Lili is a Brisbane-based university graduate who started investing while she was a student. Now earning a regular income, she shares how she decides what to invest in and why.
Tell us about yourself!
I’ve recently finished studying visual arts and digital communications. I’m the marketing coordinator for a not-for-profit organisation focused on recycling and reducing litter in Queensland. In my spare time, I love collecting rare indoor plants and making ceramics.
What’s your money story?
Money wasn’t talked about much when I was younger. I knew not to buy things I didn’t need, but I had no concept of saving or investing.
When I was 16, I wanted to earn my own money, but I earned so little working 12 hours a week on a low wage that it was really hard to save. As I got better-paid jobs, I was able to save more money but I didn’t know how much was right or reasonable.
Before Covid, I spent any spare money on travel and special times of the year like Christmas. Having separate bank accounts now for my income, daily living costs, car expenses, an emergency fund, and a Christmas fund makes it easier for me to manage my money.
Tell us about your investing journey so far.
I was nervous and excited when I invested on the Sharesies platform for the first time. It was money I knew I could afford to go without. I used to track my investments every day, but now I only check my Portfolio’s performance every six months or so.
When I got my first graduate job, I aimed to save as much money as I could, but I was trying to save too much in relation to my daily living expenses. I now auto-invest a more realistic portion of my income every month. This helps even out the inevitable highs and lows of the share market. If I get extra money, I top up my Sharesies Wallet.
I don’t have a business, finance, or accounting background, but reading and learning about investing has inspired me to invest. Reading The Barefoot Investor was a great start. I also enjoy She’s on the Money—the book and podcast. I find the Learn articles by Sharesies really useful too.
What do you like about investing?
The Sharesies platform is so easy and accessible that I’ve been able to start investing small amounts sooner than I expected. I’m still young, so I have time on my side and can benefit from compounding returns.
In the next ten years, I’d like to have enough money for a deposit on a house—or I’ll keep investing until I need the money for retirement.
How do you choose what to invest in?
I’m investing for the long term in exchange-traded funds (ETFs) and companies in Australia and the US. My Portfolio is diverse to spread my risk because markets can go up and down. Sometimes Australian investments will do better than the US, and vice versa. My superannuation is invested in a range of funds for the same reason.
I skim-read annual reports, look at an investment’s performance over time, and learn about the company’s future plans.
It’s exciting to own a sliver of companies I use or know. In line with my job and values, I also invest in eco-conscious and ethical companies, and resources I think will be needed in the future. The goal is that my investments help sustainable companies survive and thrive long term.
What are the most important things you’ve learnt as an investor so far?
Start early and start small. Don’t wait until you have a lot of money to invest. Even a small amount is enough.
Don’t overthink it. Do your homework, but too much analysis can lead to paralysis.
Invest your tax refunds and rebates. A tax refund or rebate is money you didn’t expect to receive. It’s like a free gift that you can invest for your future.
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.