ALEKS NIKOLIC | Broke Girl Wealth

· Podcast Episodes
Big Swinging Stocks v Shares for Beginners - Millennial v Boomer handbag stoush. Aleks Nicolic Broke Girl Wealth

Aleks Nikolic AKA Broke Girl Wealth is a content creator and host of the Big Swinging Stocks podcast. I was kindly invited onto that show and this is our follow up conversation on Shares for Beginners. We focus on cost of living pressures and the lack of financial education that keeps people from realizing their full money potential.

I think micro investing was such a gateway drug for so many of us because you didn't grow up with investing. It's terrifying putting a thousand dollars into anything. I wasn't even able to save a thousand in my early twenties let alone like oh I'm just gonna stick it in the stock market. It's really interesting Phil I think about this a lot. People who grow up around money, they don't have these realizations because this is just osmosis. It's baked into how they live. And this is partially the problem is that a lot of our politicians come from that class. I think some of them find it difficult to fathom poverty and makes it very difficult to write policy for people fundamentally not understanding because they've never been in these circumstances.

Broke Girl Wealth started as part passion project, part online diary. A safe space for millennials to learn about money and professional life from a lawyer who had mistakes to share.

Aleks Nikolic is a corporate lawyer, podcast host and content creator. She lives in Sydney with her husband and dog, Pluto. Of all her accomplishments, she considers keeping her fiddle leaf fig alive for 2 years to be her greatest achievement.


Get 4 months free on an annual premium plan when you use Sharesight, the award-winning portfolio tracker. Sign up for a free trial today.

Sharesight automatically tracks price, performance and dividends from 240,000+ global stocks, crypto, ETFs and funds. Add cash accounts and property to get the full picture of your portfolio – all in one place.

Sharesight Award-winning portfolio tracker. Save 4 months

Portfolio tracker Sharesight tracks your trades, shows your true performance, and saves you time and money at tax time. Get 4 months free at this link

Disclosure: The links provided are affiliate links. I will be paid a commission if you use this link to make a purchase. You will also usually receive a discount by using these links/coupon codes. I only recommend products and services that I use and trust myself or where I have interviewed and/or met the founders and have assured myself that they’re offering something of value.


Chloe (1s):

Shares for Beginners, Phil, Muscatello and Fin Pods are authorized reps of MoneySherpa. The information in this podcast is general in nature and doesn't take into account your personal situation.

Aleks (12s):

You know, tech companies I think, get away with being part of ESG despite the fact that they contribute to emissions as well. The fact that your phone is constructed in 40 different countries is an emissions contributor. The minerals required to power the lithium battery in your iPhone is an emissions contributor. And I think We love the idea that tech is clean and we love the idea that we can purchase it as part of ESG ETFs, but we've got to be realistic. It's not completely clean.

Phil (42s):

Good day. and welcome back to Shares for Beginners. I'm Phil Muscatello. How do young folk get ahead these days with insane rents and rampant inflation? Is there any hope and why is Gen X so damn quiet? My guest today thinks, talks lives and breathes money and good living. Hello, Aleks.

Aleks (1m 0s):

Hello Phil. Thank you for inviting me.

Phil (1m 3s):

Aleks Nikolic is a lawyer, the founder of Broke Girl Wealth, and the host of Big Swinging Stocks podcast. Let's get started because I just, I've been hearing so much from people that I know younger folk and insane increases in rents at the same time. you know, this is, even if you haven't got a mortgage, you know, just got a message from the electricity company the other day. Our electricity bill's gonna rise by 28%. You live in Sydney, it's pretty expensive living here. What's it like getting by in Sydney? What's it like for you and your friends? Just tell us your anecdotal stories.

Aleks (1m 38s):

I think everyone's, everyone's in the same boat. you know, it's certainly the RBA rate increases have flowed on, I think more immediately to variable rate more mortgage holders and everyone's talking about the fixed rate mortgage cliff. We'll see how much of a cliff it actually is. But for anyone renting, it's kind of even more dire in some ways. Renters have been stuck between a rock and a hard place for a very long time. We have not very favorable rental laws. Like we don't really have the long leases that Europe does. And my friends have been having like 300, 200, $400 a fortnight increases, which you'd say, okay, maybe it's the market returning post covid.

