We had a chat with former All Black and Sharesies investor Israel Dagg about his growing investment portfolio, learning as you go, and the value of talking about money.
What was your first investment?
My first investment was in 2010 when I bought a property in Hawke’s Bay. I didn’t really know much about property or how it worked. At that stage in my life, my thought process was “I’ve bought a house! I’ve cracked it! I’m the man!”. It wasn’t until a few years later that I started to realise there was more to investing than just property.
Growing up, I didn’t know anyone who invested. I came from pretty humble beginnings, so investing was never even in my thoughts. I wasn’t surrounded by it, I never knew about it, so I’ve had to learn everything from scratch. A few years ago, I met some successful investors and seeing how they roll made me think “Okay, maybe I was wrong”. Since then, they’ve taught me so much about investing and using your money right.
What does your investment portfolio look like now?
Since buying my first house, I’ve invested in a few residential properties, joint venture commercial properties, and little business ventures here and there—including a childcare centre!
I also joined Sharesies and started looking at the share market more. I put $100 into my Sharesies every week and have built up to about $10,000 now. I’m still kind of amateur at it to be honest, because I’m still learning. But that’s the good thing about Sharesies. I just buy into different funds and have a wee dabble. Investing is a lot easier than it seems, and it’s fun.
In the future, I want to get more involved in the commercial property sector. I’m really passionate about property. I also just want to keep chipping away at my Sharesies and see my money grow. My US 500 is doing pretty well!
Why do you like being an investor?
I played rugby for a long time. When you’re a professional rugby player, you’re 100% committed to the rugby life—that’s all you do for 10-15 years, and it’s hard to do other things. It’s great having that cash coming in while you’re playing and life’s easy, but it doesn’t last forever. You have to plan for the future, so that’s what I’m doing with my investments.
Branching out into different things is important so that there isn’t that stress on your family when you retire. Being smart with your money and seeing a return, seeing yourself make money—that’s something I love. Use the money from your job and put a small amount aside each time you get paid. Let the money work for you, so that later in life you’ll have passive income coming in from things you don’t even have to get out of bed to go do...you can just sit back and watch the money come in!
Why is it important to talk openly about money?
Money and investing is not something I’ve done or known about my whole life. I’ve only learnt because I’ve surrounded myself with people who have been successful in business and investing, and I’ve asked them lots of questions. Sometimes I still feel like I don’t know what I’m talking about, but I try not to feel too down about it. At the end of the day, it’s all about learning, talking, and asking questions—and no question is a dumb question!
When I was younger, I wanted to talk to people about money, but I was also like “Oh my god, I don’t know these big words! What does that even mean?”. I’d go to these events full of people who had lots of knowledge, and I’d just stand in the corner because I didn’t want to sound dumb or do something wrong. But over time, I’ve learnt that you just have to put yourself out there. Whether you’re reading something, talking to someone, whatever—if there’s something you’re unsure about, just be like “Can you explain that in my terms?”. The majority of the time, people will say “Sweet as!” and explain it. They’ll always help if you’re genuine about it.
There are certain guys in the Crusaders who are very business minded, but there are also a few who, like me when I was younger, just don’t know. I feel really grateful for the opportunities I’ve been given, so I try and pass on the things I’ve learnt in the last few years to the other boys. I’ve also been thinking about how I’ll talk about money with my kids—whether I’m going to give my kids a head start, or if I’ll make them work for it like I had to work for it. At the moment, we’re putting money away for them so they can start investing early. I’m not going to give them whatever they want, but I want them to be comfortable and have the opportunity to learn the skills I’ve learnt.
What tips would you give to everyday New Zealanders who might not think investing is for them?
I think there are a lot of New Zealanders who are scared to invest because they’ve never done it before. There are guys out there who work really hard for their money and they’re worried they might lose it. But if you talk to other investors about money, learn from their experiences, and build your confidence, you’ll be fine. If you just sit back and don’t do anything about it, nothing will get done.
Even if you’re putting away 100 bucks, 50 bucks, whatever you can afford every week, you’ll build up to a bigger amount over time. Investing in shares and seeing your money grow is really fun! Driving past a house you’ve bought and being like “That’s my house!” is a pretty cool feeling too. It’s just satisfying knowing that you’re investing your money now so that you don’t have to keep grinding ‘til you’re old. And once you get a sniff of it, you’ll just want to keep going, keep doing it, and keep building that Portfolio.
Churrrr Israel, thanks for sharing your investing story with us! 🙌