Category Archives: SUCCESS STORIES

How HS retired at just 28 yrs with millions of dollars after growing up in poverty

My parents grew up poor. Eight-people-living-in-a-one-room-apartment poor. Food-stamps poor. “You’re a busboy, and maybe one day if you work really hard you’ll move up to being a waiter” poor.

Keeping six key principles in mind can help you retire early.

When I was a kid, my parents constantly emphasised how important financial freedom would be, and what one must be willing to do to achieve it. I eventually retired early, at 28, with a little over $US2 million. My entire career totalled less than seven years before early retirement.

Here are six building blocks that helped me get to multimillionaire status quickly.

Average habits lead to average outcomes — if you want an above-average net worth, you need to make above-average efforts.

The median retirement age in the US is 63. The median net worth of households age 65 to 69 is $US193,000 ($272,000). Between that and the average Social Security, that means the average retired couple has to live on less than $2,000 a month.

If that doesn’t sound appealing to you, then you’ll have to do better than average.

While it sounds obvious, this is actually a game-changing thought. To retire early and enjoy atypical wealth, you will be employing strategies that most of your friends probably don’t use. You will be investing your money differently. You will be living differently. And that’s OK. It’s to be expected.

Information is the key to riches

While a certain amount of effort and discipline is required to amass wealth, the biggest distinguishing factor is knowing where to apply that effort. What we pursue is limited by our knowledge of what’s out there. The difference between two people with the same circumstances but different knowledge of their opportunities can easily be a million dollars. A few examples:

  • I discovered that graduating from college in three years instead of the usual four could completely pay for retirement. Between the cost of a year’s worth of tuition and the value of one year’s worth of income, the swing in my net worth was over $US1 million if I set it aside and let it grow until I was 55. In other words, knowing about and employing that one strategy could pay for my entire retirement.
  • I’d just had my first child and have started thinking about how I could set him up for success. Did you know that the average family can make their child a millionaire? The strategy doesn’t even require them to find more money in their budget, just to deploy it differently.
  • Americans have $US4.2 trillion in actively managed equity mutual funds, which could probably be deployed differently for better returns. According to Dow Jones S&P Indices’ Scorecard, passively managed index funds outperformed 82% of their actively managed peers over the 15-year period. Not only that, but the fees charged for a passive fund are significantly lower.

Between fees and superior performance, it’s very likely that moving your investments from one to the other could improve your returns by at least 2%. Did you realise if you invested a $US200,000 portfolio in low-cost index funds rather than high fee mutual funds, historical performance would suggest you would make $US600,000 over the course of 20 years? No additional work for you – just an hour or two to research and make the decision. That’s $US600,000 of lifetime value for two hours’ work.

The right small effort, applied today, can yield six figures in the future.

So how do you ensure you’re in the know about the best opportunities? We have never lived in a better age for this. The advent of technology allows us to reach well beyond our normal circles and get exposure to the best, most impactful ideas globally. You can build a system to regularly show you the best ideas, and let those ideas stack on top of one another to grow your wealth for you.

Career skills and career-management skills aren’t the same thing

Earning an extra $20,000, $30,000, or $100,000 a year is a lot more achievable than you think.

Career management – figuring out how to position and improve yourself for the fastest promotions and highest compensation – requires a set of skills very few people invest in. All the talk is about the technical skills required to perform one’s job. Obviously, you need to be competent in your role, but the skills that make you a good accountant are not necessarily the skills that will help you land a great job as an accountant or get the highest raise once you are an accountant.

An accountant has to have good knowledge of the tax code. She has to be detail-oriented and independent. The additional skills necessary to land a role as an accountant are emotional intelligence, initiative, networking, and negotiation. And these are completely different.

The job I held was a highly competitive one. Before my first interview, I reached out through friends of friends to try to find someone who was already in the industry who would spent 15 minutes talking on the phone with me.

After I did this, I cold-emailed someone at the firm I was interviewing with to do the same thing, hoping that I could get a little background on their specific style and adjust my approach. Turned out the gentleman I spoke with ended up being one of my interviewers, and he told me after I got the job that he’d spoken highly of my initiative in contacting him to prepare.

I also picked up a lot during my career about what levers influenced compensation the most. Things like knowing what to look for in an employer and how many years you want to stay at each company for maximum income are factors which will help you achieve 30 per cent-plus annual pay increases.

You can earn as much outside of work as you do at your full-time job

We live in a technological age. The opportunities to build a side hustle have never been better. Not only will they kick in extra income, but if you build a successful side business, it can easily become your main source of income with the added flexibility of working from anywhere around the globe.

I came to this one later than I would have liked: It was only after I retired that I realised I had underestimated the possibility of income during retirement and thus worked more years than I needed to because of it.

After I retired, I started a blog about personal finance. It was meant to be a hobby – it’s a subject I love. It became a passive income stream sort of by accident. In its first full year it made $US62,326 with only five hours of writing a week.

