We sat down with 31-year-old mother-of-one Maryann to discuss how she got started on her investing journey and how the Sharesies platform fits in with her financial goals.
Tell us a bit about yourself!
I’m originally from New Zealand but I now live in Melbourne with my husband, Jarrod, and my 18-month-old son, Leo. I work as a production coordinator for a textiles company.
Outside of work, I love getting out and about and exploring the city. Prior to the pandemic, my weekends were spent gallery hopping, going to cool events and concerts, as well as dining out with friends and family. Travel is also a big passion of mine, and I was lucky to do my fair share of it in my 20s.
Two years ago, Jarrod and I looked into IVF (in vitro fertilisation). We dreamed of starting a family for years before we finally took the plunge and sought out a fertility specialist. Yes, it was expensive, but we don’t regret a single cent because we got the most beautiful baby boy out of it!
Why did you start investing?
Growing up, money wasn’t something we ever discussed as a family. It wasn’t something I remember being taught in school either. I knew about mortgages and buying property, but not in the context of investments. A few years ago, my husband and I started thinking about our little nest egg just sitting in the bank doing absolutely nothing. That’s when we started looking at ways that we could grow it.
We took a punt with cryptocurrency and it paid off. It was obviously very high risk, but exciting at the same time to see our money actually doing something. After that, we did some internet research and talked to financially savvy friends. We learnt about the importance of diversification and bought some shares. We’re still learning, but enjoying every step of the journey.
What challenges did you need to overcome to start investing?
I’m from a creative background, and I honestly didn’t think I had a place in the investing world. Everything about it scared me—the terminology, the risk of all of my hard-earned money disappearing. But once I devoted some time to become financially literate, I suddenly got really excited about the prospect of investing. I’ve now turned into this person who’s really keen to invest each week—even if it’s just a little bit of money here and there.
What really made me feel empowered was the fact that I was able to pay off my $40k student loan thanks, in part, to some of the capital gains I’d made through my various investments. I thought it was going to be this debt that hung over my head for the rest of my life, but through a few good investments I was able to put it behind me.
How have you found your experience with the Sharesies platform so far?
Before discovering the Sharesies platform, I dabbled with other platforms in Australia to purchase ETFs (exchange-traded funds), but it was so daunting I found myself having to educate myself on all the confusing financial terminology.
When I first got started on the Sharesies platform, I was amazed by the filters and spent a lot of time exploring all the different ETFs and companies on offer. Being able to see how those companies performed over time helped me to make more informed decisions on risk. It’s unlike any other platform I’ve used before. It’s so user-friendly and the language is geared towards ordinary, everyday people—it makes investing feel approachable.
How do you manage your money and investments?
I don’t really have a structured approach—we manage our money and investments pretty holistically. Some months I might put $1,000 into my Sharesies Wallet, other times it might only be $20 a week. It depends on what other expenses I have coming up.
But we do have this little ritual every payday after my son goes to bed. Before we put on a TV show, my husband and I will relax on the couch, open the app up on our phones, and have a little brainstorming session about the funds or companies we could invest in. It’s become a part of our monthly routine!
How has your attitude towards money changed since you started investing?
I used to be petrified of putting my money anywhere other than my bank account. I felt like if I was going to invest in shares, I was never going to be able to get it back. But I took the leap and got comfortable with risk.
Now investing excites me. I love looking at the performance of my investments right on my phone. I love researching where to put my money and reading about other investment strategies. I’ve taken a full 180 degree turn, you can say.
What tips would you give to everyday Australians who might think you need loads of money to invest?
I came from a background where money wasn’t really talked about. I always thought that investing was only for the rich—I never thought I would be as into it as I am. You don’t need to have a huge amount of money. You can invest a tiny amount of money every week or every month or whenever you can afford. The opportunity is right there at your fingertips.
Investors who take part in our Investor Journeys series use the Sharesies platform and agree to share their personal perspective and experience. They receive payment from Sharesies AU Pty Limited for their participation.
The statements made throughout are the investor's personal views and do not constitute professional or financial advice. They are not to be attributed as the views of, or financial advice being provided by, Sharesies AU Pty Limited.
Ok, now for the legal bit
Investing involves risk. You aren’t guaranteed to make money, and you might lose the money you start with. We don’t provide personalised advice or recommendations. Any information we provide is general only and current at the time written. You should consider seeking independent legal, financial, taxation or other advice when considering whether an investment is appropriate for your objectives, financial situation or needs.