Meet the Investors: 8 readers' lessons, and all the Top 5 Holdings

Matt Buchanan

Livewire Markets

In April this year, Livewire had the good fortune to receive a great idea from a regular reader, Andrew.

We were missing a trick, he wrote: Why not connect with our readers more directly and dig into their front-line investment experiences, including how they use Livewire to become better investors and share their insights.

Livewire co-founder James Marlay quickly got in touch with Andrew and the pair fashioned what would be the first in an irregular series of interviews with Livewire audience members, called Meet the Investor. 

Below I have gathered together in one wire the lessons our reader-investors have shared so far, along with their Top 5 Holdings (with the holdings' percentage of their respective portfolios) at the time of publication. 

We thank them all for sharing, look forward to more, and say thanks again to Andrew for bringing us all a little closer. 

#1 Meet Andrew: He loves small caps, growth funds and cycling

“I think there is an opportunity for Livewire to interview the investors that use the website and to share their investing experiences with others.

Name: Andrew
Age: 57
Employment Status:
Full Time
Years Investing: About 25 years
Investment goals: To self-fund retirement
Products used: Direct Equities and Managed Funds
Biggest portfolio holding: Codan (ASX:CDA)
Passion: Cycling

What lessons have you learned as an investor that could potentially help others?

1. Trade less.
2. Let your winners run.
3. Understand when to cut your losses


# 2 Meet Neil: He conquered life’s bumpy road with a beautifully diversified portfolio

“Compounding is the greatest thing and when your net wealth grows significantly while you are asleep it’s amazing.

Name Neil
Age:
61
Employment Status: Self Employed
Years Investing: 45 years
Investment goals: To self-fund retirement and give his daughter the best opportunities he can
Products used: Property, Bonds, Cash, ETFs, Managed Funds, Equities
Biggest portfolio holding: Property and CBA (14.5%) in equities

Investor lesson:
There are many axioms in investing but compounding is the greatest thing and when your net wealth grows significantly while you are asleep it’s amazing. It's time-related of course and I am not sure how many Livewire readers are new to investing, but my advice to novice Livewire individual investors is to start as early as you can and stay the course.

Also, manage your money as I am always amazed to see how many highly paid people pay so little attention to their own wealth. Not much free time, too many toys, and no looking to the future.


#3 Meet Liz: She’s curious, kind and bought Afterpay at 3 bucks

Look forward and have no regrets. Whether I'm buying or selling, and at whatever price, I just have to remember, You can't time the market

Name: Liz
Age: 49
Employment Status: Employed
Years Investing: 33 years
Investment goals: To test a hypothesis (done) and achieve financial security
Products used: Bonds, Equities and Listed Investment Companies
Biggest portfolio holding: Afterpay (ASX:APT)

Investor lesson: Look forward and have no regrets. Whether I'm buying or selling, and at whatever price, I just have to remember, "You can't time the market." 

Sometimes you might kick yourself thinking, "Oh, I shouldn't have sold," or, "No, I shouldn't have bought yet.” But no, don't have any regrets about it. Just remember that whatever money you did make, you're better off than you were before. And if you lost money, it's a long game and you'll be able to make it back.


#4 Meet Tom: The 22-year-old investing like Peter Lynch, so he can afford a house

Know what sort of investor you are. For me, figuring that out helped me zero in on what information I should be taking in

Name: Tom
Age: 22
Employment Status: Employed / Student
Years Investing: 5
Investment goals: Initially to buy a house but ultimately to create wealth for retirement
Products used: Equities, LICs and ETFs
Biggest portfolio holding: Johns Lyng Group (ASX:JLG)

Investor lesson: Know what sort of investor you are. For me, figuring that out helped me zero in on what information I should be taking in, what I should be ignoring and what sort of stocks I should be looking for.

I think many people get confused and don't know whether they're a speculator, a trader or a long-term investor. Obviously, the types of stocks that a stock trader or speculator is interested in are those that I want to steer clear of.

And to steal Warren Buffett's phrasing - “circle of competence,” – I’m a very concentrated investor, with a lot of focus on industrials. That's a sector that I understand. And that's not to say there aren't excellent stocks in financials, IT or healthcare. But I don't necessarily think that I have enough of an understanding of those industries and those sectors to warrant investing in them.


