Any pay-by-the-hour psychologist will tell you that the decisions you make in adulthood are usually connected to a series of moments from your childhood. Or at least mine did. And truthfully, I only started to grasp this notion when I realized I was shocking with money and had a penchant for shopping. Don’t get me wrong, I love my parents, but after 3 marriages (each), countless home upgrades and a bankruptcy, I was always destined to have a complex relationship with money. Well that’s my interpretation and I’m sticking with it!
Along with my ability to hoard credit card debt, ingrained in my psyche was the great Australian dream – to own a home of my own. I foolishly believed this was my gravy train to financial security once I hit retirement. And as far as I was concerned, it was the only train, besides my superannuation. But if you have been following along my Fearless Female Traders journey, you would know about a certain non-dramatic epiphany which lead to a very dramatic financial overhaul (Read: “How to get money smart”). Part of my financial makeover was diving headfirst into the share market and praying for an exit row if I needed to make an equally dramatic emergency exit!
You see, the share market has a bad reputation and Hollywood has further perpetuated this fear in investing, especially since the global financial crisis of 2008. For the moment, let’s put Mr Dicaprio (aka Wolf of Wall Street) to the side – not the wayside, just the bench – and take a look at the Australian Share Market. Many women I speak to fall into two camps, either they are too scared to invest in shares because they are prone to a financial horror story or two, or are curious about expanding their future wealth but don’t have the confidence to make the first move. Sound familiar?
There is something both alluring and frightening about the share market, but once you understand the basics and invest your first bit of cash, you’re already on your way. Of course, it’s not just about putting money into any ol’company, and similarly it’s not a get-rich-quick-fix that you can jump in and out from depending on what your friends are doing (insert horrendous Bitcoin mania). This is one of the biggest misconceptions.
At Fearless Female Traders we’re not about the bandwagon-hoppers, or flavour of the month shares. We are Warren-Buffet-loving, long-game contenders who invest with our future in mind and our risk tolerance as controlled as possible. Like any relationship, getting started is the easy part, it’s the 25-year marriage that requires commitment –
- Read, read and do more reading. Trade your gossip mag for the Financial Review once a week and think about the businesses, not the finance. Having this frame of mind will help you to form a personalized view on what you value in a business and the type of industries you want to know more about.
- Investing in shares for your future is all about the long-term view. If you invested $10,000 in the early 80’s with no other deposits, it would be worth close to $350,000 today. Give yourself a time goal of 5, 10, 20 years, make your first investment and stick to it. Patience is a virtue.
- You can enter the market with any value of money – it doesn’t discriminate! I use my Westpac investment app (approx. $19.95 per purchase) and Acorns app for the cheeky round ups I don’t even notice. Acorns is the easiest way to get started in a diversified, low risk fund with your first $1. And even better, they do all the thinking for you!
- Diversifying is very important so don’t put all your eggs into one basket, or one company. Take a few leaves out of Warren Buffet’s book for billionaires and invest in funds which are made up of the top 100 or 200 companies on the market, like Vanguard. These are called Exchange Traded Funds, or ETFs and is a personal favourite of mine.
- Investing always comes with a portion of risk, and everyone’s aversion to risk will be different. Remember ‘Deal or No Deal’? I would always go for one more case! For example, I wouldn’t recommend my 57-year old mum invests in a high-risk fund, when she is close to retiring. Seeking out support from a certified financial planner is always a good idea.
- Compounding interest is probably the only phrase from high school maths you want to remember, and it will be a powerful friend for any investment. After purchasing your shares, always choose the “reinvestment” option. This will automatically reinvest your earnings back into the shares, compounding the total, and growing all the monies. Perfect!
RELATED: Want to invest but afraid of the “risk”? For many people the word “risk” means something to avoid at all costs. Much like going on a tinder date with a hairy New Zealand male of Greek descent (God forbid). In the esoteric and much maligned world of finance, risk is defined differently. Guest author helps us understand investment risk.
Fearless Female Traders