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Invest your spare change with Raiz Invest (prev. Acorns Australia)

Turn your everyday change into an investment via this diversified portfolio round-up financial service.

Update (21 January 2021): Raiz has added the customisable portfolio option which offers an allocation of Bitcoin plus 14 ETFs.

Good for

  • Spare change round-up feature helps you invest as you spend
  • Less risky alternative to investing in stocks
  • Choose from 8 investment portfolios based on risk
  • Track your spending and investments

Not so good for

  • You can't directly buy stocks or ETFs on Raiz
  • Monthly $2.50 fee
  • The usual investment risks still apply
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ETFs

Investment product

$5

Minimum Investment

8

Number of Portfolios

From $2.50 /month

Fees

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Raiz Invest (previously trading as Acorns Australia) is a financial service provider that offers you a chance to get into the stock market for less by allocating your spare change, a recurring payment or a percentage of total spend with select retailers into your Raiz account. The micro-investing app will invest your money into exchange-traded funds (ETFs) of your choosing, helping you to get in the market for just a few dollars.

According to the company it's passionate about making investing simple, helping people start investing from a young age instead of taking months to save a lump sum.

While micro-investing is one way to get into the market sooner, it is not for everyone. Read on to find out if it is right for you.

What are the benefits of using Raiz?

There are many companies that make it possible to start investing without a big lump sum, but it's not every day that you find a product that does this by saving and investing your spare change. Raiz will automatically save and invest your spare change into the mix of exchange-traded funds (ETFs) quoted on the Australian Securities Exchange (ASX). Not only will the app invest your spare change, it can also invest lump sums and recurring weekly or monthly amounts that you select.

4 investing methods

You can use 4 different methods to invest money when using Raiz. The first is a key benefit of using this app and is called Round-Ups. This approach invests the change from your daily purchases. Then there is the Recurring approach, where you can set daily, weekly or monthly amounts that will allocate money to your investments on a recurring basis. You can use lump sums to boost your investments with bigger, one-off capital amounts. Finally, you can use its Raiz Rewards feature. This allows you to get cash rewards invested in your Raiz account for shopping online with various brands. While spending money to get a fraction back might sound counter-intuitive, getting cash back on money you are going to spend anyway can help grow your nest egg.

Personalised portfolio

You can choose from 7 portfolios constructed by industry experts with inspiration from Nobel-prize-winning economist, Dr Harry Markowitz. These portfolios primarily consist of a mix of ETFs quoted on the ASX, and are designed to reach targets related to different financial goals and circumstances.

The 7 portfolios are a pre-set mix of ETFs, with investors choosing their own level of risk: Conservative, Moderately Conservative, Moderate, Moderately Aggressive, Aggressive, Emerald and Sapphire. The Sapphire portfolio also offers a 5% allocation of Bitcoin, while its newest customisable portfolio option allows users to pick and choose between 14 ETFs plus Bitcoin.

It’s a micro-investing platform

This type of platform makes it easy for everyday people to turn their everyday purchases into an investment tool. One of the most powerful benefits of Raiz Invest is that you can allocate fractional interests in ETF units to individual investors.

Security

Raiz stores all your information on a remote server with bank-level security and data encryption. Your information won't be stored on your device and your funds are insured against fraudulent and criminal activity including cyber-crimes. Online accounts are protected by SSL encryption and multi-factor account authentication processes.

Flat-fee structure

For accounts under $10,000, there will be no account fee and only a maintenance fee of $2.50/mo. If your balance is equal to or exceeds $10,000, you will not pay a maintenance fee for the month but an account fee of 0.275%/yr for that month.

You can withdraw and deposit money as you wish

There are no limits to the number of withdrawals and deposits you can make, and no fees for making them.

Invest for your children with Raiz Kids

You can use the Raiz Kids feature within the app to allocate money to an investment account for your kid/s aged under 18. Raiz Kids isn't an entirely separate account; it sits within your own Raiz account. You can select what percentage of your top-ups you'd like to be allocated to this account, or you can split your contributions evenly between several kids.

Hands-on video review of Raiz Invest

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How does it work?

