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  • Writer's pictureDonnelle Brooks

Sharesies investment platform: a review

In the digital age, investing in the stock market has become more accessible than ever, thanks to platforms like Sharesies. Launched in New Zealand in 2017, Sharesies has gained popularity for its user-friendly interface and democratized approach to investing. In this comprehensive review, we will explore the pros and cons of Sharesies, helping you make an informed decision about whether it's the right investment platform for you.


Overview:


What is Sharesies?

Sharesies is a New Zealand-based investment platform that allows individuals to invest in a wide range of financial assets, including stocks, bonds, and exchange-traded funds (ETFs). Sharesies is known for its user-friendly interface and accessibility, making it easy for people with various levels of financial knowledge to start investing.


Key features of Sharesies include:


Fractional Ownership

Sharesies allows users to buy fractional shares of stocks and ETFs, which means you can invest in high-priced assets with smaller amounts of money.


Diversification

Users can build diversified portfolios by investing in various assets, helping to spread risk.


Low Minimum Investment

Sharesies typically has a low minimum investment requirement, making it accessible to a broad range of investors.


Mobile App

Sharesies offers a mobile app that enables users to manage their investments on the go.


Education and Resources

The platform provides educational resources, such as articles and guides, to help users learn about investing and make informed decisions.



How does Sharesies work?

Sharesies works as an online investment platform that allows individuals to invest in a variety of financial assets. Here's a general overview of how Sharesies typically works:


Account Creation

To get started with Sharesies, you need to create an account on their platform. This usually involves providing personal information and completing a Know Your Customer (KYC) process to comply with regulatory requirements.


Funding Your Account

After creating an account, you can fund it by depositing money from your bank account. Sharesies may offer various payment options, including bank transfers.


Asset Selection

Sharesies provides a range of investment options, including stocks, bonds, and exchange-traded funds (ETFs). Users can browse and select the assets they want to invest in.


Fractional Ownership

Sharesies allows users to buy fractional shares of assets. This means you can invest in a portion of a share or ETF, even if you don't have enough funds to purchase a whole unit.


Portfolio Building

Users can create diversified portfolios by selecting a mix of different assets. Diversification helps spread risk in your investment portfolio.


Investment Orders

Once you've chosen the assets you want to invest in, you can place buy orders through the platform. Sharesies will execute these orders on your behalf.


Management and Monitoring

You can monitor the performance of your investments through the Sharesies platform. They typically provide tools and resources to track your portfolio's value and performance.


Additional Features

Sharesies may offer additional features, such as educational resources, market research, and performance analysis tools to help users make informed investment decisions.


Fees

It's important to be aware of the fees associated with using Sharesies. They typically charge fees for buying and selling assets, as well as a management fee based on the value of your portfolio. These fees can vary depending on the assets you choose and the size of your portfolio.


Withdrawals and Dividends

You can withdraw funds from your Sharesies account, and any dividends or interest earned from your investments will typically be credited to your account.



Pros of Sharesies


Accessibility for All

One of the standout features of Sharesies is its accessibility. Unlike traditional brokerage platforms that often require substantial initial investments, Sharesies allows users to start investing with as little as $5 NZD. This low barrier to entry makes it an excellent choice for new and small-scale investors.


Fractional Shares

Sharesies offers fractional shares, meaning you can invest in high-priced stocks or ETFs without needing to buy a full share. This feature enables diversification even with limited funds.


Diverse Investment Options

Sharesies provides access to a wide array of investment options, including individual stocks, exchange-traded funds (ETFs), and managed funds. This diversity allows you to build a well-rounded portfolio tailored to your investment goals.


User-Friendly Interface

The platform's intuitive design makes it easy for both beginners and experienced investors to navigate. You can monitor your investments, track performance, and make trades with ease.


Educational Resources

Sharesies offers a range of educational materials, including articles, videos, and webinars, to help users learn about investing. This is especially beneficial for those new to the world of stocks and finance.


Cons of Sharesies


Limited Global Access

As of my last knowledge update in September 2021, Sharesies primarily served New Zealand residents. While they had plans to expand internationally, availability outside of New Zealand was limited. It's important to check whether this has changed if you are not based in New Zealand.


Fees

Sharesies charges fees for using their platform. While their fees are competitive, especially for small investors, it's crucial to be aware of the cost structure and how it may impact your returns over time.


