Spaceship adds account fee for small investors: Is it still worth it?

Posted: 1 October 2021 12:55 pm
News
New fees!

Spaceship customers with small account balances are no longer getting a free pass. This is what you'll now pay.

Update: Some of the fees shown in the table below for Spaceship in the 'Before November 1' column were incorrect. We have updated these.

One of Australia's cheapest investment apps is about to become a little less cheap.

Micro-investment app Spaceship is introducing a new $2.50 per month flat account fee across all portfolios of more than $100. The changes come into effect from 1 November 2021.

Since its launch in 2018, Spaceship hasn't charged fees on accounts holding less than $5,000. Accounts of over $5,000 were charged 0.05% for the Origin portfolio and 0.1% for the Earth and Universe portfolios.

The new flat fee will replace all previous account fees on larger balances. If you hold more than one Spaceship portfolio, you still only pay the single monthly fee.

Here's how much more you'll pay for your Spaceship account*

Account balance
Before 1 November
After 1 November
$50$0$0
$500$0$30 p.a. (6.00%)
$5,000$0$30 p.a. (0.60%)
$10,000
  • Earth, Universe: $5 p.a. (0.10% on the balance above $5,000)
  • Origin: $2.50 p.a. (0.05%)
$30 p.a. (0.025%)
$50,000
  • Earth, Universe: $45 p.a. (0.10%)
  • Origin: $20 p.a. (0.05%)
$30 p.a. (0.06%)

*Percentages will change depending on the balance amount.

The change means customers with big accounts pay less, while smaller accounts pay more.

Is it worth it?

Spaceship's zero fee offering for small balances has been a popular feature of the app since it launched. While the new monthly fee isn't huge by investment product standards, it'll force some customers to reassess their account plan.

The app works by automatically investing an amount of your choosing on a weekly, fortnightly or monthly basis. As there's no minimum investment, you can invest from just a few dollars a month if you choose.

For example, if you were topping your account up with $10 per month, a quarter of your deposit will now go towards fees.

Another way to look at it is the overall percentage of your account taken in fees. A fee of 1% on your balance is often used as a benchmark limit for how much you should be paying into an investment fund (such as superannuation or ETFs) to maximise your return.

Using this rule, you'll need at least $3,000 in your account before Spaceship's fees reached that 1% mark.

What are your other options?

Despite the new fees, Spaceship is still one of the cheapest options out there.

By comparison, micro-investment competitor Raiz Invest charges $4.50 per month on balances of up to $15,000 and 0.275% on higher balances.

While ETF platform CommSec Pocket has no account fee, it charges $2 per trade on every transaction.

Investment*
Raiz (standard portfolio)
Spaceship (Universe portfolio)*
CommSec Pocket
$100
  • $42 p.a. (42%) account fee
  • $0 transaction fee
  • $0 account fee
  • $0 transaction fee
  • $0 account fee
  • $2 per transaction (20%)
$1,000
  • $42 p.a.(4.2%)
  • $0 transaction fee
  • $30 p.a. account fee
  • $0 transaction fee
  • $0 account fee
  • $2 per transaction (2%)
$10,000
  • $42 p.a. (0.42%)
  • $0 transaction fee
  • $30 p.a. account fee
  • $0 transaction fee
  • $0 account fee
  • $20 per transaction (0.20%)
$15,000
  • $41.25 p.a. (0.275%)
  • $0 transaction fee
  • $30 p.a. account fee
  • $0 transaction fee
  • $0 account fee
  • $30 per transaction (0.20%)
$50,000
  • $137.50 p.a. (0.275%)
  • $0 transaction fee
  • $30 p.a. account fee
  • $0 transaction fee
  • $0 account fee
  • $100 per transaction (0.20%)

*From 1 November 2021

Low fee share trading apps are another option if you're looking to invest small amounts into stocks or ETFs on a regular basis.

For example, Stake, Interactive Brokers and Sharesies let you invest just a few dollars at a time into stocks and ETFs. Typically, there's a brokerage fee per transaction or a currency conversion fee.

Meanwhile, Superhero lets you invest from $100 per transaction into exchange traded funds for free on the buy order, while Pearler offers a select range of free to transact ETFs.

Among online brokers that offer fractional share trading are eToro (minimum $200), Stake (minimum $10), InteractiveBrokers (no minimum) and Sharesies (no minimum).

Looking for a low-cost online broker to invest in the stock market? Compare share trading platforms to start investing in stocks and ETFs.

Disclaimer: This information should not be interpreted as an endorsement of futures, stocks, ETFs, CFDs, options or any specific provider, service or offering. It should not be relied upon as investment advice or construed as providing recommendations of any kind. Futures, stocks, ETFs and options trading involves substantial risk of loss and therefore are not appropriate for all investors. Trading CFDs and forex on leverage comes with a higher risk of losing money rapidly. Past performance is not an indication of future results. Consider your own circumstances, and obtain your own advice, before making any trades.

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