Macro
Ray Dalio's 6 crucial themes for the next few years

#5 Meet Adrian: The dentist with a sweet tooth for healthcare stocks

Don’t believe anyone who says they get it right all the time.

Name: Adrian
Age: 41
Employment Status: Employed
Years Investing: 20
Investment goals: A nest egg for my two children, and extracurricular activities
Products used: Equities and investment property
Biggest portfolio holding: CSL (19%)

Investor Lesson(s): Learn how to manage your emotions, especially fear and greed. Always be humble about your winning trades/investments. Do celebrate your success but don’t get over-confident or cocky. Conversely, don’t beat yourself up over your losses. Learn from them and try not to make the same mistakes.

Start to track your investment performance monthly. Journal your trades and calculate your portfolio gains/losses for the month. This provides a statistical foundation to your investing performance and you will find that you are much more focused and disciplined in your investing.

If you get 7 out of 10 trades/investments your way, let your winners run and cut your losses early, you will outperform most professional fund managers. Don’t believe anyone who says they get it right all the time.


#6 Meet Tom: The small-cap tragic about to turn his pastime into a profession

"The trick is not to learn to trust your gut feelings, but rather to discipline yourself to ignore them." Peter Lynch

Name: Tom
Age: 27
Employment Status: Self-Employed. NFP Director. Oxford University MBA student.
Years Investing: Eight years
Investment goals: To launch an ASX small-cap focused fund in calendar 2022
Products used: Cash, ETFs, Equities
Biggest portfolio holding: Queensland Pacific Metals (ASX:QPM) (circa 25%).

Investor lesson: “The trick is not to learn to trust your gut feelings, but rather to discipline yourself to ignore them. Stand by your stocks as long as the fundamental story of the company and the fundamentals of your investment thesis haven’t changed.” – Peter Lynch


#7 Meet Ivan: All he needs is three good stocks and a handful of fundies

Back yourself on the big calls – doing nothing is the easy path

Name: Ivan
Age: 64
Employment status: Self-employed
Years investing: 16 years (after re-entering the market in 2005)
Investment goals: To achieve financial security and undertake education philanthropy
Products used: Equities, exchange-traded funds and managed funds
Biggest portfolio holding: Fiducian Group (ASX:FID)

Lesson: That’s a question that could take me a few pages to answer! But in short:

  • It’s critical to know what your investor DNA is so you can hone and develop your own style.
  • Be curious, humble and absorb information from people you regard as more experienced and better investors than yourself.
  • Back yourself on the big calls – doing nothing is the easy path.
  • You only need to find two great stocks a year.



#8 Meet Dimitri: The Greek who loves to buy the dip (no, not tzatziki)

I learned that investing with a strategy makes the learning curve much more manageable and helps you maintain your sanity in times of madness.

Name; Dmitri
Age: 40
Employment status:
Self-employed
Years investing: Over seven years
Investment goals: To generate enough income to cover annual expenses, and have the choice of not working
Products used: Equities, LICs, ETFs, unlisted funds

Biggest portfolio holding: Dicker Data (ASX:DDR)

Investor Lesson: Develop a core strategy early and stick to it.

Of course, the aspects of a strategy can and should be tweaked and adapted according to each investor’s life circumstances, experiences, and as new information emerges.

I learned that investing with a strategy makes the learning curve much more manageable and helps you maintain your sanity in times of madness.

I admittedly made lots of mistakes in the COVID crash, but hey it was my first crisis and I'll hopefully have better luck next time and it ultimately makes you a better investor.

Develop a core strategy early and stick to it.


Thanks again
to all the investor readers who have participated so far, and, of course, thanks to Andrew Dee whose original idea it was, and who recently got in touch in the comments section of Ivan's Meet the Investor (below).

And thanks to all the Livewire readers who have supported the Meet the Investor concept throughout.

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Content Director
Livewire Markets

Matt Buchanan is Head of Content at Livewire Markets. Matt is an avid investor with many years' experience in journalism and product in senior roles at the Sydney Morning Herald, the ABC and Microsoft, before landing his dream job with the...

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