Limited Advanced Features

Sharesies is designed to be user-friendly, which is great for beginners. However, it may lack some of the advanced trading features and analysis tools that experienced investors might prefer.


Market Availability

Not all stocks or ETFs available on global markets may be accessible through Sharesies. Some investment options may not be available due to regional restrictions.



Is Sharesies safe?

Sharesies is a regulated financial platform in New Zealand, and it takes measures to enhance the security and safety of its users' accounts and investments. However, it's important to keep in mind that no investment platform is entirely risk-free, and it's essential to take certain precautions when using any financial service. Here are some factors to consider when evaluating the safety of Sharesies:

Regulation

Sharesies is regulated by New Zealand's Financial Markets Authority (FMA). Being a regulated entity means that Sharesies is required to adhere to certain standards and regulations to protect investors.


Client Money Handling

Sharesies typically holds client funds in separate bank accounts from their own operational funds. This separation is intended to safeguard client money.


Security Measures

Investment platforms like Sharesies implement various security measures, including encryption, authentication processes, and regular security audits, to protect user data and accounts.


KYC and AML Checks

Sharesies typically conducts Know Your Customer (KYC) and Anti-Money Laundering (AML) checks during the account setup process. These checks help verify the identity of users and reduce the risk of fraudulent activities.


Insurance

Some financial platforms, including Sharesies, may have insurance coverage to protect investors in case of certain unexpected events. This insurance may cover losses due to theft or hacking, up to a certain limit.


Educational Resources

Sharesies often provides educational resources to help users make informed investment decisions and reduce the risk of making ill-informed choices.


User Reviews and Reputation

Research online reviews and the reputation of Sharesies to get a sense of how other users have experienced the platform. Positive user reviews and a strong reputation can be indicators of trustworthiness.


While these factors contribute to the safety of using Sharesies, it's crucial to remember that all investments carry inherent risks, and your returns can go up or down. To ensure the safety of your investments and personal information, consider the following best practices:

  1. Use strong, unique passwords for your Sharesies account.

  2. Enable two-factor authentication (if available) to add an extra layer of security.

  3. Regularly review your account statements and transactions for any discrepancies.

  4. Be cautious of phishing attempts and only provide your information through the official Sharesies website or app.

For the most current information on Sharesies' safety measures and regulatory compliance, visit the official Sharesies website or contact their customer support. Additionally, consult with a financial advisor if you have specific concerns about your investments and financial security.


Can you make money on Sharesies?

Yes, it is possible to make money on Sharesies or any other investment platform by investing in financial assets like stocks, bonds, and exchange-traded funds (ETFs). However, the amount of money you can make and the level of risk involved depend on several factors, including your investment strategy, the assets you choose, and the performance of the financial markets.


Here are some key points to consider when it comes to making money on Sharesies:


Investment Strategy

Your investment strategy plays a crucial role in determining your returns. Factors like your investment goals, risk tolerance, and time horizon will influence the types of assets you choose and how you allocate your investments.


Asset Selection

Sharesies offers a wide range of assets for investment. The performance of different assets can vary significantly. Stocks, for example, can offer the potential for higher returns but also come with higher volatility and risk. Bonds are generally considered lower risk but may offer lower returns. ETFs provide diversification and can be a balanced choice.


Diversification

Diversifying your portfolio by investing in a variety of assets can help spread risk. By not putting all your money into a single investment, you can reduce the impact of poor performance in one asset.


Market Conditions

Financial markets can be influenced by economic conditions, geopolitical events, and various other factors. Market conditions can impact the value of your investments, and returns can vary over time.


Fees

Be aware of the fees associated with using Sharesies. These fees can impact your overall returns. Ensure you understand the fee structure and factor it into your investment decisions.


Time Horizon

Your investment time horizon, or how long you plan to keep your money invested, can affect your strategy. Long-term investors may be able to ride out market fluctuations and benefit from compounding returns.


Monitoring and Adjustments

Regularly review your portfolio's performance and make adjustments as needed. Your investment strategy may evolve over time, so it's essential to stay informed and make informed decisions.


It's important to note that all investments carry some level of risk, and there are no guarantees of making money. You may experience both gains and losses in your investment portfolio. Therefore, it's advisable to conduct thorough research, consider your financial goals and risk tolerance, and, if necessary, seek the advice of a financial advisor or investment professional when making investment decisions on Sharesies or any other investment platform.


