What is a Voleo investment club?
A Voleo club, or ‘club’, is a group of friends, family, colleagues, teammates, neighbors (you get the drift) who want to save money by splitting trading charges and make better decisions using their combined knowledge – the ‘wisdom of crowds’. Using traditional investment club exemptions, we modernize the experience enabling you to collaborate in real time over iOS, Android and Web.
What is a partnership agreement?
Each club selects a number of parameters which populate a simple partnership agreement that each person agrees to when joining a club. This document is always available for your review, and you can change these parameters as a club.
Who can participate in a club?
Anyone who has reached the age of majority, and who resides in a state in which Voleo has registered, is eligible to participate in a club. Each person will be required to provide supporting information to prove that you i) are eligible, and ii) are who you say you are, so that we can verify your identity before you start or join a club.
What devices are supported by Voleo?
Voleo supports web, iOS and Android devices. We are ‘mobile first’ so you can only sign up via smartphone, and not all features are or necessarily will be available on all platforms.
How do I sign-up on Voleo?
I Joined a Voleo investment club. Now what?
The first step is to get an understanding of your collective investment objectives. Are you looking for a passive portfolio of ETFs to achieve low-cost diversification, or an active portfolio of stocks and/or ETFs in an effort to outperform? Perhaps you are seeking long-term growth, maybe yield, or preservation of capital. These high level decisions will give you a sense of direction, though there is nothing wrong with experimenting with different strategies as you learn. We will be bringing on more tools to help you learn, but in the meanwhile check out the articles on FINRA’s The Alert Investor.
How much does Voleo cost?
The Voleo stock trading app for investment clubs is free to download. You can invite and accept members for free, you can create a club for free, and deposit funds for free. There is however a trading fee that is charged per trade and split among the members of your investment club. See the stock trading questions below for more details.
Are there residency requirements for using Voleo?
In order to use the Voleo stock trading app for investment clubs, you must have a US Social Security Number, you don’t need to be a resident of the United States. At this time, The Voleo stock trading app is only available in the US, however, anyone in the world can download and use the Voleo SimuTrader app which is a free stock trading simulator app for investment clubs.
Are there age restrictions for using Voleo?
Yes. You must be at least 18 years old to use Voleo for real-dollar trading in the US.
Does Voleo support bonds, currencies, commodities, or options margin trading?
Not at this time, but based on demand other investment products will be introduced in the future.
In the meanwhile there are ways to get exposure to certain fixed income, currency, commodity products and leverage using specialty ETFs.
Investors should carefully consider the risk profile of ETFs before investing in them. Leveraged and Inverse ETFs are not appropriate for all investors and may increase exposure to volatility through the use of leverage, short sales of securities, derivatives and other complex investment strategies. They also only attempt to mimic the leveraged performance on a certain day, so over time will not perform the way you might expect.
Read the prospectus from the issuer before investing in an ETF. Here is some more helpful information from the SEC.
What is the cost of trading on Voleo? Does Voleo charge management fees?
Voleo deals with Apex, which is a clearing house for transaction. Apex charges for certain specialty services that are passed on to you without any markup to Voleo. These are detailed in the commission and fee disclosures document accessible from within your account. Voleo does not charge management fees or hidden charges to enable you to manage your portfolios.
What are the tax implications for trading stocks with Voleo?
Voleo makes it easy, acquiring the tax ID (an EIN) on your behalf upon formation and providing your club and each user with the tax information required to complete your tax returns without having to maintain any spreadsheets.
Trust us, this used to be hard and some tax software for traditional investment clubs costs hundreds of dollars per year.
How does Voleo prevent investment clubs from remunerating for investment management or advice?
Voleo has included terms into the partnership agreement and sign-up process where users, as members of clubs on the Voleo platform, agree that they are neither being paid for advice nor paying for advice.
We don’t give investment or legal advice, but the implications of breaking this rule could result in you or your club members being in violation of securities laws and requiring a securities licence.
Funding My Account
How much does it cost?
Voleo’s apps are free to download. The trading charge for any US stock or exchange traded fund (ETF) is $12. This single commission is effectively split by the number of people in your club, meaning the effective cost per person is between $0.12 and $4 each trade depending on whether you have the max (100) or min (3) club size.
How do I add money? And how do I make a withdrawal?
Voleo is integrated with Plaid Technologies, Inc. (Plaid) which enables you to securely log in to your account with most large banks (www.plaid.com). On your approval, the funding amount you choose gets transferred to your club’s account. If you don’t bank with an institution integrated with Plaid, we accept your ABA routing number and account number, which are printed on the bottom of your check, and revert to the trial deposit verification method: Two small amounts are deposited to your account and you confirm how many cents were deposited each time so we know it’s your account.
When you want withdraw some or all of the value of your holdings, the secure relationship established is the only place your money can be sent to. This is for your protection, so if you change banks, we need to verify that account before money can be sent.
What are the minimum amounts to start trading?
Just $500 per person, with a minimum of 3 people per club. We recommend having several thousand dollars in your club, especially if you intend to manage the account actively.
Where does my money go, and where will the assets be held?
Your money and assets will be held at Apex Clearing Corporation (Apex), who also hold assets on behalf of Wealthfront, Betterment, and Robinhood. Apex (www.apexclearing.com) is well capitalized with great technology allowing Voleo and these other great firms to deliver excellent service at low cost. Voleo does not ever touch your cash or securities – we are merely a cool platform to help you manage your investments!
Can I just have an individual account?
