As published in the Adelaide Advertiser – 19/5/14
DAVID Hille, the technical director and co-founder of solar company Suntrix, says it’s best to seek investment opportunities in areas you know, rather than chase high returns.
What was your first investment and how did it go?
It was in my own education, so I guess I started by investing in myself and in building my skills.
What is your favourite type of investment and why?
It’s changed over the years. Our first big investments were in property and now we invest mainly in Small Technology
Certificates (STC), as this is more relevant to us and we have established good contacts in the technology sector.
What is the best investment advice you have received and who was it from?
Hmmm, that’s tricky. I can’t think of just one single piece of advice that has stood out but I listen to a lot of audio books and I take bits from each of these to form my own strategy.
How do you approach investment risk?
Invest in what you know. Don’t take unnecessary risks. Don’t put all your eggs in one basket. Start out with a goal of either short-term trading or longterm investment. Keep an eye on your investment and monitor the ups and downs closely.
What has been your best performing investment?
Investing in Suntrix as our own business has by far been the best performing investment to date. My wife Jenny and I started the company in 2009. It is doing great and we are getting a financial and personal return that none of our previous investments have delivered.
And the worst?
My wife’s shoes! But really, thankfully I’ve never had a truly bad investment where I’ve lost money. The worst
would have been shares, but but as a whole they turned out OK over time.
Where do you get your information about investing?
I have good contacts in the STC industry so I keep track of the market quite well in this area. It’s important to keep your finger on the pulse and go by your own experience too. I think it’s always best to look for opportunities in areas you are familiar with.
How well do you treat your credit card?
With absolutely no respect but with due care. We pretty much buy everything with our credit card and then pay it off monthly to avoid incurring any interest. It’s great for the frequent flyer points and it helps us keep a record of our expenditure.
Do you have a personal finance budget and do you stick to it?
Not really. We’re not big spenders and it’s generally easy to stay within a budget.
What’s the most extravagant purchase you have made?
I have a deposit down for a new electric car, the Tesla, which is expected to be released in Australia later this year.