Having a job on the side can help you get out of the daily grind earlier. Credit:Josh Robenstone

It so happens that blogging could be a viable, lucrative side hustle for many folks. For one thing, the start-up cost is small, maybe $30 to $40 for hosting a year. And it’s an extremely horizontal business model – almost any subject can eventually become a profitable blog. There’s a fitness blog that makes the couple who own it $145,000 a year. A blog focused on entrepreneurs that makes $3 million a year. A blog on food recipes that makes $1 million a year. You’ll find breakdowns of how much bloggers can make over here.

If blogging isn’t your style, there are a million other options you can pursue. Perhaps you can submit your photographs on a stock-photo marketplace like iStock. You can host dogs in your home for $20 to $50 a night through Rover. Maybe you’re an accountant who wants to teach small-business owners the basics of handling their books through paid courses on Udemy.

While some side hustles are more lucrative than others, there will certainly be at least one option that fits your skill set and interests that could make you $US20,000 to more than $50,000 in a year in your side hours.

Earning more requires its own set of skills. If you spend even a little time thinking in this mindset, you will vastly outrun the average guy, who spends next to no time on these skills, and you will be rewarded big time for it.

Money begets money

The difference between having no money and even a little money is staggering. I remember reading an article about why those in poverty find it hard to save. One example the article used was about how someone might go to the store and not be able to afford buying in bulk. Certainly they can see that buying one roll of toilet paper is more expensive per unit than buying the 24-pack, but they don’t have the extra $US10 to “invest.”

This is a small example most people understand, but the principle applies at nearly every incremental increase in wealth.

  • If you’re not scrambling to get your bills paid, you might be able to consider taking on a side hustle for five hours a week. That side hustle might blossom into a six-figure paying business that allows you to travel the world while working only four hours a week.
  • If you have $US50,000 tucked away in savings, perhaps you can afford the down payment on a home so you can buy and build equity with your monthly payments rather than giving it all away in rent.
  • If you have $US100,000 or $US200,000, many banks and brokerage companies will offer you special incentives like lower trade costs and higher sign-up bonuses worth thousands of dollars.
  • If you have a million dollars, you are considered an accredited investor. You can invest in private-placement opportunities. You can be an angel investor in a startup and back commercial real-estate development projects. Your assets qualify you for a larger mortgage, which allows you to buy multi-family properties, which generally show higher returns than single-family rental homes.

In short, more money means more options open up to you. Better options. The more money you have means you accelerate faster and faster toward massive wealth. Money begets money, so it’s worth the hard work and sacrifice to build that first small nest egg.

One of the most recent examples of this in my own life is using my accumulated wealth to get a discount on my mortgage interest rate. When we bought our home, I spoke with the private client arms of some of the major banks. A common benefit of being a private client is a discount on your mortgages. All I had to do was transfer a chunk of my buy-and-hold stocks into an account stewarded by them in order to qualify.

What’s more, there was no time limit as to how long I had to hold my assets with the private arm. Simply having these accumulated assets got me a discount that was worth $US300,000 over the life of the loan. Those same accumulated assets allow me to regularly take advantage of brokerage sign-up bonuses. By moving my money twice a year, I make $US4,000 for two hours of work.

Do everything you can to accumulate that first $10,000, $20,000, or $100,000. It will create a snowball that speeds you toward wealth far faster than you can imagine.

Kickstart your journey to wealth by tracking your net worth

Say you’re interested in accelerating your financial progress and overwhelmed with all the possibilities you can pursue. What’s the single best thing you can do for yourself in the next five minutes? What can you do right now?

Keeping track of your expenses is key to taking control of your financial future.

Simple. Start regularly tracking your income, expenses, and net worth.

If you think about every engaging thing you’ve done, they probably had some way to measure your progress. How many goals you scored. How quickly you can complete a set of problems.

Personal finance is no different. You improve what you measure.

You need to be able to track your income, expenses, and net worth. It needs to be staring you in the face every day. Once you start seeing these key metrics improving regularly, it will spur you to dig into the details and find opportunities to grow it faster.

I use Personal Capital to track all of my finances. Their dashboard is free, accessible to you anywhere, and it hooks up to all your different accounts to give you a single pane of glass from which to view your financial life. It also imports as many months of data as your credit cards and bank statements allow, which will enable you to immediately dig in to spot trends in your past behaviour and opportunities to improve. But even a good old spreadsheet would be a vast improvement.

If you do nothing else today, start tracking your key metrics of income, expenses, and net worth. It will show you where the opportunities lie to improve your financial picture. It is the cornerstone habit that helps build momentum for all the other things you do to grow your wealth. And every new strategy you collect on the way will be reflected in your dashboard’s progress charts.

Do these things and you will find that you, too, can retire decades earlier than your peers.

JP Livingston writes about early retirement, money, and investing on her blog The Money Habit.

This story first appeared in Business Insider. Read it here or follow BusinessInsider Australia on Facebook.

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Henry Sapiecha

Australian cupcake mogul Katelyn Matheson on track to make fortune — before her 21st birthday

WHEN Katelyn Matheson was 18, she decided to earn a little extra pocket money by selling homemade cupcakes at her local farmers’ market.

