If you’ve ever thought investing was for people older and richer than you, there’s an innovative Kiwi start-up with exactly you in mind. Only 20% of Kiwis have shares, and they’re most likely to be white men over 60.
A group of six young Kiwis including couple Brooke and Leighton Roberts and their friend Sonya Williams have set out to change that. They’re the ‘3EOs’ or three CEOs of ’Sharesies’ - a platform that allows anyone to invest in the sharemarket.
It was a collaborative effort, from six young people passionate about making investment accessible. Their interest started early on; Leighton even started an investment group when he was just 17. He and 13 friends all put $50 a week into a fund, and watched it grow.
"We’ve done it ever since and we’ve got quite a good investment portfolio, 16 years on. Money does grow with time, that’s for sure. That’s the most powerful part of investment.”
Brooke says they wanted to make that kind of investment available to everyone. “There is no reason why someone with $5 shouldn’t have the same investment opportunities as someone with $500,000.”
The group worked out that New Zealanders want to invest but felt like they couldn’t get started. Then they couldn’t get past the jargon or the ‘pale, male and stale’ marketing.
The result of their research is Sharesies, and since it was launched in 2016, it’s taken off. They got to 10,000 customers at the end of their first year, and Brooke remembers hitting the first million.
“We had created something that people really needed in their lives”. They have 260,000 users investing over a billion dollars in just four years - and even better, 71% of their investors are under 40.
To hear more about their Sharesies journey, listen to the latest episode HP Business Class here: