Expert Advice by Lindy Lear
I have met all types of investors over my years of being a property advisor. The common goal seems to be to grow a portfolio of properties for future passive income. Investors can range from being very active to being very passive. Which type of investor you are can affect how fast you can achieve your goals through property.
Passive vs Active Investor
Being a very passive investor could mean you buy one property and wait and see how it goes. As the majority of investors in Australia own only one property, this approach has clearly not worked for them to grow a portfolio! Being passive could also mean buying property according to a set financial plan such as one property every two years. Whilst having a plan is important, it could mean missing out on property opportunities that are available in the market and not buying at the right time in the property cycle. Smart investors who have built a successful portfolio have a different plan to fast track their goals. They are more assertive and take a more active approach. They look for opportunities and take action and buy when they can as part of their fast track strategy.
Risk vs Gain
Smart investors understand how to balance risk with the perceived gain. They know that any investing has an inherent risk, whether it is shares, business or property. There is no such thing as a ‘no risk’ investment. They understand that there are market forces out of their control, however they believe that taking a risk is worth it for the gain. They understand to be successful you have to do something. Letting fear hold you back and doing nothing will keep you in the same place. Smart investors have a confident mindset of accepting and minimising risk to maximise the gains so as to fast track growing their portfolio. They do not let fear stop them after buying one property.
Good vs Bad Debt
What holds many investors back in growing their portfolio is an aversion to debt. They like to keep debt to a minimum, pay down the mortgage as fast as possible and be conservative before buying another investment. Understanding that there is good debt and bad debt may help investors move past owning just one property. Paying down debt is a great goal for your principal place of residence as it is non-tax deductible debt. However smart investors see investment debt as good debt because not only is it tax deductible, but it allows them to use the principle of leverage to grow their portfolio and their future wealth. They use other people’s money (the bank’s money) to grow their portfolio faster.
Knowing your Numbers /Finances
To fast track growing your portfolio you need to know your numbers and where you stand financially. Whenever an investor asks me if they are ready to invest I suggest they do a financial healthcheck. Many people ask a financial planner or an accountant if they are ready to invest. Smart investors know the best person to ask is their bank or broker. Completing a simple financial healthcheck on income, debts and assets can help you find out your potential borrowing capacity, the best loan structures, how to release equity, and how to keep a healthy buffer in place for low risk investing. Being confident and aware of your finances means you can adopt a more active approach and when you are ready to invest, buy your next property sooner.
Fast track Strategy
The keys to being able to fast track growing your portfolio faster are to
- Have a more active rather passive approach to investing
- Have a confident mindset that understands the risks vs the gains
- Understand the difference between good debt and bad debt
- Understand your numbers, your finances and your borrowing capacity
As Ian Hosking Richards says, "your future passive income is dependent on the size of your asset base. The faster you can grow your portfolio the faster you can achieve an asset base that will provide you with a passive income". Please contact me at www.rocketpropertygroup.com.au/asklindy if you would like a financial healthcheck or a portfolio review to fast track growing your property portfolio.
Lindy Lear is a successful property investor who had a late start into investing, yet has grown her portfolio to eight properties in three years. She is a qualified property advisor and general manager of Rocket Property Group, and she won the Reader’s Choice Award in 2009, 2012 & 2013 for Property Investment Advisor of the Year. Lindy is passionate about helping others realise their goals through investing in property, and can be contacted on 1300 850 038 or visit www.rocketpropertygroup.com.au
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Disclaimer: while due care is taken, the viewpoints expressed by contributors do not necessarily reflect the opinions of Your Investment Property.