There are numerous tools and apps that help you get insight into your finances, help you with investing or even in saving more money. The only downside is that most of them, like Capital One, Acorns, and Mint are only directed to the US markets. It looks like most financial innovations are happening overseas, at least for the convenience of the regular consumer.
We are a country that makes a lot of use of online banking (namely 83% of the Dutch population), have several companies that are disrupting the markets – Bunq, MoneYou, Knab, one new investing app called Bux, but limited availability of financial apps and digital services as it comes to our personal finances. How could this be in a country where digital innovation is so highly regarded? And where FinTech is a booming business?
Well, I don’t know. I’ve waited months and years to see similar platforms from the US blowing right over the ocean. Nonetheless, when the results of the survey from Rockstar Finance on financial apps came out, I felt a sting of jealousy. I did try out You Need A Budget earlier, but then found out that I didn’t need a budget. So, I’m sticking to excel instead for tracking everything. Many of the app being named there, are not available in Europe.
But now there is a new guy (or gal) in town, called Peaks. I didn’t know about its existence until last Monday when my eyes fell on an advertisement in a newspaper read by the guy sitting across of me. I instantly started to Google it and felt only a little bit excited (okay, a lot) to see that it’s a helping-you-save app. As far as I know, there wasn’t yet something like this on the Dutch market.
Additionally, I can assure you this will be no review post and you’ll find no affiliate link. I haven’t even used the app (yet), but am just too excited that I had to tell you about this.
I hoped it was an all new and start-up thingy that would enter the market and boom, everyone else would follow. Apparently, Peak is a product made with support from the Rabobank, one of the bigger banks of the Netherlands – someone had to finance it. It shouldn’t be a problem though. It’s actually very smart, you’ll probably need a bank account from them in order to make use of it. And fortunately, we do.
Peaks is very similar to Acorns, where the app rounds up your payments and add your spare change to an investment account. What they say themselves is this:
In Dutch: Met Peaks kan iedereen beleggen. Het enige dat je nodig hebt is een bankrekening. Oké, en een beetje geduld.
In English: With Peaks, anyone can invest. The only thing you’ll need is a bank account. Ok, and a little patience.
With the low interests rate on savings, which becomes more of a ‘we have to get used to it feel’ than an ‘it might go back to the old days feel’. Also a lot of youngsters, millennials, twenty-somethings, whatever you want to call them are all digital natives and are eager to get some more money aside from their working wage.
It’s no surprise the big banks are getting in on this business by developing products to help us save and/or invest, attract new customers and increase their revenues. The start-up behind the product wants to make investing available for everyone instead of just a happy few (is that the case?) and trying to attract the type of person that can’t (yet) save hundreds of euro’s per month easily.
Their product is simple, flexible and aimed at a specific target group: young folks. When you already have a bank account, you can start in a minute. If not, you can start by saving 1 euro per day, but they’re hinting that in a short while other bank accounts will be integrated as well.
Then you can choose how to invest, by selecting one of their risk portfolio’s, consisting of stocks and bonds where the balance differs per risk profile. Depending on which you choose, they expect a return between 2.6% and 6.1% per year. And for the more ethical investor, you’ll only invest in the most sustainable business per sector, some are completely left out entirely like the weapon industry.
As for the costs, the first 3 months are free of use, then you pay 1 euro per month for the use of the app. Transaction fees are additional, and they claim it to be 0.2% – 0.4% of your invested money per year. If your portfolio grows over the 2500 euro, you’ll start paying 0.5%. That seems not too much, but for low amount transactions… I’m not really sure how much you’ll pay on every euro invested.
Apparently, this app went live last month already and is (hopefully) off to a good start.
And although we are not the type of persons who personally need this, we already save a steady amount every month by paying ourselves first. I can not think of not trying something that is finally available for us Dutchies. And because the first three months are free of course.
In a time of long-term low-interest rates, and where lots of young people haven’t seen a market crash yet (including myself). Where bitcoin crazes drive the search for higher yields, and with all the digital possibilities this will make it easier and easier for people to save a little extra. In small amounts at a time, but with a long way to go, it will grow over twill it work as it promises? I don’t know. But I’m eager to find out!
Have you ever heard of Peaks before? Give it a try already? Any other tools that look alike? Share your experiences in the comments below!