you’ll be taken to the Sharesies website to learn more and open an account.
To open an account you must:
- Be at least 16 years old
- Provide acceptable forms of ID
- Be able to verify a New Zealand residential address
- Deposit from an NZ bank account
- Provide tax information if you are living overseas
To open a Sharesies Kids Account you must:
- Already have an existing Sharesies account
- Provider ID of the child (this could be a birth certificate, NZ passport or overseas passport)
- Provide an IRD number and confirm foreign tax residency
Acceptable ID includes a valid New Zealand driver’s licence or a valid New Zealand passport. For other forms of ID you can use, check out the Sharesies website.