The Goodments app has launched with a raft of new features, breaking down the remaining barriers to investing in Australia.
Goodments subscribers can now trade in US-listed shares and ETFs (Exchange Traded Funds), that align with their personal values. All without paying a brokerage fee and with as little as $1USD. Filling the gap in the sustainable and socially responsible investment market, whilst also reducing the costs and complication that have long been part of trading in Australia.
Complementing this, they also donate foreign exchange fees from each trade to 3 charities; the Sea Shepherd, Girl Effect or Charity: Water.
“As a nation, we’re more sustainably driven than ever before. The way we shop and consume has changed yet the investing experience hadn’t evolved to meet the new reality. Goodments is the future of investment, allowing people to truly put their money where their heart is,” says CEO and founder Tom Culver.
Designed for a new generation of more ethically minded Aussies, users complete a profile that explores their environmental, social and ethical values. By outlining the issues they care about, (such as renewables or diversity in the workplace) as well as their exclusion categories (from fossil fuels and tobacco to palm oil) they’re matched to a selection of more than 2,000 shares and funds available.
Each match gives users an overview of a company’s financial performance and a Goodments score, which rates them on their sustainable performance. A Goodments score of over 70 is considered a strong sustainable performer. Users can also explore and compare trending companies or search for specific companies by name.
“We can already see some interesting trends around what issues are most important. Renewables and waste reduction rank highest, with an inclusion rate of 57% and 52% respectively. We’ve also seen strong opposition to tobacco, animal cruelty and fossil fuels, with these being the most consistent exclusions.” says Jye Beckett, Head of Growth, “Whilst the trending companies range from unknowns like Vivint Solar out of Florida to household names including Apple and Visa.”
Just this week the app has introduced ETFs to the mix. So subscribers are now matched to both individual shares and funds. “We’ve listened to our community and have curated a selection of funds that reflect what they’v etold us – we’re excited to be launching with renewables and cleantech funds, a LGBTQIA fund and a no banks fund,” says Tom.
Available on iOS and Android, Goodments is all about making it easy to invest in good business. So the app also tackles the barriers associated with cost and complication, a major hurdle for novices.
The app does away with a cost per trade model used by the big incumbents like Commsec or NABtrade. Goodments subscribers have the choice between an annual or monthly subscription, so they can join the community for as low as $11.99 per month. This works out to be around half the cost of the average brokerage fee of a single trade through traditional brokers. The subscription model is great for any type of customer, from those customers making a lot of small $5 trades, to the customers trading in larger sums. Depending on their frequency of trading, users will save anywhere between $30 to over $2,000 a year.
“Given our monthly subscription cost is lower than the average brokerage in Australia, you’d be mad to keep paying $19.95 a trade, especially when our experience is simpler and gives you a more complete picture of the company you’re buying into.” Says Tom.
Last year we saw the largest rise in online trading in a decade, but the total is still less than 10% of Aussies. Because it’s complicated and far too expensive, not to mention lacking in transparency.
“In the US more than 50% of people have shares, here it is less than 10%. There is a massive opportunity for growth in Australian investors. Technology is the great equaliser and Goodments is able to completely change the game for new and younger investors by making it simple, cheaper and importantly, more aligned to how people think today. Our experience is simpler, and by shifting from a pay per trade model to a brokerage-free subscription model our users can trade as much as they like and with as little as $US1. Want to buy a Tesla share but only have $10, great, with Goodments you can own a percentage of a share.”
Tracey, Head of Design says, “We’ve worked hard to keep the experience clean and simple, whilst giving people all the information they need – whether it’s their very first trade or their side hustle. A common complaint from our research was that many people feel daunted by share trading and that many platforms out there are hard to use and understand. We’re here to change that.”
“Showing our customers how much impact they’re having by the investment choices they’re making is also key, so we’ve integrated it across the experience.”
Initial feedback from early subscribers shows how much the Aussie market was waiting for Goodments. Abhijeet, 43 from Sydney an early subscribers says, “I love what you guys are about. Focusing on sustainability, being able to trade with as little as I want and most of all giving me the control to make my own investments.”
Emily, co-founder and wife of CEO Tom says, “We are witnessing a ground-up movement on sustainability right now. People are sick of the regressive environmental policies from our so-called Leaders and are taking matters into their own hands. We hope to play a small part by helping people invest in the good.”