What can we learn from our colleagues at Godel? Piotr Ludynia, Software Engineer from our Lodz office says that the first step in anything is to start doing that. We know our colleagues have a lot of interesting hobbies to share – so we have decided to share them more broadly. Our people at Godel are not only professionals in their areas, but they also have passions which they would like to share. 

Firstly, we’ll start off by asking what your hobbies and interests are. 

I have a lot of passions or hobbies, but most of them relate to each other. I believe to be able to be interested in cars or travel, I think having knowledge in investment and stocks helps that. 

How did your adventure with investment start? 

I think post-Covid reality changed everything. At the end of 2020 I realised I was stuck within the circle of earning money and spending money. It was more than obvious that this hamster wheel will lead me nowhere in life, so I decided to take a step forward into financial freedom by saving money. 

I felt more secure when I thought that I could save some money from my salary for future plans. But still, something was still disturbing me. That “something” was the most famous current. I felt more secure when I thought I could save some money from my salary into future plans buzzword – Inflation. I could not stand the thought that my hard-earned money was laying in an account and lost initial value. It truly broke my heart, because I was not moving forward with my plans, but even put a few steps back. 

One day I found a quote, which actually changed my way of thinking about personal finance, a little spark, that I have been waiting for. “If you don’t find a way to make money while you sleep, you will work until you die” – by Warren Buffet. That was that inspiration – Make money, as the sign of doing something with money, and don’t passively wait for some kind of miracle will happen. I started to search the internet for a useful source on how to make money by investing and having my mind calm, that through the passing time by my money will work for me and not just lay in an account. 

I have found a few books about personal finance which could be worth reading, I subscribed to a few YouTube channels about investing. I also joined a Facebook group, where I met a guy, who was teaching how to invest in stocks for a simple “Gentleman deal”. That “Gentleman deal” was all about a condition: “I will teach you how to invest, but if earn something thanks to my knowledge, it will be your duty to donate some of your money to charity”. He told me everything he knew, revealed all the secrets of what kind of companies to invest in, how to search for the real gems of the market and what common mistakes I should be avoiding. Then is was time to start my journey with investing: I used my saved money for investing, and on my first transaction I got a few percentages in earnings. I kept my word to gentleman deal, and I donated some of my earnings to charity to help a man who lost his eye during the accident. 

My adventure with investing continues, my current best investment so far is +191% vs the money I put into an investment. I invest in Warsaw Stock Exchange and New York Stock Exchange and have a little collection of precious metals – gold and silver. I recommend investing to any responsible people, who are taking care of their personal finances. 

Can you share some of your advice on how to not lose too much, but maybe even earn? 

To begin with, I must mention that I’ve always believed that money can’t buy you happiness. But with the help of investing, it can turn your far away dreams into easy to execute plans. Here are some of my favourite, useful advice: 

  • The first step is always having the courage to start. Many people think that investing is the same as gambling, but it is not true, it is all about making good choices. You should then expand your knowledge on investing – read some books, learn some basic financial vocabulary, follow some topic related YouTube channels and find your inspiration. This will help make you a more financially aware person and help you in making good choices from the beginning. 
  • Understand the difference between assets and liabilities. Assets bring you money, liabilities take away money from your pocket. You should always be guided to have as many assets as possible. Follow the people, which already have achieved success in investing, because they have easy to follow prepared recipes for good investments. 
  • Do not believe in articles with topics like: “Experts say that ‘XYZ’ company is wonderful opportunity”. These ‘experts’ just want to achieve their own goals, not benefit you financially. 
  • Avoid false financial guru advice like, “I have earned in stocks many millions, I’ll sell you this investing course for a few dollars” because no one is taking care of your financial results, they just want to earn the money you pay for a course. Remember that risk is part of the game: there is no way that stock prices will grow forever. Markets work in a cycle: Grow, Stable, Drop. 
  • Use FUD (Fear, Uncertainty, Doubt) to achieve the best returns. I know it’s hard when it seems that all markets are collapsing and some people are in panic, but it’s true that best deals are made in crisis.  
  • Investing is not as exciting as the movie “The Wolf of Wall Street”. I would rather compare it to taking care of a houseplant. If you check your stock portfolio every day, you won’t see significant results, but after a long time, you will be amazed at how your money has grown. 
  • “Don’t put all your eggs into one basket”, diversify branches of your stocks. For example, if all your companies are spinning around real estates and the real estate market collapses, you will lose a lot of money. 
  • Remember about the so called “latte factor”. Did you know that if you buy your favourite $5 coffee every day for a year, you’ll be spending $1825? Can you imagine? $1825 just for a coffee. But it’s not about getting rid of your pleasures but having that balance and the understanding of how much money you are spending every day. 
  • Is 1% much? I guess not, but if you’re 1% better every day, you will achieve awesome results for a long time. Remember, your life does not depend on huge steps but on tiny habits. Use every day free time to make progress with building your passions, skills and financial knowledge to become everyday better.  

Do you have any suggestions on how a complete beginner can start their investment journey? 

Brian Tracy (who I truly admire) says “If you want to change your future, take action and take action now” You may also follow Nike’s catchphrase “Just do it”. This is the best and simplest advice I can give you. 

The world is run by doers, not thinkers. It is obvious that at the beginning you won’t feel comfortable with the new topic. It is certain that you will say “I have no degree in finance. Investing is not for me.” Let’s be honest, do you need to be an expert in weather forecasting to know what clothes to wear to suit the weather that day? No, you just check basic things, and you know what to do. 

The same applies to investing. You don’t have to analyse every number and every variable, you just need to know some universal, general truths about investing and basic indicators to start. You search for broker house, set up an account, then you are ready to begin your adventure with investing.