09 July 2021

FMA investor profile - Zac W.

Our latest investor profile is on 13-year-old Zac, who joined the online investing revolution 18 months ago, and now puts half his paper run money into his growing portfolio.

Ask Zac what he wants for his next birthday and chances are it’ll be more money for investing.

That’s because the Auckland intermediate school student already has an impressive portfolio – and it all started with a gift.

“It was Christmas and my dad gave me $100 to invest,” he recalls. “So I bought units in an exchange traded fund, which has a collection of 250 companies. I didn’t know much but since then it has been one of the highest climbing funds.”

Fast forward eighteen months and Zac now has shares in nine companies and units in four exchange traded funds – largely thanks to earnings from his paper run.

"I invest half of what I earn each week, and it really adds up."

Indeed, what started as a $100 gift has steadily grown – with regular contributions and capital gains – into a portfolio worth over $1500.

“I’m going to keep putting in as much as I can, and hope it evolves over time.”

Zac says he decides what to invest in by “taking a good look at shares” online, with a current focus on stocks that are “most affected by COVID-19.”

“Occasionally you read stories about certain companies thar aren’t doing so well right now, but I figure that has to be short term, even if it takes them a few years to recover.”

He says he limits his risk of loses by building a “very diverse profile – that way you don't put your eggs in one basket.”

“I love having a mix of ones that slowly go up, and ones that absolutely rocket up, even if they go down and jump around.”

“It’s amazing to be correct and to actually get something for being correct!”

That said, one of Zac’s guiding principles is this: “If you lose it all, you still gain more experience than any money can buy.”

“It’s good to gain this knowledge while my investments aren’t worth much. I hope one day to invest in much bigger things.”

He says the best investing advice he’s got to date, from his dad, is “never to wait for the exact lowest point” before you buy or sell.

And Zac’s own advice for other young Kiwis who are interested in investing?

“Go for it!”

*The views and opinions expressed above are those of the interviewee and do not necessarily reflect the views or official position of the FMA.

Useful links

FMA investor resources:

Mary Holm’s ‘Hits and Myths’ guide to investing

‘Funds for everyone’ guide to managed funds

Read about online investing platforms

Other investor profiles:

Carla Fasher

Sev Ozan

Jane Wrightson

Riki Manarangi

Cathy Elloso

Lachlan Wallace

Bradie Claydon

David Chadwick

Sarah Kelsey

Sonya Gupthan

Jeanette Miller

Carren Stuart

Rory Lynch

Eseta Leau

Dillon Balasingham

Mikayla Pakinga-Lawson

Reverend Scott Malcolm

Imogen O’Neill

Te Kahukura Boynton