If you’ve ever wanted to invest but have no idea how, a Wellington start up is catering to your needs.
Sharesies is a web-based app offering investment opportunities for as little as $5.
It’s no secret young people are finding it increasingly hard to enter the property market, and investing offers an alternative route to wealth.
Sharesies co-founder Brooke Anderson said: “In New Zealand investing equals home ownership and as we know, home ownership is way more unattainable now.”
“We need a new way that New Zealanders can start engaging with their money and growing their wealth so that’s part of the genesis of Sharesies.”
Co-founder Sonya Williams said she remembered growing up and hearing her parents tell her to renovate the worst house on the best street.
“We’ve got a whole lot of people who were given that advice when it worked, but it’s not as relevant now. If no one around you is investing in places other than a house no one’s getting any smarter about it,” she said.
There’s a team of seven behind Sharesies who came together through a shared passion to invest outside of housing.
At 17 years old, co-founder Leighton Roberts started an investment club with friends who all put away $50 a week. Since then the group have bought commercial property, a heard of cows, and part of a chicken farm in th Philippines.
The Sharesies team was born last year out of Roberts’ idea and the group entered the Kiwi Bank fintech accelerator program for funding and financial mentors.
“We got $20,000 of funding and that went towards regulations and lawyers, which we had to get right because this industry is so heavily regulated,” Williams said.
Sharesies gifts new members $20 to start investing in Kiwi Bonds, New Zealand Property, New Zealand Top 50 companies, Australian Top 20 companies, US Top 500 companies, or Australian resources.
Investments can go into as many grouped funds as you like.
“Index funds are a group, so rather than picking one company you get a bunch of companies all in a basket and you get to follow all of them,” Williams said.
“They’re an easy way to get started without having to dramatically follow the market.
“It’s not a get rich quick thing, you just put small amounts aside that you afford and it’s about goal investing.”
Members set up automatic payments to invest on a regular basis into their Sharesies wallet.
Conservative, balanced or growth funds are all available.
“We want to add more growth ones because people are super keen on those,” Williams said.
A risk scale is provided for each investment opportunity that tells Sharesies members about the risks and rewards involved.
The team hope to one day offer investment clubs like Roberts’ and have an option to gift investments to others.
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