While she admits to being a personal finance newbie, 26-year-old Annabelle has made significant moves toward financial freedom.
A promo code on her favourite money podcast, She’s on the Money, gave her a $5 bonus to get her Sharesies account started. Now, having once been bogged down by buy-now-pay-later debt, she’s on the road to building an investment portfolio that she’s proud of.
Tell us a bit about yourself. Did you grow up learning about investing?
I was born and raised in Melbourne, but spent a few years living in Western Australia and the Northern Territory before I made the move back home. Currently, I’m doing a lot of temp work as I’m studying to get my Bachelor of Business in Human Resource Management.
Growing up, money wasn’t something we talked about as a family. And it wasn’t something I was educated about at school either. I first became interested in investing a couple of years ago when I got a job at a bank—you could say I was late to the game. I met and became friends with a financial planner who really inspired me to become savvy with my money. Nowadays, it’s me who brings up the topic of money around my mum and my sisters. I’m always excited to share with them the things that I’ve learnt.
Why did you start investing?
First thing’s first: you should know that I’m really into my superannuation. One day, I was playing around with the Moneysmart Superannuation calculator to try and work out how much money I would have by the time retirement rolls around. At first, it looked like a pretty tidy sum—until I worked out what that sum was in terms of annual income.
I was shocked to find that the calculated total was well below what most experts agree constitutes a comfortable living wage. So I decided to build assets in other ways while still nurturing my superannuation. That’s when I started looking at long-term investments.
What challenges did you need to overcome to start investing?
In the media, you hear a lot about the risks of investing, and it made me feel as if my money could disappear overnight if I made a bad investment. That kind of messaging really put me off at first as a beginner investor.
But then I began to learn more about investing; I read books, became addicted to money podcasts, found myself a supportive online community, and learnt how to feel confident and comfortable in an environment that involves risk.
Knowledge is actually the number one thing that’s given me the confidence to accept risk as part of my investment journey.
How do you manage your investments now?
I put between $10 and $20 into my Sharesies Wallet each week. My Portfolio is made up of 10 companies spread across a number of industries, including technology, retail, beauty, telecommunications, and medicine.
I absolutely love the Sharesies platform. It has my complete and undivided attention. It’s actually helped me build better money habits by reducing my impulse spending. Seeing how well my Sharesies Portfolio is doing motivates me to pause before hitting the ‘add to cart’ button and consider whether or not I want to buy a dress now or put a little bit aside for my future.
I love how user-friendly the Sharesies platform is, and especially enjoy checking how a company has performed over time before I invest. The company was also founded by women—I feel like they get it, and they get me as well.
I actually signed up to the platform on a whim in late July after listening to a money podcast called She’s on the Money. At the time, I had just paid off a substantial amount of debt to a buy-now-pay-later company. I decided to invest in that very same company I was once indebted to, so it’s now making me money. There’s just something super satisfying about that.
What are your investment goals?
My short term goal is to just learn enough to build a strong investment portfolio. Long term, I want to build intergenerational wealth. When I have kids, I want them to have the financial literacy I didn’t have. I don’t want them to start from ground zero.
I want to build wealth because I’ve seen the kind of privilege and opportunities afforded to those that have it. And I want that for my own family; for my kids, for my grandkids, for my great-grandkids. Yes, my investment goals extend post death!
What’s the best advice you’ve ever received about investing or managing your money?
I read this in Kate McCallum and Julia Newbould’s book ‘The Joy of Money’ once and it’s always stuck with me: “Save appropriately, invest regularly, keep calm and ignore the lows and highs, only sell when you need cash, and rock on.”
People often think you need loads of money to invest. What tips would you give to everyday Australians who might not think investing is possible?
Just give it a go! There’s no good time to start investing, so why not start now. With the Sharesies platform, there’s no minimum investment amount. You can start with as little as a dollar. Or, you can do what I did: listen to She’s on the Money and wait for a promo code. You won’t regret it.
Investors who take part in our Investor Journeys series use the Sharesies platform and agree to share their personal perspective and experience. They receive payment from Sharesies AU Pty Limited for their participation.
The statements made throughout are the investor's personal views and do not constitute professional or financial advice. They are not to be attributed as the views of, or financial advice being provided by, Sharesies AU Pty Limited.
Ok, now for the legal bit
Investing involves risk. You aren’t guaranteed to make money, and you might lose the money you start with. We don’t provide personalised advice or recommendations. Any information we provide is general only and current at the time written. You should consider seeking independent legal, financial, taxation or other advice when considering whether an investment is appropriate for your objectives, financial situation or needs.