Spaceship Voyager Fee Change

Just received an email from these guys, no longer free for under $5k, now any balance over $100 will attract a fee of $2.50 a month.

Anyone thinking of leaving with this change, or you think it's still worth it?

Spaceship: Changes to fees

Edit - Poll thanks to polarq

Poll Options

  • 99
  • 199
  • 93
    Never had an account, wont consider spaceship for future investments
  • 7
    Never had an account, will consider spaceship for future investments

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    • +34

      It's a bait and switch, so far.

      And you need to sell and declare capital gains if you want to leave.

      And how nice of them to announce this right as the stock market is dumping the last few days.

      • -1

        And how nice of them to announce this right as the stock market is dumping the last few days.

        Yeah its great, I only got onto them recently, so am actually down at the moment. Going to put it on LIS instead.

      • -3

        Bait and switch? They've had the same fee structure for ages. It seems reasonable to me, there is a cost to service small accounts (including those with very small balances).

      • Bait and switch?

        It was obvious no fees wasn't going to be forever. One of the reasons I didn't join because I knew this was gonna happen at some point. It's still cheap though.

    • +13

      That's around 0.5% to 0.6% p.a. Some good ETFs with annual management fees which are half of that figure.

      I'll weigh it up. Spaceship does allow you to do regular investments which are fee-free, but Vanguard's recent changes to their PI program allow something similar I believe - I will need to look into it.

    • +9

      My original plan was actually this… but will prob just cash out and throw it back into ETH.

      • +23

        a fee change is causing you to switch from low fee passive index investing to going all in on a single crypto?

        interesting decision process lol

        • +1

          Nothing to do with the fees. The returns have been average at best compared to my results with crypto.

          • +3

            @Jimothy Wongingtons: i guess my point is looking at short term crypto returns and comparing to short term equity returns is not going to yield you much useful information. the stockmarket has hundreds of years of proven investment returns whereas crypto is more of a speculative play, which in comparison has had a very short life (and yes stratospheric returns). i personally would not be considering my 'investment' funds as interchangeable with something like putting money into crypto or other riskier asset classes. each to their own!

          • +1

            @Jimothy Wongingtons: You are comparing an indexed fund with crypto? Really? They are probably much further apart than apples and oranges.

            • @truetypezk: Canada has 4 ETH ETFs.

              Comparing EFTs are apples vs apples.

              • @rektrading: I think the keyword is indexed. ETF or not, if you are betting on a single asset, it is still of much higher risk than an indexed fund.

    • +22

      The idiots there want Spaceship to allow them to build a balance up to $5k at no cost

      Oh, what would have given them this crazy idea? Oh, maybe the fact that Spaceship specifically advertised no fees under $5k.

      Then give a month of notice (after a market dump) so users have no time to prepare for capital gains events.

      • +1

        You conveniently leave out the next part of my comment to make an argument 'so they can switch to a Vanguard for free'

        The team at Spaceship kept seeing this from fund flows and had to eventually do something to incentivise people to keep building in their ecosystem.

        • +2

          Well I'd think the majority did not partake in the practice you're talking about.

          For the $3500 I have in there, the fee is now 0.8% per year instead of 0.03% in IVV?

          • -3

            @watwatwat: IVV is an ETF based in US, I have no interest in holding those directly, I prefer to keep my affairs simple and pay an extra $25 a year.

            • +2

              @tightm8: IVV is also an ASX listed and Australian domiciled ETF.

              Also it returned 32.53% in the last year, which is higher than all Spaceship plans.

              • +3

                @watwatwat: Spaceship is up 126% since inception. IVV is up 77% in the same time frame.

                • @Autonomic: Wouldn't the typical user of spaceship be investing primarily in one portfolio?

                  Are we saying 120% is across the spaceship platform, as opposed to the 75% increase under one portfolio of IVV. If that's the case, it's not a particularly fair judgement? I'm keen to know more about your thoughts. I am involved with VG and Spaceship, investment wise, and keen to learn.

                  I could be wrong, happy to learn from others.

              • @watwatwat: Good info to know. I wasn't familiar with IVV.

        • Spaceships fee structure was never going to be sustainable. Even now they only have $1bn AUM. If every dollar was somehow above the $5k threshold, they'd still only be making $1M in revenue, which is nothing.

          • @Autonomic: As mentioned elsewhere, even with this new fee scale, say they have 500k paying customers, it's not going to be a massive payday for them…

            • @tightm8: Tbh I expect a further price rise. They currently have 200k+ users though and $6M is a damn sight better than <$1M.

          • @Autonomic:

            Spaceships fee structure was never going to be sustainable.

            And thus they went for the bait and switch. Why even offer it in the first place? Like others have said, to boost their growth numbers to their investors and then enact the bait+switch.

          • @Autonomic: They think people would stay with a flat fee structure. People won't, will be a hurdle to people joining.

            There is a reason why ETFs use % not flat fee. The space cadets at spaceship are going to get a rude awakening.

            They could try sliding scale capped at $x a year.

