Spaceship Voyager investing review from an experienced and long-term investor. Is Spaceship investing safe and can this app help you learn to invest?
Spaceship Voyager is a popular Australian micro-investing platform. With over 125,000 investors, Spaceship Voyager is one of the most commonly used investing platforms, giving investors a choice of three diversified investment fund offerings. With the ability to make regular deposits from your Australian bank account weekly, fortnightly or monthly, Spaceship is a pretty slick and simple way to start investing your money and get it working for you.
Spaceship voyager used to be fee-free for balances below $5,000, but they recently lowered that threshold to $100 which makes them much less attractive than they used to be. In this Spaceship Voyager review, I’ll share more info about what the app does, the options for investing and my personal experience using it.
Spaceship Voyager and the spaceship super fund has recently been issued a stop order by ASIC, with the following information taken from an article originally published by money magazine;
Spaceship is the first superannuation fund to be slapped with stop orders, which have also been applied to its Voyager Funds series.
The orders apply to the Spaceship Earth Portfolio, Spaceship Origin Portfolio, Spaceship Universe Portfolio, and Spaceship Super – marking the first time a super fund has been penalised with stop orders under the Design and Distribution Obligations.
The orders were served on May 31, barring Spaceship Capital and its issuer Diversa from distributing or providing financial product advice to retail clients recommending the products.
ASIC is concerned the existing target market determination for Spaceship Super has too broad of a target market and does not adequately account for the product’s risks.
ASIC says the target returns for the investment options were too low to be consistent with investors in the target market, who were identified as seeking high returns, and also that there was a mismatch between the investment risk profile of the options versus the investors. Further, there had been insufficient consideration given to associated investment risk features, like concentration, market and currency risks.
“Furthermore, ASIC considered that the distribution conditions in the TMD were not appropriate to ensure that Spaceship Super would likely be distributed to consumers in the target market,” it said.
ASIC held similar concerns about the Voyager Funds, saying the risk profiles of the products (very high risk) did not match those of the target markets (medium and high). The TMDs also stated a potential investment timeframe of two years or more, when the PDS states seven years.
In a statement, Spaceship said: “In complying with the interim stop order, Spaceship has temporarily suspended the ability for new customers to sign up to the Spaceship Universe Portfolio, the Spaceship Earth Portfolio, and the Spaceship Origin Portfolio (together, the Spaceship Voyager portfolios), as well the ability for current customers to make additional investments.”
“Invest in your future, so you can live the life you want to live”Spaceship Voyager CMO
- Automated and very easy to use
- No fees if your balance is below $100
- Choice of passive index portfolio vs active tech portfolio
- Ethical investment option
- Can’t switch portfolios without making a new account
- Not CHESS sponsored
- Must provide bank details
- Potentially sells your aggregated purchasing information
- $3.50 per month fee is above $100 balance erodes your investment returns
Verdict: Spaceship Voyager is one option for a micro-investing platform, however choose your investment portfolio wisely. They are currently under investigation by ASIC and no new customers can sign up
What is Spaceship Voyager?
The futuristic-sounding Spaceship Voyager app is a mobile investment app aimed at investors in Australia.
It’s designed as an easy-to-use, low-cost way to buy into a fund that will then invest in a wide range of stocks. This makes it perfect for beginners. But the features and performance of the Spaceship Voyager app also make it a worthwhile option for experienced investors to consider.
Spaceship Voyager offers three investment alternatives:
- Universe Portfolio: This fund invests in companies that Spaceship thinks meets its criteria of “Where the World is Going”. Think companies like Spotify, Tesla and Apple.
- Origin Portfolio: This fund focuses on the 100 largest international companies and the largest 100 companies in Australia.
- Earth Portfolio: The most recent fund to be offered, this invests in companies that have a positive social or environmental impact. Examples include Atlassian and First Solar.
The Earth and Universe portfolios are both actively managed funds. This means the fund manager picks which companies it thinks will perform well (based on the fund’s investment criteria).
On the other hand, the Origin portfolio is more like the popular exchange traded funds (ETFs). The fund takes a passive, rules-based approach to choosing its investments.
Signing up and getting started on the Spaceship Voyager app
A key feature of the Spaceship Voyager investment app is that they make it amazingly simple to get started:
- Download the mobile app from the App Store (for Apple) or Google Play (for Android). Use someone’s affiliate link to get a $5 bonus!
