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How I turned $20 into $200k

Etoro investor Shannon Connolly and Yahoo Finance editor in chief Sarah O'Carroll (Source: Yahoo Finance/Patrick Stevenson)
eToro investor Sharon Connolly and Yahoo Finance editor in chief Sarah O'Carroll (Source: Yahoo Finance/Patrick Stevenson)
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If you need financial inspiration, look no further than the Yahoo Finance Breakfast Club.

On Thursday at the Women’s Money Money MovementWealth and Wellbeing breakfast, women at the top of their financial game gathered to give advice on their investment strategies and insights.

One of these women was eToro Popular Investor Sharon Connolly, who is one of the most successful female eToro Investors in Australia.


She started trading with $20; eight years on, her portfolio is worth $220,000. Pretty impressive for a novice.

As part of the Popular Investor program, Sharon now helps others build up their portfolio by sharing her knowledge and strategies with “copiers,” who are able to replicate the trade of successful investors.

Here, she shares her top tips for how to start investing.

Don’t worry if you have no previous trading knowledge

“I made my first trade by accident. I was 42, had just got divorced and was barely making ends meet. Then, in 2013, I got given a $20 voucher for eToro. I had zero interest in trading, but I thought it was worth using the voucher. I invested the money in Facebook, because it was a company I used and understood.

"After I invested the money, I forgot about it until a few months later when I had an email reminding me to check my portfolio. I did, and discovered my $25 had turned into $65. I had no idea things could turn around that quickly, so I started to get interested.”

Start slowly

“For a few months, I invested around $25 every couple of months. I started small to see what would happen. I began to look at my portfolio daily, and could see that the $25 I’d invested, had turned into $32 after a month. Seeing small gains encouraged me to keep going, and made me more confident.”

Be consistent

“By investing regular small amounts, after six months I’d increased my equity by 46 per cent. It didn’t mean much on the small amount I’d invested, but it showed me that being consistent with my methods had helped me develop a strategy. That still stands today – around 80 per cent of my investments are in safe haven stocks, and the rest are in growth, which works very well for me.”

Learn from your mistakes

“A few years ago I invested in Bitcoin, because I thought I should. I didn’t really understand it and consequently I made a big loss. I’ve learnt that it’s important to invest in things I understand, and that I’m interested in. For me, that’s fashion, retail and technology. Don’t feel you’re missing out on something just because that’s what other people are doing.”

Just get started!

“Don’t wait for someone to rescue you financially; a man isn’t a financial plan. You need to be in control of your own finances. Once you make that mindset shift, I guarantee you’ll become passionate about investing.”

Find out more about how you can copy Sharon or eToro’s other traders at eToro.

Take control of your money and learn to maximise it with the Women’s Money Movement! Join the club on LinkedIn and follow Yahoo Finance Australia on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram, and subscribe to the free Fully Briefed daily newsletter.

Follow Yahoo Finance on Facebook, LinkedIn, Instagram and Twitter, and subscribe to the free Fully Briefed daily newsletter.