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Investor Journeys—Luigi

Investor Journeys

Luigi has been an investor since the 1980s. With decades of investing experience behind him, he shares his goals for the years ahead and explains why he’s helping his grandchildren learn about investing too.

Tell us about yourself!

I live in Torbay on Auckland’s North Shore with my wife, two daughters, and three grandchildren. I’m a songwriter, a former copywriter, and I now work as a field coach for a health research company.

What’s your money story?

As a child, I learnt to save by putting money in different envelopes for things I wanted to buy. It taught me about delayed gratification but not about investing. My parents weren’t particularly good with money and had very little in their retirement, but they were happier with less than I am. I’m hoping to be around for another 30 years! I want to have enough money to have holidays and retire comfortably.

At work in the early-to-mid 1980s, I was part of a share club that included the company accountant. Five of us invested $100 each every month, which was enough money to meet the share broker’s minimum investment of $500. It was also the amount that made their brokerage fees cost-effective. I remember wanting to buy smaller amounts of shares and trying to negotiate lower fees with my share broker, so I was thrilled when Sharesies started.

Why did you start investing?

I’d like to be mortgage-free in six years’ time and help my grandchildren have a better financial start than I did. I also want to help them learn about money and business.

About six months ago, I set up a Kids Account and automatic payment (AP) for $10 per week for each of my three grandchildren. I sit down once a week with my 13-year-old granddaughter to discuss how she’s going to invest her money. It’s cool to see how she thinks. I give her some advice, but ultimately I let her decide.

My other two grandchildren are much younger—one and three years old—but I’d like to do the same with them when they’re older so they understand the importance of investing. By the time they start earning money, even from an after-school job, they’ll know about compounding interest and the importance of putting some money aside to help them make more money.

How has your investment strategy changed over time?

In the early 1980s, I started by trading shares for short-term returns. That served me well, but the 1987 sharemarket crash taught me the importance of having a well-balanced portfolio for the long term.

When I started investing with Sharesies in 2020, I invested in a range of companies. I now have shares in 54 companies and 11 exchange-traded funds (ETFs) in New Zealand, Australia, and the US. I prefer to invest in local companies or companies I know. I’m trying to consolidate my Portfolio by increasing my investments in companies I’ve already got shares in.

I have an AP set up to top up my Sharesies Wallet. I enjoy making decisions about what to invest in. I use the Watchlist and check the graphs to track my investments two to three times per week.

My investments are a mix of short and long term, but mostly long term. If I’m investing for myself, I think about a return in five to ten years. If I’m investing for my grandchildren, I think about a return in 20 years. There’s always an element of risk in investing, but it’s a fun hobby.

How do you research the companies and funds you invest in?

I’m addicted to learning and convinced by logic. I start with what I know and look at price-to-earnings ratios (P/E) and cash flows. I research companies online and the people behind them. I want to know how much money a company has in the bank, who’s on its board, how much equity the founder or senior managers have in the company, and therefore how much they stand to gain or lose.

I don’t rely solely on information from stock exchanges. I listen to Sharesies’ podcast and The Motley Fool. I also look at Simply Wall Street’s website. I keep an eye out for stories in the news and media.

What are the most important things you’ve learnt as an investor so far?

If the share market takes a dip, think about your time horizon.

Do your research. Understand the fundamentals of investing and the numbers. Decide on your goals and work out how to reach them. Think about how you want to spend your retirement, but also expect some setbacks in life. You need to invest enough today for your future.

Focus on what you know first. For example, my 13-year-old granddaughter is passionate about movies and wants to be an actor. She already knows a lot about the entertainment sector so she’s investing in companies she knows about.

What would you say to someone who doesn’t think investing is for them?

With Sharesies, you can start investing with just a few cents. Think about the cost of a cup of coffee or a Lotto ticket—$5 or $10 every week, or whatever else you can afford —and consider investing for the long term.

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.

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