A Kiwi investment company has teamed up with an American technology firm to provide cheaper and simpler access to people wanting to buy US-listed shares and exchange-traded funds.
KiwiWealth, a sister company to Kiwibank, will today launch Hatch - an online trading platform which aims to under-cut brokers and allow people to buy fractions of shares in companies like Apple, Facebook and Amazon for the first time from New Zealand.
Kristen Lunman, Hatch general manager, said it had taken a technology approach to investing as opposed to a financial approach through linking up with US fintech DriveWealth.
The online platform is targeted at existing investors who want control over where their money goes and have the time, interest and knowledge to manage their investments.
Lunman said it had been beta-testing the platform since August after a year of research and product development.
"We interviewed over a hundred investors and discovered a group who have the time, interest, and knowledge to successfully self-manage their investments.
"These investors know the risks and rewards of self-directed investing and many want direct access to US-listed shares. They've been hampered by a poor user experience and prohibitive fees."
Lunman said it hoped to turn the traditional brokerage model on its head by making it easy to access US-listed shares.
"We pass those savings on to investors through lower brokerage fees."
The platform has no subscription fees or commission but charges a fee of 2c per share with a US$8 minimum to buy or sell a full share or US$3 to buy or sell a fraction of a share.
On top of that investors pay a 0.8 per cent fee to change their money from New Zealand dollars to US dollars.
The transaction can all be done online via an app through a mobile phone or desktop once a person has signed up for the service.
Lunman said until now most US share trading had to be done through a broker which involved calling them on the phone.
Those with under $50k to invest also received assistance with handling the tax side through the US.
Lunman said it expected to keep growing the platform and would target wealthy investors next by looking at ways to make the exchange rate charge more flexible and help deal with the US tax implications.