Share Club #1—Making money work for you

At Sharesies, we’re all about sharing the love. It’s in our DNA. Having a digital-only platform means we don’t often get to meet with our investors. To help fix that, we’ve started running events where we can share some knowledge, and meet up with you—our investors.

We held the first of these a week or so back. We called it Share Club–an obvious reference to us sharing our knowledge and enthusiasm for investing, as well as a nod to social investing—something we want to encourage. The word went out on social media and within 30 minutes all of the tickets were gone. Two days later we had over 300 people on a waitlist.

We learnt a lot about what worked on the night, and what didn’t. Using those learnings we’re going to make some changes to bring you an even better experience—which is likely to include a bigger venue!

So who did we have to speak at our first Share Club event?

Leighton Roberts - Starting early

Leighton is one of the founders of Sharesies and a keen investor from way back. He started a share club with his mates when he was 17. Each person in the club committed to $50 a week. As part of a collective agreement, investments were voted on, and if a majority agreed then the investment was made. In the early days, property was their main focus because that was what they knew. They bought two houses as well as a medical centre—all in the rural Taranaki town of Hawera.

Over time, their investments diversified. They now own shares in some local startups, as well as an ethical investment in a Philippines manure business. Leighton talked about how the club rarely sells their investments—they are in it for the long haul, which is a practice we encourage Sharesies investors to adopt.

 Leighton aged 21

Leighton aged 21

Alex Lipski - Closing the gap

Alex is a corporate lawyer who, after talking to a male friend and realising he had been investing for 10 years, was spurred to teach herself investing. After chatting with the Financial Markets Authority (FMA), she discovered that the phenomenon known as the 'gender investment gap' is very common. Indications are that men tend to invest their money, while women tend to hold their assets in cash—in a savings account.

Women tend to earn less over their lifetime, but they live longer. With this lens, it’s important that women get started on their investment journey as soon as they can. That journey begins with breaking down the taboo of talking about money. In fact, according to a Merril Lynch study, 61% of women in the US would rather talk about their own death than talk about money!

If you’re keen to learn more, sign up to hear about future events at Alex’s website Closing the Gap.

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Kaye-Maree Dunn and Jess Ducey - Tā Koha

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While Alex talked about the under-representation of women investors, Kaye-Maree and Jess came to Share Club to talk about an initiative to encourage investment in Māori businesses. Tā Koha is a collaboration between Māori Womens Development Inc and PledgeMe.

Kaye-Maree is an entrepreneur and permaculturalist from Te Rarawa, Ngā Puhi, Ngāi Te Rangikoianaake, Ngāti Mahanga me Ngāi Tāmanuhiri and resides in Wainuiomata Wellington. She has worked in Māori and community development for over 17 years. Jess is the Chief People Wrangler at PledgeMe. They spoke passionately about the initiatives that are seeking funding—from an innovation hub in the old Tolaga Bay hotel, to the creation of a co-worker, event and making space in Manukau.

57% of Māori small to medium enterprises say that capital is a barrier to expanding. While the majority of the businesses on Tā Koha are looking for donations in exchange for services, or gifts, there is an increase in businesses seeking investment for equity.

Zoe Wallis - Behaving badly

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Zoe is head of the Transactions and Payments team at Kiwibank where she’s responsible for overseeing the bank’s domestic payments solutions for customers including all their card products and everyday banking. Prior to this, Zoe was Kiwibank’s Chief Economist.

She spoke about her favourite topic—behavioural economics.

Humans aren’t entirely rational beings. We can be overconfident in investing, with a “she’ll be right” attitude. Zoe told us it’s been proven that if you do a lot of trading in your portfolio (buying and selling) you’ll likely end up worse off than if you held. It’s very hard to pick stocks, for even the most experienced investor, or fund manager.

We can’t bear to lose, but we’re OK about accepting a small drop in share value. It’ll get better, right? But if the stock continues to drop then our loss aversion steps in and we are more tempted to sell. Think about if the stock was available to buy at the price it had dropped to—would you buy it? If the answer is ‘yes’ then hold. If the answer is ‘no’ then it might be time to think about selling.

What did we learn?

We learned that there is a big demand for these events. That was obvious from the numbers that signed up. We need a bigger space!

We need to get the technology right. The venue didn’t have a great projector, so it was hard to show presentation slides to the people in the room, let alone those watching by live stream.

We’re happy with the format, and the range of speakers. But we got the sense that more time for questions would be good. Perhaps fewer speakers, and more time to engage.

If you’ve got any feedback then we’d love to hear from you—especially if you have suggestions for speakers and topics. Send an email to [email protected].

See you next time!

Grow your investment portfolio, one payday at a time