My Financial Journey of Despair: Part One

What a Beautiful Image for Such a Depressing Topic


This is a collection of a few pieces I wrote over at Substack. I’m collecting and publishing them here as well. I am using this as a journal for my financial life. As well as talking about my plans for my future to reach financial independence.

Investing Is Important.

I have known this for a long, long time. I first started getting into investing when I was sixteen. We were on a family vacation and I was reading up all the information from Ramit Sethi and others about investing. It has stayed an interest of mine.

But, not one that makes me any real money, or any money at all, really.

Now, for some slight background on my financial situation. I am a full-time university student with a part-time job as a receptionist. I love the company I work for, mostly because the people I work with are phenomenal. And we actually do good work.

I earn $21.50NZ/hr on a week day before 18:00 (6pm). That is $0.30 more than minimum wage. On weekends I earn $28.50/hr.

I pay $90 a week in rent because family.

Now that that little financial introduction has been completed, I’m going to talk about the purpose of this.

I want transparency, not just because I want whoever is reading this to know my situation, but also for myself. I want to be able to come back to this and see my growth, both financially and personally.

So, without anything further, let’s get down to it.

Current Investments and Thoughts:

I want to be able to see where I am, and where I go. After this I will be discussing my future plans. This, and my future Investment Updates, will catalogue my holdings.

Currently, the investments I hold are worth $938.46NZ, that is on the Sharesies platform. It’s damn easy to use, and if you’re within New Zealand, you likely know about it already.

Before I get into the breakdown of what that money has been invested into. I’m going to give a little bit of information. When I first started investing I focused on dividend investing, because the idea of making free money every month or quarter really appealed to the lazy Millennial I am.

That…. went well, technically. I received some free money: $11.12NZ over the course of a year.

But that was a pretty crappy return, and that was through QYLD, one of the *hottest* dividend stocks. I believe it’s still absurdly popular.

However, I came to a realisation. making money from dividends IS possible. It just isn’t really worth it unless you already have a substantial amount to invest.

So, I decided to change up my tactic. I invested the money I had (approximately a grand, but specifically $993.51) into pretty much one stock — with the exception of a small amount I kept in various dividend stocks).

I invested in META.

And Oh God Did I Make A Mistake.

I should note, the below amounts are the amounts I have invested in certain stocks. Not their prices, not their value,purely the amount of money I have invested in these stocks, or ETFs.

Now, let’s breakdown what that money has been invested into:

META Platform Inc: $563.34US

Global X SuperDividend US ETF: $8.39US

Invesco Preferred ETF: $12.87US

WisdomTree US High Dividend Fund: $14.18US

Ready Capital Corp: $1.56US

Invesco KBW High Dividend Yield Financial ETF: $7.23US

Schwab U.S Dividend Equity ETF: $24.48US

Global X SuperDividend ETF: $10.50US

Invesco S&P 500 High Dividend Low Volatility ETF: $29.21

Now, as you can see, those are paltry amounts of money spread across nine different stocks or ETFS.

Now, I invested in META because I had just transferred some money over to Sharesies. And META’s price had just fallen a massive amount. Believing that it would once again rise and I’d make some money — that I could then feed back into QYLD — I invested a few hundred NZ into it.

Since then, I’ve had university fees to pay. So I sold off $300NZ worth of my investments, which put me at the $993.51 I have put into Sharesies.

I also decided QYLD wasn’t getting me a great return, and was steadily declining in value, so I sold it off and put some more money into META when it fell even further.

Now, now I religiously watch META’s rise and fall, waiting for the day I can cash out at breaking even so I can move my pitiful-amount of money into something less volatile.

But, I have a few future plans regarding investing and growing my personal wealth. We’ll see how it goes.

Future Financial Plans:

As previously mentioned, I have some future plans for my financial security. Now, my degree is a horrendous money-waster that I took out of interest and passion and not a desire for money.

And God am I reaping the disappointments of that mindset.

I haven’t completed my degree yet, but the outlook is currently bleak. Which, has led me to my various plans for financial security.

Now, the first and least important way, is my investments.

I am intending to save $1000 to invest into a REIT I did some research into a while back. That $1000 is the minimal initial investment.

I’ve considered selling my Meta Shares and putting it down on the REIT. After that initial investment, the dividends I receive will be automatically reinvested, with another $100-$200 invested in every month, to try and build that wealth.

It’ll probably go sideways, or will take far longer to invest in than I believe it will. When it happens I will write about it here, and explain whether I sold my META shares to pay for a part of it, or not. We’ll see!

The second, and far more important way I intend to reach financial security, is writing. Over the next little while I’ going to be spreading myself between here, Vocal, and my own private projects. There are two projects I’m considering working on currently. One with a great deal of effort already put into it. The other, almost a brand new slate.

The first is the A Conquest of the Stars novel series. I published the first book over on TWC forums a few years ago. (It was the main hub for my writing).

And then University and depression hit, and all my writing plans died.

Now, I have recently awoken my love of writing — and for the potential of being not poor. So, I am currently toying with an idea.

Now, the original series idea was nine-books. An Ennead of stories. And while I still love the idea, I don’t have the mental energy for it at the moment. I love the story, but cannot see myself putting the effort in when the reward is so, so, so far away.

So, I compromised with myself. What if I wrote and published short stories? Within the same universe, some regarding characters from the original idea and series. What if I write and self-publish (with professional editing/cover/blurb) those short stories?

Sure, it might make me squat. It might be a disaster, but it would show me if I have a chance. Or if I need to give up and resign myself to not being able to use writing as an avenue to make money.

The second project was… far less defined. More the bare scrapings of an idea and wishful thinking knitted together over the years. It was never defined as a series, though I did manage to write some of the world lore out a few years ago.

I’m going to be splitting my time between writing here about investments and financial despair. As well as my thoughts on the politics of the world. (on a separate newsletter, of course). I will also be writing out some of the lore for A Conquest of the Stars, while I implement the idea of writing those short stories. Finally, I will also do some writing for Vocal, and see if I can get some small amount of financial security that isn’t my regular job or connected to my degree.

I have hopes, and dreams I doubt they will come to anything, that isn’t really how life goes.

But I’ll try.