She made a few hundred dollars after selling 150 cakes after her first day — a fortune for a teenage TAFE cookery student.

But word of mouth spread, and within days she was being inundated with orders and requests via her Facebook page.

Soon, she was baking 5000 cupcakes a week to keep up with demand, and her business, Cake Creations by Kate, was born. Support this industrious girl & buy her products Australia.

“I was still living with mum at the time and I did it all in her kitchen — poor thing; I took over the house,” she said.

“It turned into a massive thing. On Friday nights there used to be cars everywhere on our street with people lined up at our door to pick up orders.

“It started out as a way to earn a little bit of extra money while I was studying but all of a sudden, people were asking about the cupcakes non-stop. I didn’t predict it would get this big.”

Ms Matheson remembers setting up trestle tables throughout her mother’s house one night to hold 4000 cupcakes that had been ordered — that was her mother’s breaking point, and the teen realised it was time to take the business to the next level.

She decided to lease a shop at her local shopping centre, but centre management asked her to trial a temporary, pop-up store first as they were concerned the then-19-year-old was too young to handle the responsibilities of a long-term lease.

They shouldn’t have been.

There was a “20m line” of eager customers waiting from the moment the store opened — and Ms Matheson had completely sold out within an hour-and-a-half.

She signed a lease almost immediately and today Ms Matheson runs two stores with a third set to open in inner-Melbourne’s QV centre this month, and with more pop-up stores to follow.

She’s also established partnerships with corporate and wholesale clients including ANZ, Crown Casino, Myer, NAB, Optus and Telstra and has branched into wedding cakes and party favours as well.

🌸
I’m the luckiest girl is the world to have this amazing lady as my Mum, she is always so caring and puts everyone before herself, she is my biggest fab, she always supports me no matter what & her kind heart and generous natures makes everyone smile around her. Thank you Mum for being the best Mum & I hope all the Mums have a great day and get spoilt with love today

And it seems the cupcake business is a lucrative one — Ms Matheson is on track to make $1.6 million by the end of 2018, well before her 21st birthday.

She said the degree of her success had been “crazy” — but insists getting rich was never her objective.

“It’s absolutely never been my goal and I’ve never lost sight of my passion on this whole journey,” she said.

“I don’t wake up thinking about money. People say I must love making lots of money on big days like Father’s Day or Mother’s Day, but that’s not my goal — I love what I do, creating desserts people love, and I never let money get in the way.

“But it’s nice to be so young and have the opportunity to make some money and be successful. I never came from a really wealthy family and my family always taught me the importance of genuine hard work.”

Ms Matheson said her success had happened so quickly she has had little chance to enjoy it, working around the clock and investing a lot of her revenue back into her company through kitchen supplies and equipment to streamline the business.

And she stressed her phenomenal success has also come with many challenges.

“It definitely hasn’t all been smooth sailing. It sounds like it’s all rainbows and unicorns but it has come with a lot of hardship. Especially being so young, there are challenges when you start making money — I was investing every single cent into new equipment, with one machine costing $35,000,” she said.

“And it becomes harder the more staff you employ. Next week our 20th staff member will come on board and it is hard to manage so many different people, but I’m learning to be versatile and a strong, independent woman.”

She said the secret ingredient to her success has been hard work, quality ingredients and treating staff well.

Ms Matheson’s signature cupcakes include Rainbow, Salted Caramel, Triple Chocolate and Jam Donut.

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Henry Sapiecha

The Queensland teenager earning a small fortune through e-commerce side hustle

DURING the day, Brisbane Qld Australia teen Jack Bloomfield heads off to do school like most other 16-year-olds.

But when he gets home, the Year 11 student immediately jumps on his computer to manage his e-commerce side hustle business.

It’s a venture that’s paying off far greater than the part-time jobs most other teens have on their resumes.

Since launching his parent company BloomVentures at age 15, Mr Bloomfield now operates a number of e-commerce stores, including Best Bargain Club, which all sell a variety of different products from novelty items to skincare products online.

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While he declined to reveal his company’s total revenue income and stressed that his earnings varied from week to week, Mr Bloomfield said that during a strong period, he was he was making “north of $2900 a day”, and bank documents revealed to news.com.au supported  his claim.

“Currently, I am turning over just north of $2900 a day through multiple ventures but primarily Shopify and e-commerce,” he said.

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“Between the age of 14 and 15 I was trialling different side hustles like Forex trading. I made a few thousand dollars here and there but I got my big break when I was 15.

“I got into the world of e-commerce, and I began selling carbon fibre money clips … then I scaled it all the way up through a method called drop-shipping.

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“I now have over five e-commerce stores turning over thousands of dollars per day … Through that time I have scaled my personal brand up and I now have more than 12,000 followers on Instagram with hundreds of connections within Australia and overseas.

“Last year I started to aggressively build the business and I started to get real numbers in December last year, and from there it’s been nothing short of wonderful.”