We plan to support individual accounts, but are launching with clubs to encourage the community to invest together. Aggregation of assets allows individuals to save on trading fees and provide for better diversification than a smaller individual account. It also provides a platform to educate the non-investing community to encourage them to start investing for their financial future! When we do enable individual accounts, priority will be given to those who have founded Voleo clubs.
Investment Club Membership
Can I add a new person to my club?
Any user can go to the Details tab of any club they are in to initiate the ‘Invite New Member’ proposal. If the club votes in favour of inviting the new person (or people), the invitation will be sent and that person (or those people) can complete the onboarding. As set out in your partnership agreement, the new person’s share will be based on the proportional value of their cash contribution compared to the mark-to-market value of the club on the date the contribution is received.
Can I join more than one Voleo club?
Absolutely; with Voleo there’s no limit on the number of clubs you can join or create. Now you can trade and form different clubs with your family, friends, colleagues, neighbors, teammates, etc. You can also have multiple funds with different objectives with the same groups of people.
How can a user leave a club on Voleo?
Any person can leave their club(s) at any time. They will be able to take their proportional share of the assets of the club (cash and shares), subject to leaving behind a small dollar amount or percentage for the benefit of the club which each person agrees to upon formation.
What will happen if a club member moves to a jurisdiction in which Voleo’s registration did not apply?
This depends on the jurisdiction; please contact us with details of your move for further information.
Will Voleo allow club members to sell their proportional interest in the club to a new member or an existing member?
The current mechanism allows any member to leave a club, withdrawing their pro-rata share of assets less the amount stated in their respective partnership agreement(s). We may in the future allow you to sell your proportional interest, so long as doing so complies with securities laws and exemptions.
What will happen if a club member dies mid-year (or is declared incapacitated)?
All outstanding proposals and orders will be cancelled, and that person’s estate (or fiduciary) shall be entitled to the mark-to-market value on the date that a death certificate (or certificate of incapacity) is provided to Voleo. This will be facilitated through pro-rata segmentation of the assets attributable to that person into an account for benefit of that person or his/her estate.
How are trade proposals made?
Proposals to trade can be made by any club member at any time. They simply press the (+) icon, select the security and club, and create a proposal by dragging out the limit price and allocation they wish to propose – no need to think about the quantity you can buy at the chosen limit price!
On the review screen, you have the option of adding an explanation to your partners to start the discussion and introduce the merits of the trade. Trades execute automatically on hitting the condition for majority agreed in your partnership agreement.
How are users notified of proposals?
If enabled on your device, mobile notifications are sent to all members immediately upon a proposal being made. Following the link takes users directly to the proposal so you can discuss and vote on the trade.
If a club that loses a member and only had three members at the outset, how does the club proceed?
The club will have time to replace the member that leaves, operating on a consensus basis until a third person is recruited.
How would voting on new proposals be handled if a club has less than three members?
Given the designated quorum is two persons, even an investment club that loses a member could reach quorum and a majority for decisions made after.
What is a quorum?
A quorum is the number of people who have to participate for a vote to count.
What constitutes a quorum on Voleo?
The default position will be two person(s) for standard majority, and the entire membership of your club for super majority. Settings can be changed at the consent of a super majority, as set out in the partnership agreement.
What constitutes a majority for actions on Voleo?
Your partnership agreement sets out the majority condition; while there are several options the default is that a simple majority (50%-plus-one) will result in action according to proposals and other actions on the Voleo platform. For example in a club with a simple majority, an equal number of votes for and against a given action means the action will not be taken.
What prevents proposals from being made?
If you attempt to buy a security but can’t, it is likely because your club has insufficient funds (either you are fully invested or existing orders are outstanding), you are trying to buy an ineligible security.
Voleo users can buy most shares and ETFs listed on national stock exchanges, with the exception of penny shares which are defined by the SEC as any stock with a price of less than $5 (see: https://www.sec.gov/answers/penny.htm). If neither of these apply, contact us for further information.
How do we start a discussion?
Anyone can start a discussion by pressing the (+) icon. Discussions are always private to the club you initiate the discussion with, and can be about anything you want. We’re working on ways for you to tag people and stocks, upload various document types, and more. Tell us what features you want most: firstname.lastname@example.org.
What are the ‘Share via’ other social networks about?
With your explicit permission, Voleo can post a default or custom description about what you are proposing to do to your networks, bringing them into the conversation and sharing your passion for investing with your friends and followers.
Do I need to connect my Facebook, Twitter or LinkedIn account to trade?
Privacy and Security
What security measures do you have in place?
Your private information is stored behind multiple levels of security, and Voleo uses industry standard encryption protocols to secure the traffic between you and our servers.
Sensitive information such as your banking data is not kept on Internet accessible servers.
What controls will be in place to ensure that members of each club know and trust at least one other member?
Voleo users can only invite people they have contact details for, whether email or connection on a social media platform (Facebook, LinkedIn, etc). Invitees to the Voleo platform, though an investment club invitation, will have the option to indicate they do not know the person who invited them. Those persons will not be able to continue with joining a club.
How will privacy rights work?
If users opt to share their information, what data can be made available to third parties?
Voleo is a social trading app where members are encouraged to participate to make the community better for all members. We track each person’s decision history for the purposes of their DROID (definitive return on investment decision) score and to help them learn from the decisions they have made.
Users who choose not to manage their My Decisions (DROID) portfolio will have decisions they made which were not followed by the group mark-to-market daily for the purposes of their score indefinitely. Voleo may use this information along with data from actual transactions to develop user tools, create financial products or instruments, and to keep trading costs low.