Remember that past performance is not indicative of future results, and it's crucial to have a well-thought-out investment plan that aligns with your financial objectives.



Does Sharesies pay dividends?

Sharesies does not pay dividends directly to investors. Instead, when you invest in individual stocks or exchange-traded funds (ETFs) on the Sharesies platform, any dividends that are paid out by those investments are typically credited to your Sharesies account.

Here's how it generally works:

  1. Dividend Payments: When you invest in a stock or an ETF that pays dividends, you are entitled to a share of those dividends based on the number of shares or units you own.

  2. Crediting Dividends: Sharesies typically handles the process of receiving dividend payments on your behalf. When the dividends are paid by the companies or funds in which you've invested, Sharesies will credit your account with the corresponding dividend amount.

  3. Reinvestment or Withdrawal: Once the dividends are credited to your Sharesies account, you can choose to reinvest them by purchasing additional shares or units of the same investment or withdraw the dividend funds to your linked bank account.

It's important to keep in mind that not all stocks or ETFs pay dividends, and the frequency and amount of dividend payments can vary widely among different investments. Some companies may pay dividends quarterly, while others pay annually or at other intervals. Additionally, the dividend yield (the annual dividend payment as a percentage of the investment's price) can vary, and it may be influenced by factors such as the company's profitability and dividend policy.


To understand how dividend payments work for specific investments on the Sharesies platform and to track your dividend income, you can log in to your Sharesies account and review your transaction history and account statements.



How to Invest in Sharesies

Investing in Sharesies is straightforward and accessible. To begin, visit the Sharesies website and create an account by providing your personal details and completing the necessary verification steps. Next, fund your account by linking it to your bank and transferring the desired amount. Once your account is funded, explore the range of investment options available, including individual stocks, bonds, ETFs, and managed funds. You can select specific assets based on your financial goals and risk tolerance. Place buy orders for the chosen investments, specifying the amount you wish to invest in each. Sharesies will execute these orders on your behalf. Regularly monitor your portfolio's performance on the platform and consider reinvesting dividends or withdrawing funds to your bank account as needed. Stay informed by utilizing Sharesies' educational resources and research tools to make well-informed investment decisions. Keep in mind that investing involves risk, so it's crucial to have a sound investment strategy and seek professional advice if necessary.


How to sell Sharesies

Selling investments on Sharesies is a straightforward process. First, log in to your Sharesies account and access your portfolio to view the assets you want to sell. Choose the specific investments you wish to sell and specify the quantity or dollar amount you want to sell. Next, place sell orders for these assets through the Sharesies platform. The platform will execute these orders on your behalf. Once your sell orders are completed, you'll receive the proceeds from the sales in your Sharesies account. From there, you can choose to reinvest the funds, withdraw them to your linked bank account, or make other investment decisions. Keep in mind that transaction fees may apply when selling investments on Sharesies, and it's important to consider any tax implications associated with capital gains from the sale of assets. Be sure to review your portfolio regularly and adjust your investment strategy as needed to align with your financial goals.



How I have to pay tax on Sharesies?

Paying taxes on your investments through Sharesies or any other investment platform is an important part of managing your financial affairs. The tax implications can vary depending on your country's tax laws and regulations, as well as your individual circumstances. Here are some general guidelines on how you may need to pay taxes on your Sharesies investments:


Capital Gains Tax

In many countries, including New Zealand, where Sharesies is based, you may be subject to capital gains tax when you sell an investment for a profit. This tax is typically applied to the difference between the purchase price and the sale price of the investment. The tax rate and rules can vary, so it's essential to check your country's tax laws for specific details.


Dividend Tax

If you receive dividends from your investments on Sharesies, these may be subject to dividend taxes. The tax rate on dividends can vary based on your country of residence and your income level. Some countries offer preferential tax rates for qualified dividends.


Tax Reporting

Sharesies may provide tax statements or reports to help you with your tax filing. These statements typically summarize your investment activity, including dividends received and capital gains or losses realized during the tax year.


Tax-Favored Accounts

Some countries offer tax-advantaged accounts, such as Individual Retirement Accounts (IRAs) or Tax-Free Savings Accounts (TFSA), where you can hold investments like stocks and bonds without immediate tax consequences. Contributions to these accounts are often tax-deductible, and earnings can grow tax-deferred or tax-free, depending on the account type.


