The difference between a $5m and a $10m property portfolio

comparing two house model

The difference between a $5m and a $10m property portfolio

By Scott O'Neill | 05 March 2021

There are many individuals out there with portfolios worth under or around $5 million. However, you very rarely hear about people with portfolios worth $10 million and over. There’s a reason for this, and I’ll explain why.

Investors with less than $5 million in property

Previously, lending standards have been pretty lenient. This has resulted in APRA and a banking royal commission cracking down on and exposing risky lending practices.

The by-product of the loose lending of the past is a huge amount of PAYG investors who used their salaries to ‘debt-up’ into large portfolios and in short periods of time.

Building up a $5 million portfolio in a few years means the investor funding the portfolio hasn’t had time to build equity. Instead, they are relying on a salary to continually debt-up.

These types of investors are not classed as professional investors, as they are really just lending up as far as their salary allows them.


Now that lending standards are tightening, this common theme will dry up unless you become a sophisticated investor.

Investors with more than $10 million in property

Building a portfolio this large takes both time and continual good investment decisions.

There is very little chance that a portfolio this size could be built solely off the back of a PAYG income.

To get to a portfolio in this range, you need to invest in commercial properties for cash flow, buy at the perfect time in a property cycle every time, buy under market value for equity through distressed sales, consider developing for equity and avoid the trap of buying negatively geared assets.

To get a portfolio worth over $10 million, you must treat your portfolio like a business. It can take a lot of time and luck but it’s not impossible to reach this level.

I was able to build an $20 million portfolio by the age of 31. At the start of my journey, I, like all the other sub-$5 million investors, used the pay from my job to fund my portfolio.

In order to break into a much larger portfolio, I developed a clear strategy which involved creating equity, buying very high cash flow assets, and picking the right market at the right time, without any exceptions.

About the author

Scott O'Neill

Scott O'Neill

Scott O’Neill is a professional property investor with a current portfolio of 32 properties worth over $20 million, and the Director of Rethink Investing. Rethink Investing is a BRW Fast 100 company (2017 & 2018) and Australia’s number one buyer’s agency for commercial property investors. They also help clients find high returning residential properties with the same expert due-diligence process. Rethink Investing has helped their clients purchase over half a billion dollars of real-estate to... Read more

The difference between a $5m and a $10m property portfolio
comparing two house model
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