Australia’s up-and-coming young entrepreneurs have revealed the best and worst investment advice they have ever received.
The past year has been a financial rollercoaster with both the share market and house prices plunging before surging as the economy recovered from the Covid recession and the steepest downturn since the 1930s Great Depression.
In a sign of uncertainty, the Australian share market a year ago plummeted by 33 per cent in just one month.
But since that low point of March 2020, the benchmark S&P/ASX200 has surged by 42 per cent.
Shares in buy now, pay later app Afterpay have soared from just $8.80 to a short-lived peak of $158 in February – with the stock price multiplying by 18 times in a less than a year.
ENTREPRENEURS’ BEST AND WORST ADVICE
– Be frugal
– Spend within your means
– Buy property in blue-chip suburbs
– Be a disciplined saver
– Try to time entering the stock market at the bottom
– Buy assets for your business to get a tax deduction
– Ignore the doomsayers talking down Bitcoin
Unlike the American stock exchange, the Australian Securities Exchange hasn’t yet surpassed the records it set in February 2020 shortly before the coronavirus shutdowns, but it has certainly recovered at a rapid pace.
The property market has also been dramatic with Sydney home prices plunging by 14.9 per cent between 2017 and 2019, before climbing again only to see values fall by 2.9 per cent during the 2020 Covid lockdowns.
Sydney house prices in March, however, soared by 4.3 per cent – the fastest monthly pace since August 1988, with a $1.1million house now in the poorer half of the market, CoreLogic revealed.
Property price records were last month set in 61 of Australia’s 88 sub market, with capital city and regional values soaring at the fastest pace since October 1988.
During a time of volatility, Daily Mail Australia has asked some young entrepreneurs for the wisest and most ridiculous advice they have ever been given.
Fred Schebesta, a co-founder of financial comparison website Finder, saw his wealth soar during the pandemic with The Australian Financial Review’s Young List Rich putting his net worth at $214million in November 2020.
The 39-year-old Macquarie University Bachelor of Finance graduate said his late grandfather Bob Meades gave him his best-ever financial advice about being frugal.
‘My grandfather taught me that there is value in everything,’ he told Daily Mail Australia.
Fred Schebesta, a co-founder of financial comparison website Finder, saw his wealth soar during the pandemic with The Australian Financial Review’s Young List Rich putting his net worth at $214million in November 2020
House prices rise everywhere
Sydney: up 4.3 per cent to $1,112,671
Melbourne: up 2.6 per cent to $859,097
Brisbane: up 2.6 per cent to $607,969
Adelaide: up 1.6 per cent to $518,692
Perth: up 1.8 per cent to $527,833
Hobart: up 3 per cent to $584,974
Darwin: up 1.9 per cent to $519,575
Canberra: up 3.3 per cent to $819,707
Source: CoreLogic Home Value Index for March 2021 on median house prices
Mr Schebesta, now a father of two, said his maternal grandfather, who died in 2014, never threw anything away and successfully ran a business building and selling factories.
‘He came from very little and had built over 500 factories in Sydney,’ he said.
‘He used to have a shed that was full of trinkets, tools, furniture, everything.
‘He would never throw anything away.
‘When he passed away I chose to keep his mechanical toaster.
‘It was brand new, still in the box with the receipt still in it. It’s a piece of engineering brilliance.’
As a university student working at the Pizza Hut call centre at Pymble, on Sydney’s Upper North Shore, Mr Schebesta put his grandfather’s tips on frugality to good use as he established a digital marketing business in 2001, called Freestyle Media, with his school friend Frank Restuccia.
Their business venture, which they later sold before setting up Finder in 2006, was possible because of Mr Schbesta’s grandfather’s advice.
‘His lessons came in handy especially when I was first starting out in business,’ Mr Schebesta said.
‘I would wear my shoes until they had holes through the soles and then I would tape them back together.
