How this investor started with 1,000 Telstra shares he received for his 13th birthday
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How this investor started with 1,000 Telstra shares he received for his 13th birthday

By Bianca Dabu
Jeremy Iannuzzelli

Start young—this is one of the fundamental lessons always shared by successful property investors, and this it's the same principle that propelled 26-year-old Jeremy Iannuzzelli to success.

At a young age and with only a modest income as an accountant, Jeremy has already built a nine-property portfolio worth around $2.5 million.

According to him, it all started with the good influence of his father.

"It stems through from an early age, obviously. I loved saving money, I loved working, especially as a young kid. I had a first job at a pizza shop as most young kids do, earning my $7.50 an hour and refereeing soccer games on the weekend for a little bit of cash money, so it all helped," he shared with Smart Property Investment. 

"[I] was just getting towards that age of 17 and 18 years of age and I saw my father—[with] him being an accountant as well. It was stemmed through us that we need to invest, save your money, put your money into a property. [It's been] a bit of a solid foundation at an early age... I saw successful people and what successful people were doing and that was putting their hard-earned savings into investment properties."

The property investor's father started educating him about money and how it works as early as when he turned 13 years old. To celebrate his birthday, instead of getting him the latest toy or gadget, Jeremy's father gifted him with 1,000 Telstra shares.

"It was a fantastic present looking back when I was 21, when I was able to sell them at a good price, but back [when I was] 13, you think ‘What a waste of money a piece of paper is.’ Those are the type of things he'd done for me as a young kid to really instill to me that saving is an integral part of growing up and a dollar today has resulted in many, many dollars after many years. Very fortunate to have that guidance and influence," Jeremy said.

After many years, Jeremy moved to educate himself by being a hands-on learner — by actually going out and looking at properties and talking to the right people instead of just sitting around with a pile of books and other resource materials.

While he describes going to auctions and bidding for properties at 20 years old as "daunting," the effort definitely paid off as he learned to become a smart investor by learning the entire investment process.

"As all 19, 18 year old kids are, if you put a book in front of them, they more tend to just throw it aside and maybe get on the internet or Facebook. I was very hands on, I thought that’s was the way to force myself to really progress. I got out there and I looked at properties... getting a feel for the market, getting a feel for how it worked," Jeremy shared.

"Getting myself familiar with the process was huge. Getting myself familiar with how real estate agents work, that's another benefit as well—what makes them tick, how to work out whether or not you're getting the right deal or not... I was hands on [from] the start, for the initial property, the first one I bought, and then it got more data-oriented to really understand where the yields are, where the growth is, where the prospective growth is, what a council was doing, what a state government's doing."

His advice to budding property investors: All it really takes to succeed in property investment is perseverance and determination.

"I want to encourage people to really get on board and use myself as an example and say, 'Look I didn't necessarily have the golden spoon or the silver spoon, it was through hard work and a lot of research and you can achieve it as well,'" Jeremy concluded.

Tune in to Jeremy Iannuzzelli's episode in The Smart Property Investment Show to know more about how he built his portfolio even though he wasn’t raking in the cash, how many risks he’s willing to take, and where he hopes his portfolio ends up.

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How this investor started with 1,000 Telstra shares he received for his 13th birthday
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