podcast

How to start investing without a plan

By Staff Reporter
Successful property investment
5

A real-life investor talks to the team about how he successfully built a portfolio on the fly - and what he's learned along the way. Listen now!

It’s more stories from real-life investors this week.

Jim Hall comes in to talk about how a fishing trip nearly five years ago changed his life forever. Jim knew he had to do something to build wealth for his young family, but wasn’t sure exactly what to do.

In this episode he opens up about how he started property investing. By his own admission, he started without a plan but with the courage to take action. Jim tells us the lessons he learned along the way, and - more importantly - the lessons he’s still learning.

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Transcript: 

Andy Scott: Hello. It's The Smart Property Investment Show. Coming up in this episode, it's back to reality as one investor comes in and tells us about how a fishing trip changed their life.

Hello and welcome to The Smart Property Investment Show where we speculate, meditate and pontificate on all things property investment. My name is Andy Scott. I'm an investor and the publisher of Smart Property Investment. I'm joined as always by fellow investor and managing editor of the title Mr. Phil Tarrant. Hello, Phil.

Phil Tarrant: Hello, Andrew.

Andy Scott: How are you this week?

Phil Tarrant: I'm very well, thank you.

Andy Scott: Good. Pleased to hear it. Our special guest this week is Jim Hall. Jim is the publisher on a number of industry-leading titles in the mortgage broking and real estate space. Hello, Jim.

Jim Hall: Hello, Andy.

Andy Scott: Thanks for joining us today. How's your week been?

Jim Hall: Very good. Thanks. Good to be here. Big fan of the show so far, so I'm very excited about taking the hot seat alongside yourself and Phil Tarrant today.

Andy Scott: That is very, very good of you to say that. Now, you actually work with us here, don't you, Jim?

Jim Hall: I do, indeed. Yep.

Andy Scott: I thought – even if it may fill you with a bit of fear to consider – how long do you think you've known myself and Phil?

Jim Hall: Probably for the best part of 15 years now, maybe just under.

Phil Tarrant: Oh dear.

Andy Scott: Stunned silence all around the room. Jim, we really appreciate you taking the time to have a chat with us today about your property journey. Look, I know we knew each other before either of us had property. Both of us now, I would consider as very fortunate to both have quite significant amount of property between us.

Look, I think like all good stories, it's best to start at the beginning. Rather than I suppose talk about your first property, and where you bought it, and all that stuff, I thought it'd be good to start if you just share, I guess, where you were in your life when you realised you probably need to do something with your wealth creation and how you ended up choosing property.

Jim Hall: I guess it's probably a pretty familiar story for a lot of property investors. I reached an age, just turning about 30, just taking on a mortgage, just had my first child who's now nine years old almost. I guess I got to that point where I thought, "Look, I better start thinking about the future” a little bit more than I had done over the past 10, 12 years of my adult life. I had a think about should I be doing something with my money? Should I be investing in property? Should I be investing in shares?

I went to see a financial adviser, funny enough, first of all, from a big bank. I won't name the bank. Pretty much he just wanted to sell me up to sign up for insurance. I thought, "That's probably a good idea now I've got a child," and signed up for his insurance. I never heard from him again.

Then I spoke to another adviser shortly afterwards, one that wasn't affiliated with a big brand. He recommended going into some managed funds, not something I particularly had a good understanding of. I sat on that for a while.

Then I remember quite clearly actually I was out with a good friend of mine on a fishing trip. We got off the boat one morning. I had quite a good haul, one of the better catches. I remember saying, "Look, I'm not too sure what to do." He's got a bit of experience in investment, in property. He said, "Look, Jim. You’ve got to get into property." And I just thought "You know what? I'm just going to do it. I'm just going to bite the bullet."

Then from there, he introduced me to a mortgage broker who quickly introduced me to a property buyer. What seemed like a very quick amount of time, I bought my first investment property not really knowing what I was doing, but just knowing that I needed to do something.

I’ve spoken to a lot of my friends over the last few years now that I'm more experienced property investor. I say the say same thing. “You’ve just got to do something”.

Property, for me, it's worked out very, very well over the last few years. It's something I understand, unlike shares. That's how it came about, the first investment.

