About us

Balance Impact’s goal is to make responsible investing easier. We do this by providing access to socially-responsible diversified investment portfolios that are smart, easy to establish and affordable. You can hear more about why Balance Impact was established directly from our founder, Emily Martin in this video.
Balance Impact’s investment committee oversees our investment decisions. With over 100 years of financial market experience between them, each of the members has a keen interest in responsible investing. They bring a variety of skill sets to our investment selection, from bonds and fixed interest, to equities and social impact.
Balance Impact is the business name of Touchstone Capital Pty Ltd (ABN 54 608 605 296), which is an authorised representative of SIRA Group Pty Ltd (AFSL 278423).

This means that we operate under an Australian Financial Services License, which is provided by and regulated by ASIC.
Balance Impact is all about responsible investing. We believe that investing in the good things that you care about can generate social and financial returns.

All of the investments will meet our ethical screening criteria.  You can also read more on our website about our responsible investments.
We are differentiated from other advisers in a number of important ways: • Responsible investments: responsible investments are not just one part of our business, they are our whole business. All Balance Impact investments must meet our ethical screening criteria, and we’ll report to you on all the good things that your investments have done. • Flat fees: We love simplicity and transparency. That’s why we offer flat fees, so you know how much you’ll be paying each month. • Experience: not all advisers are investment professionals. Our CEO has over 15 years’ investment experience and is a specialist in responsible investing. Balance Impact’s CEO is also supported by our Investment Committee, providing over 100 years of combined experience in financial markets.
Your investments are always held in your name, or the entity via which you are investing. At no time is any of your cash or investments held by Balance Impact.

Our role is to manage your investments, and each month we deduct our Investment Management Fee from your Cash Management Account.

In the unlikely event that Balance Impact ceased to exist, you would have the option of managing the investments yourself, or finding another financial planner to manage them.

Our services

Balance Impact offers two services: • Online investing: You can use our online investment service to invest in one of our five model investment portfolios. We can recommend a suitable investment portfolio for you based on your profile and establish a smart, responsible portfolio in just minutes. • Bespoke investing: If you have a specific social impact goal, or complex investment needs that are not aligned with one or our model portfolios, we will work with you to create a bespoke investment portfolio. The fees for our bespoke service start at $2,200 upfront and $1,320 per annum.
Yes, if you're an accountant that doesn't hold an AFSL, or simply doesn't offer investment advice, we can help you fill that gap.  Here's a few great reasons to work with Balance Impact: 

  • We're a professional investment adviser fully licensed under an AFSL and can provide Managed Discretionary Account services.

  • We specialise in investment advice for Self-Managed Super Funds

  • Our online Model Portfolios are quick and easy to set-up 

  • We charge fixed prices, not percentage-based fees.

  • We're affordable, particularly for larger balances as our maximum fee caps out at $55 a month.

  • We provide quarterly performance reports, annual social impact reports and annual tax information

  • Clients can monitor their investment performance online any time

    If you would like more information about how we can work with your accounting practice, please contact us.
We have a streamlined process that makes it easy for you to create your smart, responsible investment portfolio in just a few steps: 1. Login and create an account. 2. Answer a few questions about your investment goals, risk profile and the good things you care about. 3. We’ll recommend a socially responsible investment portfolio. 4. Fill in your personal details using our online form. 5. We’ll set-up your Cash Management Account and Brokerage Account. 6. Deposit funds into your Cash Management Account. 7. We’ll set-up your investment portfolio. 8. Login any time to check your investment performance.
You can. Once you receive our investment recommendation, you could purchase the recommended investments yourself. However, purchasing an investment is just the start of the journey.

If you decide to manage the investment yourself you should also be monitoring the financial performance of the investment, keeping an eye on new investments that come onto the market, tracking the social performance of the investments, preparing the information required for your tax return and rebalancing your portfolio. These tasks are time consuming and not everyone has the expertise to complete them successfully.

With our fees starting from $14 a month it makes financial sense to use our services and benefit from our professional investment expertise.
Yes, we can help too. Creation of a bespoke investment portfolio involves the following steps:

1. An initial call with Balance Impact to discuss your investment goals, both social and financial.
2. A face-to-face meeting to start the design of your bespoke portfolio.
3. A draft Statement of Advice setting out our proposed investment portfolio.
4. A face-to-face meeting to discuss the draft Statement of Advice and make any changes.
5. A face-to-face meeting to discuss the final Statement of Advice, and sign any documents required to establish the portfolio.

