Australia’s Investment Divide

The country is split between retail and wholesale investors — but there are new opportunities opening up for all of us.

Do you know the difference between a wholesale and a retail investor? Things are split down the middle in the world of Australian finance, and many people are missing out on opportunities because they either don’t know about them, or can’t access them.

If you’re a wholesale investor — you probably know it! You need a total household income of $250,000 AUD per year, or at least $2.5 million in assets to qualify as a wholesale or ‘sophisticated’ investor. To buy into a wholesale investment fund, you’re looking at a minimum commitment of $50k, or often much higher.

For many would-be investors, the world of wholesale investment is completely out of reach. That means a lot of opportunities are out of reach too. Promising startups and a wide range of investment funds are locked away.

The crypto counterculture

Despite what modern investment startups try and sell you, finance is not ‘cool’. But it is important — and there is a counterculture which is trying to open the windows on the dusty halls of finance and bring change to one of society’s oldest institutions.

Bitcoin was released in the midst of the GFC. The mysterious creator of bitcoin, Satoshi, left a lot of evidence that the whole invention was created to shake up the financial systems which allowed such economic chaos to occur.

Cryptoassets exist as an alternative, decentralised system free of top-down control.

That rebellious streak has stuck with the crypto scene. Cryptoassets are changing the way we think about money, and creating new frontiers in democratised investments.

Last week, we wrote about how crypto is better at funding startups than VC and private investors. That’s precisely because it looks beyond the barrier of big investors vs small — everyone can have the same opportunity. And that means more money in the ecosystem and more innovation out in the world.

There’s plenty of evidence that people will put their money behind projects they believe in. Kickstarter and crowdfunding platforms have proved that for new products — and crypto is proving that for companies and movements.

Crypto + Retail Investors = Perfect Match

There are a lot of reasons why wholesale funds are popular and, until recently, have given sophisticated investors access to a much broader range of investment options than retail investors typically have.

For one, it’s easier. Handling a big chunk of money is less risky than handling countless small bundles. A wholesale fund only needs to vet a handful of investors, whereas a retail fund often has to process thousands.

Placing investments has traditionally been easier for big money too. Normal startups and companies (before they’re listed on an exchange) prefer to deal with fewer investors offering more money — less paperwork!

The advantage of token sales and ICOs is that contributions of any size are usually easier to handle, meaning that a retail fund can deploy funds into cryptoassets on a small or large scale, at their choice.

There are nice things about being a retail investor too — by law you have more legal and financial protections than a wholesale investor. A retail fund also has to be more thorough and transparent with its audits and reporting.

Before Every, the only way to access cryptoassets through a managed fund in Australia was as a wholesale investor.

The very model of a modern managed fund

Every Capital operates a retail fund. That means we work with smaller investors instead of just big ones. Australians can invest in cryptoassets with as little as $2500 for their initial investment.

We put roughly 30% of our funds under management into ICOs — funding great new startups which are using blockchain technology to change the world.

Together with our investment partner Astronaut Capital, we do the hard yards researching and vetting new projects and only deploy funds into the most promising and legitimate projects we find.

When you sign up with Every, you’re gaining exposure to a whole lot of investments and assets which weren’t easily available before now. We think it’s about time that retail investors get the same opportunities that wholesale investors do.

Of course, we’re just a small part of the investment revolution — one that’s broadening the choice for retail investors, democratising investments for Australians, and making finance more accessible for everyone. We’d love to have you join us!

Every will begin rolling out to retail investors in July 2018. Reserve your place on our waitlist now at www.every.capital