- You’ll be asked to select a portfolio, from the three available choices.
- Next, agree to the various terms and conditions. They will do a credit check and you provide identity details (such as your driver’s licence number). They will also verify you are not a tax resident outside Australia.
- Link the app to your bank account. The app says it uses 256-bit encryption and won’t store your bank details.
- Choose how much you want to add as an initial investment amount. Alternatively, set up a plan to make regular contributions (weekly, fortnightly or monthly).
- Congratulations – you’re now an investor!
Why choose Spaceship Voyager?
The features of the Spaceship Voyager investment app definitely make it worth considering:
- Cost. The app is a cheap way to get started investing low amounts in the sharemarket to learn about investing. There are no fees for balances below $100. However, for balances above $100 you pay a flat fee of $2.50 per month.
- Diverse portfolio. Each fund gives you instant diversification, spreading your money (and risk) across a wide range of companies, sectors and countries.
- Easy to use. There is no minimum investment, and the app is straightforward, letting you transact from your phone while you’re on the move.
- Newsfeed and portfolio information. The app provides a newsfeed with articles and updates about the companies the fund is invested in. You can also click to read about each individual company in the portfolio. It’s a great way to start to learn more about investing.
- Making tax time easy. Spaceship provides you with an annual statement to help you complete your Australian tax return.
The low fees and no minimum investment make Spaceship Voyager perfect for micro-investing. This is a strategy where you regularly accumulate small amounts over time. The problem with a traditional broker or share trading platform is that they charge a minimum fee per transaction. That fee can be $20 per trade, for some of the best-known platforms. That’s not a cost-effective strategy if you only want to make small investments at regular intervals. With this app, micro-investing becomes worthwhile, making it a great tool for long-term wealth building.
The low fee approach also allows you to achieve dollar cost averaging, an investment strategy praised by legendary investor Warren Buffett. The idea is that it’s too hard for the average investor to pick the bottom of the market. Instead, it’s better to invest a fixed amount at regular intervals.
Investors will also want to consider the past performance of the funds provided by Spaceship Voyager. Remember that the funds put an emphasis on particular sectors. Previous returns will be influenced by how those sectors have performed recently. Performance is based on the unit price (hopefully!) rising over time. Investors also receive income in the form of distributions.
Is Spaceship Voyager safe?
Spaceship Voyager is regulated in Australia by ASIC, in the same way as other financial institutions are. It has now been around for a few years and is being used by more than 100,000 Australian customers.
As with any investment in the sharemarket, your money will be at risk. So, all the usual disclaimers apply – your investment can go up or down, returns can vary, and past performance is not a guide to the future.
Share investments should therefore be a long-term proposition, so you can ride out any short-term dips in the market. One risk with the Spaceship Voyager app might be, because it is so easy to use (and there are no exit fees), you might be more tempted to act on an impulse and withdraw your money early. This might be when the market is low – and you could lose money. So, you’ll need some discipline to stay invested.
You also have to remember that what you own is units in a fund. You don’t own the actual shares themselves. When you are ready to sell (or “redeem”) your units, the price you get will be based on the closing price at the end of that day (or the next day). There will then be a delay of a few days before you get your money. Also, Spaceship can temporarily suspend withdrawals (as can other funds too). This might be, for example, when too many people try to withdraw at the same time.
Finally, some investors might find they want more choice or flexibility, which they won’t get with this investment app. However, for many investors, the mix of companies will be exactly right. In the end, this comes down to personal preference.
Spaceship Voyager review: My experience using this investment app
I couldn’t of course do a Spaceship review without trying it for myself! The process to sign up to Spaceship Voyager app was super quick and simple. I signed up using an affiliate code to score myself a free $5 (you can do the same if you sign up here!) and followed the bouncing ball online. They needed a few basic details from me:
- Phone number
- Date of birth
And then asked me to select one of the following portfolios (funds) to invest in.
- Universe Portfolio. This fund invests in companies that Spaceship thinks meets its criteria of “Where the World is Going”. Think companies like Spotify, Tesla and Apple.
