flagged here in August

First flagged here in August, a new online KiwiSaver comparison tool is due to launch proper this Friday.

SavvyKiwi is the result of two years' hard slog by its creator, Binu Paul, who designed the product to fill glaring hole in the KiwiSaver market: where many members don't even know what scheme they're in, let alone the nuances of any underlying investment strategies.

While it stops short of personal financial advice, SavvyKiwi does provide informed guidance to KiwiSaver members whatever their level of financial literacy.

The online service walks KiwiSaver members through a number of stages - starting with the obvious one of identifying what scheme they belong to - with some financial education available along the way.

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Education, however, is not compulsory. But the lessons, in the form of short video clips, explore some of basic KiwiSaver and investment concepts (for example, the difference between passive and active management).

Eventually, SavvyKiwi takes users to a point where their current fund is compared to a couple of other, unnamed, competitors, as measured across a few metrics such as performance and fees.

To uncover further details - including the identities of the previously secret comparative funds - requires users to subscribe to SavvyKiwi (currently set at $89 for one year or $159 for two).

For some users the free education could be valuable enough but the real power of the system lies in the up-to-date fund comparisons - filtered down to a handful of choices.

If, based on the comparison, users decide to switch KiwiSaver funds, SavvyKiwi will also help start the process online.

There is more to it than this, of course, and the simplicity of the front-end masks a great deal of complex engineering underneath. In fact, getting the industry to supply the relevant data alone was a significant technical and political feat.

Paul has also gone to a lot of effort to make the service a user-friendly, intuitive experience. If you were looking for a way to celebrate this Money Week, maybe a quick spin through the SavvyKiwi sample cycle would do the trick.