Finance advice
Debt, risk management

On risk management: ‘Any debt is debt’, says accountant

By Bianca Dabu

A lot of investors believe in the concept of good debt and bad debt, but for Integrity Plus Accounting’s Scott Kay, all debt can negatively impact a portfolio at the end of the day.

As an investor, Mr Kay does not necessarily consider himself risk-averse, but he has always put emphasis on the importance of putting the right buffers in place.

For one, he worked to start his own business to maintain a steady cash flow through the years.

He has also maintained a low loan-to-value ratio on most of his properties so, instead of worrying about repayments, he could channel most of his funds on his growing business as well as his family.

For him, all debts will most likely have a negative impact on the wealth he’s trying to create.

The accountant explained: “Any debt is debt. If you have a $3 million-property portfolio and a $2 million-loan, then that is debt, and property means the bank can always sell the property.”

“For example, there's the girl who bought in all the mining towns. She was everyone's favourite property investor guru, but then she went from a $3 million equity position to a negative equity because those properties demolished in value.

“That highlights the fact that debt is debt and the property selection process is important,” he added.

Picking the right property

Instead of good debt and bad debt, Mr Kay encouraged investors to know the difference between good and terrible investments.

Your portfolio must consist mostly of properties that are unlikely to fall in value significantly.

If, for some reason, you choose to hold on to ‘bad properties’, they must only be a small percentage of your portfolio, the accountant said.

“The more wealth you have, the more risks you can take,” he highlighted.

For example, if you have 20 to 30 properties, having one bad property in your portfolio will hardly make a dent in your wealth-creation potential. The chances are that the profits from the good properties are making up for the loss on the bad property.
On the other hand, if you have two properties and one of them is a poor performer, you are more likely to feel the negative impact because you may not have the capacity to turn the overall position of your portfolio around.

Mr Kay encouraged investors to manage their debt and finances well right at the beginning of their wealth-creation journey.

If you end up carrying too much debt in your portfolio from the start, it may be harder purchase to one property after another and build an impressive portfolio.

According to him: “If you're trying to swim 1,500 metres and you've got a 5-kilo weight on you, it doesn't feel that much at the start, but it's going to stop you from reaching your goal.”

Strategy

Of course, the strategy that he recommended is easier said than done, Mr Kay admitted.

Maintaining low debt from the beginning of your journey is crucial but it’s also difficult to accomplish, especially during the first two years.

“I did it all myself, and I wouldn't necessarily make that choice again,” the accountant shared.

Mr Kay encouraged budding investors to seek the help of good and trustworthy professionals as they jumpstart their wealth-creation journey.

He said: “I would've got the right advice at the time to try to help me invest. Now, I realise the cost of getting that advice. My equity gains could've been better if I'd had that advice 10 years ago.”

 

Tune in to Scott Kay’s episode on The Smart Property Investment Show to find out more ways to save money from the start of your investment journey.

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Promoted by Blue Ink Finance.

Budgeting tips when your Personal Debt is High.

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Credit card debts and personal loans are the greatest obstacle between everyday people and their potential to live in financial freedom.

Of course, I understand that sometimes getting a small personal loan is absolutely necessary. Unexpected costs like medical expenses can make personal loans the only option.

However, the majority of us have debt simply because we spend more than we earn.

In either case, your number one priority is unlocking those chains of debt that are holding you back.

I’m going to give you some tips for budgeting with hefty personal debt, but first I want to talk about the impact those loans are having on your life.

How much is your debt really costing you?

Over the years that you’re paying off your loans at the minimum repayment, the interest on those items will end up costing you multiple times more than the original borrowed amount - and those endless due dates will haunt you. There’s no freedom in that!

Let me give you an example. You’ll be shocked, I guarantee it!

Let’s say you have around $4,000 of credit card debt, charged at 19.99% p.a. If you paid only the minimum monthly amount, it would take 37 years to pay off the total debt.

How much will that $4,000 debt cost you? $19,200. Depressing, isn’t it?

You might feel like you need a full-blown money explosion to get out of debt, but don’t despair just yet.

