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 Hayley invests

A few years ago, Hayley discovered two things about herself: her passion for the art of chocolate-making and for taking control of her financial future. Now, the Central Coast native has become a fully-fledged Chocolatier in Sydney – and an investor in her own right. While Hayley admits that the learning never stops, the 27-year-old has already built a strong portfolio of more than $9,000. And she’s in it for the long haul, striving for financial security and independence.

Name: Hayley

Age: 27

Location: Sydney

Occupation: Chocolatier

CommSec product: CommSec Share Trading

Favourite feature: User-friendly design, and that I’m able to easily categorise my stocks

Portfolio size: $9.5K

Passionate about: Trying to have the most relaxed life possible while still making the most of it

When did you start investing?

I think around four years ago. My ex-partner got me onto it because I used to be really bad with money. I had credit card debt, and he was really into investing. He set it up for me, and I basically started winging my way through it. It was a lot of hit and miss and pretty confusing at first. I didn’t grow up financially literate at all, so I found it quite challenging. I also stopped for a little bit during COVID, probably due to job uncertainties at the time. That’s when I hoarded my money a bit rather than willy nilly buying whatever I thought might work.


What are you investing for?

I invest so I can have a safety net for when I have children or to have something that’s my own in case my husband ever left me. (laughs)  It sounds pretty doom and gloom, but women are often still at a financial disadvantage, due to pay inequalities or the super imbalance, so I think it’s really important to build financial independence.


Describe your approach to investing?

My strategy is to try and invest in companies that I actually spend money with and that I think will still be around in 20 or 30 years.


What’s in your portfolio?

Commonwealth Bank, Wesfarmers, a bunch of ETFs and Australian Ethical Investment. I think a lot of people are becoming more aware of ethical investing and having a stake in those types of companies.


What stocks are you watching and why?

I’m definitely still watching Australian Ethical Investment. Then there are a few other random ones on my Watchlist, like Healius who are big in the healthcare sector, or PolyNovo. They’re doing some really cool research in the area of skin grafting and biodegradable medical devices.

Their stocks are not worth a lot right now, but I think what they do is really cool and innovative. I like seeking out companies that have the potential to shape and have a positive impact on our future.


Biggest investing win?

As soon as COVID hit I invested in SEEK because I thought, once the pandemic is over, more people might need it, so that has really paid off.


Biggest investing loss?

It wasn’t really a loss, but I sold Ampol just before they merged with Caltex. If I had just waited a bit, my investment would’ve been worth quite a bit more.


What makes you feel confident?

That I’ve got my age behind me, so I know I’ve got time to make mistakes and lose some money occasionally – and that’s okay. I’m also not investing thousands of dollars at a time, so a loss would be manageable for me.


What worries you?

My biggest concern is not being 100% on top of it at the moment. I’m not actively investing, so it’s just sitting there for the most part. When life’s busy, you sometimes forget to focus on your finances, so right now I feel like I just need to get that oomph back.


What learnings can you share with someone just starting out?

Listen to all of the podcasts and read all of the books that you can. Talk to anyone and everyone. I listened to She’s On The Money and My Millennial Money when I first started out and read all the generic books, like Rich Dad Poor Dad and The Barefoot Investor.

You can also just download the CommSec app and have a play around. You don’t have to put money into it to have a look. There’s also the CommSec Pocket app, which helped me a lot.


Why do you invest with CommSec / CommSec Pocket?

While I didn’t know a lot about investing platforms to begin with, CommSec has worked so well for me and been really easy to maintain. I like the interface and how easy it is to keep track of my stocks, and since I also have a bank account with CommBank, it’s easy to have it all in one place. 


TIL (today I learned)?

… that I’m probably not as hopeless at investing as I think I am.


The little win you want to celebrate this week?

Probably that I’ll feel motivated after this talk to get back into it.

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

Where Ellis invests

Electrical engineer Ellis likes to look beneath the surface both at work and when he invests – a strategy he’s found successful to date. Learn why.

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.

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