            • @netjock: I'm assuming they're going to move to Raiz's model, which is successful with new investors. Plenty of people will just say "$2.50 a month? That's nothing" (see this thread) and those with more knowledge will also understand that the equivalent MER for a large enough balance is relatively low.

              • @Autonomic: If you look at the superannuation model. There is always people who don't look at the fees and even performance of their investments.

                It just depends on which way you can find more suckers.

    • +3

      Personally the closest ETF I'd compare this to would be NDQ, which has a 0.48% management fee which is the equivalent of having $6,250 in spaceship.

      edit: You can also apparently tax deduct this fee so it might be even lower.

  • -1

    Spaceship has a fund and sells 'shares' based on their bundled up fund made up of a variety of actual shares.
    The price they sell each share for is set by them..why dont they just build the fee into this?

    Where does the $2.50 come out of anyway? Does it come out of the money paid when you sell?
    I see the fee is deducted from the portfolio directly.

    I will prob dump Spaceship once my 12 months is up to minimize CGT. The returns have been soso compared to the experimental crypto portfolio I set up at the same time I started w/ spaceship.

    • +11

      experimental crypto portfolio

      Spaceship and crypto have fairly different risk profiles though.

      • Please don't explain further, people these days don't understand the concept of risk. They just look at absolute return and pick their "investment".

        • -1

          Haha true

  • Traders can expect more el-cheapo brokers to follow this trend.

  • +6

    $30 p.a. is equivalent to $30k portfolio on the old fee structure. Fyi stake is launching $3 ASX chess sponsored trading. Or can look at superhero if you dont mind custodian. They have $0 fee etf trading

    • +1

      $0 brokerage doesn't mean zero fees. ETFs have their own management fees.

      • +4

        Fair point But if your portfolio is only $1k, the ETF management fee can be as low as 40c p.a.

        Anyway just pointing out some options. Not necessarily saying 1 is better than the other.

    • +4

      It was actually 35k, since the first $5k was fee free.

    • +2

      Superhero has $0 ETF purchases. They still charge you for selling.

  • +3

    I though you was on some Spaceship ride prepaid in advance !

  • +2

    They are already taking their management fee on every dividend and transaction they make in the portfolio.

    To then charge $2.50 on low balances like $5k is quite high.

    • The $2.50 fee replaces the existing management fee.

      • No what I'm referring to is the Unit price which represents your share of the portfolio isn't the full fair value of the underlying assets. Think of it as the bank charging you for foreign currency exchange above the market rate and calling it 'no fees'.

        Completely fair for them to charge a management fee like that, every ETF does it. But $2.50 on top of that when the balance is so low is not fair.

        • +5

          No what I'm referring to is the Unit price which represents your share of the portfolio isn't the full fair value of the underlying assets.

          Where are you getting this information from?

  • +16

    I think it kills the micro investing aspect of the platform.

    I've got about $500 in Spaceship at the moment, and have been adding $50/month. With the $2.50 monthly fee, it no longer makes sense to keep a balance in this range (equates to a 6% p.a. fee).

    It would only make sense to me with a balance of <$100 or >$5000.

    At this stage will probably just take the CGT hit and move on. Simpler just to leave the $500 in a "high interest" savings account for now.

    • +5

      Well if the investment is giving you a higher return than a savings account (which most likely it will, especially the longer you hold it), then there is no point on putting your money in a savings account. Especially if your money is devaluing with inflation

      • +3

        Agreed that the savings account is not a good long term solution, but 6% p.a. in fees is unsustainable when there are plenty of lower cost options available.

        Will start investigating options like CommSec Pocket, which seems better (at first glance) for ~$500ish balances.

        • +3

          Would recommend investing at least $1000 at a time as the brokerage is a flat $2 up to $1000 and 0.2% for trades above $1000.

          • @ascorbic: Yeah, agree. I hit 21% up on pocket for tech savvy (NDQ). Spaceship returns haven't been great comparatively for similar timeframes.

            • @blorx: Same, I hit about 20% on NDQ from last year so I impulsively bought the small dip a couple weeks back. Of course, terrible timing with my luck as the last two weeks have been down and yesterday was a big drop! Urgh, should have waited. Oh well, it has performed well in the long term.

              • @ascorbic: Why didn't you buy the dip? It's basically free money.

                • @rektrading: Don't know if it'll go down further. With my luck, it probably would if I bought yesterday.

                  • +1

                    @ascorbic: Dips are gifts but unlike presents don't come on set dates like birthdays or Christmas.

    • -1

      A high interest saving account will get you 1 percent return per annum, 2 at most. Spaceship has gone up 30 percent over the last financial year. If you invested 500 .. the annual return would be :
      savings acct : $25 to $50
      spaceship : $150 - $30(fees) = $120

      Therefore you are still better off with a small amount invested by a massive percentage difference.
      But hey how dare they charge you $2.5 for providing you with a sevice. Sticks and forks at them for such blasphemy.

      • +3

        isn't the savings account going to be more like 5-10 dollars. Looks like you did 5-10%

        • It's a high interest saving account.

      • +2

        Need another pandemic market crash to see returns like that again

        Past performance is not an indication of future…..

  • +11

    It's such a shame. Think I agree, I'll be taking the CGT hit and moving my money.