- Origin Portfolio. This fund focuses on the 100 largest international companies and the largest 100 companies in Australia
- Earth Portfolio. The most recent fund to be offered, this invests in companies that have a positive social or environmental impact. Examples include Atlassian and First Solar.
So which one did I pick?
Well the Universe and Earth portfolio are both actively managed funds and the Origin portfolio is a passively run ETF (top 100 global and top 100 Aussie stocks). Well, as you all know, I’m not a fan of actively managed funds due to their higher costs and the fact that active fund managers statically underperform the market most of the time (except for the low fee old school grandaddy LICs which I buy through a conventional broker).
However, due to the success of the Universe portfolio it really came down to a decision between the Universe portfolio versus the Origin portfolio.
Spaceship Voyager Origin Equal Weight Index Portfolio (passive index-style fund)
The Origin Portfolio invests your money as 15-25% into a target equal weight ASX100 funds, 70-80% in a target equal weight Global 100 fund (that is, an equal share of the the top 100 Australian and global companies by market capital, respectively) and the remaining 0-10% as cash. Spaceship uses their own equal weight index rather than a traditional market capital index ETF to try and get less exposure to the top 10, and more exposure to the bottom 90 for example. Balances under $5,000 attract no management fees, but above $5,000 you will pay .05%. For example, that means that a $10,000 portfolio will attract a yearly fee of $2.50.
Spaceship Voyager Universe ‘Where the World is Going’ Portfolio (active stock-picking fund)
The Universe Portfolio is a mix of Australian shares, global shares and cash in the same proportion of the Origin Portfolio. However, rather than using an equal weight index, they use their own ‘Spaceship WWG’ (Where the World is Going) index. This is a rules based stock picking index, with a maximum of 2.5% in any one company within an asset class, to try and pick emerging stocks with a good prospect of capital growth, for example FAANG tech stocks (Facebook, Apple, Amazon, Netflix and Google).
In this respect, the Universe Portfolio is an actively managed fund that tries to pick stocks (hmmmm). The fees for the Universe portfolio are proportionately higher, double than the Origin Equal weight Index portfolio, at .1% per annum. Again – the first $5,000 is ‘free’, so a $10,000 balance would attract a $5 annual management fee.
My choice: Spaceship Voyager Origin Portfolio
I weighed the increased fees up against the performance of the tech stocks and the potential for active fund managers to get it wrong in the Universe Portfolio, and ultimately could not argue with the cold hard evidence around the benefits of ETFs and passive index-style investing over active fund management.
Whilst I would prefer Spaceship to use a bog standard ETF vehicle rather than their own complex ‘equal weight’ funds in the origin portfolio, and I would prefer it to be fully invested (rather than hold 10% cash), I think for my personal circumstance it is the best choice. Remember that your personal situation may be different so do your own research before selecting a fund.
Linking my bank account to Spaceship
Finally I needed to link my Spaceship account to a valid (current) bank account for security reasons. Since I got over my fear of Yodlee and other screen scraping authenticators when I signed up to WeMoney I was happy to put in my bank details.
After linking my bank account I decided to start with a small one-time investing of AUD $100. Due to the fact it was the weekend, I was advised I would need to wait a few days for the transaction to settle, so I left it over the weekend and decided to go have a beer instead.
After checking back mid week, the money had landed in my account, and my $5 sign-up bonus had been applied. And it was just as easy as that! I personally have not opted to go for a recurring investment into the fund, but instead will see how it performs as a little micro-investing experiment.
Of course, no review would be complete without discussing the tax implications of Investing. If you buy, hold or sell shares you are going to eventually have to deal with tax – both Capital gains and dividend income. This is a huge pain in the behind, and why I outsource this crappy and time consuming job to Sharesight who automatically track all of my portfolio holdings, dividends, capital gains and tax liabilities.
Sharesight has the functionality now to track fractional shares of ETFs, which is a game changer for microinvesting platforms like Superhero Voyager. Check out my detailed review of Sharesight and how it can save you time and money.
Spaceship Voyager frequently asked questions
Answers to frequently asked questions about the Spaceship Voyager investment app
Is Spaceship Voyager safe?
When you invest into Spaceship Voyager your money is invested into shares, and the value of which could go up and down over time. There is no guarantee that you will not lose all of your money investing in shares as it is possible for investments to go to 0, but unlikely. If Spaceship Voyager itself goes bust, you should be eligible to receive your capital back as they are simply a managed fund investment trust. However, there is a risk you could lose everything as it is not CHESS sponsored.
