A Little Pressure Goes a Long Way

September is here and spring is coming! The month starts with Father’s Day, and we close out the month with something most dads love — the Footy Finals! Can you believe how fast this year is passing and that Footy Finals are about to start? Every year around this time, the cream of crop rises to the top. Obviously playing at the highest level of either the AFL or NRL means you can play the game — but only one team can ultimately come out on top. Oftentimes it will come down to who can best handle the pressure of this high performance environment. So who will that be this year, and what lessons can we take away for our investment journeys? Personally speaking, I reckon my dad is pretty awesome. He has always been an inspiration to me — a bedrock of emotional stability and a great example of loving strength. How’s this for selfless? My parents adopted 3 of my mum’s half-siblings, aged 6 to 10 (from my maternal grandmother’s second marriage), after their father, an alcoholic, was simply unfit to raise them. Not many people I know would take on such a herculean task, both emotionally or financially. My dad was a runner, and probably much of my love of sports could be attributed to the positive influence he imparted on me as I was growing up. From as early as I can remember, Dad would come home from work, get into his running gear, and go for a run. He competed at a club level, and represented Australia at a university level in the middle distance events. I remember at a young age being exposed to various athletic meets, cross-country events, and orienteering events where we got to get out and run with him as we got older. Even today in his seventies, he goes for an hour walk most every morning and is at the gym 3 days a week. Despite a string of leg and back injuries, he still gets out for some cross country running whenever he can. Dad has also been a big influence on, and a terrific supporter of, my financial life. In fact, my parents were generous enough to put up one of their own properties as security for a loan that allowed me to buy my first commercial property back in 2005. Many years ago, my dad exited the workforce as an engineer after running his own business in partnership with a long-term friend — and is now a successful, self-funded retiree. In fact, even after he “retired”, he never really stopped learning and growing, and completed a Financial Planning degree just for “fun”. He continues to be one of my own mentors, and is an invaluable resource to me and the rest of my family. However, I understand that not everyone will be as fortunate to have such a great dad, or to have had their dad stay in their lives for so long. By the way, my dad’s parents are in their 90s, still living independently in their original home — so I’m planning to live for a long time, hopefully 100 years or more! Longevity is a pretty interesting concept, one that’s directly relevant to our work as property investors. Have you ever stopped to think about how long you will be on the planet? With advances in modern medicine and the greater awareness of health and wellness generally, it might be longer than what you have previously considered. We see this all the time when we are doing strategy and planning sessions with our members. Many have never really considered how long they’ll live — or budgeted for how much money they might actually need. Some have even rather darkly admitted to us that their investment strategy is just to wait for their parents to die in order to inherit their wealth. But this strategy, for better or worse, can take a while, as many of their parents are stubbornly refusing to fall off their perch. This kind of strategy also implies writing off your own abilities. While property investing isn’t easy and takes a lot of hard work, if you’re truly motivated, you can do it. My grandparents can certainly attest to that: they acquired their first property by buying a block of land without access to power, sewer, or mains water in the newly created suburb of Caringbah, Sydney in 1948. The block itself was 50ft wide by 200ft deep or 1000 sq feet. (For those of us who have never experienced imperial measurements, that’s 15.24m (W) x 60.96m (D) or 930m2.) The block of land my grandfather purchased was calculated as £1 per foot of frontage, or £50. That worked out to be almost one full year’s worth of income for my grandfather. His wages through the war were approximately £1 per day. So over the course of his 3 year army service, he was able to save around £800. The house he built, in which up to 6 people lived at any one time, used up the remainder of his savings, and measured just 24ft wide by 32 ft long (7.32m x 9.75m) or the equivalent of approximately 71 m2 — the size of a modern 2 bedroom unit. My grandfather built the house himself (and with some help from friends and family), because he didn’t have the funds to be able to pay for trades and he couldn’t get a loan. All up it took him nearly 2 years to build, working weekends on top of his normal, full-time work week. The project also stalled on a few occasions due to rampant inflation and a shortage of materials after the war. For example, after getting the frames up, he saw the plaster costs double from a quoted £250 to £500. What’s more, during the time it took him to build the house my grandfather saw the land prices TRIPLE around him as the Baby Boom kicked into full swing. In fact, right now my grandparents are in the process of subdividing this same block, and expect to get around $1.25M from this process, once they sell off a chunk of their backyard. Property and time can be a very powerful combination. Like we mentioned above, when it comes down to it, this year’s grand finals may come down to how well each side can handle the pressure of the big stage. Some players will thrive under the spotlight...while others will turn to jelly, like the pilot in the classic comedy movie, Flying High. Pressure can either make you or break you at times. For example, they might be a girl's best friend (my partner will attest to this), but did you know that most natural diamonds are formed by periods of intense pressure over time periods from 1 billion to 3.3 billion years? So how can all of my personal ramblings, movie flashbacks, and geology lessons help you become a better property investor? Well, we’d like to ask you a few personal questions. Really think about the answers, because they can be the determining factor in how your property investment journey develops over the years.
  1. When was the last time you felt financial pressure?
  2. How did you respond to it? Did you crumble under it or turn it into something really positive?
  3. What is the biggest source of financial pressure in your life right now?
  4. Do you have a written plan as to how you’re going to resolve this pressure?
  5. And to continue the footy analogy above, are your financial results at an elite level, or are they more like you’re running out for the local under 9’s at present?
One of the biggest advantages of working with one of our experienced mentors is that on top of challenging you to really think about your own financial results, we also show you real world, practical strategies to change your results and live a more enjoyable life. As history has shown us, and geology has confirmed, if we can take a little pressure over a long enough period of time, we can produce something truly remarkable. If you are sufficiently motivated to change the pressures in your life, then give us a buzz or shoot us an email to connect with one of our experienced Senior Mentors right now. Not next month, not next year, not that ever elusive “someday” — but right now. If you don’t take the first steps to really change your life, then who will?

Other News and Videos

Join the Property Mentors

The Property Mentors assist with strategic property sourcing, fixed interest investments and planning. Whether you are just starting out or already on your property journey The Property Mentors can provide the guidance you need.