  • +3

    Traders not being able to transfer their holdings to a different broker without selling sounds like a scam.

  • Glad I didn't jump on this, everything else that I have invested in this year (crypto and etf) have lost me money so far, not selling though and holding with the hopes it will eventually come good.

  • +7

    Such a shame. Great concept now undone by greed. I have about $500 in Spaceship and doing $15/week investment has been great but with this fee change I will be cashing out and taking the CGT hit

  • +2

    The new $2.50/month fee will replace the existing percentage fee. However the existing percentage fee is already quite low — 0.05% pa for balance above $5,000 for Spaceship Origin for example. That means you need to have more than $65,000 in the portfolio to pay more than $30/year in fees ($2.50/month x 12), negating the whole idea of micro-investing.

    However when you have more in the portfolio, the fixed fee & $0 brokerage makes them cheaper than some ETF.

  • Yep, I agree. I will cash out with a CGT hit. Question for those who have sold off their investments before.

    So far, I have invested $155 in Universe, $155 in Earth and $155 in Origin (total $465 across the 3 investments). All 3 investments are currently in loss. Universe has a return of negative $2.70, Earth has a return of negative $3.90 and Origin has a return of negative $1.54. Total loss is $8.14. If I sell these, this will trigger a CGT event will no discount on CGT (held for less than 1 year). After selling these, will I receive $456.86 (original investment of $465 less loss)? How will CGT be calculated on $8.14 which is a loss, not a gain?

    • +3

      It can be used as a carry-forward capital loss, which you can apply to future CGT gain from selling, and/or offset against any capital-gain distributions from ETFs (part of which are typically capital gains).

      • I was unaware that I could carry forward capital loss, so thank you for this. It does mean that I will somehow need to remember how much is carried forward, unless ATO records this transaction.

        • +4

          It does mean that I will somehow need to remember how much is carried forward, unless ATO records this transaction.

          ATO remembers it, but you have to remember to tick the 'I am carrying forward a capital loss' box every year until you have something to offset it against.

  • +5

    Fcuk this!!! I just created a new account and invested $25 yesterday. 🤦🏻‍♂️

    A flat fee makes no sense at all. Fees should always be tiered or percentage based.

    Someone with a portfolio value of $150 paying the same $2.50 monthly fee as someone with a portfolio value of $1,500 makes absolutely no sense.

    Honestly it looks like these folks have forgotten the basics of finance.

    • +4

      keep it at $25 and you pay no fees. Move somewhere else. Don't invest in someone that's not trustworthy

      • +1

        Yes that's what I intend doing. Leave my $25 there and forget about it for a while. It’ll be a long time before it gets past $100 by itself. 😊

    • +3

      It seems they only want to keep big players. I checked and actually I'm in the category which breaks even with the change in fees. Which means as my investment grows from now on, it'll be cheaper than the old fee system. But I doubt I'd be in the majority.

      • +1

        Lucky for you. Indeed some people with higher portfolios would probably be at the inflection point where this change either doesn’t make a difference or actually benefits them.

        I joined because I want to start small - and as a micro investment selling point - they had me. Sadly that has now changed.

        • +2

          I started small too, but that was a few years ago. The universe unit price was under $1 when I started, so I've had big gains so far. I would have recommended it to others, and I have in the past, but now I don't think I can.

      • You are ahead today at $2.50. But if the doubled it in a year and kept milking you like a cow how would you feel?

        • I better double my investment too then

  • +4

    With this new monthly fee, what would people suggest for small investors (under $5k)?

    My daughter has been working last summer & this school holiday, and has been asking me about where to park the money (that has better return than HISA). I was going to suggest Spaceship as it's really the easiest. Now it's probably pointless as the fee would be too high.

    • +3

      I'm also thinking the same thing. This is a little investing setup for my infant son for when he is older which I mostly pull from cashrewards for the investment money.

    • I guess that depends on how you would like to invest your $5k. If you are going in 1 lump sum, and for long term, I think the CHESS sponsored broker (e.g. COMM SEC, NAB TRADE) is the way to go. $20 might be worth it to have a peace of mind.

      Personally, commission free is mainly for day trader, where they don't mind who holds their shares cause they buy and sell frequently.

      • +1

        For CHESS sponsored there are also SelfWealth, ThinkMarkets and upcoming Stake that charge less for brokerage. However I would suggest my kids to put aside some small savings regularly, like $50/month. Brokerage would eat through those, and you can't trade fractional shares in those products.

    • -2

      My suggestion won't popular so I'll keep it to myself. However, I've left clues for people that are interested.

      • +1

        Crypto? Might not be a bad idea if they're small amounts and you're young.

    • Maybe Sharesies? Should be 0.5% fee for orders under $3k, plus 0.1% (on top of 0.5%) for orders over $3k. $50 a month in an ETF should only cost 25cents per deposit according to their calculator. You can also buy fractional shares in shares and ETFs

      • I was thinking of Sharsies as well but having to decide with ETF to pick is the hard part for me. Other option I looked was Vanguard High Growth Index Fund but haven't done much research yet

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