What is it?
Raiz (previously named Acorns) is a micro-investing platform. Raiz operates both online and through a downloadable app on both the Apple Store and Google Play.
Raiz is perfect for those who are new to the share market and don’t yet fully understand how investing works, as well as those who do not have thousands of dollars to invest in one go (hence, Raiz is known for its micro-investing!). This means Raiz is perfect for young people, as we often fit both of these categories.
A setting that you can toggle on and off, Raiz Round Ups literally rounds up the spare change of purchases you make using a connected bank account to the nearest dollar figure. The idea is that you generally won’t miss a few cents but man do those few cents add up. In 6 months, I have invested just over $280 from round-ups alone.
There’s a list of brands on the app that, if you shop through their online websites, will invest a certain percentage or figure back into your Raiz account. The great thing about this is there are plenty of brands on offer, many of whom you probably already shop through – so, why not gain a little back every time you splurge!
I’ve already made some money back from Raiz Rewards through brands like Book Depository, Boohoo, Lacoste, Priceline, and Sephora. Since Raiz has a massive range of brands on their list, I always find it rewarding to check before I buy anything online because I’m usually not disappointed.One example of how Raiz Rewards would work is if you were to buy a DNA test from MyHeritage, Raiz would invest 7% of your purchase price back into your account.
While lump sums are also available, the option to invest on a regular basis is what truly makes Raiz rewarding for me. You have the option to set up a savings goal, which tells you how much you need to invest to reach that goal depending on if you’d like to invest daily, weekly, fortnightly, or monthly.
Knowing what amount I invest regularly works great with their portfolio predictions. If I were to invest $300 weekly ($1,200 monthly) using the moderately aggressive profile, I can see I would have over $200,000 accumulated in ten years and approximately an additional $60,000 in returns!
While we’re on the topic of profiles, Raiz offers 6 options: conservative, moderately conservative, moderate, moderately aggressive, aggressive, and emerald. These options mean you can err on the side of caution (conservative) or you can choose to have your finances fluctuate depending on the market for a quick return (aggressive) or you can choose somewhere in the middle, or you can even choose a long term option and make the maximum in returns but over a longer period of time (emerald).
In saying this, while there is always a risk of losing money with shares, that risk is minimised with Raiz as they invest their money in various EFTs (Exchange Traded Funds). Generally, your money will rise in the long-term though there may be short-term setbacks.
The images below show how much you will save + market returns depending on how much you invest per month. You can drag the graph up/down within the app to adjust the amount invested/ results. I have used $1,200 monthly for consistency.
Raiz shows how much you spend every month, your average, and how you are tracking for the month. I tend to ignore this feature because it shows where I waste money… #guilty
Raiz also offer their own Super account and a kids account. However, I haven’t explored these myself and don’t know a lot about how they work so I can’t really comment on these.
How safe is Raiz?
I was initially dubious about handing over my bank details and money to an app. However, there are many facets of Raiz that I have learned through research that allow me to feel more secure about entrusting them with access to my money.
Firstly, Raiz is a public company trading on the ASX (ticker ‘RZI’). This means there is a lot of disclosure about the company. In fact, when you first open a Raiz account, they provide their PDS (Public Disclosure Statement) for you to agree to. I also found it quite reassuring to learn that Raiz is an Australian company operating out of New South Wales with an Australian Financial Services licence, and is overseen by ASIC.
If Raiz were to go bankrupt or be wound up, Raiz customers wouldn’t be left out of pocket because the Raiz deposits are transferred to ETFs, which are overseen by an independent custodian.
There is also always the possibility that cybercriminals could hack into Raiz and steal customers’ money, however Raiz is alert to this threat and has consequently implemented a “robust information security program.” In other words, this risk is very similar to that of having your money in a bank, which is something most people don’t worry about.
Professional opinions on Raiz.
In summary, the professionals think that due to account fees (which are only $2.50 a month for balances up to $10,000 and 0.275% for balances over $10,000) there are ‘cheaper’ methods of investing money. However, these cheaper options are often inaccessible to the main demographic of Raiz, young people, therefore Raiz is a great option for new investors.
My experience using Raiz
I love it!
I’ve only been using Raiz for six months, but I’ve already seen my savings grow exponentially; and not because of market returns, but because Raiz offers me an account to put my savings in that is hard enough to access that I won’t splurge but easy enough that I can draw on my money when needed (withdrawals are processed in 5-7 business days).
In terms of market returns, my account is currently sitting at +4.47% (while my partner’s is about 13.4% for the past year), which just goes to show how much you can make through market returns. I’ve additionally loved making additional money through dividends and Raiz Rewards.
I can’t recommend Raiz enough! It’s been the best thing for my savings!!