19 February 2020
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The accidental investor

Meet AC-2, a talented young individual who started at Switzer with a lot of knowledge about film, video and photography and an attitude of team work and positivity. AC-2 had been employed by a multinational company but was looking for a change. They say it takes a genius to spot talent and I saw the talent in AC-2 from the get go – so read what you want into that!

We hired AC-2 on attitude and for that he got a big tick. As for knowledge about finance, much to his Dad’s lament, there just wasn’t much there – though he’s the rule not the exception. His job was behind the camera not in front like Peter Switzer so we didn’t see that as a problem.

At the interview he did intimate that he had a willingness to learn, and that’s exactly what he has done.

Last Friday, after filming our inaugural education class on the previous Tuesday, AC-2 announced that before Christmas he was going to buy an exchange traded fund.

This a guy who had no idea what an ETF was until he started hanging out with Peter and Paul (Rickard) with a pile of camera gear and lights. However, he had two characteristics that were always going to help him win.

The first was that he was aspirational and the second, he has a willingness to change, which of course, keeps him open to positive influences of a Switzer kind.

There’s an old proverb with a modern take that goes like this: “Keep company with the wise and you will become wise. If you make friends with stupid people, you will be ruined.”

AC-2 has not only hung out with a wise Switzer and Rickard, he’s had the benefit of filming and listening to the likes of Gerry Harvey, Tim Gurner, Charlie Aitken, Shane Oliver, Geoff Wilson and countless successful investors and entrepreneurs and he has been learning from some of the best.

And there’s been a family pay-off, with his admission that he and his Dad are now talking investments. I can’t recall who first made this clever observation but it’s so appropriate to the story of AC-2. “A young man should have a hobby and collecting money is a real good one.”

Few of us increase our wealth through luck and when you look at the Rich List, few have got theirs from being a CEO of a public or private company, unless they were big owner/shareholders.

The Rich Lists in The Australian shows wealth comes from starting businesses, investing in property, IT and other assets such as shares.

AC-2 has been paid to hang out with some of the best money collectors this country has seen. And he often hears Peter quote the famous line from the comedian Sophie Tucker, who once reflected on her life and said: “I’ve been rich. I’ve been poor. Rich is better.”

We can learn about investing many ways. Most people can learn to be independently wealthy if they’re exposed to the right kind of influences.

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