Shares Shopping in the USA

Shares Shopping in the USA

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There is maximum excitement this Wednesday morning. Its 6am, the whanau snore on for at least another hour and a half and the cat and I have the place to ourselves. Heating is on, I have done a quick bit of yoga (, coffee is freshly brewed and I’m settling in to do a bit of online shopping. Ask anyone who knows me and they will be surprised to hear this. I’m not a very good shopper and I’m rarely invited out to a girls weekend of shopping because I have the attention span of a goldfish for it. I enjoy chatting to my mates and the walking from store to store component, because I like exercise, but that is about it. HOWEVER, the shopping I am doing this morning is a WHOLE OTHER STORY.

For my friends who I force to read my blog can turn away now. I have not turned over a new fiscally irresponsible leaf. I rarely buy anything full price (or new) and I’m not about to start. And what is a girl to do with all that money she saves? Why, go shopping of course. Specifically for the following: SmartShares US500 (USF).

Why shop at a single store and buy a single item when I can shop at 500 stores in the USA and buy a bit of each? I’ve been wanting to make a purchase of American index funds for some time now, it was just a matter of getting a lump sum together and then pressing the GO button. I read my OWN blog last week about analysis paralysis and I am getting things done today.

Why this fund?

A lot of my investing is New Zealand based. We own our home (but is that an investment as it provides no income?) We have Shares, a NZ Index Fund, KiwiSaver, Term Deposit and Gold. With the exception of gold 😟  (it’s lucky it is so pretty to look at!) I’ve been having a good run with good returns but it is high time I diversified and headed offshore a bit more than what my KiwiSaver is offering. Diversification spreads risk so that when one investment is underperforming another is hopefully performing strongly. Despite the fact America has elected a buffoon for a president their share market is going just fine and dandy. As of this morning I have not read any tweets about Mr trump banning me investing in his country so I’m all in.

It is as simple as this:

1. I go to

2. Under Types of Funds: SmartLarge, I choose US 500 (USF)

SmartLarge Funds US 500. Click image to enlarge.

How the fund has been performing recently. Click image to enlarge.

This graph shows how the fund has been performing recently. As often happens, I’m late to the party, the price is on the up and up, but that is fine as this is the beginning of a long term relationship. From this month I’m going to start drip feeding into it and no matter the political situation or share price I won’t be stopping. As I have mentioned before I drip feed money in and it buys differing amounts each month.

Now, an important note here: The US 500 Trust (USF) invests directly in shares in the Vanguard S&P 500 ETF (VOO). By purchasing units in USF, investors do not hold a direct interest in a Vanguard fund. However, the Return received by USF, as a shareholder in the Vanguard S&P 500 ETF (VOO), is passed on to investors after the deduction of certain fees, costs and tax expenses.

While I am on their site I take the time to read every word to make sure I understand what I’m signing up for. If I have a query I email or phone them, they are great at answering my questions.

3. I hit the Invest Now tab

4. Click Apply Online

When you get to this screen enter in your details and select what you want to do:

Select your Investment Options. Click image to enlarge.

5. The next page will ask me for my details - name, phone, IRD number, address etc

6. Next page asks me for my drivers licence, D.O.B. etc

7. Next they will ask for bank details so they can direct debit the money

I always reinvest my distributions (dividends) so I don’t tick the box. I don’t need a regular payday just yet, I have a day job.

8. I just heard my inbox ping and they have sent me a CODE that I cut and paste into my online application.

9. Finally they show me all the details I have entered, I confirm them, hit enter and I’m done!

10. The final thing I need to do is transfer $1500 into my cheque account so they can take it out on the 20th of the month. I won’t see how many units I have received until early next month (around the 3rd) when they are issued. With the current price of each unit at $6.409 I expect to receive about 229 units after they have taken out my $30 one off setup fee. But, until they are issued I’m not quite sure.

Finally, I’m not being paid by SmartShares, although I really should be! I think this is the fifth time I have written about them now! But, like Converse shoes, I Iike their product so I keep buying. I briefly considered the idea of trying SuperLife instead but couldn’t bear the thought of yet another login to remember!

That is my shopping fix for the day all done and dusted. Going forward I’m going to be investing just $120 per month, just $30 per week. Do you think you could rustle up $30 a week to invest in your future? Give it a shot, the way things are looking at the moment you stand a good chance of getting back more than the $1440 that you would put in over the year. I will keep you posted how my returns are looking sometime down the track.

Happy Saving!


PS. Above I mentioned that I’m sticking with my plan despite the political situation and just a day after I signed up my resolve was tested. The share price of this fund took a 2 cent dip after trump fired his F.B.I guy this week. It caused quite a panic. Who knows what the coming days, weeks, months or years will bring but I’m involved now and keen to see what happens…

See, investing IS EXCITING!!!

The Happy Saver Online Reading

PSS. I came across this article from Mary Holm and found “Picking through the fund fruit salad” to be a useful read:

Another good chat from Mary where she talks about investment risk:

KiwiSaver ≠ First Home Buyer Deposit

KiwiSaver ≠ First Home Buyer Deposit

Analysis Paralysis - SuperLife or SmartShares

Analysis Paralysis - SuperLife or SmartShares