Danielle Crighton is a single mum based in Auckland. She has two daughters, aged 8 and 10. We met Danielle on Instagram when she messaged in to tell us about her investing journey—and how it’s become a bonding experience across generations in her family! 💖
Tell us about your first investment!
I’d paid off all my debt and wanted to create assets in different areas—so I decided to start with Sharesies. Investing for the first time was kinda like a massive rush. You hear about big investors everywhere, and I wanted a piece of that at an amount I could afford. I felt like I was part of something bigger than the 9-5 way of making money.
The first time I invested on Sharesies, I didn’t know what I was doing. 😂 I just clicked and invested. After all, $5 here and there wasn’t a lot, but I was now in the pond of investing! To begin with, I put in $20 and basically invested everywhere. I’m an aggressive investor and wanted to invest in higher-risk funds. I split my $20 and put $5 in NZ Property, $5 in NZ Mid Cap, $5 in NZ Top 50, and $5 in the US 500.
What do you like about having an investment?
Investing is planning for the future, and every little bit helps. With Sharesies, you don’t need to invest thousands of dollars in one thing. I’m only investing an amount I can afford—and I’m having fun! It’s something new and exciting, so I love it.
How did your dad get involved in Sharesies?
I rang my dad about Sharesies when it was in beta, but I was paying off debt at the time so waited to start investing. I eventually signed up on a Saturday morning, and by the Monday, my dad had started a Sharesies account too. He’s 68 years old. Every night, we message each other about our gains and losses for the day. It’s quite the competitive Kiwi spirit going on. It’s a lot of fun, and has become a cool bonding experience.
Your kids have started investing now too! Why is it important for your kids to get involved?
I opened Sharesies accounts for my daughters the same day I opened one for me. They get to choose if they want to invest, keep, or save their pocket money. My 10-year-old loves investing, as she wants to use it to pay for medical school one day. She loves reading the bios of each fund she wants to invest in, and is an aggressive investor too. My 8-year-old just goes for the pretty pictures!
I wanted to introduce them to investing because they won’t have any chance of retiring or owning a house if we don’t teach them smart money now. A little bit of smart budgeting and investing now could change their financial future later. If nothing else, it’s teaching them that money can be fun—and not the root of all evil.
People often think you need loads of money to invest. What tips would you give to everyday New Zealanders who might not think it’s possible?
Just do it! I invest $10-$50 a week, and it’s doable in my budget. I love that it’s manageable and in real time.