First in a new series ... financial advice from The Naked Investor
Kick back in your beanbag and picture this: Your new office has cold-drip, single origin coffee on tap. You can bring your pug to work, where nobody wears socks.
You park your fixie inside the office, which is a converted warehouse, probably somewhere like Brunswick or Collingwood. Of course there’s a craft brewery next door.
If that’s your dream job, then I’ve got great news – Spaceship is hiring.
Spaceship’s new and shiny. Don’t worry about the fact it’s just is a boring super fund, because it’s not like the others. Spaceship is a disrupter. Everything at Spaceship is designed for simplicity and engagement (their words, not mine).
If you don’t know about it, you’re too old
Okay, you probably already know about Spaceship through social media. If you haven’t, that’s because Spaceship’s clever marketing people are targeting Millennials. If you haven’t seen the ads, you’re probably over 40, which means you’re too old for Spaceship. Go and read Alan Kohler instead.
Truth is, the marketing’s a total crock. Spaceship’s not disruptive at all. Actually, it’s closer to AMP than Atlassian.
How’s that? Well let’s open up the pod bay door, and take a look.
Spaceship’s invests in tech companies, like Apple, Alphabet (the company formerly known as Google) and Microsoft. Just like every other super fund does.
Except the company’s hedging its bets, big time.
Another boring old super fund
Two thirds of your hard-earned goes nowhere near the tech sector. In fact most of your super will be headed towards BHP, Commonwealth, Westpac, NAB, and the rest of Australia’s biggest companies. Just like every other super fund.
In other words, you’re just buying another stodgy old index fund. Disruptive? Nah. You can tell they don’t even believe their own disruptive tag because they’re investing heavily in companies they’re trying to disrupt, like Commonwealth and Westpac.
That hasn’t stopped the boys from dragging in millions of dollars from people seduced by the shiny tech dream.
Speaking of millions, Spaceships’s even signed up a few millionaires (and billionaires) to flog the fund.
People like Atlassian co-founder Mike Cannon-Brookes, who’s backed the fund with some of his own cash.
Look, Mikey’s a smart cookie. He’s also probably lost more money down the back of the couch than most of us will ever earn. I tip my Fedora to him.
Still, I hate it when people get fucked over with fees (and yes, I can swear here, because Spaceship’s website does as well).
Super funds suck nearly $30 billion in fees from members every year, and Spaceship’s after more than it’s fair share.
Even though it’s basically an index fund (which should be dirt-cheap, like around 0.3%), people are getting stiffed with a 1.6% management fee. Plus an admin fee, a nasty buy/sell spread and if you decide it’s not for you, you’ll be pinged with another fee at the back door.
With wallet-gouging charges like that, before I got on board their Spaceship I’d be wanting dinner, drinks and bottle of lube.
Anyway, buying technology stocks isn’t a sure thing. If you don’t believe me, ask yourself when you last did a Yahoo search, or checked your MySpace account.
A start-up tech fund’s hardly groundbreaking either. Back when most of Spaceship’s target customers were playing Sonic the Hedgehog, two of Australia’s biggest fund managers - BT and Colonial First State - launched their own products stuffed full of tech stocks.
Within a few months of their star-spangled, high-cost launch, the dotcom bubble burst, and the funds lost more than half their value. They’re not around any more.
The Naked Takeaway
Spaceship’s pretty sexy, no doubt about that. I mean, how many super funds sell their own branded socks and t shirts on their website?
It’s going to be a winner for sure. For the owners, that is. I’m not so sure about the customers.
I reckon you could build a better tech portfolio at a handful of the cost yourself, and in a few weeks I’ll show you a way to do just that.
Sure, you’ll miss out on the fancy branding, but with the money you save, you could have your own shirts and socks printed.
You can follow *The Naked Investor at http://www.nudefinance.blogspot.com.au, on Facebook and on Twitter @FinanceNaked . The Naked Investor provides education, not advice. Do your own research, you know the drill.