SelfWealth’s ASX debut in November didn’t go according to plan — and the online stockbroker’s first half-yearly result shows progress is slow.

SelfWealth (ASX:SWF), which offers jazzed-up stock trading accounts with a social networking element, shares have only briefly passed their 20c issue price and now sit at 16.5c.

SelfWealth’s first half-year results show a $2.5 million loss — 266 per cent worse than the loss in the same period in 2017.

Revenue fell 41 per cent to $519,639.

And cash holdings had only increased by a little over $1 million in spite of the $7.3 million IPO just months ago.

But strip out the government R&D tax refunds, particularly since the free ATO money was four times as large in 2017 and it was in 2018, and the numbers start to look a little less dire.

Revenue of $278,000 was more than double that in the second half of fiscal 2017, and the trading volumes made through the website went from 10,162 to 26,269 trades.

Chief Andrew Ward told Stockhead that compared to the first half of 2017, and indeed the second half as well, client cash, trades and stock holdings saw minimum triple digit growth.

People love a deal

SelfWealth added 571 new active users between its listing date and the end of December.

Mr Ward told Stockhead in November they were aiming for 200 a month at a cost of $500 each.

Active user numbers went from 1690 (making an average of about two trades a month) to 2261 users in the period.

Yesterday he said they’re now aiming for 600 a month and the cost is working out as slightly less than $500 per user.

The IPO was designed to provide a serious uplift in cash for marketing: this month they’re upping the amount spent on marketing from $100,000 a month to $900,000 a quarter.

Mr Ward says the unexpected jump in user numbers in December was because of word of mouth — 20 per cent of new users are now from referrals — the credibility gained from listing, and an improved sign up process that doesn’t boot potential users off for fat finger keyboard mistakes.

SelfWealth has a deal with BGL Corporate Solutions that gives it access to around 30,000 share portfolios. It’s up to SelfWealth to convince the owners of these portfolios to try their system.

Mr Ward told Stockhead yesterday they’ve only lost 10 clients since listing.