FAQs

Find the answers to our most asked questions.

About Collins House Online Investment Services (Collins House Online)

Dominic Alafaci established Collins House in 1999, creating a multidisciplinary financial advice firm that today is one of only a handful that specialises in providing Independent Financial and Investment advice. The firm provides a range of services encompassing superannuation, taxation, accounting, and estate planning.

Collins House Online (a Corporate Authorised Representative of Collins House Private Wealth AFSL 449146) began in 2017, in response to the demand from large sections of the public wanting an online general advice solution that was low cost and easily accessible.

Our Philosophy

Our philosophy is a simple one. Investing does not need to be complex and intimidating. We offer an easy-to-use online system for people wanting to access professionally managed diversified portfolios.

What does Collins House Online provide?

Professionally managed portfolios - We offer the choice of 6 different investment portfolios;

  • High Income,
  • Moderately Defensive,
  • Balanced,
  • Growth,
  • High Growth and
  • Socially Responsible Balanced

All of our portfolios are diversified across different asset classes such as Australian shares, global equities, fixed income, listed property, emerging markets, infrastructure, commodities and cash.

Tax reporting - We provide you with an end of year tax summary which can be directly inputted into your tax return or given to your accountant.

Client portal and app - Our client portal allows you to securely login to your account 24/7 and see how your portfolio is performing as well as receive regular updates from the Collins House Investment Committee. Clients also have access to the Collins House Online app.

 

What are the benefits of using Collins House Online?

Simple to set up - Open an account online in under 5 minutes

Low minimum to begin - You can start with as little as $5000

Competitive fees - The headline fee for portfolios up to $500,000 is 0.75% pa (discounts apply for amounts over $500,000)

Experienced investment committee - Our investment team has over 60 years of combined experience in financial markets and managing investment portfolios

Beneficial ownership - All investments are beneficially held by the investor.

What are the risks of using Collins House Online?

Whilst all of our portfolios aim to minimise risk of any capital loss by diversifying across different asset classes and also within those asset classes, an investment in our portfolios is not capital guaranteed. Unlike a bank which provides a capital guarantee of up to $250,000, there is a risk of capital loss in all of our portfolios.

What type of advice does Collins House Online provide?

Collins House Online provides General Advice only. This means the information provided on our website has been prepared without taking into account the investment objectives, financial situation or needs of any particular investor.

Before acting upon this general advice, people should consider the appropriateness of the advice, having regard to their objectives, financial situation and needs. Please read our Product Disclosure Statement and Financial Services Guide before investing in one of our products.

What happens to my money if Collins House Online was to be acquired, sold or closed down?

All of your investments are legally held on trust by the custodian, Sandhurst Trustees ( a wholly-owned subsidiary of Bendigo and Adelaide Bank ) but beneficially owned by you and kept separate to the portfolios of other investors. In an extreme situation and something happened to Collins House your securities would be safely held on your behalf by the Bendigo and Adelaide Bank.

What Third Parties do Collins House Online use?

Collins House uses Openinvest Limited https://www.openinvest.com.au/ to provide the investment platform. They host the technology and undertake all trading as directed by the Collins House Investment Committee.

Why would I use Collins House Online instead of buying ETFs or managed funds myself?

If you have the experience, expertise, and time to monitor your portfolio and to rebalance it in response to market movements, then self-managing your portfolio is certainly an option.

However, we have built Collins House Online for the vast majority of people who don’t have the time or expertise to do it themselves.

How do I open an acount with Collins House Online?

Simply choose the portfolio that best suits your risk profile and time horizon and complete the short account opening process. You will then be asked to transfer funds which we will draw upon to build your portfolio.

Can I transfer my initial deposit in multiple payments?

Yes, you can. We understand that banks often impose a daily transfer limit and also some people may want to transfer their initial deposit from multiple bank accounts. There is no need to transfer your funds in a single transaction.

What is the minimum investment amount?

Our minimum investment is only $5000.

Can I invest in more than one Model Portfolio?