Aleks (2m 27s):

But the way I see it, it's adjustment that often exceeds inflation for one and for two it seems particularly cruel when there are, you know, our national vacancy rate and the vacancy rate in Sydney is less than 1% So. It's not as if you can just easily hop to another rental. And I. Think quite frankly, landlords are really taking advantage of that. And, I am a landlord myself, but I do feel like Australia has a, a very different relationship with property and perhaps a very unhealthy one. I think property investors are a different breed. They don't expect a downturn. In fact, they are militant about downturns in a way that share investors are not, no one is all that surprised about a bear market, but property investors just think that it should always, always be going up.

Aleks (3m 22s):

And, I think that results in really unfair outcomes for anyone who hasn't been able to buy yet. And so that's, I think that's the crux of it is my generation is sort of battling a really con a conversation I don't think Australia wants to have, which is

Phil (3m 37s):

A system that's rigged against them. Yeah, yeah, I agree with you. Totally. Sorry, go on. Yeah,

Aleks (3m 42s):

No And I. Think we don't have as standard leases that extend past a year. We do have no fault evictions. A. lot of people aren't on a lease. you know, some people, landlords only allow them to take out a six month lease enabling them to raise the rent every six months. Like there's some very cruel outcomes and they come from the same generation that was able to easily buy assets and entrench themselves into the middle class. And, I think the conversation is not so much, how are we getting by at least, you know, the short term is everyone will sort of just scrounge and there'll be a readjustment, right?

Aleks (4m 26s):

People in higher rentals they can't afford will come down and everything will push down. But generally speaking, people in salaried roles who have stable consistent above median income will probably be okay. Thing that I always wonder about is how are any of these people gonna buy a house? What's gonna happen to the middle class? And then for people who are on lower incomes, where exactly are they going to live? I don't wanna get too doom and gloomy so early in the morning Phil, but feels like that's the conversation we need to have.

Phil (5m 2s):

The other part of the economy, which seems rigged is that you've heard the saying Australian economy is homes and holes. And on the home side of things, the rba, so much of our economy is dependent on tradies and their Hilux vans and they'll do anything to keep that sector moving along. Which then has these kind of effects that we're talking about this morning.

Aleks (5m 24s):

Just the amount of, it's not just construction, it's actually housing debt in the O E C D. I think we in the top 10, we far outweigh our per capita in housing debt. We outweigh America. And we haven't really had a conversation about what that means. I think A, lot of people think about some sort of adjustment, a natural adjustment to the housing market. And this is completely anecdotal, but to me it seems like a train with far too much inertia because a significant writedown of Australia's housing property values and I mean like 30% or more we would be in a recession,

Phil (6m 9s):

Which is what the R B A has always tried to guard against. you know that bear market for property investors that people like us who are interested in Stocks know all too well. But

Aleks (6m 18s):

Then at the same time we have, so Stocks on average 7% per annum sands taxes, a five property over the last 2000 years has historically risen by 2% globally on average

Phil (6m 34s):

2000 years. Wow. You got data going back that far,

Aleks (6m 39s):

It's just generalizations. Yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah. It was a dollar in Rome back then. Yeah, 2%. And when you look at a situation like 2020 when property right rose 20% in one year, the correction kind of feels like it's coming. Like if you were a share Investor, you'd be like, ah, it's coming. It's around the corner.

Phil (7m 1s):

Yeah, you can just see it. Those prices are just going, you can, you're looking at your chart and it's going.

Aleks (7m 4s):

Yeah. But in Australia property is one of the most heavily buffered industries. Like we've just invited 50,000 people into the country, which has traditionally been Australia's number one favorite way of keeping the economy chugging along. And so I feel maybe really depressing, but for anyone waiting to buy a house, I'm not sure the crash is coming. I don't know what else is coming cuz I'm not quite sure. you know, do we enter a Hong Kong situation where people are living in little coffin like apartments maybe. but I certainly can't see the government allowing willingly, like we would have to have like a, almost like a wartime effort.

