Investors interviewed are CommSec customers that have agreed to share their personal investing experiences. The statements made throughout are the views of the investor’s and are not professional or financial advice. They are not the views of, or financial advice being provided by, CommSec. They receive payment from Commonwealth Securities Limited (CommSec) for their participation.

Where Ellis invests

In his job, 29-year-old electrical engineer Ellis likes to know what’s happening beneath the surface. He takes the same approach with his investments, always looking beyond a company’s financials to understand what they do and how they make money before he invests. What he’s learnt after two years in the market: always do your research and don’t do anything drastic without thinking it through first – especially when the market conditions seem wobbly.

Name: Ellis

Age: 29

Location: Sydney

Occupation: Electrical Engineer

CommSec product: CommSec Share Trading

Favourite feature: User-friendly design and the Watchlist feature

Portfolio size: $5K

Passionate about: Bonsai cultivation, motorbikes and cycling

When did you start investing?

I started investing in February 2020, just before COVID hit. I wasn’t seeing a lot of growth in my savings accounts and term deposits, and other people convinced me that if I jumped on the stock market I might see a greater return, so I went for it.


What are you investing for?

My big goal is definitely a home deposit – that’s first and foremost. But more broadly, I’d like to help accelerate my savings long term.


Describe your approach to investing?

My approach to investing is definitely about diversifying my portfolio, so not putting all my eggs in one basket. But I also believe it’s important to make informed investments regarding what you think the future will hold. So, not investing in things like mining and stuff and pushing more towards renewables. I think it’s a mix between what I’m passionate about and where I think the future will go. 


What’s in your portfolio?

I’m currently investing in a company called Altium. They make software that I use a lot in my job as an engineer, which is why I’ve decided to back them. Then there are a few broader ETFs to help diversify my portfolio, so I don’t have to manage like ten different stocks individually.

There are also some ETFs that give me a little exposure to global markets, which are easy enough to buy from the CommSec app. And then there’s the NASDAQ and others, which expose you to things like Meta, Tesla and Apple Inc.


What stocks are you watching and why?

There is an Australian biotech company, CSL, but I feel like I’m a bit late to the party for that one. I’m also watching JB-HIFI quite closely, which has been interesting. With Amazon around and everyone purchasing stuff online, it’s interesting to see that they still remain competitive.


Biggest investing win?

Remaining steady through COVID and not doing anything drastic. That can be quite scary, but sometimes you just need to ride it out. Rebalancing my portfolios frequently has also helped me a lot to maintain steady growth.


Biggest investing loss?

It wasn’t so much a loss as it was a disappointment. The stock of a company I invested in was going up and down, so it was pretty volatile. I tried to ride it out for a year but then decided to pull out because it wasn’t going anywhere. Fortunately, I managed to sell at a point where it didn’t cause me a loss.


What makes you feel confident?

What makes me feel confident in my investment decisions is making sure I have a deeper understanding of the company I’m investing in – rather than going off a mate’s hearsay. Altium is a good example. I’m very educated about it because I know a lot about its product, so I feel very confident in my investment there.


What worries you?

Sometimes I’m worried that the day I need to pull out is the day things are in the red. Just like people who were investing for a home deposit and, when then they needed the money, suddenly COVID hit. But I think the longer you’re in, the less likely you are to take a big hit.


What learnings can you share with someone just starting out?

Talk to a lot of people who’ve invested themselves and gather a lot of contrasting opinions. Access a broad range of recourses. That’s how I’ve learned a lot.


Why do you invest with CommSec / CommSec Pocket?

For me, CommSec is one of the most reputable companies when it comes to investing and, since it’s run by the Commonwealth Bank, you don’t need to worry about it suddenly disappearing. 


TIL (today I learned)?

…that if you’re thinking about selling, wait a week and think again.


The little win you want to celebrate this week?

Backing myself to invest in Altium.

That’s how Ellis does it. Head here for tips on how to find a way to invest that works for you.

Where Hayley invests

For Sydney Chocolatier Hayley, investing is a constant learning experience. Still, she’s in it for the long haul – and she’s confident time is on her side.

Where Emer invests

20-year-old Sydney student Emer credits the early start on her investment journey to her high school economics teacher. Here’s what she’s up to.

Important information

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