Meet Kate, a self-professed travel addict, foodie, and home cook who has just settled into a beautiful heritage apartment with her partner in inner-city Melbourne.
We sat down with her to discover why she started investing and how the Sharesies platform is helping to reach her long-term financial goals.
Tell us a bit about yourself!
I’m 37 and have just bought my first home with my partner in South Yarra. I work as a public servant. I enjoy cooking things from scratch (I’m a bit of an Ottolenghi fan), travelling to new places, and getting my hands dirty in the communal garden downstairs where I’ve just planted a bunch of vegetables.
What’s your money story?
My financial literacy growing up was virtually non-existent.
I didn’t come from a family that invested in the share market, so investing wasn’t a topic that we openly discussed. My parents' major investment was their house. Their attitude towards money was always “you can’t take your money with you, so you might as well enjoy yourself”.
Everything that I know about the share market and investing is entirely self-taught. When I first started learning about investing, I read a lot about the global financial crisis because I wanted to understand what had happened to the economy. That evolved into reading the financial columns in The Age and diving into books like The Barefoot Investor.
What challenges did you need to overcome to start investing?
The initial challenge was just knowing how and where to start. At first, I tried to set up an investment account with my bank but it was so expensive and confusing that I didn’t even finish activating it.
But then I discovered the Sharesies platform! It’s so straightforward and simple to use. I like that it spells out in plain language what the fees are and what exactly it is that I’m investing in. The share price graphs are easy to interpret and I love being able to track my investments. I also like that I can save different companies to my Watchlist and keep track of them.
How do you manage your money and investments now?
I use a technique called bucketing—any time I get paid, everything is put into a metaphorical ‘bucket’ with labels like mortgage, bills, and travel. I have a special bucket for my investments, too. I set goals and invest small amounts regularly. I also pop money into my Sharesies account whenever I have money to spare or I want to take advantage of the share market taking a dip.
Investing is part of my retirement plan. It’s my pot of money that I’ll be able to access at the end of my working life. I’ve got a decent superannuation fund, and investing is an easy way to add to that.
I invest in companies that I know and recognise, and make sure to research them and look at their performance over the years. I also choose companies based on their ethical, environmental, and sustainability practices.
What tips would you give to everyday Australians who think you need loads of money to invest?
With the technology that’s now available, you don’t have to feel defeated about not having thousands of dollars to invest—you can invest whatever you can afford, and it all adds up over time.
Investing isn’t a get-rich-quick scheme. Because I’m investing for the long term, I don’t worry about what happens in the short term. I once read in a financial column somewhere, something along the lines of: “You have to hold your nerve when the share market dips.” I see market dips as a chance to invest while share prices are low. There’ll always be ups and downs in the market, and you need to get comfortable with that.
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.