Aleks (7m 50s):

If you were going to force the housing market to crash, you would have to have a, this is the housing market crash. We had to have like, you'd have to have a Keating like approach and people would, people are so heavily leveraged and cross leveraged across properties. And then that's a really funny thing for me actually because as share investors, okay, maybe you make a bad pick, it doesn't take the rest of your portfolio down on average. Sure, overall return maybe, but you've still got your ETFs or you've still got your blue chip Stocks, you call that one a loss, you cut your loss and you call it a day with housing. People are in millions

Phil (8m 28s):


Aleks (8m 29s):

Yeah. And they don't think about it because traditionally housing has been such a good investment. So I think we've got, we've gotta have a really hard conversation here about the importance of housing to middle class into stability. And if we are truly accepting that people will not be able to buy homes, then we have to adjust everything else. Like superannuation has to change significantly, our wages have to change, our rental laws have to change. But like systematically at the moment what we're doing is being like, I'm not looking at this problem on the right And, I refuse then to make any significant changes to the problem on the left. As a result, And I have been really extremely disillusioned with the lack of any kind of meaningful conversation by federal or state politicians in the last three years.

Phil (9m 25s):

Millennials are a huge demographic bulge. Why isn't the conversation being taken Nathan to government? I

Aleks (9m 32s):

Feel like millennials,

Phil (9m 34s):

You're quiet. We should be out on the streets, we should be

Aleks (9m 37s):

Out. This was France, we would be rioting, right? Yeah. Like, but I think that millennials are still of that generation where I, I think we truly have been gaslit, And, I think we believe that it's actually just because we don't work hard enough. Like rationally, I think most of us understand that when we get accosted by our boomer grandparents for not buying a house by now and that we're renting and rent is dead money and blah blah blah, blah, blah Christmas time, most of us are like, well that's ridiculous because you could buy a house for two blueberries and a candy piece of candy. We're saving on average 12 years to put together a deposit.

Phil (10m 18s):

And property prices are going up over that 12 years as well. That's right. It becomes further and further out of reach.

Aleks (10m 23s):

Yeah. And when you talk about the increase in covid, no amount of saving was going to outpace 20%. Right? And then of course the argument is, oh we'll buy something you can afford. Okay. So, but even that is problematic because you now have a significant stamp duty, right? Which is a, a huge barrier. And we have empty houses, we've got houses being used for short-term letting, which is also draining and stifling the rental market. Fundamentally, I think that millennials kind of, we haven't really broken that lie. We still kind of think And, I think that to myself. I think, oh you know, I got the really good job, I have multiple other businesses, And I still feel like I'm not running fast enough.

Phil (11m 14s):

Hmm. So I'll come to my story about Hugh. I've, I've just a young friend of mine, Hugh who's 30 years old and we were having a chat and he's so disillusioned and disheartened about ever buying a property. you know, it's kinda like he's a tradie so he could take his gig anywhere with him and he's talking about, well the only thing we're gonna do is be able to go up the north coast and you know, go to a country town and set up there. And I had the conversation with him to say, well you know about micro investing and you can put in, you know, maybe 50 a hundred dollars every fortnight into it. You can let it compound over 30 or 40 years in ETFs. And after he told me that, he said, no one has ever had this conversation with me.

Aleks (11m 54s):


Phil (11m 56s):

And this is why I think we're both trying to do is have this conversation so people do understand. Yeah. Property is not the be all and end all. There are other ways and it's not ideal, but you can get ahead long-term compounding.

Aleks (12m 9s):

Yeah. I think that's a part of the institutional change. This has to be talked about at school. And so does buying with a friend I mean the way we did it, like my husband has been saving for a decade. I went the other route. Bought an apartment. It fortuitously went up. And I used the equity release as my deposit, which coincidentally still, still still difficult. but I think that getting comfortable with living, you know, letting go of property, you might even have a better life. We have to put aside the pickets Australian dream like maybe can come later. But in the short term, if you're renting, I almost see it as if you had a property your mortgage would go to some unavoidable, sorry, your your, your payments for that home would go to some unavoidable sub costs which provide no return, right?