Our face-to-face meetings will be conducted in person for our Sydney clients, and via Skype for those located outside of Sydney.

Responsible investments

All of our investments must meet our strict ethical screening criteria, which is reviewed at least annually by our Investment Committee. Check out our website to learn more about our screening criteria and what we consider to be our responsible investments.
Yes, here is a list of the shares held within our investment portfolios. This changes from time to time and we update it at least quarterly
The bond portions of our portfolios are invested in fixed-rate government bonds, floating-rate government bonds and floating rate bonds issued by Australian Banks. The Australian Banks in the corporate bond portfolios could include Commonwealth Bank, National Australia Bank, Westpac, ANZ or a number of other Australian Banks.
We produce an annual social impact report setting out the performance of the portfolios from a social perspective, including metrics such as the environmental, social and governance scores of the portfolio and gender diversity of the board. Our report also includes stories about the companies you are investing in, and the good things they are doing.

Fees

We charge a fixed investment management fee based on your asset size. Starter Classic Premium
Starter Classic Premium
Balance Size $15,000 to $35,000 $35,001 to $100,000 $100,001
Fee $14 per month ($168 p.a) $25 per month ($300 p.a) $55 per month ($660 p.a)
In addition to the fees for our online service, we also offer the ability to create a customised investment portfolio designed to suit your investment goals and ethical screening criteria. The fee for creating a bespoke portfolio start from $2,200 upfront and a minimum of $110 per month ($1320 annually) for performance monitoring.
Our service offering isn’t just about balance size. We also offer additional services for each fee category:
Services Starter Classic Premium
Investment portfolio tailored to your risk profile
Compliance of each investment with our ethical screening criteria
Annual social impact reports
Quarterly financial performance reports
Professional portfolio monitoring and management
Online access to your investment account
A real person to talk to, available by phone or online
Annual taxation data for your tax return
Monthly overview of responsible investments opportunities*
Annual face-to-face meetings to review your portfolio
* Balance Impact is a specialist in responsible investing and is constantly reviewing investment opportunities.  Each month we'll share our review of one such opportunity to keep you abreast of products in the market.  We are not a product provider and do not have any financial interest in any products we review.  
We want to make ethical investing as simple as possible. Charging percentage-based fees that vary from month to month based on your asset balance didn’t make sense to us. A three-tiered pricing model, so you’ll know exactly what you’ll be charged each month is more transparent.
Yes, there are other fees, namely:

• Product fees: We recommend investments in a number of products, each of which charge fees. These fees are paid to the product provider, not to Balance Impact. For our Model Portfolios, these fees range from 0.31% to 0.51% per annum. You can use our online calculator to see what your fee would be each month, including the product fees. For the purposes of the calculation we assume that you invest in our ‘balanced’ option.

• Brokerage fees: When you invest with us, you own each investment directly. In making the investment, the brokerage cost is the greater of $19.95 or 0.12%. This is paid directly to the broker, not to Balance Impact.
Our online calculator also includes the cost of the exchange-traded-funds that we invest in. These fees are not paid to Balance Impact, they are paid to external product providers. We take them into account in our calculator so that you can determine the total amount of fees you are likely to pay each month for your investments.
No, you do not pay any fees to set-up your Macquarie Cash Management Account (CMA) and there is no ongoing fee for having the CMA.

Investments

Yes, the minimum investment amount is $15,000.
You’ll be invested in a mix of responsible investments designed to suit your risk profile. The asset classes include Australian shares, International shares, fixed-rate bonds, floating-rate bonds and inflation-linked bonds.

All of the investments will meet our ethical screening criteria. Read more about our responsible investments.
Your investments are held directly by you, or the entity via which you invest, for example, your self-managed super fund or company. When you first set-up an account with us, you are required to open a Cash Management Account and a brokerage account with Macquarie Bank.

To establish your investment portfolio, you will first deposit the amount that you would like to be invested in your Cash Management Account. After you deposit the funds, Balance Impact will place the trade orders using your brokerage account to establish the investment portfolio. Each investment will be owned in your own name, or the entity via which you invest.

