Investor Journeys—Jade Gardner

At 23, Jade Gardner is in her second job out of university, as a project manager for a marketing firm. She’s a big fan of her job, and she’s also a big fan of the extra disposable income that comes with working full-time. 

She’s been an investor for about a year now, so we caught up with her to find out what her story is. 

Why did you start investing?

I want to buy a house one day, but I live in Auckland, where houses aren’t exactly affordable. So it’s going to take a few years to save up for a deposit. I figured that if I’m going to be saving for a few years, I’d like my money to earn a return in the meantime—preferably more than the 1% or so in interest that the bank would pay! 

I looked into term deposits, but these didn’t pay much more than a standard savings account. What’s more, the term deposits with the best interest rates needed minimum deposits well into the thousands of dollars. This meant that I would have to save up for the minimum amount, just to get a slightly better interest rate. I would have to save, just to start saving! 

Since I have more money to spend now than when I was studying, and a pretty big savings goal, it made sense to invest some of my weekly savings into shares. I’m hoping to get higher returns on this portion of my savings, so I can get my house deposit together faster than I otherwise would have. 

It also helps that I always wanted to invest in shares. 

What was your first investment?

I’m pretty comfortable with risk, so my first investments were in the NZ Property ETF and the Australian Resources ETF. I bought these through Sharesies, and since then, I’ve been investing a bit more every week, spreading it around different funds and ETFs. 

I’m investing $30 a week, so I don’t stress too much. If I was investing $3,000, I’d be a lot more paranoid.

How do you choose what to invest in?

I don’t spend a lot of time deeply analysing each investment, because I’m not investing very much each week. Rather, I’ll have a quick look at something that fits my (high) risk profile, and check how it’s done in the past. If I like what I see, I put a few dollars into it. 

I’m learning as I go, too. I keep an eye on the things I invested in in the past, look at what went well, what didn’t go very well, and adjust my future decisions accordingly. 

What’s next?

At the moment, I’ve invested in funds and indexes. I’d like to eventually start investing in specific companies, but I’m not in a rush. At the moment, I’m happy putting away a little bit each week, keeping it diverse, and watching it grow from a small weekly investment to a chunky house deposit.