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DIY Investing? Insights can help

Author: Kirsty O’Hara

5 min read

Investing based on Research and Insights.

The question we hear most often at Flint is:

"How do I choose a fund to invest in?"

While we are not able to give advice, we love to share useful guideposts that help many investors to form their personal fund selection strategy. Today, we focus on how Flint supports investors to make informed investment decisions, by exploring research and insights. If you’re a new Flint investor, you will see there are seven key areas that you can expect informed insights to cross your desk (or phone screen):


1)      Digital Tear Sheets

2)      Performance Reports on Funds

3)      Product Disclosure Statements

4)      Research IP Qualitative Reports

5)      RIPPL Effect Research Insights

6)      Flint Blogs & Articles

7)      Flint E-newsletters

1. Digital Tear sheets on Flint:

This is the blue text you see on a black background inside the Flint App. This data-feed has been designed to mirror the aesthetic of a trading board, and reference the tear sheets that brokers and investors used to ‘tear’ out of the investments section of the newspaper in days gone by. Investopedia summarises a Tear Sheet as:

“In finance, a tear sheet is a one-page summary of a mutual fund [managed fund] or individual company. including key fundamental information and a graph displaying historical performance.”

A Tear Sheet is useful to very quickly get an idea on a fund’s past performance, geographical focus, asset class, and an indication around the Total Expense Ration (TER).

For those new to investing, the ‘TER’ is described via a helpful Flint popup as:

“Total Expense Ratio (TER) includes the management fee, other administration fees and any actual performance fee for the last year quoted by the manager in its latest disclosure. The TER doesn’t include any transaction costs incurred by the fund."

If we don't display a TER, the fund may be too new to display any past fees.

More details, including estimated future fees, can be found in the fund’s product disclosure statement.”

2. Performance Reporting on Flint:

When considering a fund, you will see performance graphs that show how the fund is performing. The data that feeds these performance graphs is not live but does pull through on a frequent basis – and gives you a better idea of the fund’s performance.

At the time of publishing this article, the current performance data feeds within Flint include:

  • Daily reporting on all personal portfolio holding information. This means you can track your personal fund holdings daily (should you feel inclined).
  • Monthly performance reporting on the Tear Sheet information, which pulls through on approximately the 10th calendar day of each month.

3. Product Disclosure Statements (Known as a PDS) on Flint:

These are documents provided by fund managers as required by law, which provide an overview on the fund manager, each fund, and the risk indicator relevant to each.

According to the FMA:

 “A Product Disclosure Statement (PDS) provides you with essential information to help you decide whether to invest in a financial product. It uses clear language to explain the product and replaces older forms of financial product disclosure information such as investment statements and prospectuses”.

A PDS is important because it “describes how a product works and provides you with information about the organisation that is offering it. Importantly, it will give you an understanding of the risks and returns and any fees and charges. You must be given the PDS before you invest in the financial product”.

Note it is mandatory for all investors in a Fund to have read and understand the PDS. If you are a Flint customer, you can invest without needing to complete the hardcopy ‘Application’ section you will note on PDS documents. This is a huge admin time saver for investors.

4. Research IP Qualitative Reports on Flint:

These sit alongside some of the funds and are different from the RIPPL Effects reports mentioned below.

The Research IP Qualitative reports are an independent third-party overview of a fund, relative to a specific period of time, and are therefore only showcased on Flint if they are less than a year old. For this reason, not every fund will show a qualitative fund report at this point in time.

5. Research IP RIPPL Effect reports on Flint:

RIPPL Effect insights are available for nearly every fund on Flint. There is a lot of information when you first read one, but you can be reassured that these research insights always follow the same format: There are 7 pages of key fund information, presented within a tabled formulaic structure.

The RIPPL Effect acts as a great accompaniment to the PDS and provides analysis from our partner - investment consulting business Research IP - on investment strategy; fees; ESG credentials; and performance [etc.]. The purpose of these insights is to help you make an informed decision about the fund you are looking to invest in.

6. Insightful Blogs on Flint:

We are super excited at Flint to be creating conversations and opportunities to share knowledge and foster a financially literate community. One way we do this is by reading the latest research studies that cross our desks and conveying this in our regular blog article content.

Our team regularly enjoy reading the latest reports and studies from the likes of the Financial Services Council; the Te Ara Ahunga Ora Retirement Commission; the Responsible Investing Association of Australasia (RIAA); Mindful Money; the Responsible Investing Association of Australasia (RIAA); credible industry thought leadership resources; and insights from industry commentators invested in the success of New Zealanders in growing their financial capabilities and future wealth.

The Flint blog is also a space to share fund manager Flintroductions and fund manager insights. We hope this content helps our investors to feel up to date and ‘in-the-know’ on fund methodologies and philosophies that may inform your personal investment strategies.

7. Flint’s Complimentary E-Newsletter:

This is where we share insights through our ‘Aren’t we Lucky …’ email series. Each edition covers off things we feel lucky to know, lucky to share, lucky to learn, and always finishes with a note about feeling lucky to belong. It’s our aim to help people feel included in conversations around wealth generation, responsible lending, and all things investment related.

Our goal is to share digestible insights, that make understanding financial insights welcoming to the everyday investor. We know our investors are busy folk, on the go, so we try to make these e-newsletters opportunities to lean in and learn on your own terms.

As Flint continues to grow, we will continue to share investing insights and information.

If there is something specific you want to learn more about in the world of investing, please do contact us and let us know. We love to receive feedback, and we are super excited to continue to build and share content that fosters informed investing for New Zealanders.

Happy investing!



All content shared is of a general nature, current to the time it was penned, and is not financial advice. Before making any investment decisions, please be sure you have completed full due diligence. This should include reading the product disclosure statement (PDS), considering fees and taxation, identifying your time horizons, and understanding the performance history and reputation of the investments you are considering.

Please note: When investing you are not guaranteed to make money (and on occasion you may lose some or all of the money you began with). Seek independent advice to establish if an investment is suitable for your financial situation and long-term wealth generation goals.


FMA, Investopedia Tear Sheets, Investopedia Terms.