Aleks (13m 2s):

Like you pay land rates, right? You're not paying rates where you get a service. Sure it goes to general community but you're not seeing that return individually in the same way you do when you pay your mortgage part of its set aside and pays the principle down. I almost think that renters should structure their finances that way. Like if you think about your rent as a deduction interest, almost service cost, your money that would otherwise be paying a mortgage that should go to investing and what that percentage will look like is obviously gonna be different when you're in your twenties as opposed to when you're in your thirties. But the muscle I think is so important.

Aleks (13m 42s):

you know, I think micro investing was such a gateway drug for so many of us because you didn't grow up with investing. It's terrifying putting a thousand dollars into anything. I wasn't even able to save a thousand in my early twenties let alone like oh I'm just gonna stick it in the stock market. But I, I find stories like that really exciting but also so tragic. Like poor Huey, what a failure of the Australian education system. And the thing is, it's really interesting Phil like I think about this a lot. People who grow up around money, they don't have these realizations because this is just osmosis. It's baked into how they live. And this is partially the problem is that A, lot of our politicians come from that class.

Aleks (14m 29s):

I think some of them find it difficult to fathom poverty and makes it very difficult to write policy for people fundamentally not understanding because they've never been in these circumstances. And I'm not saying I have also my family were you know, lower middle class and then middle class as we got on. I have also never experienced a situation where we didn't have food on the table. Like that was just never part of my life. But gosh, we've gotta have empathy for the way that, you know, there's disproportionate, even just the inflationary situation is disproportionately affecting people. And then if you layer on top of that financial literacy, which oh

Phil (15m 5s):

Illiteracy. Yeah, yeah,

Aleks (15m 7s):

Yeah. So I mean good on first of all, good on Huey for being open about all the different ways you can get ahead. Cause I think A, lot of people, myself included, right? I really struggle with the idea of leaving Sydney. Cause my job is here, the job opportunities are here, at least in my profession, even in media as well. And then my family is here and they're getting on. It's very difficult to leave cause they need something all the time. But that's gotta be part of the conversation for this generation. I gotta be more militant and flexible at the same time.

Chloe (15m 44s):

Are you confused about how to invest Life Sherpa can ease the burden of having to decide for yourself. Head to to find out more Life Sherpa Australia's most affordable online financial advice.

Phil (16m 1s):

Your investing hero is Peter Thornhill. Tell us about some of the most important things you've learned from him.

Aleks (16m 7s):

So Peter's the antithesis of ETF investing. He doesn't like it. He's a big fan of listed investment companies. But

Phil (16m 16s):

He's he's a local here. He local here in Australia, isn't he? Yep. Yeah. Gotta get him on the podcast. You should. People keep on saying if you gotta get Peter Thornhill,

Aleks (16m 23s):

He's, so we had him on and it was like life changing cuz first of all, he talks about why he dislikes ETFs and it's all about tax drag and the inconsistency of income. He's,

Phil (16m 35s):

And he likes LICs.

Aleks (16m 36s):

Yeah. Big listed company. Investor, And, I. Think for A. lot of people who have grown up with like heavy marketing by Vanguard and Beta Shares about ETFs. It's a really nice counterpoint and maybe you disagree with it, maybe you agree with it. but I think we should be open to new investing ideas. And I think that's what Peter's really good at is being the controversial anti E T F voice in a very crowded room of ETF providers. But one of the things he talks about is the industries that outperform. And the reason he likes listed investment companies is a, because he does like active investment. But the other thing is that he feels that the ASX 200 contains quite a number of industries that just drag.

