investor-stories

The ‘lightbulb moment’ that inspired this property investor to start his journey

By Bianca Dabu
Light bulb

Ben Kingsley holds a great understanding of the ever-changing landscape of property investment as he maintains quite an impressive portfolio alongside running a successful advisory business, and started it all with a ‘lightbulb moment’.

According to Ben, he has chosen to invest in property over any other asset class after he realised that residential property is an essential and prosperous need.

“My lightbulb moment was the fact that residential property is an essential need, once I understood it as being shelter. Then I understood that, traditionally, it’s low in volatility and I could put some gear in. When I looked at cash on cash returns, I’m like, I’ve found it. I finally worked out how I can do this – get the cash flow management right; borrow when you can borrow; make sure you don’t overextend yourself; buy assets that are effectively scarce in design, high on occupier appeal; and just ride the long-term gain, and that was it,” he told Smart Property Investment.

While it’s clear what has motivated him to start his property investment story, Ben admitted that it took him years to truly understand the landscape and craft his own strategy.

He took inspiration from the experiences of his mother and father – how money was always argued about in the household and then embarked on a long-winded journey of education before jumping into investing.

“Money in our household was discussed heavily and tightly fought over. Dad, he retired at 55. He worked 37 years at Ansett. He retired a week before they collapsed, but he worked three jobs for 35 years. Mum was always trying to look after us, make sure we had the right things. There was always this budgeting debate going on in the household. To both of their credits, they did a great job in raising me and my brother ... but what I took away from that is I never ever wanted to argue about money in the household. That was my main takeaway,” Ben shared.

He added: “So I went on a journey of education and I looked at shares. I did trading courses and I learnt about stock losses. I learnt about contracts for different CFDs and all this type of stuff. I then started to understand my risk profile.”

Ben then branched out to learn from financial advisers and field experts.

According to him: “I’ve seen the Henry Kayes of this world. I’ve seen all of those guys and I’ve seen the good ones too. Even the bad ones, you get to take away a bit of gold.”

One of his best pieces of advice to budding investors: Take your time to educate yourself and don’t get caught up in the now. Take a bit of everything from everyone and make your own plan of action from all your learning.

Ben explained: “That’s my greatest tip for anyone. Don’t get caught up in the now moment. Digest it and see what it’s worth, and that’s basically what I did. I never got sold on doing any of the boot camps or the weekends away but I took a little bit of each, and then read a lot.

“That was the backstory of how I knew that residential property [was] an essential need, and there was emotional attachment to it. I didn’t work that out straight away. It took me 10 years to come to some of the conclusions I did around the research we do now. Early on, it was really just about, ‘If I do this well and long enough and I see what values continue to keep going, I’m going to be all right’.”

Property investment can get overwhelming, but as in most cases, education will ultimately serve as your “life jacket” to survive the unique journey and eventually reap the fruits of your hard work.

Tune in to Ben Kingsley’s episode in The Smart Property Investment Show to know more about the importance of cash flow management, why buyers should ask the ‘big’ questions before investing, and why Ben encourages investors not to get caught up in the moment and first consider their investment options.

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The ‘lightbulb moment’ that inspired this property investor to start his journey
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