Easy Equities: Good or Bad? Honest Review
Trading in the stock markets can be confusing to the average investor. This is also true to most South Africans. To some, investing in the stock market is risky while to others it is just the right type of investment to grow your capital in a short period. In reality, the stock market is a place where financially literate investors buy and sell shares with the aim of making a profit over a specified period. It involves careful selection of stocks that when bought can rise in value so that you can make a profit. However, if the share value drops, you might lose your money by the amount of drop experienced in the market. For this reason, many South Africans fear investing in capital shares, and only a few do it and do it with big companies for good returns.
In the past, investing in the stocks or shares was a preserve of a few wealthy, and well-connected elites. Today, fin-tech has revolutionized the financial sector both in South Africa and globally and given access to anyone willing to participate in the money markets. Easy Equities is one such fin-tech innovation. Essentially, Easy Equities is a platform where you can create a trading account, fund your account and begin buying shares, bonds and ETF’s. Strap on and journey with me as we plunge into the depths of EasyEquities to learn all there is to know about the platform.
What Is Easy Equities?
Easy Equities is an investment platform that allows South Africans to invest in fractional shares and bonds. You can invest in as little as R5 with various stock markets locally and internationally. It aims to improve many South Africans’ financial lives.
Thanks to technological advancement and the discovery of the internet, stock market investments have now changed in South Africa. Easy equities allow you to enjoy the economic benefits of acquiring whole shares despite your earnings through buying fractional shares. The fractional shares give you fractional rights as you continue to invest in more shares to the point of acquiring the total shares. The platform delivers the whole claim to you once you complete the fraction. That means every Rand you invest counts, and in the end, you stand a chance to own full shares on the South African stock market.
Easy Equities act as a stock market agent for whole shares. The investor stands as the registered owner of the shares who is also entitled to dividends, participation in corporate moves, and all other benefits associated with share ownership in international stock markets or JSE Limited.
Easy Equities stands out as the principal to contract for different issued shares to the investor for fractional Shares ratio shares. Here, the investor has a contractual claim against the principal regarding the economic benefits and risks associated with the ownership without boasting ownership rights in the shares in question.
As a fractional shareholder, you should know that Fractional Share Rights (FSRs) get issued using a contract for difference and are therefore a retail derivative. Note that FSRs do not give you any voting rights. You only gain the rights when you own whole shares. So, as you continue investing in fractional shares and end up with total shares, the contract of the difference comes to a halt, and the ownership gets delivered to you.
Easy Equities Legality
Easy Equities is a South African stockbroker that was established in 2014. It boasts regulation from the Australian Securities and Investments Commission (ASIC) and South Africa’s Financial Sector Conduct Authority (FSCA). The text broker is a member of the Purple Group that is listed on the Johannesburg Stock Exchange. The two bodies ensure the stockbroker operates with utmost transparency, which has earned trust among many South Africans.
How Easy Equities Work
Easy Equity is a straightforward platform with an easily navigable website that is friendly to newbies and old users. Registration is simple, and you only go to the Easy Equities website, register with them and then log in after your account approval. Note that registration is free, and the account charges zero monthly fees.
After registration, you receive an award of R 100 000, deposited in a ZAR account and $10000 deposited in a USD account for demo. The company then allows you to locate familiar brands that you would like to invest in. Easy Equities demo also boasts ETFs and bundles of some chosen shares you can choose to invest in the demo. The purpose of the demo is to familiarize yourself with how you can easily invest in stock markets listed on the EasyEquities platform.
Once you understand how it works, you can now start buying using real money. First off, complete your profile and activate your live account. Easy equities boast three accounts that include the ZAR, USD and ZAR tax-free saving accounts. After account activation, you can choose either the ZAR or USD account.
The good thing about easy equities is that it has the ZAR tax free saving account, an ideal account for low earning South Africans. The platform automatically activates this account when you register on the platform. It allows you to invest in a broad spectrum of baskets, ETFs and bundles without getting taxed on the money you earn on capital gains, interests and dividends.
After account activation, the platform requires you to verify your identity and location. This is the only part of the easy equities application process that has some paperwork. Upload your ID copy and any utility bill that has your address. After verification, you can now deposit money into your live account through direct deposit, EFT or credit card.
How to Use the ZAR Tax-Free Savings Account (TFSA)
The South African National Treasury allows you to use your TFSA to invest in ETFs, Bundles and Baskets to a maximum of R36 000 a year and R 500 000 lifetime investment. This involves a simple process where you first fund your accessible equity account using the TFSA account number. After the deposit, you can now browse for investments on the platform’s website. Choose from the ETFs list or Baskets and Bundles. Enter the amount you wish to invest and click on the icon “BUY”!
How to Move TFSA From Current Provider to Easy Equities
Did you know you can transfer your TFSA from one provider to an Easy Equities account? This is how flexible Easy Equities is. However, before you start the process, you have two understand two types of TFSA accounts in the South African market. Each account influences the transfer process differently. The two versions include:
- Investment TFSAs: This is the account that allows you to invest your cash or funds in assets that boast various instruments such as shares, bonds and ETFs.
