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There are a lot of promises we make ourselves at the start of each new year. Things like spending more time with friends or getting out health and fitness plans back on track.
These are all perennial favourites, but another that seems to turn up every annum is the evergreen, “THIS is the year I’ll get my financial affairs in order.” And while all these good intentions are important, there’s no denying they become challenging as we settle back into our daily habits. It’s human nature to run to the routine.
We’ll find ourselves marching through the weeks to the beat of a familiar drum. Then, before you know it, Christmas decorations are appearing and December is upon us once more. What happened to all those resolutions from January?
Well… this year is different because instead of dreaming about your ideal year, we’ve hit the turning of a decade which provides the perfect opportunity to ensure your future looks bright beyond the next 12 months.
In fact, 2020 is the ideal pivot point for motivating you into mapping out an amazing next 10 years in property investing.
The procrastination past
Perhaps, more than in any element of our lives, the unrealised idea of investing for our future is the most tragic missed opportunity.
The reason is the majority of successful investors gain their wealth by stealth. Incremental increases in value that don’t seem like much over short time frames – but add them together across multiple price cycles and you’ll see a monumental uptick in their financial position.
Property investment success works because the gains are consistent. This is why real estate outperforms most other investments vehicles over time.
The tragedy is that these slowly ratcheting capital increases don’t occur for most people because of one simple, but crucial, reason.
They fail to get started in the first place.
The key to success.
There are many reasons why people procrastinate themselves into an inadequate retirement.
For example, some read media reports like they’re gospel and become reactionary in their investment decisions. Anyone who had been scrutinising headlines over the past six months for Sydney would have been bracing themselves as we plummeted headlong toward the bottom of an almighty price crash.
These readers may have included potential investors who thought, ‘Now is not the time. Look at what’s happening!’
Of course, what a difference a few months can make.
As soon as interest rates fell once more and lenders loosened the reigns slightly, the market started to turn up again.
There are now plenty predicting the Sydney market has already bottomed and is due for double-digit price rises.
And those who failed to act a few months ago for fear of further value falls are now being left in the wake of tighter listing numbers and rising prices.
So, my first tip – stop reading daily property articles and believing the trend is set for decades to come.
You should be buying now to take advantage of the market in two price cycles time – or 10 to 20 years. You shouldn’t be thinking, ‘Will I live in regret in 12 months if I buy now?’. Instead think, ‘Will I live in regret in 10 years if don’t buy now?’… and the answer is, invariably, yes.
The next tip is to extend your expectations.
There are plenty of people in 2010 who thought about investing but held back because they couldn’t see a way to make gains in the first couple of years… so the waited.
Those same people will be here in 2020 having the same conversation with themselves. In the meantime, they missed some of the most impressive capital gain runs Australia has seen in its history.
Don’t be another stumbler – remember there’s plenty of wealth to made over a decade, but the key is to act, not wait.
The perfect is the enemy of the great
Another procrastination tool is the eternal hunt for the ‘perfect’ investment.
In truth, finding that unblemished gem is unlikely – and in the meantime, you’ll pass up a raft of opportunities that will pay very handsome dividends over the long-term.
Good property investments are out there and while they may not always be the most ideal home on the market, they will provide the type of returns that investors with staying power enjoy.
Don’t let the hunt for a flawless investment keep you out of the race so long that you gain nothing.
That applies to trying to pick the market cycle as well. In truth, there’s never going to be a ‘perfect time’ to invest because for those with a long-term plan, taking action is the only solution.
You simply can’t win this race if you don’t front up and start.
Advice pays dividends
The smartest way to reduce the risks and boost the benefits is to surround yourself with the right professionals and rely on their advice.
You don’t have to be paralysed by the research required to try and gain expertise in the field, because there are already experts out there that can work with you start the journey.
We are constantly presented with great investment opportunities, and have the experience to steer our clients away from the duds.
So, here we sit at the start of another decade – did you hope to invest in the 2010s and now have non-buyer’s remorse?
If so, don’t go into the 2020s full of good intentions but without a plan for action. Take a moment this year, have a think about what you’d like to achieve and get moving.
Richard Crabb, Linkedin, 4 February 2020