Hatch Investor Profile: Le Ashton will have Nandos chicken with peri peri chips and a side of value investing.

Le Ashton Chetty is an experienced investor who cut his teeth on the NZX and ASX. He uses Hatch to access the US share markets and to get closer to his dream of a dividend-funded holiday in Tahiti.

A bit about me

I'm 35 and have lived most of my life in Auckland. If I could be anywhere in the world right now, I'd be in Tahiti with my family, under the sun sipping on something fun. Actually, who am I kidding – it'd be a whiskey because I'm somewhat boring when it comes to colourful drinks. I'd bring my mum too because she's the strongest person I know. She single-handedly put three kids through a great education system. She also made the difficult (but wise) decision to move us from South Africa to New Zealand for a better life. In addition to being inspired by my mum, Warren Buffett is a close second because of his classic investing principles. Heck, he can come to Tahiti too, if he's paying.

When I’m not daydreaming about the tropics, I like spending time with family, watching the UFC, hunting, fishing, cooking, woodwork, reading/researching, or socialising with good company. My interests are vast – I’m trying to get everything done in one lifetime. A short-term goal is to take my family on holiday to an interesting place and paying for it with dividend income. Right now, Hawaii looks doable, but Tahiti is the real goal!

How I got into investing

Like most people, during university, I worked long hours in the hospitality industry. Hospo is hard work, and I quickly realised that I needed to work smarter because working hard wasn’t for me! I started where everyone should start: research. I learned how smart people do well in life and that the wealthiest people invest in companies and industries they know well and build their wealth over time. So I started investing what little extra I had leftover from my weekly salaries about 16 years ago. Over time, this amount grew significantly in all areas of my investment portfolio, 99% of which was in the NZX and ASX. I stayed away from US shares because they were inaccessible thanks to high fees. And then came Hatch. Suddenly I was able to invest in the Nasdaq affordably, so I started dipping my toes in a few stocks. The NZX is still my bread and butter because I know that market so well, but I love everything about Hatch. I’m looking to build a diversified portfolio outside of New Zealand and Australia, and the only way I can do this is through Hatch.

My investment strategy

Like Buffett, I believe in having a simple investment strategy: I buy and rarely sell. My portfolio will be handed on to my children and their children. In the meantime, I get to play with the dividends (hello Tahiti!). As for how I choose the businesses I’ve invested in, well, I look at the ones I see surviving the next 200 years. I’ve got Nvidia (NVDA), Alibaba (BABA - ADR), and United Health Group (UNH) at the moment. Chinese stocks seem a little beaten up at the moment, so I’ve been researching a few other things, but I’ll probably add more Alibaba over the year. I consistently add to my winners over time.

Speaking of which, my biggest winner right now is United Health Group. They were undervalued when I bought, and I believe they still are. They've got strong cash flow, and it's just a great business. My biggest loser is Nvidia. They've had a tough year thanks to the cryptocurrency craze, but I believe they'll outperform in the years ahead. They're best in class, and if you look at anything to do with Artificial Intelligence (except for Tesla (TSLA)), Nvidia's Graphic Processing Units are the norm.

Some tips for investors starting out

If you want to invest in the US share markets, go for it. Hatch is a great platform, but don’t get overwhelmed with the number of shares on hand. Research a few stocks and try to understand their business and what they do. When you’re comfortable, dip your toes in, and revisit after a few months. Do your research and remember that wealth builds over time.

I use this as a rule of thumb: if I had the money, would I buy the entire business at today’s market cap? If the answer is yes, I buy a few shares. It makes me stop and think before I buy.

Even though I’ve found some success in the markets, I’m most grateful for the people in my life. I pride myself on treating people equally regardless of rank, wealth or status. Some people tend to forget this when they get successful, but I believe that success is measured by how many lives you’ve changed for the better in your lifetime.

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