Yes, it is certainly possible to invest in more than one model portfolio but you will need to open up a new account for each portfolio. For example, if you wanted to invest some funds under your personal name in both a High Income portfolio and Growth portfolio then you would need to open an account for each. To invest in more than one Model Portfolio please follow this process :

Step 1 - Open your first account as per normal
Step 2 - Login to your Investor Portal
Step 3 - Click Account Maintenance on the left side of the screen
Step 4 - Click Create New Account
Step 5 - Click Start Application

Can I invest in both my Personal Name and my SMSF?

Yes, it is certainly possible to invest in both your personal name and your SMSF but you will need to open a new account for each portfolio. This also applies if you wanted to open an account for each of your children and you want to choose either the same or a different Model Portfolio per Account. To do so please follow this process :

Step 1 - Open your first account as per normal
Step 2 - Login to your Investor Portal
Step 3 - Click Account Maintenance on the left side of the screen
Step 4 - Click Create New Account
Step 5 - Click Start Application

Can I open an account for my child/grandchild?

Yes, it is possible for a parent or relative to open an account on behalf of a child or grandchild who is aged under 18. When opening your account please follow these steps :

  1. in Section 3 “Choose your Account Type” please select Individual Account
  2. in the Display Name field immediately below please enter the minors name.

Please note that the Investment Portfolio will be legally held in your name even though it is designated to your child or grandchild. Minors (those under the age of 18) cannot legally own investments in their own name.

Can I open an account in Joint Names?

No. At this stage we do not offer that option but we are planning on doing so in the future.

Can I make additional contributions to my portfolio?

Yes, you can make additional contributions to your investment portfolio at any time by depositing funds via BPAY or Direct Credit to our administrator and custodian. If you wish to do so please log in to the Investor Portal and follow these steps:

  1. Click Account Maintenance on the left side of the screen
  2. Click Contributions and enter the amount you wish to invest and the payment method.

Please note that the minimum additional contribution amount is $1000.

Why do you ask for my Tax File Number?

We ask for your Tax File Number (TFN) so that we don’t have to deduct withholding tax from your investment returns.

Providing your TFN is not compulsory, it just means that without it we have to deduct tax, which you may be able to claim back at a later day. You also have the option to provide a TFN exemption code if one applies to you.

How long does it take for my money to be invested?

Once your funds have cleared (usually 2-3 days) we will invest in the portfolio of your choice. We will email you when we first receive your funds and also when we invest them.

Do I need to be an Australian citizen to invest with Collins House Online?

No you don’t, but you do need to be an Australian resident for tax purposes.

What type of accounts are available with Collins House Online?

Collins House Online is currently available for the following accounts:

  • Individuals
  • Company accounts
  • Trust Account with a corporate trustee
  • Trust Account with an individual(s) as trustee
  • SMSF Account with a corporate trustee
  • SMSF Account with an individual(s) as trustee
What is a PDS?

A Product Disclosure Statement is a document that contains information about the service including its key features and benefits. It also provides details about the risks, costs and fees of the service as well as how it works and your rights and obligations as an investor.

How many portfolios does Collins House Online provide?

We offer the choice of 6 different portfolios.

  1. High Income
  2. Moderately Defensive
  3. Balanced
  4. Growth
  5. High Growth
  6. Socially Responsible Balanced
What asset classes am I invested in?

Each portfolio is constructed from a list of ETFs and Managed Funds diversified across different asset classes.

Asset classes include:

  • Australian shares
  • Global equities
  • Australian fixed interest
  • International fixed interest
  • Australian listed property
  • Emerging markets
  • Infrastructure
  • Commodities
  • Cash
What is an Exchange Traded Fund?

An Exchange Traded Fund (ETF) is a type of investment fund listed on the stock exchange and traded like shares. Each ETF holds a collection of securities, the composition of which mirrors a particular index, such as the S&P/ASX 200 index of Australian shares.

ETFs allow individual investors to gain all the diversification benefits of owning a large number of securities while only having to hold one investment thereby lowering the investment amount needed to properly diversify. Since each ETF is designed to track a particular index, ETF fees also tend to be lower than for equivalent funds trying to beat indices

What Funds am I invested in?

We use a range of ETF’s and Managed Funds to represent the various asset classes that make up our portfolios. All of our Funds are chosen based on a number of factors including; fund size, liquidity, costs, tracking error and performance. We also aim to diversify our portfolios across different ETF issuers. Please click here for details on the ETF’s and Funds currently used in our model portfolios

Can I elect to reinvest my income back into the portfolio?

