In my fourth instalment of The Inside Word, I had an awesome virtual chat with Zac Lauder, AKA The True Blue Investor.
Something About Zac
Zac is a young bloke from the Gold Coast, Australia. For as long as he can remember, he’s had a mind that’s all over the place like a mad dog’s breakfast, always wanting to learn and try new things. So in his early 20’s, while working in construction and mining, he went down the rabbit-hole of finance and stock market investing….. and he’s been diggin’ deeper ever since!
In this interview, Zac shares some of the great insights he’s taken from all of that digging!
1. G’day Zac (True Blue Investor), let’s kick off with you coffee order?
Good old 7/11 is my go-to. If I were to go to a cafe, I’d usually get a mocha with an extra shot. If I’m feeling a bit healthier, I might just get like a latte with almond milk.
2. Cats or Dogs?
Definitely Dogs, I’ve got two!
3. Early Riser or Night Owl?
I’m up before sparrow fart. Most days I’m up by 3 AM working on my side hustles before starting work at 6 AM. That said, I’m in bed by 7.30 PM most nights watching Netflix!
4. Pineapple on Pizza?
I’ll eat it if it’s there, but I’m not going to order it, put it that way. I’m more of an olives and anchovies sort of bloke.
5. Coriander. Yes or No?
Yeah, I don’t mind it. I like all that gross stuff that no one likes!
6. I need to ask, where do all the your idioms come from? They’re the best thing since sliced bread!
I suppose they just come naturally. I just appreciate that really dry Aussie sense of humour. Growing up in a small little coastal town played its part. I didn’t really live in a city until I was in my 20s.
All my Grandparents on my Mums, Dads and Step-Dads side all own farms. So growing up I was always out on farms. I sort of just grew up with that really dry sense of humour and I love it.
1. Can you share the story behind why you chose to get started investing, and if anyone in particular inspired you on your journey?
I’ve always had a bit of a hyperactive mind, and I always need to learn new things. Say if I went down to Melbourne and I went to the old Melbourne Jail, I would have to go on Wikipedia and I would have to read every single bit of knowledge about the Melbourne Jail. I have always been like that.
When I came across finance and investing, I quickly realised how much I actually understood it and enjoyed learning about it. So I think it’s just sort of stemmed from that, to the point where I’m trying to turn investing into a career now!
2. Your socials (@thetrueblueinvestor) are loaded with some awesome content for both experienced, and new investors. Why are you so committed to helping others get started investing?
I’d been reading all about finance and investing, doing courses, watching YouTube videos, and following all the Instagram pages for a while. Eventually, It just got to the point where I sort of felt like I’d learnt all that I could from social media. In the end, I decided I’d start creating my own content and put my own spin on it.
The initial idea of the True Blue Investor was to try and make my content more relatable, and funny even for people who aren’t really interested in finance or investing. People may come across it, have a laugh at the content and choose to delve deeper into the world of investing. That’s the goal anyway.
3. You’re a tradie turned investor. What would you say to someone not working in finance, who wants to give investing a crack, but doesn’t know where to start?
I’d just say we live in the information age now. It’s not hard to do a quick Google search, or go on YouTube and type in ‘stock market investing’. There’s so much stuff out there, it’s really not hard to learn these days. You’ve just got to jump in and do it.
4. Cryptocurrencies have been a hot topic of conversation this year. What’s your take on the cryptocraze? Are you a believer?
I am a believer in crypto in general. But to be honest, I reckon it’s going to end up like every other new technology that’s come along over the course of history.
I read a book not long ago that went through every single new technology that’s come out in history and caused a massive craze. It went back to when the steam engine was first invented, and railway tracks were installed all across America to accommodate. New railroad companies were formed that were going public, and everyone was buying into them, causing a big stock market frenzy and then it just all crashed. In the end, only a handful of the companies that started in the boom survived.
‘In the end, only a handful of the companies that started in the boom survived.‘
A similar thing happened when cars were first invented. Thousands of car companies were formed, but only a small group remain today. The early 2000s tech bubble is another great example of assets being overhyped into bubble territory.
I think cryptos are in a similar phase, with the thousands of new coins that are being established. In the end, your guess is as good as mine which coins are here to stay. I think you can make your money in it by getting lucky at the moment. But I think that’s all that it is at the moment.
In saying that, I am investing a small amount of my money into Crypto. Bitcoin, Etherium, Ripple and Cardano are only four I’m invested in. I just dollar cost average a small amount of money into them and hopefully one takes off!
5. What’s one share market myth that you’d like to bust for readers without any investing experience?
Probably the one where most people that haven’t really invested in the stock markets before think that it’s just a casino.
Even though the stock market can be a casino for some people, if you learn to invest properly, do some good old fundamental analysis, and view your investing like buying a small part in an actual business rather than just a stock that goes up in price, you can swing the odds in your favour.
That way you’re the house taking all the money off the little guy just trying to make a quick buck.
6. What advice would The True Blue Investor give to someone brand new to investing, but overwhelmed by all the financial jargon?
Naturally, you’re always going to be overwhelmed when you’re learning new things, but it’s important to push through it.
Like I said before we started recording, I’ve been swinging off shovels, drills and driving trucks my entire career. Now I’m learning how to build a website, and that is overwhelming with a capital O. But you just need to do it, and before you know it you’ll get to the stage where you look back and realise how far you’ve come.
Thinking back to when I first started, I knew nothing. Now, I can look at things like a company’s balance sheet, and profit loss statement and tell you if it’s a good or bad company quite quickly. Going back to when I knew nothing, I would have never thought I’d have the knowledge I have now. It just takes time. Like everything worth doing.
7. What’s your approach to your own personal investing, do you follow a certain strategy or strategies?
The legends everyone refers to as value investors like Warren ‘Uncle Wazza’ Buffett will tell you that good investing is value investing because it involves trying to find a good business that they can buy for less than they’re worth. That’s basically all I do.
I’ll try to find a company that’s got a strong balance sheet, barely any debt, consistent cash flow over at least five years. The company also can’t be recently cash flow positive like Tesla.
Understanding a company’s history is key because you want to predict the trends going forward with your knowledge of the industry and the business, of course. From there, assuming you’ve got good cash flows you can come up with a price for the business and then as soon as you buy for less than it’s worth, then you’re winning!
8. What’s your go to resource(s) for finance/business related content? (This could be podcasts, websites etc)
I enjoy listening to the Invested podcast by Phil town and his daughter Danielle. Equity Mates are a great resource too. They’re just a couple of good blokes doing good stuff in the finance and investing community.
9. Do you have any must-read books you can recommend to our readers?
For anyone looking to get into the mindset to invest, Rich Dad, Poor Dad by Robert Kiyosaki is a must-read.
Anything by Phil Town is also great reading for anyone interested in stock picking. He teaches the ways of Warren Buffett & Charlie Munger in a really digestible way.
10. Time for a plug mate. For readers wanting to stay up to date with the True Blue Investor, where can they find you?
At the moment you can find me on Insta @thetrueblueinvestor. You’ll also be able to get in touch very soon through my own website www.thetrueblueinvestor.com.
Want to build financial independence but don’t know how or where to start?
Enjoyed this interview and keen for more? Check out the my other interviews here.
About the Writer
Hi, I’m Jesse, but you can call me Jes for short. My passion is simple, I’m on a mission to make the world of investing easily understood by removing the ‘too hard basket’ stigma that surrounds it.
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Disclaimer: This website (the “The Money Pal”) is published and provided for informational and entertainment purposes only. The information in this article constitutes the interviewees own opinions and it should not constitute personal advice nor any formal recommendations.