Today I’m going to discuss Raiz, Australia’s first and most popular micro-investing app. I’ll be going over what separates it from its competitors for better and worst, to help you answer the question: Is Raiz a good investment?
Raiz is a micro-investing product that is tailored for beginner investors. Similar to other micro-investing platforms, it removes traditional barriers to investing such as requiring a high starting capital and the complexity of deciding between thousands of assets. It achieves this by allowing users to invest as little as $5.00 at a time into a range of simple, yet tailored investment portfolios.
Available as both a mobile and web-based app, this product is designed to introduce Australians into the world of investing. When you sign up for the app, you are given a Raiz Investment Account. You can make regular contributions to increase the value of your Raiz Investment Account and you can withdraw part or all of your investment at any time.
Money contributed to your Raiz Investment Account is then invested into a portfolio that you select when you sign up. These portfolios consist of different exchange traded funds (ETFs), which cover a range of different financial assets. Such assets include cash, bonds, Australian equities, global equities and even Bitcoin, should you choose the Sapphire Portfolio. As such, these simple yet diversified portfolios should be sufficient for a range of modern investors.
For more information on how Raiz works and operates, please refer to their Product Disclosure Statement
For more information on ETFs, I recommend reading this guide: ETFs Explained
According to the Raiz Website:
Raiz Invest Limited (Raiz) is an ASX listed financial services company (ABN 74 615 510 177) and Raiz and its subsidiaries are regulated and overseen by the ASIC. All assets in the Raiz Invest Fund are held in custody not by Raiz but by Perpetual Corporate Trust Limited (Perpetual Corporate Trust). Perpetual Corporate Trust is a respected and leading provider of custody services.
As such, Raiz is bound by the rules and regulations that govern other Australian Securities Exchange (ASX) listed companies. They are also overseen by the Australian Securities & Investment Commission (ASIC) which is an external, independent government body. Additionally, in the event that Raiz ceased to exist, Perpetual Corporate Trust will still hold assets associated with investments on Raiz, ensuring that the user’s money is returned.
If you would like to learn more about Raiz’s security protocol, please refer to their website:
Similar to other micro-investment apps, Raiz comes with fees for its services. In the case of Raiz, they charge monthly maintenance fees. For Standard Portfolios, Raiz charges $3.50 per month for balances under $15,000. These fees are increased for Custom Portfolios to $4.50 per month for balances under $20,000. For balances above $15,000 on Standard Portfolios and $20,000 on Custom Portfolios, Raiz charges 0.275% per year. This fee is charged monthly and computed daily.
These fees are relatively high, especially when compared to its closest micro-investment competitor, Spaceship Voyager. Spaceship Voyager charges $0 for balances under $5,000 and 0.05 – 0.1% per annum for balances over $5,000 depending on your portfolio suggestion. However, Raiz offers a wider range of portfolio options, which may make the fees worth it in the eyes of some investors. For this reason, it’s important to weigh up the pros and cons of both apps to see if the higher fees in Raiz are worth it.
For more information on Raiz Fees, please refer to the Raiz Product Disclose Statement
For more information on Spaceship Voyager and how the two micro-investment apps compare, I have written these two reviews:
This feature works by linking your bank account to your Raiz account. By following the default round-up feature offered by Raiz, the app will automatically round up all of your purchases to the nearest dollar. For example, if you purchase a coffee for $3.90. Raiz will automatically make the purchase cost $4 and they will invest the $0.10 for you. You can also alter this feature in-app to round up to the nearest $5, $10, $20 or $40 if you want to increase the amount that you automatically invest.
This method can be useful for people who struggle with setting aside money to invest or people who want an automated way of investing while making their everyday purchases. However, for people who have issues with budgeting or people who tend to splurge, this can be a very financially draining method and should be pursued with caution.
As the name suggests, this feature enables you to make a one-time investment in your Raiz account. This feature can be useful for people who want to invest a large sum of money and those who wish to invest infrequently. As such, users who have recently come across a sizeable sum of money may prefer this approach. However, if you intend on investing more frequently, particularly with lower sums, then the automated feature will probably be better suited.
Recurring investment is a feature that allows users to invest a pre-determined amount of cash daily, weekly, fortnightly or monthly. This is a great way of dollar-cost averaging (DCA), as users can spread out their purchasing pattern to reflect ups and downs in the market, averaging profits and losses.
Users can set up Recurring Investments to align with their pay cycles, ensuring that they have the funds to DCA on a regular basis. For example, if you get paid every fortnight on a Thursday, you could set up an investment that occurs every second Thursday. This way, you will instantly be investing with available funds without having to think about it. This takes the guesswork and stress out of investing on different days where you may not have the money to invest.
