Investor Journeys—Jordan Ritson

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Jordan Ritson is a young business owner from Wellington who used his investments to open his own HELL Pizza caravan in Levin! We had a chat with Jordan about his investments, learning from your mistakes, and how to take proactive steps towards your financial future!

Why did you start investing?

When I left high school, I decided not to study, and instead got a job in hospitality. I didn’t know what I wanted to do in life or what I wanted to be, so this seemed like the best option. The idea of getting myself set up early was really attractive to me. So from the moment I started working, I started looking at opportunities that would allow me to do this.

I always wanted to invest in shares, but I really couldn't afford to invest in them—most companies had a minimum deposit of around $10,000. I looked at the shares that I wanted to invest in (Apple at the time) go up and up, wanting to be a part of that but not being able to. It seemed difficult to invest in the shares that I wanted to, since most of them were offshore. There were a lot of hidden fees too, so I would have had to make large returns just to break even—a risk I didn’t want to take. So instead, I invested in a low-rate term deposit with my flatmate at the time. We wanted to save for a house and we thought we could get there faster if we did it together.

Tell us about your first investment!

The first time you do something, you never really know what you’re doing. So the first time I bought investments, I just used as much common sense as I could, and looked at the graphs to see what shares were going up, and what ones were going down. I invested in funds through a portfolio that was passed down from my grandad. At the time of me buying these investments, there were a lot of political issues overseas, so I started off by investing in the NZ Top 50. I wanted to play it safe and keep my money within the NZ economy.

I’d been told to buy investments when the share price is low, and sell when the share price is high. I definitely did some research on the Internet about basic investing trends—like bullish vs. bearish markets, and what a bubble investment is.

Once I started investing, I put what I could afford in every week on payday. This was usually the same amount every week, which got me in the habit of putting money aside every time I got paid. I’d invest this money straight away, and keep an eye on it as time went on.

What would you do differently, if anything?

I put all my eggs in one basket and invested a lot of money into a single fund, thinking that it would go back up and I’d be able to make quick returns. This didn’t pay off too well, and it continued to go in the opposite direction I wanted it to. Learning this lesson the hard way, I would definitely spread the risk out next time, and be more patient and realistic with my return expectations. 

What do you like about having an investment?

I love watching it grow every day. My best friend and I always talk about what we’ve invested our money in each week. Even though we have different amounts in our portfolios, it doesn’t matter. We just look at the percentage increase or decrease of our total investment portfolio. We laugh together when they go up or down. We aren’t too serious about it all, it’s just fun being a part of the investing world with a mate.

How did you feel after becoming an ‘investor’ for the first time? Why should people try it?

Since having my own bank account, the bank had taken a few dollars from my account every now and again. Once I set up the term deposit and started investing, I felt like I had levelled up because now I was making money off the bank and experiencing the joy of making returns on my investments. It’s a really good feeling. 

It’s fun to invest, and especially now there’s more access into the share market, it’s good practice being able to invest now with small amounts rather than having a lot of money later on in life and investing it with little to no experience—with not as much time as you once had! 

How has investing helped you achieve your goals?

I sold and withdrew all of my investments to use it as a deposit for a business loan to set up a HELL Pizza caravan in Levin. It’s pretty cool having the investing experience under my belt. It’s taught me valuable lessons about how if you start taking small steps regularly, you can reach a pretty cool place! Whether that be with life, or with investments. 

It’s also great being able to refer my employees and tell them about Sharesies. Showing them a cool way they can make their wages work for them over the long-term. 

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

Put your savings into an account that you can’t spend money from easily, and be sure to spread the risk—rather than putting all your money into one type of investment. 🤦‍♂️

It’s not about how much money you earn, and not ‘having enough’. It’s about how hard you save, and the commitment you make to those small and regular steps.