Raiz 2019 revamp: Hands on review of the latest features
The latest update has made the micro-investment app more transparent with a full list of ETFs featured.
Users of the popular micro-investment app Raiz may have noticed a few interesting changes to the platform. On Thursday, Raiz Invest released an updated version of its mobile app that has transformed the old design and made it easier to navigate both investing and shopping through the platform.
The platform works by rounding up and investing your spare change into a fund containing several exchange traded funds (ETFs) which you select based on your risk preferences. You can also top up your fund in scheduled or one-off transfers, or save for retirement by investing into the Raiz Invest Super Fund.
I took the latest version for a spin to test out its features and see what else it had to offer. Ultimately, I was pleasantly surprised by the changes.
The new layout
I give the new design a thumbs up. It's simple, sleek and fun to use, plus I think it does a better job of understanding what users today want out of an investment app.
After logging in you have the home screen with the option of scrolling through "past", "today" and "future" tabs. Landing first on the "today" tab home screen, you're presented with the three key features: Your investment portfolio balance, your shopping cash rewards balance and your super fund balance.
Scroll down and you get your portfolio's performance over time, an option to make a one-off investment and in the "My Finance" tab there's a handy breakdown of your monthly spending habits categorised into themes such as entertainment, shopping and investments.
The "past" tab shows you a rundown of every recent transaction made by your portfolio, including investments, dividend payments and any withdrawals you've made, plus it breaks it down into ETFs, market returns, shopping rewards and dividends.
What's great about this feature is it makes it really clear how your investments are working for you. You can see how much you're putting in and how much you're getting in return. The one thing missing here in my view is the fees.
In the "future" tab you have a growth chart spanning the next several decades. This isn't a new feature, but it is pretty neat. By playing with the chart you can work out how much you'll need to be investing in the fund each month in order to reach your financial goal by a certain age.
The investment options are the same as before, but there's now more transparency around the methodology.
As before, there are six portfolios available that you select based on your risk appetite. These are Conservative, Moderately Conservative, Moderate, Moderately Aggressive, Aggressive and Emerald.
What I like most about this update is that the ETFs are now fully displayed in each portfolio along with a basic explainer about the investment theme and the companies they track.
In a previous review comparing micro-investors, I noted that unlike CommSec Pocket, Raiz Invest's portfolios do not clearly list the ETFs within the app. This update essentially now puts it on equal footing with CommSec Pocket on that front.
Each portfolio except Emerald contains different percentages of the same seven ETFs, which are featured below and you can browse these easily in the app. The Emerald portfolio contains the two ethical themed ETFs plus the bonds and cash ETFs.
Raiz ETF themes, 2019
|Raiz ETFs||Investment theme||Featured companies|
|SPDR S&P/ASX 200 Fund (ASX:STW)||Australia Large Cap Stocks||BHP, CBA, Telstra, Wesfarmers, Woolworths, Westpac|
|iShares Asia 50 ETF (ASX:IAA)||Asia Large Cap Stocks||Samsung, Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing, China Construction Bank, AIA Group, China Mobile, Industrial and Commercial Bank of China|
|iShares Europe ETF AUD (ASX:IEU)||Europe Large Cap Stocks||Nestle, HSBC, BP, Sanofi, Novartis, Roche|
|iShares S&P 500 ETF (ASX:IVV)||US Large Cap Stocks||Apple, Exxon, Google, Microsoft, J&J, GE|
|iShares Composite Bond ETF (ASX:IAF)||Australia Government Bonds||Short term bonds, Australian government bonds|
|Russell Investments Australian Select Corporate Bond ETF (ASX:RCB)||Australia Corporate Bonds||Corporate bonds including CBA, ANZ, Westpac, NAB, Telstra|
|BetaShares Australian High Interest Cash ETF (ASX:AAA)||Australian Money Market||Exposure to bank deposits|
|Russell Investments Australian Responsible Investment ETF (ASX:RARI)||Australia Social Responsible Large Cap||CSL, QBE Insurance, Ramsay Health Care, Myer, JB Hi-Fi, Medibank|
|ETHI Global Sustainability Leaders ETF (ASX:ETHI)||Global Socially Responsible Large Cap||Apple, Visa, Intel, Medtronic, Mastercard|
Source: Raiz Invest
Shopping cash rewards
The updated shopping feature allows you to browse through over 200 brands via Raiz by both brand name and category, such as food and drink, beauty, insurance.
This is a really nice feature of the app and goes some way toward making up for the monthly account fee. By shopping through Raiz, you're rewarded with a percentage of your purchase price as a cash return into your fund. It's great that you can see what percentage of your purchase price is returned and any discount deals that are being offered.
The brands featured are some of the most popular in Australia, among which include: ASOS, adidas, Chemist Warehouse, Clinique, Myer, Specsavers and more.
The fees remain as they were before, at $2.50 per month for customers that have less than $10,000 in their accounts or 0.275% a year for customers with balances equal to or greater than $10,000.
What are the pros and cons of Raiz Invest's revamped app?
- Better navigation, sleek design makes the app more enjoyable to use
- Greater transparency around your investments with ETFs now displayed and browsable
- Shopping made easier with search function and categories
- Investment transactions broken down including which ETFs have paid dividends and which your investing into
- Money tracker makes it easy to see what you're spending the most on and where you can cut down, plus finance tips
- The investment transaction breakdown does not include the monthly fees
- If you're not investing enough, your returns could be eaten by fees