Meet Danielle. Healthcare professional, mum-of-three, super-wife and all-around boss lady. Also a very good cook.
Six months ago, she sent me a message asking about getting started with investing in shares. “No one in my family has ever bought shares. It’s all new to me,” she said.
I was really pumped for her to learn more, and in fact even wrote a post inspired by her message.
But life went on and I didn’t hear anything more until a couple weeks ago. Dan had started a Selfwealth account, picked a ‘Listed Investment Company’ to buy, and was locked and loaded. Then three days later I got the absolute best message from her:
It took her six months of planning, research and generally getting up the nerve to do it – but it was done!
The delay actually worked in her favour because of the market falling this year. But anyway, she’s in it for the long haul and wasn’t just hunting for bargains.
I asked Dan if she would do a Q&A with me because I wanted to a) showcase her awesomeness and b) show you how it’s possible to start.
Q. What started you down this path?
A. I’ve always been financially savvy. I bought my first house at age 21 then a second one at 28 [both in regional Victoria]. Then we bought our family home in Melbourne at 31.
My parents were a great influence – they were really good with money, but they always focused on property. [Side note: Dan’s parents are the loveliest people you could ever meet, and also among the thriftiest. Nothing gets wasted].
So, I understood property, but shares were like another language to me. But one I wanted to learn. I have a science brain and I always like to have a new challenge, so I set myself the task of learning about investing in shares.
Q. You’re in your late 30s with three children, mortgages and all that adult stuff. Why now?
A. When I had my first baby, we went from having a really good income to having just one wage. There was lots of scrimping and saving for a good while, because I had two more babies after that! It was definitely hard to get on top of money during those years, when I was either not working, or only part-time.
Now the kids are older, I’m working full-time and my husband got a higher-paying job, so we have a tiny bit more money to play with. Not tons! But enough to get started.
I don’t have a specific goal for the money – it’s more about having something other than property as part of our wealth.
Q. How did you go about learning about shares?
A. The Barefoot Investor was the first stop – the book and the podcasts. I found it really hard to get my head around at first, like that part of my brain had never been used. And I felt scared about locking myself into something I didn’t understand.
So I kept doing more research, listened to some podcasts like Equity Mates [and obviously read Fierce Girl Finance, duh].
Part of it was feeling like I wanted to get on board and be part of this world – because that’s what smart and savvy people do. I felt like I was missing out on something.
But yeah, that’s why it took me six months between starting a brokerage account and actually pressing the button.
Q. So once you did hit the button, how did it make you feel?
A. I felt elated and proud and excited and empowered! Because I’d taken charge of this and gone ahead and done a smart thing, without paying someone else.
I also feel happy to be a role model for my kids – including my two daughters. I want them to see that investing is something that’s achievable and they can take charge of their finances too.
A new language
At this point, we started discussing different options for her next investment. I reeled off some passive/active options etc and she listened closely, then said, “You know what, I just understood everything you said!”.
How cool is that? Dan has learnt a new lingo and all through her own research.
So, if I had to summarise Dan’s steps to success it would be:
- Setting the intention
- Doing the research
- Taking the plunge – but in an informed way
Yay for Dan and her beautiful family and all their future success!