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The teenager said drop shipping — a method where the seller doesn’t have physical items in stock, instead transferring orders to either a manufacturer, a different retailer, or a wholesaler to then ship the goods directly to the customer — has been the key to his success.

But Mr Bloomfield has always had an entrepreneurial streak.

When he was 12, he sold greeting cards online via a virtual application that allowed customers to choose different options and write their own messages.

He followed that up by creating an online platform which helped patients and doctors keep track of all their health records in one place. [Australia health plan example]

But these days, he’s fully committed to e-commerce.

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“I’m in grade 11 right now so there’s a fine art to time management. I’m working constantly, as much as possible, from 3pm after school to 10pm,” he told news.com.au.

“A lot of kids complain they don’t have time but then they spend hours playing games, talking to their parents, doing their homework and watching TV but I believe you can use every minute of the day effectively, it’s just an excuse to say you don’t have time to start a side business.

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“If you look at how you use your time in the day you could probably find at least a few extra hours.”

After school, Mr Bloomfield plans to skip uni and instead focus on his business full-time.

He hopes to eventually move the business overseas to the US.

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“After I finish school I plan on pursuing the business full-time — I’ve learnt so much in the last two years, it’s phenomenal, and I don’t feel uni is the right step at this point in time,” he said.

“My parents own a business and they’re my inspiration. I’ve seen them working so hard to get results and I’d much rather work for myself because it’s directly proportional, the amount of effort I put in and the reward I get, compared to working for others.”

The sports enthusiast said he spent at least 25 hours during every working week on the business as well as most of his weekends, making sure Facebook ads are working correctly and checking his virtual assistants are filling all orders.

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Mr Bloomfield said he had mentored “hundreds” of people over the years and that he wanted to inspire others to believe in themselves and achieve their goals.

He said other people hoping to launch a business or side hustle should find a good mentor, read books and take online courses to build up their skills.

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On 14th June 2017, Awin brought together their annual series of vertical events to present, ‘The Science Behind Ecommerce’ a one-day affiliate marketing conference debating the science and theory of online marketing, user experience, and website conversion.

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Henry Sapiecha

Meet Lex Greensill and the fintech that’s Australia’s newest $2b success story

A supply chain financing company with its roots in regional Queensland Australia, Greensill, has become the country’s next $1 billion-plus unicorn, thanks to a $US250 million ($336 million) venture capital injection from growth equity firm General Atlantic, which also creates the country’s newest top rich listers.

Queenslander Lex Greensill started his own finance supply-chain company that’s now worth $2.2 billion. John Chapple

Greensill, founded in 2011 in London by Bundaberg-born farmer Lex Greensill, 41, provides businesses in industries from telecommunications to manufacturing with working capital based on their invoices, allowing them to be paid faster and fulfil the work, without shortening payment terms for the buyers.

The capital raise, which is the first for the previously bootstrapped company that had only taken capital from family and friends, values Greensill at $US1.64 billion and makes Mr Greensill and his brother Peter, who runs the family sugar cane and sweet potato farm in Bundaberg, collectively billionaires.

“The business is extraordinarily capital efficient and we’ve invested fully ourselves in growing the business because we wanted to maintain control,” Mr Greensill told The Australian Financial Review.

“The firm is still substantially owned by myself and the staff and I’m very proud of that … Dozens and dozens of our employees have become millionaires on the back of this.

“We weren’t looking to raise at all. General Atlantic approached us and the strength of their experience in multiple markets where we’re looking to grow, combined with the capital and expertise, made it worthwhile. But there are no plans to raise again or do an initial public offering.”

The investment from General Atlantic, which gives it a minority stake in the company, will allow the business to aggressively expand in major markets where it’s only got a small presence – China, India and Brazil – as well as rolling out in Africa.

From Bundaberg QLD to London

Having been raised on his family farm and seeing his parents deal with long payment terms, Mr Greensill worked full time in a law firm after finishing high school and undertook a law degree by correspondence.

After becoming a solicitor, he joined a few start-ups based in Sydney during the dotcom boom, one of which was in supply-chain finance.

This venture ultimately failed and Mr Greensill went on to be involved in a few other start-ups, before making the move to London and eventually starting Morgan Stanley’s supply-chain finance business, before moving to Citibank during the global financial crisis and becoming managing director of its supply-chain finance business for Europe, the Middle East and Africa.

But Mr Greensill, who has also been an adviser to former British prime minister David Cameron and US president Barack Obama, said he became frustrated with the big banks’ inability to adopt new technologies quickly and decided to start his own firm.

“I ultimately decided there was a bigger opportunity outside of the bank because so much of the market was not being served by them and they weren’t adopting technology at the pace I thought they needed to,” he said.

“Our business model is that we work on an industrial scale. We’re low margin and we’re passing through the advantage of the extraordinary access we have to Greensill Bank [in Germany] and capital market financing through to battlers in Australia and the 56 markets we serve.

“Full enrolment online takes under one minute and in terms of accepting legal terms and conditions, it takes just one click. We marry our financial and capital markets technology as one of the biggest bond issuers in Europe, together with access to the enterprise resource planning systems of our customers in order to make credit available.”

