FirstStep is in its Beta testing phase at the moment and plans to release the App to the app store in April 2017.
What is FirstStep?
The App rounds the transactions on the bank account you nominate, and invests them in FirstStep, into investments you choose. It makes small amounts work harder and grow over time. If rounding up your transactions to the nearest dollar is not for you, then that's ok, you can invest each fortnight using direct debit.
FirstStep is a simple and cost effective way to save money and regularly invest small and large amounts. It makes saving and investing easy and accessible, and part of your everyday life – all from your smartphone.
FirstStep, or the FirstStep Fund, is really a trust and OneVue RE Services Limited is our trustee. Sometimes you hear people call these things a ‘managed investment scheme’. It’s just another name for the same thing. Trusts are common, in Australia at least. They are simply a legal way to carefully hold your money, mixed (or pooled) with other FirstSteppers. FirstStep Investments Australia Pty Ltd (FirstStep Investments) invented FirstStep, developed and runs the FirstStep App and website (together, the App), and decides which investments are available to choose from.
You must be at least 18 years old to open a FirstStep account.
Currently FirstStep is available only to Australian residents.
Once you download and install the FirstStep app, link your bank account if you would like to round-up virtual change, link your bank account to fund investments. If you have these details available on hand, you can be up and running in a couple of minutes.
Yes, the current daily deposit limit is $1,000.
FirstStep is currently available on iOS devices. FirstStep will be coming to Android shortly!
No - you can only have one profile
Download the free FirstStep app from the app store. Sign up using your online banking login information and nominate your accounts that you want FirstStep to withdraw and deposit from.
During the sign up you’ll get a log-on and a password, and FirstStep Investments will send a passcode to your device which will verify access and check you’re not a robot.
It tells you about the FirstStep Fund (FirstStep) and is prepared by OneVue RE Services Limited, the responsible entity (or trustee) of FirstStep. The law regulates documents like this, so our trustee must tell you certain things, in a certain order, and we can’t take more than 8 pages. Read the document and read it carefully before you start to invest.
FirstStep gives you access to a range of ‘Investment Options’. Each represents a different mix of investments and each feels and is different. FirstStep’s range of Investment Options allows you to choose what sort of investment portfolio you will have. They are explained in the Investment Options booklet which is part of this PDS.
Over time, Exchange Traded Products (ETPs) in your portfolio increase and decrease in value, resulting in a change to your risk profile. To return your portfolio to your desired risk profile, FirstStep will automatically rebalance portfolios. On a quarterly basis we will actively rebalance your profile to your desired allocation, if the allocation varies by greater than 5%.
Yes, FirstStep gives you access to a range of ‘Investment Options’. Each represents a different mix of investments and each feels and is different. The Investment Options may change from time to time. FirstStep’s range of Investment Options allows you to choose what sort of investment portfolio you will have. They are explained in the Investment Options booklet which we have sent you. That booklet is part of this PDS. Further information can also be found in the App. Take the time to explore the options that interest you. As Investment Options change, the App will let you know, and you can read about them on the App or in the updated Investment Options booklet.
FirstStep receives dividends from the ETPs it invests in. These dividends are reinvested in your portfolio on your behalf.
You can change your exposure by changing your core investment option.
Making you money work better involves some risks. Risk is a part of investing. Risk happens. Risks can mean that you lose money as investments can go down in value. The risks associated with investing through FirstStep range from low to high – it depends on the particular mix of Investment Options which make up your FirstStep account. Changes in value can be big and can happen quickly. As a general rule, the higher the potential returns, the higher the level of risk. Neither returns nor the money you invest in FirstStep is guaranteed. The significant risks associated with FirstStep include those set out below. They are detailed more in our Additional Information booklet. It’s available free from the App.
Deposits and withdrawals
Once a week. If you decide you do not want to invest your virtual change and make a recurring deposit instead, you will invest every fortnightly.
So each day FirstStep Investments will look at your bank account, to see if there are any new purchases that are less than a whole dollar. Say you bought a coffee for $4.50. They then do some simple math, rounding up to the next whole dollar – in this case to $5.00 – and they withdraw that difference - $0.50 - moving the cash to your FirstStep account.
