Rory was a marine scientist until he left the ocean behind to become a stay-at-home dad. He started investing with Sharesies in 2018 and has since set up a Kids Account for each of his children too.
He shares what he enjoys about investing and how his strategy has changed over time.
Tell us about yourself!
I’m 32 and live in Wellington with my partner and two tamariki, aged one and three. I love gardening and fishing, and as a family, we’re enjoying learning te reo Māori. I had a career in fisheries but when I became a dad, I decided to spend time at home with our children.
What’s your money story?
I didn’t know much about money when I was growing up. My parents had good money sense and my mum bought me a few Bonus Bonds. They had some savings, but they didn’t invest in shares or businesses.
I started learning about investing when I was a student. Some of my friends and flatmates were studying finance.
Since then, I’ve learnt a lot from listening to successful investors in New Zealand, Australia, and the US too—mostly investors like Warren Buffett and Charlie Munger. So many experienced investors are happy to share their knowledge and opinions about how to make money. I follow the ones I trust the most.
Tell us about your first time investing
My first goal was to save enough money to buy a house. After becoming homeowners, our kids came along. That’s when we started thinking about our next investment goal, and their futures.
I’d always dismissed the idea of investing. I thought I’d need to have a big sum of money and go through a broker. In 2018, I made my first investment through Sharesies. They’d just launched, I trusted them, and felt excited about being a part of it.
Getting started was much easier than I expected. I started by investing $2,000 in exchange-traded funds (ETFs) and managed funds for their diversity. Now I invest in individual companies too.
Not long after I started, the share market took a dip. But I only ever invest for the long term, so I didn’t sell. Six months later, the share market went back up again. It was a good learning opportunity!
How do you manage your investments now?
While my partner’s working full time and I’m caring for our kids, we’re living on one income. I invest a regular amount every week across five to ten companies. We put $10 into our Kids Accounts every week too.
I invest regularly so I don’t need to think about it too much—it takes the emotion out of my decisions. Having a plan stops me from investing bigger amounts of money at times when the share market might look tempting, but could be over-priced. Once I’ve put my money into something, I leave it there. If the value of my portfolio drops, I don’t sell; I hold on.
I usually look at sectors in New Zealand and the US that I think are likely to experience growth. I’m especially interested in technology, water, and carbon credits. I’m happy to be a high-risk investor because I’m playing the long game and won’t need the money until I’m much older. Occasionally, I invest in bigger, more established companies.
It took me about a year to create a system that felt right. As I’ve become more knowledgeable about the world of finance, I’ve become more confident about investing.
Why is investing important to you?
I’m keen to avoid being financially stressed. I think about investing as buying time. I want to have enough money so I can choose how I spend my time in future. I want to be able to retire comfortably or early, with the freedom to explore new things or spend time on my passion projects.
Since trading my professional job for parenting, investing has been a great challenge. It keeps my mind engaged in a different way.
I like that Sharesies gives me the freedom to invest in heaps of companies and funds in more than one market. And I can filter them by country; New Zealand, Australia, or the US.
The Watchlist feature is also super handy and saves me time. As I learn about a new company I’m interested in, I add it to my Watchlist. Each week, I review my Watchlist and decide if I’m ready to invest in a company on the list or not.
What would you say to someone who doesn’t think investing is for them?
Investing small amounts over time has the potential to make a big difference. I think everyone should give it a go, even if it’s just $10 every week.
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.