Andy Scott: Interesting you say just about doing that. I'm sure that Phil is not the only in the room to have noticed that both you and I weren't born and bred in this part of the country. We weren't even born in Australia. We're both people that come – we're both citizens now of this great country. I think we’ve had that, by the process of doing that, I think we’ve both got inside us a bit of a, "You know what? I'm going to take a big breath, and take the plunge, and go for it."

Having the benefit now of looking back on the nine or so years that you've been investing, what would you say to people who sat on the sidelines and ‘umm’ and ‘arr’? For a lot of people, there's that fear of ‘It's a lot of money. It's a lot to do.’ It can paralyse people. With the benefit of hindsight, what would you say now to yourself then?

Jim Hall: Again, I think you can only look at my own situation and say, "Look, things have worked out quite well over the last few years for me." I think one of the key things that I say to pretty much everyone I talk to about investing in property, friends, colleagues, whoever it might be, is I'm not doing anything that hasn't been done by someone else beforehand. It's a pretty simple formula that I’ve decided to follow. I'm not trying to chase the latest fad or anything like that. I educated myself to a reasonable degree. I've read a lot of books that were recommended to me. Read some of the magazines that are out there. Sooner or later, I think you just got to make the decision.

Phil Tarrant: You got nine years and you've been investing now –

Jim Hall: It's not true actually. I've actually only been – I bought my first investment property – so we bought a house in 2007 – I think the first investment probably was – it's only been about four years. Probably four to five years.

Phil Tarrant: That's good. You're obviously a colleague of mine and Andy’s here. We haven't really explained what you do here. You’ve pretty much got an advantage in terms of your day job. What you do here at Sterling Publishing. You head up our mortgages and real estate titles. It means that you're pretty much connected with anyone in the mortgage and real estate space in Australia, which is a nice place to be. You got good relationships with those people and a lot of people you can have good conversations about property and where the directions of it is.

Can you explain how you might use some of the knowledge that you gather in your day-to-day job and apply that to how you go about investing in property today? Do you think that you get a lot more information than everyone else? Do you think that's information that's available to everyone?

Jim Hall: I think being involved in mortgages in general, particularly in the mortgage and finance broking, I get a lot of times spent with primarily mortgage brokers and lenders to a similar degree whose business is lending money for the purposes of buying property – i.e. for a home or for an investment property. A lot of the mortgage brokers that I speak to, have spoken to over the years, obviously assist their clients with investing in property and a lot of them are avid property investors themselves.

I guess one of the key things that I was trying to say earlier that I think is important is to surround yourself with, I guess, experts, people that have walked the walk, talked the talk. I think for me, yes, I'm very privileged, and I consider myself very fortunate to be in the position I am in my job where I am surrounded with people that know what they're talking about when it comes to mortgages and investing in property. I've got a fantastic mortgage broker. I've got some great property buyers that find some fantastic properties for me over the years. I have access to people that you know Andy through the investment property side of things. I've learned to understand a good advice and some of the bad advice as well.

I do consider myself lucky. I do often look back to myself and think, "If I hadn't have taken the first step and got into investment property, I'll probably be kicking myself in how things have worked out for me” which has been reasonably good.

I tell that same story to a lot of people. I pass on my own learnings over the last few years. As I've said, I've got friends that have also started up in the property investment road. That’s the advice I share with them: Get yourself a good accountant. Get yourself a good mortgage broker. You don't have to go around the route of using a property buyer. I do simply because I'm very time poor. I’ve got a young family at home. I don't have the time to really go into it as much as I can. Just get people you trust and get people that have done it before you. Everyone I work with, mortgage broker, invests in property. The accountant that I have probably has about 40 or 50 properties. The property buyers I have already bought 3,000-odd properties over the last decade or so. I've just surrounded myself with people that know more than I do about creating wealth through property investment.