Aleks (17m 23s):

And if you just invested industrials, you would have outperformed by far the performance of even some of the best ASX top 10 companies. And, I thought that was a very contrary view. I really like listening to people who come in with a different perspective on investing. And that's what I like about Peter. A very staunch listed investment and, and quite, I think favors Australia quite a lot to be honest. And, I do wonder, my kind of one consideration with Peter is he's of a generation where he experienced the full brunt of Australia's mining and mineral prosperity.

Aleks (18m 7s):

And, I. Wonder if the same investing thesis can be said to persist.

Phil (18m 12s):

Why do you say that?

Aleks (18m 14s):

Well, just like the traditional wisdom of buy a house. So I, I just wonder, is Australia going to be able to capitalize on the minerals it has? Is it going to be able to move to decarbonize? And then more importantly, would we be able to capture some of that secondary production in a way that we haven't before? Because we've been very happy just extracting stuff, selling it for a really good price. cause it wasn very high quality and then buying it back.

Phil (18m 44s):

And we're very, and we're very good at it as well.

Aleks (18m 45s):

Oh we're very good at it. We're very good at it across the whole country too. you know, it can't be said that any part, well I don't know the Tasmanians are doing a great job of keeping the forests alive, but the rest of Australia's very happy to just dig stuff up and the state governments just collecting royalties. But it's just a consideration is like can something had an object in motion? Continue in motion when it's a scarce resource? Because certainly some of these mining companies are gonna have to pivot and the minerals that previously were perhaps less important are now going to become increasingly scarce and vital.

Aleks (19m 27s):

Like we, you know, coal for example in this country, no more coal and other types of sort of like dirty coal are going to become less and less favorable. But this country's gotta keep digging up. Coal. I, this may be, if we have millennial investors, I so encourage you, I don't wanna plug the podcast but I just think that everyone should go and listen to that episode with Kate Howt about coal and mining because we have got to keep digging up metallurgical coal cause we've gotta make steel cuz we have to make electric cars and everything else as well. And

Phil (19m 56s):

Everything's made outta steel.

Aleks (19m 58s):

And every time I see an anti coal ad now I feel like I'm possessed by the ghost of Kate Howett. And I feel compelled to say, well how are you gonna drive your Tesla? What are you gonna do? We can't recycle as much as we need to decarbonize. So that's my, that's my thing with the Peter is a no e S G overlay to his investments. Which is fine cuz you know, he's of a generation where it didn't matter and he could make A lot of money otherwise. And I'm not necessarily convinced about the case for tax drag with ETFs jury is out. I have never actually seen someone sit down and do the numbers. It's always been hypotheticals. Mm. But on the consistency of dividend income, 100% agree.

Aleks (20m 39s):

If that's something you're targeting, you will feel it with ETFs because as trusts they're forced to disperse every last dollar. Whereas the whole purpose of a listed investment company is that as a company they make the decision to retain some of those profits to give you as much as possible a very consistent income in their cycle. And if that's, you know, something that people are targeting, then that might be a consideration. But if you're a growth Investor, I would stay away from from these investment companies. but I think that again, it's something to interrogate because I think it can provide a diversity to a portfolio in a way that, you know, people just buying ETFs won't have.

Phil (21m 22s):

I, and I've had Ian Irvine, who's the c e O of LCA, listed investment and companies and trusts association. Oh great character. And I really like him. And And I like you. I like to hear the other side of the story and well one thing is LICs have been around now a hundred years. Our oldest LIC Whitefield is a hundred years old this year. But there's a couple of points come out of LICs. One is is that they, they're closed ended. We know the difference between, you know, open-ended ETFs and closed ended. So when the market goes down ETFs, if you're an index tracking etf, you're just gonna tumble along with the rest of the market. Whereas an LIC doesn't have to, they've only got a closed number of units in the company.

Phil (22m 7s):

And so they can take advantage of those downturns by buying at lower prices that will bounce back further on. And the other point is, is that they, if you're in the ASX 200, why do you need to and all of the miners, why do you need to all of the banks there it is diversification. I know, but there's no diversification between holding four banks for example, or three miners.

