April 23rd, 2017

A new clutch of managers has signed on with online fund platform, InvestNow, with five Fisher Funds products first off the rank.

InvestNow founder, Anthony Edmonds, said as well as Fisher a queue of other well-known NZ managers including Devon, Nikko, Salt and the NZX-owned SmartShares would soon go live on the platform.

Edmonds said the latest batch of managers would complement the foundation roster of products offered by the likes of Vanguard, Russell Investments, Mint, Harbour and AMP Capital.

For example, he said the SmartShares Australasian funds would fit well with the global Vanguard product for investors keen on building a diversified passive portfolio.

“Vanguard’s low cost index funds – which starting at 20 basis points, are the cheapest retail access point for NZ investors – are proving hugely popular on InvestNow, so it makes perfect sense to also offer NZX’s New Zealand and Australian index funds,” Edmonds said.

However, he said InvestNow – which launched this January – was committed to offering funds across the passive-active spectrum including specialist, boutique, multi-manager and responsible investment strategies.

“Many passive supporters appear to ignore the favourable tailwind that New Zealand’s tax rules provide for active managers like Fisher Funds,” Edmonds said. “With InvestNow we want to highlight the validity of both strategies, and then empower investors to choose which funds they want.”

The online fund platform aimed at direct investors also recently embedded the Sorted risk-profiler to help clients determine suitable investment strategies.

Edmonds said linking up with Sorted was a logical step for InvestNow, which is aimed primarily at giving non-advised direct investors an efficient way to access managed funds in NZ.

He said while many New Zealanders were comfortable investing in funds directly they traditionally faced a clunky administrative process when building a diversified portfolio.

“We want to free them up to create best-of-breed investment strategies without the administration pain – and that’s something that the latest online technology now allows,” Edmonds said.

While the platform was garnering support from an audience that typically don’t use financial planners, he said InvestNow was also fielding interest from some advisers keen to explore its benefits for their clients.

Edmonds heads Wellington-based firm, Implemented Investment Solutions, which provides fund-hosting services to Russell Investments and several other managers.