Raiz review: Invest in the stock market the easy way

Raiz app review

My verdict

If you want a simple, all in one place to build diversified wealth then Raiz is a great option.

Grow a portfolios made up of multiple ETFs all within a clean, colourful app. Start with only $5.

If you want a simple, all in one place to build diversified wealth then Raiz is a great option

I've been using Raiz since early 2016. I remember when because I joined about a week before my son was born. It wasn't until I was killing time in the hospital after he was born that I finally had a real look into it.

The Raiz app was colourful, simple and wasn't like any broker or stock market tool I'd used before.

I connected it to my bank account used the round up feature (more on that soon) to add money to it over the first year and saw some good returns. Was like watching a savings account grow.

The early days of my Raiz account

From there I got a bit more focused with it, started to drop large amounts and a few years later I used the balance to help pay for a property which was a great feeling.

In a way I feel like Raiz has helped me build wealth quicker, getting me to my financial goals sooner. So let's look into how it works and what features I really rate in this Raiz Review.

Raiz review: My Verdict

The very first Australia investing app is one I highly regard and recommend to those interested in simple, uncomplicated investing.

Benefits

  • Investing automatically either by a set amount or by rounding up your purchases

  • Select from a broad range of well-built portfolios

  • Buy fractional shares so can invest immediately 

  • Rewards program

  • Sustainable options 

  • All in one / set and forget option

  • Need little money to start with

Considerations

  • Costly if balance under $7.5k

  • Easy to make changes (maybe too easy)

  • Limited to invest in predetermined portfolios, or selected ETFs

What is Raiz invest?

Raiz invests money on your behalf through a collection ETFs that are commonly bought and sold on the ASX.

It works in a very similar way to your super, where you pick a portfolio (such as balanced or growth) and then move on to adding money to it.

Prior to it being known as Raiz Invest, it was Acorns. Acorns Australia was the original investing app in Australia. It was an offshoot of the American version which still exists today as that name.

In Australia, it's Raiz Invest which is an Australian listed company on the ASX.

Raiz is what I call a “do it for me” investment product. A bit different to picking stocks or actively investing.

Once setup, it will do all the work for you so you can set and forget (like your super).

How to use Raiz

Think of Raiz like a savings platform. But instead of money going into a savings account it goes into the stock market via ETFs.

One of the first considerations to make with Raiz Invest is how you will add money to it. There are two way.

Raiz Round-ups

Raiz gained popularity through what's called the “round up” feature. Today many banks offer this feature, but back in 2016 it was rare and Raiz had a unique selling point with it and was one reason I started using it.

When purchasing anything on a nominated account, for example, a coffee for $3.50, the cost is rounded up to the nearest dollar. So if you spend $3.50 then  50 cents is sent to Raiz. This is helpful if you are doing several purchases on a particular card. You'll find over time the pot is filling up.

This is how I started adding to Raiz account. I don't do this anymore as I contribute a set amount on a fortnightly basis instead but it's easy to turn on and off this feature which is not mandatory to use.

Deposit money

You have the option to add additional payments from your bank account to your Raiz investment account.

This can be done manually or automatically via recurring payments (eg. weekly, monthly).

In both situations you'll need to link a bank account for your money to be taken to. Unlike bank transfers you can't send money to Raiz any other way than via the Raiz app.

Investing with Raiz

As a new Raiz user, you can use my referral code to receive $5 when you make your first investment. It's free to set up so check it out. Here's the link.

Raiz is a powerful investing platform that can help you grow your wealth quicker than a bank account. This is due to the higher returns of the stock market, which is what Raiz uses to invest your money.

There are two stand-out features that make Raiz such an accessible and simple way to invest in shares.

Through ETFs or exchange-traded funds

Your Raiz account will be dedicated to a group of mainstream ETFs that have good track records of performing.

These ETFs are all available to purchase individually via an online broker, but with Raiz's portfolios you can invest in multiple via the one account.

Here are some examples of the ETFs Raiz uses

  • Australia Large Cap Stocks (ASX:STW)

  • Asia Large Cap Stocks (ASX:IAA)

  • Europe Large Cap Stocks (ASX:IEU)

  • US Large Cap Stocks (ASX:IVV)

  • Composite Bond ETF (ASX:IAF)

  • Corporate Bond ETF (ASX:RCB)

  • High Interest Cash ETF (ASX:AAA)

Fractionally

The beauty of using Raiz to invest is that they will take any amount of cash and invest it, which means they will buy a fraction of a share for you. No more do you need to wait until you have the exact price of the share to buy, you can do it straight away (starting even just $5).

Online brokers have a minimum investment of $500, meaning you need that much to invest and then it is unlikely to be that exact amount as your investment needs to match the price of the shares by the amount of units you want.