One of the books I read, probably I pick it up every 18 months or so, is The Richest Man in Babylon, centuries old book about investing in property for the future. It's pretty simple stuff to be honest. I think you just have to take that leap of faith for the first property. It is a leap of faith. Again, the more you talk to people, it's one of the things you hear. Watch the TV shows and listen to people all the time. Procrastinate, procrastinate, procrastinate. It's easy to do. It's the easiest thing to do. I've done it myself probably three or four years earlier, I should have started investing in property. As I said, when I went into buy that first property, still didn't really understand it a great deal but, all of a sudden, it comes together, and again surrounding yourself with the right people, it all makes sense. It becomes quite clear and, yeah, been good.

Andy Scott: I think you make a good point there, Jim, about – I guess all of us in this room have been quite fortunate in, I suppose, the access that we have. As a point that Phil you've made a number of times, and it's something we both agree, there's nothing rocket science about the knowledge that we have. I think the environment that we've had has just helped us, I suppose, clarify and see these are the people to have around us. These are the ways that we should go about it. Again, we hear the same thing again and again from other guests as well, be they professionals or other investors as well about what to do with that thing or how to surround yourself with the right people to encourage you to take action and stop that procrastination.

You mentioned an interesting point, I think, about doing your first property and then the next ones. Now, you've obviously done that since then. Look it’s a stat I roll out more than one occasion. According to the ATO, only 85 per cent of people who would consider themselves property investors have any more than one investment property. They've got one and that's the lot. Even though you had a plan by the sounds of things to get more than just one, how long between you getting the first did you sit there and go, "You know what? This is working. It's tracking how I expect it to do. It's time to jump in”? Did you sit and wait for ages or were you just reckless Jim? “Bang. We're off. Let's just give it go. Who cares what happens to the kids' futures? I'm gambling it all on black”?

Jim Hall: It's quite funny you say that actually, Andy. I actually did not have a goal or a big plan. My plan was just that I knew that I had to do something. Things steam rolled quite quickly.

It wasn't until I’d actually got that first property investment, I sat down with my accountant. He said, "Okay, Jim. What are your goals?" I said, "I don't have any goals." I sat down with him and he says, "Well, okay. Let's work some goals out. What do you want to do?" I said, "Well, I don't want to work forever. I like working but I don't want to work until I'm 65, 70." He said, "Okay. Let's look at a plan in terms of looking to replace your income through property investment." We sort of sat down. He said, "Based on the property portfolio worth X amount returning about 5 per cent, this is what you’d need to look to build over the years, blah blah blah. Once you get some equity out, pull it out." Once that all became a bit clearer I sat down with a piece of paper which I actually still carry around in my wallet. It's got my goals written down to create a property portfolio worth X amount, will return X amount in these years.

Look, things changed. Over the last few years, we actually moved our principal place of residence. We need a slightly bigger house. The kids were growing up. That put things on hold. Your goals will adjust. It's a bit of an accident. Then once I got that first property, I set the goals out and it just gives you something to aim for and a bit of clarity. It came quite quickly to be honest after that.

Phil Tarrant: The message with this is that it's all about education. It's all about understanding what you want to achieve. It's about working out what information you need in order to be able to set goals. We were chatting before about the fact that you've got great access to people in the property gains so does Andy, so does myself. Anyone can have that same level of access. There are some great communities out there.

The beauty about property investment which I really enjoy is it's quite collegiate. Property investors like talking about property investment to other property investors. There's so many people out there who are willing to share their experiences. It's not like some secret hidden game where only a couple of people have got the keys to the secret. Most property investors are really happy to chat about property investment. Most property professionals really enjoy chatting with property investors – whether they're starting out or doing what they're doing.

It’s interesting the cycle that you've gone through, Jim, where you started off with, "I'm going to invest in property because it sounds like the right thing to do," to that next stage when you've gone, "Okay. Why am I doing this? How has this influenced the way in which I'm going to create wealth?" To where you are today when you're a lot more sophisticated investor, and you've got bigger-picture plans, and you've got actually processes in place to be able to realise that.

You've got a busy job. You travel a lot with work. It's quite a high stressful, high-energy type of job. How do you find the time to continue to be a property investor while still managing the 50, 60, 70 hours, 80 hours a week that you work?

Jim Hall: A lot of people I hear say, "If you're going to be a property investor, you’ve got to treat it like a business." Yes, you do. I haven't seen a number of the properties that I own. I based my decisions purely on maths, purely on research of the area. For me, I've got a young family. Cash flow is quite important. I'm not one for negative gearing it to particular amounts. I want to live a nice comfortable lifestyle, not scratch around because I’ve spent too much in my investment properties.

