Online investment robo adviser: Stockspot
Choose between five diversified investment portfolios and let Stockspot do the rest.
Stockspot was launched to the public in 2014. The Stockspot team believes in simple, transparent and low-fee solutions are essential for investors. Stockspot is an investment robo-adviser, an automated technology solution that offers low-cost investment services through software algorithms.
The number of registered Stockspot users reached 3,000 within the first year of launching and has seen consistent growth. The return on investments at Stockspot depend on the type of portfolio and amount of risk taken. Over a 10-year period from2004 to 2013, the portfolio with the highest return was 8.6% and the portfolio with the least amount of risk showed a return of 7.4%. It’s important to note that past performance is not an indication of future returns.
How many portfolios does Stockspot offer?
Stockspot tailors its investment advice to suit your needs. This is done by offering various investment strategies for your portfolio. Its investment strategies are sorted into different colour schemes according to growth potential and risk:
- Topaz: aggressive growth
- Emerald: growth
- Turquoise: balanced
- Sapphire: moderately conservative
- Amethyst: conservative
The fact that the portfolios are divided according to the amount of risk an investor is willing to accept means that Stockspot caters for all ages. In fact, 80% of its users are first-time investors, and 60% are under the age of 40.
What fees does Stockspot charge?
The amount of fees charged is determined by the size of the investment portfolio, and is broken down into individual fee tiers:
|Fee Tier||Balance of portfolio||Management fee|
|Bronze||<$10,000||First 6 months free then $5.50 per month|
|Silver||$10,001 - $49,999||0.66% per year inc GST|
|Gold||$50,000 - $499,999||0.66% per year inc GST + access to Stockspot Themes|
|Platinum||$500,000 - $2,499,999||0.528% per year inc GST + access to Stockspot Themes|
|Diamond||$2,500,000+||0.396% per year inc GST + access to Stockspot Themes|
The bronze fee tier applies to up to $10,000 invested in and is not affected by movements in the portfolio's value. These fees include a number of benefits such as:
- Personalised investment advice
- Investment selection
- Portfolio management
- Beneficial ownership
- All brokerage charges
- Administration and detailed reporting
- Annual reviews
- Annual audits
- Online access to your portfolio
Plus, qualifying clients in the Gold, Platinum and Diamand fee tiers can access Stockspot Themes. This enables you to personalise your portfolio and add exposure to certain assets, countries or industries.
What asset classes can you invest in when using Stockspot?
The model portfolios are invested in 5 broad asset classes:
The top 300 listed companies on the ASX including Telstra and BHP.
Some of the largest global companies such as Apple, Toyota, and GE.
Companies from BRICS economies (Brazil, Russia, India, China, South Africa).
Government bonds, these are very low risk and provide reliable fixed interest returns.
Protection against inflation and market volatility.
How Stockspot investment portfolios and themes work
Investments are diversified between these portfolios with the aim of spreading risk which could, in turn, lead to higher long-term returns. This could also softens the impact of short-term volatility in the market on your portfolio.
Once your portfolio reaches the gold or platinum fee tier, you gain access to Stockspot themes. These enable you to have more control over your investments by deciding whether you want more exposure to certain assets, countries or sectors of the market. The Stockspot team will then ensure that the balance of your investment portfolio still agrees to the amount of risk you are willing to take and any goals set.
The themes are detailed and are first divided into growth or defensive themes. Each of these contain further sub-divisions:
The growth theme has four main sub-divisions:
- Australian shares
- Global shares
- Bonds and cash
Australian shares are divided into further classes such as dividend shares, large companies, small companies and socially responsible companies. Global shares are subdivided into US shares, Global (non-US) shares, European, Japanese and Chinese shares and Asian large companies. The property division consists out of Australian and Global property. The defensive themes consist out of High-interest cash and Global bonds.
How many Stockspot themes and portfolios can you choose?
Clients can have up to three themes per portfolio at any given time and are advised to consider these themes as long-term investments and, therefore, keep the investment for 3 to 10 years. The gold tier clients are allowed 4 theme changes per year and platinum clients 5 changes per year.
What are the benefits of using Stockspot?
The benefits of using a robo-adviser include that it's easy to use, affordable and accessible. Stockspot has a number of additional benefits:
- You need as little as $2,000 to set up a Stockspot portfolio.
- Each investor can set up a portfolio according to their own needs and according to the amount of risk that they are willing to take.
- You can pick themes and personalise your investment.
- There are no entry or exit fees.
- All assets are kept under your name.
- Stockspot rebalances your portfolio, without charging any brokerage, and will send you an email when this happens.
- Nine different reports are provided online.
Invest for your children with Stockspot
You can invest for your child or grandchild using Stockspot if they're under 18 years old. The account would be open in your name and the portfolio would also be legally held in your name until the child turns 18. It works in the same way as your own Stockspot account; within your Stockspot account, you can allocate a separate mini-account that's for your child and choose which investment portfolio you'd like to invest in on their behalf.
You need to follow these steps to set up an account:
- Complete your own investment profile.
- Select your portfolio after reviewing the recommended investment strategy.
- Provide personal details, including details of your income and assets and your tax file number (TFN).
- Verify your ID online.
- Review agreements and sign-off on them.
- Set-up your bank account: Individual, joint and trust accounts (including SMSFs) are supported.
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