Currently, Raiz offers seven different investment options to suit a range of risk-tolerances and ethical considerations. While I am not offering financial advice, I have done my best to simplify the different investment portfolios to highlight their main holdings and their major appeal.
This profile consists primarily of cash and government bonds. These are two of the lowest profiting investment options within Australia, yet they offer the most stability. Subsequently, they have a low risk and a low reward level. This option would be best suited for older residents who want to get slightly higher returns than a savings account while encountering minimal risk.
This option has a more even split of bonds and Australian large-cap stocks. While large-cap stocks are traditionally considered safer than micro-stocks, they still have a higher degree of risk when compared to Government bonds as these large companies may still become insolvent. However, their large net-worth combined with an established track record of profitability put them among the most reliable stock-related investments. For these reasons, this portfolio offers moderate risk with moderate returns. This option may be more suited for people nearing retirement age who have a slightly higher risk tolerance than those offered in the conservative portfolios.
See above, this option has a higher weighting of Australian large-cap stocks, so there’s a slightly higher risk margin and predicted return. However, the difference is relatively small.
This portfolio is primarily large-cap focussed, with exposure to Australian, Asian, European and American large caps stocks. Due to this portfolio focussing mainly on stocks, it carries significantly more risk and higher potential returns. This option is best suited for people who are willing to hold their portfolio for at least 5+ years, as while these stocks can dip during recessions, they traditionally will provide the highest returns over a long time horizon. This is my personal favourite portfolio due to it containing the highest predicted return rating, however, it should only be pursued by people willing to accept the elevated risk level.
This portfolio is interesting and perhaps the main attraction for Raiz over other investment apps such as Spaceship Voyager. This option utilises Global Socially Responsible Large Cabs (ETHI) and Australian Socially Responsible Large Caps (RARI). These companies have been recognised as industry leaders in climate sustainability. To meet these criteria, companies must either have high carbon efficiency or be involved in actively trying to reduce carbon emissions. For ethical investors or people who believe in the future of these companies, this is a viable option.
This portfolio is a bit perplexing, as it offers moderately safe investments such as government bonds and Australian large caps with the extremely volatile and high-risk cryptocurrency Bitcoin. The different holdings dichotomise each other and I would dare say that people interested in large caps/government bonds would find Bitcoin too risky and that investors of Bitcoin would find the yield on the prior two options to be too low. However, if you would like very small exposure to Bitcoin, this is an option.
The Custom Portfolio allows you to choose the portfolio weights of up to 14 ETFs and Bitcoin and create your own asset allocation. You choose the Portfolio best suited to your own goals and financial circumstances. This is the most expensive portfolio to run. However, it offers the most flexibility in terms of being able to choose your investments and their allocations.
|Portfolio Type||Main Holding/s||Risk Level||Predicted Returns|
|Moderately Conservative||Corporate Bonds|
|Moderate||Australian Large Cap|
|Moderately Aggressive||^ With a higher weighting of large-cap||Moderate +||Moderate +|
|Aggressive||Australian Large Cap|
Asia Large Cap
|Emerald||Socially Responsible Global and Australian Large Cap||Moderate +||Moderate +|
|Sapphire||Same as Moderately Aggressive with 5% Bitcoin added||Moderate +||Moderate +|
|Custom||Depends on Chosen Allocation||Varies||Varies|
As a micro-investment platform, Raiz is tailored to beginner investors. Whereas traditional investing typically requires a high starting capital, expensive brokerage fees and extensive market knowledge, Raiz overcomes these issues. Raiz achieves this by allowing you to buy in $5 increments, charging a maintenance fee rather than brokerage fees and it provides simple, yet tailored investment portfolios.
For these reasons, Raiz is a good option for people who are new to investing or people wanting to casually invest from the comfort of their phone/computer.
Another feature that separates Raiz from other micro-investing platforms is that it offers a rewards program. When users shop with Raiz’s brand partners through Raiz Rewards, they earn a cash reward from the brand partner. This reward is then invested into your Raiz Investment Account.
Currently, there are over a hundred Raiz partners. These include popular brands such as Apple, Australia Post, Dan Murphy’s, Event Cinemas, Nike, Ray-Ban, Telstra, Woolworths and X-Box among others. The rewards vary between fixed cash rewards and commission-based rewards. Most commission-based rewards range from 2-7% cashback.
As such, if you regularly shop with these retailers or other brand partners, you can simultaneously earn rewards and increase your investment balance. This is a unique feature offered by Raiz that can make it a worthwhile venture for people looking to be rewarded for their spending habits.
Raiz currently offers 7 diversified portfolios that encompass a variety of different assets. These assets include Australian equities, global equities, Asian equities, cash, bonds and Bitcoin. This makes Raiz one of the most diversified micro-investment apps on the Australian market. As such, it is likely that most investors will be able to choose a portfolio that reflects their investment goals.
