Finance advice
Cam McLellan

How to achieve financial freedom

By Cam McLellan

Financial independence means everything is possible, but how do you actually get there? 

Blogger: Cam McLellan, director, OpenCorp

Even when I was a kid, it was my vision to retire at 40. For me, this was the definition of financial freedom. I pictured a never-ending, round the world adventure holiday filled with extreme sports. I’m now 40 and have an entirely different view of financial freedom. My kids changed all that (unless trampolining is considered an extreme sport).

I won’t bore you with the details of my early life. But I want you to understand the importance of working hard when you have to.
Apart from my old newspaper round, I started working at the age of 14. My mum said to me, welcome to the real world. It’s time you started earning so you can pay rent and buy your own clothes.

My working life started by collating papers for the Bairnsdale Advertiser. I’ve stacked more shelves in supermarkets than I care to remember. I’ve been a fruit and veg manager at the local supermarket. I’ve pumped petrol. I’ve scooped ice cream. I’ve flipped burgers. I’ve worked as a garbo hanging off the truck (side note: people used to hang off the truck and empty the bins by hand. I once fell asleep standing up on the back and lost a fair amount of bark as I rolled down the road). I’ve been a plumber’s trade assistant. I’ve picked bin after bin of gherkins and broccoli in the paddocks. I’ve stacked thousands of mud bricks. I’ve sorted recycling at a tip (that was the worst). I’ve baled hay. I’ve driven backhoes. I’ve driven forklifts and crashed a few along the way.

I did all of this before I turned 18. For many years, I held two or three jobs at a time and I’ve had many more jobs since then. I left home at 17 and did what I had to do to make a dollar and survive. I worked my backside off in every job I ever had. I always made sure I did more than the next person and I always looked for ways to make improvements.

I feel that I’ve been rewarded in the long term. My brothers have the same work ethic. Andy is a builder and the hardest worker I know. He spent years working on the oil rigs and is now in the mining industry. Bob is an account executive in the telco business I started, and one of the best sales people you will find. He still holds national sales records. Both have now built impressive property portfolios. Maybe my mum’s hard-line approach to the real world is the right way to go. It certainly hardened us up.

Although I worked hard, the fact is I hated feeling like I was tied to a job, or that my future was controlled by someone else. Just thinking about it made me feel trapped. But once I started investing, I actually enjoyed my years of employment. I was there because I wanted to be. I had my investment properties, which gave me a large degree of satisfaction. The main thing I always wanted was to shake off the financial shackles that society places on every one of us.

Like many others who dream of financial freedom, I saw my life mapped out in front of me and I felt locked into a cycle of never-ending bad debt. We’re programmed to follow a cookie-cutter financial model that society lays out for us. Go to school, get a job, buy a house (with a 30-year mortgage), have a family (which is good, but locks you in even more). Then you start grinding away at that mortgage.

This is normal life for 99% of Australians – but it freaked me out.

Don’t get me wrong. I love the Aussie lifestyle and I love being part of mainstream society (just not financially). It means my kids will grow up in a stable environment with good people around them.

So what is financial freedom? It means everything is possible.

As soon as Richard Branson gets his commercial rocket ship off the ground, I’ll be buying a ticket to head in to outer space. I’ve dreamed of looking back at Earth since I saw Star Wars when I was five years old.

Property investing is my ticket to making things happen.

TIPS
• Work harder than those around you and opportunities will come your way. Always seek areas for improvement.
• Be prepared to work hard in a job. You don’t have to earn huge dollars,  but the more you earn, the faster you can build your portfolio.
• Investing lets you do what you want, when you want.
• Financial freedom means everything is possible.
• Always appreciate the Aussie way of life.

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About the Blogger

Cam McLellan

Cam McLellan

Director of OpenCorp, Cam McLellan is committed to sharing his passion and property investment knowledge with everyday Australians.

After thriving in the telecommunications, technology and recruitment sectors and making six BRW Lists in 8 years, alongside accomplished OpenCorp. entrepreneurs Matthew Lewison and Allister Lewison, founded OpenCorp. eight years ago.

Cam started investing in real estate at a young age and quickly mastered the art of building sustainable wealth. He has used the same wealth building strategy to develop a multi-million dollar business, sharing his knowledge and skill with ordinary Australians. Cam has personally bought, sold and developed numerous properties and has an extensive residential and commercial investment portfolio.

FROM THE WEB

podcast

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With the softening market impacting property values in many parts of Australia, Sally Wood, Opteon state director for NSW, ACT and Qld joins us to discuss the importance of valuations in the current property market

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Joining host Phil Tarrant, Sally will draw on her 25 years of experience in valuation and discuss the processes involved in arriving at a value for a particular property. She will also share how that process differs between commercial and residential properties and the difficulties which regional property valuations can present.

Sally will unpack the importance and cost of regular valuations on your properties, discuss whether presentation and owner input can sway a valuation and share what you should look for when seeking a reputable property valuer.

If you like this episode, show your support by rating us or leaving a review on iTunes (The Smart Property Investment Show) and by following Smart Property Investment on social media: FacebookTwitter and LinkedIn.

If you have any questions about what you heard today, any topics of interest you have in mind, or if you’d like to lend your voice to the show, email [email protected] for more insights!

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AREAS MENTIONED: 

Sydney
Brisbane
Adelaide

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A softening market can be a difficult time for a property investor with finance approval tightening and property capital growth slowing, and while many real estate agents are also feeling the squeeze McGrath Brighton Le Sands' Bill Tsounias claims it is simply the market returning to normal.

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In this episode of the Smart Property Investment Show, Bill joins host Phil Tarrant to share his thoughts on the current Sydney property market, and to share the shifts that he has seen in house and unit sale prices following their worst quarter in the past decade.

Bill will unpack why properties are spending longer on market, share what he believes property investors are doing wrong when trying to sell their properties and share the secrets to getting the best out of a real estate agent and an auction in the current softening market.

If you like this episode, show your support by rating us or leaving a review on iTunes (The Smart Property Investment Show) and by following Smart Property Investment on social media: FacebookTwitter and LinkedIn.

If you have any questions about what you heard today, any topics of interest you have in mind, or if you’d like to lend your voice to the show, email [email protected] for more insights!

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Revesby
South Hurstville
Sans Souci
Strathfield

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  ["introtext"]=>
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Gavin Kemp and his now-fiancé bought their first property together after only six months of dating. They weren’t even living together at the time. Now, two years on, the pair have bought five properties, sold two and have a solid plan in place for their ongoing property journey. 

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In this episode of the Smart Property Investment Show, Gavin joins host Phil Tarrant to discuss how he chose the locations where he decided to invest and how, due to the initial lack of education (something that he now values highly), he lost money on his first two investments.

Gavin will share his thoughts on the current property market, reveal the people who he has leaned on throughout his property journey and discuss why his strategy employs a zero procrastination rule.

If you like this episode, show your support by rating us or leaving a review on iTunes (The Smart Property Investment Show) and by following Smart Property Investment on social media: FacebookTwitter and LinkedIn.

If you have any questions about what you heard today, any topics of interest you have in mind, or if you’d like to lend your voice to the show, email [email protected] for more insights!

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Loganlea
Launceston
Raceview

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A joint property portfolio before they were even living together

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