As mentioned above, Raiz is a micro-investing tool. Its process is comprehensively explained on its website, but below is a simplified explanation:

1. Allocate money

You will need to allocate money to your account using 1 of the 3 methods we mentioned above. The unique benefit of Raiz is that you can allocate your change from daily purchases to your account and it will be invested automatically. Round-Ups mean that your transactions are rounded up to the nearest dollar. The change you would've had is now allocated to your account and will be invested.

2. Choose your portfolio

There are 6 diversified portfolios available that consist of a mix of ETFs quoted on the ASX, plus one (Sapphire) that offers an allocation of Bitcoin along with the usual ETFs. These portfolios are based on your appetite towards risk and include Conservative, Moderately Conservative, Moderate, Moderately Aggressive, Aggressive, Emerald and Sapphire. The Emerald portfolio is Raiz's ethical investment option.

3. Invest your spare change

Raiz has a unique algorithm that works to keep the funds in your account within the specified range allocated to the portfolio you choose. It balances the ETFs despite market fluctuations but requires you to agree to the automated procedure of rebalancing your account by re-investing the ETFs automatically. Any activity within your account, like withdrawals or deposits, will start corresponding transactions that work to automatically rebalance your account so that it stays within the target range of your chosen portfolio.

4. Withdraw or deposit at will

You can set your methods for investing money and withdraw or deposit money to your account at any time.

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What fees will you pay to use the service?

The financial service offers a flat fee for use. For accounts under $10,000, there will be no account fee and only a maintenance fee of $2.50/mo. If your balance is equal to or exceeds $10,000, you will pay no maintenance fee for the month but an account fee of 0.275%/yr for that month.

As with any financial service, it is advised you study the fee structure. There is a comprehensive overview on the Raiz website, under Product Disclosure Statement. That way you'll know the fees you can expect, such as a dishonour fee.

What support can you expect from Raiz?

The financial service offers dedicated support through email and will get back to you within 1–2 business days. You can also contact the team through Twitter.

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Pros and cons of using Raiz

Pros

  • Unique method of capturing funds through rounding up purchases you already make
  • Invest in ETFs, which provide instant diversification
  • Handy mobile app that you can access on the go
  • Flat-fee structure
  • Banking-level security

Cons

  • If you're investing large amounts, the fees may be higher than if you were to invest in ETFs directly via an alternative brokerage platform
  • The usual investment risks still apply
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How to get started

  1. Visit the Raiz website or download the Raiz app and register for the service.
  2. Fill out your basic personal details and create a password.
  3. Link your debit or credit card for the Round-Up feature.
  4. Connect or create the funding account that will invest your allocated money.
  5. Tell the financial service more about yourself for a better user experience.

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4 Comments

  1. Default Gravatar
    Luke
    January 9, 2019

    It looks like a brilliant service and a great idea. I was wondering however if Raiz goes out of business as a lot of new business ventures do what happens to the shares and the funds in your Raiz account?

    Is this insured? Will you be reimbursed to use your accumulated funds with another platform?

    Thanks

    • Avatarfinder Customer Care
      John
      January 10, 2019

      Hi Luke,

      Thank you for reaching out to finder.

      Raiz Invest Limited (Raiz) is an ASX listed financial services company (ABN 74 615 510 177) and Raiz and its subsidiaries are regulated and overseen by the ASIC. Your money is insured against fraudulent and criminal activity through Lloyds of London. If you want to learn more about Raiz security, you may contact the company directly to check on this. Hope this helps!

      Cheers,
      Reggie

  2. Default Gravatar
    Aselrox
    April 21, 2017

    I have an Australian bank account, but I am not an Australian citizen. Can I still apply for Acorns Australia?

    • Avatarfinder Customer Care
      Harold
      April 21, 2017

      Hi Aselrox,

      Thank you for your inquiry.

      Typically, after you’ve installed the free Acorns app, all you’ll need to start investing is:
      Your online banking login information (which generates the round ups).
      Your bank account and BSB number (where your money is pulled from).
      Regarding citizenship, it would be nice to directly coordinate this matter with Acorns. That way they can provide you the available options that is right for you.

      Cheers,
      Harold

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