When you link your spending account our secure software tracks your transactions. Every time you make a payment using a credit or debit card, FirstStep earmarks the amount up to the nearest dollar. At the end of the week, the total amount from all your transactions is invested.
You can make one time or recurring deposits from a nominated bank. For recurring deposits you can specify the frequency of deposits and amounts.
Yes, the current daily deposit limit is $1000.
No, you can withdraw your entire investment if you wish.
Your FirstStep account name also needs to be the same name as the bank account you link it to. You can change your bank account but the name still needs to be the same as your FirstStep account name.
Australian Executor Trustees, a professional custodian, independent from FirstStep holds your investments. A ET Executor Trustees Limited (AET) is one of Australia’s largest and oldest licensed trustee companies. AET has been providing custody and trustee services for over 130 years, having been established in 1880. AET is a member of the IOOF Holdings Limited (“IOOF”) Group, a leading provider of wealth management products and services in Australia. IOOF is an ASX200 listed company.
By providing your bank login details, it allows FirstStep Investments to categorise your spending so you can monitor your spending habits and find investment opportunities. This information is encrypted and is not readable or viewable by FirstStep - it’s simply used to import your spending activity.
All our data is stored using AES-256 encryption and 2048-bit SSL Security. Security is a major priority for us, that is why we have spent a lot of our capital on penetration testing, facilitated by an overseas third party who specialises in testing military grade security measures.
When you use FirstStep, your bank details are encrypted and are not visible or readable by anyone, not even by us.
Yes, every time you want to make a withdrawal we will send you an email with a link to verify your withdrawal instruction.
Your account with FirstStep will not be compromised. You will need to unlink your stolen or lost card from your FirstStep account. You can do this in the App.
We automatically log you out if you close or switch to other apps. We encourage you to set up a secret pin-code or enable touch ID for applicable iOS devices.
This is so we can issue you an end of financial year tax form. You do not have to disclose your TFN but most FirstSteppers do. If you don’t have a TFN yet, you can ask the tax office for one online. We suggest you do this before you sign up. If you choose not to tell us your TFN and you do not have an exemption, we must deduct tax at the highest personal rate, plus the Medicare levy, before paying any distribution to you..
In addition to , multi factor authentication, email validation and automatic logouts, our smart software monitors your account for any suspicious activity.
Yes, we will. If this happens, please contact the FirstStep Team ([email protected]) to unlock your account..
Even if you delete the app, your FirstStep account and investments continue to be maintained. You can re-download the app and log into your account.
We would hate to see you go, but you can close your FirstStep account anytime! How? Just use the “Close my account” option in the App. FirstStep Investments will stop checking your bank account for money which can be invested, we will sell investments as we need to and you will be paid your FirstStep account balance less anything else you have to pay. We are usually done in a few days and FirstStep Investments will usually have the money in your bank account a day or two later. If you close your account in the first three months we usually deduct a $3 processing fee.
Use the App to tell us how much you would like to withdraw. FirstStep Investments can usually only place an order to sell investments on Sydney business days when the ASX is open. It usually then takes a couple of Sydney business days to get our hands on the cash. Unusually it can take longer.
Use the App to find your latest account balance.
At any time, you can choose to pause your virtual change contributions, from all or any selected accounts.
Taxes and Fees
What follows is a general guide only. Tax can be complex. Find an accountant you trust and speak to them before making investment decisions. At each 30 June - Investments often earn income, and each year after 30 June we credit this to your FirstStep account and (rather than paying it to your linked account) reinvest it to keep it working for you. You can withdraw any time. FirstSteppers will usually incur an income tax liability on their distributions, whether reinvested or not. Withdrawals - In normal circumstances you can access your invested money pretty promptly. You will usually incur a capital gains tax liability when you make a withdrawal (including switching between Investment Options and portfolio rebalancing) and when you change your account name to someone else.
Section 6 ("Fees and costs") of the PDS shows fees and other costs that you may be charged. These fees and costs may be deducted from your money, from the returns on your investment or from the assets of the managed investment scheme as a whole.
There is a cost associated with investing in exchange traded products (or ETPs). FirstStep Investments estimates these as between 0.15% per year and 0.30% of your FirstStep account balance per year. The actual cost may be more or less than this. To give you a feel for this, if you had a FirstStep account balance of $500, then this would be between $0.75 and $1.50 each year.