Why are Kernel's fees changing?

Before we dive into the nitty-gritty of how our fees have changed, we thought you might want to know why our fees are changing at all.

Here at Kernel, we've always planned on reducing our fees as we reached more investors; in other words, as the number of those investing with Kernel grew. We know fees matter with investing, and we want to ensure that investors' returns aren't eaten away by high fees. Low management fees = more money in your pocket.

Further, we truly believe that investment fees need to be tied to investors' interests, not investment behaviours. By making a few small tweaks, we can continue to offer all investors the same access to the best financial freedom tools (ahem, ours!).

How are Kernel's fees changing?

First and foremost, we've reduced our fund management fees across the board. That's right - lower fees for all investors.

Management fees

Effective the 4th of April, our ten core funds have their annual management fee reduced to 0.25% and our three thematic funds reduced to 0.45% p.a. This does mean there is no longer a 0.1% p.a. rebate for investors with portfolios above $25k, however that’s because all the management fees have reduced (see the table below).

Platform fee

Additionally, we're increasing our platform fee for Invest from $3 to $5 per month. By doing this, we can offer investors a subscription-like investing experience with lower management fees.

We have also removed our member fee for portfolio balances under $25,000. This means you can start investing for yourself, your kids or grandkids, with as little as $1 and only pay the fund management fees.

To make things crystal clear, here’s how the fees are changing:

Old Fees

New Fees

Platform fee (Kernel Invest only) 

$3 per month 

$5 per month 

Platform fee threshold  



Management fees 

0.25% (NZ 50 ESG)  

0.39% (Core funds) 

0.55% (Thematic funds) 

For all portfolios with over $25k invested, a rebate of 0.1% applies.  

0.25% - all core funds  

 Including NZ 50 ESG

0.45% - all thematic funds  

No rebates.  

If you’re wondering what the specific fee is for each individual fund here’s a breakdown:

What do these changes mean for me?

Depending on your total portfolio balance, the new fee for structure may impact you in one of the following ways:

  1. Up to $25,000 invested – there is no platform fee to pay, just the annual management fee for the funds. Based on this, you are likely to have an immediate fee saving!

  2. $25,000 - $60,000 invested - $5 per month platform fee applies. This is an increase in the platform fee of $24 per year, however, some of this will be offset by the reduction in the management fees. You also have access to a wider range of products, being Kernel Save and the Kernel KiwiSaver Plan.

    1. As an example, based on $26,000 invested in the Core funds, you will be paying an extra $14 per year (including platform and management fees).

    2. As an example, based on $50,000 invested in the Core funds, you will be paying an extra $4 per year (including platform and management fees).

  3. Balances with $60,000+ invested – $5 per month platform fee applies. Based on being invested in the Core funds, you’ll be saving fees compared to our old pricing.

Here are a few examples:

Portfolio balance

Total fees as a percentage (assumes investing in the core funds only)

Monthly cost (including platform and management fee)

$10,000 invested


$2.10 per month (saves $3.30 p/m)

$15,000 invested


$3.10 per month (saves $3.50 p/m)

$26,000 invested


$10.40 per month (costs $1.13 more p/m)

$50,000 invested


$15.40 per month (costs $0.33 more p/m)

$70,000 invested


$19.6 per month (saves $0.33 p/m)

$100,000 invested


$25.80 per month (saves $1.33 p/m)

$250,000 invested


$57.10 per month (saves $6.33 p/m)

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