Investor Profile – Ayesha Scott

Ayesha Scott is the Deputy Director of Auckland Centre for Financial Research and Senior Lecturer at AUT. Together with her husband Guy, they are investing for their family’s future.

“A little and often” is how Ayesha Scott grows her money.

As a Senior Lecturer in finance at AUT, Ayesha has access to a wealth of finance research at her fingertips. Despite this, Ayesha says she keeps her own approach to investing quite simple.

“I am a passive investor. Starting small but contributing frequently can become an incredible amount over time.”

Like many people, Ayesha’s money beliefs came from her family upbringing which was in sunny Southeast Queensland, Australia.

“My father was a builder, so I grew up understanding the basics of the property market and like many Aussies and Kiwis, I believed that the only way to build wealth was to own houses.”

She says doing a finance degree expanded her horizons as did meeting her husband Guy, who grew up with completely different money beliefs.

Today, she and her husband, along with their 2 children live in Auckland. They jointly manage their finances, each bringing their own unique backgrounds and perspectives to the table.

“Guy comes from a family of share market investors and enjoys actively managing our equity portfolio.”

Her husband’s methods balance Ayesha’s more passive approach to investing.

“The finance academic in me knows it is very difficult to “beat the market!”

Together, they have a diverse portfolio made up of investments they can dip into now or save for the future.

“We have cash savings for emergencies, shares, term deposits for ‘use soon, but not right now’ savings and a house in Australia that is currently rented out while we rent in Auckland. We also have retirement savings in Australia and New Zealand.”

The couple regularly discuss their financial situation to make sure everything is working together as effectively as it can be.

“As our portfolio grows, we are starting to think about limiting the actively managed portion and investing in more passive funds or ETFs. If our circumstances change dramatically or become more complicated, we’d probably seek professional financial advice.”

Ayesha and her husband want to instil good money habits in their children and make sure to bring them into the fold.

“We try and talk our kids through how we spend, save, and invest to normalise talking about money and role-model that it’s a joint effort, rather than the pressure being on one person.”

When it comes to managing risk, Ayesha makes sure to diversify her investments and check in from time-to-time but ultimately make decisions she can “set and forget.”

“When making investing decisions, I think about my values, my financial goals, and the lifestyle I’m aiming for. I also think about when I might need the money (now vs. soon vs. much later) and the level of risk involved.”

To Ayesha, finance is more than her career.

“Finance is freedom. Having enough today and knowing I’m building wealth for tomorrow allows me to have the freedom to live the life I want for myself and my whānau.”

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