EasyEquities doesn’t want passive investors

EasyEquities chief marketing officer Carel Nolte said EasyEquities does not want passive people who don’t display good investment behaviour.

There has been a storm around EasyEquities since it announced a mandatory Thrive loyalty program subscription with a R25 per month fee for all users.

Purple Group CEO Charles Savage said tough times in South Africa forced EasyEquities to introduce a R25 a month fee.

Purple Group, which owns EasyEquities, is under pressure to improve its financial performance after its share price plummeted 79% since January 2022.

Its results for the six months ended 28 February 2023 revealed that its operating expenses increased significantly faster than its revenue.

The standout figure was a net loss of R10.6 million – a negative swing from the previous net profit of R17.7 million. It was a 158% deterioration in Purple Group earnings.

With tough times set to remain, the EasyEquities business had to adapt to the South African economic challenges and bear market.

EasyEquities makes money when users trade on the platform, and it, therefore, wants to encourage that behaviour.

Savage said the mandatory R25 Thrive loyalty program subscription is aimed at modifying the behaviour of EasyEquities users.

Through the R25 fee, they hope to increase user activity and generate more revenue. If a user is not active, they will make money through the subscription fee.

EasyEquities chief marketing officer, Carel Nolte,
EasyEquities chief marketing officer, Carel Nolte,

Speaking to 702, Nolte said they do not want to serve the large number of dormant and inactive accounts on the EasyEquities platform.

“We want everybody to be active investors. Whether they invest R1, R10, or millions, it does not matter,” he said.

“What we don’t want are people that are passive and don’t display good investment behaviour.”

He said the R25 monthly fee is aimed at making people deposit money into their EasyEquities account, refer people to the platform, or educate themselves.

He said they don’t want to charge the fee. “For anything that displays good financial behaviour, there will be no fee,” Nolte said.

Not everyone is convinced. Well-known investor Karin Richards described EasyEquities’ new R25 per month Thrive fee as disingenuous.

“I would hate to be treated like a child in this manner. ‘Reward good behaviour’ – what a load of drivel. Just say: we need to charge a fee. End of story,” she said.

She also slated Nolte’s comments. “The guy from EasyEquities is completely oblivious to how patronising his comments are,” she said.

“People have got to put some effort in. People have got to be educated. What’s next? Another R25 if you don’t eat your broccoli?” she asked.