‘I’m a farmer at heart’

Greensill bought a German bank in 2013, whose balance sheet it uses to invest in its various programs.

The company is growing at around 300 per cent year-on-year and in Australia it has gone from providing $US800 million in working capital to businesses in 2017 to more than $3 billion in the first six months of 2018.

In 2017 it made a profit of $US32.9 million on $US115.9 million in revenue.

“We see ourselves as the Amazon of the working capital world … We’ve come a long way, but the marketplace we play in is quite enormous,” Mr Greensill said.

“Our market share today is about 0.4 per cent, in a market with the potential size of a $US3.5 trillion asset requirement. That’s the market we’re going after. We want to go from 0.4 per cent to [the full] $US3.5 trillion.”

Mr Greensill’s brother Peter also sits on the board of the company, but day-to-day runs the family farming business, which is separate to Greensill.

While the company was founded in the UK, Greensill is still registered in Bundaberg and Mr Greensill, who was named a Commander of the Order of the British Empire last year, has no intention of ever changing that, admitting he’s still a farmer at heart.

“Bundaberg is my home. It’s where I came from and I visited there about eight times last year with my wife and. We have never considered the thought of changing our roots,” he said.

“I’m a farmer at heart. Whenever I’m home I jump on a tractor and have a play. I don’t think of myself as a corporate titan.”

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Henry Sapiecha

Domino’s boss scores massive multi million $$$$ pay day from cheap pizza

AUSTRALIA’S best-paid CEO has made his fortune selling pizza, it has been revealed.

A new report by the Australian Council of Superannuation Investors (ACSI) named Domino’s Pizza boss Don Meij as the country’s highest-earning CEO, after he took home a whopping $36.84 million last year.

The pizza boss made his dough after he exercised options to acquire shares worth $35.7 million.

Don Meij beat out Westfield’s Peter and Steven Lowy, who made a combined $25.9 million in 2017, and Macquarie’s Nicholas Moore, on $25.19 million, for the top spot.

After the news broke, Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull said the pay packets of our company chief executives were “extraordinarily high”.

“As someone who most of his life has worked in businesses that I’ve only owned or been a partner in, I find the amount, the pay rates for people working as an employee for a lot of big public-listed companies extraordinarily high,” Mr Turnbull told 3AW radio on Tuesday.

He said Mr Meij’s salary “seems like a hell of a lot”.

“They’d have to be extremely productive,” he added.

The new figures reveal Aussie CEO’s are enjoying the fattest pay packets in 17 years.

ASCI chief executive Louise Davidson told the ABC the results showed CEO’s were not with it.

“At a time when public trust in business is at a low ebb and wages growth is weak, board decisions to pay large bonuses just for hitting budget targets rather than exceptional performance are especially tone deaf,” Ms Davidson said.

According to the survey, median-realised pay for ASX 100 chief executives rose 12.4 per cent to $4.36 million while bonus payments rocketed by more than 18 per cent.

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Henry Sapiecha

ANOTHER AUSSIE UNICORN: Design newbie Canva now valued at above $US1 billion in its latest capital raising

 

Melanie Perkins, co-founder of Canva. Photo: Supplied.

Online design and publishing platform Canva has become the first Australian start-up since Atlassian to join the elite ranks of Silicon Valley unicorns with a valuation in excess of $US1 billion ($1.28 billion).

The valuation is based on a $US40 million series A funding round. It is the sixth funding round since the company was founded 4½ years ago by Melanie Perkins, Cliff Obrecht and Cameron Adams.

The latest funding won the support of one of Silicon Valley’s top five venture capitalists, Sequoia Capital, which was an early investor in Apple, Google, WhatsApp, Cisco, Oracle, Yahoo and LinkedIn.

Canva chief executive Ms Perkins said the money raised from existing and new shareholders would be used to expand the company’s range of online design and publishing products.

“We are in 190 countries, in 100 languages and we have done about 1 per cent of what is possible,” she told The Australian Financial Review in an interview at the company’s Sydney head office in inner-city Surry Hills.

“I know we have a $US1 billion valuation but we like to say we are a baby unicorn,” Ms Perkins said. “There is a lot more to do before we are grown up.”

When asked about her ambition for Canva, Ms Perkins did not hesitate before saying: “I think we can make Canva the most valuable tech company in the world.”

To achieve that ambition Canva will have to expand its market value about 900 times to beat the $US890 billion valuation of Apple, the world’s largest company.

That goal sounds outrageous considering Canva lost $3.3 million in the year to June 2017.

But Rick Baker, a partner of Canva shareholder Blackbird Ventures, said Canva is possibly one of the fastest-growing software companies of all time measured in terms of percentage growth in recurring revenue.

The company earns revenue from a subscription model.

“Canva is making huge strides in democratising design for everyone,” he said. “Its product growth and adoption across many demographics is truly exceptional.”

Mr Baker first met Ms Perkins and Mr Obrecht in 2010 before they had launched Canva.

