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‘I wish I’d done it sooner’: How I started investing at 25

·3-min read
Here's how Katy Ting started investing in US shares. (Images: Supplied, Getty).
Here's how Katy Ting started investing in US shares. (Images: Supplied, Getty).

Katy Ting invested for the first time in 2020, and her investment has already more than doubled in value.

But she has one regret: that she didn’t start sooner.

At 25 years old, marketing professional Ting is part of a growing group of young investors who entered the market during or in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Her first investment was in payments platform Square (SQ:NYSE). She put $5,000 into the stock in mid-2020. Its stock price has since grown 142 per cent.

“I’d been wanting to [invest] for a while. When I first got my full time job in 2019, I started looking at ways to create more financial wealth for myself, but I was always really scared,” Ting told Yahoo Finance.

“I didn’t have a degree in finance or anything like that and I saw that as a barrier in the past, so I was always quite nervous about investing.”

She read articles on the Financial Times, devoured books including The Intelligent Investor and watched YouTube clip after YouTube clip, but it wasn’t until her friend gave her some advice that she finally dove in.

“I had a friend tell me, ‘The best way you’re to learn is if you just do it. You’re never going to learn by just reading. You’ll never learn how you respond to your portfolio going down, unless you actually experience it.’”

The investment and the returns

For her first investment, Ting chose trading platform Stake for the fact that it offers more than 4,000 US stocks.

“I’ve always been interested in the US market. I remember reading that 40 per cent of the world’s stock market capitalisation is made up by the US market, and the ASX only makes up less than 2 per cent,” she said.

“I always remembered this statistic because it felt like a no-brainer for me personally, to start off with the US market because of the capitalisation and so many of the brands I’m familiar with as well.”

That’s what drove her to invest in Square: Ting was used to using it at Sydney’s Bondi markets, and she knew that Square was also expanding further into the payments space.

“I just thought, amazing, I love this company,” she said.

“The one thing that I did about Square that I regret a little is that I… sold a few of my shares when it went up a little. It went up around 30 per cent at the end of the year. I didn’t sell all of my holdings, but I sold around 30 per cent because I wanted to solidify my gains.”

If Ting had her time again, she would have chosen to just leave her holdings alone.

However, she knows that this is all part of the learning experience.

Today, she also invests in Fiverr, PayPal, Apple, Lululemon and Taiwan semiconductor manufacturing firm KSM.

Ting wants to diversify further into clean energy.

“But I’m still learning.”

The experience and the lessons

Ting said the process of investing with Stake was straightforward.

It was a matter of getting her documents together and creating an account. She held off funding her account for a while, due to the sheer nerves of making her first investment.

“I found the whole process of setting up with Stake super, super simple, easy and intuitive.”

Her goals now are to achieve financial security for herself, and to encourage more women to invest.

“Don’t overthink. Just do it.”

- Are you a woman with a great money story? Get in touch here.

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