Aleks (22m 31s):

That's a very good point. I haven't thought about the both, but yeah. Yeah, they've been like absolutely derailed I think. Yeah, barely. They, they have a place otherwise they would've ceased to exist by nowy you're all gonna be getting your very rich bi graham horns from walls, which inevitably minus

Phil (22m 53s):

They go, what is this? What is this thing? What is this LIC? you know? I see. Yeah. What's Argo? What does that mean? Yeah. So learn about LICs. We recommend everyone have a look and we've got several episodes on this podcast about LICs. But then to your other point about whether our minerals that we dig out of the ground are going to be, have the same value. I've had a couple of very, very good mining analysts on who have talked about the recyclability of iron and copper. Yeah. That there's an increasing amount of iron and copper sloshing around the world. Sloshing is not the right world rattling around the world and they are both eminently recyclable. And the other point with copper is, is that the amount of copper that will be used in electric vehicles is going to decrease as well.

Phil (23m 39s):

Really. So yeah, you know these stories we tell ourselves about lithium and copper and the minerals in the future. Yeah. you know A lot of them are, are stories. And, I would recommend that listeners approach these really, really carefully these stories because they're not necessarily gonna play out. And how do you express that, that idea in your portfolio?

Aleks (24m 2s):

How do I, how should they, how should we all,

Phil (24m 6s):

How should we all Sorry, that was a, that was a question for everyone. Not, not just for you, but it's just something for us to consider I think.

Aleks (24m 12s):

Yeah. And I. Think just generally looking past the hype. I mean Lithium is a fantastic example. It's like one of the minerals and yet it was basically talked about as if it was a transcendent mineral.

Phil (24m 26s):

I like that. The transcendent mineral.

Aleks (24m 29s):

Yeah. It's like, okay, well you still need 11 others to make a electric battery. Mm. Why are we all fixated on lithium? But its marketing, it was phenomenal marketing

Phil (24m 39s):

And it's a commodity as well. And there's plenty of it. And as soon as something rises in value, there's A. lot of people go, oh I'll make some of this stuff as well. We'll dig this. Yeah. Are you ETFs LICs or single Stocks? Where's your portfolio? What's, what's the weight?

Aleks (24m 53s):

All three. All three. I

Phil (24m 55s):

Are you happy to talk about this in public? Yeah,

Aleks (24m 57s):

Yeah, yeah, of course. Of course. My portfolio has significantly decreased because I paid off my hex like the whole thing.

Phil (25m 7s):


Aleks (25m 7s):

Yeah. Oh thank you. It was very sad, like emotionally sad for me to sell my Stocks. But to be honest, there was A, lot of stuff that was just rattling around in there. I just actually should have sold a long time ago. But when I worked it out, putting aside opportunity cost, obviously when I worked it out it was better for me to sell, even taking into account capital gains cuz my hex was just that high. Mm. But before I sold, I had a mix of ETFs International and Australian, very tech heavy portfolio just because that's obviously what I was into. And most of my portfolio was in a diversified high growth fund.

Aleks (25m 51s):

Which now thinking about it getting to start fresh, I don't know that I would, it was VDHG. So the 10% bond allocation, I'm not sure I would go that route again. And then few minors actually and Macquarie Bank and the thesis moving forward as we I start to rebuild that portfolio again is gonna be quite similar. ETFs and then probably an Australian listed investment company. Probably. Maybe Argo maybe. Didn't Whitefield get bought out recently? No. No.

Aleks (26m 31s):

Okay. Don't believe So. I was Milton. Milton got bought out by Soul Pattinson.

Phil (26m 34s):

Yeah,Milton. Milton, yeah.

Aleks (26m 35s):

Or otherwise list investment company that has cut of the market that I can get on board with. Because I'm not necessarily going to buy a200 or VAS again. Mm. Because I still think, I think we wanting to limit the financial sector exposure to be honest, probably, you know, people are probably railing like why, why miners? I, I still think that the mining sector has A lot of value to offer and I'm very pragmatic. Like I'm not suggesting I invest in a Santos for example. I would want to pick miners who have a very clear and demonstrable path to sustainability even if that path is not completely clean.

