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Spaceship fined for misleading statements

Would-be superannuation industry disrupter Spaceship Financial Services and its trustee Tidswell Financial Services have been issued with infringement notices and fined by ASIC over misleading claims.

ASIC said it was concerned about claims made about the “fundamental investment philosophy” of Spaceship Super’s GrowthX portfolio on the fund’s website last year.

“Promotional statements prioritised marketing over accurate disclosure,” ASIC said.

Spaceship, which was launched last year, targets millennials in its marketing, promising exposure to fast-growing tech stocks. At June last year it had 6000 members and $100 million of funds.

Its website said: “We will fight to get you the best assets in your portfolio. We will measure companies in our portfolio based on their ability top provide defensibility and high levels of product differentiation.”

ASIC said its concern was that the statement would mislead prospective investors because 79 per cent of the fund was invested in passive funds, which involved no qualitative analysis of the underlying companies,.

“The accurate promotion of superannuation products is critical to enable Australian consumers to make well-informed financial decisions, particularly in this case given the Spaceship Fund was specifically targeting young investors,” ASIC said.

The regulator said it was monitoring new entrants to the super industry to ensure that marketing and promotional claims are consistent with the underlying features of the product.

Spaceship is one of a number of new entrants to the super industry in recent years, targeting young people with more engaging marketing and simple investment options.

It has been criticised for its high fees. In response, last October it announced that it would cut the fee on its GrowthX portfolio from 1.6 per cent to 0.99 per cent.