22seven, the personal financial management web service and mobile app that uses pretty graphs and charts to show you exactly how you’re spending your money in the hopes that it’ll change your financial behaviour for the better, is adding the ability to invest in two Old Mutual products from 1 March.
The timing of the move coincides with government’s recently announced tax-free savings and investment incentives that allow South Africans to invest up to R30 000 per year (or R500 000 during their lifetime) without losing a chunk to SARS.
22seven users can choose to invest in either Old Mutual’s Core Diversified or Top 40 funds. More impressively, they can do so directly from the website or mobile applications. Old Mutual bought 22seven in early 2013, a year after the company launched as an independent start up.
When users create an account on 22seven they’re prompted to allow the service to view and download their banking and investment information automatically so that it can be aggregated and users can be presented with a complete overview of their financial standing.
The service also automatically categorises recurring expenses and prompts users to tag ad hoc expenses so that it can categorise them should they crop up again and so it can provide detailed information about just how much a user is earning and spending.
Christo Davel, 22seven CEO, says that by introducing investment options the service is “starting to bridge the gap between what people do with their money now, and what they want to do with it in the future”.
“22seven has always helped customers find and free up their money, but we have always intended to go much further than that,” says Davel. “We want to help our customers afford more of the things that matter most to them, now and for the rest of their lives. Investments are the first way we’re tangibly making the present relevant to the future, and vice versa.”
Customers can invest as little as R350 (once off or monthly) or up to the maximum of R30 000 for a fee of 0.68% – which Davel says is well below the industry standard – and can withdraw funds at any time.
“The sign-up process is 100% online and takes just minutes. We have stripped out and simplified the process to a degree many thought wasn’t possible. The entire process happens at the flick of a finger or click of a mouse, on your mobile phone or computer, including FICA documentation,” Davel says.