What you need to do is arm yourself with a strategic budget, and I’ve got some tips to help you.

Budgeting while you have hefty personal debt is tough, but possible – and it’s essential for eliminating that debt forever. Let’s have a quick look at how you can start to tackle that mountain of borrowed money.

It’s time to take charge and break some chains!

There’s a method for reducing debt that has an excellent success rate, if you’re committed:

  1. Make a realistic budget (and stick to it)
  2. Reduce your expenses and/or increase your income until you are in the black
  3. Save an emergency fund first
  4. Pay off your personal loans and credit cards, starting with the either the smallest debt first or the debt with the highest interest rate
  5. Revise your budget as you go along.

Why an emergency fund is paramount to success

You’ll see I’ve put saving an emergency fund before paying off your loans. Even a small amount initially, like $500, is enough to stop the cycle of borrowing to pay bills, then paying out even more in interest each month, which leaves less in the bank to pay the next bill.

Once you have a buffer saved, then you can start aiming some serious firepower on your debt, and that’s when it gets exciting!

Think back to my credit card example. If you upped the payments each month from $84 per month to $212, you would have the card paid off in two years and save $14,285 in interest. That’s worth a little bit of effort, wouldn’t you agree?

Tips for a budget that works

You may need to cut back drastically on your expenses to clear your debt, but here’s some other ways to make the most of your budget:

  • Find micro-ways to reduce your expenses every day. Make work lunches at home, cancel a pay TV subscription, find a better phone deal, or pass on your afternoon chocolate bar from the vending machine. Instead of spending $40 on a takeaway dinner, have a bowl of cereal!

  • Find a friend who will keep you accountable. Having someone else who shuns a pricey outing to the day spa for a walk along the beach instead will make you feel better about saying ‘no’ to expensive events that will blow the budget.

  • Refinance your home loan to release some funds. If you have a mortgage, talk to us at Blue Ink Finance about the possibility of refinancing your home loan to allow you to release some equity to help clear your high interest, personal debt. It’s not always the best strategy, but it’s worth investigating, especially if you can consolidate it into a home loan that has a significantly lower interest rate.

  • If your income increases, leverage it! The only place that extra money should go is into paying off more debt. Enough said!

  • Refine and polish your budget as your circumstances change. Your budget shouldn’t stay the same. As you find more ways to decrease your expenditure and become adept at sticking to your financial plan, fine-tune your budget to reflect your savvy saving. Any spare change goes directly onto your debt.

  • Automate payments of bills, so you don’t spend the money first. This saves you from late fees if you forget, too.

The reality is that you won’t have a profitable budget until you get rid of that high-interest debt. The beauty of a budget is that it can get you there! Knock the debt, stay away from borrowing except for assets like property, and you’ll have a well-oiled financial plan that kicks goals instead of paying lenders!

At Blue Ink Finance, we have a team of expert brokers as well as a panel of industry experts that understand all the nuances of positioning your personal finances to kick real goals with Property Assets and can support you in achieving your goals.

Give the team at Blue Ink Finance a call on 1300 888 796 or click here to request your Complimentary Finance Review with one of our experienced Finance Coaches now.

And see how having a panel of industry experts on your side, can fast track your property goals.

About The Author

David Wegener
Chief Executive Officer
Blue Ink Finance

Who I am, and why I want to help you succeed.

As an award-winning Mortgage Broker with nearly 20 years’ experience in the finance industry, I’ve seen it all.

I’ve gone through constant industry changes and yet I still successfully help my customers borrow the money they need to get ahead.

As a Finance Coach, my goal is to help you understand your financial potential so that you can borrow with confidence.

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With the softening market impacting property values in many parts of Australia, Sally Dale, 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!

RELATED AREAS OF INTEREST:

Why I still buy in Sydney
Property market update: Sydney, July 2018
Sydney rental market slowing, latest research finds

AREAS MENTIONED:

Revesby
South Hurstville
Sans Souci
Strathfield

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Top 100 ranked agent Bill Tsounias shares the secrets to getting the best deal in a softening market

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