At no point will your cash be held in Balance Impact’s account, and none of your investments will be held in Balance Impact’s name.
Portfolio rebalancing refers to bringing your portfolio back to its initial asset allocation. For example:

• You decide to invest your $10,000 portfolio in 30% bonds, and 70% equity.
• One year later, the share market has risen 20%, and the bond market has risen 5%.
• At the end of year one you now have $8,400 in shares and $3,150 in bonds. This means that your portfolio is now invested 73% in shares and 27% in bonds.
• To rebalance your portfolio, you need to sell the extra 3% in shares and reinvest them in bonds.

We rebalance our portfolios at least annually. Research has shown that portfolio rebalancing increases returns, and decreases risk, making it a worthwhile exercise.
We rebalance our portfolios at least annually.
To find the appropriate investment for each portfolio we consider: • Ethical criteria: each investment must meet our ethical screening criteria • Manager: we only invest in experienced managers • Fees: we consider the fees of each product. We do not always invest in the lowest fee option, we also consider qualitative factors like the ethical screens and the experience of the manager • Performance: we consider the performance of the investment Available investment options are then presented to the investment committee for discussion and selection of the final investments. The investment committee meets quarterly to review the performance of each investment.
Yes, you can switch between Model Portfolios. For example you could switch from the Banksia Portfolio to the Coachwood portfolio if your circumstances have changed and you would like to reduce the risk of your investment.

When changing between portfolios, brokerage costs may be incurred. You will be advised of the amount of brokerage cost before the change is made.

You cannot invest in a bespoke portfolio allocation of your choosing, unless you have created a bespoke portfolio.
Yes, we can work with you to create a bespoke portfolio designed to suit your social impact and financial goals. This process involves a number of face-to-face meetings designed to get to know you, so that we can construct a suitable investment portfolio. The products recommended may include exchange-traded funds, direct shares, managed funds and alternative assets.

The cost of this service starts from $2,200 upfront, and $1,320 per annum for portfolio reporting and monitoring.

Your account

To open an account with Balance Impact simply login online and follow our streamlined process. First you will be asked to answer a few questions, then we’ll make a portfolio recommendation and provide you with your Statement of Advice. If you’re happy with the recommendation you fill in your personal details and that’s it!
You must be over 18 and an Australian resident to open an account with Balance Impact.
Yes, the minimum account size is $15,000.
No, you cannot transfer existing shares to your Balance Impact account. Your account with us includes only your investments that have been purchased with Balance Impact.
No, you cannot. Each year the cash management accounts that have been opened by our clients are audited to ensure that all transactions that occur are in accordance with the agreements you enter into with Balance Impact. We cannot audit your existing account, or transactions that are external to Balance Impact. Therefore, a new cash management account must be established.
No, you cannot. Balance Impact have a streamlined process for establishing brokerage accounts and for placing trade orders. Unfortunately, we cannot use this same process for existing brokerage accounts.
Yes, you can. When filling in your online details to establish your account with Balance Impact you will be given the option to set-up a recurring payment. If you did not choose this option on establishment, just give us a call and we will let you know how to set-up this payment.
You can withdraw cash from your Cash Management Account at any time, however we require that you maintain a minimum cash balance of 0.50% to cover any fees. It should be noted that the amount of money in your Cash Management Account is likely to be low, at around 0.50% of your Investment Balance. The majority of your funds will be invested in your Investment Portfolio.
Please contact us as soon as possible if your circumstances change. Our investment recommendations are based on the information you've provided to us. If there is any change your investments may not longer be suitable.
If you would like to close your account, please provide 30 days written notice. You will then be given the option of holding the investment and managing the portfolio yourself (there are no exit costs for this option) or selling down the portfolio and cashing out (brokerage costs will apply).

Tax

We provide tax statements within 90 days after financial year end, that is by 30 September each year.

START INVESTING TODAY

HOW IT WORKS

1

Tell us

We'll get to know you, your investment goals and the good things you care about

2

Review our recommendation

We'll recommend a socially responsible investment portfolio just for you

3

Start investing!

Open your investment account online, in just 10 minutes. It's that easy!

I want to make my savings matter.

Sign Up

Balance Impact 1 Bligh Street Sydney, NSW, 2000 info@balanceimpact.com 02 8226 8596 Balance Impact (ABN 54 608 605 296) is the trading name of Touchstone Capital Pty Ltd, a Corporate Authorised Representative (No.xxxxxx) of SIRA Group Pty Ltd (AFSL: 278423).


.

Hide ethical news and the sign-up