Behind the scenes: Sharesies’ investment process

So you’ve signed up to Sharesies, topped up your Wallet, and made your first investment—now what? While it might feel like you’re just waiting around, there’s a whole lot happening behind the scenes to make sure your investment makes its way safely into your Portfolio!

To help demystify the process, we thought we’d give you a look into what typically happens when you place a buy or sell order with Sharesies.

Step 1: You place an order! 💖

This is the bit that you see! You might be buying a new investment, or selling an existing one. Once you’ve placed your order, it gets received by us here at Sharesies.

Step 2: Sharesies confirms your order ✅

At around 12:30pm each working day, we go through a process we call order and settlement. This is when we confirm all the buy and sell orders that our investors have made since we last did order and settlement. This is also known as a settlement group.

When you buy or sell an investment, you join a settlement group based on the time you placed your order. For example:

If you place an order You'll be part of
At 11am on Monday morning That day’s 12:30pm settlement group
At 1pm on Monday afternoon Tuesday’s 12:30pm settlement group
After 12:30pm on Friday, or during the weekend Monday’s 12:30pm settlement group

At around 12:30pm, the price for the units you bought or sold are locked in. For a buy order, we buy you as many units as possible (up to your chosen amount) and return the change to your Wallet. For a sell order, we sell the number of units you've specified.

Step 3: Your order gets processed 💸

Once we’ve confirmed your order, we let a market broker or fund manager know. We currently have both managed funds and exchange-traded funds (ETFs) available on Sharesies, so the process is a little different for each.

Smartshares ETFs

For the Smartshares ETFs, we use Craigs Investment Partners as our on-market broker. Craigs is responsible for buying and selling shares, and creating units to trade on the stock exchange.

Shortly after settlement begins, Craigs comes back to us with the unit price for each fund. Once we have the price for a fund, we know how many units we can buy or sell for you.

Pathfinder Asset Management, and AMP Capital

Pathfinder and AMP Capital are the fund managers that provide the Sharesies managed funds. When we start settlement each working day, we send our order to each respective fund manager. For each managed fund we have on Sharesies, we send two different orders—the buy orders in New Zealand dollars and the sell orders in Units.

For managed funds, the unit price is confirmed by the fund managers at the end of the process.

Step 4: Your investments are recorded and settled ✍️

Share registries work on behalf of fund managers to record changes in ownership, dividends, and statements (among other things!):

  • Smartshares uses Link Market Services

  • AMP Capital uses BNP Paribas

  • Pathfinder Asset Management uses MMC

Once the share registries have recorded any changes, they send us a confirmation called a contract note. This contains the order information for each settlement group and all the funds within it—including the number of units, price per unit, total trade value, and trade date.

When we receive a contract note, we check the info we’ve been given against all the records that we hold for individual investors. Once we’ve confirmed that everything aligns, we can settle the order—this is when your investments (if you’re buying), or money (if you’re selling), appear in your Sharesies Portfolio!

Step 5: Your order appears in Sharesies! 🎉

It usually takes up to two working days for your order to settle and appear in Sharesies. This is the industry standard and is called T+2 settlement. The ‘T’ stands for trade date and ‘+2’ means plus two working days. For example, if your order is processed as part of Monday’s settlement group, Monday will be your trade date—plus two days means you can expect your order to settle and appear in your Sharesies Portfolio on Wednesday.

As the Pathfinder and AMP Capital funds are managed funds, they tend to follow T+2 settlement very closely. On the other hand, the Smartshares funds are ETFs, so tend to settle a little earlier (sometimes the evening of your order!).

There are a lot of moving parts to make sure your investments get through to your Portfolio—and it all happens within a matter of days! We hope this has given you a better insight into the investment process on Sharesies.

Get in touch if there’s anything else you’d like to know more about.