Cathy Elloso says the best investing advice she’s had is this: “Never invest in a business you cannot understand.”
It’s a quote attributed to US billionaire Warren Buffet, though Cathy first heard it from Professor Sasha Molchanov at Massey University, where she’s a third-year finance student.
She says her studies have taught her how to follow Buffet’s advice.
“Massey University has helped me know which are the credible sources,” she says, “and helped me to be vigilant when it comes to investing.”
“I go to company websites to get their annual report. And I keep myself updated with the current news about companies I invest in and the competitors.”
“I reach out to people who are more advanced than me in investing and learn from them with an open mind.”
Cathy’s other favourite investing motto is from a far less contemporary source – the Old Testament.
“Go to the ant,” says Proverbs 6:6, “consider its ways and be wise. It has no commander, no overseer or ruler, yet it stores its provisions in summer and gathers its food at harvest.”
Cathy says it resonates with her when it comes to investing because it’s about voluntarily putting money aside in order to thrive in future.
“I put about ten percent of my income into my investments,” she says, describing herself as a “long term strategist”.
She got into investing through a friend who was interested in foreign exchange. “But I didn’t like the daily trading. So I searched for managed funds where I can invest in the long-term.”
These days her portfolio includes her Kiwisaver fund, shares and passive managed funds.
She says exchange traded funds (ETFs) are a growing area of interest, as are “investments that relate to innovation and ESG [environmental, social, governance principles].”
When she’s not busy studying or investing, Cathy is the secretary and social media manager of Massey’s Student Investment Club. She also manages Massey’s Trading Room, which offers students a “real-life fund management experience”, and she’s a member of the INFINZ Young Women of Finance group.
“Joining the INFINZ Young Women of Finance group gives me confidence in entering the financial industry,” she says.
"I want to see other women build confidence to join the investment sector as I believe alphas (higher investment returns) can be found in a more diverse group."