11 tips for investors.

11 tips for investors. My top 11 tips for property investors. 11 tips for investors.   May they serve you well. — Plan and execute. Set goals and work unceasingly towards them. There’s always a way–set out to find it. Be completely honest and ethical in absolutely everything you do. Surround yourself with a fantastic team of professionals and great mentors. Master your money and your mind – both are vital. Data is your most valuable tool. Monitor it, understand it, devour it and act on it. In every decision, think “value” not “cost”. Gladly pay for professional advice, help and assistance. Think “return on investment”. Leverage and compounding are powerful individually; phenomenally so when combined. Treat your tenants with the utmost respect. Strive to continually increase your knowledge and improve your skills–read voraciously, ask lots of questions I first shared these tips with Australian Property Investor Magazine (November 2014 issue). – Steven...

Time buffers.

Time buffers. How long could you stay afloat financially, if you were unable to work? Time buffers   How long could you stay afloat financially, if you were unable to work? — Hopefully you’ve already asked yourself this question, and know the answer, but I won’t bet on it. It’s surprising how few people have a large safety net of cash set aside. If your home is robbed, you probably have insurance to cover it. If you’re in a car accident, you probably have insurance to cover that too. Well, what if you lose your job, are injured, go through dramatic changes in your circumstances and don’t earn income for an extended period of time, or have an unexpectedly large expense–can you cope? I like to use the term “time buffer” to describe how long I could survive without working a day as what we’re talking about is time. If your living costs are quite low, you won’t need as much to last 6 months as someone with higher living expenses. Because I hold a portfolio of investment properties, I want to be sure I can cover their costs, plus my living expenses, even if I can no longer perform my job, if interest rates rise, if I need emergency medical treatment or if I decide to simply take an extended break from working. So, how long would you last if you didn’t earn a cent of income? Depending on how much risk you’re comfortable with and how many mouths depend on you to feed them, you might be happy with anywhere from 3-12 months of stashed cash. For...

Increase your cashflow.

Increase your cashflow It pays to increase your cashflow. Always chose to get money more often and put it to use. Increase Cashflow.   It pays to increase your cashflow. Always chose to get money more often and put it to use. — With these tips, increasing your cashflow won’t cost you a cent. Pick whichever are applicable to your situation and put them into action. Multiply the benefits further by having all cash flow directly into an offset account against any debt on the mortgage against your own home. If you don’t have a home mortgage, offset your highest-interest-rate investment debt. The sooner more money is in, the more interest is saved. Negotiate for weekly or fortnightly pay Ask your employer if you’re able to be paid more frequently. Have your rental income paid more frequently Ask your agency if you can increase the payment frequency of rental income disbursments to fortnightly, or even weekly. Do a PAYG withholding variation This is one of the best, and most widely known methods of increasing cashflow for investors. You basically calculate what your investment-related tax refund will be for the financial year, then write to the Australian Taxation Office (ATO) who will spread it across your weekly pays, putting a portion of your tax refund in your pocket every week. How is this worked out? You calculate your estimated losses, and tax refund, and provide this to the ATO. They’ll then instruct your employer to adjust your salary payments accordingly. This tip is a ripper!! At the time of writing, this can be done through the ATO website only if...

Goals–write ‘em, achieve ‘em.

Goals–write ‘em, achieve ‘em. It’s so simple. Have written goals. Goals–write ‘em, achieve ‘em.   It’s so simple. Have written goals. — It sounds simple. It is simple. Write down your goals. It will change your life. In retrospect, I discovered the power of writing goals in my early 20s. Towards the end of the year, I took some time out to reflect on life, what I’d achieved so far, and then focused on what I’d like to accomplish in the future. I typed up bunch of goals and quickly forgot about the list. When I accidentally stumbled across the file on my computer couple of years later, I opened it up out of curiosity. As I skimmed over it, I was struck at how many of them I’d achieved. Wow! Now there’s no magic here. Writing stuff doesn’t make it happen. What it does do, however, is focus your mind on each goal in a more defined way; ingraining your desires and planting seeds for future germination. Your goals will bounce around in the back of your mind, occasionally coming to the fore and setting in motion a cascade of related ideas before receding into the background again. In time, you’ll find some of these ideas manifesting themselves in actions that move you closer to achieving your goals. It’s really that simple. — It took many years before I realised the true power in setting, writing and revisiting goals. Now, I live a goal-oriented life. It’s transformative. If you embark on a journey with a map, you’re likely to arrive at your destination. Leave without a map, though,...

Tweaking the dials of happiness.

Tweaking the dials of happiness. Why it is profoundly beneficial to continually optimise your levels of happiness and moment-to-moment well-being through experiment and change.   Tweaking the dials of happiness.   Why it is profoundly beneficial to continually optimise your levels of happiness and moment-to-moment well-being through experiment and change. — If you want to be happier, grab the wheel and start steering. Don’t be passively swept through life, accepting what is thrown at you. In all areas, the default life falls far short of the optimised existence. Above all, the single most important of these areas is happiness. You can increase your state of happiness simply by trying things that are new and/or different; adopting those that help and abandoning those that don’t.  Two questions: Have you ever experimented with your own happiness? Have you made changes in various areas of your life and observed the effect–or lack thereof–in your well-being in the ensuing minutes, days, months and years? Try things; lots of them. Try everything, not just things you expect will help. It’s surprising what you might enjoy.  Try riding your bike for the next small grocery run. Try a new sport. Try not spending any money this weekend. Try getting up early. Try meditation. Try giving up a day of your time to help someone with no expectation of reward. Try, try, try! I call this trying “tweaking the dials of happiness”. Monitor how you feel. You will be surprised at some of the results. There will be changes you can make–changes you thought would diminish your happiness–that either don’t detract from it, or better yet,...