Investor Journeys—Walid

We spoke to Walid—a gym-loving YouTube vlogger from Auckland. After reading a few personal development books, Walid decided to start setting himself up for a better future. He started investing with Sharesies, and seven months on—he’s loving it! Here’s Walid’s story...

Why did you start investing?

I started investing because I wanted to make sure that I have an easier life when I’m too old to work. The self-development books that I read had two underlying principles in common. First, what I do now matters tomorrow. Secondly, the importance of investing in health, relationships, your career and your future.

Can you tell us about your first investment?

Before I invested with Sharesies, I opened a securities account with my bank to start investing. I noticed quickly how expensive it was to buy shares in individual stocks and bonds. My partner introduced me to Sharesies after seeing Sharesies on The AM Show. At first, I hesitated to open an account because I didn’t know what Sharesies was, but as I saw her account start to grow, I was like “wow, this is so easy".

So I signed up but I didn’t know what to invest in. I went through the different funds available and bought shares in the one I thought was best for me. I started out really small, just five bucks. It was amazing to see how quick it added up. It had a ripple effect on me. It wasn’t just about investing five bucks every week anymore. I started to learn more about money and how to make my money work for me. Again, like reading the self-development books, it gave me a new perspective. Things that I thought were impossible because everyone else said so, are now very possible.

What would you do differently, if anything?

I’m very happy I started now rather than later. But if I could do something differently, I would have started a lot earlier.

What do you like about having an investment? Why should people try it?

I like the idea of knowing that my money is out there working with other people’s money to make more money. I also like knowing that I’m doing something good for myself. I’m taking steps today to make sure I’m independent in the future.

Also, investing has helped me with my financial literacy and good money habits. To make sure I'm making educated decisions when it comes to investing, I increase my knowledge by reading books, watching YouTube videos, reading newspaper articles, and of course, reading the Sharesies blog. 😊

How did you feel after becoming an ‘investor’ for the first time?

It feels very good. The feeling wasn’t like “oh yay, I’m rich so I can stop now”, it was more like “this feels good, I wonder what more I can do to improve other areas of my life?”. It made me feel like there’s so much out there that I don’t know about—so I’m very excited to learn!

What are your investment goals?

I’m definitely investing for my retirement as I want to look after my old, grey, future self. I’m in it for the long run. My investment goals are to be independent when I’m too old to work. I don’t want to worry or stress about money when I’m older, and I shouldn’t have to. So I’m taking the right steps today by investing, and Sharesies has made this really easy to do.   

How do you think investing will get you there?

Because my retirement days are over thirty years away, I have the advantage of time. The more time I have to invest, the bigger my retirement fund will be in the future. I am a bit impulsive 😂! But investing has taught me to take my time, make sure I'm taking the right steps, and be patient with the process.  

People often think you need loads of money to invest. What tips would you give to everyday people who might not think it’s possible?

Well, you don’t know what it’s like until you give it a try. I’m one of those everyday people, and I used to think it was impossible. Take that first small step, and start as soon as you can. Don’t go all out, don’t think about it too much, just start small. Your small steps will add up over time due to compound interest.

What is the best piece of advice you’ve given (or been given) about investing?

Take action now. Don’t overthink, and just do it. When I want to do something, I tend to think about all the things that could go wrong. Then I end up stopping myself from doing it. The best piece of advice I have been given and can give is: make a start and learn as you go. You don’t need thousands of dollars to start investing anymore, you can start the journey with just five bucks.