Liberty, a South African financial services company, has developed an app that allows anyone in South Africa to invest in the Johannesburg Stock Exchange (JSE) for less than $1 (yes, one United States dollar) per transaction.
The investment app, named Stash, lets anyone invest in the JSE by letting users determine how much they want to stash, i.e. invest and then it rounds up the amount of every transaction that goes through your bank account(s), and invests your pre-determined stash per transaction in the stock market.
"Investing should be as easy as tweeting – that’s the goal of Stash."Juan Labuschagne, Head of Development at Stash
Liberty has said that one of the main reasons why they launched Stash was to remove the fear and complexity associated with investing, “When it comes to investing, getting started is the hardest part. I can remember the homework I had to do to make sense of where I was putting my money. It seemed like too much work and I kept putting it off. Investing should be as easy as tweeting – that’s the goal of Stash.” said Juan Labuschagne, Head of Development at Stash.
How it works, is that you determine an amount you want to round-up for every card swipe you make, for example, let' say you decide that you want to round-up every card transaction to the nearest R10 (approximately $0.80), then the next time you buy that burger meal that costs R81.00 ($6.00) Stash will round the amount up to R90.00 ($6.75) and invest the difference, R9.00 ($0.75), in the stock exchange.
Not only does Stash allow you to invest in the JSE for low amounts and no fees, it also takes a lot of the hassle out of investing. The app eliminates all the complicated investment jargon, processes, tedious forms, cashing out difficulties and reduces the amount of time it takes to meet with a financial adviser. You can also withdraw your money anytime you want to.
“All this spare change accumulates without interfering with your day-to-day life. Stash checks your daily bank balance and never transfers more than you can afford, so you don’t have to worry about going into overdraft. Before you know it you’ll have a significant Stash balance. Your Stash grows as fast as South Africa’s biggest companies do because your spare change is invested in South Africa’s top 100 listed companies.” explained Labuschagne.
Added to all this, you don’t pay any tax on the cash that is stashed. South African legislation allows people to invest up to R33,000 (approximately $2,474) a year and up to R500,000 ($37,490) over their lifetime, tax-free, and Stash takes advatage of this.
"Our goal is to get Stash in the hands of as many people as possible, so focusing on 90% of the market was ideal,” concluded Labuschagne.