Shares app resonates with SMSF investors

09-Jun-2014

By Krystine Lumanta

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Share-market information app StockLight is experiencing strong take-up from self-directed SMSF investors, as they look for deeper investment information on Australian shares.

The StockLight app, launched a year ago, is underpinned by technical architecture that calculates financial ratios for all the companies listed on the Australian Securities Exchange and filtering tools for quantitative analysis.

Take-up had been rapid, with almost 20,000 downloads in Australia, StockLight said.

“We’ve recently launched other filtering tools so that investors can find stocks based on PE (price-earnings) ratios and dividend yield, which has actually been quite well received because a lot of our audience are SMSF investors,” StockLight technical director Jason Kotchoff told selfmanagedsuper.

“We’ve had a lot of calls to our customer service team from StockLight users who have an SMSF [and] are looking for dividend-yielding stocks and so they’re using the feature to find them based on market cap and industry.

“We recently conducted a survey that indicated that 55 per cent of our audience is aged over 50 and 23 per cent of our audience is aged over 60, which surprised us because we weren’t aware of the take-up with newer technology amongst that audience – we’ve found a large proportion of those users actually run their own SMSF.”

Kotchoff said specifically the SMSF users were self-funded grey nomads with iPads and tablets.

“A lot of them are quite experienced investors, but they’re on the move and travelling, so they want to access information to manage their own portfolio, but they need the information [to come through a channel] that gives them the freedom to access it in a mobile way,” he said.

The app created slight disintermediation in terms of financial advice, he said.

“The StockLight platform does to some extent suit a more self-directed style of investor, as opposed to an investor who would be using a financial adviser to help them make decisions,” he said.

“Our vision is to become the number one stocks app globally and so we want to be the first resource that people go to when they’re thinking about investing in the stock market.

“Inherently, that presents a threat to financial advisers to some extent and it’s not going to replace what they do, but at the same time it is something that will provide an alternative for their audience in regards to stock research.”

As StockLight currently only focused on Australia equities, it did not have the capability to communicate the importance of diversification into other asset classes, he said.

“So we wouldn’t recommend that StockLight is the be all and end all for an investor,” he said.

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