by George Nott

CBA’s online stockbroker CommSec launches app for newbie investors

Jul 24, 2019
Business IntelligenceCareersCollaboration Software

The Commonwealth Bank of Australia operated online stockbroking firm Commonwealth Securities (CommSec) has launched an app for people who are “new to the share market and want a simpler investing experience”.

Like other investment apps, the ‘CommSec Pocket’ app allows users to buy units in an Exchange Traded Fund, whichare funds that trade on a stock exchange.

Unlike shares, which represent an investment in just one company, an ETF represents an investment in a selection of companies and assets. The app offers seven ‘themes’ of ETFS; including Aussie Top 200, Emerging Markets, Tech Savvy and Sustainability Leaders.

“As Australia’s largest digital broker, we know that many people find investing in shares out of their reach or too complex. We’ve broken down those barriers by significantly reducing the amount needed to get started, reducing the cost of investing as well as simplifying choice. CommSec Pocket makes diversified investment in the stock market a simple and affordable option for more Australians,” said Richard Burns, executive general manager at CommSec.

Users can get started with $50, and pay $2 each time they invest or sell up to $1,000.

“CommSec Pocket is our latest innovation that will help empower more Australians to grow their wealth. We will continue to listen to our customers and find new ways to help all Australians access the opportunities the sharemarket can bring,” Burns said.

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CBA claimed CommSec Pocket to be an Australian-first app, on account of being able to get started with as little as $50 and its automated investing feature.

However, similar features are offered by other apps. Mobile micro-investing platform Raiz Invest allows users to start investing with just $5 as well as recurring deposits. Raiz also offers round-ups – the virtual change from spending transactions – to be automatically moved into investment accounts. Six diversified portfolios are available to choose from, on a scale from conservative to aggressive.

At last count earlier this month Raiz – which listed on the ASX last year – had 193,327 active customers.

Rival Spaceship Voyager was released in April 2018 and now manages money for over 39,000 customers. It too has no minimum investment, and offers a choice of two portfolios: an affordable index fund made up of 200 companies with large market capitalisations listed on the ASX and overseas stock exchanges, or another of securities hand selected by Spaceship’s investment team.

There are different fees involved with all of the apps, including CommSec Pocket.

One of CommSec Pockets key advantages its integration with CBA’s highly-rated CommBank app, where investments can be seen in-app alongside other accounts. Users must have a CommBank transaction account and a CommSec ID or NetBank ID to use the app.

Currently only four per cent of Australian adults place a trade online in the shares each year.

“Many more would like to, but feel the barriers to getting started are too high. CommSec Pocket aims to break down these barriers and empower savers to take the next step with their money and start investing,” CBA said.