At 18-years old, David was landing on his feet as an adult. University was out of the way and he had started his first full-time job which was at a publicly listed company. It was in this role that he acquired his first-ever shares and got a kick-start to his investment journey.
From passive to active investor
A few years into his career, David had built up his savings and wanted his money to work harder for him than it would sitting in a bank account. It wasn’t until his late twenties that he started to take a more active approach to investing.
David says he doesn’t have any specific investing goals in mind but knows he’s in it for the long haul.
“My general aim is for my family and I to live off the income from my investments someday.”
Investing in KiwiSaver and shares
He contributes 6% to his KiwiSaver and says he’s fortunate to have an employer that tops that up to a total of 10%.
“I contribute to my KiwiSaver at a rate that’s likely to give me a decent retirement.”
Most of David’s other investments are in shares, which he chooses himself. He says holding shares is the investment type that suits his current strategy best and is low-cost to maintain. When deciding what shares to buy, he looks for technology trends and industry disruption.
“I’m drawn to companies that are delivering to their plan over the mid to long-term. I’m constantly researching companies and I have a long list of shares I’d like to buy.”
Balance sheets and banter
Studying finance and economics in university has given David an advantage in understanding the financial market and the many different types of investments available. His background as an accountant also hasn’t hurt either, especially when doing due diligence to help protect himself.
“The experience I’ve gained over my career has helped a lot in understanding financial reports and what to look for when assessing performance.”
It’s not all about numbers, however. David also looks to his group of friends to keep up to date on what’s happening with the market and as a starting point when vetting companies.
“Often I’ll hear of companies from friends who like their prospects and I’ll see if it fits with my strategy. We also discuss news coming out around companies that we all have shares in.”
A word to the wise
In terms of the best investment advice he’s come across, David says he’s partial to the quote from Warren Buffet – “Someone is sitting in the shade today because someone planted a tree a long time ago.”
*The views and opinions expressed above are those of the interviewee and do not necessarily reflect the views or official position of the FMA.
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