- Bank TFSAs: They comprise accounts that hold your funds in cash form, which earns interest. This account does not include buying shares of Exchange-Traded Funds (ETFs). However, it is the easiest transferable TFSA because of its liquidity state.
The TFSA transfer process is easy, and all you have to do is:
First off, you need to set up an Easy Equities account then fill up section A that contains investor details. This is also the TFSA transfer form. Transfer your TFSAs to your Easy Equities account. If you have a bank account, TFSA transfers your money in Rands and if you have an investment TFSA, transfer in units, shares or cash.
Note that you can choose to transfer the whole or partial amount. After the transfer, enter your EasyEquities User ID in the transfer to the part section of the form application. Once the transfer is complete, ensure that you notify your former broker and Easy Equities by sending the application form to the two parties via email.
TFSA takes 2-4 weeks to complete a transfer from one broker to an Easy Equities account. Note that there is a contribution limit that applies to TFSA accounts, and the two parties need this time to take all the details of the money or investments transferred. Also, note that transfer does not occur at the end of the tax year because it can bring problems arising from your annual and lifetime contributions limits.
Easy Equities Latest News
South Africans can now access the EasyEquities website on their smartphones, thanks to the platform’s collaboration with Telkom. They can directly send money through WhatsApp and other online wallets. This will allow them to invest in bits into shares, a promising long-term approach to stock market investing. The small deposits resemble the buy and hold strategy that is used in buying and speculating. It is like taking short-term bets on price shifts which involves timing the stock market. So, whether you are a short-term or long-term speculator, you hold considerable power in the market thanks to online stock investments started by Easy Equities.
Stock market retail investors hold more power than institutional investors. This has forced an easy equities platform to balance power and the rules that govern stock investment in South Africa in 2021. Retail investors who accounted for less than a half percent on the JSE four years ago now account for 3-5%. In the next five years, the number will escalate to over 25%.
Some of the advantages of EasyEquities include:
Low Invests Cost
Easy equities allow you to invest as low as R5. The platform also charges zero registration fees. So, you can invest in shares and ETFs using the Tax-Free Savings Account (TFSA). The account does not limit you to the number of shares you can buy per month. You buy according to your affordability for as long as you want until you hit whole shares and earn voting rights with the stock market.
You can download the EasyEquities app on your phone or visit their website using your smartphone. Thanks to Telkom and Easy Equities’ collaboration, you can now send money using your WhatsApp or online payment wallets when buying shares with the agent.
Easy Sign Up
Easy equities account is easy to sign up with. It only requires brief information from you, such as your address, ID number, and names. Once your details get verified, the agent opens an account for you to deposit money and buy shares.
Quality Customer care
Easy equities offer all its customers quality customer care services with personalized services. The platform boasts of well-trained and skilled customer care agents that respond to queries with wisdom and ample knowledge. They are calm, vibrant, and hospitable. They solve issues immediately, which is an excellent turnaround for time for their customers.
The agent allows you to deposit money into the EasyEquities account using your credit card, Eft, and direct deposit. You also have the choice of depositing money as Rands, AUD, and ZAR.
The platform has a beautiful, easily navigable, and intuitive user experience. Easy Equities made it to help you invest in stock markets you love.
The platform’s website boasts of search functions that easily find what you are searching for. It even has a filtering tool that allows you to simplify your search when looking for investment type and category tags in stocks and risk profiles as ETFs.
It allows you to transfer your funds from a different broker in a simple process. The platform accepts full or part transfers. But you have to notify your former broker and easy equities through an email. However, the transfer takes 2-4 weeks to complete, which calls for patience before the money reflects your Easy Equities account.
Easy Equities is a legal platform that subcontracts with the Purple Group in South Africa. It is regulated by two bodies that ensure that it conducts legal business with truth and transparency to every South African investor.
Despite its pros, EasyEquities also has its cons. They include:
Lacks Live Chat and Phone Access
Easy Equities website lacks a live chat that you can use to address with the customer care agents. They also have an unresponsive phone number which rarely gets picked.
Limit to Stock Analysis
Their website only limits users to stock analyses and essential chatting tools. It has also chromed the site with investment TFSAs as stocks and ETFs. It has limited bank TFSAs, which investors may think are unavailable.
The platform is only available in English, which is a disadvantage for South Africans who do not understand English. Since it is a locally made platform, the national treasury should have ensured the platform is available in other native languages South Africans understand.
The fractional shares you buy from the platform do not give you the right to vote in the stock market. You only gain the rights when you buy whole shares, and that is the only time the agent transfers the share ownership to you.
Login and Security
The platform provides a one-step login only, which is risky. It should at least include a two-step authentication for more security.
Why South Africans Should Invest with Easy Equities
Easy Equities was established to enhance South African finances in the long run. Gone are the days when only the rich could afford to buy whole shares, and stock markets got segregated for them. Today South Africans can invest as low as R5 with the company and get fractional shares. Easy equities also boast of low brokerage fees where for every R 100 you invest, and you spend 64C on brokerage fees. This is so far the cheapest stock market broker in the country.
