by Stella Ong

Toby Shabtay

An accountant turned financial adviser, Toby Shabtay began his investing journey as soon as he turned 18. And thanks in part to his stock gains, Toby was able to fund a deposit for his first investment property.

Occupation: Financial Adviser

Location: Sydney

Hobbies: Boxing and golf

Age: 28

How long have you been investing?

I bought my first stock when I was 18. I started my journey with a stock-picking strategy, but switched to a long-term buy-and-hold strategy four years ago.

What do you do for a living?

I’m a financial adviser. I used to be an accountant, but moved towards financial advisory three years ago. 

What was your first investment on Stake?

Atlassian ($TEAM). Admittedly, I bought that stock because a friend of mine worked there – not because I did any research or analysis. I was 21 at the time and honestly didn’t really know much about investing.

I actually sold those shares just two years ago. Fortunately, despite investing in it without much thought, my holdings soared in value and the gains helped fund my deposit for an investment property. 

Here's a little nugget – I actually used Stake Black’s analyst ratings and price targets in deciding to sell my shares. Really grateful for that feature.

Define your investing style.

As I said, I began with a stock-picking strategy, but I honestly didn’t do very well with it. I later decided to take investing seriously – I read some books by Warren Buffett and Tony Robbins and found they all said that non-professional investors shouldn’t try to beat the market.

These days I’d say I’m a long-term investor who follows a dollar-cost averaging strategy. I’m currently focused on investing in ETFs, especially index fund ETFs. I usually reinvest any dividends but do sometimes use them to cover repayments for my investment property if I need additional liquidity.

What’s in your Stake portfolio right now?

Aus - $GEAR / US - $VOO, $QQQ

I used to hold $GGUS, but decided to sell out of it as I rebalanced my portfolio to suit my goals better. 

How are your returns so far?

AUS: +10%

US: +32%

The markets have been good to me this year.

Any other investments that are not on Stake?

Yes, but they aren’t in equities. I own some Bitcoin, insurance bonds and my investment property.

What are you watching? Why?

The main two securities I’m interested in are:

  1. Real Estate Investment Funds (REITs): it's a cheaper alternative to buying property directly and can give your portfolio better diversification.

  2. Emerging Markets: This is because I have holdings in U.S. and Australian companies, and also now own a property, but I have no exposure to emerging markets. 

Do you have a trading or investing role model?

Warren Buffett.

What’s a piece of advice you’d give a newbie?

Set up an automated monthly investment. Despite what the value of the shares are, staying consistent is key. The earlier the start, the more you can leverage the compounding returns over time.

What’s one mistake you’ve made and what did you learn from it?

Picking a stock based on a friend's advice. While that served me well in the end, the process was not the best. Always do you own research, and only invest what you are willing to lose. 

Most of my research starts from reading the news on the AFR, The Wall Street Journal and Bloomberg. From there, I determine what subjects are mentioned and think about how they can impact different sectors in the market. I then look into them more specifically to find index funds and individual shares that may be affected.

If you were to buy a US or ASX stock or ETF right now, what would you buy? Why?

Continue buying VOO (US) as I have been. 

I decided to invest in VOO (an index fund that tracks the S&P 500) over ASX index funds due to U.S. companies seeking growth. I found that ASX companies tend to focus on paying out dividends.

Portrait photo of Stella Ong, Markets Analyst at Stake.

Stella Ong

Markets Analyst

Stella is a markets analyst and writer with almost a decade of investing experience. With a Masters in Accounting from the University of Sydney, she specialises in financial statement analysis and financial modelling. Previously, she worked as an equity analyst at Australian finance start-up, Simply Wall St, where she took charge of the market insights newsletter sent out to over a million subscribers. At Stake, Stella has been key to producing the weekly Wrap articles and social media content.


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