Is Spaceship CHESS sponsored?
No, Spaceship is not CHESS sponsored and your investment portfolio is not held under your unique HIN (Holder Identification Number) meaning your capital may be at risk. As an investment trust, shares are held on your behalf and you should be legally entitled to the value, but this may end up occurring at a reduced value after a protracted legal case (Google BBY and see how it happened when they went bust).
What is Spaceship Soyager?
Spaceship Voyager is an Australian microinvesting platform, operating three managed funds – the Universe, the Origin and the Earth portfolio. Investors can make one-off or regular small investments into these funds, which themselves hold various assets like shares and cash and grow over time.
Is Spaceship Voyager legit?
Spaceship Voyager is a legitimate Australian company founded in 2016. They operate superannuation and retain investing funds as managed investment funds, have over 125,000 investors and is run by CEO Andrew Moore. Spaceship Capital Limited (ABN 67 621 011 649, AFSL 501605) is the issuer of the Spaceship Origin Portfolio, Spaceship Universe Portfolio, and Spaceship Earth Portfolio. They are regulated by ASIC and various other government bodies.
Does Spaceship Voyager pay dividends?
No. Spaceship Voyager does not pay dividends – it collects the dividends on your behalf and reinvests them into the fund – effectively treating this as fund income which is then credited to investors. This means you will of course get your entitlement to your share of the dividends, and your Spaceship Voyager account will grow in value by the dividend amount. You are liable to pay tax for dividends (less franking credits) as per the Australian Tax Office regulation and will be given a yearly tax advice document from Spaceship Voyager.
Do I have to pay tax on Spaceship Voyager?
Yes, you are liable for capital gains tax if you sell your portfolio (transfer money out of Spaceship Voyager) and for any dividend distributions allocated to you. Spaceship provides an annual tax summary to you to assist you in completing your Australian tax return, which will include any liability for dividend distribution.
How does Spaceship Voyager work?
Spaceship Voyager works like a managed fund by pooling investor capital. Each investor is allocated a certain number of shares or ‘units’ in the portfolios (Universe, Origin or Earth) depending on how much money they deposit into Spaceship Voyager. The fund managers then actively manage these funds to get the best return for investors, reflected by a growth on the fund unit price. Investors see this on the Spaceship Voyager app as an increase in your total investment balance.
How does Spaceship Voyager make money?
Spaceship Voyager makes profit by charging management fees on balances above $5,000, netting small buy/sell spreads, selling advertising and also selling your aggregated financial data.
How to invest in Spaceship Voyager?
To invest in Spaceship Voyager, download the Spaceship Voyager app and create an account, select an investment portfolio (Universe, Origin or Earth), verify your identity and link your bank account. You can make a one off deposit or select regular deposits. Once the money hits your Spaceship Voyager account, it is automatically invested.
Is Spaceship Voyager good?
Spaceship Voyager is a good micro-investing platform, and a great way to get started learning investing by getting skin in the game. They are one of (if not the) best micro-investing apps.
Is Spaceship a good investment
Spaceship Voyager is a good way to get started investing. Spaceship Voyager is easy to sign up for and use, and there is a choice of actively managed, passively managed or ethically managed funds. Whilst the actively managed funds has had some astronomically good returns, the passively managed Origin portfolio is my pick due to the benefits of passive index style investing.
Is Raiz vs Spaceship better?
Raiz Invest and Spaceship Voyager are both great options to get started micro-investing. Raiz allows users to customise their portfolio according to individual preference more (including bitcoin) and has a roundup functionality which Spaceship doesn’t, however Spaceship has lower fees which is a massive consideration. Ultimately, they are both good choices with fairly low fees, and it comes down to personal preference more than anything. I use both platforms.
Is Spaceship Voyager an ETF?
No, Spaceship Voyager is not an ETF (exchange traded fund) and does not use ETFs in portfolio construction. Spaceship Voyager is a managed fund and fund managers actively hand-pick each individual stock for each portfolio. The origin portfolio is similar to an ETF as it contains the 100 largest blue chip stocks by market capital, in a similar manner to how an ETF100 would.
