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A lot of property investors grow their portfolio in the hopes of passing them down to their kids in the future. How do they set their children up for success in property investment?
Penelope Valentine has spent years building a substantial property portfolio. Today, she holds multiple residential and commercial properties across several states in Australia—a feat that she credits to her love for property.
According to her, while property investment has not always been easy, she always finds it enjoyable to look for opportunities and ultimately maximise their wealth-creation potential.
“I enjoy the whole process of looking for an opportunity, finding a great property, negotiating the purchase of it, having it managed, seeing great tenants move in there and enjoy living there. The whole thing makes sense to me and, obviously, we're making money from it,” she highlighted.
Over the last 15 years, Ms Valentine and her husband have had huge shares of positive experiences as investors, mainly because they share a love for property.
In 10 years, the couple plans to retire and travel the world, leaving their assets behind to their three children. By that time, they hope to achieve the financial freedom that has been their primary goal since the beginning of their wealth-creation journey.
The property investor said: “Financial freedom means being able to make choices about what we want to do without having to think of the burden of how are we going to fund them.”
“It also means preparing our children. The moment they've each got a property, they know their property and we get them involved in property investment, we’re giving them that leg up because it could be harder than ever for the next generation to get on the property ladder.”
As early as now, Ms Valentine and her husband have started preparing their children for the time that they receive the properties unencumbered.
At age 7, 9 and 13, their children are already participating in conversations about money and financial awareness. In fact, the couple does not shy away from talking about money matters even when their kids are around.
Several years ago, they introduced the topic of finances by talking about why they need to earn money and how they earn them.
“My youngest used to say, ‘Why can't you come to the canteen more and be a stay-at-home mom,’ so we would talk about what mommy and daddy are doing and why we go to work every day. We work because we want to create a lifestyle for them and be able to provide for them. I say, ‘If you love going on holidays, if you want a house when you get older, this is what you have to do’—we've always had that very clear narrative on,” according to Ms Valentine.
Studies on the process of financial socialisation show that young people view their parents as a primary source of values, attitudes and knowledge relating to financial well-being and an important source of learning about money management.
Indeed, parents are in a unique position to influence their child’s financial future, either through direct teaching or by acting as role models, and Ms Valentine and her husband are keen to maximise this opportunity to set their children up for success.
Apart from openly discussing finances, the couple has also set up savings plans for their children in order to give them a better understanding of the importance of having buffers.
“We're really clear on the fact that they can have pocket money but they have to save some for themselves and stop that need for instant gratification. It's all around, saving money and getting something that's got more value and more meaning for you.”
With their eldest child, Ms Valentine and her husband have even started to introduce the idea of getting a job to afford a first car.
At the end of the day, they aim to instill the value of money into their children so that they could make responsible financial decisions in the future. After all, learning a lesson on a $10-loan under their parents’ roof, no matter how painful, is always going to be better than having to deal with a $20,000-credit card debt in college.
Debt has stunted the growth of many property portfolios and caused terrible consequences to the lives of many people, which is why Ms Valentine believes that children should be educated about money as early as possible.
She said: “It's such a big responsibility for parents to do that. It's so important. Financial literacy should actually be a part of the curriculum.”
Ultimately, putting the hard yards into the children while they are young and still at home is one of the keys to creating generations of money-smart Australians. More than money and property, it is important to give them avenues to develop a good sense of responsibility so they can look after themselves as time goes by.
By teaching financial literacy at a young age, Ms Valentine believes that they are equipping their children with the knowledge and discipline that will propel them toward excellence in the future, in property investment and beyond.