Finance advice
interest rates, investors, deal with fluctuating interest rates

How investors can deal with fluctuating interest rates

By Bianca Dabu

In order to thrive in spite of tightening lending conditions and rising prices, investors are looking to minimise costs by fixing their mortgage rates. How can you navigate your way through fluctuating interest rates?

At the moment, Smart Property Investment’s Phil Tarrant and his team are keen to take the higher interest rates down on their 18-property portfolio, either through direct negotiation with banks or working through a mortgage broker.

The option that they deemed most fit for their strategy is shifting from interest-only variable rate to fixed rate over a two- to three-year period.

By fixing the rates on some of his 19 loans, Mr Tarrant expects to save at least $2,100 within a month or $25,000 over a year. The savings could then be used to add value to his existing properties through simple renovations or subdivisions.

Aside from the savings, the investor is also saved from worrying about fluctuating interest rates. For the duration of the fixed period, he will be required to pay the same amount of mortgage repayments.

Mr Tarrant said: “We don't know what's going to happen with lending moving forward, so we lock into fixed rates right now. They're pretty reasonable for 4.7 per cent, better than the low fives that we're paying right now.”

Dealing with rates

In reality, according to property strategist Steve Waters, not even the smartest investor or property professional knows exactly where interest rates are going—no matter how much anyone thinks they know what they’re doing.

While market reviews indicate that no significant increases on the official cash rate are set in the year 2019, the rates from banks and lenders are subject to more fluctuations as they are independent from the Reserve Bank of Australia, which determines the cash rate.

The cost of funding have been shrinking the profit margins of banks and lenders, resulting to more difficult borrowing for investors.

However, Mr Waters believe that sooner than later, investors and owner-occupiers alike will start to see attractive ‘honeymoon rates’, particularly those that are considered ‘prime borrowers’.

After all, the bank makes money by lending money so they will always move to attract more borrowers.

At the end of the day, the only plausible way to deal with fluctuating rates is being on top of your portfolio’s administration.

Reviewing your mortgage regularly can help you lower the interest rates you’re paying for, thus letting you increase your savings and ultimately fasttrack the growth of your portfolio.

According to the property strategist: “In terms of Phil’s rates and the potential lock in, some would say $20,000 or $25,000 a year is small but that’s a lot of money, especially if you combine that with the other $10,000 that we've been saving by night by keeping our administration pretty good.”

Portfolio management

Being involved in the management of their portfolio is one lesson that every investor must learn, Mr Waters said.

The time, money and effort you put aside to discuss the state of your portfolio and the strategies best implemented moving forward will be compensated through the money you save and the protection of your cash flow.

This is especially crucial if you are holding a portfolio with multiple properties. As big as the wealth-creation potential is with a big portfolio, the risks of a big loss are also high.

Understandably, this responsibility could be daunting, especially if you have a day job to attend to and a family to take care of. For Mr Tarrant, the secret to keeping a multi-property portfolio running is the team of professionals backing him up.

His mortgage broker, in particular, have been a huge help in navigating the lending environment in relation to lending policies from the banks and lenders and the regulations set by the Australian Prudential Regulation Authority and other governing bodies.

Mr Tarrant said: “Often, lenders do a bit of run and say, ‘We got a bit of fat here. We can pump in a whole bit of mortgage for period of time.’ What will happen is mortgage brokers will be notified by these lenders that they have preferential pricing or some sort of specific policy discounting around a particular product.”

“If you're not connected in with that story going on within the brokers’ community, you're not going to know about these things coming on. A good broker should be presenting new solutions to you for preferential pricing with the lenders that they work with,” the investor added.

Mortgage brokers also expand the opportunities for you as they provide access to good products offered outside the four major Australian banks.

“They keep your mind open products from good second-tier lenders. Essentially, it's banks that aren't the major four banks. There's some really good lenders out there so be open to that,” Mr Tarrant highlighted.

Together with the rest of his team, Mr Tarrant has established great systems and processes in place which allows the portfolio to run despite challenging circumstances, from finances to management.

Having said that, it does not give him a pass to be a ‘passive investor’. On the contrary, these systems and processes are put in place to help him manage the portfolio, whether or not he’s actively purchasing real estate assets.

“This whole premise around a passive portfolio. that's just rubbish, at the end of the day. If we could minimise the costs to hold them as much as possible, that's when we get the maximum impact in our portfolio,” Mr Tarrant concluded.

 

Tune in to Phil Tarrant’s latest portfolio update on The Smart Property Investment Show to know more about the importance of portfolio management and the consequences of poor administration.

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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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Leveraging your Blue Ink Finance Broker for more than just a loan.
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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!

RELATED AREAS OF INTEREST:

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AREAS MENTIONED: 

Sydney
Brisbane
Adelaide

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Can property presentation result in a higher valuation?
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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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