Investor Journeys—Jesse Cleave


We got in touch with Jesse—a business owner, husband, and father from Auckland, who chatted to us about investing for his kids, and how he’s seen investing change over the years!

Why did you start investing?

Since I was a child, I’ve always had an interest in business and money. Over the years, I’ve set up various businesses such as Velca, a health centre that offers Chiropractic, Physiotherapy, Massage Therapy and Personal Training, and Cleave House, two shared office spaces located in Howick, Auckland. So it made sense to me that some of the money from the businesses I own should work for me, and create streams of income that I wasn’t necessarily working for. I decided that investing was the way to go, especially with the long-term returns in shares generally beating interest received from the bank. 

Tell us about your first investment!

Outside of my own businesses, my first 'real'  investing experience was with P2P lending. I saw it being advertised on TV and noticed that the process was online and very easy to set up. I decided to invest, and over time, my investments began to grow. The returns were significantly better than what I was getting from the bank. 

It felt great to move away from selling mine or others’ time for money, and instead use my existing money to make more money. 

What would you do differently, if anything?

I’d start earlier to take advantage of compound interest. This is why I’ve already set up both my kids on Sharesies, and put weekly amounts into their Kids Accounts. Not only will this help with educating them about money, it will also give them a great platform to grow and build their own collection of investments.

What do you like about having investments?

Having investments is a great way to create a passive income stream that requires significantly less time than starting, owning, and profiting from your own business. History has also shown that shares generally tend to outperform other investment options in the long-run.

I like the look and feel of Sharesies, and get a great vibe off of them as a company. It makes investing easy and has removed some of the barriers for people to get into the market. I especially like how I could create accounts for my kids. My kids are both still young (Emily is 3 years old and Jack is 11 months), so investing isn’t really on their radar yet. But it has worked well for relatives to give Sharesies Gifts as presents for them. The Sharesies accounts for my kids are the investments I’m most proud of. I don’t think anything like it existed when I was a kid. It will be a great tool to educate them about money, investing, and setting them off on their investing journey early.

What tips would you give to everyday New Zealanders who might not think it’s possible to invest?

The barrier of needing thousands of dollars to invest has gone, and things are changing from “traditional” share investing, or even the upfront $500 needed for most P2P lending. For those who are a little bit worried, or don't really think it’s possible—I would recommend starting with $5 a week (or an amount you’re comfortable with) just to get to know the system, and build confidence and knowledge.

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

Like many others, there are a tonne of quotes from Warren Buffet that really resonate with me. Such as: 

“It's only when the tide goes out that you discover who's been swimming naked”. Which touches on the idea that when times are good, it’s easy for everyone to appear to be a winner. It’s what happens when things turn that show where people really are.