OUTsurance this week launched a retail investment offering to complement its suite of direct-to-consumer short-term and life insurance products.

The new service, OUTvest, offers goal-based advice and passive investment solutions via a website and an app combining “robo-advice” technology and a call centre. The aim is to make it easy for lay people with no investment knowledge to put away something each month towards a goal. Contributions may go into a tax-free investment if required.

“The OUTvest user interface has been developed to be as intuitive and easy-to-use as possible. You can add or withdraw funds, stop, start or change contributions at any time, at no cost and with no penalties. You will also be able to comply with the Fica requirements speedily via the app or website. Your personal ‘dashboard’ will offer a summary of your investments and a guage of how well you are tracking your goals. Investments start from R100 a month,” OUTsurance says.

OUTvest has partnered with CoreShares, a manager of index-tracking passive funds, which is providing four funds to cater for the different levels of risk and investment horizons of investors.

Willem Roos, the group chief executive of OUTsurance, says: “We’re living in a digital age where people are more comfortable using smart websites and apps to make decisions previously only entrusted to a face-to-face adviser. OUTvest makes investing simpler, smarter and more affordable, with the consumer at the centre.”

The service includes a means for friends and family to contribute to an investor’s savings: Crowdvest.

Grant Locke, the head of OUTvest, says: “Crowdvest is a social version of investing. We’ve made it easy to invite friends and family to collectively invest towards making a meaningful financial goal become reality. For instance, grandparents will easily be able to contribute towards a education savings goal for grandchildren, or friends will be able to collectively save towards a trip or sports tour, and invite others to support them.”

OUTvest charges 1.5% of your investment a year, with a minimum charge of R5 a month. In other words, if you start saving R100 a month, you will pay 5% in costs, but, as you accumulate funds, that percentage will reduce to 1.5%. The charge includes ongoing advice, administration and fund management fees.