This International Women’s Day, we’re showcasing some of our impressive female investors and learning how they’re taking control of their financial futures.
Today, we’re sharing their stories to inspire and encourage other women to do the same and achieve their goals.
Coming from the financial services industry, Julieanne had a headstart when it came to understanding the power of investing. Yet the 45 year old is the first to admit that no investor is perfect.
“Even the financially savvy can still make mistakes,” she said. “When I got divorced I lost our house and I walked away with just my super.”
Having spent years paying off a mortgage, it was a moment that made Julieanne reconsider her investing strategy – and reevaluate Australians’ preoccupation with property.
“After I signed the house over, I knew I didn’t have a huge amount of cash flow to be able to go and buy a house again,” she said.
“That’s really when I started investing in the sharemarket and it’s one of the reasons why I really like Superhero because I didn’t need to have a lot of capital to start off with.”
From there, the mother of two has slowly been building her portfolio. While she sees the utility of them, she doesn’t invest in ETFs. Instead Julieanne is a more active stock picker, doing her research before she buys a company.
“I work in fintech so I find some of the up and coming fintechs very interesting. That has some risk associated with it but I think there are some really amazing companies there,” she said. “Elsewhere I’m looking for stocks that I think are undervalued.”
“While there is some risk in investing, it’s not like gambling. You just have to understand that shares are a long-term investment.”
She says her portfolio has some retail, tech, and health stocks but that she is trying to steer clear of property.
“I was looking at potentially buying an investment property with my SMSF. I’m not sure whether I will go down that path yet but I do have a proclivity towards shares now.”
Realising the value of the superannuation system, Julieanne has put a lot of her wealth into her fund knowing that she will be able to retire financially independent when the time comes.
When it comes to investing, she says a lack of confidence still holds back some women.
“In particular women sometimes seem to think that unless they’re in the financial industry that they don’t have the knowledge to be able to invest. But I think no matter how intelligent you are, if it’s not an area that you’re exposed to then it’s going to be very foreign.”
Her advice then is to not delay and be willing to learn as you go.
“Start. Start young, start early, start small. It doesn’t matter if it’s $20 a week, it doesn’t matter if it’s $20 a month. The power of compound investing, and micro investing is amazing. And you have to start somewhere.”
Georgie, 23, is a product development scientist helping to create a whole line of men’s grooming products.
Working for a small startup, she says she enjoys both the nature of the work and the ability to “wear a lot of hats” in her day to day.
“I kind of run production, figure out what we need to do to create, find products for our stockists as well as research ingredients. It’s a lot of fun.”
While she had used a micro investing platform for years, she realised her returns were getting eaten up by relatively high fees.
As she moved from university to the workforce, she credits her boyfriend with getting her to take investing more seriously.
“He recommended I start listening to the You’re In Good Company podcast and that really helped me understand what it was all about,” Georgie said. “I opened up my Superhero account in December 2020 and at this stage I’d started working full time so I really had some money to start investing.”
“I realised ETFs were probably one of the easiest ways to get started. As I grew more confident I started picking a few companies that I liked and talking to friends and family about what they were invested in.”
“Mostly I’m invested in Australian stocks in healthcare, technology and sustainability which I’m really passionate about.”
A diligent saver, Georgie uses an investing strategy called ‘Dollar Cost Averaging’ to ensure she isn’t trying to time the market.
“I get paid fortnightly so I automatically put a percentage of my pay straight into my Superhero account. Usually I’ll either invest in a stock I have had my eye on or into one of my ETFs.”
As her portfolio has changed, so too have her financial objectives .
“When I started I had a goal of having $1 million in shares one day and was looking at a bunch of different calculators to figure out how long it was going to take me,” Georgie said.
“One day I might use [my investments] to buy a house but right now I just kind of see it as a nest egg that I kind of forget about.”
With an eye on potentially moving to Canada one day, her investments also give her some valuable flexibility should she wish to settle down there.
Despite starting at just 21, she too wishes she had begun investing earlier but says her biggest financial misconception before was around wealth.
“I think one of the mistakes I made was thinking that I was making money on my savings when really it was probably just covering inflation,”
Having seen the COVID crash, she also has a greater appreciation of market volatility
“Another thing I learned was that market crashes can be a great buying opportunity and that you shouldn’t panic sell,” she said.
“You have a bit of a heart attack the first time you see your portfolio lose 2% but you have to have faith it will go back up eventually.”
It’s a lesson she’s passed on to her sister who she has gotten into investing.
“She messages me every day about which way her portfolio has gone and I just tell her she needs to be confident. It can be stressful sometimes but if you’re in it for the long-term, those are just the ebbs and flows.”
Having those kinds of conversations have kept Georgie on track and helped her connect with others.
“Speak to the people around you whether it’s the men or women in your life about investing because hearing it directly from someone definitely helps.”
“For me, podcasts were really important because I was hearing about investing from these financially savvy girls who were sharing their stories. That was when it really hit home.”
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