New to investing? Check out our investment bundles.

Investor Stories: Jervis Koo

Auckland-based Jervis is a digital marketing wizard by day and investing nerd by night. Young, debt free and with a high appetite for risk, Jervis’ investment portfolio is made up of Kernel funds, private equity, crypto and more. But his journey to create and grow his wealth hasn’t been as linear as some. Read on to find out why.  

The investing journey: from desperate to determined 

Jervis’ journey with investing started when he was 22, what he considers to be late. A recent uni grad, he had just blown through his savings and was facing a mountain of debt. Can anyone relate?!  

Living paycheck to paycheck, he felt lost when it came to his finances. Tired of being broke, he quickly realised something needed to change. He started educating himself about money and investing, searching for stories from those who had been in his situation and found a way out.  

While he didn’t learn from anyone in particular, he picked up pieces of knowledge from those he crossed paths with over the years. Over time he did get a little obsessed with how successful fund managers built their portfolios and tried to copy their moves.  

Additionally, after a little experimentation, he learnt about growing his net worth as a whole which helped shifted his perspective away from thinking investing is just a way to grow money. A view that has been beneficial to helping him stay focussed on the bigger picture and moving towards the goal most of us want, financial freedom.  

He’s got ambition and the goals to match 

Jervis’ answer to “Do you have financial goals you’re currently working towards?”?  

…Lamborghinis.  

Just kidding. He has short and medium term goals, such as saving up for travel once the borders open and buying a Lambo. Again, kidding.  

His end goal is to build up enough of a cushion to free up time to do the things he enjoys. An aspiring philanthropist, Jervis views investing as the vehicle that will get him to his goals, faster.  

Alongside investing, Jervis is strict on how he manages his money. Rather than following the traditional 50/30/20 approach to budgeting, Jervis favours a 30/30/30/10 model. Invest 30%, live off 30%, save 30% and spend 10%.  

Investment clubs can help improve financial literacy 

One of the ways Jervis has continued his investment journey is through being a part of an Investment Club. How did this come about? Very randomly, we hear.  

Roughly a year into his investment journey, Jervis was sharing his learnings with his flatmates which sparked an interest to learn more about growing their money. Not quite sold on the idea of investing yet, they decided to try their hand at starting a side hustle designing and building websites first. 6 months later they were bored and ready to look at other options. 

They then decided to put the earnings from the business into a savings account, topping this amount up by $200 each p/m with the intention to continue growing the capital. But after quickly realising keeping their money in a savings account wasn’t working for them, they turned to investing instead.  

How does the investment club work?  

If you’re just as intrigued as we are and wondering exactly how the investment club works, great news. We have all the details for you…  

Decisions around what to invest in are made as a group by hearing everyone’s ideas and why they think it’s the best next move. It starts with a sales pitch which leads to an open discussion about the idea and the differing opinions they might have. If it’s impossible to come to a decision, they put a pin on it, go away and educate themselves more and pick the idea back up at their next meeting. The rest is well, history.  

As a group, they’re aligned on the purpose of the investment club so their risk levels are similar. The money invested through the club is just a small portion of each of their portfolios, so they consider it “play money” for them to learn together and have a bit of fun along the way. A running joke is that they should go to the casino and put it all on black…a decision they have yet to unanimously agree on 😬 .  

While respectful of the investment club’s privacy, Jervis shared that the capital value has now grown to roughly $35,000 – $40,000 after contributing and managing it for roughly 3 years. Not bad for “play money”!  

When Jervis met Kernel 

For a passive investor like Jervis, low cost, well diversified index funds are his investment of choice. He chose Kernel not only because he thought our low fees and innovative funds were attractive but because our investment ethos aligned with his values. Oh, and there’s the added benefits that come with investing in unlisted index funds, like avoiding dividend drag!  

Investing in Kernel’s funds is just one part of Jervis’ personal investment portfolio, 5-10% to be exact. Outside of this, his portfolio is weighted towards riskier investment types including private equity, emerging markets and crypto. With a long-time horizon and being debt-free, he can afford to take on a higher amount of risk. 

And the investment club? Well, he hasn’t managed to sell the club members on the idea of investing in Kernel funds just yet given they primarily focus on short-term, higher risk investment vs a lower risk, long-term approach with their personal investments. The individual club members were sold on Kernel, however, and are now individual investors.

Jervis’ investing tips

Not short on handy investing tips, Jervis’ winners are:  

  1. Don’t try to time the market. Taking a punt and trying to guess what’s ahead is not an investment strategy, it’s a waste of time (in his words!).  
  1. Following #1, have an investing strategy! Jervis himself is investing for the long term so follows a buy and hold strategy. He also regularly contributes money to his investments over time by setting and forgetting his payments. Regardless of what happens in the share markets in the short term, stay disciplined and keep investing!  
  1. If you haven’t started investing, start today! Compound interest is your best friend, so read up on the rule of 72. Time is your biggest advantage, use it!  
  1. Invest in yourself. Stay curious and always continue to educate yourself. The more you learn, the more you can earn.
  1. Start tracking your net worth. It’s the big picture that tells you where you stand financially. Keep an eye on it to track the progress you’re making toward your financial goals or warn you if you’re sliding backwards.    

Disclaimers & Assumptions

Share on facebook
Share on twitter
Share on linkedin
Share on email
7 min read
Dean Anderson

Top 10 Personal Finance Books for Kiwis

As lockdown restrictions roll into September, we’re finding ourselves turning to the bookshelf/kindle for some distraction, inspiration, and personal growth. After all, binge watching and

3 min read
Christine Jensen

Investor Stories: Ged Campbell

A west Auckland local, Ged is investing to achieve the ultimate goal of financial freedom. And he has a plan as to how he’ll get

Get started in less than 5 minutes

Have any questions? Call us on 0800 537 635 during 9am-5pm weekdays.

Hey Happy Saver! Thanks for checking us out.
Sign up and make your first deposit to get your $10 top-up.

First Name