Equity Mates Teaches Beginners How to Invest

This is where the Equity Mates podcast comes in. With a backlog of over 250 episodes and an avid community of investors, Bryce and Alec are driven to share their passion for all things investing. Canstar sat down with Bryce Leske to learn more about their investment journey, from beginning to dividend.

Q. Why did you start an investment podcast?

A. Alec and I met at university. I had been investing for a while, but it was something Alec wasn’t doing. We ended up living together and started playing the ASX sharemarket game, which piqued Alec’s interest in the markets. Next thing you know, he’s made his first investment. What we realised was there weren’t a lot of podcasts for beginners looking to start their journey, particularly with an Australian focus. So we used the podcast as an excuse for us to go and talk to fund managers, and CEOs, to help us build our knowledge and skills, with the hope that if we recorded it, maybe others would also get value from what we were learning. Fast forward 4 years, and we’re still going, with a huge community of like-minded everyday investors along on the journey with us!

Q. What’s the biggest win you’ve had when investing?

A. The biggest win has been how investing has opened my eyes to so many different industries and companies in the world. I’m reading about things I would not otherwise read, and we’re constantly learning. Investing forces you to look at the world from different angles – it’s fascinating and very rewarding.

In terms of an actual stock win – I can’t go past Afterpay. I was lucky to get in quite early, so I have been riding the wave.

Q. What’s your biggest investment mistake and what did you learn from it?

A. The biggest mistake was trying to be a stock-picker too early, and not understanding my emotions well enough. If I had my time again (and this is something my Dad taught me way-back-when but I obviously didn’t listen to carefully), I would have started by building a portfolio of LICs (ETFs weren’t really a thing). Then once I understood more about the markets, I would have slowly moved to more individual stocks. Instead, I went straight for individual stock picks, and lost a fair bit early on.

For the ones that did do well, I didn’t let them run long-enough. I was too attached to making the profit, so sold way too early. My most memorable mistake on the sell-side was with Bellamys. I bought it quite early, and then it went on a great run. However, one day it came out that their supply chain was facing issues, and the stock price tanked, significantly. I’d never experienced a drop like it, and I was watching all my profits fall away, so I sold, in panic, and made a loss. Over the next few months, I then watched as the price climbed back up, to above the previous high. Lesson for me: don’t sell when your stocks are bombing! Keep control of your emotions.

Q. What’s one thing you wish someone told you before you started investing?

A. That bitcoin would reach $20,000 – I would have put everything in that (joking)! On a more serious note, I was told the right things before I started, but I didn’t act on them properly. Start early, be consistent, build a base, and let compounding do its work. Don’t chase quick profits, and diversify. Pretty straight forward stuff, but given I started when I was young, it was hard not to want to try and get rich quick. Luckily, I now understand what I was being told, so try to stick to it as much as possible. Remember: you don’t have to try and beat the market. There are people out there whose profession it is to try and beat the market and most of them can’t. Buying an index that tracks the market returns is a great investment for retail investors over the long-term.

Q. Where do you see the market going by the end of the year?

We’re going through a fascinating time at the moment. It’s very hard to know what is going to happen, and no-one can predict the market. I would say there is a high probability that we continue to see a lot of volatility, especially once companies start reporting, and we see the impact of COVID-19 on their balance sheets. If the market has underestimated the impact, then I wouldn’t be surprised if we see a lot of companies dumped again, as investors re-evaluate. We also have the US election later in the year which has the market a little nervous. Overall though, as long as the Federal Reserve in the US keeps pumping money into the market, it’s hard to see it slowing down. But hey, what do I know!

You can listen to the Equity Mates podcast on their website, Spotify or Apple Podcasts. 

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