RaboPlus becomes first New Zealand banking service to offer direct online access to managed funds.
For the first time, New Zealand investors are able to access managed funds and make their own investment choices direct via a bank website.
RaboPlus.co.nz is the first banking service in New Zealand to offer direct online access to managed funds. Investors can choose from a selection of funds from three of New Zealand's most reputable funds providers: AMP Capital Investors, Tower and Asteron.
The benefits for the investor are that they get to make their own decisions and can manage their investments in a secure, online environment with heavily reduced costs (as there are no third party fees).
AMP Capital Investors' Head of Relationship Management, Anthony Edmonds, said there is a segment of the market whose preference it is to deal directly online and AMP Capital is happy to cater to people with that preference.
"Over recent years, investors in equities and property (via managed funds) have enjoyed strong returns and RaboPlus' provision of online access to managed funds means that individuals have the opportunity to invest directly in these asset classes in a secure low cost environment," he said.
Just 14 weeks into local operations, RaboPlus has over $235 million invested by customers in deposit and managed fund accounts.
"Internet and financially savvy investors are empowered to make their own investment decisions on line and in their own time," RaboPlus General Manager Mike Heath said.
"We all know New Zealanders need to save more and RaboPlus' managed funds make it easier, efficient and more cost effective. Recent returns on managed funds have also been positive," Mr Heath said.
The funds RaboPlus offers are invested in bonds, property or equities, meaning the smart investor can build a portfolio to suit them. They all meet RaboPlus' criteria of good ratings and performance.
Most of the funds available via www.raboplus.co.nz have returned between 10-20 per cent over thepast 1-3 years.
Asteron Marketing Manager Brian Young says managed funds have many advantages for investors. They provide a range of investments that an ordinary individual may otherwise not be able to access.
"Whether high risk/high capital growth investments or the low risk investment that provides consistent income over a period of time, managed funds offer solutions for almost every investor."
RaboPlus specialises in savings and investment products and because it's online, RaboPlus can offer its customers high rates of interest, rather than the honeymoon or special rates often seen in the market. It also offers easy to use online functionality and secure access.
Tony Hildyard, Chief Executive of TOWER Investments, which manages $5 billion of wholesale and retail funds, says there are significant benefits for individuals who save through managed funds as they can access the potentially higher returns available from financial markets as well as diversified portfolios that most individuals could not achieve on their own.
An added benefit for investors is that managed funds are supervised by independent Trustees whose role is to act in the interest of investors.
Hildyard says apart from the excellent returns that have been enjoyed by managed fund investors over the last 3 years, managed funds over the longer term have delivered value to investors.
"Looking forward, the tax changes to managed funds will reduce the tax paid on investments for most investors in managed funds, further boosting returns for investors and making managed funds even more attractive as a way to reach financial objectives", Mr Hildyard said.
RaboPlus' Mike Heath says the uptake of the managed funds by customers shows there was clearly a gap in the market.
"The fact that RaboPlus has met this need shows how responsive and in touch we are with the financial needs of New Zealanders."