16/03/2015

Life lesson

The first question I asked myself when I wanted to build wealth was:

How much is enough?

Here’s how I found the answer.

When I was 23, I scored a job that more than doubled my salary from \$40k to \$100k. As a young man, I felt this was heaps of money. But after a whole year on my ‘huge’ salary, I realised I hadn’t saved an extra cent.

This is so common, I think it’s the Aussie way of life. However much we earn, we fund lifestyles rather than save. And that’s no way to build wealth.

Getting real

Once I realised I wasn’t saving enough to become wealthy, I started looking at ways to achieve financial freedom. Back then, I just wanted to supplement my \$100k income. So I narrowed my options to:

• Saving.
• Cash-flow-positive property.
• Growth property.
No saving me

The previous year had proven I couldn’t save my way to financial freedom, so the saving option was out.

I knew property was a good option for achieving financial freedom. But when I looked at cash-flow-positive property (where returns exceed expenses), I realised my poor saving record would also shoot me in the foot.

You see, even if I got a property to earn me \$400/month clear, I knew I’d just blow it on a bigger lifestyle. I was never going to save it, duplicate my portfolio and substitute my \$100k income.

And so, unless that property also experienced growth, I’d just be spinning my (ever more exotic) wheels. So cash-flow-positive property was out.

I realised then that growth property was the best option for me to achieve that \$100k.

Growing up

Let’s look at that in today’s figures, assuming an average \$500k growth property price and a (conservative) annual price growth of 8%.

Remember, I earn \$100k and want \$100k per year coming in to replace that.

3 x \$500k properties = \$1.5m value.

\$8% growth x \$1.5m = \$120k per year.

By buying three growth properties, I make \$120k on average once growth occurs. That’s \$20k more than my goal. But that money isn’t for me to spend on cars or lifestyle. That money is growing my equity base that I can use to duplicate my portfolio and get more and more growth on it.

Unlike the savings and cash-flow-positive property options, the growth property option gives me cake to eat. Great. So when do I eat?!

Well, once I exercise the patience to duplicate my growth property portfolio several times, I become wealthy enough to buy the cake factory. And have as much as I damn-well want. That’s why growth property is the way to true wealth.

Once you get going with growth property, the limit isn’t the sky – the limit is up to you. And so, the answer to the great question: how much is enough?

As much as you want!

Cameron McLellan
Director of OpenCorp, Cam McLellan is committed to sharing his passion and property investment knowledge with everyday Australians.

After thriving in the telecommunications, technology and recruitment sectors and making the BRW Fast Starters list twice and the Fast 100 list three times in 8 years, alongside accomplished OpenCorp entrepreneur and brother-in-law Allister Lewison, founded OpenCorp eight years ago.

Cam started investing in real estate at a young age and quickly mastered the art of building sustainable wealth. He has used the same wealth building strategy to develop a multi-million dollar business, sharing his knowledge and skill with ordinary Australians. Cam has personally bought, sold and developed numerous properties and has an extensive residential and commercial investment portfolio.

Disclaimer: while due care is taken, the viewpoints expressed by contributors do not necessarily reflect the opinions of Your Investment Property.