Dave’s journey into the world of investing began the day he received his first paperboy pay-check.
Today, the 37-year-old Project Manager owns a beautiful home in Melbourne and is actively building a Sharesies portfolio with his two sons in mind. We sat down with him for a quick chat about why he started investing.
Tell us about yourself!
I’m originally from Lower Hutt, New Zealand, but now I live in Melbourne with my wife, Kate, and our two kids: Remy (6) and Bon (4 months). Outside of work, I enjoy going to the gym and playing with my kids—Remy’s just discovered Lego.
When was the first time you remember hearing about investing?
My father was my money role model growing up. He managed the family’s finances. I was really young when I first heard about investments. I’d just turned ten and got my first job as a paperboy. My father took half of my earnings from my first pay-check and put them straight into investments for me!
I’m currently teaching my eldest son about money. He gets $6 a week in pocket money, and on Sundays we sit down with him before he goes to bed and he gets to decide how that money will be allocated. He has three jars: one for saving, one for spending, and one for donating. He has to put a dollar in each jar, but the remainder is for him to decide.
Why did you start investing?
The usual reasons: financial security, freedom, and retirement.
The Sharesies Portfolio I’m building is specifically with the boys in mind. I want them to have options for when they get older. If they want to go to uni, the money will already be there for them—though my oldest son is currently obsessed with the idea of buying a Dodge Ram.
What challenges did you have to overcome to start investing?
There were a couple of obstacles that we had to get over.
Firstly, we didn’t want to invest in unethical companies or organisations. Anything to do with weapons, oil, or gambling was a hard pass for me and my wife. We evaluated our investment options and filtered out companies that didn’t align with our morals.
The other thing was time. I really didn’t want to spend ages doing research on who or what to invest in. Especially if there’s a high likelihood that I’d get it wrong. But the Sharesies platform took the guesswork out for me by offering exchange-traded funds (ETFs). So now all we do is select the top 100 (ethically responsible) companies in Australia, put our money into those, and the Sharesies platform takes care of the rest!
How have you found your experience with the Sharesies platform?
We set up the Sharesies account using some of the savings that Remy had in his bank account, and money that Bon was given by his grandmother when he was born.
Our experience on the platform has been great so far. The sign up process was so quick and easy compared to dealing with banks where you’re made to write your name in a field seven times over. I hate filling in forms.
How do you manage your money and investments?
We look after our own super funds, pay money toward our mortgage, and actively contribute a small portion of our income toward our Sharesies Portfolio. We invest 20% in bonds, 40% in Australian shares, and 40% in international shares. We invest the same amount each week as we find small but regular investments are the way to go.
What’s the best advice you’ve been given about investing?
There’s a pithy saying you come across a lot in investing circles: “time in the market beats timing the market”. And I’ve found that to be quite accurate.
Work out what your investment strategy is and stick to it because once you know what your end goal looks like, it’ll be easy to filter out the stuff that doesn’t matter.
It can be helpful to talk to others who are also interested in investing. I have a group chat with a few friends which I find to be really supportive.
Do you have a specific investment goal in mind?
We see our Sharesies accounts as long-term investments.
The idea is that each of our sons will be given the money when they turn 20. And because we’re working off, what is essentially, a 20-year investment plan, we feel we can afford to take some big risks in the market that we’re hoping are going to pay off in the long run.
Other than that, paying off my mortgage is pretty high on my priority list. It’d be nice just to go out for breakfast every morning and not worry about how much I’m spending. That’s the dream.
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?
The Sharesies platform is a thing now and the transaction fees are really low.
I remember the fees being around $15 a pop through the banks 10 years ago, so you had to have thousands of dollars to invest to make it worth it. Now all you need is $5. It’s really not that hard to get started anymore.
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.