3 Fundamental truths about property investing that never change

The ‘property as wealth’ truth: Despite ever changing external factors, in the Australian context, nothing comes close to property as a solid, smart investment

The Federal Election is over, the votes are in and once again Australia has a new government. So it’s no surprise to hear that there’s a lot of noise around the idea of ‘what happens next?’ In fact, the #1 question I’m asked at the moment is what does this mean for property investors? How will this impact my investment? Should I invest now or wait?

First and foremost, I recommend you stop listening to all the noise emanating from social media, your friends or other external chatter. The simple fact is that no matter who’s in government, or what’s happening anywhere else in the world, people will always need a place to live and a roof over their head. Australian residential property prices and rental returns have continued to grow and while there will always be some fluctuation and adjustments, as our current rental crisis deepens and land becomes even more scarce, house prices will continue to flourish over the long term.

Australia is also a big drawcard for migration, and while there was a certain amount of pausing of migration during the peak of COVID, we’re once again seeing more people coming to our shores seeking opportunities – and again, a desirable place to live.

We have well over 100 years of documented history about the behaviour and the growth pattern of Australian residential property, so what we fundamentally know is that if you can buy a number of properties, and hold them for at least 10-15 years or longer, you will have a substantial amount of wealth over and above anything else you may have such as super or savings.

The ‘timing is everything’ truth: The right time to buy property is when you’re in your right mind to do so.

It’s human nature that people want to protect themselves from making what they perceive as difficult decisions, especially when it involves money. Our brains seem to be hardwired for procrastination, leading us to believe that things will be easier 6-12 months from now, or sometime in the future. But the future never comes. And the reality is, people who wait for the perfect time will eventually have to face the challenges and pressure of making a decision to act, even if it’s a few months or years down the track.

I observe so many investors or potential investors use a lot of external factors and elements as an excuse for themselves to believe why they shouldn’t be taking action now. “The market is too volatile”, “interest rates are going up/down”, “Christmas is coming” or “I haven’t found the perfect property yet”.

On the surface they all sound plausible but in reality, they are just another excuse people use for not doing anything that is conducive to their future financial well-being.

If it’s to be, it’s up to me. Your health and wellbeing of your financial future is your responsibility and yours alone. Don’t fall into the trap of playing the blame game or creating excuses for why you can’t (or won’t) invest now. Some people can spend years blaming others or giving themselves excuses for their inaction. Years they could have otherwise spent building up a portfolio.

If you’re finding it difficult to make the decision to invest, what if I framed the decision process like this:

Do you want to finish your working life with enough assets and security to enjoy  decades of relatively healthy living you have in front of you doing all the things you’ve always wanted to do?

Or do you want to finish your working life with little to show for it, relying on others for your financial needs, worrying every day whether you have enough to live on, let alone enjoy your retirement years.

Suddenly the answer – and the motivation to invest – seems very simple.

Even if you’re not financially set up to invest right now, you can still start your investment journey by firstly deciding on what you want your life to look like, then developing your knowledge, starting a savings plan and surrounding yourself with the right people to help you get started.

Timing the market is nowhere near as important as time in the market.

So many times I’ve heard people say they wish they had invested 10 years earlier. But if you take action today, I can guarantee other people will be looking at you in 10 years saying they wish they had invested when you did. And on it goes.

One quarter of the richest individuals in Australia still make their money investing in property. And history has shown us time and again that if you buy the right property in the right location and stay in the market long enough, you will be richly rewarded. You may notice I didn’t say “perfect property”, or “perfect location. Why? Because they don’t exist.

Unlike buying your own home, investing in property is a decision you need to make from your head, not your heart. The months or years you spend looking for a property that ticks every single box are months and years you could have started to accumulate capital growth and rental income.

It’s always been my experience that whenever you’re ready to take action, and I mean really ready financially and emotionally to commit to property investing, you will attract the right people to help make it happen.

The “success mindset” truth: Successful investors don’t wait for good things to happen. They make them happen.

Whether it’s in sports, business, or investing, I’ve always found that successful people share a common mindset which I call the ‘possibility mindset’. While others may focus on the negative, people with a possibility mindset seem to ‘magically’ figure out how to make things happen, despite sometimes facing seemingly impossible odds.

Successful property investors have all started where you are now. What they did differently was to define what success looked like to them, focus on how to make that happen and importantly, take action.

They certainly didn’t listen to naysayers, or uninformed opinions from well-meaning friends and family. Or to use a property analogy, sit on the fence when faced with making decisions.

No matter what the market was doing, or said to be doing, they created and followed a clear, determined, strategically focused pathway to success.

And they never ever gave up.

When I first began my journey into property investing in 1998, I was given some not-so-great advice from my then-accountant who told me I had missed the boat and should wait before diving into the property market. While the accountant owned a very nice home, he had no investment properties himself which led me to thinking that if I wanted to become a successful property investor, I needed to surround myself with people who were exactly that.


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