Seek Professional Advice

Tax laws can be complex, and they can change over time. It's advisable to consult with a tax professional or accountant who is familiar with the tax laws in your jurisdiction. They can provide personalized guidance on how to report and pay taxes on your Sharesies investments.


Record Keeping

Maintain records of your investment transactions, including purchase and sale dates, transaction amounts, and any tax-related documentation provided by Sharesies. Good record-keeping can be helpful when filing your tax returns accurately.


Tax Deadlines

Be aware of the tax deadlines in your country and ensure that you file your tax returns on time to avoid potential penalties or interest.


Remember that tax laws and regulations can change, so it's essential to stay informed and seek professional advice to ensure compliance with the most up-to-date tax rules in your area. Additionally, Sharesies may provide tax-related resources and guidance on their platform to help users understand their tax obligations, so be sure to take advantage of those resources.



Is Sharesies a good investment?

Whether Sharesies is a good investment for you depends on your individual financial goals, risk tolerance, and investment strategy. Sharesies itself is not an investment; it is an online investment platform that allows you to buy and sell a variety of financial assets, including stocks, bonds, and exchange-traded funds (ETFs). The performance and suitability of your investments on Sharesies will depend on the specific assets you choose and your investment decisions.


Here are some factors to consider when evaluating whether Sharesies is a good investment platform for you:


Investment Goals

Consider your short-term and long-term financial goals. Are you looking to grow your wealth over time, save for retirement, or achieve specific financial milestones? Your investment strategy on Sharesies should align with your goals.


Risk Tolerance

Assess your risk tolerance and comfort level with market fluctuations. Sharesies offers a range of investments with varying levels of risk. Ensure that the investments you choose match your risk profile.


Diversification

Diversifying your portfolio by investing in different asset classes and industries can help spread risk. Sharesies allows you to create a diversified portfolio by investing in a variety of assets.


Fees

Be aware of the fees associated with using Sharesies, including transaction fees and management fees. Understand how these fees can impact your overall returns.


Research and Education

Sharesies typically provides educational resources and research tools to help users make informed investment decisions. Take advantage of these resources to increase your knowledge.


Market Conditions

Consider the current economic and market conditions when making investment decisions. Market conditions can affect the performance of your investments.


Time Horizon

Your investment time horizon, or how long you plan to keep your money invested, can influence your investment strategy. Longer time horizons may allow you to ride out market fluctuations and benefit from compounding returns.


Professional Advice

If you're uncertain about your investment choices or need personalized guidance, consider consulting with a financial advisor or investment professional.


It's important to note that all investments carry some level of risk, and there are no guarantees of making a profit. The suitability of Sharesies as an investment platform depends on how well it aligns with your individual financial circumstances and goals. It's advisable to conduct thorough research, create a diversified portfolio, and stay informed about market trends and developments when using Sharesies or any other investment platform.



Sharesies fees

A transaction fee of 1.9% is applied to the invested amount, with the fee capped as follows:


Pay as you go

  • -US shares have a fee cap of $5 USD.

  • -Aussie shares have a fee cap of $6 AUD.

  • -NZ shares have a fee cap of $25 NZD.


$5 plan

Transaction fees covered on

  • $500 AUD of buy and sell orders, and

  • $1,000 AUD of auto-invest orders

Plus, transfer fees covered on round-ups


$10 plan

Transaction fees covered on

  • $1,000 AUD of buy and sell orders, and

  • $3,000 AUD of auto-invest orders

Plus, transfer fees covered on round-ups


$20 plan

Transaction fees covered on

  • $3,000 AUD of buy and sell orders, and

  • $8,000 AUD of auto-invest orders

Plus, transfer fees covered on round-ups

Plus Get access to NZX market depth



Is Sharesies available in Australia?

Yes, Sharesies is available in Australia and New Zealand.


The Bottom Line: A review of Sharesies

Sharesies offers a compelling investment platform with many benefits, such as accessibility, diverse investment options, and educational resources. It's a great baseline investment option if you are unfamiliar with buying shares. It is a little more complicated than Raiz or Spaceship, however simpler than Pearler or Commsec. However, it's essential to consider the potential drawbacks, including fees and limited global access, before making a decision. If you are a New Zealand resident or have access to the platform and are looking to start your investment journey with a user-friendly interface and low minimum investment requirements, Sharesies could be an excellent choice. As with any investment decision, conducting thorough research and understanding the platform's features and fees is key to making the most of your investment experience.

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