“I convinced them to delay their first seed funding round until after Blackbird Ventures was established,” he said.

“Our first investment as a venture capital firm was the $250,000 we invested in Canva.”

Breaking silos

Lots of smart money has supported the Canva business, including Australian entrepreneurs Paul Bassat from SEEK and Daniel Petre from AirTree Ventures.

The company has attracted heaps of attention in Silicon Valley USA.

Early investors were Google Maps founder Lars Rasmussen, legendary venture capitalist Bill Tai, former Yahoo CFO Ken Goldman and Hollywood actors Owen Wilson and Woody Harrelson.

A number of Silicon Valley venture capital firms apart from Sequoia have backed Canva including Felicis Ventures, Vayner Capital, Matrix Partners and Shasta Ventures.

Ms Perkins admitted that Canva’s two major competitors were design software companies Adobe and Microsoft.

But she said Canva was built on breaking down the silos and complexity that are part and parcel of using the products sold by Adobe and Microsoft.

“The world is rapidly becoming more visual, yet traditional design tools in the market are too complicated to use, or so costly that they become inaccessible,” Ms Perkins said.

“Canva is designed to enable individual and teams to collaborate seamlessly, and our growing footprint is evidence of the widespread need that we are addressing.

“This extra financing will bring us that much closer to giving everyone the ability to thrive in an increasingly visual environment.”

Canva’s growth rates in terms of customer usage of its platform have been staggering.

After eight months of existence about 350,000 designs were being created each month. After 20 months of existence about 3 million designs were created each month.

Today, after 52 months in operation, Canva’s platform is handling about 34 million designs a month.

The idea for Canva had its roots in the lounge room of Ms Perkins’s family home in the northern Perth suburb of Duncraig. She and Mr Obrecht started a printing company called Fusion Books, which printed school yearbooks.

Cameron Adams, a former Google engineer, joined the company as a co-founder before its first round of seed funding in 2013.

Since then the company has raised $US81 million.

Atlassian became a unicorn well before it listed on the NASDAQ stock exchange with a valuation of $US6 billion in 2015. Its market valuation is now $US11.9 billion.

This post appeared at the AFR.com. See the original here.

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Henry Sapiecha

‘Stop buying $4 coffees’ & feel ‘Poor Me’ if you want success says young rich lister

A YOUNG rich lister who made his fortune off the back of Australia’s capital city property boom says his generation needs to stop buying $4 coffees and travelling if they want to own a home.

Developer Tim Gurner, 35, is worth nearly half a billion dollars but has delivered a brutal smackdown to some would-be first home buyers struggling to get a toehold in the market.

“When I was buying my first home, I wasn’t buying smashed avocado for 19 bucks and four coffees at $4 each,” he told 60 Minutes in a segment exploring Australia’s housing affordability crisis.

“You have to start to get realistic about your expectations. There is no question we are at a point now where the expectations of younger people are very, very high.

“They want to eat out every day, they want to travel to Europe every year. This generation is watching the Kardashians and thinking that’s normal. Thinking that owning a Bentley is normal, that owning a BMW is normal.

Property developer Tim Gurner made his fortune riding the property boom.News Corp Australia

Mr Gurner, who ranked 157 on this year’s Financial Review Rich List after making $473 million in 10 years He started out by>>>>…MORE

Henry Sapiecha

www.australianmortgageloans.com

Ever heard of the Australian Rae family? They just reaped in over $300m

It is one of the richest families in the country, and now the low-profile Rae family of Perth has pocketed more than $300 million from the sale of its New Zealand fuel retailing business to Caltex Australia.

In 2010, the family sold its Gull petrol retailing operations in Western Australia for an estimated $500 million

gull-founder-fred-rae-with-then-new-zealand-prime-minister-helen-clark-in-2007-image-www-money-au-com

Now it has offloaded its Kiwi interests, Gull New Zealand, for $NZ340 million ($324 million) to Caltex Australia.

A few years after the sale of the WA operations in 2010, the Rae family’s fortune was estimated by The West Australian newspaper at $392 million, which has been pumped up significantly with Thursday’s sale.

The family moved into petrol retailing in the 1970s after Gull’s founder, Fred Rae, had spent time working in both the house building game as well as building grain silos.

It built its stake in the fiercely competitive fuel industry by sticking to a low-cost strategy, which in New Zealand has seen it rolling out unmanned petrol stations, helping it carve out a handy 5% share of the market from the majors.

the-rae-family-has-offloaded-its-kiwi-interests-gull-new-zealand-for-nz340-million-324-million-to-caltex-australia-photo-gull-image-www-money-au-com

Gull New Zealand is an independent fuel importer and distributor, which brings with it a fuel import terminal at Mount Maunganui, on the north island, and the company’s petrol stations and retail outlets.

Caltex has established a large fuel import centre at the recently closed Kurnell refinery site in Sydney, while also establishing a buying and trading arm in Singapore to supply its Australian operations.