Yes. When opening your account, you can choose what percentage of the income (from 0% to 100%) you wish to receive, and the balance will be reinvested back into the portfolio. Alternatively, you can elect to receive a fixed amount quarterly which may consist of income and capital, which will be transferred into your nominated bank account every quarter.

Is my money locked in for a certain time?

No. You can withdraw your money at any time without penalty. Settlement usually takes 7 days although in certain circumstances we reserve the right to extend this period (reasons in which we might have to do so this are set out in the PDS). The majority of the funds we invest in are listed on the ASX which settle on a T+2 basis although a portion is likely to be unlisted which will generally take longer to settle.

Will I receive franking credits from my investments?

Yes. You will be entitled to any franking credits that are attached to distributions. This will be detailed in the annual tax statement that we issue you.

Why does my account have a small cash balance?

When we purchase your portfolio we leave a small amount (approx. 2%) in a separate cash account in order to pay your fees. This cash account is part of your investment account and accrues interest daily.

Can I customise my portfolio?

No, Collins House Online does not offer the capability for customisation of the portfolio.

How often do the Funds pay distributions?

The majority of our chosen Funds pay quarterly distributions although in some cases it is half-yearly or monthly.

Who makes my investment decisions?

Our portfolios are approved and maintained by the Collins House Investment Committee. The Investment Committee has over 60 years of combined experience in financial markets and portfolio construction. Click here for further information.

What are the costs involved?

Please click here to calculate your monthly fee. Your fees are based on the daily value of your investment account, calculated monthly in arrears and deducted directly from your cash account, which is a part of your investment account. For a more detailed breakdown of how your fee is calculated please see the PDS.

Are performance fees charged?

No, all gains are retained by the investor.

Do you charge brokerage?

No, there is no brokerage charged to the investor on either the purchase of the initial investments, any subsequent portfolio adjustments or when you come to sell your portfolio. Collins House Online covers all brokerage costs.

Are there any Entry/Exit Fees or Lock-in Contracts?

No, there are no Entry/Exit Fees or lock-in contracts.

How do I keep track of my portfolio?

Every investor has access to their own investor portal so you can log in at any time and see at a glance:

  • The overall status of your investment account
  • The composition of your portfolio
  • How your portfolio is performing
  • Updates from the Collins House Investment Committee

We also provide investors with access to the Collins House Online app.

Can I change from one portfolio to another?

Yes, if you feel your circumstances have changed or perhaps you weren’t in the right portfolio to start with, you can change portfolios at any time via the client portal.

How do I withdraw funds from my account?

You can withdraw funds at any time by visiting your online portal and clicking on the Account Maintenance tab. The entire process normally takes 7 days.

Are there any penalties or costs when withdrawing?

No, there are no penalties or costs involved no matter how long you have invested your funds. Brokerage fees are also never charged.

How do I add to my account?

You can transfer additional funds at any time by visiting your online portal and clicking on the Account Maintenance tab.

What is the objective of the High Income Portfolio?

The High Income Portfolio aims to provide regular income through investing in a diversified and actively managed portfolio of quality fixed interest investments.

We aim to provide an income return that is greater than bank term deposits by generally favouring fixed interest investments that deliver higher returns at an acceptable level of risk. However, with the higher rate of expected return comes higher expected risk, including the risk of capital loss.

What are Fixed Interest Investments?

Fixed interest investments, such as term deposits and government bonds offer investors a regular income for a specified term with the expectation that the principal will be repaid at the end of the term (maturity date).

Term Deposits are a deposit with a financial institution which has an agreed term (generally 1 month to 5 years) and interest rate (generally higher than an at call account but lower than other fixed interest investments). There are restrictions on how they can be terminated prior to the term. The chief benefit of a term deposit is that capital is guaranteed by the Australian Government, up to a limit of $250,000.

Bonds are securities issued by Governments or Corporations when they borrow money from investors.
Corporate Bonds generally pay a higher rate of return than Government Bonds and usually pay higher interest than term deposits to reflect the perceived higher credit risk.
Global bonds are usually fully hedged to the Australian dollar to remove any currency risk.

