Sydney, Australia-based InvestSmart was founded in 1999 and started life as an information and research resource for investors with a focused on IPOs. The business was rebranded as InvestSmart from the ‘FloatNews’ in 2001, extending the service to managed fund comparison. Tools such as the popular Portfolio Manager were added and in 2007 the business was acquired by media group Fairfax. In 2013, InvestSmart was reacquired by Ron Hodge, Nigel Poole, two of the original founders. The company’s main investment products are robo-advised ETF portfolios and a range of managed funds.
InvestSmart also provides free portfolio management tools and independent research and analysis companies Intelligent Investor and Eureka Report are also part of the group. InvestSmart’s ETF portfolios and managed funds use Intelligent Investor research and analysis.
The company is listed on the Australian Securities Exchange.
The InvestSmart platform can be broken down into a number of different services that can be used independently or in conjunction. These are:
- A Portfolio Manager tool,
- A Robo Advice service that creates model portfolios for investors based on their personal finances and investment goals
- A research platform that provides fund, ETF and equities data and recommendations
- Managed Funds
The Portfolio Manager is a free tool. Users enter details of their investment portfolio and the management software platform subsequently tracks performance, automatically updating the prices of listed equities and funds. The proprietary portfolio HealthCheck also analyses portfolios according to stated investment goals, making re-weighting suggestions and comparison to theoretically re-modelled portfolio alternatives.
The Research & Advice area of the platform combines financial markets news and analysis, educational content, data on listed instruments and funds and model portfolios. Personal financial advice, pensions and superannuation solutions are also available.
The Invest with Us section of the platform offers ETFs portfolios suggested as suitable through the robo advisory service as well as a Small Companies Managed Fund.
The platform has a more traditional financial services design to it than most robo advisory services and hints at SmartInvest’s longer history than newer Fintech rivals that tend to look less ‘financial’ in design tone. The InvestSmart platform also comes in mobile app format for both Android and iOS.
Funds are broken down into Growth, Income and Diversified categories. The different portfolios across these main categories are also broken down into different risk profiles from low to medium risk, medium risk, high risk and very high risk. The different portfolios are also qualified by recommended minimum invested period, which ranges from 2 years to 7 years. Portfolios have different weightings from the major asset classes of Australian Equities, International Equities, Fixed Interest (bonds), Property and Infrastructure and cash.
The selected portfolios are based on a Separately Managed Account principal, which means they are not a pooled investment and each investor in the portfolio is the beneficial owner of the stocks and ETFs in their account.
The InvestSmart managed Small Companies fund is a high risk growth fund invested in small Australian companies listed on the ASX and recommended for investors with a higher risk appetite targeting capital growth.
Account holders are able to choose between dividends being reinvested back into their portfolio or paid out in cash to a nominated bank account.
InvestSmart makes it easy for investors to adjust their portfolios and switch between different investment models as their needs or financial circumstances change.
InvestSmart’s stated company strategy is low fees. The managed Small Companies Growth Fund charges a management fee of 0.97% per annum plus a performance fee of 10.25% of the fund’s performance above the benchmark. The transaction fee is estimated at 0.41% of the net asset value of the fund and the buy/sell spread at 0.5%.
Portfolios are charged at an investment fee of 0.6% per annum regardless of portfolio value and admin fees range from 0.05% for portfolios with a value of above $2 million and 0.37% for portfolios with a value of up to $250,000. However, these fees are tiered so portfolio value up to $2 million would be charged at a combined 0.7% between investment and administration fees and the value above $2 million would take advantage of the reduced admin fee.
InvestSmart’s premium research service is charged at $770 per annum, which provides full access to all research produced by Intelligent Investor and Eureka Report as well as model portfolios and a selection of other tools and functionalities.
Security & Fairness
InvestSmart is regulated by the Australian Securities and Investments Commission and as a listed company is also obliged to make its financial performance and records public. All client funds and assets are held in segregated accounts with no cross-over with the company’s business cash flow. Cyber security is also to a high level and meets regulatory standards for an investments manager.
Fees charged by InvestSmart for its portfolios and actively managed fund are very reasonable within the wider context and below industry averages.
Customer support is provided by a telephone line available between 8 am and 6 pm Australian Eastern Standard Time as well as email and a chat functionality available via the website.
- Access to research and analysis
- Free portfolio management tools
- Low fees
- Robo Advisory Service
- Well established company with almost 20 years of history
- Listed on the Australian Securities Exchange
- Limited choice of international equities exposure
- Only 9 different portfolio choices
- Only 1 managed fund available
- Admin fees tiered