For me, it comes down to – properties I look at have got to be, they’ve got to do the sums basically. It's that simple. I keep account on a regular basis – probably once a month – I will sit down. I'll probably spend an evening going through all my figures, going through the incomings and the outgoings of each property. I use a property manager for all of my properties. Each month, they send me a nice statement saying, "This is how much rent is received. This is how much you need to pay – we’ve have to pay strata”, for example.

Again, I get most people to do things for me, knowing where my limitations are, me, personally. Then I just keep account of all the records. As I say, probably once a month, I make sure that everything is updated. I've got a number of spreadsheets that I use to do that.

Phil Tarrant: Do you lie there in bed at night and worry about your property portfolio and making sure you can pay your mortgage?

Jim Hall: No, I don't. No, I don't because the strategy that I've gone down – I'm not a big gambler. I got a couple of kids at home. I can’t keep stressing. I don't like risks basically. My strategy was to go down in what I see slightly safer route of having slightly lower priced properties. For example, someone that's got a rent of – m y rents probably go anywhere from the lowest from $250 to probably $500 a week in rent. The issue with that being – the good issue with that rather, is if I have a problem with one property and tenants aren't paying, whatever reason happens, obviously it's a bit of a bummer having to fork out $300 to $400 of rent. But I could have one property where the rent is $1,000 a week and that's probably going to hurt me quite a lot to be honest if that goes untenanted for a month.

I've gone pretty low risk, spreading my portfolio. There's nothing in my portfolio that's really out of the normal – pretty standard stuff. I've been lucky with tenants again because I've gone for areas where I know there's high demand for rent and capital growth has been good as well. A few properties in Sydney over the last few years, which of course would be very good. A few in Brisbane as well which are picking up nicely as well. They're all pretty safe and they're all reasonably cash neutral at the end of the day by the time the tax comes through. I don't have to worry too much at the moment.

Phil Tarrant: Obviously you’ve got a lot of colleagues who work here who invest in property that understand it. Outside of work and more social friends or peers that you have, are they aware of the size of your portfolio and how you're investing? What's their perception towards it? Do they think, "Jim, you're investing in these areas which is low market. Are people going to pay your rent, or don't they smash your house up, or anything like that?" What's the perception of those friends that you have outside?

Jim Hall: It's funny you say that. I get that sometimes but not that often. I think most people you don't realise – because I'm just connected and I talk about property every single day at work. I love property first and foremost as well. Most people, they just aren't aware of what you can actually do. A lot of people I know, mid to late 30s, 40s and that age bracket, most of them have got a mortgage. They're just not aware that they can actually use the equity in their house to fund an investment property. I have conversations with people. I don't like to advise people. I can only tell my own experiences, and this is how I've gone about investing, and why I've gone about it.

Andy Scott: You're not qualified to give advice.

Jim Hall: I'm not qualified to give advice nor do I give advice, Andy. I just tell them my story. A lot of my friends have since invested in property. They've done a bit of research on the back of conversations I've had. They're just simply not aware, Phil, I think.

Phil Tarrant: I don't understand that because obviously they're not reading smartpropertyinvestment.com.au to actually understand how they go about doing it. Flick on the TV, there's a property show on. All the shows on TV –

Jim Hall: Only if you're on Foxtel.

Phil Tarrant: That's true. But you've got The Block, you've got this, you've got this and the other. No one actually talks about – it's always about how pretty it looks or what colour tiles you put on the wall or what fixtures or fittings are stuck in your kitchen. When you say that, people don't understand that they've got equity and a property that they can leverage to invest in property. They're not aware of it. The mind boggles that that's the case.

Andy Scott: I think part of it is that we come from a generation where our parents would have been – the idea of risk was something that wasn't done. You got a mortgage to pay it down. That's all that you did in that regard. I think there's a mindset shift in that regard, what things are done as well.