How much should I invest in Spaceship?
Spaceship requires a minimum investment of $1, and there are no fees for balances below $5,000. You should only invest as much as you are willing to lose, however on average most Spaceship Voyager accounts have over $1,000 and a regular contribution of $20 per month or more.
How much does Spaceship Voyager cost?
It is free to create an account and download the app, and there are no fees for account balances below $5,000. For balances above $5,000 you pay 0.05% MER for the origin portfolio and a 0.1% MER for the universe portfolio for any funds in excess of $5,000 (i.e. the first $5,000 is managed for free).
What happens if Spaceship Voyager goes out of business?
If Spaceship Voyager goes out of business, you should still be eligible to receive your capital back, as Spaceship Voyager is a standard managed fund investment trust and investments are held on your behalf. However, as they are not CHESS sponsored, this may be very difficult (such as in the case of the recent collapse of BBY). Depending on circumstance, you may receive nothing, some or all of your capital back after a period of time.
How do I delete my Spaceship Voyager account?
To delete your Spaceship Voyager account you must contact customer support at [email protected] or via the live chat on the website.
How do I withdraw funds from Spaceship?
To withdraw funds from your Spaceship Voyager account, simply make a request to withdraw through your account. This should be processed in business hours and you should receive your funds within 5 business days.
Spaceship Voyager sign up code
You can find a sign-up code for Spaceship Voyager by Googling it, asking a friend who uses it for theirs, or potentially asking for one on most personal finance groups on social media. Due to ASIC guidance on ‘Dealing by Arranging’, I can’t provide an affiliate link for my readers anymore for any Australian investing-based services, groups or companies. However, you should still be able to get a code from another personal user of Spaceship.
Spaceship Voyager app review: Conclusion
In terms of micro-investing, Spaceship was my favourite Aussie micro-investing app until they jacked up their prices. This is because previously it has no fees for balances below $5000, and then they added a flat $2.50 monthly fee for balances over $100. Spaceship is easy to use, and I have had returns in line with my expectations for the Origin portfolio. As with any micro investing app, you need to be careful about the fees you are paying, and remember you are likely paying more than conventional investing – this is because micro investing tools are to help you learn about investing, and arent designed to be used forever.
You should determine when you should move to a traditional broker for investing, so compare things like the monthly fee to your potential brokerage costs to work out your break even point.
Along with this Spaceship investment app review, other micro investing platforms that I have reviewed and like include:
- Raiz Invest – An awesome tool that lets you ’round-up’ your purchases to the nearest whole amount and invest the difference
- CommSec Pocket – CommBank’s response to micro-investing tools
- Stake – A cool investing tool that lets you shop for more than 3,500 American shares and ETFs with zero brokerage fees
- Pearler Micro – Pearlers Micro investing tool that lets you invest into 8 ETF based funds using Auto invest and roundups.
Financial Disclaimer: CaptainFI is NOT a financial advisor and does not hold an AFSL. This is not financial Advice!
I am not a financial adviser and I do not hold an Australian Financial Services Licence (AFSL). In this article, I am giving you factual, balanced information without judgment or bias, to the best of my ability. I am not giving you any general or personal financial advice about what you should do with your investments. Just because I do something with my money (or use a particular service or platform) doesn’t mean it is automatically appropriate for your personal circumstances. I do not recommend nor endorse any financial or investment product, and my usage or opinion of any product should not be interpreted as an endorsement, advertisement, or intent to influence.
I can only provide factual information based on my journey to Financial Independence, and that is provided for general informational and entertainment purposes only. I make no guarantee about the performance of any product, and although I strive to keep the information accurate and updated as it changes, I make no guarantee about the correctness of reviews or information posted.
Remember – you always need to do your own independent research and due diligence before making any transaction. This includes reading and analysing Product Disclosure Statements, Terms and Conditions, Service Arrangement and Fee Structures. It is always smart to compare products and discuss them, but ultimately you need to take responsibility for your use of any particular product and make sure it suits your personal circumstances. If you need help and would like to obtain personal financial advice about which investment options or platforms may be right for you, please talk to a licensed financial adviser or AFSL holder – you can take the first steps to find a financial advisor by reading this interview, or by visiting the ASIC financial adviser register and searching in your area.