Investor stories—Renae Williams

Renae is Sharesies’ very own Customer Associate. She began investing a couple years ago as a student—and wrote about her experience on our blog! Earlier this year, Renae used the money from her investments to go on her first big overseas adventure. Here’s Renae…

Big spender

Apart from learning how to play poker with Mackintosh's Toffees and ten cent pieces, my first hands-on experience with money was when my Nana set me up with a bank account at the age of eight. I saved up as many coins as I could from doing odd jobs, and every now and again, went down to the bank to deposit my cold hard cash. I wrote down every deposit and withdrawal in my little bank book—and eventually realised that I was spending more than I deposited!

For the next ten years, I continued the habit of wanting to save, but having no self-control when it came to spending. Every time I tried to save for an overseas trip, the boundaries between my savings account and my debit card became non-existent. I was constantly affirming that I was bad with money via my actions, and I wondered how I’d ever get ahead—especially in the long-term, if I was going to be able to live the life I wanted to live!

The investing bug

Until recently, I barely knew how to manage my money, let alone how investing actually worked. My grandparents had invested in property, but the closest thing I knew about investing in shares was Wolf of Wall Street. 🤦‍♀️ I was always a bit scared of money because I knew from a young age how much it sucks when you don't have enough. The thought of asking someone for help with money was really daunting too! #ItsaKiwiThing

When I started working at Sharesies, I became immersed in the world of investing. I created a Sharesies account and started learning more about shares, money habits and attitudes. I became surrounded by people who were great financial role models, and open to talking about money. It took me a while to actually integrate any of the knowledge into my own life, but once I figured out what I was doing and gave it a go, I was up and away!

Over the last two years of investing with Sharesies, my circumstances haven’t always been the same. I’ve been a student, worked part time and full time, had random unforeseen costs; I've been human. Because of this, I don’t get too hung up about the amount that I invest, just as long as I make that regular bank transfer into my Sharesies Wallet. I’ve learned to focus less on what I invest, and more on how I invest. Doing this over time, investing has become a payday habit—and now I invest the same as I pay for Netflix and Spotify!

A solo getaway

After a year or so of investing, I realised I’d accumulated enough in my Sharesies Portfolio to buy return flights to South East Asia. Once this sunk in, I became like a bear gathering food for its winter hibernation, transferring as much and as often as I could into my Sharesies Wallet!

Instead of having my savings solely in my bank account (which was a quick online bank transfer away from being spent on Uber Eats and goodness knows what else), I had it invested in my Sharesies Portfolio. Because I knew I wanted this money soon, I stopped investing in the high risk funds, and invested more in the low and medium risk funds. Because my main pot of gold was stored in Sharesies, I couldn't withdraw on the spot like I could on my internet banking. Having to wait for a sell to settle and then withdraw gave me enough time to think, "Is it worth it now, or could this be meals for a week or two in Thailand?".

I even bought investments into the NZ Cash Fund on a beach in Koh Tao, Thailand!

I even bought investments into the NZ Cash Fund on a beach in Koh Tao, Thailand!

In March this year, I went travelling around Thailand, Cambodia, and Vietnam for a month. I saved most of the money for my trip through Sharesies—which was way more fun than saving through a regular bank account!

Since coming back to New Zealand, I’ve continued to add to my Sharesies Portfolio. Now that I'm in it for the long-run, I'm investing in the higher risk funds again. I'm not on the home stretch to buying my own house, nor am I the wisest with my spending decisions; but I’ve learned valuable lessons about managing my money and have reaped some amazing benefits along the way.