Aleks (27m 24s):

Because I don't think, you know, tech companies I think get away with being part of E S G despite the fact that they contribute to emissions as well. The fact that your phone is constructed in 40 different countries is an emissions contributor. The minerals required to power the lithium battery in your iPhone is an emissions contributor. And I think we love the idea that tech is clean and we love the idea that we can purchase it as part of ESG ETFs, but we've got to be realistic. It's not completely clean. And I think

Phil (27m 57s):

And And the servers. The servers that the tech industry run. Yeah.

Aleks (28m 0s):

Every time we send a gif it's pasted across 16 different servers. So I just think we've gotta electrify for sure. We've gotta electrify the grid. We've got to power as much of our power as cleanly as possible. but I'm also very realistic that I don't think that's possible without the BHP bulletins and the Rio Tintos of the world. And. I know people really love to hate miners, but they're going to be integral to the decarbonization. I've really on this Kate Howard train, I do love her. Just sort of blew my mind because you know, the very like traditional form of investing if you want to focus on E S G, is get rid of your tobacco companies and your alcohol companies and your, you know, weapons manufacturers and invest in beautiful, wonderful software and tech companies.

Aleks (28m 51s):

Okay, where are their data servers? Where are they being, what are they being powered by? Are they all green, And, I? you know, you have Microsoft Sure who's saying we're not just going to decarbonize our emissions annually, we're going to decarbonize our emissions since our inception. That's exciting. I can get behind that, but I'm not necessarily seeing the same from meta alphabet and the rest of them to justify saying, yeah, sure, we'll invest and I'm happy to, you know, sort of ignore your labor practices, your privacy controls, your position around, you know, meta as investors. I think sometimes we can love the industry darling. Mm. And I'm very concerned about that generally because as with the lithium hype, as with the Facebook hype, what is Facebook's product now if we've all left Facebook?

Aleks (29m 42s):

Mm. I just think sometimes it's helpful to think about your own values against the marketing and kind of dig into is it just marketing or is there actually substance here?

Phil (29m 54s):

What do you think about nuclear power? And I've, I've got a a basically I've got a little campaign going because the current Miss America is a nuclear engineering student who's gonna go into the nuclear industry. Wow. And so all the shots of her are with a hard hat and wearing a sash, you know, in front of, in front of nuclear power plant facilities. And she's only got like 2,600 followers on Twitter. Get out there, great stanky, go and find her. Anyway. Nuclear. What do you reckon?

Aleks (30m 22s):

I think that unfortunately Nuclear has had some really tragic incidents that have, you know, I think I mean, there's two things. People don't really understand nuclear power and that freaks them out. Maybe we've all seen that episode of Simpsons where Mr. Burns becomes nuclear powered. Yeah.

Phil (30m 43s):

The three-headed fish in the local streams and stuff.

Aleks (30m 45s):

It's staying in our heads. And I think we haven't really got a good solution yet for storage of waste materials. And the combination means that the fear sometimes overrides like practicality, which is that probably nuclear provides a part of the grid as part of like an overall energy strategy. However, where are you gonna put it? No one wants a nuclear power plant near them. you know, Lucas Heights in, in Sydney is a nuclear power station not despised by the local community. They, they hate it. They want to leave. Mm. And until we solve for that, I'm not sure that any politician worth their salt is going to be bringing it up as an alternative.

Aleks (31m 31s):

but I think it has a place. I think it could have a place, but we've gotta figure out what we're gonna do with the barrels and barrels and barrels of nuclear waste.

Phil (31m 40s):

We started the episode by saying about Gen Xes. We don't ever hear from Gen Xers. Why don't we ever hear from Gen Xers? you know, the, the generation immediately before you this so quiet.

Aleks (31m 50s):

It's a really good question. Well they were raised by the silent generation. They were told as children that children should be seen and not heard and barely heard or seen at all. So I think that they're still unpacking A, lot of childhood trauma to be honest.

