I don’t think that I know anyone who is investing in property whose aim isn’t to be financially free. For most, this means that they are no longer reliant upon their job or having to ‘go to work’ to support themselves and their family in their everyday living expenses. Of course we would all like to be able to afford a nice house to live in, a nice car to drive, a nice holiday now and again, but at the heart of it, I find when I speak with investors, they mostly want to not have to work anymore.
Most people get up and go to work each and every week day and try not to think too hard about it because, well, it’s all a bit depressing really, isn’t it? Here we are, relatively young and hopefully healthy and we’re spending the best part of our lives doing something that we have to do, that involves making money for someone else and we’re going to have to keep doing it until we’re somewhere near 67 years of age. Sixty-seven!
So stop now and think about what it would be like if you were financially free. Financial freedom is about buying back your time. What a brilliant concept. Not having to work in a job to earn money to pay the bills means time to do the things that you want to do. The things that are important to you. If you were financially free, what would your ideal day look like? (I do this little exercise frequently!).
Does anyone really make it?
So, knowing that financial freedom is the goal, how does the everyday property investor get there? When we look at the statistics of investment property ownership, it does make you wonder, of all the people who invest in property, just how many of them achieve the goal of financial freedom? Based on taxation statistics, while one in seven taxpayers own an investment property, only 476,000 of those people actually own more than one investment property and the numbers fall off significantly after that for any greater than two investment properties.
Ask Jane SS of Investors Choice Mortgages and Your Property Success and you don’t need a lot of property to become financially free. In fact in her book Your Property Success with Renovation she outlines a straightforward strategy demonstrating that 2 properties + 1 renovation can equal one million dollars in the bank. Jane herself has built a significant portfolio and is well on the way to being financially free. It’s taken some time, but her strategy is a low risk, measured strategy of getting rich slowly.
Of course this isn’t the only strategy to get you there. Nathan Birch of BInvested.com was financially free at just 24 years of age after focusing on properties that put money in his pocket from day one of the purchase, whether that be through an immediate equity gain by buying under market value or through positive cashflow with high yielding properties. Nathan specialised in positive cashflow properties and was able to create a healthy five figure monthly income from his properties that enabled him to quit his job not that long into his investing career.
Many ways to get there
As you can see from just these two examples, people use different strategies in property to obtain financial freedom for themselves. Others have made their money through renovating and selling properties, developing property, coordinating vendor finance deals. Some have been strategic in their method and approach, others were just lucky to ride a wave of massive capital growth (oh, I should be so lucky!).
I’m a great proponent of the ‘many ways to skin a cat’ theory of property investing, which basically means that there are many ways for you to be successful and people do achieve their goals using different means. What is important here is for you to decide upon the strategy that you are going to use and to remain focused on not only your goal, but your chosen method to go about achieving it! Many investors, including me, have been guilty of not beginning with the end in mind or starting out with one strategy only to change or not necessarily measure up each purchase in terms of their goal and strategy.
Check out next post wherein we will discuss goals, strategies and the factors that determine your approach to investing.