A new online tool called Smart Investor Tool enables Kiwis to search and compare New Zealand investments such as KiwiSaver, shares, bonds and other types of managed products for the first time.
Housed on the Sorted website, the portal offers the first opportunity for KiwiSaver members to explore their fund’s investments in detail, and compare their fund against other offerings.
Sorted’s Managing Editor, Tom Hartmann, says that members would be able to see, for example, the companies in which their KiwiSaver funds were invested, and decide whether their money was invested ethically. Fees would be broken down and compared against those of other providers, along with returns.
“The tool will encourage greater transparency in the financial sector by revealing everything to consumers about where their money is going, and how well their provider is performing,” says Hartmann.
When KiwiSaver members are ready to move on to other types of investing, they can compare other managed funds, managed investments and share and bond offers. The site also offers guides on investing and definitions of jargon.
“Our aim was to break down the barriers to investing so that all New Zealanders could benefit from this way of growing their money,” says Hartmann.
Smart Investor has been built by three government agencies – the Ministry for Business, Innovation and Employment (MBIE), the Financial Markets Authority (FMA) and the Commission for Financial Capability (CFFC), which runs Sorted. Its creation was part of the government fulfilling its role in enabling anyone to compare information about financial products.
Scott McMurray, FMA acting director of investor capability, welcomed Smart Investor as a major step in helping people make informed decisions about their investments.
“With all the relevant information in one place, investors can review a whole range of financial products, including KiwiSaver and managed funds, bonds and shares. You can check how similar products compare with each other for fees and returns, and also find out where and how your money is invested.”
The information the site provides is pulled from the Disclose Register run by the Companies Office. Financial Service Providers are required to provide this information as part of their legal disclosure requirements. Smart Investor is updated daily.
Consumers do not have to input any personal information to access the site’s services, which are independent and impartial.
“The tool simply serves up heaps of helpful facts so Kiwis can make savvy decisions,” says Hartmann. “It’s a safe environment to compare the many investment options out there to help New Zealanders get ahead financially.”