27 October 2021

FMA investor profile - Imogen O’Neill

Our ongoing series of monthly profiles of investors around New Zealand. This month, we talk to PR Director and cool-hunter, Imogen O’Neill.

As PR Director at youth culture agency Public Library, it’s Imogen O’Neill’s job to have her finger on the pulse of what’s cool, new and trending right now.  So it’s no surprise the 36-year-old was an early adopter of online investing platforms. 

Her first foray into investing was around five years ago when she started using term deposits.  “I then started being served articles about micro investing online,” Imogen says, “and as soon as I discovered Sharesies I jumped in.”

Imogen actively trades shares on platforms.  “Over the last few years I would call myself moderately active; tracking, selling, buying at least every week to ten days.” 

This doesn’t mean she’s focused on short-term horizons though.  “I would describe myself as a long-term strategist. Every app / platform I use classes me as aggressive but I would call myself conservative. I don’t invest large amounts but I do buy regularly.”

Imogen’s secret to success: ‘Research, research, research.’

“I listen to podcasts, read blogs and articles, and business news is great for a scan to see what’s happening.  Also the industry I am in means I can see trends across multiple segments and need to scan many media outlets as part of my job. 

“I generally pick a fund or a company that I am interested in then watch it for a month or so quite heavily; watching progress and reading up on it.”

She also favours drip-feeding, regularly adding to her investments from her income, and reinvesting any gains. 

“I need to feel comfortable in the amount of outlay I am investing but I don’t put too much pressure on myself to know or predict everything. When Covid hit all of my investments including KiwiSaver took a hit – I stayed the course across all platforms and everything has seemed to right itself and then some.”

“I have a separate on-call savings account, and as a rule don’t pull money out of my investment platforms.  I view investing as a risk and don’t plan to rely on the funds for immediate use. As long as I have my outgoings budgeted for separately, then I feel confident that my investments may rise and fall but with a long-term view should return me some additional funds in the future.”

She says the best investing advice she’s received is this: ‘Don’t invest more than you can afford to lose and look at investing as a long-term play’. 

Imogen credits Mum Jillie, Dad Gene and Step-Mum Liz for giving her the most guidance over the years. 

“Look for industries that genuinely interest you.  For me that's sustainability, and future-focused categories, like tech, robotics, clean energy and responsibility funds for example.”

Her tip for choosing what to invest in?  “Start off small until you get the hang of it, and look for industries that genuinely interest you.  For me that's sustainability, and future-focused categories, like tech, robotics, clean energy and responsibility funds for example.”

*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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