Director and Co-Founder of Sharesies AU, Brooke Roberts* shares some handy tips for new investors.
So you want to start investing. The problem is, you have no idea where to start. That’s okay!
Like any new skill or experience, you need to start somewhere, and it can seem intimidating to step
into the world of shares, exchange-traded funds (ETFs), portfolios, managed funds, bonds, and other
Take charge of your personal finances
As you get ready to set sail on this new and exciting journey, it’s important to consider how investing
fits within your wider personal finances.
A few things you may want to think about:
● A budget: Knowing where your money goes can help you decide how much to invest.
● An emergency fund: Think about how unexpected expenses could crop up and how this could
set you back from your financial goals.
● A debt plan: Whether it’s a personal loan or a credit card, it may make more sense to pay off
the debt beforehand.
If you’ve covered these three things off, sticking to and growing your portfolio may become an easier
habit to adopt over time.
Understand what’s out there & choose what’s right for you
There are two main ways to invest through the Sharesies platform. You can buy shares in specific
companies, or you can invest in products like exchange-traded funds (ETFs).
Investing in funds helps you diversify by spreading your money across lots of different things (like shares in companies, bonds, property, or even savings accounts), while investing in companies gives you the chance to invest in the brands you know and love.
When it comes to choosing your investments, it’s worth researching your options to help you choose investments that align with your goals and values.
Another important thing to consider is whether your potential investment matches your appetite for
risk and your broader goals.
“Time horizon,” which is the length of time you plan to invest your money for, can factor into what level of risk you want to take. For example, if you understand and have a higher appetite for risk and/or are considering investing for the longer term, you might decide to go with something more volatile.
If you’re planning to invest for a shorter period of time and want to proceed more cautiously, perhaps choose something lower-risk. At the end of the day, it’s all about what you’re comfortable with!
Let’s get going!
You’ve done your research and you know what you want, now there’s only one thing left to do...invest!
There’s a common misconception that you need hundreds of dollars when you start, but this is not
the case - sometimes all you need is $5, $10 or $50. On the Sharesies platform, you can invest from as little as 1 cent!
So, when you’re ready to get started, choose an affordable amount that’s right for you - high enough
to make a difference, but low enough that you’re not tempted to hit that withdraw button when you
want to go out for a nice dinner or buy that new pair of shoes. Keep it consistent and make it a habit
(like brushing your teeth) - the amount and the day you invest, even the time you log in to place your
Patience is a virtue
Investing is typically best for the long term. It’s not a get rich-quick scheme. Invest based on your
goals (why are you investing: to reach a goal, for family, for retirement, for learning). Know you may
see positive or negative returns. Having belief in what you’ve invested in and belief in reaching your
goals can help you channel that patience.
Never stop learning
Keep a learn-as-you-go approach! Check out podcasts, have conversations with family and friends, watch webinars, and read blogs. Explore the resources available to help you understand more, and think about the topic regularly and often to keep building your knowledge.
Remember to be kind to yourself. No one is an expert from day one, we all start somewhere!
Ok, now for the legal bit
All investing involves risk. There is no guarantee you will make money, and no guarantee that you won’t
lose the money you start with. Sharesies does not provide personalised advice or recommendations. Any
information we provide is general only and current at the time written.
Finally, 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.
*Brooke Roberts is a sub-authorised representative of Sanlam Private Wealth. Sharesies AU Pty Limited is
a Corporate Authorised Representative of Sanlam Private Wealth (AFSL no: 337927).