Joe chats about investing for his two sons through Sharesies’ partnership with Whānau Āwhina Plunket, and what led him to taking charge of his family's financial future.
Tell us about yourself!
I’m a writer for a living, and a father to two boys. My wife and I just recently moved to New Zealand and are enjoying setting up a life here in New Plymouth as a family.
I started investing because I’d been freelance writing for a few years and had more disposable income to play around with. I wanted to be smarter with my money.
Why did you start investing for your kids?
I wasn’t really shown good financial habits when I was growing up, so I really want to give my boys a leg-up now that I’m in a position to do that.
When we moved to New Zealand, we were looking at options for saving and investing, and we came across Sharesies’ Kids Accounts. With the current state of the market, it was the best option for us to be able to invest a small amount, regularly, for the boys and ourselves.
It was awesome to see the partnership between Whānau Āwhina Plunket and Sharesies and be able to use the promocode PLUNKET to sign up one of the boys! Similar to Sharesies, Whānau Āwhina Plunket are there for you when you’re getting started and don’t make you feel like you’re doing anything wrong.
How do you manage your investments now?
My portfolio is a lot more risk-averse because we’re wanting to look for a house. We’ll need our money a lot sooner than the boys will need theirs. The boys have a much longer investment horizon, so they’re invested in things that may have more risk, but might also have the opportunity to make higher returns over the long term. You don’t have to invest one particular way—you can do so in a way that takes your current situation and goals into consideration.
I’m on the computer all day so I look up information about what the share markets are doing. On the Sharesies app, I’ll always look at the 5-year history of the company or fund and see the performance over that period of time.
I have an automatic payment that chucks some pocket money into the boys’ Kids Accounts every payday. That way, once they hit 21, they’ll have something to work with. It’ll tick away until then.
What are you hoping to teach your family about money and investing?
I’ve been trying to get my family on board. My mum is a giftaholic (even the postman gets gifts at Christmas!), so whenever she mentions getting the kids presents or toys, I ask her to buy them a Sharesies Gift voucher instead.
Ultimately, they don’t care about the new Batman toy—they just love hanging out with her. Sharesies Gifts or investments aren’t that interesting for toddlers, but then again, you get them a present and they just play with the box anyway! There’s so much more longevity to Sharesies Gifts.
What would you say to someone who doesn’t think investing is for them or their family?
Investing doesn’t have to be something you dive all in and give your whole life savings to. You can just make it a part of your life—small amounts can add up over time, especially when you’re in it for the long haul.
I’m a simple bloke and I can find all the financial things quite intimidating, but Sharesies isn’t overwhelming at all. I can just load up the app and see everything I need to see!
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.