Phil (32m 8s):


Aleks (32m 9s):

You know, like they're working, they're like really in the corporate rat race. I think millennials are as well, to be honest. We're still, yeah. Like what is work-life balance? Gen Z and Gen Alpha, they're gonna revolutionize the world I think. But they're quiet because they're saddled with A lot of debt. Mm. And they've got fairly young children as well. I think the combination of that makes you very resistant to protesting. Cause you've got a lot to lose

Phil (32m 34s):

And, and the times they grew up were pretty good times anyway. So there was nothing to protest against as well. It was,

Aleks (32m 39s):

Well they weren't allowed to remember Phil. Like they're not, they weren't allowed to speak children.

Phil (32m 44s):

Well you can argue against it. Sorry.

Aleks (32m 47s):

Are you a millennial or a Gen X?

Phil (32m 50s):

I'm a boomer. A broke boomer. Broke

Aleks (32m 54s):

Boomer. That's a gener, that's a subset that should be protesting.

Phil (32m 59s):

Oh definitely. Well I've got this, I'm not sure if I'll put this in the podcast, but I've got this theory is that I'm a tailender, like the boomer generation was born between 1946 and 1964. And so a tailender like myself, what I feel is we swallowed all the boomer bullshit thought, oh we'll just all be hippies and everything will be fine. you know? And when meantime they got all the best jobs they got, they bought their

Aleks (33m 22s):

House, forget, buy a house. Yeah. That was the key thing. Wasn't A. lot of financial decisions that had to be good. It was literally just buy a house.

Phil (33m 29s):

Buy a house. That's right. Yeah. Yeah. So Aleks, tell us about the podcast. Where can listeners have a listen as well? I know we're fierce competitors and we don't talk about each other. It's so obvious, isn't it?

Aleks (33m 42s):

Yes. No, well look, there's more the merrier I think in this space. And if someone finds an outlet that they get along with and they love, I think all the better because we're all the better for being financially literate. I'm the host of Big Swinging Stocks, so if you can find us on, it's great.

Phil (33m 58s):

Wherever it's a great name. I love that name.

Aleks (34m 1s):

So good. It's so good. I am still trying to get Julie Bishop on the pod. That's like my ultimate goal. So if anyone has a hookup, Julie. Julie, if you're listening to Phil's podcast, please come because

Phil (34m 13s):

That's where you the name from.

Aleks (34m 15s):

Yeah, exactly. Yeah. And we're on all podcast platforms, but the series we've been running at the moment, which I've been really enjoying is Invest Like, and we sort of do a deep dive into way different people invest. We've had Chris Judd recently on the pod Thornhill, lots of you know analysts, people in different industries as well. Board stars, And, I, Love it. I just find, like I said, I really enjoy the other stories and you'd be surprised by people's approaches. It's not just ETFs and that, you know, very important part of the overall portfolio perhaps. But it's just really interesting to hear how people have been building their wealth and it's not, the stories are all so diverse, which gives me A lot of really exciting.

Aleks (35m 3s):

I think, you know, it can be really dim and gloom for our generation, but I think we've just gotta expand our minds. I think the options are there and there's hope. It might just not look like it did for our parents and that's okay. We'll find a way.

Phil (35m 16s):

That's a great positive note to end on. Aleks Nikolic, thank you very much for joining me this morning.

Aleks (35m 20s):

Thanks for inviting me, Phil. Thanks

Chloe (35m 22s):

For listening to Shares for Beginners. You can find more at If you enjoy listening, please take a moment to rate or review in your podcast player or tell a friend who might want to learn more about investing for their future.

Any advice in this blog post is general financial advice only and does not take into account your objectives, financial situation or needs. Because of that, you should consider if the advice is appropriate to you and your needs before acting on the information. If you do choose to buy a financial product read the PDS and TMD and obtain appropriate financial advice tailored to your needs. Finpods Pty Ltd & Philip Muscatello are authorised representatives of MoneySherpa Pty Ltd which holds financial services licence 451289. Here's a link to our Financial Services Guide.