Stephanie Brennan has had an incredible career that most business and property experts would be envious of. The crazy thing is – she’s only 28 years old.
Stephanie has grown a multi-million dollar international property portfolio and founded three companies, including Evarvest, a fintech business headquartered in Lithuania enabling young people to invest their super in global brands they know and love, as well as access 100 per cent loans to secure property anywhere in the world.
Stephanie told Bushy Martin on the Get Invested podcast that the key to her achievements at such a young age has been a hard-wired desire to work and earn money, instilled by her mother at an early age.
“My mum took us, my sister and I, to the store and said, ‘why don’t you buy a chocolate bar with your 50 cents’, because I was such a chocoholic as a kid,” she said.
“So I had decided to buy this chocolate bar and I only have the 50 cents and I sort of thought if I could make another 50 cents then I could have both the chocolate bar and I could still have the money, so from there I got really inspired to work.
“So my mum really encouraged, I guess, my work ethic and kept finding chores for me to do around the house, like weeding the garden, and when I got older, painting the house and things like that … every single week I would empty out my money box on my bed and I would just count all of my money.”
That strategy worked well for Stephanie. While all her friends were going out partying in their late teens and early twenties, Stephanie stayed home or took extra shifts at the multiple jobs she was working. She drove taxis, worked as a dental assistant, cleaned and painted houses and worked in a retirement village.
Stephanie then found work at a company that managed property, and saw the potential for property investment to grow her wealth and achieve her goals.
“I guess I bought the first property and it’s become a bit of an addiction actually, but it’s not the worst thing to be addicted to,” she said.
“I was fortunate enough to buy two properties on the Northern Beaches (of Sydney) when the property market was still rising. They were incredibly cheap in comparison to what they are now. And there was the third property that I bought in … and (again) that was as the market was rising, but it was just from the start of the market rising, so there were still a long way to go, and that’s, I guess, enabled me as well to leverage the increase in capital.”
Stephanie then invested in the Brisbane market before starting to think about where in the world she would get the best returns.
“Whenever I invest I look at locations that are typically in demand,” she said. “That really comes down to, not just sort of big cities, but also the sort of population behind those big cities. Places like London, New York, Sydney, all of those kinds of cities have fantastic growth because there’s simply so much demand.”
“In America, where I own property is New York because it’s always in demand from a rental perspective because property is so high, the cost is very expensive, the demand for rentals is also very high … for me, I always look at capital cities that are in demand. Also, one bedroom apartments because they’re the first entry point into the market, which means there is simply more people that can afford to buy them.”
Stephanie brought her experience working in aged care and in investment together in her current business venture, Evarvest. Evarvest aims to engage people more actively in investing in their super, by allowing them to invest in companies they know and understand, such as Netflix. Evarvest is also in the process of getting licenced in Europe to provide finance to people who want to invest their savings in property anywhere in the world.
“Our core focus is focusing on super funds and pension funds around the world to be able to provide a millennial focused super fund that enables millennials to invest in the companies that interest them … For us it’s sort of focusing on being able to get millennials to engage in their pension fund.”
When she launched Evarvest, Stephanie looked around the world for the best location to start a fintech company. That search led her to Lithuania.
“We chose Lithuania because they’re very open and progressive,” she said. “They’re ranked number two in the world for entrepreneurship. They’ve just started these startup visas. It’s actually a very impressive place. And their technology, they’re ranked number one in the world (for) public WIFI speeds. The technology resources here are incredibly advanced. The skill sets are incredibly advanced. Being a technology company that’s an incredible benefit.
“Revolut’s moved here, Western Union, the Nasdaq. That’s not just because of the openness, but also because of the skill sets and the advanced technology professionals in this area … Uber has their development team in Lithuania.”
Stephanie hopes to be able to offer finance by 2020, and have a positive impact on society by helping people invest and save for the future.
“The goal for me is to be able to make an impact with society and work in a career that I’m passionate about and I love,” she said. “I’m really fortunate that I’ve got to that stage. It took me a while to find what I loved and what I was passionate about, but property and investing is definitely what I’m passionate about. Not only do I do that in my spare time, but I do that also now with Evarvest. I’m really lucky that I get to be there.”
Listen to the full interview here.
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