Investor Journeys—Bjana Young—Sharesies New Zealand
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Investor Journeys—Bjana Young

Investor Journeys

Meet Bjana! A 25-year-old foodie who’s taken the first step towards a financially empowered future. We had a chat about her first investing experience, managing money, and some sweet tips and tricks she’s collected along her journey. 🍬

23 November 2020

3 min read

Investor Journeys—Bjana Young

Tell us a bit about yourself!

I’m a sporty, Kiwi-Asian who loves to salsa dance, and play football and tennis. After studying food science and entrepreneurship at Otago, I went on to study cooking so that I could learn more practical skills and about how a kitchen is run. I loved it, and went to London to pursue cooking further. Now that I’m back in NZ, I’m wanting to gain more skills in the food science area. I’ve also dreamed of starting my own business in food, which I want to do in a few years time.

Bjana with a pizza

When was the first time you remember hearing about investing?

I knew investing existed (outside of KiwiSaver!), but not knowing anything about it, or how to invest, I never thought about doing it. There seemed to be hurdles in getting started, and I was lost in knowing what to do.

What was your first time investing like?

I took the leap into the world of investing through a friend who helped me to buy my first shares using an online broker. I invested in a fast food company that was doing well at the time, but unfortunately I put all my eggs into one basket and invested big amounts all at once—which didn’t work out so well. I didn’t realise that it’s best to invest small amounts regularly over time and diversify my Portfolio in the process. Luckily, finding Sharesies was good for this strategy because I could start off by putting in a little bit here and there.

How do you typically manage your money and investments?

I enjoy researching different investments, and putting money into things that I’m interested in. Because of my goals, I choose to invest in higher risk companies with any extra money I have. Otherwise, I contribute to a range of funds every week by using the auto-invest function on Sharesies.

How has your attitude towards money and investing changed since you started investing?

I definitely think more about money and how I’m using it. Talking about investing is a regular topic of conversation with friends, as it’s much more accessible. I treat my Sharesies Portfolio almost like a savings account, though the difference with a savings account is that it feels more tempting to spend your money! I really look forward to seeing where my money is going, and try to put as much money as I can afford into my Portfolio. Every bit counts.

What’s the best advice you’ve been given about investing, or managing your money?

Put in what you can afford consistently over the long term, keeping in mind the concept of compound interest. Understanding your risk profile is also useful, as well as knowing what kind of investments you’re keen to invest in and how long you’re investing for. Chat to your friends and family, too! You never know which gems of advice will come your way.

Are you investing towards anything?

I would like to start an artisan food business, and perhaps a café later down the track. I would also like to buy a house with my partner and an investment property. For me, investing is about keeping my options open for the future and having financial freedom.

What tips would you give to everyday New Zealanders?

Think of what your goals are and the life you want to live. The earlier you start investing, the more time you’ll have to grow your wealth. Work out what you’ll be able to afford and put it on an automatic payment either every week, fortnight, or month—whatever works for you! Don’t worry about doing everything perfectly, as it’s all a part of the journey.


The people shown in our Investor Journeys are actual 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.

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