It’s a particularly special time of year for me, as a Chinese-Australian, being in the midst of lunar new year celebrations, and of course, celebrating Australia Day over the weekend.
Around 30 years ago I migrated to Australia, and immediately fell in love with the amazing culture here; tolerant, laid-back, with a real sense of ‘mateship’ and willingness to lend a hand to help others.
I was also impressed by the vastness of space and the great natural beauty. The beaches, the parks – it is no wonder that Australia continues to rank highly in terms of quality of life.
And though we might be known for a so-called ‘tall poppy syndrome,’ I have seen and experienced more generosity than jealousy, and a lot of shared joy when fellow Australians succeed.
I found there is a much greater sense of equality here in Australia as well. No one is judging you based on who your family is, or the car you drive. If you have nice things, you buy them for yourself – not to impress others. Compared with so many other places in the world, there’s far less ‘keeping up with the Jones.’
With a minority of people who are extremely wealthy, and our majority middle-class population, there is a lesser sense of class overall and more equal opportunities.
What matters here in Australia is having a go; how hard you work; and taking a genuine interest in others and making your own contribution.
In the land of the ‘fair go’ it is possible to have dreams and pursue them whole-heartedly. You can start a new venture or business, and if you fail or encounter obstacles there is government support to help you get back on your feet.
Even for those who are not seeking an entrepreneurial path, there are genuine opportunities to make financial progress. This is a country that aspires to home ownership. Our homes are bigger on average, than many other countries. They are also still relatively more accessible, especially when you are coming from big cities of the world like Beijing, Hong Kong or even London or New York.
Our government incentivises home ownership, with grants for first home buyers and unique tax benefits for property investors as well, under the current policies.
With the power of leverage, it is possible to build wealth over the long-term by accumulating a portfolio of properties – assets which you can retire on one day, over and above your super.
It is no accident, therefore, that so many Australians hold most of their wealth in property.
I, myself learned this first-hand back in 1998 after attending a property investment seminar. As a result of what I heard and subsequently learned under the mentorship of an experienced investor and the help of a dedicated team, I was able to build a portfolio of 7 investment properties in 12 months.
Following this experience, and understanding the possibilities, I decided to join the property industry and in 2006, together with Susanne Anderson and Grant Ryan, we built a company which could help other Australians do the same.
As we begin the year of the rat – the first sign in the Chinese Zodiac – symbolic of renewal and new beginnings – Ironfish begins our 14th year as a company, as dedicated as ever before towards our mission of helping more Australian families achieve financial wellbeing through property investment.
Over the last 14 years working alongside colleagues, customers and partners, we have helped many thousands of Australian families – of diverse cultural backgrounds, professions and histories – embark on their own journey of success. We are proud to have gained the trust of so many customers – this trust drives us as a business to continually improve and progress.
We are grateful for every milestone that has brought us here and we are full of expectations for an even brighter future for our customers, colleagues and partners alike.
We wish you good health, happiness and every success for the brand new year – and new decade – ahead. To our customers: we look forward to continuing the journey by your side.
Happy Australia Day & Happy Chinese New Year!
Joseph Chou is the CEO & Founder of Ironfish. He regularly presents at events around the country. Click the link below to find his next speaking engagement