Earlier on this week, we spoke to James from Hnry—a Wellington-based start-up that simplifies self-employment by handling all of the tax and compliance for you. This time, we had a chat with Ben Jardine, Hnry’s Marketing Coordinator. Since moving back to New Zealand from the US earlier this year, he’s started investing with Sharesies—and has seen how do-able it is! Ben shared his story and tips for getting started.
Tell us about your first investment!
My first investment was with Sharesies a few months ago, so I’m still pretty new to investing. Before I made my first investment, I was afraid of the idea that I would lose all the money that I had invested. From watching (maybe too many) movies as a kid, those scenes of global stock market crashes—especially that stock exchange scene in Trading Places—kind of stressed me out and made me think that investing wasn’t for me. I was also waiting to invest until I got older and had more income to invest.
When I learned about Sharesies making it easier for people to get into investing, I did some research so that I could approach investing in a confident and empowered way. When I was ready, I put $50 in three funds of varying risk levels (two high-risk funds and one medium-risk fund).
I started investing for two reasons:
Isolating some funds in a ‘pseudo-savings’ account (one that would increase and decrease in value over time)—money that would be tied up in some other entity.
As a way of planning for my future. Funnelling money right into investments can be volatile, but it’s an easy and smart way to plant those seeds that will grow to be big trees. I figured there was no better time to start than now.
Since then, I’ve invested about $50 a month into different funds. I’m still learning how to properly ‘diversify’ my Portfolio, but I think I’ll always keep a varied array of investments—in terms of both risk and market.
What would you do differently, if anything?
Start investing earlier! Before I made my first investment, I felt like I needed to make large investments with the advice given to me from a suit-wearing stockbroker. As a young person, it can be hard to feel like you’re at a stage in your life to start investing—but putting in small bits here and there is a great place to start.
Where do you go to learn more about investing?
In the Hnry office, we like to talk about how our Portfolios are doing. One co-worker and I will also exchange pieces of advice that we’ve overheard from different sources. I read the Sharesies blog quite a bit and usually get some investment insights from the people on the My First Time Investing blogs (hey, I guess that’s me right now!).
People often think you need loads of money to invest. What tips would you give to everyday Kiwis who might not think it’s possible?
Set aside a small amount of your income to go straight into a fund specifically set up for investing. When you need the cash, that money will be there to draw from.
Don’t be afraid to ask for tips from people who have been in the investment game for a long time. If they seem more than happy to give you some tips, it probably means they’ve done relatively well.
Be patient. Your money won't double overnight. Like any seed you plant, the more you tend to it and research ways to help it grow and stay growing, the more comfortable you’ll feel and the more fruitful that seed will become.
What is the best piece of advice you’ve been given about investing?
My Mum once told me “it’s not about how much or how well you invest, it’s about how long you stay in the market”. So I tend to find myself coming back to that idea—that playing the long game usually pays dividends. 😉