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Meet James, a proud Hawkes Bay local who enjoys the sea and scenic landscapes of his hometown, Napier. A man of many talents, James has embraced several different roles from travel agent to supporting people with disabilities, before eventually starting his own part-time window-cleaning business.

Owning his own business gives James the flexibility to enjoy quality time with his four siblings and 12 nieces and nephews. As well as engaging with the elderly in his community, James enjoys pursuits like painting and exploring the beautiful local cycle trails. After all – his leave requests get approved on the spot!

Where his money journey began

James' interest in money started young. A diligent saver, he bought his first home at the age of 28. Increasing his financial knowledge to include budgeting over time. This allowed him to plan for major expenses like his next car purchase!

But his journey into investing really started when he stumbled upon articles by Mr. Money Mustache. This was compounded, when a friend introduced him to "The Barefoot Investor" book six years ago, providing him with a clear path to start investing in index funds.

He soon recognized the power of time in investing and, at the age of 32, opened an account with ASB Securities to buy his first index funds.

How James became a Kernel investor

Through the Moneyhub website, James explored several investment platforms before attending a Kernel roadshow in Napier.

Impressed by the user-friendly platform, low fees, and excellent fund options, James appreciated the exceptional customer service provided by Kernel, particularly for his "outside of the box" investment inquiries (shoutout to Lovelyn from the Kernel customer support team)!

James invests in KiwiSaver and shares via index funds, intending to secure a comfortable financial future in his late 40s or 50s. He envisions using the returns to embrace semi-retirement, improve his home, or satisfy his travel bug.

Getting the ball rolling

While James's investment journey began at 32, he occasionally reflects on the opportunities he missed by not starting earlier.

Despite the delayed start, he wasted no time in putting his learnings into practice, diversifying his investments across a variety of platforms. He holds a mix of hedged and unhedged funds to mitigate currency risks and achieve a balance that aligns with his preferences.

Kernel funds makes up approximately 40% of James's total investment portfolio, reflecting his fondness for the platform and its distinctive "slick, green-themed website."

His investment strategy revolves around a range of index funds, with a preference for US funds due to their historical growth potential. Extensive research into fund compositions and future growth prospects guides his investment decisions.

James’ tips for newer investors

Continue to keep on learning. Small differences in fees can significantly impact long-term investments.

He urges prospective investors to start today, prioritise regular auto-investments, and explore online investment calculators. Those tools and habits can enable you to appreciate the potential of small sacrifices made today for a greater tomorrow.

In the end, James believes that starting early and making financial sacrifices to go towards investing is the key to achieving financial goals, a philosophy he actively lives by.

Tim Rodriguez

Tim Rodriguez

Marketing Coordinator | LinkedIn



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Indices provided by: S&P Dow Jones Indices