Alexx’s work took her all over the world before the global pandemic brought her home.
She shares why she started investing in small chunks, how it’s helping her live the life she wants, and what’s driving her to build her investment portfolio for the future.
Tell us about yourself!
I’m a travel blogger, photographer, and freelance marketer. Before COVID-19 and our borders started to close, I travelled full-time for my work. I returned home to Hamilton in March 2020 and hope to travel again early next year.
What’s your money story?
My parents are small business owners, so I grew up learning about money and self-employment. After seeing the type of freedom self-employment gave my parents, I wanted to be self-employed too.
I didn’t really think about investing until I was at university and saw my dad go to a shareholders’ meeting. In my early 20s, I was focused on surviving in Auckland on a very low salary with high living costs. As my salary grew, I got more serious about learning about different types of investments and how I could build my wealth.
I’m fortunate to have built a business where I essentially get to live my dream life without much money exchanging hands. But my income is a lot lower than if I was working in my old desk job, so I need to be really smart about my investments.
Since the travel industry shut down, I’ve had less income and higher costs of living in New Zealand. Investing took a back seat for a while, but now I’m getting back into small weekly investments and reinvesting any dividends I get.
Tell us about your first time investing
My first indirect investment was through my dad. He invested in an initial public offering (IPO) on behalf of my brother and me. It was a great way for us to learn about dividends and price-to-earnings ratios. We kept an eye on the company and decided when to sell or when to buy more. We kept the dividends and paid my dad back the initial investment when we sold.
I started investing in shares myself because I wanted to travel abroad. Buying a house wasn’t a realistic option. I had to find other ways to build my wealth.
How do you manage your investments now?
My Sharesies Portfolio is very diverse, and includes New Zealand, US, and Australian shares. I also hold some cryptocurrency outside of Sharesies too.
As a freelancer, my income is very inconsistent, so I’ve made a habit of using auto-invest to invest a set amount each time I get paid. I make sure my living expenses are covered for the next few months, then I split the rest of my pay between my business expenses, travel savings, and investments. I love auto-invest for the consistency. Investing regularly gives me the benefit of dollar-cost averaging. For bigger investments, once I decide on an amount I’d be happy to pay, I use limit orders.
I look at my investments most days. I track all my investments and savings monthly on my very extensive and mega nerdy spreadsheet!
Why is investing important to you?
My long-term goal is to live off my investments. Investing is how I’ll be able to get financial freedom and the freedom of time. I’d like to be able to pick and choose the work I’m truly passionate about rather than having to take on freelance jobs to cover my living costs. I’d also like to buy a house whenever that time comes. To achieve those things, I need to make my money work for me.
I love that I’m building wealth without having to rely on working for someone else in exchange for a salary. And what I absolutely love about Sharesies is that there’s no barrier to entry. I can invest small amounts as often as I can and know that it’s helping my future.
How do you choose what to invest in?
I’m an overthinker, so if I did a deep dive into every single investment option, I’d never make a decision! I balance my need for information with the fact that I’ll never know the perfect time to invest or the perfect company to invest in.
I talk about shares with my dad and brother, read the Motley Fool for suggestions about US investments, and do online research about a company and its future potential. I like putting my money into companies I believe in and use personally. I like knowing that my money has gone towards businesses that align with my personal values.
How have you become a more confident investor over time?
I’m a fan of the Australian podcast She’s on the Money, produced specifically for millennial women. I’ve learnt about everything from how to get out of debt, to self-employment tips and investment help. I also follow @the.brokegeneration and @girlsthatinvest on Instagram.
If you’re just not sure about how it all works, do your research, listen to podcasts, join the Sharesies Facebook Group, and talk to friends and family to see if anyone has any experience in investing. Doing those things has helped me gain confidence.
What would you say to someone who doesn’t think investing is for them?
You don’t need thousands of dollars to get started. Every cent counts. Even if you invest as a way to force yourself to save a little bit each week, your Future You will thank you for it.
The people shown in our Investor Journeys are Sharesies investors, and their stories are actual experiences they’ve had with us. They’re paid for their time to record their story.
Ok, now for the legal bit
Investing involves risk. You aren’t guaranteed to make money, and you might lose the money you start with. We don’t provide personalised advice or recommendations. Any information we provide is general only and current at the time written. You should consider seeking independent legal, financial, taxation or other advice when considering whether an investment is appropriate for your objectives, financial situation or needs.