Residential Backed Mortgage Securities (RMBS) are another form of fixed interest investment and are made up of packages of home loans that are sold on by lenders to investors.
RMBS generally pay higher returns than Government Bonds and in some cases Corporate Bonds due to increased credit risk.

Fixed interest investments can be sold relatively quickly, although it’s important to note their capital value may rise and fall due to market conditions and assessed credit risk.

What are the benefits of investing in the High Income Portfolio?
  • Quarterly income distributions; we are targeting a distribution of over 3% p.a, (net of all fees) and paid quarterly – please note that this rate of return is not guaranteed and is determined by market conditions.

  • Actively managed; we utilise a range of specialist Fixed Interest Managers to take advantage of expertise in both local and global fixed Interest markets and monitor the underlying portfolios and manager performance so as to minimise risk of any capital loss.

  • Diversification; our portfolio is diversified in two crucial ways: first, it offers diversification across Government and Corporate Bonds as well as RMBS and other liquid fixed interest opportunities both in Australia and Internationally. Second, we select different Fixed Interest Managers to take advantage of their expertise across different markets.

  • Easy access; it’s a quick and simple process to open an account and you can start with as little as $5,000.

  • Regular updates; Our Investment Committee provides you with regular and timely updates on the performance of the portfolio

What are the risks of investing in the High Income Portfolio?

Whilst the High Income Portfolio aims to minimise risk of any capital loss by diversifying both across the various types of fixed interest investments and within those categories, an investment in the portfolio is not capital guaranteed. There is a risk of capital loss and/or of the portfolio not being able to pay the expected income distribution.

Who might be suited to the High Income Portfolio?

Investors and retirees seeking a higher rate of income return than is currently being offered by bank deposits and who fully understand and accept that this investment is higher risk than a term deposit. In particular, unlike an investment in a term deposit, an investment in our High Income portfolio is not capital guaranteed.

What is the minimum investment?

The minimum investment is $5,000, with the ability to add further amounts of $1,000 or more.

How often are income distributions paid?

Income distributions (which consist of interest and realised capital gains) are paid quarterly around the following dates: January 30, April 30, July 30 and October 30.

Can I elect to reinvest my income back into the portfolio?

Yes. When opening your account, you can choose what percentage of the income (from 0% to 100%) you wish to receive, and the balance will be reinvested back into the portfolio. Alternatively, you can elect to receive a fixed amount quarterly which may consist of income and capital, which will be transferred into your nominated bank account every quarter.

Is my money locked in for a certain time?

No. You can withdraw your money at any time without penalty. Settlement usually takes 7 days although in certain circumstances we reserve the right to extend this period (reasons in which we might have to do so this are set out in the PDS). The majority of the funds we invest in are listed on the ASX which settle on a T+2 basis although a portion is likely to be unlisted which will generally take longer to settle.

What are the costs involved?

We charge a Management Fee of 0.75% p.a. which covers our investment management decisions as well as the platform administration costs. This fee is deducted directly from your account on a monthly basis.

There is also an indirect cost based on the underlying charges of the holdings we invest in, such as ETFs and managed funds. These charges are automatically deducted from those funds and do not come out of your account.

For an estimate of your monthly charges please click here.

Who makes my investment decisions?

The Collins House Investment Committee manages the portfolio. The Investment Committee has over 60 years experience in financial markets and portfolio construction. Click here for further information.

The selection of the individual fixed interest securities is outsourced to external investment managers who have significant experience and expertise in managing fixed interest securities.

How is my first quarterly income payment calculated?

A new investor entering the High Income Portfolio during the quarter will have their accrued income paid out to them based on the time they have been invested in the portfolio. As an example, if you enter the portfolio 20 days before we pay income out for that quarter, then you will only be entitled to any interest, dividend or distributions paid by the underlying funds or ETFs for the quarter, in that 20 day period in which you were invested.

Who do I contact if I have questions regarding the administration of my account?

For questions regarding the administration of your account, please contact our friendly team on 1800 861 016 or support@collinshouseonline.com

Can I speak with one of the portfolio managers?

Yes. If you wish to speak with one of our portfolio managers you can contact us on (03) 80807838 or chois@collinshouse.com