Jim Hall: I think, Andy, a lot of people just aren't comfortable taking on debt. I've got a good reasonable-sized portfolio, but I do owe the banks an awful lot of money. But then I've also got assets worth quite a lot of money. I think that's probably a lot of – you buy your home – most people go down the scenario of you buy your first home. You’ve saved up for deposit. You're fortunate enough to get deposit from your parents which is great. All of a sudden, you've got a huge mortgage. Let’s just take Sydney as we're in Sydney. Let's say your house is worth a million dollars. You might have a mortgage of, let's say, $700,000. You got $300,000. A lot of people think, "My god. I got a $700,000 mortgage. I don't want any more debt."

Andy Scott: To be honest, I think you're right. It's funny that I have conversations with people about – who the idea of investing a property to them is not something that they think about doing and it's not something I would do. They want to live in a nice house. The idea of taking on a mortgage to them is not an issue because they want to buy a nice house. When they talk about investment, you talk about doing investment property and the question I get asked a lot is, "Andy, what happens if something goes wrong?" I'm always like, "Well, what happens if something goes wrong with your mortgage anyway, with any debt that you take on? There's always an element of risk. There's always potential problems that come up down the track."

One thing that I've certainly come to realise with investing property I think, and you'll probably agree with this, Jim, and, you, Phil, is that if I’ve only got a mortgage on one place and I've got a problem with repayments, I've got a real problem. Jim, yourself, you got two young kids. All of a sudden, you might have to move them out of there. They might have to change schools. Who knows what sort of problems come in your desk. If I've got four or five properties and one of them doesn't start paying their rent on it, it's still a problem. I'm not going to tell you that. You know what? It's a smaller problem because it's only a fifth of what I owe that I've got the problem from rather than all of what I owe and stuff like that. I think you've hit the nail on the head, Jim, about people scared who's scared of taking on risks.

Jim Hall: Everyone has got their own risk profile and some people are more risk averse than others. Me, personally, I don't have a particularly risky outlook on things. I like to be pretty safe, pretty steady with things. Some people have made a lot of money with some slightly riskier purchases of property. Again, the reason why I'm into properties, I understand property, bricks and mortar, and I just really don't understand the share market. I speak to a lot of people who have made a lot of money in shares and I wouldn't advise anyone against that. Again, I'll just say do your research. If you're going to go into stocks and shares, get someone that knows what they're doing.

Phil Tarrant: It’s fundamental. I think people should only invest in stuff that they understand and there's lots of things about the share market, or alternative investment, or some of the more complicated investment products in the marketplace that have a buzz about them and people get really involved in them. But most people don't actually get what they're getting by investing in that or they're doing it for a reason of tax minimisation and strategy. You shouldn't be investing in property for tax reasons. You should be investing in property because you want the thing to go up in value and you want the thing to hopefully pay for itself. That's the ethos of how we choose to invest.

It's very much your plan as well. You try to identify under market value properties, which you do so by using a very talented buyer’s agent. You pick these properties up and, hopefully, below the market value, in areas which you hope are going to grow quickly over time, that's going to help you cover the mortgage on the way through.

What we like to do, Jim, when we get guys onto the podcast is to just go through couple of quick things, just get a bit of an insight into some of their trials and tribulations of property investment. You’ve covered some of those off already. I want to bang through a couple of things really quickly here on the whole concept of buying these under market value properties, which is your strategy. You look for that realising growth. Outside of your family home, which you first bought, what was your first investment property? Where was it? What was it? How much you paid for it? And what's it doing right now?

Jim Hall: The first property I bought was a three-bedroom duplex in Eagle Vale, which is in the Campbelltown area of Sydney. I purchased that, I think it was about $249,000. This is back in 2010, I believe, July 2010. That is currently worth – I did actually have a look the other day actually on real estate just in comparables. It's upwards of over the $400,000. I think $430,000 its worth now, something like that. That's been pretty good, but that's probably been one of my worst-performing properties in all honesty. I did quite have a bit of problems with that actually, early doors, retaining wall that cost me a reasonable amount of money. I had to chuck in a fence, to put in a whole new retaining wall. It cost me $7,000 to $8,000, which wasn't ideal.

Phil Tarrant: The rent’s being good though? It's being reasonably neutral?