Baskets and Bundles
The stockbroker offers investors baskets and bundles, one of the best investment solutions for stock markets for low-earning South Africans. They have handpicked shares that financial experts choose from the company. Each basket and bundle come at a fair price shared between the experts and the asset manager. The asset manager assigns a risk to every bundle and basket, allowing investors to align their investments concerning their personality and risk choice.
Easy Equities website accommodates both newbies and experienced users. It is easy to use, and the best part is that there are video demos on how to use the account and hours to invest in shares. The company provides you with complete information from which currencies to use and which bundles, baskets, or claims to invest in.
Besides giving investors the choice of buying stocks, bundles, and baskets, the brokerage also offers you the chance to trade in Exchange-Traded Funds (ETFs). So, if you wish to invest in shares and bonds easily, you can go for ETFs. Even better, you can buy assets on sale in international markets. That means you will diversify your wealth creation investing both locally and internationally.
Easy equities boast low-investment plans that can help you build your portfolio when targeting low-risk profiles for long term goals. You can invest with them for a minimum of 8 years up to your retirement age. This costs minimum monthly contributions with variable initial investments. The financial products help you keep your portfolio balanced and diverse.
Easy Equities is a financial game-changer for low-earning South Africans. This is the platform that allows you to invest in shares with very minimal cash. Although it has its shortcomings, its advantages outweigh the disadvantages, making it a handy medium. Looking at the economic situation in South Africa, where the rate of unemployment and under-employment is high, Easy Equities can change their financial status in the long run. That can only work if there is a consistent investment on fractional investments in shares until every person achieves whole shares in local and international stock markets.
Why Invest with Easy Equities?
Here are the main advantages of using the EasyEquities platform:
- Low fees
The biggest advantage of Easy Equities over competing platforms is its low broker fees. For every R100, you’ll only spend an additional 64c on broker charges.
With Easy Equities, you can buy shares at the fraction of their prices. This feature allows you to invest money in the stock market, regardless of how little money you have.
- Baskets and Bundles
To make it easier for new investors to choose the right investment solution, Easy Equities offers Baskets and Bundles.
Baskets and Bundles are collections of hand-picked shares made by financial experts from Easy Equities. Each Basket and Bundle can be cheaply purchased, and the additional cost that goes to the asset manager who created the collection is very affordable.
Each Basket and Bundle is assigned a risk rating, so you can align your investments according to your personality and risk preference. If you don’t know your risk number, you can try the free calculator on the Easy Equities portal.
Aside from stocks, Baskets, and Bundles, EasyEquities also offer trading of Exchange-Traded Funds (ETFs). ETFs are perfect for investors who want to delve into different instruments like shares and bonds with ease.
Easy Equities also lets you buy assets offered in international markets. Your wealth creation becomes more diversified as you put your money not only on the local bourse but also in the growing markets abroad.
- Financial education
EasyEquities also provide blogs and video tutorials that are full of information on how to use the platform to get you a step closer toward your financial goals.
- Automated portfolio management
Easy Equities can also help build your portfolio through low-cost investment plans suited to your risk profile and long-term goals. Investment periods range from 8 years up to retirement age, with varying initial investments and minimum monthly contributions. These financial products provide a worry-free solution for keeping your portfolio balanced and diversified.
EasyEquities got mixed reviews from its South African users. Here are the areas where the company shines and fails as an online investment platform.
EasyEquities has gained a lot of negative feedback when it comes to trading-related concerns. Many traders remain unsatisfied with the slow response of the customer service representatives in taking calls and responding to emails. Every second count for a trader and the inadequate process of Easy Equities for dealing with urgent matters has left customers irate.
Many users said they have logged several ticket requests throughout the week to no avail. Oftentimes, calls, chats, or emails can go for weeks with no response from the company.
Aside from the inconsistent customer service, some customers talked about the delayed update of stock prices and the constant lagging of the platform during market hours.
Some customers have lost money because of the unresponsive and slow update of prices on the platform. Even though these customers have portfolios showing a profit, they sold their stock positions at a loss because the real price of the stock is different from the one shown on the platform.
Once you get in touch with a consultant, you’ll experience a personalized service like no other. You’ll be welcomed by young, vibrant consultants who are easy to talk with. They’ll attend to your concerns immediately and there’s no need for rework. They can also guide you on how to set up a trading account and invest in a way that can help you reach financial stability.
In general, complaints are immediately resolved by consultants, providing an excellent turnaround time to customers. However, recently, there have been numerous instances when the customer service doesn’t respond on time. This has happened several times this 2020, probably because of limitations in staffing.
EasyEquities provides a simple and user-friendly platform for new investors to get into the stock market. Unlike other platforms that require large capital to open an account, Easy Equities entices South Africans to get invested for as low as R10 – no other platform provides this kind of feature.
If you’re new to the stock market, Easy Equities can be a suitable platform to get the hang of how to invest.
However, Easy Equities does have a couple of issues still with its bad customer service. The company is littered with complaints about having slow – or worse, unresponsive – consultants that are often out of reach in the most critical moments. Price updates on the platform are also too slow for quick executions.
If you’re an active trader looking for a very responsive platform and easily reachable consultants for fast executions, Easy Equities won’t live up to your expectations.