These are some of the services I use (or have used in the past) to invest my money.
- Fund Platforms
- Peer to Peer Lending Platforms
- Equity Crowdfunding Platforms
I use Heartland Bank’s Direct Call account to keep my cash and emergency funds. It offers a high interest rate, with the ability to withdraw your funds at any time. Heartland also offers good term deposit rates, but the bank does have a lower credit rating than the main banks.
InvestNow is the platform I personally use to invest in share and bond funds. There are over 100 funds to choose from, there are no fees to pay to use the platform, and you can invest from as little as $50.
Sharesies offers a small number of funds, and their minimum investment is even lower at $5. They have a fantastic user interface which is really good for beginners. I personally don’t use Sharesies these days as an account fee kicks in once your portfolio value goes over $50. But I still think it’s a good place to get started and learn investing.
If you’re keen to start building your investment portfolio with Sharesies, you can sign up with this link, and I’ll get $5 in my own Sharesies account. A great way to show your support for this site!
Direct Broking is the broker I use to buy shares in individual companies on the NZX (NZ share market). The fee to buy or sell shares starts at $30 which isn’t cheap, but it’s cheaper than most other alternatives. You can also buy and sell bonds through Direct Broking.
ASB Securities provides a similar service to Direct Broking, although they have a cheaper $15 brokerage fee for trades of $1,000 or less.
Peer to Peer Lending Platforms
Harmoney is New Zealand’s first and most popular Peer to Peer Lending platform. Investors can get started with only $25, and the platform offers handy features like auto-invest. Those with a high-risk appetite can lend to riskier borrowers that pay a high-interest rate of up to 30%. Check out my review of Harmoney here.
Lending Crowd has fewer features than Harmoney (e.g. no auto-invest), but makes up for it by offering secured loans to only high-quality borrowers. I have definitely faced fewer loan defaults on Lending Crowd compared to Harmoney.
Special Offer: Not quite ready to become an investor, and need a personal loan to consolidate your debts? Apply for a Lending Crowd loan though this link and you’ll get a bonus $50 to invest in the Lending Crowd platform when you drawdown your loan.
I find Squirrel Money the easiest Peer to Peer Lending platform to use. It’s the only one in NZ where you can sell your investment early. However, the potential returns are lower than Harmoney and Lending Crowd, and it requires a minimum of $500 to invest in each loan.
Equity Crowdfunding Platforms
I’ve used Snowball Effect to invest in a few Equity Crowdfunding campaigns like Squirrel, Punakaiki Fund, and Zeffer Cider.
PledgeMe is another Equity Crowdfunding platform I’ve used, although they feel a bit less professional that Snowball Effect. They also offer “project crowdfunding” on their site – putting money into these are essentially donations and won’t buy you any shares.
I use Easy Crypto to buy Bitcoin and other cryptocurrency. It’s probably the easiest and fastest way to buy cryptocurrency in New Zealand. Purchases of crypto are usually completed and sent to your wallet within a few minutes. You can view my how to guide on how to buy Bitcoin in NZ here.
TransferWise is probably the cheapest currency transfer service out there. I personally use it to transfer money between NZ and Australia, and have also used it to transfer money to the US. They also offer a multi-currency Debit Mastercard (with very low fees!) which is handy for overseas travel.
Special Offer: Sign up to TransferWise using this link and you’ll get a fee-free transfer of up to £500.