Raiz opens investing up through fractional investing allowing you to buy shares based on your money rather than the share price.

So you can treat Raiz like a bank account and allocate consistent amounts regularly to it.

Raiz's portfolio options

One of the first steps you need to take with your new Raiz investment account is which portfolio to invest in.

Raiz has 7 prebuilt portfolios to pick from as well as an option to build your own custom portfolios (more on what that is below).

An example of Sapphire portfolio, showing you the ETFs inside

The difference between them is their risk level. Risk is the chance of your actual returns differing from your expectations. The higher the risk the more this could happen.

They are titled as so

  • Conservative (low risk)

  • Moderately conservative

  • Moderate

  • Moderately Aggressive

  • Agressive

  • Emerald Portfolio

  • Sapphire portfolio (highest risk)

The preset portfolios are made up of well-established ETFs that are a mix of local, global stocks and bonds, and cash.

Each portfolio has a different balance of stocks and bonds from the conservative option (22% stocks) to the aggressive growth option (90% stocks). These labels are similar to what you see for your superannuation

The Emerald Portfolio has a focus on ESG or Environmental, Social, and Governance themed investments so if your value your investing money aligning with these non-financial factors then there is your option.

There is also the Sapphire portfolio which includes 5% bitcoin, with 69% in stocks and the rest in bonds. Probably one of the easiest most diversified ways to get crypto into your investment portfolio but then again the risk is much higher.

Custom portfolios

In 2021, Raiz released custom portfolios. This was a game-changer as it meant you can build your own all-in-one diversified portfolio. Instead of buying a number of ETFs individually, you can put them altogether through Raiz and just put your money into one investment.

What you have to do is pick which ETFs you want in and how much of your portfolio they make up.

The limit is that there are only 16 ETFs to pick from (plus up to 5% Bitcoin) but in reality, they are all strong established ETFs that are likely to meet your needs.

Once you select your ETFs, you'll need to determine how much of your overall portfolio it'll make as a percentage.

This is my custom portfolio

The final investment portfolio Raiz offers are specially designed portfolios. It gives you the flexibility to pick a number of investments and choose which allocations are best for you. There are only a few exceptions: You must only give a max of 5% of the portfolio to Bitcoin.

It is a great tool for individuals wanting some freedom with regard to asset allocation but isn't interested in stocks individually. However, it should be noted that this portfolio has higher fees than the other portfolios on this site. It is often advisable that you examine the Raiz portfolio and compare them with your target and risk profile.

See my screenshot here of a test portfolio I built. As you make selections Raiz tells you the risk scale, with more stocks or crypto meaning it will be higher risk.

The ETFs you can pick from include

  • AAA – Cash ETF

  • STW – Aus Large Cap Stocks

  • IAA – Asia Large Cap Stocks

  • IEU – Europe Large Cap Stocks

  • IAF – Aus Bonds

  • RCB – Aus Corporate Bonds

  • IVV – US Large Cap Stocks

  • RARI – Aus Socially Responsible

  • ETHI – Global Socially Responsible

  • FAIR – Aus Sustainable Leaders

  • NDQ – Nasdaq 100

  • VGE – Emerging Markets

  • IOO – Global 100

  • IXJ – Global Healthcare

  • VEFI – Ethically Conscious Global Bonds

  • VSO – Australian Small Companies

  • and Bitcoin (but no more than 5% of overall portfolio)

Up until this was launched I owned many of these ETFs individually through SelfWealth and CommSec Pockets.

The problem with that was if I wanted to invest in them I had to manually do that on an individual basis. So if I wanted to add money to 5 different ETFs that would cost me for each of those trades.

Now with Raiz, I can put my investing money straight into the portfolio via the app and it gets cut up and then sent to all the selections I want.

There are higher costs for this portfolio type but feel it is a very cheap investing service, saving me time as well.

You can change this portfolio option at any time and always go back to the preselected portfolios or change your ETF/percentage mix as you go.

Raiz's Fees

Raiz makes its money from charging you a monthly account fee, as opposed to brokers that charge you when you buy or sell stocks.

The ongoing costs for Raiz are reasonable if you have over $7,500 invested.

For the 7 premixed portfolios (everything but custom and Sapphire) Its $3.50 a month when under $15k, then .27% of your balance for those holding more than $15,000. Sapphire is $3.50 a month for all balances or $42 a year.

A standard portfolio will cost of $3.50 a month until you have $15k in your account

$3.50 a month is a lot if you have only a chump change in your account. You really need to get to at least $7500 as quickly as possible.

For example, if you have $500 in Raiz, the account fee would be $42 a year or 8.4% of your money that will go to fees.  

The account fee for custom portfolios is higher, with balances below $20,000 being charged $4.50 a month, and balances above $20,000 costing .275% pa.

