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Pablo Ripa

Pablo Ripa's long-term investing strategy has worked so well for him that seven other members of his family have now started trading. He reveals the secrets to his success in our latest What I’m Trading article.

Occupation: Airline pilot

Location: Sydney

Hobbies: Investing, Hiking, Camping, Tennis.

Age: 29

How long have you been investing?

I started in September 2019, so I’m approaching five years. I did my research and realised the best strategy for me was long-term investing. I transferred $3000 of my savings into Stake, with a goal of always putting about $500 per month into the market. Initially I wanted to pick my own stocks and that's how I started out. But with the falling market at the start of the COVID-19 pandemic, I bought into more stable ETFs until I could transition back into buying individual stocks at their low point.

What was your first investment on Stake?

The first companies I invested in were Verizon ($VZ), Tesla ($TSLA), Apple ($AAPL) and Wells Fargo ($WFC). 

I still hold my Tesla shares from before both stock splits. And I also still hold my Apple shares from before its stock split. I know both have dropped a bit recently, but I don't intend to sell either for a very long time. I’m viewing Tesla’s dip in particular as a great buying opportunity at the moment. 

Verizon and Wells Fargo were short-term trades that I sold at a loss. I actually learned some great lessons as to what can happen when you move away from your planned strategy, 

The first ETFs I bought were Invesco S&P 500 High Div Low Volatility ETF ($SPHD) and Vanguard Total International Bond Index Fund ETF ($BNDX). I invested in these mostly for the dividends, exposure to bonds and to diversify my portfolio.

Define your investing style.

Long-term dollar cost averaging with every month's pay cheque, whereby I put money aside for investing. I like to call it ‘paying myself first’!

What’s in your Stake portfolio right now?

As mentioned, I’ve still got shares in Tesla and Apple, while I also own stocks in AbbVie ($ABBV), which is a biopharmaceutical company, VICI Properties ($VICI), which is a REIT, and Main Street Capital ($MAIN), which is a private debt and equity firm.

How are your returns so far?

Seeing the market crash at the start of the COVID-19 pandemic was hard to watch as I had only recently started out in investing. But sticking to my plan was the best thing I could have done.  By investing money at regular intervals into the market, I was able to buy shares at bargain prices. And holding on to them for the long term has paid off. Let’s just say my account is 15x bigger than it was pre-pandemic.

Any other investments that are not on Stake?

No, all my investments are with Stake. As a part-time investor with a desire to diversify my risk and create passive income, I’ve found that traditional platforms can be difficult to navigate.

I started investing with a bank, but quickly found its system to be unintuitive and expensive. That's when I discovered Stake and found the platform much more user-friendly.

As a pilot, I appreciate the ability to easily invest and manage my portfolio on the go, without being tied to the office.

Overall, Stake's low fees, intuitive design and helpful resources have made it the perfect platform for an investor like myself.

What are you watching? Why?

I’m keeping a close eye on Tesla and on what’s happening with AI. 

I believe Tesla is much more valuable than many realise as, rather than being a simple car manufacturer, it’s more like eight companies in one. It’s got automotive, energy storage & solar, charging, software, Optimus (Tesla Bot), supercomputers, insurance and AutoPilot (full self-driving). So the potential is massive.

I think its advancements in AI such as AutoPilot and Optimus will see a massive market epiphany moment much like with NVIDIA ($NVDA).

Do you have a trading or investing role model?

No one specifically. Everything I do has the long term in mind. I try to have enough conviction to hold a company for a minimum of one to three years, reassess and then potentially continue to hold for 10 or more.

I find researching companies fascinating. The internet has made this task easier than ever, while there are so many videos around too that make the analysis more interesting than ever before.

My plan is for dividends to pay me. I want to increase my monthly contributions to a point where my day job makes me less money than my investments.

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

Investing is not a one-time event, but a lifelong journey that can bring great financial rewards. Whether you're just starting out or have been investing for years, the key is to stay disciplined, patient and informed. With the right tools, resources and mindset, you can make your money work for you and achieve your financial goals.

After I started hitting my targets and experienced some success with my investments, my family also wanted to get involved. There are eight of us who now invest in different things on Stake. We all have different strategies and it's interesting to compare our results with each other.

We even have a bit of healthy competition, and I take the time every month to create a report for each of us to see how we compare to the month before and if we're on track with our future goals. We bounce ideas off each other and discuss new companies we might want to invest in.

There’s a saying I really like. “There's no such thing as luck. Luck is where preparation meets opportunity.” Take control of your future; no one else will do it for you.

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

It's always easy to follow others, selling when everyone is scared and prices drop. But learning to be able to sell when prices are high is the key. I’d advise everyone to set a percentage goal to aim for. Write it down! And then sell when you hit your target. Forget about the ‘what if it goes higher’ conundrum. You achieved what you set out to do. Take the win and start fresh with your next goal.

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

Definitely Tesla. As I said, I think it’s undervalued in a long-term market. I'm buying it with every spare cent I currently have.

The personal views in this article do not reflect the views of Stake and do not constitute financial advice. As always please do your own research before investing on Stake. Past performance is not a reliable indicator of future performance.

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