27

March


The KFA team

Team profile: Sharesies

Say hello to New Zealand’s, and possibly one of the world’s, most innovative investment platforms where users with small amounts of money can make investments. This is the democratisation of investing, and it’s happening right here at the KFA. Yeah, we’re chuffed!

Who is Sharesies?

Just by looking at the photo above, you can see that Sharesies is not your normal investment team, and it’s not just the fact that they have two women at the helm that makes them stand out just so.

CEO Brooke Anderson comes with several years of experience in banking working at Kiwibank. She also happens to be Xero alumni. She and her partner in both life and business, Leighton Roberts (also at Kiwibank FYI) know firsthand how bad New Zealanders are with saving money. Together with Sonya Williams (Xero and Kiwibank alumni), they plan to turn the traditional investment world on its head.

Oh, and they’re already doing it. Sharesies are already landing investors both here and overseas. But it’s not surprising. This team is driven to succeed by their passion to bring awareness around investing to their customers. And they’re happy to offer Kiwis other ways to make money rather than through our current obsession: home ownership.

It’s a revolution, thanks

The ultimate goal for Sharesies is to democratise investing so all Kiwis have the same investment opportunities. Their slogan is: “We want someone with $50 to have the same investment opportunities as someone with $50,000.” Perhaps the most disruptive thing to come out of Sharesies is that they plan on creating a new generation of Kiwis that are the most financially independent in history. Finance for social good? Sign me up.

Over the last five weeks in the KFA, Sharesies have interviewed over 100 people who said they wanted to invest. These same people, when given the opportunity to save or invest $50 chose to spend this money on the usual suspects:

  1. bills
  2. online shopping
  3. coffees
  4. food
  5. cigarettes
  6. beers

Sharesies wants to see investment at the top of this list. And I think they’ll get there.

NZ saga: own your own home

New Zealanders love to own their own homes. We’re a nation obsessed with getting on the property ladder, no matter how rickety it is. It’s the same old story: Save money for a home deposit, pay off a chunk of that mortgage and buy a second rental property. Wash, rinse and repeat.

The boomers weren’t wrong to subscribe to this, but these days, with property prices rising year upon year, home ownership is becoming less of a reality for most Kiwis, particularly millennials. And that’s exactly who Sharesies are targeting.

Hence why most of the people they spoke with about investing that $50 are just choosing to spend it. They don’t see the benefit of putting that money away to save up for a house, because they truly believe they’ll never have the opportunity to buy one. And without an alternative way to invest, how will New Zealanders ever get ahead?

We don’t need no education

Only, yes, yes we do. First things first: who knows about how to get started in investment? Yes, there are investment opportunities available but if people don’t know about them, how will they learn? Of all the people Sharesies spoke to, only 25% said they knew where to go to start investing. And for many of them, it was through their banks. But even banks have limitations when it comes to helping people invest, especially if these people don’t have huge amounts of money to play with.

As for traditional investment firms, they’re more focussed on wealth management rather than helping people grow their wealth. With Sharesies, customers won’t need a lot of money to get started. And they’re going to be schooled while they’re coming along for the ride. Sharesies works with full transparency so customers know where their money is, how it’s tracking, and what they’re funding. This in itself is quite revolutionary.

Better sign up now

By breaking down the current barriers that stand in the way of investing today and educating their customers about the basics of investment, Sharesies is going to change the face of investing in New Zealand. To stay up to date with what they’re up to, follow them on Facebook and Twitter.

Keen to join their beta program? Good idea. Head to www.sharesies.co.nz