Tamsyn Parker – Money Editor for NZ Herald

Friday, 17 March 2017

A new online platform will offer mum and dad investors the chance to access a range of investment funds which normally require hundreds of thousands of dollars as a minimum direct entry.

Investors using the InvestNow platform will only need $1000 to gain access to funds from global fund managers Vanguard and Russell Investments and local fund managers Harbour Asset Management, AMP Capital and Mint Asset Management.

The $1000 can be split across four funds with a minimum of investment of $250 per fund.

Anthony Edmonds, a former head of sales and marketing for AMP Capital, who is behind the platform, said it would allow small investors entry into funds normally reserved for wholesale investors with Harbour having a minimum of $250,000 and Vanguard $500,000 for direct investment.

“It allows people to access funds that would normally only be open to wholesale funds, he said.

Edmonds said one of the funds investors could get direct access to was the Vanguard International Shares Select Exclusions Index Fund, a fund which many KiwiSaver providers used to get exposure to overseas shares.

The online platform does not charge transaction or administration fees but will get a portion of the fees charged by the fund manager.

But while the platform provides access to the funds it does not provide any advice on investing in them.

“We are not giving any advice. Investors have to be savvy enough to know what they are investing it.”

Edmonds said he strongly recommended people who wanted advice seek out a financial adviser.

The platform is not the first of its type; Rabodirect provides a similar service but charges a 0.75 per cent fee.

Many financial advisers also had access to a similar platform.

Edmonds said the platform soft-launched in January and it had been overwhelmed with the take-up so far.

The plan was to expand its fund range offering in the future.

Edmonds said it had no intention of putting KiwiSaver funds on the platform at this stage but that could change if there was demand for it.

“We would give consideration based on investor feedback.”