When it came to bad financial advice, Mr Schebesta singled out the doomsayers predicting the demise of Bitcoin. He is pictured with his newborn son Wolf Stafan Schebesta
‘My first computer was over ten years old with keys missing before I had to replace it.’
When it came to bad financial advice, Mr Schebesta singled out the doomsayers predicting the demise of Bitcoin.
‘Over the past four years I’ve been told by many different people that bitcoin is a bad idea,’ Mr Schebesta said.
‘Every time it dips, I hear someone say Bitcoin is dead. I’ve had banks tell me Bitcoin is too risky to do business.
‘I’ve had accountants and financial planners advice against it. But I’ve watched the trends, I studied the market and how it works and can see the growing use cases as a store of value.’
The cryptocurrency, established in 2008, has soared in recent years from less than $US1,000 in 2017 to $US59,000 now.
Elon Musk, the chief of electric car giant Tesla, is also a Bitcoin evangelist and last month announced he would accept Bitcoin as payment for his vehicles as the alternative currency surpassed the $US60,000 ($A80,000) level.
Mr Schebesta, who first bought Bitcoin in mid-2017, is developing an app to buy and sell Bitcoin but admitted it was a risky trade.
‘It is highly volatile and a high risk asset, this is not financial advice and you should consider if it’s right for you before making any financial decisions,’ he said.
Roxy Jacenko, a self-made public relations queen from Sydney’s eastern suburbs, is an advocate for someone living within their means
Roxy Jacenko, a self-made public relations queen from Sydney’s eastern suburbs, is an advocate for someone living within their means.
‘Make sure your expenses aren’t exceeding your income – seems basic but with access to so many means of credit it’s something to remember always,’ she told Daily Mail Australia.
The 40-year-old Sweaty Betty PR chief and mother of two said no advice should be considered bad.
‘I don’t believe I have had, I take every bit of advice onboard and pick and choose what works for me and my situation,’ she said.
Simon Hill, the creator and founder of vegetarian blog site Plant Proof and Bondi’s Eden Restaurant, said buying property in nice suburbs was the best advice he had ever received
Simon Hill, the creator and founder of vegetarian blog site Plant Proof and Bondi’s Eden Restaurant, said buying property in nice suburbs was the best advice he had ever received.
‘Invest in unique properties in blue chip suburbs that you can add value to,’ he told Daily Mail Australia.
Mr Hill said trying to pick the bottom of the stock market was the worst advice he had ever received.
‘Waiting to perfectly time the bottom of the market, be it property or stocks, often results in missed opportunities,’ he said.
‘I believe it pays to be strategic and enter the market at various points to hedge your bets.’
Tara Simich, the founder and creator of Mermade Hair – a quick hair-curling product – said being a disciplined saver was the key to success
Tara Simich, the founder and creator of Mermade Hair – a quick hair-curling product – said being a disciplined saver was the key to success.
‘Allocate a percentage of your earnings each week to a savings account that you can’t touch,’ she told Daily Mail Australia.
‘Even if it’s only a small amount it will ease the stress when unexpected expenses arise.’
Ms Simich, a Perth mother-of-two who founded her innovative business in 2018, said it was stupid to buy anything just for the tax deduction.
‘The worst piece of financial advice I have received is to purchase assets for my business for the tax deduction,’ she said.
Ms Simich, a Perth mother-of-two who founded her innovative business in 2018, said it was stupid to buy anything just for the tax deduction
‘The reality is I didn’t really need to make the purchases.
‘It’s still money out of your pocket – so if you don’t really need it – don’t buy it.’
Ms Simich, who has a big Instagram following, is making $66,750 a day with a new hair tool that promises soft curls in less than 10 seconds – without causing breakage.
The $89 ‘PRO Waver’ from Mermade Hair was designed to twist hair of every length into ‘lush, bouncy waves’ with three over-sized ceramic barrels coated in a protective film, which are less damaging than other heated tools on the market.