The New Zealand acquisition “optimises Caltex’s infrastructure position, builds trading and shipping capability, grows the supply base and enhances Caltex’s retail fuel offering through low-risk entry into a new market”, the company said in a statement on Thursday.

It was acquiring the company on a multiple of 8.2 times the forecast earnings before interest, depreciation and amortisation for 2017, it said, which will decline to around 7.5 times taking annualised synergies into account. The acquisition is expected to increase earnings per share from the first full year of ownership.

Gull operates 77 retail sites in total, of which it controls 55 sites. Around a third of those are unmanned. It also operates a further 22 supply sites. The company sells about 300 million litres of transport fuel annually.

The Mount Maunganui terminal is the largest facility of its type in New Zealand, with total storage of about 90 million litres. Its retail network is concentrated in the northern half of the north island of New Zealand, and “is well placed to profitably grow via new to industry and/or new supply site expansions”, Caltex said.

Caltex would retain Gull’s brand, management and employees, it said.

Gull has a reputation for being a low-priced market competitor by operating a large number of unmanned outlets with payment by Eftpos or credit card, with no retail outlet. Its outlets are concentrated near its import terminal, with negotiations in the past with rival importers to acquire competitively priced wholesale product blocked when it has sought to expand onto New Zealand’s south island.

The bulk of the country’s population is located on the north island, with Christchurch the largest city on the south island.

The purchase by Caltex follows a period of upheaval in the New Zealand market following the exodus of US group Chevron, which operated the Caltex brand in New Zealand. This was bought for $NZ785 million ($750 million) by Z Energy, which now has close to 50 per cent of the local market.

Ratings agency Standard and Poors said the purchase “will enhance Caltex’s regional supply base, adding scale to its trading and shipping activities”.

“We view New Zealand as being a low risk market for expansion of retail fuel assets,” it said.

 

Samantha Wills- Australian jewellery designer took over 10 years to become an overnight success

Australian Jewellery designer Samantha Wills went from a Byron Bay NSW flea  market stall to becoming an international exporter. Here is her story

Australia’s global jewellery tycoon

Samantha Wills grew up in small town NSW and now controls a global empire of jewellery from New York.

Think of women who have risen to the top of Australian entrepreneurship and the list gets thin fast.

Ever rarer is a woman who has succeeded with her own name as the brand, who has become a celebrity herself in the process.

Samantha Wills, who grew up in Port Macquarie and now lives in New York, is a tycoon of her time.

Samantha Wills' jewellery is now stocked in 80 countries image www.money-au.com

Samantha Wills’ jewellery is now stocked in 80 countries. Photo: James Alcock

Personable, open and yet at also guarded and private, the 34-year-old businesswoman appears to effortlessly blend an air of celebrity with social media fanaticism and a unique product.
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But she says success has been a hard slog and she wants the many young women who worship her to know just how difficult it’s been.

“I think millennials are a generation of ‘slashies’. They’re a DJ/entrepreneur/fashion designer. With all those slashes between your job titles, you lose depth and integrity,” she says.

“Narrow down what you want to be good at, then focus on that. It might not work for the first six months or the first 18 months but it took me 12 years to become an overnight success.”

While she doesn’t go into gruesome detail, Wills was clear that growing a business took a hit on her personal life.

“I think the downside of having success was that when my friends were going off and having a good time, my business was in its infancy so I couldn’t have those normal early 20s experiences.”

samantha wills relaxes on beach image www.money-au.com

Early days

Wills started her company at the of age 21 after moving to Sydney.

“I was working in retail during the day and making jewellery at night to sell at the market. A friend offered me a spot at Australian Fashion Week which would cost $500. I though I would possibly make enough to cover the cost of the stall, but I ended up writing $18,000 of orders that day. I quit my job the next day.”

Now Wills is turning over $10 million annually and is stocked in eighty countries around the world. She has offices in Japan, Korea, Europe, the US and Australia.

Wills credits much of her success to her business partner Geoff Bainbridge who was able to commercialise back-end production and helped launch her to into foreign markets.’

samantha wills in new york fashion week image www.money-au.com

 

[2012] Presenting our bespoke couture pieces, in New York City, for Fashion Week 2012. – SWx #BelieveBig – LAUNCHING JUNE 12th, 2016

Celebrity sights

“Naively, when I first went to the US in 2010, I thought I was going over with a successful Australian brand and that would be enough. You think you can replicate that over there and it’s not the case,” says Wills.

“You need a much more refined offer. You need to know who your business competitors are and your media competitors. We ended up doing 18 months of research about the US before we moved our first order.”

The orders started coming thick and fast once actress Eva Mendes was snapped on a red carpet wearing Wills’ Bohemian Bardot ring. Wills’ jewellery has also been worn by Katy Perry, Miranda Kerr, Lady Gaga, Kate Bosworth, Drew Barrymore and Jennifer Lopez.

“That ring Eva wore continues to be our best seller and we’ve made it now in 150 colours. It kind of became our signature piece.”

