Find out how this investor overcame his debt-adverse mindset

By Bianca Dabu 23 June 2017 | 1 minute read

Jack Chen has spent a decade building an impressive nine-property strong portfolio worth $5.2 million with his wife, but he admits that it has taken him roughly six years to realise that he could actually get equity out of his existing portfolio to fund future purchases.


His debt-adversity was overcome with the help of a trusted mortgage broker and the rest of his financial team, who laid out different options and strategies for him to move his investment journey further forward.

“[My mindset changed] when I sat down with a mortgage broker and then he laid out the options and I’m like, ‘Why didn’t I think of that all along? I kind of knew from reading books that that was a possibility, but I was always debt-adverse, I didnt want to borrow,” he shared with Smart Property Investment.”

I guess [its] just an element of fear and not wanting to take on too much debt. So the first four property purchases, I basically saved up a 20 per cent deposit just out of pure, hard-earned savings.

“But around the six-year mark of my property investing journey, the Sydney markets [had] done pretty well. There was a lot of spare equity there, a lot of lazy equity. So Im like I should really do something with this and I dont want to keep saving to invest because at that point in time, I had a [principal place of residence]. I wanted to actually save to pay down the non-deductible debt.” 


Right now, he and his wife are working with “property savvy” accountants and “investment savvy” mortgage brokers to whom they credit a big part of their success.

“This mortgage broker took me under his wing. He actually took time out of his weekends to actually show me around. He told me what to look out for, which streets to avoid, th[ose] sort of thing. I learnt a whole great deal from him and, together with a finance strategy in place, it allowed me to keep growing,” he said.

Smart Property Investments Phil Tarrant, who is admittedly a “pro-advice investor”, reiterates the importance of taking experts and professionals with you on your investment journey.

According to him: “Were with paying people to do stuff better than you can do it yourself – thats the way I see the world.”

Jack is now focusing on managing the $2.7 million worth of debt that they have accumulated over the years by a simple strategy of saving, debt recycling, and selling properties.

“Hard-earned savings over the last seven years, I’ve just been piling down that debt together with a debt recycling strategy – so this was where I actually pay down the PPOR debt, pulled the equity out as a new equity loan, used that to purchase dividend paying shares. I was using the dividend income to actually help pay down my PPOR debt which then I could pull out again as new debt and just continue that cycle,” Jack explained.

Tune in to Jack Chen’s episode in The Smart Property Investment Show to know more about the investment strategy that could allow him to retire today, as well as the drivers behind his wealth creation success.



Debt refers to the amount of money borrowed from a creditor with the intention to pay back at a specified date.

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Find out how this investor overcame his debt-adverse mindset
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