- Name: Sharon
- Age: 53
- Lives: Sydney
- Occupation: Change Manager and Investor
- Followers & Copiers: 2000 & 80
- Advice: A man is not a financial plan and invest in what you know
When Sharon first began investing, her life was at rock-bottom. The now 53-year old was newly separated from her partner of 17-years and looking for a home to call her own. To make matters worse, the U.K. born mother of two was living in Singapore — as an ex-pat, she was unable to work.
It was during this extremely difficult time that Sharon was first exposed to eToro, the global multi-asset investment platform. The social stock investing business sent her a free $25 voucher via email, inviting her to invest in Facebook shares.
Hesitant, but with nothing to lose, Sharon decided to take up the offer. Within six months her initial, free investment had more than doubled in worth.
"I had no financial security so investing for my future was not at the top of my list, buying groceries and being able to pay my rent was at the top of my list," she explained.
Still battling her way through the separation and job situation, Sharon started off slow on eToro and continued to invest what money she could into well-known companies which had businesses she understood.
"If I just had a little bit of extra money — and when I’m talking about a little bit of extra money I’m talking about $50 here and there— I would invest in some shares," she said.
"Something that I knew, such as Google or Facebook, and these little $50 investments actually started to add up to a fairly reasonable portfolio," she added.
Seven years on and Sharon is now one of eToro's most popular investors. The 53-year-old has also made a home for herself in Sydney's beautiful northern beaches with her partner and is working as a change manager for a large financial institution.
Despite the huge changes in her life and obvious success with eToro, Sharon's strategy for investing hasn't really changed over the years. She still invests in what she knows.
"The companies that I know are Facebook, Google, Amazon and Netflix. I also invest in luxury goods companies, because walking down the street in Sydney I'll see huge queues outside Louis Vuitton and that makes me want to go and have a look at the LVMH stock," she explained.
"On the weekend, I don’t want to open a newspaper and read about iron ore and coal, I want to read about movies and shopping and social media. I think my shares quite often reflect my life" the 53- year-old added.
The Sydneysider also advises that investors should avoid looking for huge, short-term pay-offs and stresses that they need to understand that markets are going to fluctuate daily.
"Stocks rise and fall, so if you invest in Amazon and the next day they fall by 5 per cent, don’t sell them — you’ve got to ride them out. What are they going to be in two years time? Or in ten years time?" she said of investments.
"It’s difficult to make really quick wins, so you need to stick with it. Don’t be scared when things dip — that’s okay, they’ll be back up next week or next month. You really need to think about how long you’re prepared to invest for," Sharon advised.
Along with her investing success, the mother of two is also passionate about teaching her kids and other young people, especially young women, financial literacy. She argues too many women go through her experience — where they're caught relying on their partners to take care of them.
"There were a lot of women like myself in Singapore, who had followed their husband overseas and initially everything was working brilliantly, but when things don’t work out they realise that they don’t have any financial support," she said.
"They don’t have a financial plan, they have no idea how they’re going to survive and I really would urge women, even if you think that you’re in a really happy relationship, to take responsibility for your finances".
"Make sure that you know what you’re doing and get interested in saving, investing and building your future. If you’re a mum, teach your kids that as well. From an early age women need to know these things because a man is not a financial plan," she said.
"Women need to take responsibility. It’s not difficult. They shouldn’t be scared. They just need to start — just start anywhere. Just start."