In between building his hot sauce empire, perfecting his delicious recipes, and teaching kids how to play the drums, 29-year-old Mat is also working on becoming a confident investor.
Mat had a lot to learn about investing when he made his first investment through Sharesies 18 months ago. Now, that’s no longer the case. Here’s what he had to say about his investing journey.
Tell us about yourself!
I’m originally from Hawke’s Bay but now live in Paekākāriki—a tiny village along the Kāpiti Coast. I’m the co-owner of Apostle Hot Sauce along with my partner, Lydia. When I’m not working on my business, I’m hanging out with my pet chicken, Shelley (who annoyingly loves Lydia more than me), indulging in true crime podcasts, teaching the village kids how to play the drums, and binge-watching the X-Files.
What’s your money story?
For the longest time, I actually hated money, and that’s because I didn’t grow up with a lot of it around. My earliest money memory revolves around mowing the lawns with my grandad. He paid me 50c for my hard work. But I never thought to save it—I spent it all on lollies.
Sometimes I wish that I’d learnt to be more responsible with money from a younger age. But it just wasn’t possible; money was scarce. The idea of saving and investing came much later in life for me, after I quit my full-time job and had all my holiday pay paid out to me in a lump sum. That’s when I started getting interested in investing and building passive income. I did a lot of internet research and found my way to Sharesies where I made my first ever investment.
Tell us about your first time investing.
I was super scared. I had no idea what I was actually doing, and it felt like I was taking a big risk putting my money into something I didn’t fully understand.
My investing journey really started at ground zero. I found myself plugging a lot of basic questions into Google like: “What is a return?” and “How do exchange-traded funds work?”
Then I started making a list of sustainable companies I wanted to support, and bought a few shares across industries such as healthcare and renewable energy; transport and logistics.
Investing has now become a part of my daily routine. I find myself checking Sharesies probably more than I should: as soon as I wake up and after the US markets close to see if there’s been any big movements in the share market. I also read the financial pages in the paper as well as all the email updates that Sharesies sends out.
How do you manage your investments now?
My investment portfolio is still a work-in-progress. Every spare dollar that’s not going into expenses, the business, or rent tends to now go into my Sharesies Wallet. I invest small amounts regularly, and it feels really empowering watching my portfolio grow over time.
When it comes to choosing what to invest in, I always take time to do my due diligence on a company. It’s so important to me that I’m only supporting businesses that are not only sustainable and ethical, but also treat their staff right. It’s about appreciating the work that those businesses do, and the people behind those businesses. I invest in a company’s values, first and foremost.
How have you become a more confident investor over time?
By giving myself permission to make mistakes.
I also take time to further my financial literacy by listening to money podcasts (Money Talk and NPR’s Planet Money) as well as staying up to date with the Sharesies blogs.
Nowadays, I’m a lot more confident talking to people about money and investing.
I used to think the topic of investing was so boring—now I’m all about it. I hate that money is still seen as quite a taboo subject when it shouldn’t be. I’m pretty open about how much I earn and how much I invest, and because of that, I think it’s opened the door for some of the people in my circle to be comfortable discussing it, too.
What are your financial goals?
Achieving financial stability. When you don’t come from money, it’s the one thing you tend to crave most of all. I have no massive dreams of conquering the earth or owning a fancy car or to travel the world. I just want to feel safe and have my family feel safe knowing that whatever big expense comes our way can be taken care of.
What would you say to someone who doesn’t think investing is for them?
Investing can be for everyone—it doesn’t matter how much or how little you have. Even if you start with just $5 every week, before you know it, you’ll have your own little portfolio going.
The first time I ever heard about investing was from a guy I was serving at the supermarket checkout when I was a teenager. He told me (unprompted) that all I needed to start investing and get rich was ten thousand dollars. You don’t even have to start with ten thousand dollars anymore, you can start small and just build on that over time.
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.