Interviews

FIREside chat with Investella: "The best time to invest is now"

Quirk Team
April 15, 2021
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FIREside chat with Investella: "The best time to invest is now"

Hi! Could you introduce yourself

Hiya, my name is Ella and I run a finance and investing Instagram (investella_) and Tik Tok (investella)! A fun fact about me is that my parents are from the UK and Australia and I grew up in Tokyo, Japan but have lived in the UK for the past 13 years! I love being active, particularly dancing, cold water swimming, and skiing. I became passionate about personal finance and pursued a degree in Economics and finance. 

What personality type did you get? Did you find the results to be accurate? https://quiz.quirk.money/

The Artist. I found the positive attributes of this personality type to be extremely accurate, such as caring about making an impact with my money, however the negative attributes, such as not being an investor, are not accurate (this may indicate that I, like many others, am overly confident in my abilities aha :l). 

What inspired you to start a social media presence about personal finance? For completely new readers, what is the “tl;dr” of your brand?

I was on a walk with a friend who had recently inherited some money. She wanted to know what options she had and I explained the options I knew about. She then encouraged me to start an Instagram page to talk about finance in a SIMPLE and RELEVANT way. The TLDR of my page is really to make finance accessible. It can be a scary world with big words and complex phrases being thrown around and I want to help people navigate through it without getting overwhelmed! 

What is your relationship with personal finance? - If applicable, how has that defined your current pursuits? What changes have you made that have helped? How has it changed over time?

I am lucky that I have always been a saver and through that have always had a relatively healthy relationship with personal finance. However, I have recently discovered that knowledge really is power! Nobody gets rich by saving and I am so glad that I started to educate myself about investing and personal finance beyond just being good with my money! Through the knowledge I have learnt about investing I will ensure that my pension fund is invested in stocks and shares (not in too many bonds) and I will be regularly depositing into my pension fund and stocks and shares ISA! 

What’s the worst money advice you’ve ever received?

This is a controversial one but ‘the best time to invest is now’. This is 100% true if you have educated yourself on investing to at least a basic level but it can be harmful if you are not ready. I started investing with no emergency fund (massive no!) and was using an investment platform that cost me £10 to buy and sell. I was buying £100 worth of a few stocks which meant I needed to make a 10% return to just break even! After educating myself I found statistics such as 90% of investors cannot beat the market over a 15 year period. If I had educated myself before jumping in I could have saved myself loads of money and time by investing in low cost index funds! 

What are some things that worked for you for maintaining balance and managing your spending?

Budgeting! Budgeting can be time consuming but is very effective. For those struggling with budgeting and who do not have heaps of sparetime, a simple weekly budget could be great! I have previously given myself a budget of £100 a week which I would use on food shops, coffees, going out, and bills (just general weekly spending). Any bigger things such as holidays or festival tickets I would think about if I really wanted them and this would be outside of the £100 a week. I also track ALL of my spending, every little thing! This helps me stay on track with ensuring I am earning more money than I spend (although this method is not great for everyone as it is very time consuming!).

Is there a specific financial goal you are working towards right now? What steps are you taking to achieve that goal?

Currently I am saving for my June 21st sinking fund. A sinking fund is just money that is saved for a specific purpose. My June 21st sinking fund is just for me to have a bit of fun when life supposedly returns to normal in the UK. I save £15 a week and have done since the 1st of March (16 weeks before the 21st of June). I am currently in my final year of University so am on a very tight budget but also am starting to invest £100 a month which is the amount I get in furlough pay from my part time job! My main goal is to be able to have the freedom to spend my time how I like and I plan on doing that through investing monthly as much as possible into my Vanguard index fund whilst I am young!

What do you most enjoy spending on? Or any guilty pleasure you can share.

Travel! There is nothing in the world that I love more. You have to have a ‘why’ with personal finance this can be anything from becoming debt free to being financially independent. My ‘why’ is travel, I want to have the free time to be able to regularly travel. I know it may take me a while to achieve this goal but it helps me to be careful with my spending and keep saving!

How often do you check your finances?

At least once a month if not every two weeks. 

For someone who is starting completely new to personal finance, how would they get started? What specific tips would you have for newbies?

I’d say my key steps are: 1. Look at your finances (what are you paying for maybe you need to switch energy providers and get a better rate, cancel subscriptions etc) 2. Find a budgeting technique that suits you 3. Pay off high interest debt (again find a method that works for you) 4. Build an emergency fund (skip to this step if you have no debt) 5. Educate yourself about investing 6. Start investing! 

What’s your stack? (Accounts, credit cards, apps or other tools)

I have a current account for everyday use. A help to buy ISA (I was lucky enough to open one before the deadline back in 2019). A separate bills account in my current account (it helps me manage my finances). A CHIP+1 savings account. A Revolut account that I use for my £100 a week budget and travel. A stocks and shares ISA (S&S ISA) with Hargreaves Landsdown and a S&S ISA with Vanguard! I just use excel for my budgeting so currently do not have a budgeting app!


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