Jim Hall: I’ve still got the same tenants in there as I first started actually. I've been quite lucky with tenants. Touch wood.

Phil Tarrant: Outside of that, you wouldn’t say it’s been one of your best-performing properties. What's your absolute lemon? What's the worst property you've got and why?

Jim Hall: My absolute lemon.

Phil Tarrant: I'm sure you haven't got any.

Jim Hall: I actually don't. I actually don't have any lemons in all honesty. I really don't. I have been quite fortunate to date, the properties. The ones I’ve bought more recently, it's hard to tell. I've bought a couple in the last year up in Brisbane which, they've done okay. I'm in it for the long-term. I don't what to expect yet. I've been quite fortunate with property in Sydney like everyone has.

Andy Scott: What about ones possibly, Jim, that's given you a headache even though they may not necessary – we were speaking with someone the other day who was telling us about a property they bought that's gone down significantly in value. They can't get rent on it. They cannot sell it. They are stuck with it. It's probably worth six figures less than what they paid for it. In terms of – you haven't got anything like that in your portfolio. Surely, you've got one that's just like headache. There's been too many letters from the real estate agent, or too many letters from the property manager, or too many letters from council where you're just like, "If I have my way again, I wish I hadn't bloody picked this one up."

Jim Hall: That's one of the issues with buying slightly older properties is you can have a tendency for things to go a little bit wrong. No real, real lemons. There's a property I do have Queensland that – it seems like a constant influx of tenant requests. I just had this one this week actually asking for some new carpets. They look fine to me to be honest. Same tenants whose friends drove their car into the garage.

Andy Scott: That's where a car lives, Jim.

Jim Hall: They forget to open the door though, Andy, unfortunately. That needed replacing. A few little bits like that. Really honestly, I'd love to give you some real juicy ones.

Phil Tarrant: I remember you chatting to me. There are two things I know about your property portfolio. I don't know the ins and outs of it. A couple of things that we've spoken to over the years. One is that you had something to do with a swimming pool once.

Andy Scott: That's exactly the one I was getting into.

Jim Hall: Funny enough, yeah. That's actually been my best-performing property.

Andy Scott: Is it?

Jim Hall: Yeah, funny enough. This was probably the one property that we've done – I've done two properties, I've done some reasonably sized renovations on this. This was the biggest. This was actually a termite-infested house, which we picked up for about $240,000. We spend about $60,000 on the renovation, maybe a little bit more than that – cosmetic damage. Termites were fixed quite easy. It wasn't a major problem.

Unfortunately, we had a situation. We had a swimming pool at the back. We decided that we were going to fill in the swimming pool. The council came out and said, "You can't actually do that. You've got to get it properly removed." That was an extra cost. I ended up spending – at the time it was a lot of money – it was about $25,000 more than I budgeted. As I say, that property has actually been phenomenal.

Phil Tarrant: What's it valued at now?

Jim Hall: It's now worth upwards of $600,000.

Phil Tarrant: Rent is pretty good?

Jim Hall: Rent is paying $475. I purchased for just under $250,000. All up, I think I spent about $110,000 on it, so it's been pretty good.

Phil Tarrant: I remember also there was an issue that you had. You put an offer and you got accepted on a property that has some power lines at the front. Was that you?

Jim Hall: Yeah.

Phil Tarrant: Some financing issues.

Jim Hall: Again, that's worked out quite well for me. We put in an offer. This is up in Queensland. The house was actually going to go to auction. We put in an offer before auction of $275,000. I think it was three- or four-bedroom house. Prior to the auction, we got a valuation done at $275,000. There was some major power lines reasonably close by. It turned out that it was fine but I needed to put in a 20 per cent deposit when what I originally planned on putting in I think it was 15 or 10 per cent deposit. That just changed my strategy and my funding on that property a bit.

As luck would have it, they didn't accept our offer pre-auction of $275,000. No one actually bid at the auction. We ended up picking out the property for $245,000. We made $30,000 instantly. Again, worked out quite well for me. Maybe I'm bit of a lucky guy.

Phil Tarrant: Don't get carried away, man. It’s been a bit of luck. Your next property, what it's going to be? Where is it going to be? How is it going to be?

