ANZ today launched Australia's first internet banking-based share investment account, enabling customers to invest in a fund that invests in Australia's top 200 shares with as little as $1,000.
The ANZ Online Investment Account operates just like an online savings account with the key difference being that deposits are automatically invested in a fund that invests in Australia's 200 biggest publicly listed companies, as set by ratings agency Standard & Poors (S&P/ASX200).
ANZ Managing Director Investments and Insurance, Geoff Cohen, said that ANZ's own research had identified six key forces preventing Australians from investing which included: lack of time; effort involved; perceived risk associated with investing; fear of mistakes; perceived level of knowledge required to invest; and the cost involved with traditional investments.
Mr Cohen said the ANZ Online Investment Account had been developed to provide a convenient and simple way to address these barriers and help the average Australian take their first step towards building long-term wealth by investing in the sharemarket.
"The account allows customers to make small investments, with account balances updated daily based on the performance of the ASX200 Index. It can be used like a deposit account through ANZ Internet Banking offering customers easy access to their money and low management fees.
"Although 2008 has been a difficult year for shares, they remain a good long-term investment and the ANZ Online Investment Account opens up share investing for the first time to customers who have typically not had the funds, knowledge or time to invest," Mr Cohen said.
Unlike many existing managed funds, the ANZ Online Investment Account does not require a significant amount of money to establish the account. Other features include the following:
Small deposit amounts: Minimum initial deposit of $1,000 and ongoing deposits from $100.
Low management fees: Fees are 0.25 percent of the amount deposited or withdrawn and an annual management fee of 1 percent of the total amount invested.
Easy access to money: Using a linked ANZ savings or transaction account and the convenience of ANZ Internet Banking, withdrawals are typically available within 24 hours.
Investors receive the benefits of diversifying across Australia's 200 biggest publicly listed companies, reducing the chances of any one company's performance affecting overall returns. With account performance linked to the ASX200 Index, returns are not guaranteed by ANZ or the Government.
To open an ANZ Online Investment Account, customers must have one other ANZ transaction or savings account and can open an account online