Fees are due each month and charged from the balance in your account.

Raiz is completely transparent with its pricing and while they do infrequently increase their fees, it is still an affordable option as you do not have to pay to trade (add or withdrawal money) and they keep your portfolio well balanced.

Performance

Investing in shares is good for long-term returns.

It’s likely that some users of the Raiz app are not familiar with stock markets. Not that share prices could drop or rise. If you look at the Raiz app every day you might get a bit emotional about it.

ETFs are regarded as safer investment options as they buy large stocks with diversified risks.

Over time the performance of Raiz Invest has been positive.

The portfolios returned between 4.9%pa and 12.44% pa for the 3 years up to the end of mid-2021.

Other features

Raiz Rewards

Raiz presents offers through partner shops where you get a cut of your purchase sent back to your Raiz investment account.

Raiz rewards example of what % you get invested

It's ok if you are buying the product anyway but I've never used the service and find its mostly non essential items that are on offer.

They do offer rewards for surveys though so likely worth having a look through.  

Raiz Super

Raiz has a super fund, which invests in the same portfolios (minus the bitcoin option).

Personally, I don't have my super in Raiz and feel that there is nothing significantly different or better than most industry super funds out there to consider it.

Raiz Kids

Investing for kids is a common thought for newer parents and Raiz Kids is a pretty basic offer to this.

You can set up a dedicated account linked to your Raiz Account, specifically for your children.

You can then choose what they are invested in and even setup what control they can have on the account or whether you just do it all.

The important aspect here is any earnings are deposited on the parent's behalf until the children turn 18. Another consideration is capital gains tax on transfers to an 18-year old. Then the trustee of the funds will treat the transaction like a sale of your shares, and therefore make no difference to using Raiz Children's features.

Uniqueness factor

How does Raiz compare to other investing apps in Australia?

For me its the ability to have these three features all in the one platform:

  • Fractional investing (any amount of money you have can be invested)

  • Re-balancing

  • Reinvestment (automated investing)

This means Raiz will allow you to invest with whatever money you have, will make sure your portfolio is balanced the way you prefer and reinvest any dividends for you.

I believe Raiz is the cheapest way to have the three things done automatically done for you.

The roundups feature is a bonus for me. It got me going with the product, but you need to do more than that to truly build wealth.

Who is Raiz designed for?

There's a large range of people who are suited to Raiz.

Those who save regularly.

Instead of sending money to savings accounts, you can send it to Raiz and potentially get a better return.

Those that want to invest in shares

The money sent to your Raiz Account is put into ETFs which are traded on the ASX, or the stock market.

Those that want access to socially responsible investing

The Emerald Portfolio provides investments in the ESG stocks which are full of companies that mark well environmental, social, and governance.

Those that want it done for them

Raiz is a managed investment scheme. It will invest money on your behalf into your chosen portfolio. All the heavy lifting of investing in shares is done for you. No brokers, no trading, just send money to the Raiz app once set up.

Is Raiz good for beginners?

Yes it is because

  • The minimum investment is $5

  • Raiz provides helpful information to educate investors

  • You can deposit and withdraw money with easy

  • The Raiz App is simple and clear to use

Can you lose money with Raiz?

It's possible the money in your Raiz account could increase or decrease. There is no guarantee for the return or your return may result in money loss. Depending on the rates of return, the future earnings can sometimes vary from how Raiz performed in the past. The risk of your investments varies depending on age, time period, and other investments.

At any time though you can withdraw your funds via the Raiz app. Withdraws are not instant and can take a few days for your investments to be sold and money sent to your nominated account.

Is it safe to invest with Raiz?

Raiz holds an Australian Financial Services Licence, is overseen by ASIC and is listed on the Australian Stock Exchange.

The ETFs that Raiz buys on your behalf into your portfolio is not owned by you or Raiz, but by an independent custodian. If Raiz goes bust, then the custodian will return to you for you to manage (but without the awesome Raiz app!).

Does Raiz pay dividends?

Your ETFs will earn dividends on a regular basis. These dividends are automatically reinvested back into your portfolio. there is no way to have them paid to your account, but you can withdraw funds from it at any time.

In summary: Raiz Review

Raiz was my first experience using an all-app experience to invest in shares.

I've been using it ever since I created an account in 2016 and think its become one of the most strongest and obvious ways to get into the share market without barriers.

I've mentioned the benefits of fractional investing, rebalancing, and reinvesting that Raiz provides.

Considering you can start with only $5 it's a cheap way to start your investing journey, but also a solid platform to build some serious wealth.

Tim Ellis

Tim is the founder of DadInvestor where he helps people take their next steps in personal finance and investing. He provides in-depth guides, online courses, tools and personal coaching.