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Sharesies Review: 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.
Whether you’ve been in the investing game for a while or want to to buy shares for the first time, Sharesies makes things simple. There are three types of investment opportunities with no minimum investment – you decide how much you want to spend, even if that’s as little as 1c.
Sharesies is not only for adults, as you can set up an account for your child for them to learn about investing and potentially grow their savings.
What can I invest in with Sharesies?
There are three types of investments you can make through Sharesies
- Companies – like the look of Fonterra? Think Amazon shares are on the up? You can choose to buy shares in companies listed on the New Zealand Stock Exchange (NZX), NASDAQ, NYSE and the CBOE.
- 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. Managed funds available through Sharesies include the Global Climate Friendly Fund and the NZ Responsible Fund.
In total you have access to 3,000 companies and funds across New Zealand and the US.
Pick your own shares, or auto invest
If you’re already experienced with investing and have a strategy in place, you can sign up for the DIY order. This gives you the flexibility to regularly invest in multiple funds or to invest manually.
Alternatively, you can auto-invest by choosing one of the three pre-made orders:
- Responsible order. This is a diversified portfolio suitable for people with the environment and social responsibility in mind.
- 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.
You just need to set the start date, the amount you want to pay and how often, then the auto-invest function will do the rest as long as your wallet is kept topped up.
How much does it cost?
When you join Sharesies you’ll be automatically signed up to the monthly subscription although you can change to an annual subscription if you prefer.
On a monthly subscription, your first month is free and then the amount you pay moving forward is based on the value of your portfolio.
For a portfolio valued at $50 or less, there is no charge. If your portfolio is valued between $50 and $3,000 you’ll pay $1.50 per month, or $3 a month for a portfolio valued over $3,000.
If you’re creating an account for your child, you’ll pay half the adult price.
There are two other charges that you’ll also 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.
Does Sharesies have a mobile app?
There is no Sharesies app at the moment, however, you can add a web-app bookmark to the home screen of your Android or iOS device.
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 Nominees Limited, a different company to the one that runs the site (Sharesies Limited), and under the CSN of New Zealand Depository Nominee Limited.
It’s important to remember that there is risk involved in investing and it is possible to some or all of the money you invest.
How do I sign up to Sharesies?
To sign up, head to the Sharesies website and click on the Sign up button on the top right-hand corner of the page. You will then need to choose a password, enter some personal details and provide your identification information.
To open an account you must:
- be at least 16 years old
- be able to verify a New Zealand residential address, and deposit from an NZ bank account
- Provide certain 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.