Additionally, Raiz offers a custom portfolio option that allows users to choose between 14 ETF options and BTC. This portfolio also allows users to choose their desired allocations. This sets Raiz apart from its competitors which primarily rely on pre-fixed allocations. As such, this may be a good option for investors looking to diversify into specific sectors and markets.
Raiz is a pioneer in the space of cryptocurrency investing, being the first retail fund to offer Bitcoin (BTC) to its investors. BTC is a cryptocurrency that has delivered yearly returns of approximately 200% since its inception, making it one of the most profitable investments in modern history. However, its volatility and the complexity encompassing cryptocurrency investing often prevents people from investing in it.
Fortunately, Raiz overcomes this barrier to entry by allowing users to invest 5% of their portfolio into BTC through their Custom and Sapphire Portfolio options. This bypasses the traditional entry barriers of cryptocurrency investing, such as signing up to an exchange and securing a crypto wallet. Additionally, the maximal 5% allocation ensures that users get exposure to the asset without encountering as much volatility as people who exclusively invest in crypto. This makes it more beginner-friendly and a good option for people who want crypto exposure but aren’t familiar or comfortable with entering the cryptocurrency space.
If you would like more information on what Bitcoin is and how it works, I have written a comprehensive guide here:
Raiz’s portfolios are all diversified. While diversification is a good investing strategy, Raiz’s portfolios have very specific fixed allocations. Due to these portfolios consisting of specific allocations, it is unlikely that users have the exact allocation of each asset class that they would like. Additionally, some portfolios may be considered ‘too diverse’ by containing exposure to markets or assets that they otherwise wouldn’t want to be exposed to.
While this may not be an issue for users who don’t care about having exact allocations, some investors may prefer a more DIY approach. This can be overcome in some aspects by choosing a custom portfolio where you can select the investments and their allocations. However, it is worth noting that this option has the highest fees.
As previously mentioned, Raiz has monthly maintenance fees for balances under $20,000 and $15,000 that range from $3.50 – $4.50 depending on the portfolio. This is then increased on balances above these figures to a rate of 0.275% p.a. This fee is charged monthly and computed daily.
When compared to its nearest competitor Spaceship Voyager, these fees are substantially higher. For perspective, Spaceship Voyager charges $0 for balanced under $5,000 and its fees for balances over $5,000 are capped at 0.1% p.a. Therefore, Raiz is the most costly option in terms of micro-investing apps.
High growth/pure growth portfolios are ones consisting entirely of growth assets. Growth assets are more volatile assets that have higher risk and reward ratios. These investments differ from defensive assets which aim to match/slightly beat inflation at the expense of chasing higher returns. All of Raiz’s portfolios (including aggressive) have exposure to defensive assets. While this can mitigate against portfolio volatility to some degree, it can come at the expense of long term growth.
Pure growth assets such as equities and BTC while being more volatile in the short term, tend to outperform defensive assets in the long term. As such, if you are a long-term investor with an investment horizon greater than 7+ years, you’re better off using Spaceship Voyager’s all equities portfolios or choosing a Raiz Custom Portfolio that consists exclusively of growth assets.
For more information on the difference between growth and defensive assets, please refer to this guide:
|Beginner Friendly||Pre-Fixed Allocations|
|Raiz Rewards||High Fees|
|Multiple Investment Options||Lack of High Growth Options|
|Ability to Invest in Bitcoin|
Raiz is a useful investment app for beginners who want to dip their toes into the world of investing. They have 8 different investment portfolios, which offers more diversity than other micro-investing apps. They also have the option to invest ethically through the Emerald Portfolio, which may appeal to people who are interested in supporting climate sustainability. Additionally, their multiple options for investing and unique perks such as their rewards program and option to invest in BTC gives them an edge over their competition.
However, there is a significant amount of portfolio overlap, with several portfolios being very similarly weighted. The weightings of their portfolios may also put off some investors, as they are very specific and may not necessarily reflect the ideal weightings of many investors. Additionally, there’s a distinct lack of exposure to the US market, which has traditionally been the strongest performing market. Lastly, their management fees are substantially higher than Spaceship Voyager, another micro-investing platform that I reviewed here.
For these reasons, it is important to weigh up the pros and cons of Raiz to ensure that it is the correct platform for your financial goals. For investors that want exposure to BTC, want to participate in Raiz Rewards or are looking to create a custom portfolio, Raiz is the best micro-investing option. Alternatively, for users wanting a simpler user interface, lower account fees and a pure growth portfolio, Spaceship Voyager is likely the better option.
If you would like to sign up to Raiz and earn a $5 deposit bonus, you can use:
Alternatively, you can enter the referral code: P2S2CH when you sign up.