Our take on the budget

The recently released Australian Budget was a win for small business. We’ll have to wait and see what happens after the Senate sinks it teeth into it, but we think all tech companies should be cautiously optimistic. The prospective crowdfunding avenue and the further changes to equity awards are significant developments.

2015 Budget

We have a rich history of connecting DIY investors with capital markets in this country (namely to resources and banks). Now’s our chance to continue, but this time in the tech sector. This is Australia’s start-up moment and it shouldn’t be squandered. Time to diversify!

For more of our thoughts on the budget, check out these recent articles:

15 May 2015 – Fintech Business

14 May 2015 – Investor Daily

13 May 2015 – AFR

Congratulations to Doug and Scott, Sharesight CEO & CTO

I’m delighted to announce that Doug Morris has been promoted to Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of Sharesight. Since joining Sharesight in April 2013, Doug has done an excellent job of growing the Sydney team, forming valuable strategic partnerships, and overseeing the strong growth that we’ve achieved over the past year.

Sharesight co-founder Scott Ryburn will become our Chief Technical Officer (CTO) and continue to manage our development team and the Wellington office. Scott and his team have developed a unique, sophisticated product for Doug and the sales and marketing teams to take to the world.

Doug Morris & Scott Ryburn

Sharesight has many exciting product and partner announcements coming this year, and I’m confident that we’re in good hands with Doug and Scott’s leadership. Congratulations again!

Introducing Better Date Range Selectors

The three most annoying things found on the internet are: pop-up ads, videos that play automatically (with sound!), and date selection widgets found on airline and travel booking sites (and until now, Sharesight).

Date range selectors have been the bane of website designers, UX specialists, and internet consumers for years. Nobody is foolish enough to build their own from scratch (think: leap year), which means that everyone uses the same off-the-shelf plug-ins. From what we can tell, they come from the same dusty corner of the internet responsible for those lengthy country dropdown menus.

Often the most frustrating part of booking a flight online or searching for a hotel on TripAdvisor is fiddling with the bloody date selectors. To make matters worse, starting a fresh search usually means you need to reset the dates. Experienced web consumers will notice that even after a fancy website overhaul, the date pickers are often an afterthought.

We put a lot of thought and effort into making the Sharesight interface intuitive, which is why we’re happy to announce the release of a much improved date range selection feature! This is not false enthusiasm – as investors, we’re genuinely happy about this.

Sharesight puts so much history at your fingertips, it would be a shame if you weren’t making the most of it.

First, the new date selector is bigger and easier to read:

Improved Date Selector - Sharesight

But the best part is our pre-defined date ranges, which include handy settings for “Since Inception” and “Last Financial Year”

Improved Date Selector - Sharesight

And finally, if you do want to define a custom range, our start and end calendars are large enough to actually use:

Improved Date Picker - Sharesight

We hope this helps shave even more time of your portfolio admin!

Working on your core: Can specialist products survive?

In Cupertino, California a group of Apple employees sat around a table and said: ”we could totally do that, hell we could do it even better!”

I guarantee you this happened. In this case, ”that” is GoPro.

For those of you unaware (or without teenagers) GoPro sells durable, wearable HD video cameras. They’re perfect for strapping to a surfboard, attaching to a helmet while snowboarding, or lashing to the back of a golden retriever.

And that’s all they do. A simple piece of hardware with one button that takes reliable video, which is then made available via streaming Wi-Fi, memory card upload, or their app for sharing.

GoPro has turned this simple business into a debt-free listed company, which earned $1.4B in revenue last year. If you subscribed to their IPO in June of last year, you’d be up 68%.

GoPro Share Price

The truth of the matter is, Apple could do “that.” In spades. Their version of a GoPro would be a beautiful piece of hardware that linked with your Apple-made device, like an iWatch. Apple already turns out millions of cameras a year for their iPhones, iPads, and MacBooks.

Whether or not Apple will do “that” is the billion dollar question. Standalone cameras aren’t their focus, and outdoorsy active types aren’t their core audience. A company that made $183B in revenue last year (mostly from selling mobiles) might have a hard time convincing their board and investors that jumping into a new market that could only ever represent a minuscule revenue pop is worthwhile.

Televisions or who knows, even an Apple Car might be their next big idea. But Apple has proven the naysayers wrong before. If they were really keen on the lifestyle camera market they might end up just acquiring GoPro outright.

In a similar vein, Fitbit recently announced plans for an IPO. They’re looking to raise $150M off the back of  $745M in sales last year (11M devices sold).

Fitbit was one of the first and most popular of the fitness wearables. Essentially a glorified pedometer and distance tracker that synced with your mobile. I’ve had two, both were great because they were simple. I didn’t need an interface and they weren’t as cumbersome as a full-featured watch.

Fitbit

The questions on my mind, however, is can Fitbit maintain its beautiful simplicity with the added pressure from shareholders? Will their product engineers get distracted by all that cash in the bank and start building superfluous features? If a Fitbit dog collar appears on the market, they’re doomed.

Paradoxically, their simplicity and lack of features made them stand out from the pack. After all, nowadays, every phone has fitness-tracker apps and the smartwatch market is set to explode.

In fact, there’s already been a casualty in the wearable fitness industry: Nike. Yes, the same sports giant that made $28B last year. By all accounts they’re giving up on the their FuelBand. Even with all their money and brains, a half-baked device branded Nike, is still a half-baked device.

As long as GoPro and Fitbit stick to their knitting they should have promising futures. Tapping into a network of similar devices and applications via APIs could fortify their position. If I had to pick one to invest in, I’d go with GoPro. People go out of their way to capture experiences with video, whereas I’m not too particular about what kind of device tracks my activity. Fitbits and iWatches are a little too similar for my comfort.

The Apple cometh!

Introducing Multiple Contract Note Processing

When describing Sharesight, we often use an airplane analogy, in which takeoff and cruising altitude are two very different things.

Takeoff is the portfolio setup process. Portfolio histories years in the making come to life as historical trades are fired into our database, with corporate actions, dividends, and performance churned out in real time. The result is an accurate picture of how you’ve gone as an investor as of today.

Cruising altitude represents Sharesight listening for your trades and dividends on an on-going basis. Clients log in daily to see their new positions, check performance, and run reports, but the hard part is done. Where the engines were taxed getting to 30,000 feet, Sharesight is now cruising along on autopilot.

But we’re always exploring ways to make “takeoff” easier.

Making it Rain

Today we’re announcing that we now support bulk processing of multiple contract notes.

 

This means that clients can now attach as many contract notes to an email as they wish and send them to Sharesight for automatic and instantaneous processing.

This is a perfect solution for investors (or their accountants!) to set up a relatively new portfolio with minimal effort, or to get caught-up on their portfolio admin. Plus we know that in certain situations, brokers will send out contract notes in bulk – especially after a day of heavy trading.

A few things to keep in mind:

  • Brokers will change their contract note design from time-to-time, and Sharesight will only support the current look and feel so please take that into consideration when using this new feature.
  • When sending an email with multiple contract notes, they must be from the same broker. If you use multiple brokers, simply send a different email with the other contract notes.
  • The best ways to get historical portfolios set up remain our CSV uploader and the Broker Import tool.

Visit our help website for more information and learn how to import contract notes via email – including how to have your broker automatically email your contract notes to Sharesight.