Samantha Wills trys out earrings image www.money-au.com

Sometimes (and only sometimes…) the @samanthawillsofficial PR Department, let’s me play with upcoming collections…. These are definitely my lust haves; the ‘Spanish Moss Grande’ earrings, in Amethyst + Rose Gold… Just added to the Waiting List at samanthawills.com (Which I’ll too be joining, because they won’t let me keep them). -SWx #SamanthaWills #SamanthaWillsOfficial ? @alimitton | ?? @stojb

Small-town Australian

Wills has recently signed to be an ambassador for Optus’ Believe Big campaign targeting small businesses.

“We filmed a campaign flashing back to 2004 through to my life now. I really want people to know the struggles and hurdles of funding success.”

While Wills credits her naivety for much of the company’s strengths, she sometimes regrets the decision to get going without any formal business training.

“Every day I wish I’d studied business or management. But, I learn as I go. I might have learned the harder way on the job.”

Asked why a New Yorker is the right person for this campaign, Wills says she still considers herself not just Australian but a “small-town” Australian.

“I still go to Port Macquarie five to six times a year because my family live there. We stock the range at one shop in Port Macquarie and every time I notice the town is really growing and evolving very quickly.”

DDD

Henry Sapiecha

www.goodgirlsgo.com

www.www-gems.com

www.worldwidediamonds.info

www.gem-creations.com

www.collectables-au.com

Shopkins success: Toy retailer Manny Stul wins EY global entrepreneurship award

Australian toymaker named best entrepeneur

Melbourne-based billionaire Manny Stul’s Shopkins success see him awarded EY’s World Entrepreneur of the Year title in Monaco.

Most Australian parents probably haven’t heard of Manny Stul, but they will know about his Shopkins.

Stul’s family-owned toy company, Moose Enterprise turned over $600 million last year and continues to carve out a global marketplace for its products, with its YouTube-friendly Shopkins range of dolls beating heavyweights like Barbie and Bratz.

The Melbourne-based toy maker beat 55 contestants to win the Ernst and Young World Entrepreneur of the Year title in Monaco at the weekend – the first time an Australian has won this award

Shopkins King Manny Stul celebrates his win at the EY World Entrepreneur awards ceremony in Monaco image www.money-au.com

Shopkins King’: Manny Stul celebrates his win at the EY World Entrepreneur awards ceremony in Monaco.

The global title comes after Stul, 67, won EY’s Australian Entrepreneur of the Year. Last month the BRW Rich listed put Stul and his family’s wealth at $1.24 billion.

The accolades come despite a huge setback in 2007, when a craft bead produced by Moose had to be recalled because it was found to contain a chemical that turns into party drug “GHB” in the human body.

Judges noted the disaster in their comments.

Young-children-have-been-swept-up-in-the-Shopkins-craze image www.money-au.com

Young children have been swept up in the Shopkins craze.

“Manny was our choice, not only due to his impressive growth, but also because the business he has nurtured has shown sustained global success. His mettle was tested when Moose faced a product recall that would have overcome less resilient and well-managed businesses,” said chair of the judging panel Rebecca MacDonald.

What are Shopkins?

For the uninitiated, Shopkins is a range of miniature toy characters fashioned on typically mundane items found in a supermarket.

What are Shopkins?

For the uninitiated, Shopkins is a range of miniature toy characters fashioned on typically mundane items found in a supermarket.

Shopkins have taken off worldwide.image www.money-au.com

The brightly coloured figurines are no more than three centimetres tall. Kids can collect, share and trade the figurines, which have unique faces and names. For example, there is a chocolate chip biscuit named Kooky Cookie, a candy bar named Cheeky Chocolate and an apple named Apple Blossom. They are sold with tiny plastic shopping bags and baskets, ready to be filled, much to the delight of parents worldwide.

A Shopkins 12 pack typically retails for $13 in Australian stores, while Shopkins Donatina’s Donut Delights sells for $29 and a Shopkins Collector’s Case costs $20.

Most Australian parents know Shopkins image www.money-au.com

Most Australian parents know Shopkins.

Stul has helmed the company for sixteen years, but credits innovation for the company’s success.

Movie move

Stul revealed his company would be releasing a movie based on one its products in October.

“Our next big move will be into entertainment and our next big move will be into licensing,” he said.

Stul claims Moose’s success in the US market is due to “cutting edge marketing”. Moose is the fifth biggest toy advertiser on American TV, he claims.

“We were the disrupter, and so there are people chasing us to where they perceive us to be,” he said.

“But we’ve moved way beyond that already.”

One-man band

Sixteen years ago, when Stul began his reign as CEO, he learned the nuts and bolts.

“I did everything myself, which was a very fortunate thing. Distribution, warehousing, finance, selling.

“I did all my own selling and packing for the first three years,” he said.

Now Moose currently employs around 50 people in Melbourne and 100 in China.

Stul credits his father, a cabinet maker, for teaching him how to handle staff.

“Everyone should learn this lesson”, he said.

“Whatever you pay a bad person is too much and whatever you pay a good person is not enough.”

RELATED INFO LINK BELOW

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Henry Sapiecha