Jim Hall: Probably tomorrow, I'm expecting – just getting a valuation done on a property looking to move to unconditional. It's a property in Victoria. It'll be my first property in Victoria. Just looking to diversify my portfolio outside of New South Wales and Queensland. It's just outside Geelong. It's a three-bedroom standing on about 900 square meters with space to do bit of rezoning and a bit of development there. Looking at putting a townhouse or two on the back of it. Properties I'm looking at now are – looking at properties that I can do something with in the mid-term.

Phil Tarrant: Good. I guess that comes with, you're talking about before, your willingness to do more and more on your property portfolio. Experience, I guess, gives you confidence. As you're more confident, you're going to start getting a little bit more adventurous, I guess, in a way you want to invest.

I'm sure Andy wants to wrap up pretty soon. What I'm keen to do is just get three tips from you so that – Jim Hall's three tips for property investment success. What are they for you?

Jim Hall: The most important is surround yourself with people that have done it, that are successful in property. In the short-term, the medium-term or the long-term. Get yourself a good accountant. Get yourself good mortgage broker. Try and talk to investors. There's some good TV programs on. There's some great expos you can go to across the country. Get onto Smart Property Investment. There's plenty of people on there that love talking about property, sharing all their tips, their success stories and all the problems they've had as well. I think I've been fortunate enough that other people that made a lot of mistakes and they've passed those mistakes onto me so I don't have to. So, number one, surround yourself with people that know what they're doing. They've walked the walked, talked the talked.

Number two, I'd say just take a deep breath and go for it. If it's something that you’ve thought about, if you're in that time of life like me you're thinking or were thinking, "I need to do something. I've got to invest for the future. I'm not sure what but I think properties are ... Is it the best property?" I don't know if you're ever going to find the best one. There's always a better investment property out there. You know what? Just go for it. Again, it just comes down to good advice, good people. Do your research, essentially.

Number three, don't invest – I wouldn't say don't invest in anywhere risky. I would say invest in what you're comfortable with. If you're not comfortable taking on massive debt, don't buy a property where it means you’ve got massive debt. Buy something you're comfortable with. At the end of the day, you’ve got to sleep at night. You don't want to be up every night worrying about the debt that you're in, whether the rent is covering the mortgage, whether people are going to be damaging the property – whatever it might be, whatever your worries are. You just don't need that. That would be my three points.

Andy Scott: That's great stuff, Jim. We really appreciate you coming in today, mate, and opening up, and sharing some stories and insights about, I suppose, your journey as an investor and what's going on in your portfolio and stuff like that as well. Obviously you made sure to tell people to go to www.smartpropertyinvestment.com.au. I cannot over-emphasise the importance of doing that either.

Jim Hall: You'd be a fool not to.

Andy Scott: You would be a fool not to, Jim. Mate, we really do appreciate you coming in. Look, it's about that time we need to wrap things up. Look, as always, guys, thanks for listening. If there anything that you want to contact me about, please email me on [email protected]. Just remains for me to say thank you, Jim. I appreciate your time coming in, mate.

Jim Hall: No problem.

Andy Scott: Phil, hello and goodbye. Say goodbye.

Phil Tarrant: Pleasure. See you later.

Andy Scott: This is me saying goodbye. Thanks for your time, guys. Speak to you next week.

 

Listen to other instalments of The Smart Property Investment Show:
Episode 52: Will property prices fall? When? And by how much? What investors need to know
Episode 51: SPECIAL EPISODE: SPI team reveals all the financial details of its portfolio
Episode 50: 8 properties by 25: Former housing commission kid reveals how he changed his life and created wealth
Episode 49: How to build a sophisticated multi-property portfolio
Episode 48: ‘From just $2,000 in my pocket to 6 properties’
Episode 47: The SPI Show answers more listener questions: Special episode
Episode 46: 4 properties by 24 – how to build a portfolio without sacrificing fun, travel or food
Episode 45: Special guest Mark Bouris on what really makes property prices rise and when to invest
Episode 44: ‘11 properties by 31, now I’m stuck: What’s next?’
Episode 43: 22 properties by 30: Can Generation Ys build massive portfolios?
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