Growing up, Kevin expected that he’d always need to work hard for his money.
At 28, he shares how a New Year’s resolution led him to start investing, why he’s made investing a habit, and how his hard-earned money is now working hard for him!
Tell us about yourself!
I grew up in Wellington and studied in Auckland. I worked in hospitality in Melbourne for a while but moved back to New Zealand three years ago. I’m now a systems analyst for a financial software company. I love food and travel, and one of my passion projects is the ramen pop-up I run with my partner.
What’s your money story?
My parents moved to New Zealand from Indonesia and didn’t have much money. They instilled really good money habits in me. Like them, I knew from an early age that I had to work for my money.
I studied Business Studies at secondary school. That’s where I learnt about the share market, compounding interest, and the importance of putting money aside for my future. I thought that investing was a really big thing and that I’d need to go through a share broker.
I’ve since learnt about investing from friends and colleagues. I started paying attention to the decisions they were making. I took note of the things that went well for them, and the things that didn’t.
Tell us about your first time investing
In 2020, I made a New Year’s resolution to start investing. I saw it as a good habit to get into. I wanted to get a better return on my money than the low interest I was earning on my term deposit.
I started by investing in an exchange-traded fund (ETF) in New Zealand. The companies in the fund were familiar and diverse. It was a good way for me to get started.
I expected that the share market would go up and down, but I didn’t need my money back in the short term, so I didn’t stress if the market dipped. My main concern was putting my hard-earned cash into an online investment platform rather than a bank, but I saw that Sharesies was growing, so I decided to give it a go.
How do you manage your investments now?
I still have some money in a savings account that I can access easily, but every payday, I invest in medium to high-risk ETFs and a few companies too. It’s as easy as putting money into a bank account.
Before I make an investment, I do a lot of research. I rely on word of mouth to start, but I also look companies up online, read articles in the media, and sometimes read their annual reports. I like investing in funds or companies I believe in, know something about, or use personally. I also invest in companies that I think will be future leaders.
I use Sharesies’ auto-invest feature. At first, I was overwhelmed by how many companies and funds there were to choose from, but auto-invest means I don’t need to think as much. I can set an amount and forget it. I also use the Watchlist to keep track of companies I might want to invest in one day.
What are the most important things you’ve learnt so far?
I’ve learnt not to check my Portfolio too often to see what the share market’s doing. I don’t stress if any of my investments drop in value for a while. I’m not looking to sell any investments in the short term. I’d rather wait and benefit from a higher return over the long term.
Diversification is really important. I don’t put all my eggs in one basket. I invest my money across different companies, funds, and share markets—in New Zealand, Australia, and the US.
What are your investing goals?
At the moment, I have a steady income and the ramen pop-up on the side. I’m not sure if I want to save enough money to buy my own home or start my own business next. But I’m sure that I want to make the most of my money and set myself up to be financially secure in the long term. I work hard to earn my money, so I want my money to work hard for me. Investing doesn’t seem like a scary thing to me anymore. It’s become a habit and a normal part of managing my money.
What would you say to someone who doesn’t think investing is for them?
Whether you’ve got $5 or $1,000, anyone can invest. Start small, see how you go, and don’t stress.
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.